Archived Messages from April 16, 2003 to July 13, 2003

Sorry that posted twice! I'm a bit of a computer moron.

Kim 7-13-2003 1:07

Hello. I'd posted in here a couple of weeks ago and just found your responses and welcomes (you guys write an awful lot! It's nice to see a friendly community of writers)and would like to thank you for your helpful comments and friendly words. Have a great night!


Kim 7-13-2003 1:06

Hello. I'd posted in here a couple of weeks ago and just found your responses and welcomes (you guys write an awful lot! It's nice to see a friendly community of writers)and would like to thank you for your helpful comments and friendly words. Have a great night!

Kim 7-13-2003 1:06

Catholic Church???

We left the Catholic Church some years ago after the disclosure of the crimes of the priests. Went sans religion for several years, just recently rejoined the Lutheran church (the church the wife grew up in, and my folks once belonged to).

Somehow I feel more comfortable with that church, I think it was disappointment in the whole hierarchy of the Catholic church and their attempts to cover up, or hide the truth of the allegations.

There's a lot to be said about owning up to your shortcomings and trying to remedy problems rather then the new American way of throwing tons of money at a problem to try and make it go away.

Now if we just could do something about the trial lawyers....

Write on, make a difference!

Jerry 7-13-2003 0:21

Another wonderful rodeo day, tonight, at the bull ridding event, I saw something I'd never seen before at a rodeo.

The Bull was "Black Eye" a huge brama bull with terrifyingly large hones, I didn't catch the rider's name, and his ride was so very short, as he was thrown from the bull, his hand became tangled in the rigging, and he was being drug beneath the huge bull, hooves narrowly missing him every jump the bull made. The two rodeo clowns were doing their best to get the poor rider free, and after three tries, one of the clowns simply grabbed the cowboy, and more or less rode him, while untangeling him from the rigging. Once the cowboy was free, the bull turned on the clown (same one that nearly got gored last night) and rolled the poor fellow several yards with his head, again those huge horns trying to get at the soft flesh of the clown, but the professional rodeo clown came away unscratched, much to the relief of the crowd. He walked over to where the other clown and cowboy waited near the center of the ring, when the cowboy grabbed him and gave him a huge hug.

Now folks around here aren't much on hugging, and cowboys are the worst so that hug meant volumes to everyone who saw.

Rodeo's are such great fun. Don't know if we'll make tomorrow's the weatherman is threatening temps over a hundred and strong thunderstorms for rodeo time. Hate to miss it though as it's the last chance till this time next year.

Jerry 7-13-2003 0:11

PAMELA -- I won't get into the Roman Catholic Church "keeping secrets," but according to the Bible there's no new revelation -- the canon is complete. And as for that obscene wealth -- it does seem to be in contrast with the teachings of Jesus, who said "Do not lay up treasures on earth, but in heaven..." And it's pretty plain what he thought about those who would abuse children -- "better a millstone be tied around their necks and they be cast into the deep..."

RANDALL -- That's probably an apt one word description for Hancock's load, and 99% of the rest of the conjecture on the current whereabouts of the Ark of the Covenant. Do a GOOGLE search and you'll see what I mean. All of those "experts" contradicting one another, and many of them using the ever popular "refutation by character assassination" method of debate.

I won't claim that I know personally where the Ark is, but there's a reference to it in Revelation 11:19 that says: "And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament (covenant): and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail."

But I guess it's not fashionable to believe all that -- and there is that passage in 2 Timothy 4:3-4, that describes the people in the end times as curious, but:
"they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. And they shall turn their ears away from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."

PESTER -- maybe I'm just being uncommonly curmudgeonly tonight, but is your hat on too tight?


howard 7-12-2003 20:25

Hi all, love the notebook, many thanks for comments, hope you continue to enjoy. Love Pester.

Nobody is 100% switched on from when they wake up to the time they go to sleep, alternatively nobody is 100% switched off at any time; even when they are asleep or unconscious. If we so desired and had the will power, at any one moment we could (With a little practice) attend to everything that was going on around us, i.e. the position of our bodies, pressures, movements, emotions, thoughts, sensory stimuli. We would then be totally absorbed in the moment or moments, almost completely aware for a very short time. (Try doing this for any length of time and you will find that things gradually slip.) To do this is like waking up while you’re awake, to see things as if for the first time.

How aware are we generally, what do we miss as we progress through the moments that make up our lives? What is our peak switched on time, our trough switched off time? Can we be fully aware all of the time? Would we want to be?
In our daily lives, generally we pass from moment to moment almost totally pre-occupied with, what has happened in the past, what we think may happen in the future, what we should’ve done, how we felt yesterday, this time last year, what we regret saying to someone earlier; i.e. everywhere but in the present. In this flow of moments, we tend to miss our lives because we are usually, mentally somewhere else.

Let’s say for example, in the morning we wake up feeling refreshed and alert, at the very point at which we awake, we are a fresh being with no future and no past. Then we remember things, who we are, our present situation, what we did the night before, our hopes and fears, what we are going to do today; then we become ourselves as it were, we put on our personalities just as naturally as we would put our clothes on.
Yet, do we ask who we are, where we are going, why we are going there, what we want out of life, are we happy etc. Not usually, we drift along the line of least resistance. So we get up and quickly fall into our daily routine, we may be in a happy mood or a bad mood; (What determines this?) say that we are about 90% alert, (Probably optimistic but let’s go with it anyway.) we sit down to breakfast, we break a plate. What is our reaction? Does it depend on how we feel? Does it depend on the plate, was it a favourite plate, one of a set, valuable, was it our fault, did someone leave it in a silly place, was that person someone you love\like\hate, is it sunny outside, raining, warm, cold????

How much alertness have we already lost? Does the breaking of the plate spoil our day, have no affect, have a profound affect, what does this depend upon, also would our reactions be consistent if the same thing happened on another day, at another time????
Consider this a switch that captures some of our energy, how much, depending upon what importance we give it. We carry on through the day experiencing similar events\losses maybe the odd gain.
Typically, by the end of the day we will feel drained\heavy, pre-occupied and in need of some relief, we are now acting on a reduced level of ability and as a result may find that we do not cope so well with the later events of the day. If we let these losses build up without some sort of relief, (Or application of attention and understanding) we run the danger of some sort of breakdown. We all have different ways of achieving this release, some socially acceptable, some not, as well as some being counterproductive, i.e. causing other problems not necessarily seen as an end product.

Of course prevention is better than cure, if we can stop the build up of losses and their accompanying frustrations, we may avoid the problems that come with saving them for a big release, (Blowing our top)
Which, often comes with a cost of some sort. We tend to get upset when things don’t go our way; we try to control things beyond our control. If our happiness depends upon the outside world being a certain way, then our happiness as a result is fragile and likely to be shattered very often. Real happiness is an internal decision. If we stay in the moment, deal with what’s in front of us, have respect for ourselves and others feelings, our lives will improve.
It won’t be easy but life wouldn’t have many lessons for us if things flowed along perfectly all the time, people need problems, and in the analysis and creation of solutions for these problems do we develop and grow.

Pester Smemb 7-12-2003 17:21

Pamela - I'd send you some but they'd put me in jail, this stuff is class 2 narcotic, and I have to jump through all sorts of hoops just to get the damn scripts filled, that even when the druggist is one of my best buddies here in town. They tell me that the bureau is paying a bit over a grand a month just to keep me in the stuff, but it sure works good on pain.

It's rodeo time in Lemmon once more, the first installment was this afternoon, and what a wonderful day for it, the temps stayed under 85, sun shined all day, and just a slight breeze kept things cool even in the sun. This evening we had to dawn our jackets as when the sun left us in favor of the ghost moon, it took away the heat.

A bit of a change this year in the beginning ceremony of our Boss Cowman Rodeo, usually the two flags brought forth to honor are the Stars and Stripes and the SD State Flag, but this year in lieu of the SD State flag, honors were paid to the guide on of our local Nation Guard Unit, now stationed in Iraq furnishing drinking water to all the troops there. It was very touching bringing tears to the friends and families of those now placing their lives on the line to keep us free.

A very lively rodeo it was too, the last thing is, of course the bull riding, and it was some of the best I've ever witnessed, there were several near injuries, prevented only by the bravery of the rodeo clowns, one of which was himself attacked and rolled around the arena by a huge two thousand pound bull with horns so large one could hang close line from them. It's hard to believe he came away un-gored, I bet he'll have tons of bruises, as will a cowboy who suffered the same fate only to be saved by the Kevlar rodeo vests many now wear for protection from just that happenstance.

So another day ends in wonderful South Dakota, I hope all are well, and writing to their hearts contents.


Jerry 7-12-2003 1:00

randall person i sasquatch have told of my cousin harry is yes the Yeti in that movie. and he was once in that crazy as you say lemon place. he does not keep a list of days so i sasquatch do not know if it was a friday but someone wearing blue boots and a red cloth on his neck wanted to see if he could knock down harry but could not. harry was angry but he did not try to speak. but he did as you say pass a gas and some were ill after. i must go.

sasquatch 7-11-2003 22:53



Ben ... Randy Bear? I just hate it when my friends see through me! (Real Big Grin) Oh ... pickup sits in the sun all day at work. I leave the sliding back window open, the side windows down about 2". I have an inside/outside temp gauge inside the pickup. As I left work today the inside temp was 121 F. Outside was 108 F The TV weather station reported 103 F for a high today. Why ... it gets so hot down here buzzards are often seen flying holding large umbrellas! IT'S TRUE! Why, a lot of people are now putting tubes of sunscreen on their hummingbird feeders so the little birds can rub it on and won't sun burn!

Pam...the Red Lantern is a working stiffs joint. It's usually full of truckers, bikers, mechanics, delivery drivers (ahem) and ranchers... Honestly, I was a regular for many years, but, alas, dropped out some time ago. I have a buddy who is the bouncer and he keeps things in line! Organized religion is most secerative, with, no doubt, more secrets than the CIA!

Must go...


Randall 7-11-2003 19:51

Just posted a new shorty in the workbook -- Thanks again, Mark!

howard 7-11-2003 18:14

PAMELA -- use this one:

or copy the entire line and paste it into your browser:

for some reason it gets cut off at the ~ character.

Thanks for the complimen, but I'm really not that up on computer stuff any more. I used to work with a large customer set at IBM, then after I retired (was downsized) I worked on the helpdesk that I'd helped to build when I was at IBM. It was there I met Mark, who's way way ahead of anything I wver did in computers.

howard 7-11-2003 15:13


I'm sitting here at my brother's place in Kelowna. It's hot. But they tell me it's a dry heat, as opposed to the humidity we have on the coast. Right....I say when the temp reads 30 c (88 f), that it's still hot, no matter what you tell me. Hot is hot.

Pamela, I know I'm not supposed to tease the bear :-) but sometimes, I just can't help myself. I'm just a kid at heart. As for Rush and his commentary, well, 'nough said. You need only read him to see what he's all about.

Rachel: I do plan to attend, and so far, everything's looking like I will be there. I just have to look at the wife's work hours to know what's going on. But it's on the calendar hanging on the wall at home right now, and I'm out here...

It's been a great little vacation. The weather has naturally been hotter than spit on a griddle, and the wife's happier than I've seen her in a long time-not that she's not happy. We went on a quick tour of the wineries in the area one afternoon. The children stayed behind to swim in the lake and watch the dogs. We went to about three or four, did one long tour, and the others were just taste tests. Of course, my daughter was telling us that we were not setting a good example for her, drinking and driving I mean, until we explained that we weren't even drinking a total mouthful for every sample we tried. I guess she had this idea that we were having a full glass of wine at each place. I wish...I think if you added it all up, we had a glass and a half total. A guy could die of thirst with the amount they give you. :-)

Anyway, today we drive down to my other brother's place outside of Kamloops and Merit, up a long, dirt road, and to a ranch he's staying at as caretaker. He says to just walk on in, because the door's never locked. They used to own a nice house but lost it when the local town council zoned his house for a hi-way without telling them. They were trying to sell it at the time. It was ugly. They tried sueing the town council, went all the way to the Supreme Court, and got knocked down again because they were a day or two off on the original processing. They had to declare bankruptcy, and then ended up finding this huge place on this ranch, where all they do is monitor some radio during the winter time, and pay 300 for rent.

Oh, I gotta run now. I see the wife's up--and it's only 8:40--so I have to put away the trappings of civilization and run back out to play with her. She's laughing and smiling, and she's only talking to the dogs...I say this, because she is not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination. She likes her sleep.

So long folks, and Randy-bear, relax and have a nap. I wish I could sit with you and have a couple of cold ones some day. You seem to have a good sense of Ha-ha, but Texas is a long way away, and driving down there with my wife at my side, well...she'd rather not. :-)

ben 7-11-2003 11:49

Lordy, 3:30 A.M. and can't get to sleep, probably because I have to get up to give a friend a ride to work in the morning.

Howard, I tried that link but there was no place to enter my name (except to register) and I looked around a bit but couldn't find the humour stuff. You are so good with computers, have you thought about teaching a class at the library or to underpriviledged kids or something like that? You're funny too, liked that about screwing up being one of the five basics...

Jerry, wow, I AM impressed, you turned off Rush? Can you send some of that medication down here, it sounds great! Seriously, good for you for deciding to think for yourself, I'll be interested to hear some of your new thoughts.

Mark, got your note about moving my shorty, I copied it and went to Shorty Forum and hit new post, but then "paste" was grayed out. I guess it's floating around somewhere out in the ether, I wonder where it goes?

Randall, the Section Hand sounds like it would have great CFS but the Red Lantern sounds kind of fancy, I think I might prefer the Crazy Lemon Bar and Grill (Harry can be my date). Hope Debbie is feeling better, a 5 day headache isn't a good thing (has she had a check-up lately?). Glad she felt well enough to go see Johnny Depp but I think the eye make-up would distract me. That book sounds fascinating, I admire people like you who read deep serious stuff. I usually just read escapist fiction and get the more educational material the easy way: from TV (learning, biography, history channels). There has been noise for years (don't know where I've heard it) about the Catholic church keeping information from people, in particular the secret told to the girls at Lourdes by Mary. It's said that it denounces the Catholic church, not surprising since they are even worse than politicians (how can they possibly reconcile their obscene wealth with the teachings of Jesus?). I'll bet the erudite Howard knows something about this. I hope I don't offend any Catholics but hoarding gold and jewels when children are starving is NOT spiritual (not to mention protecting child abusers).

Well, I guess I'll go dig in my latest bag of books from the library and see if I can find one to put me to sleep...

pamela 7-11-2003 4:52

It's been a long dry spell as far as writing is concerned, but tonight I stuck a shorty in the shorty notebook (THANKS MARK WE NEED A WORKBOOK!)

Yes, I still plan on re-registering as an independent, just can't stand the CRAP both sides are throwing about, heck I even turned off Rush Limbaugh, and haven't listened to Thompson any more either, time to think for myself about things as I see them. (Could be bad medication???) NA.

Be well all, and WRITE ON!!

Jerry 7-11-2003 0:23



Hi Pamela, works for me! And I know just the place! The Section Hand Restaurant for a chicken fried steak and then mosey over to the Red Lantern club for a few rounds of ice cold Lone Star on draft! Debbie is recovering from a 5 day headache. She is okay now but, honestly, I was worried over her. Still, displaying female fortitude, she managed to drag me to the movie last night. Pirates of the Caribbean. Not bad, unless seeing Johnny Depp in eye liner and eye shadow for a couple of hours bothers you.

Sasquatch...welcome back big fellow. there any truth to the movie Harry and the Hendersons? If so...send Old Harry on down to Texas. I would like to see Harry enter the Crazy Lemon Bar and Grill on a Friday night... Whatta hoot!!!!

I am reading Graham Hancock's THE SIGN AND THE SEAL. It is his search for the Lost Ark of the Covenant. Scary stuff. Mr. Hancock's research is staggering. His search details the Knights Templar in the Temple of Solomon, 1119 AD, to Azum, Eithopia the reported resting place of the Ark and the current guardian Gebra Mikail! Though no one will ever know the entire story of the Ark, if half of his assertions are correct there are a group of people, throughout recorded time (and beyond) who are privilege to a lot of information hidden to the common folk.

One interesting section (construction of the Ark) covers Moses interogating God, before the burning bush on Mount Sinai, "...asked the name of the strange and powerful being who addressed him." God replied "I AM WHO I AM." (This has always fascinated me, the name of God.) Hancock continues "... I AM WHO I AM...was, I discovered the root meaning of the name Yahweh used in the Old Testament - and subsquently bastardized in the Authorized King James Version of the Bible as ‘Jehovah'. This name, however was no name; rather it was an evasive formula based loosely on the Hebrew verb ‘to be' and written as ‘YHWH' " (Interesting, huh?) "Known as tetragrammation, these letters reveal nothing beyond the active ‘existence' of God and thus continued to conceal the divine idenity from modern researchers every bit as effectively as they had once from Moses. (!) Indeed so potent was their mystery that no one today could even claim to know exactly how they should be pronounced; rendering the tetragrammation as ‘Yahweh' by the insertion of the vowels ‘a' and ‘e' was, however, the accepted convention."

Mr. Hancock's point; "The importance of all this from the biblical perspective was that the deity knew, and pronounced, the name of Moses; Moses, by contrast, only managed to obtain from Him the ritual incantation ‘I am who I am'. Henceforward, therefore, the prophet was bound to answer to God and to do His bidding; likewise all his sorcery in the future would derive from the power of God, and from the power of God alone."

That is some heavy shit. I believe to accept the above paragraph we should understand that this was "the biblical perspective." Mr. Hancock's text extends to 514 pages. His well documented referances are listed from page 517 to page 588!

Great reading!

Night all


Randall 7-10-2003 23:22

CLick on this (or paste it into your browser) then enter your first name. These computers are finally starting to act cordial!

howard 7-10-2003 22:28

PAMELA -- "Screwing up somehow" is one of the five basic things most people know how to do on the computer!


howard 7-10-2003 16:03

I was just informed that those haiku error messages were the winning submissions in a SALON.COM contest held nearly five years ago!

I wonder if any of our stuff is winging its way around the net? Another good reason for the secured workbook!

howard 7-10-2003 16:01

I just checked out the Workbook and realized I had posted a "Passion" shorty under Works In Progress, I used that thing that said it was a thread to shorty night but I prabably screwed up somehow (I only know five things on the computer). This time I saw a Shorty Night category but it wasn't right in front of me last time (learning!).

pamela 7-10-2003 15:19

Howard, forgot to mention before, those Haiku error messages were great, so nice and yet to the point. Simplicity.

Jerry, you jest, join the Independent party, no way! Then who would we hippie radicals (or maybe I'm the only one) spar with? It does all get frustrating, though, especially since we can have interesting debates and decide how we would run things but it's all theoretical and we really can't do much of anything. Too bad about the windmills, it would seem logical to focus on wind, sun and water for power but logic does not always rule (which is what is so frustrating). I'm liking your middle east plan, we could just make the whole area the 52nd state, they could call it The Energy State on their license plates:). No kidding, though,you might want to skip the news for a few days and see what happens; watch a dumb sit-com instead that will make you laugh or turn the tv off and go do something else, it will be good for your blood pressure. For an interesting diversion, you could always take your wife (sorry, I forgot her name---more brain cells down) to that cafe and see if the guy who calls her name is there (she laughed wickedly). I liked your dumb jokes, they used to say in Alaska that the men were men and the women won the Iditerod (sp?) but I guess that changed last year.

Does anyone else here sometimes get some kind of subliminal urge to go and buy some talcum power and puff it all over yourself? Don't know where that's coming from...

Andrew, do you have a secret alter ego like someone else here? I'll never tell. Regarding sequels, I think it is good to include some background simply because it may have been a while since someone read the first one and they might have read many books in between and could use a little refreshing. It doesn't have to be narrative, it could be done in conversation between some characters talking about the past, Howard's post in the workbook is a great example of imparting information through dialogue.

pamela 7-10-2003 15:10

New Toronto men's magazine "Hi Octane Magazine" is preparing its first issue which will be out already this November 2003. We are currently seeking freelance writers which are interested in gaining exposure and experience. Our first issue is financially limited, (we can offer your advertisement and exposure). We are planning to have these sections: Men's sport, Music, Sex, Dr. Dirty Octane - your sex and private issues, Business, Women...
Please contact us at if you are interested.
Zdenka Micka

Zdenka Micka - Hi Octane Magazine Hi Octane Magazine 7-10-2003 13:09


In answer to your question, I think you must determine if the sequel is a continuation of the story in the first book with the same main characters experiencing the action, or is it is a different story with some of the same characters and the same universe. If the plot of the sequel is different than the first book then you should write the book for people who never read the prequel. On the otherhand, there are sequels that are merely a continuation of the first book. These are those books that build up to a situation that is not resolved in the first book. In that case forget about readers who haven't read the first book.

Some sequels are not sequels at all. They are situations where the story was too large to fit in one 100,000 word book and so the publisher had to put out two 100,000 word books to present it. STAR TREK books do this all the time and I find it irritating. Anyone who buys book 2 or 3 in a series of Star Trek books who has not read book 1 or any of the previous ones will be very confused and disappointed. The latest example is ST:Voyager HOMECOMING. This book resolves nothing. It only builds up your interest. You must wait for ST:Voyager THE FARTHER SHORE for that. Fortunately these two books came on the market a month apart. Other examples are THE GENESIS WAVE, books 1 and 2 and KHAN: THE EUGENICS WARS, books 1 and 2.

Stephen Lawhead comes to mind. He has written lots of series. In his King Arthur books they could each be read discreetly, but then there is his Celtic Knot series which are three books that really should be read in order. Though they would be better understood in order, they could be read out of order because each individual book is written in first person using differing points of views in each book. Each book has a distinct goal and purpose.

As far as putting in back story, that is a tricky situation whether or not a book is a sequel. The new wisdom on this matter being spouted in the writer's conferences I have attended ( and I think it is good advice) is do NOT dole out all the back story at the beginning of the book or all in one lump. The reader does not have to know everything. Let the reader learn the important parts of the backstory as the plot unfolds. Spoon feed the back story a little at a time. In a sequel if the reader wants to know everything, let him go back and read the first book, which he should have done in the first place.

Rhoda 7-10-2003 12:26

Andrew - I think a quick review of major points should exist, possibly in a preface section of the new book. Why? Well there are lots of folks out there that may in fact buy the second book without knowing of the existence of the first and find themselves totally lost in the new one.

I have in fact done that, and the recap was great help. Also the second volume was the main reason I got the whole series.

I am so sick of the news as of late, I may in fact join those who have given up TV news! The same for the nuts that run our great nation in DC.

Will I tear up my membership to the Republican party? Probably, I am going to the voter registration section of City Hall and changing my registration independent, with visions of being letter-telephone free of the RNC. (They call about once every six weeks wanting money I need much worse then they)

The constant bickering sickens me.

Could the druggist be putting something in my pills to cause the change? Could be, but more power to him!

Jerry 7-10-2003 11:55

Ok, fellow Cyber-Buddies, got a new poll for everyone:

When dealing with the beginning of a sequel, should one:

a. Just continue on with the story with no recap of the previous book, assuming the reader has already read it.
b. Recap the major points of the previous story.
c. Put in a Glossary of terms needed to understand the story, (i.e. Races, planets, Character, Etc.)

It seems to me that having to recap the major points would be somewhat repetative and not really necessary unless it is from a character's memory or flashback.

Please let me know your thoughts on this and as always, they are greatly appreciated.

p.s. Sorry I missed Thursday's Shorts night.

Andrew the Pestersome One 7-10-2003 10:20

Pamela - yep, billions on nuclear waste disposal. Now seems to me I just saw on some TV show on I think Discovery or some such channel where there hasn't been a new nuclear plant built in the USA since the TMI accident, and there are no plans to build any in the future so it's probably a moot point, well maybe not I guess there are still some running.

To be honest I wouldn't want one in my neighborhood but what's the answer?

Just heard that the windmill thing in California is under attack now that some birds have flown into the props and been killed. There goes wind power, and just when the good folks up in North Dakota were building hundreds of those dang windmills up there, it's ALWAYS windy in North Dakota. Why is it windy in ND many ask, those in ND know why, simply because Montana blows and Minnesota SUCKS! or at least that's what I heard.

Yes we make fun of some of our neighbors, the old saying MONTANA where men are MEN and sheep are SCARED!

Ok enough stupid jokes, but your right nuclear waste is a problem and nobody wants it in their state, understandably, maybe were simply not ready for cheap economical energy, after all there's still tons of oil under Iraq and what the hell we own IRAQ now and IRAN seems to be right up there on the hit list, what next? Well hell lets take Saudi Arabia too, they don't have a democratic government and they don't treat their women like we do.

Jerry 7-10-2003 0:46

Carol, you are sooooooo wonderful! Thanks for the positive comments on my prologue, would you believe I actually shed a few tears of relief? Since people were reading it but not commenting, I was getting paranoid that is was because it was so terrible. This is part of my recent re-write and I just did the whole thing in this new way, I'm so glad that at least one person liked it.

Howard, oops, sorry, I thought you were voluntarily retired. College sounds like a cool thing to do, especially if it's free. You are so creative and intelligent, I'm sure you can find something to do. Ouch indeed on the giant stick under your fingernail! The asexual pronoun site was fun, none of the words sounded too good, though, did they, or is it just because we aren't used to them?

Mary, I see the point in having the shortie be a quick off-the-cuff deal. I haven't been here too long so don't know what the heck is going on; I guess giving a little more time would be good for people who don't check in every day (we all seem to come and go a bit) or just don't have time to do it that day. Another Libra, yay, there are a few of us here. Sunny, I think, or maybe Heather and possibly Rachel (Rolls With Horses). No, there's nothing wrong with my memory, is there? (Sound of brain cells dying)

Sasquatch, you hairy doll, so nice to see you again. Is it summer where you are? Do you shed when it gets hot? Surely other Yetis don't mind getting close to Yeti or there would never be any little Yetis. I liked your joke, you have a good grasp of the lanquage for a Bigfoot. Is is true what they say about big feet? I go now.

pamela 7-9-2003 22:54

A friend just sent these -- have you ever seen them, VIV?

Here are 16 actual error messages seen on the computer screens in Japan, where they are written in Haiku. Aren't these better than "your computer has performed an illegal operation"?

The Web site you seek cannot be located, but countless more exist
Chaos reigns within. Reflect, repent, and reboot. Order shall return
Program aborting: Close all that you have worked on. You ask far too much
Windows NT crashed. I am the Blue Screen of Death. No one hears your screams
Yesterday it worked. Today it is not working. Windows is like that
Your file was so big. It might be very useful. But now it is gone
Stay the patient course. Of little worth is your ire. The network is down
A crash reduces your expensive computer to a simple stone
Three things are certain: death, taxes and lost data. Guess which has occurred
You step in the stream, but the water has moved on. This page is not here
Out of memory. We wish to hold the whole sky, But we never will
------------------------------! ------------------
Having been erased, the document you're seeking must now be retyped
Serious error. All shortcuts have disappeared. Screen. Mind. Both are blank

(I know the feeling!)

howard 7-9-2003 22:42

Hi All!

Sorry about the lurking lately. Life demanded my attention. Hate when that happens!

I believe there was a question on habitual boo-boos when writing. Yep, I have them all the time. I know there's one word that starts with a "d" that I constantly misspell, but I can't for the life of me think of what it is right now. Then there is my overabundance of starting sentences with "And" and "But". For now I let them flow in, later I'll go back and use the find feature of the program to do my editing.

I just got done commenting on a couple of the shorties on the WB. I promise since I commented, I will offer up my own work tomorrow for an equal chance of pointing out some of my writing habits that need work. :) Passion hmmm? Since the WB is secure, maybe I'll even try a future scene for my novel. Oh, but I need to write! It's been well over a week and I'm having withdrawal!! hehehehe

Carol 7-9-2003 13:10

Nope, guess not.
Some browsers don't do the blinking any more because it was deemed too aggravating.

PAMELA -- "Luckily" retired? I guess I am fortunate enough to be able to collect my retirement, but I'd really rather be working. It's a blow to the self esteem to see my wife have to get up and leave for work every day.
I'm seriously thinking about going back to college to learn something useful. That way at least I'll get to ride in to work with her (she works there) and I'll get to go tuition free, because of her union contract.

howard 7-9-2003 10:59

SASQUATCH! Welcome back! Don't wander so long!

MARY - maybe you need a <.font> tag in front of that.

howard 7-9-2003 10:54

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lianchun yang talc 7-9-2003 4:15

Pretend that the word 'passion' is blinking in my last post! ;-)

Mary 7-8-2003 23:25

Hi guys!

Geez Louise, been away a day and already missed so many posts!

LAURA: I don't tend to say the same things over and over, but I do repeat myself quite a bit.

PAMELA: I am a Libra too! Coincidink?

RE: SHORTIES: OK, now I am not absolutely positive, cuz I have only been around here for three years and shortie night is older than that, BUT when I first started giving out the topics it was supposed to be something written on the spur of the moment just for fun, no stress. Sometimes only a few sentences even. What I posted last week is certainly not normal and took me a little over an hour, most of that time was spent bitching at WordPad for no real reason. (That is another subject!) HOWEVER, being a forward-thinking woman of reasonable compassion, if the majority of us want more time (which it seems is the case), then by all means! I will from now on, strive to have the shortie topic posted by Monday morning for the following Thursday's shortie night.

Obviously I have missed it this week and the past several months as well so there shall be no dunking, tar & feathering, or any other sort of torture for a missed deadline on my part. Hehehehe

All that said, I will now post this week's shortie topic for your enjoyment:


(crossing my fingers that my html isn't showing)

Mary 7-8-2003 23:23

greetings humans persons i sasquatch the wandering Yeti have returned. pamela person you say hurricanes but even when you name it male it is still a hurricane and not a himmicane. ha ha i sasquatch make Yeti joke i think. but to us it does not make a big difference. Yeti all look alike unless very close, and who wants to stay very close to most Yeti? this is why i wander much. i must go.

sasquatch 7-8-2003 22:02

PAMELA -- Google shows 465 hits on "Asexual pronouns," one of the more enlightening ones being:

howard 7-8-2003 21:51

Hey, guys, I'm gainfully employed! Well, I start tomorrow and have to train for a week at minimum wage (below poverty level but that's the American way) but it is certainly better than no job at all! Thanks for kind thoughts; Howard, even though you are luckily retired, I appreciate the empathy about how rotten it is for us hard-working folks to be screwed-around by Big Business but hey, sorry to be redundant, but it's the American way.

Jerry, you are a hoot, thanks for the giggles. I agree with you completely, those darned tree-huggers have no right to interfere with Big Business' right to pollute the planet as much as they want. I'm sure that future generations won't mind paying billions of dollars to maintain the nuclear waste (with a half-life of 10,000 years) we produce for our energy today and hey, they can learn to get along without the products of the oceans when the nuclear waste we are dumping there kills everything in it. What do we care, we won't be here, right?

Rolls With Horses, thanks to you too for your encouraging words. How are those horses, anyway? I checked out your shortie entry and LOVED it, see posted reply. How is that darling Seb, still tipping his hat to the ladies?

Randall, how is my new best friend Debbie? If I ever make it back down to Texas maybe we will all have to get together for some good chicken-fried steak and political discussions (and perhaps a Lone Star beer).

My last few posts have forgotten to say hello to Pester Smemb, whoever he (or she?) is and to tell him/her how much I enjoy his/her thought-provoking comments. (Gosh, if the women's libbers can get hurricane's names changed to men's, why can't they come up with an asexual pronoun?)

Mark, still didn't get to the workbook through the address but added it to my favorites and There It Is! Viola!

Mary, where is your delightfully cre-e-e-e-py self? What is the subject for this week's shorty?

Sunny, so good to see you back again. Happy Birthday to you, one of my oldest and best friend is a Cancer. Rides on Harleys with husband sounds like a really cool thing to do. Much sympathy to mom on losing ability to drive, I just saw a show about that. Hooray for you on upcoming book, I forget, what is the subject?

Hello and hugs to Eddie, Nikki and Anita. How are things going in the UK?

Love to all,

pamela 7-8-2003 21:29

Try this:

Go to

In the search box type Weapons of Mass Destruction

Click the "I'm feeling lucky" button

Read the error message carefully.

Jerry 7-8-2003 12:15

PAMELA -- not personally, I'm retired. But it's maddening to see today's workers treated the way some of the major corporations are doing. Lay off a dedicated $15/hr worker just to replace her/him with a $7.50/hr worker is Not Right!

OUCH! department -- I was mowing the lawn a few weeks ago, and you know how they keep saying not to reach into the chute while the mower is running? No, I didn't, but I did grab the end of it to lift it to clear an obstacle. As I gripped the end, with my fingers curled under it, I hit a stick or something. Immediate, excruciating pain! Whatever it was, it hit across my fingernails, and the ring finger on my right hand started to bleed like crazy! I wrapped a rag around it so I could finish without getting blood all over, then went in and cleaned it up as best I could. It swelled up quite a bit, and I made a tiny cut across the base of the nail to relieve the pressure. It worked pretty good, and a few days later it stopped hurting.
Then Sunday afternoon I bumped it, and felt a stabbing pain right at the base of the nail. I looked and saw something where I thought was a blood blister from the earlier hit. I poked at it with my pocket knife, yes it hurt, and hooked out a splinter of wood nearly a quarter inch long, that had been sticking straight through the base of the nail. Hadn't seen it before, because it was hidden by the cuticle (what's left of it). Immediate relief! Doesn't hurt a bit now, except when I bump it, but now I've got this funny looking hole that'll probably take a few months to migrate up to the end of my finger.

Moral of the story -- never eat kim-chee for breakfast...

howard 7-8-2003 11:36

Ok so I was half asleep last night, populations of the Dakota's North - 690,000 South 740,000.

Jerry 7-8-2003 9:24

My birthday seems like a good day to come back to the Notebook. (I'm a Cancer, too, Randall! ;-)

Like others, I've been lurking and loving it, but didn't have enough energy until now to jump back into the fun fray. I'm still running back and forth to Baltimore to check up on, and spend time with, my mom. She's doing well, but has been told that she can't drive anymore, and is not happy about that. My brother and I have managed to line up drivers for her, but she's mourning the loss of her independence, along with the loss of my father.

I just heard from my editor that she'll have the suggested revisions from my first draft back to me by the end of July. Then I'll have August and September to get the changes in by my October 1st deadline. I don't know what their proposed publication date will be, but I'm getting psyched!

I envy those of you who have been enjoying the woods this summer. I miss the days of carefree summer camp and everything that went with it. My husband and I took an evening ride on his Harley the other day, and the cool foresty air was fantastic.

Good luck with all your endeavors -- especially your job, Pamela, and your manuscript, Andrew.

Enjoy the writing!

Sunny 7-8-2003 9:07

Pamela - I once saw a nuclear plant, Three Mile Island was the name, drove by it once when I was in the Army and transferring from the DC area to Minnesota. That's about as close as I'll ever be to one of those things, and I don't miss them a bit. Up here in the great Buffalo Commons we get most of our power from the Garrison Dam on Lake Sakaweja about a hundred forty miles north of here. There's also a coal fired plant near Center where my son has his house, not that we need lots of power around here since both North and South Dakota combined have less population then a small city in most states.

We do like it like that, and with such a small population (160 some thousand in the North, 170 thousand in the South) we have fewer criminals and such too. Now there has been a dramatic rise in drug offences now since the druggies up here discovered they could make Meth in the trunk of their cars as they drag main, and our prisons are overflowing with those idiots. Also confined with the druggies are the idiots who get drunk and drive on our fair streets, also a major offence in these parts.

Today here in Lemmon there was a meeting at the auction barn cafe of those who are damn mad about those damn cops picking up drunk drivers when they are coming from wedding dances (I have yet to figure out where they found a law allowing drunk drivers at weddings?) I drove past the cafe and saw nearly a hundred cars there. It's going to be interesting to see. Sure glad I don't wear that badge here anymore, I did back in the 70's and the parents of these idiots were driving drunk back then too. Some things never change.

At any rate I guess nuclear power may be a bad thing, can't say for sure since as Randall pointed out there have been no deaths caused by that production method here in the good old USA (the power of fair minded laws and educated workers a thing now of the past it seems), but I also don't see a drastic need for that type of power when it's only the enviromentalists who complain of the pollution from the coal fired plants, oh and those same environmentalists who complain at the use of fossil fuels at oil powered plants, oh and those same environmentalists who complain about our hydro-electric power plants since once in awhile a fish gets ground to bits in the impellers of the turbines.

Seems if those same environmentalists would have their way we would not have power, and thus no computers, no TV, no radio, no telephone, no anything but books (now that's a good idea!).

But then again they would then be complaining that we pollute the air with the kerosene that we burn in the lamps, and the trash from the batteries in the flashlights, and so on and so forth. Seems you just can't win.

I think what would probably satisfy those environmentalists would be the total removal of all human's from the face of the earth so mother nature could have her way with the planet. No wait a minute, didn't the human species come from that self same mother nature? If so than aren't all those things OK, after all they were made by humans who are after all a product of mother earth. Would you deny the wolf his den, the bear his cave, the bird his nest?

Ah the heck with it, lets just leave things as they are, and look out for those damn drunk drivers...

It's been a long day, but it's so very nice to be home again.

a belated happy independance day to all we USA'ns.

Jerry 7-8-2003 0:33

Hey, Rolls With Horses! (Rachel, now how did you know I was talking about you?) A $2000 per month pay cut? Jeez, I wish I MADE that much (I know prices are higher up yonder, though). But good for you in being critical of government waste, even if it was being wasted on you (snort, chuckle). Thanks for well-wishes on job, hopefully tomorrow I will be employed.

Randall, man, I gotta love ya! I'm glad I'm not alone in driving you up the wall but have the good Debbie to help :). About the nuclear insurance, I just think we should have a CHOICE about whether we want to subsidize an industry or not and that people in an area where a plant is proposed should be informed that they are not insured when asked to decide about having it there. This act covers accidents caused by faulty construction and operation too. My stepfather worked on a plant in California and saw welding seams that were so faulty they could be seen by the naked eye, without the usual x-rays. When he reported it to his superiors, they basically told him to keep his mouth shut, hey, no liability, no worries, right? Truthfully though, Randall, I do think ours is a great country and guess what, I even think Bush did a darn good job after 9/11 and I cheered along with everyone else when we bombed the heck out of Afghanistan. I just think we need to be careful and keep our leaders and government in check sometimes because power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Mark, thanks for info on connecting to workbook. Remember I tried the address before and it didn't work yet, I guess it is set up now. Your second post was interesting, but you mistakenly wrote it in Greek, I didn't understand a word.

Howard, frustrations on the job front too?

G'night, my cyber-buddies,

pamela 7-7-2003 23:37

oops -- forgot the "http://" before the web address. If you don't put that there then your address gets appended to the Notebook's.

PAMELA -- See there? I always type it from memory, but this time I got in a hurry. I would have been better off having the address on a note; that way I couold copy-and-paste the right adress

and maybe take a spelling lesson with the time I save

Mark workbook 7-7-2003 23:18

LAURA -- I just stepped through the registration process in both the blog and the workbook. Both were fine. email me.

Mark Workbook 7-7-2003 23:13

LAURA -- the blog will not let you register, that's true. The workbook will.

I believe the blog is set up to take comments, but it will not let you register and use it for your own posts the way the workbook will

Mark 7-7-2003 22:57

Mark, it won't let me register.

Laura 7-7-2003 22:50


Hi Pamela... interesting article. (Long Pause) And since I am in a irrelevant mood tonight I might say ... if one is involved in a nuclear accident, life insurance won't do a whole lot of good. As for family members ... insurance is a recognizable hedge against the death of a loved one. I just increased mine BTW.

My friend ... in order to see the future we must view the past. Right after we left Utah in 1984 a coal mine fire killed dozens of coal miners there. I knew several men who worked in that mine. I tried to call one right after that, Gail, but he never answered my call. So I don't know. Since then, I have heard of numerous coal mining fatalities...but I have yet to know the name of one person killed in a nuclear generating plant accident in America.

US Department of Labor web site...

Pamela, from 1970 till 1992 there have been 15 accidents with five or more fatalities in the US ... a total of 197 miners killed.

In the five worst coal mine disasters since 1940 ... 471 miners have died.

The three worst coal mine disasters in the US from 1913 - 1907 ... 884 miners died.

The worst coal mining disaster in America was Monongah 6 & 8, Monongah, West Virginia in 1907 when 362 miners died.

At the following web site...

This is a list of major industrial disasters. The list does not include deaths and destruction due to dangerous workplaces and unsafe products. In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that 10,000 deaths occur each year due to routine industrial accidents; another 100,000 deaths occur due to occupational disease; and 30,000 deaths and 20,000,000 serious injuries due to unsafe consumer products. This list also does not include an estimated 90 percent of cancers which may be environmentally induced (that is, from industrial products and by-products). The list also does not include wars over petroleum and other natural resources, or deaths and destruction due to accidents at weapons plants or armories. (RH. Note the absence of nuclear generating plants)

Non US energy related accidents is headed by Chernobyl, Soviet Union. I might add that the one time USSR did not have the safeguards that America's nuclear generating plants demand.

"Chernobyl nuclear power station in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic chemical explosion at the station's fourth reactor and an uncontrolled graphite fire that followed led to the release of more than 450 radionuclides, comprising about 3.5 per cent of the fuel stored in the reactor core. Official reports put the immediate death toll at 31, but it is widely believed that many more died in the first hours and weeks after the explosion. The Ukrainian government has estimated the number of deaths among clean-up workers alone as 7,000-8,000. (David R. Marples, in The Long Road to Recovery: Community Responses to Industrial Disaster, edited by James K. Mitchell (United Nations University Press, 1996).

My friends may have died in December 1984 at the explosion at the Wilberg Mine in Emery County, Utah which killed 27 miners. Scofield, Utah suffered a coal mine disaster in 1900 that killed 200 miners. In 1924, 172 miners died at the Castle Gate, Utah coal mine disaster.

So what are you saying Randall? Oh, I agree Pamela, when mismanaged ... nuclear generating plants will kill you stone cold, graveyard dead and everyone else in the vicinity for that matter...for many years down the road. No doubt about that. But America's nuclear plants have not killed one human, while hundreds of coal miners have died for the search for energy. The energy that made America great.


Randall 7-7-2003 22:43

My biggest thing I still don't catch all the time is repeating the same words in a different order. I will start things out well but then the next sentence I will say the same thing only different.

The other thing I have trouble with is alternating sentance beginnings.

Laura 7-7-2003 22:34

Still no workbook?

Laura 7-7-2003 22:31

Jobs? Wanna talk jobs? Can you say aggravation?

howard 7-7-2003 22:23

PAMELA -- oops -- just finished that google and realized that I have TWO homepages. One at and one at


STNY is an internet provider and that page is part of the service they provide. But since it is only 5meg of space and I would need more for all this, I built the workbook and blog and have a chatroom started and have them all on the PC on my desk. DYNDNS.ORG is a redirecting service for people like me. My IP address is subject to change; dyndns allows me to track the change and they still send you to my desktop PC even when my address changes.

Mark Workbook 7-7-2003 21:53

Hi Pamela,

Good luck on the job front. I have been thinking of different work from time to time. I, in the past year have taken an almost $2000.00 per month pay cut. Most of it by choice. Some if it was likely due to some very sarcastic suggestions I made about our government being fiscally irresponsible. I think those came back to bite me in the ass. I should be more cautious about the examples that I give... I finalized my pay cut the other day. It was a little strange to do. In a way it felt good, in a way it felt like I was being idealistic and stupid. In the long run I will be better for it, as will my family and that is kind of what it comes down to much of the time.

Like I said, good luck to yah girlie :o)


Rolls With Horses 7-7-2003 21:52

PAMELA -- Getting to the Workbook? I'm sure there are other ways I have gotten to web pages; I'm just not recalling them this instant. I *do* have a homepage set up now, complete with homemade artwork and links to the Workbook and my on-again-off-again blog. The link that folllows this post will take you there.

Mark Homepage 7-7-2003 21:15



Andrew ... go for it my man!!!

Pamela ... the path of enlightenment to your character (for me) opened with two words. "...Libra ... gal." (GRIN) My beloved wife, Debbie, is a Libra ... and she can absolutely, positively, certifiably ... drive me right up the wall. Some of her political statements send me through the roof achieving escape velocity! I am probably responsible for more UFO sightings than genuine alien vehicles.

"Uh, Red. Is that a flying saucer, or is it the wine?"

"Nope. George, the wine's just fine. Looks like Randall on re-entry. Must of been arguing politics with his wife again. Looks a little steeper than usual though. Head down looks like. Better git them shovels, we may have to dig him out ... again"

My sons favorite question always seemed to be, "Hey! Why is dad bouncing off the wall?"

"No big deal." my daughter laughed. "They just got back from voting. He'll be buying shingles tomorrow and patching the roof."

"No big deal then?"

"Nah," my daughter answered. "SOP. Hey! I got a new video game..."

You see I am a Cancer ... THE CRAB. And I am ... Debbie is a true Libra, in that she will agonize over anything. A tube of toothpaste, which one to purchase can be a major decision. Making decisions is difficult for her annnnnnnnnd, to me, she will invariably sort through the chaff and make the wrong one. Especially voting!!! I mean, to me, it's just a matter of ... buy the darn thing ... make the call ... right or wrong ... George or Al and lets move on! Bless her heart, Debbie's reasoning process are as enigmatic to me as Dr, Stephen Hawking's theories of Black Holes and Space Time Singularities. Her view of politics are ... well, more in line with Joan Baez. My political beliefs are somewhere between Dr. Billy Graham and the Waffen SS. (GRIN)

You know, a fellow Texan once sang. "It's hard to be humble when your perfect in every way." Oh I know! I know! "Can't wait to look in the mirror cause I'm better looking every day! To know me is to love me...I must be a hell of a man..."

Jerry ... thanks for the heads up. I don't know why that battle fascinates me. Must be some sort of Native American, calvary trooper, cross-dressing, out of body, mis-identity, involuntary transference as a long-haired Liberal in a Daisy painted Volkswagon bus with a single shot rifle surrounded by freaked out Conservatives using 8 shot Winchester rifles riding Unicorns with vasoline covered horns!!!

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! Where is Rush when you need him?!

Outta here...


Randall 7-7-2003 21:12


Hey, Jerry, good to see you back after your trip, glad you had a good time. I discovered a good show too, it's called "Speaking Freely" and it's on PBS. Saw Oliver Stone the other night and he referred to our government as facist. He said the definition of facism was a corporate-controlled government. Sounds familiar. There is much talk in our state about a proposed nuclear facility and, since others reprint Rush (although I know of only two people who like him) I would like to enclose a recently published letter to the editor of our newspaper:

"Nuclear Accidents Not Covered By Insurance"

"Before we allow Lousisiana Energy Services to build a uranium enrichment plant in our state and transport radioactive waste along our highways, we should first be informed of whether this facility will be covered by the Price-Anderson Act.

Originally passed in 1956 to aid the burgeoning nuclear power industry, this law limits the liabiility of anyone responsible for a nuclear accident to an amount far below the actual damages that could be caused. In l956, damages from an ENO (Extraordinary Nuclear Occurence) were estimated at $7 billion when Congress limited the liability to $500 million. This is in the form of an insurance pool contributed to by plant owners and represents an absolute ceiling; injured parties do not have the usual recourse of suing the company responsible for their losses.

The Price-Anderson Ace is periodically reviewed, and the dollar amounts are raised but the liability limit remains a mere fraction of potential damages.

Lest business and homeowners think that their own insurance would cover any loss of property, they must think again: There is a clause in their policies excluding damage from nuclear accidents and, in fact, full insurance coverage cannot be bought, not even from Lloyd's Of London.

It's funny how those touting the virtues of their nuclear facilities fail to inform the public that they are not adequately insured and that the company does not guarantee the safety of their operations as other businesses are required to do. Or maybe it isn't so funny after all."

I hope, Jerry, that Jim Thompson, who is neither Democrat nor Republican but is for the people, will encourage people to think for themselves and possibly protest against a government which so blatantly furthers the causes, and profits to, Big Business, at the expense of the American public. Have you ever heard of the Price-Anderson Act? I doubt it. It is a well-kept secret that we, the people, who live near the nuclear facilities and have the most to lose, are subsidizing the industry that puts us at risk to lose our homes, businesses and lives. There is a clause in Price-Anderson that calls for Congress to act to reimburse victims of accidents that may exceed the liability limit; in other words, we pay for it ourselves. My daughter Jenny was little when I became involved in local nuclear protests (we did stop a "fast breeder" reactor) and learned stuff that gave me nightmares (read "The Secret Papers Of The Atomic Energy Commission" for spine-tingling thrills). I hoped to publicize the Price-Anderson Act but then became afraid that Jenny could be left without a mother (a la Karen Silkwood) if I actually started to make a difference. It was also so depressing that I retreated, and now I just write occasional letters to the editor.

Andrew, best of luck on your submissions, good for you for getting something finished and sent in!

There once was a gal up in Canada who was called "Rolls With Horses" by the local Indians. She seemed to be a normal wifey and mother (of a darling boy who tipped his hat to the ladies) but really she went "Bwah-ha-ha-ha" when no one was looking.

Mark, is there any way to access the Workbook other than through the link on your posts?

I've got a line on a job, please cross fingers for me or I may end up living on the street (it's not that far away).


pamela 7-7-2003 20:34


Good luck! Be sure to let us know what happens :o)


Rachel 7-7-2003 17:11

Randall - Here's a link to a fantastic re-enactment of the Battle of the Little Big Horn, put on by the fellow I referred to below. It's a fairly big file, I downloaded it so I could listen at leisure 23 meg MP3 file. The thing is two hours long, and done with "imbedded" reporters and live interviews (what would it have been like if we had radio back then?). Even have folks with the Indians and such. Not done by pro's so it's a bit rough in spots but a fantastic look into what happened.

Jerry Battle of Little Big Horn LIVE 7-7-2003 17:08

Well folks, 'tis finally done! There are six copies of my MSS on thier way to six publisher prospects, so we'll see how this turns out. My fingers are so crossed it hurts. Then again, I have a huge file folder of rejection letters that hold the results from previous prospective publishers as well. Only time will tell. I've re-edited this MSS so much it bears almost no resembelence to it's original form, so maybe this time will be different. We'll see. Wish me luck.


aNDREW 7-7-2003 16:04

HI all - back from another four days camping at a nearby lake, had a super 4th celebration down there, it was hot and cold running campers, there were several campers at each site, lots of great fun and meeting old friends, even ran into several relatives that I haven't seen in a long time.

Lots of inspiration for witting, but I missed shorty for this week, I may get to posting one yet should the muse tap me on my shoulder.

I guess I've said before that I like Rush, and many here do also, many hate the guy, and he's simply that sort of fellow. I did, however rediscover a truly great talk radio host who is more to my liking. He's the guy that used to call all our rodeo's, and once served in the SD Senate. He's neither republican nor democrat, he just wants to see America first, not any party platform but just what's good for the nation.

Isn't that what all those knuckle heads in DC are supposed to be doing?

At any rate his name is Jim Thompson and you can check him out on his web-talk link below.

Enough politics, I know this isn't a politics form, I just got a bit excited listening once again to this fellow, the dumb thing about it is that he plays on our local radio station daily and I've not been listening. Shame on me.

His show starts at 1:00 PM Mountain Time, that's 2 Central, 3 Eastern, noon on the Left Coast. God only knows what time it is in all the other zones that check in here.

I found an old writers source book from 1989, it's filled with hundreds of how to's from great writers of that year and gave me a bright idea on a software program that I'm going to try and write, designed to organize a novel. If I don't forget where I put that book....

Litter - When we got home this morning, I checked our post box and there was your book, I can't wait to get into it, my daughter is already after me to finish so she can read it.

Jerry Jim Thompson on the Web. 7-7-2003 14:47

Mary & Pamela,

Hi gals :o) I am with Pamela! I wish that we had more time. How about Shortie Week? Could it be a Thrusday to Thrusday run? I posted what I had completed as of Thursday night. I only got three of the five in, well, and the idea for my fourth ;o) I didn't want to post it rough, but did anyway. Fire at will (grin/winks). Just kidding, the stories are quite harmless.

On the matter of not being what people expect (Bwah, ha, ha, ha). Dr. Evil, baby finger to the side of the mouth ;o)


I am not sure that I posted my shorties to the right place. I am still having a bit of a hard time in sorting out how to move around in there. I do like it though.

Take care all.


Rachel 7-7-2003 12:45

Mary, Yes, who knows what evil lurks behind normal facades? I am a generally laid-back, loving, mellow Libra hippie gal (except when Randall starts talking politics!) but my writing usually deals with darkness on a grand scale. I did just post the prologue to my novel in the workbook, looking to get some feedback from you guys. I'd like to post a warning, though: some people who have recently suffered a loss or tragedy may not want to read it at this time. I did contribute a shorty once, a few people here made suggestions for them from time to time, but could we have more than one day to do them?

pamela 7-7-2003 7:45

Pamela: Thanks! I have been called worse. Hahaha I am kinda warped though. I seem like the 'girl-next-door', soccer mom type, but I don't think like that. I suppose I shouldn't pigeon-hole soccer moms either, really. Surely they come in all flavors too! Innyhoo, thanks for reading the shortie contributions! Maybe we will see something from you in there this week????

Mary 7-7-2003 2:08

p.s. I will be adding something up in the biography section about myself and my intentions as a writer sometime in the next day or so. If anyone else would like to add themself. Feel free to get in touch with me.

7-7-2003 1:51

Hello all: Well. Westercon is over and I will have more time to concentrate on such items as and the Notebook. It turned out to be an excellent conferennce with lots of opportunities for new writers, especially in the POD and E-Book markets and others treeware vendors. On the thursday before the con got underway Fran and I went diving at Cove 2 at Seacrest at West Seattle and did a dive to 109 feet for around 30 minutes. Visibility was somewhat miserable, but we got down to around 95 feet and encountered a five to six feet six gill shark that swam close enough that if we had reached out we could have touched him/her. We did not. We just looked on in awe and wonder as this beautiful creature swam leisurely into our focus and then out of it.

Take care everyone. Will try to take a closer look at the Workbook script and perhaps implement closer to home and perhaps work out the details. Might be nice to begin doing collaborative writing again. As well as pieces for review.

Oh, and the Writing for Business workshop has turned out to be greatly inspirational in getting started again on writing and looking upon myself as an author with the need to impart his words to my word processor daily with the gentle touch of my muse weighing ever so slightly on my shoulder.

Love you all and hope all are deeply and repturously involved in their writing pursuits.

Jack Beslanwitch 7-7-2003 1:49

Happy Sunday, Everyone,

Ben, Ben what were you thinking, haven't you been warned not to tease the animals? Now you've got Randall quoting Rush quoting the Christian Science Monitor, ye gads! Don't you know that America is Wonderful, Kind, Perfect, and Beyond Reproach and that everyone else in the world is Just Jealous? (Grins and apologies, Randall)

Mark helped my digitally-impaired self get set up for the WB and I sure like what I've read there. Great jobs Mary and Mark on your shorties. Mary, you are good and cre-e-e-e-py!

A friend helped get my car back to my place but broke the battery terminal completely off when trying to clean it. After waiting a couple of days for another friend who was going to take me to the auto store, I finally decided to walk there myself. It was a hot, sunny day, I was bored, decided to take a walk, right? Remember how the skies opened up and I got drenched when going for gas on Monday? Don't ever walk anywhere with me! Yes, it happened again, only this time, there was hail too! What's UP with that? Got the terminal and got my car running myself, thanks.

Well, you northerners are losing a cohort, my brother in Juneau is separating from his wife and moving here with me for a while. A company he does part-time sales for has openings in a nearby town, so here he comes! I'm sorry about his marriage but it will be great to see him, we've only gotten together a few times in the past 20 years.

Litter, congrats on the upcoming grandchild, I am SO ready for some!

pamela 7-6-2003 19:06

Hello everyone again!
I'm back. I have just enough time to write a little bit, I have to go into work soon.
Thanks HOWARD, Grandpa's going to have surgery in little less than a month from now. He should be fine.
My brother turned 14 today.
My dad's yelling at me to get off, so I'll be back later (hopefully).
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 7-6-2003 16:39


Hi guy :o) Do you plan to attend the Shoreline group on the 20th?


My baby sister just had her 21st birthday yesterday. I can't believe she has grown up! She even has a young man in her life.

Hum... I leave for vacation in a few days. We will go to Revelstoke with our family and some dear friends. I love to get away with Glen, Margaret and their crew. We all go back a number of years. They were both in our wedding party, we were in theirs, we shared a house for a time. Man, we have shared many kinds of different times with these folks. This trip should be a blast! We will hike, canoe, swim, hike, hike and then hike a little more. There is rock climbing and the works. I'm most interested in the hike and canoe aspects of the trip. I might do a little bouldering, but don't plan on any real climbing. Shesh! I can't believe how pumped I am about this little jaunt. I'm so excited that I do beieve I will go cook! Weee ha!


Rachel 7-6-2003 11:07

ELAINE -- Sorry to hear about your grandfather -- I hope all is well. Ithaca College has both programs you mentioned, but it's rather ex$penSive to go there.

RANDALL -- Dunno if I'd like to use "Mormon Crickets" for bait, but I imagine they'd be effective. We saw them on the Navajo Reservation outside of Vanderwagen NM a few years ago, along with horned toads and other critters.

Language bug-a-boos? I still have to stop and spell out the "I before E" words, and I have the awfullest time with picnic and barbecue. I just got an interesing-looking book by Bill Bryson, called Mother Tongue -- "English and how it got that way." He also wrote *A Short History of Nearly Everything which I also picked up. They're both in my "winter stash" reading stack. Too much to do right now, to allow any concentrated reading.

Here's a T-I-C article about the letter C that y'all might enjoy:

and a couple of interviews with Douglas Adams (HGTTG) that I haven't heard yet, but plan to real soon:

Too hot here -- gotta shut this thing down before it cooks the motherboard (haven't got the A/C installed in this roome yet).

howard 7-5-2003 16:27

Hello everyone!
Sorry I haven't written in a while. My grandpa had a minor and a massive heart attack a while ago and we rushed to Michigan to get there in time for a surgery that didn't happen. My parents then left for Virginia while I stayed behind with Grandma. (They're the ones missing out, I had ice cream everyday!) (Sometimes even twice!) But I had no Internet access out there. I miss being on here and it feels great to be back. I haven't found a college yet, but I know i'm going for Music education and English (Creative Writing). do any of you know of a good college that I should apply too? I really don't know where to look. Well, everyone else here is good, myself included, I wrote a little bit more since school's been out. I'm very glad. I love to write. I have to go, my parents don't want me on here too long during the day. Wait a second...I'm a senior! AAAHHHHH! It's still unbelievable. Oh, i got senior pictures taken, that was fun. Well, now it's time to go. I'll drop by sometime later. Hopefully soon,
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 7-5-2003 15:46


Happy Saturday!

Mary ... Yes indeed! I misspell the word "thoes" every single time I write it. (See!!) And I tend to fill up paragraphs with "the." Annoying. Thank the Lord for spell check!

Uh ... file this under gardening friends. As in, you thought you had problems with a few pests in the tomatoes...

Fire? Drought? Insect infestation? All in Deseret?

THE TIMES-NEWS (current on-line issue)

Nephi, Utah

"The Mormon Crickets are at it again! Where are the seagulls? The ongoing battle against hordes of Mormon crickets is continuing in Juab County this year. Actually, it is continuing throughout the west this year and Juab County is just one of the victims.

"The crickets, which are actually katydids, are insects with voracious appetites that are eating their way through crops, flowers, and anything green. They have reached plague-like levels around the West due to this year's warm winter, an early spring and years of drought. They will eat anything--sagebrush, alfalfa, wheat, barley, clover, seeds, grasses, vegetables and each other.

"At a density of one cricket per square yard, they can consume 38 pounds of forage per acre as they pass through an area," said Loyal Clark, a spokeswoman for the Uinta National Forest. The widespread infestation is particularly epidemic in Utah, Nevada and Idaho. In fact, Utah agriculture officials estimate 6 million acres will be infested this year before the critters die. That figure is more than double last year's cricket population.

"It's pretty much everything from central Utah on down," said Clark.

"In Eureka, Juab County, the crickets swarm by the hundreds on roads, farms, and local homes. After tires run over the creatures, a brown, gooey juice makes roads slick. Mature Mormon Crickets are big with some more than two-inches long. The Eureka area has tons of the crawly, aggressive crickets again this year.

"All down through Richfield and Fillmore, in that geographic area, reports are that is what is being hit the most." Experts are fearing this year's infestation could be the worst in decades.

An estimated 5 million acres are infested in Nevada. Officials in southwestern Idaho say the infestation there is the worst since World War II.

"Near Eureka in Utah County, Elberta and Goshen, residents are having similar problems. Crickets are, currently, moving at a mile a day, and the expectations are that at least $25 million in total crop loss will occur as a result.

"The Mormon cricket doesn't fly but can hop and crawl a mile in a day and up to 50 miles in a season. Before they die in the fall, they lay the eggs that will become next year's swarm.

"Some farmers think the state agriculture department, claiming that the problem should have tried killing the eggs laid during last year's epidemic which may have been more effective than attacking the mature crickets.

"However, the state agriculture departments counters that they are working hard to keep the insects in control and have more crew on the ground this year than in the past and are spending more this year than is past.

"The crickets are an old problem in the west. In fact, the crickets are named after an 1848 infestation that attacked the fields of Mormon settlers. In that infestation thousands of seagulls arrived on the scene to eat the crickets and eliminate the problem. Thousands of seagulls have come to aid in the current infestation BUT there are just too many crickets.

"The chief weapon being used by farmers and the state department of agriculture is carbaryl, an insecticide commonly known as Sevin, said Clark. "The poison is mixed with bran and spread before the crickets as they advance," said Clark. "The crickets eat the bait and die." The result is that the poisoned carcasses of the dead are eaten by other crickets which then die as well."

Hmmmmmmm ... quite a problem, eh? I wonder how crickets are for fish bait?


Randall 7-5-2003 15:08

Hello everybody. Just checking in.

Here is perhaps a new topic for discussion:

Old writing habits- hard to break?

I mostly am wondering if any of you catch yourselves making the same writing flubs time after time, or do you eventually straighten-up?

For example, I have to really watch my repeat use of certain words like 'just' or 'really'. I don't even notice I am over using them until I read back what I have written. They feel natural to me as I am writing, but they muddy up my sentences. I have found that I can go through most of what I write and just remove those words (among others) numerous times without changing the sentence at all, and tighten the work.

It is annoying to go through a freshly written passage, only to realize I had done it again...will I never learn? Sheesh.

Just for the record, I see the words 'just' and 'really' several times in this post, and I think every one of them could be removed without missing a beat. But I won't take them out just so you can see what I mean. (See what I mean! I did it again!)

Anyone else have any annoying little writing twitches they can't shake?

Mary 7-5-2003 11:08



Ben ... I agree ... mostly. I too have a geological outlook on life. All things must pass, so to say. Pamela and I swapped a few barbs as intelligent people are wont to do. I am, indeed, disgusted with the constant political wrangling that clouds every single cotton-picking thing in America these days.

As to why other people love American ways and products, but hate Americans? It's a fact of life. And nothing new... But Ben, America is not an empire and "(democracy) ... and what works for it (America) now, isn't going to work for another country, like say in Africa, or Asia." That democracy doesn't work for everybody will be a shock to millions of Europeans, occidental and oriental, who have just thrown off the yoke of Communist domination. Iran is now on the verge of democracy (I hope) and China is moving every day closer to democracy via capitalistic tendencies. Even a one time enemy, Vietnam is edging that way. So, these governments are becoming aware of a potent force ... people power, perhaps people power economy? The global economy will bring tin pot dictators to their knees eventually, North Korea, for example because they need money. Funding. Imprisoned people, say the Eastern Europeans in 1990, when they became aware of what was available in western culture revolted and down came the wall. So to say that democracy will not work for everyone (Africa or Asia) is, basically a racial slur. Humans are capable of great things and given the opportunity democracy will flourish whatever the race.

I will ask Pamela for forgiveness, but this editorial from Rush speaks the truth. From a post several months ago... My Canadian friends...I disagree with Rush's statement on Canada. This comment was posted before the fine Canadian men were killed by friendly fire.


Rush Limbaugh

September 11, 2002

In this country and the world today, there are many people who agree with the bizarre statements made by Nelson Mandela in Newsweek. Many people, including most students and many elected officials, agree that the United States is imperialist and that our military is the focus of evil in the modern world. The truth, of course, is that we're the most giving nation in the world.

We have no empire. We do not invade or annex. We liberate. Despite the talk of the resources we use, we use those resources to feed, clothe and protect the world. When Nelson Mandela or one of these terrorists sees America, they ask, "How did they do this in less than 230 years? We've been around here for centuries, and we still can barely muster working toilets." It is this that the terrorists see, folks – and it makes them envious.

Yes, envy. They look at the U.S. and see what they thought they were supposed to become. That's what they thought their religion promised them. I'm not speaking of all of Islam here or Muslims in general. I'm speaking of the militant extremists, particularly from the Wahabi sect, who looked at those towers and said, "How did they do that when we can't even pave a road?" If I were a citizen of a country that had been around thousands of years, and was still basically a sand pit, when I looked at America, I would want to come here, not to tear this country down.


If these people ever stop blaming America, they'd have to blame themselves. That's how somebody got hold of these hijackers when they were very young, and filled them with hate at an early age.

Hate is an instinct. You don't even have to know anybody to hate them. But love, it's not an emotion you can turn on and off. You either do or you don't. You have to work at liking people. Disliking them - hating them, for some – is easy. It's the same thing with good and evil, and that's why it's hard work. But, it's worth it, because who would you rather see win out day-to-day, year-to-year, in eternity - good or evil? Question answered. They understand the desire to be free, but they don't understand how it relates to capitalism.

Consider the fascinating piece in Wednesday's Christian Science Monitor if you agree with this notion that this country is evil and imperialistic.

The theme is its opening line: "Compared with past great powers, say the Mongols or Romans, America wields a light touch." We rebuilt Europe and Japan. We let the Philippines and Puerto Rico opt for independence.

We didn't stay in any of the nations where we've sent troops to go to war. We even paid for the land we won from Mexico in our war with them, at a time when some (even Mexicans!) called for the United States to absorb all of that nation into our territory. Imagine if Canada's neighbors were Iraq or Nazi Germany or the USSR or imperial Japan or any powerful empire. Would they sleep so well at night? The Boy Scouts could crush Canada with zero casualties, yet we let them opt to keep welcoming in terrorists and to thumb their noses at us on Iraq.

"But Rush, if good is so good, why is it so hard to triumph over evil? Why is good content with what it is, even as evil metastasizes?" Look, we're trying to spread freedom, goodness and democracy in the Mideast. Yet evil seems to be able to take over these places in a snap, even in parts of this country. Goodness always is going to be the tougher battle, just like doing the right thing is always going to be much harder than doing the wrong thing, just like love is always going to be a little harder than hate.

Hate is an instinct. You don't even have to know anybody to hate them. But love, it's not an emotion you can turn on and off. You either do or you don't. You have to work at liking people. Disliking them - hating them, for some – is easy. It's the same thing with good and evil, and that's why it's hard work. But, it's worth it, because who would you rather see win out day-to-day, year-to-year, in eternity - good or evil? Question answered

Enough said...


Randall 7-4-2003 23:18

MARY -- Nice piece of craftsmanship there, yourself, in the shorty section.

I made a new place in the Workbook just for shorties, it,too, will be visible only to registered users from the Notebook. We can make a new topic each week for shorties and keep them week-by-week in their own topic pockets. That way we can have one section for stuff we want to post for critique and one section we cna post for fun and practice (shorties). Too late for this week; we'll start shorties next week, OK? Meanwhile, I have to go through the user list and give everybody I recognize permission to see and use the Shorty forum.

Mark Workbook 7-4-2003 20:17

MARK: Thank you for contributing to Shortie Night. That was a very sweet bit.

No others? Perhaps you are all working on it? hehehe

Next weeks topic might be more inspiring, I can only hope.

Happy Independence Day to the USA!! We are off to a picnic, then my mother's pool. Ah, relief from the heat.

Mary 7-4-2003 13:57

Ben here.

Haven't been here for a while, but well, that's how things go. Been trying to organize some music for a planned bar-b-que blow out later this summer in August. Summer holidays are here, so I don't get the computer as often as I would if school was in. Besides, I've been changing the carpeting in the entranceway and putting in lino (that's tile in case some of you don't know). The older dog doesn't seem to like it too much. I heard she went running down the stairs and couldn't stop....tumbled right down to the bottom. She doesn't go downstairs except with ver-r-rrry careful steps now. It's only for a while. We wanna put a runner down the middle of the steps to make it easier for all of us.

So I didn't get any writing done last week, and just got here to last night to try and catch up. Good luck! :-)

I see Pamela and Randall are having a good tete-a-tete with the old political slant. I like that, and I want to throw my two-bits worth in.

Let me just say: It doesn't matter anymore. The world will always hate the U.S.--I don't mean this in a bad way so please don't be offended by it--but it's a fact of life. The U.S. is, for lack of a better word, an Empire now. Like Rome before it, like the British they threw off, like Greece and Egypt too. It's young, comparatively, and with any luck will hold on for a little while--just long enough for me and my loved ones to have had our run at life before Old Glory falls, as inevitably it will. I say this because all nations fall, and empires fall the hardest. America wants to democratize the world. They want everyone to accept their form of government because it works for them. But it doesn't work like that. American democracy has changed and grown over the last two hundred odd years--(oh yeah, I forgot, happy fourth of July)--and what works for it now, isn't going to work for another country, like say in Africa, or Asia. It's a global world now, and when the big boy on the street falls down and skins his knees, people don't offer to help. I don't want to get into a big discussion on the domestic policies and foreign policies of my neighbours to the south, let me just say that they suck. Simple as that. We've just learned to live with them up here.

(And before you ask me why I would say that, remember I work in a sawmill, this is NOT a holiday, and there's no such thing as Free Trade if it doesn't benefit both countries...27% duty on lumber? Hello! They've shut us down for the day today. And now the mad cow scare, all over one dead cow that they've possibly traced back to an American prgnant cow brought into the country five years ago? Is this political fall out because Canada didn't support the war against Madman Insane? Yeah, I wonder why people feel intimidated by America.)

My niece went to Thailand a couple of weeks back for a wedding that didn't work out because of the SARS scare--and people are calling it an epidemic down south(?). More people die of the flu in a given month world wide than have died of this thing. Anyway, the mother of the bride made it in. She's a transplanted Canuck, a nurse, living in Texas now I think. She calls herself an American now, and my niece laughed and said you'd think she was born down there the way she was talking. She was told by everyone in the wedding party NOT to tell anyone she was American. They have hotels there that state right up front: "Americans not welcome". And why is that? Americans are okay most of the time aren't they? Until they go out as tourists and try to be like regular people. I work with a guy who said that down in Mexico, in the fancy resorts there, the Americans try to pretend they're Canadians because the Canucks get better service. Pretty smart thinking actually. Until they open their mouths. A Canuck says: Waiter, may I have another drink please? An American says: Hey boy, bring me a beer. Don't they think people know the difference?

So, I'm sorry, I went off again. But it doesn't matter what the world thinks about America, does it? Walk softly and carry a big stick. Foreign aid? "What's in it for us?" Common human greed, and unfortunately, not just an American claim to fame, but pretty well universal. Famine in Africa? "We helped them once, they didn't handle it right the first time, so why should we do it again? They're all corrupt down there anyway." Terrorists? "Nuke 'em all, an' let God sort 'em out."

So if one American voice speaks out against American folly, and another tries to defend it, niether of them is right, and niether of them is wrong. It's their right to speak for or against, to slander or defend. One says there are WMD's and it's just a matter of time before they find them; the other says I think it's gonna be a long, long, time. Don't sweat the small stuff guys...Pamela's right. (Just kidding Randall.)

Make love not war, it's more fun and doesn't hurt as much. I'm not anti-American, I just don't want to be one in my lifetime. In one hundred, two hundred years, Canada, Mexico and the U.S. will all be one big country; it will be an economic "must" because the European nations will become one nation just to survive. They will become the next superpower...but we'll all be dead by then, and who cares? I don't. I don't worry about things I have no control over. I have no control over world events--I barely have control over the events in my own life--and I say, let me live my apolitical life; let me play with my dogs, love my kids, and keep healthy until I die. SARS? Mad Cow? West Nile? WMD's? (yeah right) Who cares anymore? We used to say: Live fast, die young, and leave a good looking corpse. Ever seen a good looking corpse?

So Litter, after having gone through all of that, I hope you're still with me. Thanks for the info on thanes and Glamis. I'm going with the wooden buildings because they burn better. I also found out Glamis was nothing more than a hunting lodge, and there was no thane there until after the 1250' story's in the 1050's.

And howard, (I hope you're not mad at me after having read all of thet), I will be looking for those books. I wrote them down, plan to do a search on-line, but think I might have to resort to the good ole library.

Now I have to leave. Going away on a well deserved holiday next week and have to get ready. We're staying up here in Canada though. I don't like the idea of traveling in the States...we are a mixed couple after all, and the thought of driving through the southern States frightens us both, no matter what anyone says. We plan on going into the interior, to the Okanogan and Osoyoos area, near the border--which is rather ironic since I live closer to the border here, than I will be there.

Have a good one, see you in about a month.

ben 7-4-2003 12:52

Yes, it's me, AGAIN!

Just wanted to let you know that I have kicked off shortie night and posted my contribution over at the Workbook.

Mary 7-3-2003 21:23

Hi All.

Falling behind with catching up again – Just found out that I'm going to be a Grandfather in November! However, the father-to-be has decided he doesn't want to be a father at all and is causing a lot of trouble, stopping just short of violence. I must have driven about more today than for the last month, doing the needful.

MARY – I'll answer your mail soonest. And I go for MS Word!

I'll get back on track with bookplates and things, soonest also.

All good things,

Litter my stuff 7-3-2003 17:30

Don't forget everyone: Tonight is SHORTIE NIGHT. You can post short shorties here, or Mark has graciously made a home for them over at the Workbook. (I will be posting mine over there.)

Mary 7-3-2003 17:11

Mark: You know, I never really thought of it, but you are absolutely right about not using all the features of the full Word program anyway. Whenever I am doing a plain text document, or copy/pasting some text into another application, I usually use Notepad. I don't think I have ever even opened up WordPad. I should check it out and save myself some disk space. Thanks.

Mary 7-3-2003 16:57

MARY -- Yup, at the time I sent you the message in workbook, I also changed your login to make WIP visible. I moved your Shorty note from 'test' to WIP also (tho' now it's from 'root' not from You).

On the Wordprocessor front. Every version of Windows has Wordpad, which is Word-Lite. To me it has never been worth the money to buy and install MSWord. 80% of users use only 20% of its features. I use Open Office. It's free, it reads and writes Word and Word Perfect files; that means I can write a document in Open Office, save it as a Word file, send it as an email attachment to someone who uses Word and they will never know it was done on another program. WordPerfect should allow you to do the same.

Most offices these days will say send files in Word 6 format. Well, duuhh, that's WordPad and it comes free with Windoze (if anything in a $289 box is really free).

One other option is to use your favorite word processer and Save As .rtf file. RTF means Rich Text File. It saves most formatting (italic, bold, font sizes and styles, etc). I made all my resumes that way and they can be opened by anyone with a computer.

My favorite all-time word processer is Ami Pro by Lotus. There is still a small group of Ami users who use it for desktop publishing. Ami does picture and column sizing and word wrap as well as PageMaker. I used Ami for a job at Universal Instruments where they produced marketing brochures and sales proposals.

I'm still finding my way around in Open Office and may even break down and spend $60 to buy Star Ofice. Star is Open with help files and support. During a series of exchanges with Heather I discovered its page layout and page numbering functionality. Heather sent me a sample to read, I sent it back laid out and numbered. Took a couple of tries, but once it was done, I knew this was stuff you cannot do in Word.

Mark Workbook 7-3-2003 14:27

dear lizzie you are so cool. thats so raven you guys are great. kimposiple you guys are great
love cari..................

cari carter 7-3-2003 11:29

Ok guys, I have heard enough to know that I will definitely be putting MS Office on this PC. Now, to find those disks...

Thanks for the update Mark. It seems I missed a lot of the Workbook background info while I was away. The Works in Progress section of the Workbook is appearing for me as of late last night, so I guess I am all set.

Be well!

Mary 7-3-2003 10:25

MARY -- I've used both WordPerfect and Word, and much prefer MS Word. Most people have at least the capability to read a WORD document, and from what I've seen, if a publisher will accept an attachment at all, most prefer it to be in MS Word (.doc) format. Many of them request the file be embedded in an Email. Dunno about a whole ms, though.

howard 7-2-2003 23:21

Mary - I've used both word and word perfect, in fact for my first venture into the writing world, back in college all I had was word perfect. I managed quite well with that software, even in it's early guise and even used it to lay out our newly found college newspaper. That was before I discovered Word. I'd never go back. Why, well I think nearly everyone in the world has access to Word, not so the second rate Word Perfect. Another reason, it's being part of a suite of programs MS Office, and all that goes with that, including ease of transfer of data back and forth between the pieces of software.

The computer I have now came with Word Perfect, and I even tried to use it for a short time, bringing back fond memories of my time in college, but then reality crept in and I quickly ripped WP out of the system by it's very roots and installed Office 2000, then later upgraded to Office XP when I found a copy laying around unprotected as it were.

I guess another reason I'd switch is that most of the writers guidelines I've read over the years (the ones that accept online submissions) require Word formatted documents, I guess a fellow could save as in WP and select Word but it just adds another step, also should you send work to a buddy over the internet, most would have access to Word not WP.

Of course that's just my opinion.


Randall - it was once my pleasure to slam the door of the crowbar hotel on an Ass _ole who kicked a dog to death for dropping a load on his lawn. The deed was done in front of several young kids who, I'm sure still have nightmares from the trauma of the whole thing.

Sadly he only spent a night in jail awaiting arraignment, then his "golden" name caused the charges to be dropped and he laughed all the way home. (One of the top reasons I don't miss being on the PD anymore!)

Jerry 7-2-2003 23:04

VIV, MARY, PAMELA -- Workbook 101:
The Workbook has two sections: one public and one private.

In order to see the private one "Works In Progress," you must register and then have your registration modified (by me) to make that area visible to you.

Password? Logon Name? That's up to you. But it's advisable to use names and passwords you will remember. I have a couple of internet names and passwords I use and a different set for programs here on my PC.

This is different from the Workbook Jack wrote a few years ago, but this one came ready-made and I just tweaked it here and there. Jack is evaluating it and considering it as the program to use officially. The more we use it, the more we will know about its features and foibles.

Mary is right about using the Workbook for large pieces; it keeps the Notebook from getting too heavy too soon. I like the way this Workbook keeps replies right with the original and you can scroll down to look at the original whil you compose reply. I also like the "New Post" indicators to show me right away where there is material I have not yet read.

Additionally, if you want to reply but not make it visible to everyone, you can send a private message; it's like having a little email system right within the workbook. When you log on, in the group of links at the top of the page, there is an indicator to show if you have any messages.

Mary, I would comment on your advice to Viv that she "shack it up at Mark's place," but maybe I'll just sit back and know I'm in the right spot.

Mark Workbook 7-2-2003 22:11

VIV: No, this new machine is a desktop. I haven't really had any problems with XP, it just isn't what I am used to working with. So far, all my programs are working well, such as Norton and WordPerfect.

WordPerfect is another issue for me. I am used to Word, so this is all new. Learning what options are where is a pain. I knew my old PC and programs like the back of my hand so this is a major adjustment.

Any writers' opinions on the two different programs from anyone who has used both? Word vs. WordPerfect??? Which do you prefer and have you run across compatability/format issues with publishers who accept digital submissions? Which format is the most acceptable in the trade market?

Would love to hear from people on that because if WordPerfect isn't the most recognized format, then I am going to switch back to Word. No sense in learning the different software if it isn't what I will be using.

If it weren't for the familiarity side of it, I would have to lean toward the idea the WordPerfect is more powerful. It seems that way at first glance. (The formatting is more confusing, so it must be.) LOL

Mary 7-2-2003 21:30

MARK: I started a new topic at your Workbook for people to post their shorties in, but as I read some older posts, I am getting the sneaking suspicion that there is another section of your forum where we can post password protected work that I didn't know about yet.

If that is the case, I am afraid I may have confused the matter instead of making it simpler. Sorry!!! Please let me know what to do.

Mary 7-2-2003 21:20

Mary, I'm looking at buying a new laptop. Is your HP a laptop? Mine is going slowly out on me...first a keyboard, then a battery, then a hard-drive, then this or that or the other. A piece at a time it's falling apart. Although I repair it, it's not the same.

I need something light, less than 5 pounds because I carry it everywhere. The next day I'm exhausted with my 8 pound hefty little Dell.

I hate my Windows XP. Since I loaded it I can't get outlook express...can't load my Norton....can't... can't the list goes on and on.

I also don't like the Power Point format in XP. Doesn't have my friendly little notebook template!

It's a little too slick for me. Still, like you, I'm trying to get used to it.

Viv 7-2-2003 20:45


I would have to say that if what you write for Shortie night is just something small for that single purpose, then just post it here. If it is an excerpt of a larger piece that you have bigger plans for, then you might want to shack it up over at Mark's place.

Mary 7-2-2003 20:36

Mary, Thank you for the shortie! I needed that! Do we post our shorties here or in the other spot?

Mark: Found the place. Got set up. Could you send me some information on the grail? Could use it! Site seems pretty foreign, feel like I've gone to another country. I'm glad it's secure though.

Viv 7-2-2003 20:18

Hi guys.

Back again, and loving my new PC. I bought another HP Pavilion, because I absolutely loved my first one. I still mourn her at times, but this new one is so much more. It will take me a while to grow into it I believe. This one is the 505. I have named him Jack.

Not really caring for XP, but I suppose I will get used to it. I don't hate it enough to wipe it out and put Windows 98 on here. I liken XP to the scratchy tag in the back of a new t-shirt. Once you wash it a few times, it doesn't bother you as much.

DSL kicks butt! No more wimpy dial-up. Enough said about that. Those that have it understand, those who don't have it already want it whether I hype it up or not.

OK, someone mentioned that Shortie Night has been patiently waiting for a guiding light. I don't have one of my typical one-word themes, but I do have a spring board for you guys:

Tomorrow night, the shortie night exercise is to depict a scene in which the protagonist is missing one of his senses. Whether it be hearing, sight, smell or touch, make it an integral part of the conflict, or an obstacle to the resolution of the conflict. Let your imaginations really go wild with this one.

Ok, gotta fly. I will be back tomorrow to see what we all come up with.

Mary 7-2-2003 19:52


Hello friends...

Mark... good thought on Buck! Although I would like to tell him of another place a LOT hotter!

Well Viv, guess I'd better expect an influx of inquiring children from across the pacific. (GRIN) The Alamo, well...maybe not the Alamo per se...but the surrounding area is so commercialized it detracts from what happened there in 1836. Still... progress ya know ... The Alamo is a grand place to visit, always gives me goose bumps. I often wonder, would I have stayed or scrambled out the back door with Mr. Rose? When death approaches would I (any of us) opt out (if possible) or accept the inevitable?

Anyway...try the weekdays if you are ever in San Antonio, weekends are a little crowded... I am home today. Back problem...the muscle not the spine. I haven't seen Buck since last Friday when we exchanged terse hellos. Had a treadmill heart stress test yesterday. A good report from my heart doctor and "See you in three months Randall." (REAL BIG SIGH OF RELIEF!!!) I went right out with my wife and daughter and celebrated with a jumbo chicken fried steak, onion rings and an extra side of mashed potatoes!

Uh...Viv ... Lone Star beer is widely recognized as the "State Beer" but a local brand "Shiners" is the "In" crowd favorite. Pearl beer is another but Pearl has a taste similar to "Moose Head" if you recall my post some time ago. (Grin) Qualify ... I don't drink anymore (okay, okay! ... or less) so there's no telling what the boys and girls in Austin or San Antonio are drinking these days...

FYI gang. I mailed Viv a box full of items related to Texas...Pamphlets, maps, magazines, etc... She sent me a T-shirt of the Tokyo subway system on it. My daughter grabbed the shirt and it dissapeared into our version of the Bermuda Triangle (her room where things go in and are never seen again.)

Better scoot, my back is firing up again.

Oh...belated Happy Canada Day to the gang up north... And remember Canadians ...The Eyes of Texas are upon you..." (Grin)


Randall 7-2-2003 19:28

So here I am still wondering not exactly aimless, not exactly aim-full, happy, yes, reasonably content perhaps. Having found out many things particularly about myself, life is no easier since knowing and knowing how to change are two different things. I find that I still do what I used to do and what I know bears no real fruit. My patterns of behaviour are too strong a part of my adopted self, I need more time, fortunately I believe I have it.
I’m getting there, there being a state of raised awareness and development. Life it seems often helps but also gets in the way, the obligations of civilisation and bodily attachment. I see a statue of a man who fought in a war and I ask myself could I be that man, was I indeed that man, my answer now is, quite possibly, who knows.
What, in life matters. I’ve decided or reasoned that happiness is a natural state, though far from being necessarily a permanent one, what would be the point of that. The same no doubt as permanent misery, we appreciate the highs more when we’ve experienced the lows, if we survive hardship we are stronger for it. Providing we keep aware of the greater aspects. Life is to be enjoyed and used to learn and develop, perhaps to help others to do the same along the way. No other meaning to life makes any sense to me and being human I’m attached to things making sense and see nothing wrong with such an attachment.
If it’s unreasonable to expect the universe to make sense; so be it. If my expectation is wrong I care not for I’d have, and live my life in no other way.

I see a pigeon searching for food and I think is that pigeon any different from you or I, we’re all searching for something, some of us may not like to admit it but all things have a purpose, for without purpose in life and nature things do not go on, they decay, slow up, stop and die.
I see the city centre, feel it pulsing and unlike in my negative moments where I often feel that it is ugly, dull and pointless, I now see it as fine, interesting and vibrant. I see the people now also in a positive light, being purposeful in their own ways, just doing their best like myself to enjoy life the way they know best, trying to cope with what they’ve got. The city is colourful, exciting and warm. A city doesn’t have to have a meaning since it’s full of people and in the people is all the meaning it needs. There are so many sounds, so many colours, so many sensations it is so real you know you’re alive when you can sense so much going on.
In this state just sitting in the heart of the city I am detached from my normal every day life and it feels good. It’s like going on holiday without having to go away. I’m in the present and I know that I can tune in to this state any time I wish, though I’m wise enough to know that I’ll forget from time to time and fall asleep. Ah sleep, is there a difference from being asleep and being absent. When we are asleep where indeed are we, another plane, another world, another life, is it any the less real? Sometimes when we’re supposed to be awake we are quite asleep and yet in this state our bodies can be performing quite complicated tasks; indeed we can appear to be very much there, even when we’re mentally somewhere else. Perhaps a small part of us stays in touch with reality and keeps watch while we flit off to a different plane, world, mental zone who knows where but we most definitely leave.
It would appear that the physical, being course, is governed by something finer i.e. the mind which is subject to the body as well as to nature; all pervaded by consciousness. Is it not reasonable to assume that there may be something finer than consciousness, or that consciousness is subject to something else. Is it not the normal route of science to find that things do not just end. Where does life fit into all this, without mystery what sort of life could there be? Are we not always going to wish that we had better minds, better control of our bodies, greater consciousness etc, when would we be satisfied.
When we’re born we’re open to new experiences, we tend to see things very clearly, we don’t alter, what we see with our minds, as we do later on. A little older and we take people and events at face value, we learn to make judgements about good and bad according to what we want, later on we’re forced generally to accept other peoples’ ideas of good and bad, according to how they themselves see the world.

Experience, though a good thing, can be very bad, because we approximate future events according to our previous experiences. Generally we become lazy and pre-judge. Instead of seeing things and events for the first time, in order to save time, work or energy we predict and say to ourselves, ‘Yes I know this situation or person, I know what happens here, long before we have any justification in doing so. The fact that it is sometimes (but rarely) justifiable is a big stumbling block since this helps us to cling to our prejudging habits.
Because of the status quo with regard to the way we continually make unjustified judgements about people, it is very difficult for us to communicate with each other, we do not see each other as we really are, as a result we do not hear what we’re saying, we hear what we expect to hear, or we already know what is being said, so we fail, even to listen; we lose meaning and fail to understand each other.
So here I am again, another me, since we can never be the same person twice, we change with time and where am I at this time, growing, present…perhaps. Even when we know our many parts or at least that we have many parts, how can we know which part is in mode at any particular time, if we are consistent maybe we at least have a guide, though if we’re in a rut, then this consistency will obviously do us no good, since it’s likely to have led us there.
I or the feeling of I is something I’ve never not had, even in my most unconscious moments there is still for me a feeling of I over and above what is happening to me. Quite separate from the feeling of being connected to every other living thing, or non-living thing for that matter; I love all people but I do not feel that I am all people. There are people who say they know. We cannot trust them, we must not rest on faith, we must know for ourselves.
We are fine beings when we raise ourselves above our natures, our bodies want to survive, we survive whatever. Our bodies and minds though both fine things are little more than clothing for the self. When I say self I speak of the individual self within, as tied to the universal self but with its’ own identity. When we look at people we do not like, when we really look with an open mind, then we may find that we are interested in them, that we fear them, or openly admire them, our dislike may have come from a lack of understanding; our past gets in the way of us knowing them.
I can only guess that love is a binding force, an affinity between living things, as if love just wants to be together. I’ve heard it said in ‘knowledgeable’ circles that every thought has already been thought, that no original thought exists.

This would of course negate almost every thing we work for in our lives, what would be the point if it’s all been done before, don’t worry, it may not be true, even if it is true what difference does it make if you can still enjoy it.
Pretend you don’t know anything (Which is probably true for us anyway) and get on with the business of procuring pleasure for yourselves, things may not matter, but act as if it does and fun can still be had in abundance.
It’s also been said that we are in essence all the same, this again denies individuality and negates our normal existence. These are hard ideas to stomach, you don’t have to accept them, but if you do and your world crumbles, what does it say about the world that you have created for yourself. Can you accept the idea of inanimate objects or atoms, even, having ‘consciousness’ which gives or holds them in their form. Is it just as reasonable to accept that atoms just are in much the same way as we are asked to accept that God\ consciousness just is.
Why do we act, why do we do things, if our natural state is all consciousness, all knowledge and all bliss; why then would we involve ourselves with the material universe at all, particularly as it can lead to misery. Our attachments, desires and fixations lead us to misery, yes, but we also gain pleasure from our attachments and satisfied desires; choosing to desire and attach to things does not necessarily lead to misery the problem most certainly begins, when we become identified with our desires and attachments, thinking that we need them to survive.
Coming from our natural state it is clear that we choose to involve ourselves with the physical universe. Perhaps all consciousness, knowledge and bliss, is not what it is cracked up to be, or maybe our picture of it is not accurate. Perhaps the finer part of us is just life-human spirit, or something that perpetuates life; why should we suppose that this mystical part of us is, all knowledge, all consciousness and bliss, because the idea appeals to us, we want to know and are very much afraid of admitting that we do not know, yet not knowing can be fun.

Pester Smemb 7-2-2003 17:34

Sorry, Mark, (instead of Howard) I know it's you who have done the workbook for us, and thanks! I look forward to reading some of the stuff on there and posting a little of my own.

pamela 7-2-2003 11:40

Hey, Ya'll! Howard, I registered for the Workbook. Was I supposed to use my Internet password or a new one? I used my old one in case it was going to be matched to me, I hope that's okay. I read you guys talking about restricting access but thought that would be done automatically with we Forwriters members, glad it got cleared up. I wondered too about posting writing and whether it would be considered previously published (wouldn't that be great to finally finish a huge book only to find it couldn't be published because of offering portions for critiques!). Eddie, I'll pass for now on the links to your regiment, I'm depressed enough without thinking about international politics and badguys right now (but I did enjoy those other pictures that showed your cute legs a while back :}). Carol, thanks for hugs, I needed them. I plan to quit smoking one of these days (better than my previous view of never wanting to quit) and I think I will try hypnosis, have you thought about that? The aids that feed you nicotine might help with that craving but for me, I don't know what I'll do with my hands! Hope Teekay isn't freezing her bum off down there on the bottom of the world. If anyone likes thrillers, I just read a good one by Greg Iles, "Mortal Sin," also involves computers, pretty interesting. Very complicated, multiple-viewpoint plot, I find myself analyzing how he pulled it all off, hoping to get some pointers.

pamela 7-2-2003 11:37

Mark, Rachael: Is there a new place to post...a secure place made by Jack? Help! I'd like to find it! I miss writing stories and having the fun of showing what I'd done to you all.

Carol, I failed miserably. Not a great day. I had a rat race going over this stupid computer classroom. Anyway, the cigarette machine called me over and stole 300 yen from my pocket. It gave me a pack of my favorite brand in exchange. Disgusting. I have to smoke these now or I've wasted 300's that for a lame excuse.
Kidding aside. On Saturday I'm buying Gitanes. They are horse manure. I'll get you a pack as well if you don't quit by then. They literally stink like horse manure and feel like someone has raked their claws over the inside of your throat and lungs. If that doesn't get you we can graduate to Russian cigarettes. Or maybe I can send you a pack of Hope. Hope is the brand favored by drunks and whores in Japan. It is raw tobacco with no filter. Short fat little wads of cigarettes that burn nice and quick, and leave flecks of tobacco on your teeth. (Lovely picture that!)

We'll do it Carol if it kills us!

Howard, thanks for the scary idea. Nope, no time or money for having a tumor removed. That's a good image for me next time I light up. I've been quit for 3 years, but the petunia incident kind of got to me. I started smoking again after that little episode. Time to quit. I won that round anyway...proves sometimes you have to stand up to bullies.

Randall: Some bunch of jerks moved in on my computer room. No letters got done today because they knew I didn't have the power to kick their little bottoms out. Took me half an hour plus then we had the stupid evaluation forms to fill out. Frustration. However, They have to write a research project on Texas. (5 paragraphs). I listed many ideas they might want to idea...what is the national beer of Texas. (Lone Star) Other ideas...

What is a long horn steer? What is the weather like where Randall lives?

I also gave them your e-mail address. So you may get a few impromptu letters asking for help. Tell them I know your writing style and if ANYONE comes back sounding just like you...they won't get a very high grade. However, if someone writes you a very strange letter that sounds like it came from Japan, don't disregard it completely. They may be asking for help on a subject so strange to them that it's nearly incomprehensible.

(Oh, and there are two students who are crazy to visit out! You may have two letters saying, can we come visit you when we come to Texas!) Let me know the result. These are good kids, but always interesting.

Well, back to work~! Randall, thanks for that box!

Viv 7-2-2003 9:30


Thank you for getting me set up :o)


Rachel 7-2-2003 0:07

Viv - Carol - What Howard said, I too was a three pack a day man. While I had the aid of the "patch" I managed to quit twice about seven years ago, the second time stuck. I get the urge for a smoke about once every three or four months but not strong enough to EVER make me touch another of those damn cancer sticks. It's so very nice to be free of their grip. Damn those who make them!

Jerry 7-1-2003 22:55

RACHEL -- I changed permissions on your Workbook login. You can now see the Work-In-Progress section.

PAMELA -- Saw your note here about getting into the WB once and not again. Right. The group here decided to put the 'real' WB off-limits to the world and make it accessible only to regulars here (just like the good ol' days). One argument was "Keep it in the family" and another was that a public posting would be tantamount to having a piece published and off limits to "no prior publication" editors. You need to register, then let me know and I will do the database magic that lets your WB login get you the grail.

CAJ -- who are you? registered for WB but have never asked for WB access.

Mark Workbook 7-1-2003 19:27

Here is the link to the main site. That last one was inside a frame so has no links back.
The link to the journal is on the left side of the page

Eddie French 1st Bat. The Kings Regiment 7-1-2003 18:40

I thought some of you may be interested in this.
My old Regiment is now serving in Basra. Check out the Missile and launcher thay found a day or so ago.
All the talk is that Saddam had none of these things!

Eddie French I Kings 7-1-2003 18:37

CAROL (and VIV) If it helps, I was a three-pack-a-day smoker, and I quit 21 years ago, the morning they took a lung-sized tumor off my right lung. That was July 5, 1982. Four months later, they took a fist-sized tumor off my left lung. You should see the scars!

Believe it or not, I still get the urge to light up occasionally. Hang in there!

howard 7-1-2003 17:12

Nonfiction Story Contests
The Preservation Foundation's sixth annual competition for previously unpublished writers will
again be for two categories of nonfiction stories between 1500 and 5000 words in length. The
categories are general nonfiction and travel nonfiction.
Deadline for entries is September 30, 2003.
An author may enter up to three stories in each contest. There will be no entry fee for the first
story, but an fee of $5 (U.S.) will be required for each additional story in the same category.
First prize in each category will be $100. First runner-up, honorable mentions, and finalists in each
category will receive certificates of recognition suitable for framing.
The Preservation Foundation is a nonprofit corporation founded in 1976 to "preserve the
extraordinary works of 'ordinary' people."
For full details contact to Richard Loller at or click on

Richard Loller Storyhouse 7-1-2003 14:48

Hi All :)

Just checking in like a good little girl. Got half way through chap. 4, got a great idea only to realize I have to change several things in chap. 3 first. Oh well. Every great idea just leads to more and hopefully a stronger story. Plays havoc with my tracking system using an advancement in word count though.

Viv - I'm not having a good time with the smokes just yet. But I'm trying. I'm hoping switching to a different brand with much, much lower tar and nicotine will help me make the adjustment. In case the rest of you haven't guessed, Viv and I expanded our buddy system to include quitting poison sticks. I'll go public here and see if that helps any. I've been a two pack a day smoker since '75 (I ain't giving ages!! hehehe). I can't use any of the help products on the market because of my epilepsy. So its sure will power that I have to find to draw on. And will power is my weakest characteristic. I smoked menthol light 100's all those years. And since I can't handle the thought of quitting without an emergency supply, I picked up a pack of Carltons, short, no menthol. You know, I think those real cheap brands of cigarettes put even more "goodies" in their product to keep you heavily addicted.

Ok, off that subject ---
Mary -- very good to see you again!!
Howard -- good Canada jokes! I love em.
Pamela -- {{{hugs}}}

And {hugs} to everyone else just cause. :) I suppose I better go make the rest of those changes to chap. 3 now. ........

Carol 7-1-2003 12:44

Hi Guys, Penniless Pamela here. Went job-hunting yesterday, ran out of gas (guage doesn't work), got soaked in sudden downpour walking back to car, then car wouldn't start, battery leadwire/terminal corroded all to heck, spend half of cash on cab ride home. Oh, well. Thank goodness I tuned in here to laugh out loud at Howard's post on Canadian questions (Happy Canada Day, all you northerners). Also enjoyed checking out the Glastonbury Festival via Eddie's connection. Looks like lots of fun, I like REM and Radiohead too. Very cool about an anonymous donor of 1700 trees. Hellos to those not seen lately, liked the bio info on Mary with stuff I didn't know (4 kids--yikes!), to Rachel (I'm also having trouble accessing the Workbook, got in once, then not again), and Viv. Congrats on aceing your teaching course with perfect scores! You mention being taller than younger students, are you vertically challenged? I have a friend who is a little person (dwarf) who has been teaching elementary school for years, so when you feel short, think about Bonnie and her courage to be smaller than some of her students. Howard, I've managed to keep the moonflower alive so far, hope she didn't get drowned in all the rain (I put her on a wire table to drain).

pamela 7-1-2003 12:24

HOWARD -- Great post on Q&A. MARY -- Nice to see you back around HEATHER -- I bet you feel fantastic! (Hugs to yah). Sorry about the weird posting, but there is something up with my return key and I'm not sure what to make of it. I'll sort it out later. Take care all. RDRKO :O) OHHHHH, I went to check out the new WB and am trying to sort out how it is that I move around in there. I imagine it will take me a little time. Are people posting their writing there?

Rachel 7-1-2003 11:12

Yes, Happy Canada Day!
A friend just sent me these, in honor of the day:

These questions about Canada were posted on an International Tourism Website
and obviously the answers came from a fellow Canuck.

1. Q: I have never seen it warm on TV, so how do the plants grow? (UK)
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them

2. Q: Will I be able to see Polar Bears in the street? (USA)
A: Depends how much you've been drinking.

3. Q: I want to walk from Vancouver to Toronto - can I follow the railroad
tracks? (Sweden)
A: Sure, it's only Four thousand miles, take lots of water. . .

4. Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Canada? (Sweden)
A: So it's true what they say about Swedes.

5. Q: It is imperative that I find the names and addresses of places to
contact for a stuffed Beaver. (Italy)
A: Let's not touch this one.

6. Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Canada? Can you send me a list
them in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton and Halifax? (UK)
A: What did your last slave die of?

7. Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Canada? (USA)
A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe. Ca-na-da
that big country to your North . . . oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is
every Tuesday night in Calgary. Come naked.

8. Q: Which direction is North in Canada? (USA)
A: Face south and then turn 90 degrees. Contact us when you get here and
send the rest of the directions.

9. Q: Can I bring cutlery into Canada? (UK)
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

10. Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? (USA)
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is. .
forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in
and in Calgary, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.

11. Q: Do you have perfume in Canada? (Germany)
A: No, WE don't stink.

12. Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you
tell me where I can sell it in Canada? (USA)
A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.

13. Q: Can I wear high heels in Canada? (UK)
A: You are an American politician, right?

14. Q: Can you tell me the regions on Bristish Columbia where the female
population is smaller than the male population? (Italy)
A: Yes, gay nightclubs.

15. Q: Do you celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada? (USA)
A: Only at Thanksgiving.

16. Q: Are there supermarkets in Toronto and is milk available all year
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter gatherers. Milk is

17. Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Canada who can dispense
rattlesnake serum. (USA)
A: All Canadian rattle snakes are perfectly harmless, and can be safely
and make good pets.

18. Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Canada, but I forget it
It's a kind of big horse with horns. (USA)
A: It's called a Moose. They are tall and very violent eating the brains of
anyone walking close to them. You can scare them off by spraying yourself
human urine before you go out walking.

19. Q: I was in Canada in 1969 on R+R, and I want to contact the girl I
while I was staying in Surrey, BC. Can you help? (USA)
A: Yes, and you will still have to pay her by the hour.

20. Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
A: Yes, but you will have to learn it first.

howard 7-1-2003 10:56

ANDREW -- Here in New York the light at the end of the tunnel has been shut off due to budget constraints...

howard 7-1-2003 9:13

Bye the Bye -- in my earlier post re the three sites, the second one didn't post correctly for some reason -- just copy/paste the whole thing into your browser.

And the third one (hidalgo) will be of special interest to horse (and cowboy) lovers. From the trailer (you can see it from that page) it looks kind of like "Quigley Down Under" in the sandbox.

howard 7-1-2003 9:12

VIV -- "up your apron?" :-}) That reminds me of one of the funniest books I've ever read:
"Don't Bend over in the Garden, Granny, You Know Them Taters Got Eyes" by Lewis Grizzard -- It's a hoot!

howard 7-1-2003 9:07

Just a little note to let everyone know I haven't dropped off the face of the Earth...(it is flat you know). Just busy with preparations for the new arrival and trying to finish off this final chapter of the re-re-re-re-re-re-re-edited novel. At long last, there does seem to be light at the end of the tunnel....unless it's a train and I'm screwed.

Andrew 7-1-2003 8:40

Oh, I've been nice and quiet and the gossip has moved on. Whew! Most everyone has forgotten the petunia incident, except the local police. I did hear second hand that someone said, "Gee that petunia had it coming....tell her good for her!" Appears most folks knew the problem and knew it wasn't me! Thank goodness I'm only known as the stomper of innocent petunias.

Howard, keep on feeding those petunias with an eyedropper! Most of them are innocent bystanders anyway. The one I stomped on had it coming! (It was looking up my apron.)

Actually, it was a good thing that happened. Lit my fires for getting this teaching degree underway. I made 100% in the course. Didn't miss a point. The only requirement was writing papers, and in writing I don't like to quit until I've made every point I've set out to make. I couldn't believe that some folks were complaining about the length of the papers. I had trouble stopping, not getting 1000 words on a page.

Randall, I know just how you feel. Kind of shakes you up to realize that you have that much fire in you. Congratulations on not swinging a fist, but slinging good solid words at the idiot. Hope your little stray is ok. Watch your back though and stick around people for a while. We need you out there to defend the strays of the world.

Heather: Whoop! P is out there! Congratulations. Now you can take the rest of the summer off. Have a wonderful Canada day! Thank you for all your hard work on P. No more lemonaid...except for drinking while enjoying the sunshine.

Viv 7-1-2003 8:28

Carol: Got in a little writing on Pommes today. Down to one cigarette. Will smoke it tonight. Yikes! Tomorrow is smoke free, watch out world. I left all the cigarette butts in my car ash tray though. I figure there should be enough for a good nic fit sometime in the wee small hours of the morning. Always good to be prepared!

Randall: Be prepared for some questions. My entire class looked at the Texas box. They got awfully excited. Some of the ideas generated however are definitely a bit off. They got their ideas from the magazines. Maybe after we go online and do a bit of research they will understand Texas a bit better. Some of the letters were definitely waaaaay off track. We never have a season here without flowers so many of the young men think that the Texas wild flowers are a year around event in all of Texas. One boy is all set to go to see these strange flowers. I asked him when he was figuring on visiting Texas and he said, "Possibly I could have enough money by next Christmas time."

Another letter expresses an interest in the great and mighty fortress of the Alamo, and yet another student wants to come visit the amaradillos. I hated to tell him that the only aramadillos I found in Texas were on the highway and they were completely immobilized!

Sorry to be so silent for so long. I'm not lurking, just kept too busy with some on line preparation for returning to the States. I'm getting a degree in teaching elementary school. At least a few students won't be taller than I am. It's keeping me hopping to try to take classes while I teach them. Unfortunately, I'm not writing much because I have to produce about 6 papers every three weeks. It gets a little hectic now and then but I'm enjoying stirring up the dead brain cells.

Viv 7-1-2003 7:58

Some interesting sites:
might interest LITTER -- a Tolkien Society moot in Scotland.

For Narnia fans:,2106,2555530a10,00.html

And this looks like it might be a good one as well:

howard 7-1-2003 7:34

Happy Canada Day, y'all. Here's a page of nifty Canada jokes.

Mark Canada Jokes 7-1-2003 6:26

Mary - welcome home. We've missed you and shorty night has been on hold, awaiting your subject.

Welcome Kim.

Had a super time there were twenty seven of us showed for the great campout, folks I haven't seen in several years and the weather cooperated all the way with nice cool summer days, and a bit chilly nights (perfect for camp fires, roasted marshmallows and hot dogs).

With that over, it's a few days at home to re-coop, then back CAMPING for the 4th.

Happy independence day!!

Write on.

Jerry 7-1-2003 0:35

RANDALL -- very clever . . . all day on the dark side of the moon ...
reminds me of an old joke. Perhaps you can suggest to Buck that he sign up for a rocket to the Sun. If he objects that he'd burn up, just tell him, "Nah. Land at night."

Mark 6-30-2003 22:20

MARY, MARY -- not sounding contrary
Hope all is well
With your new tinkle belle,
And you both have a godmother fairy.

Mark Workbook 6-30-2003 22:03



Hi Mary! Welcome back. I too know about long absence, having drifted away a time or too. Teekay, I believe, brought me back last time once. Sooooooooo, where is Teekay? A hearty "Thats a big 10-4 little buddy" to Buckaroo Mary on not getting beat up!!! A friend relived many years ago a fight which he claimed to have won... "I got him on top of me, got his fist in my mouth, his teeth on my left ear and made him suffer!"

Jack...if I was in Seattle I would attend. Honest... But ... Alas and alack, (Alack! Alack! The dragon is back!!) the shindig might as well be on the dark side of the moon. Where laughing fairies, giggling witches and fun loving dragons live forever and love to eat sugar cookies and taffy candy and sweet cakes all day long. (Uh ... ? is it possible to eat all day long on the DARK side of the moon?) I will think of you though ... from my lawn chair in the rapids of the San Saba river sipping on a cold Lone Star beer as cold spring water cools my tootsies. I might even doff my 4.5 gallon straw hat to you (BIG GRIN! Hat leaks badly, that's why it's only a 4.5. )

Hi Litter! Hang in there partner!

Rhoda! Send some of the rain west! Please!

A short post...

See ya


Randall 6-30-2003 20:43


Good to see you again.

Tropical Storm Bill passed by today. It has rained a great deal, but so far no problems in our neck of the woods.

Rhoda 6-30-2003 19:57

MARY! Welcome back! It's great to read you again! :-})

howard 6-30-2003 15:06

Hello everyone.

Geez, there are so many new names here I feel like I should reintroduce myself! As a matter of fact, I think I will. Welcome to all the new notebookies!

(Clearing my throat), Hello to all the newbies and those of you who don't remember me. I am Mary (obviously). I live in Ohio, I am 29 (again this year), I have 4 children, one of whom currently finds himself in a much better place than the rest of us. The latest addition being only two months old. My husband is happily married. Hahah..ok, we both are happily married )for seven years now).

Heather and I have a handbag business together. (Yes, the Heather you know and love from this forum.) I also have a jewelry business that I don't run. Well, I guess technically I still run it, but I haven't had much time for anything but babies for quite a while now.

It used to be that I selected the topics for 'Shortie Night' around here, but I have neglected that duty for so long that surely someone else had taken the reins by now! At least I hope so!!! (You guys haven't quit shortie night have you???)

For all the 'oldies' around here, I just wanted to drop in and say hello and thank you for the congratulations on Claire's arrival. I did read back a few days on the posts and must say I am glad Randall didn't get beat up.

Claire is calling me so I must go for now, but I look forward to coming back soon.

Mary 6-30-2003 12:17

Here is a little snippet that made me feel good

Eddie Feelgood factor 6-29-2003 15:07

My evenings entertainment is sorted
I love the continuous coverage.
Tonight is the best lineup of the weekend with The manics, The waterboys and Moby.
I enjoyed REM last night too.
Time to get the beer from the fridge and turn the telly up!
See you later

Eddie Glastonbury 6-29-2003 15:04

Hi all.

BOOKPLATES – For those who are waiting for a bookplate, worry not. I've been waiting until my wife's pay came in to get some more colour ink so that I can print them up and send them out. Hope to get onto these in the next few days.

JACK – you can emphasise what you like. It's your forum.

RHODA – Bless you, bless you, bless you. Hope you enjoy.

RANDALL – some times fronting up to people is all you can do. Thankfully, many seem to back down. Been in the situation and didn't like it one bit.

Gonna crawl back to bed now

Ta Ta.

Litter Again Litter's stuff 6-29-2003 7:22

OK, lets stry this again

6-28-2003 22:43

Given the lack of response about the Business of Writing workshop and Westercon 56 I will simply say hope some of you are attenfing and maybe are attending the Locus Awards Banget. This means any of the hard core science fiction writers out there. I will be there. Sorry, if I am emphasizing the fact that the westercon regional science fiction convention is happening in Seattle on July 4 weekend. Come one comeall.

Jack Beslanwitch http://www.wester56.otg 6-28-2003 22:41



A nice Saturday in central Texas...

My confrontation with Buck has not evolved any further. We exchanged terse hello's yesterday afternoon. On the lighter side he was in the store and told the gang, "Next time it's Randall or me." Our counter girl looked him in the eye and said "Randall was right and you were wrong Buck!" It was told to me Buck paused and said. "He needs some help." A man who witnessed the encounter said, "He would have had it." Buck left without another word...

So we enter a cold war. Yadayada....

Pamela...sorry to hear of your troubles. Yes, we do all have demons. I think God does that, you know ... the adversity builds character ploy. My wife commented one time, "I have enough character, where is the gravy?"

Yes Heather, I agree. Bullies are a fact of life and too NOT face one head on, even at the risk of a fight is worse than backing down.

Thank you Mel...and Cheri for the nice comments and support. Sometimes being right is NOT it's own reward. Well, at least I think Buck will think twice about attacking another dog.

Oh BTW gang...I saw the little dog today. It looked okay but would not come to me. I told the owner what happened and he freaked out. He asked me what happened and I told him. The man lives behind our store and the dogs escaped from his yard. He was not at all happy over the incident and said so. Looks like old Buck may have a some trouble coming from another direction...

Carol...I have always had the bad Randall on a tight lease. Reason? He scares me...

Guess I'll run. May take my shotgun outside and shoot a few mosquitoes before the sun sets ... (Grin) Well, wouldn't you expect mosquitoes in Texas to be large? Where do you thing the creature idea from Ms. Weaver's ALIEN movies came from?


Randall "Never tell a blatant lie" Henderson

Randall 6-28-2003 22:25

Well people, I posted a new little story on Mark's Workbook. Its a Star trek taking on Star Wars idea I've been playing with. Kinda a thing to look at if you're bored and I welcome all comments. thanks.

Andrew 6-28-2003 13:49

Brief hellos to everyone, more bad news to deal with. Sigh. Sometimes it just seems like life is one trauma after another with brief respites of normality in between. Oh, to just be bored for a while. Lost my little part-time job, bartending for a friend who opened a small club, worked for free at first, then just $10 per shift, have contributed time, money and beer to help this place out, then he freaked because he's losing money (due to poor business decisions) and fired me without notice, right here at the end of the month with all my bills due. Ben, it may be a while on the manuscript now, even $5 seems like a lot with no income. My ex-friend doesn't feel he "fired" me, just had to let me go but when you have a job one day and don't have one the next and didn't quit--that's fired. He was an old friend too, like family, that's the saddest part...

Rhoda, I write much the way you do, stream-of-consciousness to get the basics down, then going back to edit and re-write. I think I am going to dig out my first draft and see if I can use any of it. My writing seemed to go a lot quicker when I was younger too, I guess it's those brain cells dying off.

Howard, Mr. Keillor (is he still around?) is right about that corn, I remember it fresh on my grandmother's farm. I used to sing professionally and still know many musicians and have heard more than one say that making good music was even better than sex (yes, even those perpetually randy menfolk!).

Mel, I think it's coming, I can see it now, your face breaks through the waves, light is streaming from the sky, the cocoon breaks open and characters come tumbling out like a parade, demanding to be brought to life.

Randall, to a certain extent, we all have our good and bad sides to contend with, don't we? The demons pestering the heroine in my book are based on some that visited me a few decades ago. All the medication they gave me didn't affect them at all, so maybe they were real...

pamela 6-28-2003 12:56

Aw, shucks, thanks Mel!
Randall, my hat is off to you! Bullies are not easy to deal with - in fact I'd have to say, of any personality type, that kind of 'character defect' (which all bullies have) is the worst. They will blame anything and everything on someone else, and actually believe that they are above everything; and that people (or animals) deserve the treatment they see fit to mete out.
Absolute garbage, but a bully believes it.
(On the other hand, there are neurotics, who believe everything is their own fault...)
You probably surprised him completely by standing up to him. That approach is often the only thing that works, even if the results are not immediate.

Howard - Teek emailed me a few days ago - she's all right, but she's going through a cold snap and the computer's in the coldest room of the house. She pops on now and again, but I think she's taken a bit of a break from writing at the moment. I have told her about mailing out Phantasium, too, so she's pretty up to date on us Northern folk, LOL

Kim - welcome! I suppose I could give you a few hints on what NOT to do with a short story collection... considering I just mailed one out.
Here we go...

Don't wait four months until you have all the stories in a pile, waiting to be edited. Start editing when you have a story completed. When you have all the stories together that will be included in the collection, they will then have been edited once.
They will need to be given a proofreading and another round of edits, and at that point you can figure out where each story fits in the grand scheme.
Decide what type of writing it is that you create, and begin researching publishers that are looking for short story collections like yours, so that when you find a few, you will be able to send out queries. While you wait for the responses, you can give your collection another edit, proofreading, or at least a good hearty read for enjoyment.
Make sure the formatting is all identical so that the collection is cohesive and organized. Write an introduction if it might be needed. If the story order is what you want it to be, add pagenumbering. Print yourself at least three full copies, and always keep at least two for your file. (And of course, have disk/CDRom copies!)
If you can burn the collection onto a CDRom, let the publishers know that you can send either a hard copy, or a CDRom copy, or both. (Or offer disks, if you aren't able to make CDRoms).
Many publishers still prefer hard (paper) copies so it's already printed and ready to read and mark up with the ol' red pen.
If you're not certain on how to make your manuscript editor-ready, make sure you pick up a copy of Writer's Market. It'll give you the basics on what type of printer paper, what fonts are most acceptable, how most editors want to see the work, how page numbering is best done, etc.
You can also email me personally and I'll do my best to answer your questions!

Ta ta, friends, family;
Sleep beckons me deep.

Heather 6-27-2003 23:01

Hi All :)

Mel - I already picked mine up. You better have your's nearby by now! LOL Oh the possibilities a fresh new notebook holds.

Randall -- Good for you!! "Bad" Randall is only "bad" when he surfaces at the wrong time. You let him surface when he was needed and that's good.

Tomorrow will be a break from construction -- rain in the forecast for the whole day! Goodie! That means I can steal some time to write again!

Oops - almost forgot -- Welcome Kim! A copy of Writer's Digest Marketplace, visiting their website, and/or subscribing to their monthly magazine is one tip I can give you. Sounds like you got a handle on writing -- and its "secret" -- editing.

Carol 6-27-2003 21:58

HEATHER: Um, that should be "girl" not "gril" - some days dyslexia rules the fingers. (I won't tell you how many times I just had to back up to fix this post!) LOL

Mel again 6-27-2003 8:35

Good morning, everyone!

RANDALL: On behalf of the abused dog, I offer you genuine CHEERS!!! and (((HUGS))) !!!!!!! It takes a real man to stand up to a bully, especially for someone else's/some creature's cause. You did a fine thing. VERY fine. :-) I'm convinced that bullies are the way they are because they don't like themselves, and they hide their self-resentment behind animosity and anger toward others. I think your "bad Randall" is really a hero, waiting in the mirror for opportunities to shine. You're glowing brightly right now! :-]

HEATHER: A HEARTY round of applause and (((HUGS))) for you, gril, for all your fine work on PHANTASIUM - YEEHAH!!! :-) Do I hear a Symphony calling you back? :-) Enjoy your OWN writing time again.

CAROL: What? PERMISSION to buy a new pen and pad? Oh boy oh boy oh goody gumdrops!!! :-] Want to come along?

WHERE'S TEEKAY???!!! I have permission to go to the new pen and pad store! Are you coming or what???!!! Hmm. No answer. She must be warming her toesies in the fire - er, by the fire. Hope winter hasn't frostbitten her creative genius.

PAMELA: treading water, treading, treading, oh look! The far shore appears! Before the current drags me under its tow again, I stretch, I reach for the shoreline, then stretch and reach with the other arm, now again, now the other, I'm swimming toward shore... Soon, soon, I'll be back on land and climbing--no, SHAKING that coconut tree, shaking down my cocooned novel to break it open. Nothing's gonna stop me. (Do you hear me, Ms. Muse? Prepare for a conquering assault!) I has spokened!

CHERI: :-] I recently read a little inspirational romance - hah! VERY inspirational - the heroine's name was... Melanie. And she returned to her childhood hometown...where her dream house - an old family farmhouse - was for sale...It needed a lot of fixing but she loved the place SO much she was willing to give it a go. :-) Sound familiar? Bwa-ha-haaaaaa (HEATHER does that better!) Tomorrow I go back to my childhood hometown (Fayetteville) and help my sister and brother continue cleaning out my parents' house (it's DUMPSTER DAY!). There's also a job opportunity for me up there, near that dear old house that needs a family in it again... :-]

Y'ALL: Write TODAY. Because yesterday's rich treasures flow through our veins, waiting for release in print, and tomorrow is the only goal-keeper. Seize the moment - write now.

Um, I have to work now. I'll write... SOON!!! :-)

Mel 6-27-2003 8:32

Hello all: Have been keeping a bit busy what with getting ready for Westercon 56 this coming July 4th Weekend. If anybody is planning on attending or is going to be part of the the Business of Writing workshop on the wednesday prior let me know. I will be attending the workshop and will also be out and about as the Vice Chair of the convention. I also have my banquet ticket for the Locus Awards Banquet so you can probably touch bases with me there. Oh, leave a message on the vodoo board if you end up attending. A good time should be had by all. At this point we have something like a thousand pre-registrations, so should be a good event. Sometime between now and then I will try to archive things here to get them down a bit. Take care everyone. Also, I will have video from the diving at Cozumel and more with.

Jack Beslanwitch Westercon 56 6-27-2003 3:27

RANDALL: CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP!!!!! (If you couldn't tell, that was a standing ovation!)

Cheri 6-26-2003 23:41


Kim... Welcome and stay around for a while. :-) I guess the worst thing you will have to put up with here is a culture gap. At least on my part. I had to read your note a couple of times to figure out what "zines" was.



Randall 6-26-2003 23:08


Evening gang...

Had a bad day my friends. A violent confrontation with a much younger man who could have easily taken me apart. We were eye to eye and no one was backing away. There were four of my fellow employees close by and I could tell they were stunned at the suddenness of the incident. I guess what makes me sad ... it revealed a side of my personality ... that frightens even me. The psycho side...the "bad Randall."

Behind our store is a puppy drop-off location. Dogs, (and cats) that no one wants, so they deposit the poor animals on a road which is pretty much hidden from view. There were two small dogs at the store this morning. Drop-offs. I shooed them away several times, but it was raining and they were seeking the warmth of human companionship and a dry spot in our small warehouse.

I returned from a delivery about 1:30 this afternoon, parked the pickup in the rear of the warehouse. Four of our employees were in the back with a man named Buck. Buck is a brawny young man who runs a truck repair and wrecker service across the street from our store. I heard Buck yelling and then observed him kicking one of the smaller dogs. The first kick knocked the animal several feet away where it lay screaming. Then Buck kicked it again...hard. In the stomach.

I blew up and hollered at Buck to not kick the animal again. He came to me and we shouted at each other for several minutes. Our store manager is away on vacation and the assistant manager, new to town tried to intervene. To no avail. Buck threatened me and I told him to take his best shot, because if I saw him doing such a thing again I would file a complaint against him for cruelty to animals and have him arrested. He said he would have my job for this and I said ... well, it was a very bad scene, verbally violent, crude in content. It ended when I walked away and the poor assistant manager suggested Buck leave the store "to let Randall cool off."

I had another delivery waiting, grabbed it and left without talking to anyone. But I was enraged, shaking, very, very upset. I returned in 30 minutes, parked the pickup and entered the store lobby. All of the counter persons broke into applause and came over to pat me on the back. The manager's son told me that was the greatest thing he had ever seen and said I was brave to face down Buck. Another man said he was very proud of me and if Buck had struck me he would have been in the fight. Our accountant came out of her office saying there was a side to me she didn't know about, but what I did was very brave. Remember now, I am the delivery driver. The lowest man on the totem pole.


I just didn't care what happened to me during the incident. I knew Buck's reputation as a bully (at least a dozen of his employees come and gone in four years.) Buck lift's weights and uses steroids, which probably explains his behavior. Plus the fact that his latest departed mechanic filed charges against him because he wouldn't allow the mechanic to take his own tools when he left. The police were at his shop only hours earlier. I wanted him to strike me. I knew with all the witnesses I would have him on two fronts. Assault charges and a hefty liability lawsuit for personal damages. With some of the things I called him, it's a wonder he didn't lay me out. But I didn't care...

You see, I was trying to make up for a time as a boy when a neighbor's son drowned two puppies on purpose and I didn't try to help them. It has been a bad memory for more than forty years.

I don't know what will happen tomorrow. But I don't care. Buck may call the owner and threaten to take his account away if I'm not fired. I'm telling you ... it was a BAD scene. Bullies have an inflated view of themselves...super ego types. And I deflated Bucks by getting in his face. But bullies have been a bane of mine all my life. I have had two run-ins with bullies in the last two years. I'm don't back down anymore.

I just finished watching a special on the King of Comedy, Jerry Lewis. Mr. Lewis related he had a "bad side" that he could unleash to make people listen to the "good side." I have that same personality. I keep "good Randall" out front but the "bad Randall" is always there too. The bad Randall has always scared the good ... because the bad is a psychopath ... who could easily have killed Buck and walked away, without remorse. I struggle to keep bad Randall on a tight leash. Because of things like today.

The good? The bad? Well, what about the "ugly Randall" you ask? (Grin) Well he looks in the mirror every morning and says, "Good morning boys."


(I don't know what happened to the little dog. Two of our guys were petting it as I left. It looked okay, but I didn't see it again all afternoon. So I just don't know...)

Randall 6-26-2003 23:01

First off, hello. I just stumbled across this site through a great many other sites and thought I'd post a message just for the hell of it. I'm a young writer, 20, and am constantly concerned with getting my writing out there. I'm also interested in editing--I've started two different zines at my college. My writing deals with the imagination, the absurd and has been described by a teacher as fabulistic. Does anyone have any helpful advice on getting published (Particularly, if anyone's put together a book of short stories and has had it published, I'd LOVE to hear about the procedure, as that's what my first goal is), or if anyone has heard of any zines that I may fit the criteria for, I'd love some information. If not, thanks for your time! I know there's a hell of a lot better shite to read than this lousy message.

Kimberly 6-26-2003 21:45

Seill no word from Teekay. I hope all is well.

howard 6-26-2003 19:14

OK, confession time...
My mother loves to pick on my by repeating a story about when I was two or so. We were having dinner at grandma's house, and I was in my high chair next to the table. Someone loded my plate with a healthy helping of mashed potatoes, and she tells me that I said "DeeduhTwice, don't dimme all of it!"

howard 6-26-2003 7:13

Just got back from a short vacation. Left Saturday for North Carolina to visit my relations. The trip was okay, just a bit tiring from the drive.

RACHEL: I love to relate the tale of the time when my son was an infant and my daughter a bright two year old and the smoke detectors went off for no reason. I called my mother and exclaimed "I can't get the damn things to shut off!" So my mother came and took the children out to her van while I'll shut off the alarms. Bringing the children back in, my daughter asked, quite innocently "Mommy, did you get those damn things shut off yet?"

Good night all!

Cheri 6-25-2003 23:57

EDDIE -- Workbook permissions set.

Mark Workbook 6-25-2003 19:30

HEATHER - Super, I'll have my fingers crossed ! xxxXXX - Thanks for all the work you've put into our project!

I'm off on a camping/family reunion extended weekend, hope to have a great time, no make that I'm going to have a great time!

Hope everyone is well and writing busily.

Write ON!

Jerry 6-25-2003 12:38

Hi there,

I am a booklover and writer and have just set up a free site for other booklovers and writers who want to meet for friendship/dating - it's free, no strings -

Have a look if it's of interest. I'm not looking for anyone's money!


simon dale 6-25-2003 5:21


I just got your book in the mail. They did a good job on the design. I cannot wait to read it.

Rhoda 6-24-2003 21:17



Took off from work early today. Between back pain and "pain pills" my day was difficult.

Howard ... I had to chuckle at the mention of your "buzzards." They are quite numerous ‘round these parts. Possessing only a countenance a mother could love the big ugly bird's sail incessantly through Texas summer skies. They keep, or at least try to keep Texas roadways clean of road kills. An older friend of mine claimed his folks survived the depression by eating Hoover Hogs (Armadillos) and Black Turkeys (Buzzards!) To each his own I suppose! He said he was a teenager before he understood that fried, boiled or bar-b-qued Turkey platters were in fact Turkey Buzzards!

My brother and his wife lived at a nearby lake. He said late one summer day they saw a spiral of buzzards over their home as they came in from work. He pulled into the driveway and there were buzzards everywhere. Sitting in the trees, on the fence, on the roof...everywhere. Well, it seemed the buzzards were not waiting a meal but just being neighborly. My sister-in-law had a cockatoo which she kept in a large cage upstairs. She placed the cage next to the window every morning so the bird could have a "view." The buzzards just dropped by to say hello. My brother related his neighbors were somewhat taken aback at the invasion and joked with him they thought he might have hidden a body somewhere!!!

Perhaps they knew my brother TOO well! (Grin)

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnd wouldn't you know Old Randall "Know it all" would just happen to have a couple of buzzard tales at hand. :-)

By Randall Henderson

( My brother and I spent our youth on our grandparent's small farm in Mason County.)

"Bored one hot afternoon but alert enough to notice buzzards circling overhead in the clear blue Texas sky Darrel and I schemed to capture a buzzard. In an hour or so Ma-Maw hearing not the usual commotion from us investigated. No sign of Randall or Darrel in back so she looked toward the front drive. Pa was absent that day doing something in Mason so there were just the three of us at home. Stunned and appalled she saw to her horror both grandsons prostrated a short distance away in the dirt driveway. Motionless, flat on our back, eyes closed, looking graveyard dead. Apron flying, flour covered hands she rushed out to discover both of us very much alive. Laying on our back only a reach away from a recently slain jackrabbit. We had set a trap for a buzzard, but all we caught was a frantic elderly grandmother. As best I can recall we spent our remaining afternoon hours still bored, shelling peas and husking corn on her back porch. I heard her talking to herself about us in the kitchen, but was unable to clearly understand what she said. I did however recognize the inflection, and it wasn't favorable! Fuming could accurately describe her that summer afternoon.

Later that night when sitting outside under a million stars, we related our woes to Pa. He laughed heartily telling us once how he and his brother, T successfully live trapped a buzzard. Deciding to have some fun they soaked a corn cob in kersone and attached it to the buzzard's foot with a three-foot length of twine. Pa said they lit the corn cob then released the poor bird. It promptly flew away, straight, up trying to fly above the burning heat below. Pa said the buzzard was flying around and around, straight up, when it went out of sight, trailing black smoke. They had used twine rope because after a few minutes it would burn into, thus releasing the buzzard from the fire below. Ghastly perhaps to us today, but there is a morality lesson yet to be learned. Mr. Buzzard's revenge! True the buzzard would be released from its tormentor, but the burning corn cob had only one way to go. Pa said in an hour or so his father's pasture was blazing and the whole family worked hard till sundown controlling the flames. Wonder where the fire come from?"

Well, gotta go...


Randall 6-24-2003 20:29

Thanks everyone... and THANK YOU MARK!
Of course, the collection would not exist without all of your (our?) bright minds and talents poured out onto paper. I believe we have painted ourselves not only a masterpiece, but a genuine notebook family portrait. Spirits and all! :o)

The one thing I hope most for the Phantasium collection (besides publication, if I can be so bold as to dream) is the proclamation of a reader that they had goosebumps the whole way through. Now that would make it my most-smile-crammed day. Or at least among the top five!

Cheers and cheerios,

Heather 6-24-2003 18:18

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Howdy Yourfriend 'Thought & Humor' 6-24-2003 15:17

Hi, all you crazies! So good to see so many here, and there's just too much that I want to respond to so I won't respond to anything. :) How's that for a cheap trick? (Oh, except to say, GREAT JOB, HEATHER!!!!!!!!!!! I don't know how you did it!)

I wanted to share a contest with you all, although it'll only be open until July 4th. It's a promotion for the new movie, Alex and Emma, free to enter, and you win a laptop and a trip to California to meet Rob Reiner if you win first prize. All you have to do is write a romantic-comedy short story in less than 1000 words.

Just close the popup window and choose the 'contest' option from the menu at the bottom.

A great day to you all!

Christi 6-24-2003 14:16


Hi you :o) Kids and the way that they imitated things is amazing. Have you ever noticed how slow they can be to pick up the words you really want to hear them say and how very quick they are to pick up words like “shit” or “damn”? It is really quite a wonder (grins).


I am fine with 5,000,000 introductions, thought I can’t promise I would remember each persons name ;o) Hum, what part of me is Scottish...


Rachel 6-24-2003 11:51

PAMELA -- According to Garrison Kiellor, fresh sweet corn, picked, husked, and dropped (all without stopping) into the pot, and served with fresh butter, is "better than sex." I think it's very probable that fresh strawberry shortcake (and maybe a dead-ripe, sun-warmed peach picked right off the tree)is in the same category.

And no, there's nothing amiss with my libido...


howard 6-24-2003 10:30


When I first begin a book, I write the first draft as quickly as I can, many times with considerable holes. I have the tendency to brush through difficult spots and just go onto the next scene or chapter. While I wrote this manuscript I entered two contests to see if I were on the right track so that required me to see that I had a very good synopsis and emaculate, very clean first two chapters of the book.

I am not really rewriting, but polishing. I am going through my book chapter by chapter and editing it. That involves correcting awkward sentences, typos, and simple errors. It also involves cutting bits of dialogue, paragraphs or even whole scenes that are unnecessary. Then sometimes a scene is done completely wrong and it has to be rewritten, and then I have to fill in any holes I left the first time around. And then I have to check and double-check my facts to see that they are right. One thing I have a hard time doing is matching up the eye colors to the secondary characters. Also I have to determine if I adequately described every character I put in and if I described the places where the scenes take place.

To create the story, it is often good to cut out the internal editor, but before submitting the manuscript, the editor must return and take over, and that takes time.

I had this happen to me once before where an editor wanted the whole manuscript and it had not been edited. That was six or seven years ago when my children were little and I was younger. I was able to get it all together within 4 to 6 weeks. Now it has been almost 3 months. In the meantime I have had one vacation, two sets of out-of-town visitors, a bad case of broncitis, and a lot of stress because I cannot finish this manuscript fast enough.

Rhoda 6-24-2003 9:46

Well, thanks for the encouragement, Howard :), if an experienced gardener like you can't grow a moonflower, my poor thing is surely doomed. I have heard that watering your plants can be really helpful, though, I think I'll try that. I've seen them in magazines and time-lapse photography on TV, I love dusk-time and want to watch these huge flowers open in just five minutes. Maybe I'll get really ambitious and plant some of those cornflower blue morning glories with it, that would be pretty on the little back stoop that is my pocket garden (I have a yard but it is too sloped to sit in). Sat out on my step the other evening enjoying the lightening bugs flashing away. Watching wildlife is fun, especially right in the city, I always like seeing hawks up there, riding the currents without regard to the teeming humanity below. I'm glad your nerve condition is better than it used to be, I'll bet you have fun tripping alarms if you ever go to the courthouse for something or when you go through security at an airport. Speaking of ambrosia, in my first book, which featured 40's-style erotica, the heroine "exploded into ambrosial oblivian..." during her first climax. As good as fresh strawbarry shortcake? Debatable.

pamela 6-24-2003 9:32

MARK -- That workbook does look good! I chose the option to log me on every time I go there, and it seems to work well.

I just posted a new topic for comment, if anyone is interested.

howard 6-23-2003 22:09

PAMELA -- A moonflower? I've been trying to grow them for several years without success, and I'm a fair country gardener if I say so myself.
I saw one once -- a rpw pf them growing up the end of a porch like a pretty green screen. The flowers are huge, white, and very fragrant, and open late in the evening. They attract those very large moths -- Luna and Cecropia -- and I'd love to have them next to our back deck.
Good luck with it!

ALL -- There's a three word synonym for "ambrosia" -- can anyone guess it?



Just had some -- home made biscuits, whipped cream, and nice sweet strawberries. YUM!

PAMELA (again) No problem, I copy/pasted that note, so there was no effort involved. It's when I type from scratch that I have to be extra careful. A couple of years ago it got so bad that I couldn't use my hands at all, and I had a neurosurgeon fuse four vertebrae in my neck. Have a nice metal plate and eight screws in there now that really get the xray techs excited! The doc says there's nothing further he can do, but that it shouldn't get anywhere near as bad as it was back then.


Lots of corn snakes around this year! I've picked up several around the house and yard, and put them in the garden, where they'll eat bugs and other critters. Biggest one so far was only two feet long. Joel was playing with a small one this evening, out in the back yard. He thinks they're neat!

My daughter Andria was mowing at their new home north of Ithaca this afternoon, and found a fledgling Peregrine Falcon in the grass. She called my son-in-law, who worked with the raptor program at Cornell when he was a student there. He came out and they looked for the nest, but couldn't find any trace of it. So he picked up the bird and took it in to the Cornell ornithology lab (it wouldn't have survived otherwise) where they'll raise it to the point where it can be released back into the wild.
They're fascinating birds! Bryan (my s-i-l) raised several for the program , and a few years ago he brought a full grown one here so we could see it. Awesome!

Speaking of birds, we made a quick round trip (500 miles) yesterday to Whiting NJ to take a friend to her summer job. Her car had broken down yesterday morning on the way to church, and she needed help. So off we went.

Anyway, part of the route goes through Fort Dix.

On one of the back roads there was a dead deer (road kill) along the side of the road, and there was a large turkey buzzard feasting away! I'd never seen anything like it except on film. Then less than a mile up the road there was another, smaller, dead animal, and this one had a whole flock of buzzards devouring it -- right on the edge of the road in front of someone's house!

howard 6-23-2003 21:54

Thank you Mark! Now to get up some nerve ..... . Where'd I put that? :)

Carol 6-23-2003 21:53

Carol -- I changed permissions in the workbook. You can get to the Work In Progress section.

And who is CAJ ? Registered in the workbook, but no other info.

Mark Workbook 6-23-2003 20:46



I second Rhoda's post of today @ 13:33. For lurkers the WN is like a big family...everyone has an opinion and we learn and grow through banter. I have said it again and again. A WRITER WRITES! Stetson doffs in respect for all you have done. Thank you!

Pamela... If it wasn't for radical thought our forefathers and foremothers would have paid the tea tax and we would have a day off to celebrate Prince Williams birthday! Stay radical!

Also... Pamela I probably will never finish a manuscript. I always want to add something. "Flowers" being the manuscript now. I even, recently, added a story to something I wrote in the 1990's.

My back is not better and I type this standing. Now off to bed.


Randall 6-23-2003 19:23

HEATHER !! -- Way to go !! Someday you'll look back on this and laugh.

What the heck. Make someday today.

Mark Workbook 6-23-2003 18:59

Addendum to previous post:

I hope I didn't offend anyone when I told Rhoda that she had accomplished a lot because many people never completed a whole manuscript. That was NOT in reference to anyone here who may have unfinished works (which would include me), but to the general public at large. You know who I mean, those people who say they could write a book about their lives or could write a better book or movie than something currently out. But very few people actually sit down and write a whole, or even partial, book. And that is quite an accomplishment, whether it ever gets published or not, ditto for short stories and all creative writing endeavors.

pamela 6-23-2003 17:09


Heather, big BIG congratulations, you must feel like you've just given birth! Now what are you going to do with that nice clean desk of yours? I wish you and all of the other writers whose stories are featured in Phantasium the best of luck on getting your collection published. I've been here less than a year but have developed a great respect for the writing talent represented by this group and am sure that the book offers an interesting selection of tales, I know I'd like to read it.

Mel, is that persnickety muse still giving you trouble? When you catch her, your novel will burst out of its cocoon like the beautiful butterfly it is. Losing our minds? Who, us? We all have to be at least partly crazy to want to be writers, don't we? Comes with the territory.

Randall, I hope your back is feeling better. Two news sites I have visited are (I think that was recommended by Howard) and Couldn't locate the photo I mentioned, they get hundreds of postings per week and I don't know exactly when I saw it. I thought you implied that all of the vets who protested the war were among the "losers", sorry if I misunderstood. I'm bored with politics now and just have one more thing to say: I'm a radical, not a liberal, since I dislike democrats and republicans equally :}.

Howard, thanks for taking the time to share such a nice story with us, especially when having trouble typing (that must be really frustrating, hope you're getting some decent medical treatment for it).

Rhoda, mutual respect right back at ya, girl! Don't feel bad about skipping a word, I misspelled an easy word a few posts ago and my first job (at age 15) was as a proofreader for our small town newspaper. About re-doing a big manuscript: ain't it a bitch? I'm doing that too and thought at first I could just edit and make changes to the original (550 page) draft. But it has been in a cocoon for so long, like Mel's, that something new has come about and there are so many changes I want to make that I'm just writing the whole thing over. Bummer. Which are you doing? Don't give up on it and just send it off even if you don't like it, you've gotten this far, many people never even finish a whole manuscript, so you've accomplished a lot already. Heather offers good advice about editing (she should know!), taking a break and not over-doing it.

Carol, you sound like you are going strong, a lot of writing one week and a little the next is good forward progress. As Rhoda and I are discovering, it sure would be wonderful if our first drafts would be perfect, or even near-to-it would be nice. Good luck with the remodeling/peacekeeping project at the house, sounds like quite a challenge. I lived in a loft in a warehouse about ten years ago and it took six men several months to put in one window for me, I spent a chilly winter with plastic over a hole in the wall.

Someone just gave me a moonflower and I'm so excited, hoping my dastardly black thumb will not kill it. I just had to transplant her to a bigger pot, should I keep her out of full sun for a few days? Any advice from gardeners who don't kill things (no offence, Viv) like I do?

Viv, hope you're not offended by all our joking about the Petunia Incident (maybe they could make a movie). Do you know where you'll be re-locating to here in the states yet? It will be good to have you back, and also interesting to hear your impressions of how things have changed after being away for so long.

Peas, Love and Happy Writing,

pamela 6-23-2003 16:25

I'm positive Howard. hehehehe No rough-hewn siding on this house. Vinyl all the way around with scalloped vinyl in the eave peaks. Just enough to add that extra little touch. The windows we've painted in what is called Blue Danube (a nice dark blue) with cedar trim in Polaris (blue-gray). With the gray siding, I should (I hope!!) have a nice quaint looking house when we're all done.

Got in a nice little 600 words today since my last post and that brought me to the end of Chap. 3. Got some nice "seeds" planted for trouble to come. (Oh how fun to work out some of my wickedness this way! heheheheehehe)

Carol 6-23-2003 15:30

Make that nIne sheets -- not nOne sheets of T-111. #(*R Tupos! :-})

howard 6-23-2003 15:19

CAROL -- Are you sure you're not Dorie (my wife) posting under a pseudonym?!?!? We spent Saturday (partly in the rain) replacing windows (six, so far) and vinyl siding on our house, and my sons in law and a friend from church did most of the work. We put T-111 rough-sawn siding (none sheets) on part of the front, with vinyl on the rest. Lots more to do, so we're gonna be busy for a while yet.

HEATHER -- Great news! I humbly thank you for all your work! And thanks to MARK as well, because I understand he did a chunk of it as well!

VIV -- Petunia-mashing? I can almost appreciate the shock waves rippling through the Orient as a result of that heinous attack on nature. I started some petunias from seed this year, and they're taking forever. I was about ready to toss the whole batch, but seeing they're so critical to world order I guess I'll coddle them instead. Where's my eye-dropper so I can feed them properly? :-})

howard 6-23-2003 15:18

Looks like Heather and I were posting at the same time.

Heather -- THANK YOU, Thank you, Thank you!!!!!! You've done great work on editing "P". Congrats!!

Carol 6-23-2003 14:31

Hi All!

While I have my time filled with way to much to do, I still wanted to get a few words in here today rather than just lurk.

We're in the middle of replacing seven windows on the house, adding another layer of insulation and putting on vinyl siding. Our career construction neighbor is being kind enough to help us with a lot of the work. And I'm having a lot of fun acting as go between for two very strong minded men who like things done their way. Not only do I have to keep my marriage stable during this trying time, but also the deep friendship we have with our neighbors. There is the work I've assigned myself for this job. Feeding the guys at the top of the list, with any odd jobs during the actual work and then some clean up when they're all done for the day. AND then find a few moments to write. Wasn't there a suggestion below to write a shorty on Losing Your Mind??? hehehehehe I do believe I'm living that state right now. And the end is nowhere in sight!

On the positive side of the writing, I did get over 5000 words done in one week though last week dwindled down to 400. At least it was something. I'm half-way through Chap. 3 and events are happening. Looking over the way I write, I'm going to have to say my first draft is my "working" outline. I've got very little in the way of sensory details and I know the characters are sounding the same to some extent. Those are the things I'll focus on during my first round of editing. There are so many times I wish I could just write it all out in perfect form. But alas, that is not to be. So I believe I shall choose to enjoy the journey as it is.

Viv - a big congrats on moving into teacherhood. I didn't care for second grade either. Strange. The teacher was this little tiny thing with a tic next to her eye that I just couldn't stop watching. She didn't have much personality so that left out the ability to engage us in what she was teaching. I KNOW you won't be that way!! Now, get those fingers moving on Pommes again. I miss Sarah and Kelly.

Mel - I think all the cocoons have opened. Now that you're done with your garage sale, take a little of that money and buy yourself a nice new tablet and pen. That'll get your muse out of hiding!

Howard - thank you for sharing your wife's email. That is a beautiful one! I wish you enough .......

Now - I think its time to throw another wrench at my heroine. Have a great day everyone!

Carol 6-23-2003 14:25

Rhoda! The reason your posts have slips that you missed? You've been editing for a long period of time and need a break! When my eyes would begin to swim from reading so intently, I always gave them a soak in lemonade... By the time I stopped screaming, my eyes were perfectly clear and moist again... LMAO

Heather 6-23-2003 14:15

Oooooh, yes... I almost forgot!
If anyone else is looking for an editor, or a project co-ordinator, please don't look at ME! I don't know how professional editors do it. They must have a team of undergrads hiding in the slush piles, just slobbering for the chance proofread!

Heather 6-23-2003 14:13

HOWARD!!! Stop posting those tear-jerkers, will you?? I can hardly see the screen!
Blame Howard for all my typos today, folks!

Yup, as soon as I cast blame elsewhere, I get zero mistakes. *sigh*

OK FOLKS..... I was saving this for LAST.....


(I know, that was supposed to be January, but forgive me, please!)
SO, we'll have the summer to wait for word back, I suppose...

PANT PANT.... wow, I can finally sit back and look at my desk, and there is a HUGE empty patch! It's actually CLEAN there! LOL
Which reminds me, where is that duster? I have some other manuscripts in need of uncovering!

You can congratulate yourselves with all those handshakes and foamy drinks later, friends, right now it's time to JIG!

Heather 6-23-2003 14:09

I am editing a manuscript right now. Would you believe it??? If the last post is any indication of my ability, I am in trouble.

I meant to say:

If I did not feel so very comfortable with Pamela...

Rhoda 6-23-2003 13:36


PAMELA is right. I consider her pretty special. If I did not very so comfortable with her, I would never have articulated my difference of opinion.

Rhoda 6-23-2003 13:33

For LOTR fans -- a fascinating page!

howard 6-23-2003 13:10



Home with a backache ...


"While I appreciate the concept of doing one's own thing regardless of what others think, the current actions of this administration are affecting our standing in the global community in which we live and I do find that cause for concern."

Repellent and Impertinent by R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.

R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. is the editor in chief of The American Spectator, a contributing editor to the New York Sun, and an Adjunct Fellow at the Hudson Institute.

"It is about time that American journalists fasten on this story. Right up to the arrival of American troops in Baghdad Saddam's agents were butchering those that roused their wrath. In a splendid Associated Press piece, Mark Fritz tells us that Saddam during his last dozen years of butchery had "enemies of state" executed who were as young as eleven years old. Sixty mass graves have been discovered. Owing to Saddam's episodic waves of war and rebellion, "beneath one layer of bodies is sometimes another."

Well Pamela you got me there... The "current actions of this administration" are beyond the pale. I just don't understand how America will ever recover from "current actions" and regain our standing in the "global community." I mean, at least President Bush could have ordered the discovery of 60 mass graves ... dare I say ... covered up? This no doubt should be followed by a complete withdrawal of all allied troops from Iraq and substantial reparations to Saddam Hussein and his family. Face it we made a little mistake. Is this your belief? Give SH back to Iraq so he can dig more mass graves?

"I saw an interesting photo on an international news site of the famous toppling of the SH statue. This shot was taken from a nearby rooftop and showed a larger view, that the area was cordoned off and the action was being directed as if on a movie set."

Pamela ... I saw a photo recently of a shark leaping out of the ocean. It was attempting to grab a diver who had descended from a helicopter. Fake. But I'm not saying the picture you saw was fake. Please give me the location of the photo and let me look. I'll bet what it shows is harried American troops trying to cordon off the area ... after all this was a war zone. Did you understand that there were imbedded reporters with all American forces? Many reporters in the square with the crowds of rejoicing Iraqis? A live broadcast ... that is civilian, reporters from such news organizations as CNN, FOX, ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, and some Arab news reporters as well? Heard about this Pamela? A movie set? Come on!

"Do you dismiss them (Vietnam Vets) all as being screwed-up, isn't there a possibility that others have valid viewpoints? If all you listen to is Rush and B-1 Bob, are you really getting the whole picture? Do you even want to see the whole picture or are you saying that your mind is made up, don't confuse you with the facts?"

Pamela ... you misread my comment on Vietnam Vets. I didn't say "all" vets. Please read a little closer next time and get your facts straight. Yes, I listen to Rush, Sean and B-1 Bob and Mark Davis and many other talk shows. And Bill O'Reilly as well. You have not shown me any facts to alter my opinion. Just an ability to pontificate the same old tired liberal "anti-American" line that ignores the fact that the United States was attacked by Moslem radicals on 9/11... Saddam Hussein WAS, as per the United Nations, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, et al. developed WMD, had used WMD, had attacked and savagely raped and ravaged a neighboring country...allowed his sons to rape and torture at will anyone they choose. All of these facts are verifiable. If in doubt consult Bill Clintons comments on Saddam Hussein during the 8 years he sat on his duff and did nothing.

BTW ... do you believe Monkey Pox is just a cover up because Small Pox is killing Americans who have been forced to take the injections? This is another kook assertion I heard not long ago.


Randall 6-23-2003 12:32

Sorry about the tupos -- the nerves in my neck are going again, and my hands are getting numb, making it hard to type.

howard 6-23-2003 11:08

My wife hust got this in hre email -- it's beautiful!

At an airport I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together. They had announced her plane's departure and standing near the door, he said to his daughter, "I love you... I wish you enough."

She said, "Daddy, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Daddy." They kissed good-bye and she left.

He walked over toward the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, "Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?"

"Yes, I have," I replied. Saying that brought back memories I had of expressing my love and appreciation for all my Dad had done for me. Recognizing that his days were limited, I took the time to tell him face to face how much he meant to me. So I knew what this man was experiencing.

"Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?" I asked.

"I am old and she lives much too far away. I have challenges ahead and he reality is, her next trip back will be for my funeral, "he said. "When you were saying good-bye I heard you say, 'I wish you enough.' May I ask what that means?" He began to smile. "That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone."

He paused for a moment and looking up as if trying to remember it in detail, he smiled even more. "When we said 'I wish you enough,' we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with enough good things to sustain them," he continued and then turning toward me he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory. "I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright. I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive. I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess. I wish enough "Hello's" to get you through the final "Good-bye."

He then began to sob and walked away. My friends and loved ones, I wish you ENOUGH!!! They say, "It takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them." Send this phrase to the people you'll never forget and also. Remember to send it to the person who sent it to you. It's a short message to let them know that you'll never forget them. If you don't send it to anyone, it means you're in a hurry and that you've forgotten your friends.

Take the time to live!!!

"I wish you enough" written by Bob Perks © 2001

"I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough "Hello's" to get you through the final "Goodbye."

howard 6-23-2003 11:06

Andrew, your poem is great, thanks so much! But if you think this slight misunderstanding between Rhoda (a very sweet person) and me constitutes an argument, you should scroll back a bit and see how fur has flown and fangs have emerged in the not-too-distant past, particularly just prior to the Iraqi war. Things got really ugly and a long-time member left in a huff after calling someone, I forget whom, a stupid bitch. Things have been pretty calm since your arrival but discussions can get heated and often have nothing to do with writing at all. As far as keeping politics off the notebook, that idea was nixed to allow for freedom of speech in this venue. I think it would be more peaceable to avoid the subject but some like to bring it up and that is their right.

pamela 6-23-2003 11:02

Oh. Weekend reading time has ended. Six chapters in, thirty-some to go on the new book... 8-] Happy HP fan here.

Good morning to the flock of you!

ANDREW! What a nice ode to the Notebook gang! I don't deserve the lines but thanks for thinking of me. :-)

VIV! So good to see you here. Maybe a nice new petunia in a pot for the neighbor will patch things...? Shorty fodder, huh? Hmmm... My muse is rusty - I hung her on a peg in the garage over the weekend while I had a garage sale on Saturday, then reading the new HP book on Sunday... She's a bit miffed with me right now and not producing anything, not even a ladder up the tree to check on my cocooned novel, although it must be nearly ready to burst into new life.

SHORTY fodder... How about something you mentioned - write about LOSING YOUR MIND and mix in a bit of nature, like life underground with the bugs, or how that petunia must have felt when your foot reshaped its face. ;-]

Um, I won't quit my day-job yet.

So why are you all lurking around here reading my nonsense? Pick up a pen or keyboard and start squeezing words into readable form! And enjoy your writing time! :-) I hope to find some at lunchtime today; you've all inspired me to do so!

Mel 6-23-2003 10:00

Ode to the Board:

Assembled we are, the writers of tales,
Poetry, stories, and sometimes e-mail.
From novice to expert, advice is all free
But politics is something we don't want to see.

From humorous Randall, his stories enthrall
to wise Cracking Mel, who is loved by all.
From flower killer Viv and Mark with his site
To Intelligent Howard, and his insight.

To Rhoda and Pamela who argued about men
Hopefully you two won't argue again.
I said it before and I'll say it once more,
I truly thank God, I found this cool board.

Ok, I had a lot of time on my hands, thought I'd do something kinda constructive with it.

Andrew 6-23-2003 9:04

Howard: "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." That's cute.

Viv, you petunia killer, you! Please don't tell me you actually went to jail. Teaching second grade sounds like a great plan, good for you. No, I don't THINK we're fighting, or even dueling, just discussing. Personally, I'd rather avoid politics on the notebook but when someone makes incendiary (to me) comments, I can't help but respond. Hopefully no hard feelings on anyone's part.

pamela 6-23-2003 8:35

After going 48 hours without sleep while writing that paper on the Art and Science of teaching...I've lost my mind.

I would guess either jello or the fat on my thighs when I'm wearing shorts. It's all the jiggling of the rhythm....

Wrong in both cases I'd bet.

Viv 6-23-2003 8:03

Haven't been lurking. Got arrested for stepping on a petunia so I decided to take a class in teaching just to keep busy and outa' sight for a little bit. Doesn't do one's character reputation too much good to get arrested for stepping on a petunia. I have an actual arrest record for this. No kidding. Heather I have you beat this time.

The class was nice. I needed an ego boost and there's nothing as predictable as the lift you get for writing a paper.

I'll be glad to get back to work on Pommes as Carol knows, but once in awhile you gotta have immediate gratification.

I've also got to have a little extra diploma in the back pocket for when I hit that expensive American soil. I've decided to teach second grade. I hated second grade with a passion. May as well turn that around for a few second graders myself. I hated everything about second grade with a dark passion. I hated getting up early every morning and sitting in a school all day. I hated reading in the stupid little reader and getting in trouble when I sneak read ahead...because it always took so darn long for poor stuttering Pete to finish his P-p-p-paragraph. Yup, I need to become a second grade teacher just to even the score.

Speaking of evening the score...what would you do for a lady who called the police because you stepped on her petunia? I'd like to listen to Heather's idea of the perfect revenge.

Jack, what's this on the new notebook. It looks a bit intimidating. Are you keeping the forum as well? Can we link to it from here.

Mel, I could use an idea for a shorty. Somehow after three weeks of writing papers on the Art and Science of teaching...I need a little nudge to get back in the fiction mode.

Pamela, are you guys fighting or is this just a duel?

Carol, I'm starting tonight on my poor battered laptop. See you in the morning. Ahhh this feels so good.

Viv 6-23-2003 7:59

Here's one I hadna't seen in a while:

Scintillate, scintillate
Globule vivific
Fain would I fathom
Thy nature specific
Loftily perched
In the ether capacious
Strongly resembling
A gem carbonaceous.

Can anyone translate it?

howard 6-23-2003 7:27

Make that "testosterone," I am a good speller, though a faulty proof-reader.

pamela 6-22-2003 16:02

Well, I didn't stay in Lurkland very long but I do want to assure Rhoda that I didn't mean to imply that her sons would be pushy, violent, wrong-headed, arrogant and stupid. Wow! I didn't use any of those words, I said men were funny and I meant just that, I think they are funny in an endearing sort of way. I was raised between two brothers and dressed like a boy by my weird mother and am more masculine than feminine in my lifestyle. I'm a slob who likes to live alone, have meaningles sex for the fun of it, drink beer, shoot pool and hang out talking trash with the guys. My closest friends are all men and I really feel I understand them more than most women do. I KNOW how they are led around by their little friends, poor guys, both in sexual pursuits and in other endeavors conducted with a macho attitude triggered by testerone (sorry, this WILL apply to your sons). This is fine for a friendly fight in a bar but is not so good for conducting world affairs.

Randall, I think your creative writing clearly indicates that you are an intelligent person and I wonder why you want to make decisions or blindly follow a leader without being fully informed. While I appreciate the concept of doing one's own thing regardless of what others think, the current actions of this administration are affecting our standing in the global community in which we live and I do find that cause for concern. I believe we are receiving white-washed news reports, I saw an interesting photo on an international news site of the famous toppling of the SH statue. This shot was taken from a nearby rooftop and showed a larger view, that the area was cordoned off and the action was being directed as if on a movie set. The members of the WW Club say, so what if there aren't any WMD, SH was a bad guy, while the rest of the world expresses valid concerns that we feel we are above the law and can do whatever we want. Actions taken today will have effects lasting longer than the current administration and I think we should consider these world-wide repercussions rather than assert that anyone who doesn't love Bush is un-American. I know you are a VN vet, Randall, which was why I mentioned those protesters. Do you dismiss them all as being screwed-up, isn't there a possibility that others have valid viewpoints? If all you listen to is Rush and B-1 Bob, are you really getting the whole picture? Do you even want to see the whole picture or are you saying that your mind is made up, don't confuse you with the facts?

pamela 6-22-2003 15:58

For the record, I like men. They are a wonderful sex. There are individuals who happen to be men I do not like, but thank God for men. I do not alway understand the way they think, or at least the way my man thinks, but they make for a more interesting world. Incidently, two of my children are males, and I do not appreciate the idea that because they will someday be men that they will be violent, pushy, wrongheaded, stupid and arrogant. PAMELA, if one of the men on this board said of women something of the vain of what you said about men, you would be spitting nails. But I will give you a pass on this one. Everyone has a bad day and gets frustrated and blows off a little.

I am glad we have a Workbook again. Thank you, MARK, for helping to bring that about. It is too late for me to use it now. I am still working on that big manuscript. I had no idea the second draft would take so long. I had forgotten how difficult revisions could be. I thought I could get it done in a month, but I greatly miscalculated. What was I thinking? Had I forgotten about the vacations we had planned, my children's needs, and the people who came to visit? If my book is crappy and poorly done, I haven't time to fix it now. Frankly I would rather not know until the rejection comes in.

Rhoda 6-22-2003 2:32

RANDALL -- That same thing happened to me, I blamed it on being on the same internal network. I went to the support pages of the guys who did the major programming on the board and saw some hints. One guy said it happened to him and he just lived with it, it's just a click or two. Hmm. I'd like something better. Found a couple of changes I could make in the way you get redirected from the login to the WIP screen. Seems to work for me.

While I was in there, I thought I would test another feature, the private message. Next time you log on there should be a message in your Workbook mailbox.

Now. Maybe my muse will come by and message my privates.

Mark Workbook 6-21-2003 21:00



Mark ... yeah, I repeated the grave story. I have done that once or twice before... And will sin again. :-) I have been on the notebook site a couple of times. Every time I log in and enter I am sent to a MS Search Page? I have to again return to my "favorites" and click in again. This time the notebook comes up with me logged in...? My fault? Your fault? No one?

Gee! Pamela ... get up on the wrong side of the bed today? Or just sick and tired of living in a world where men make the decisions and drag you along kicking and screaming? That's my wife's favorite. The Moslem radicals already hate us Pamela...their religious leaders tell from day one that Americans are the Great Satan. Not too long ago there were incidents in New York and Washington where, for some unknown reason, and totally out of the blue, completely against the teachings of their religion...a bunch of Moslem rugheads flew air planes into buildings killing thousands. Yes, I'm sorry you missed the was widely reported. Living under a rock? Now I will give you a chance to answer a question or two. Did the Middle East types fly into the buildings killing innocent men, women and children out of love for Americans? Or an attempt to convert them to their form of religion?

Pamela...I don't give a hoot and holler what other countries say about America. Could care less. Sour grapes on their part Pamela, because of what America accomplished in only a couple of centuries. They are jealous of our technology and productivity. (This is probably why so many Arab radicals hate America. Their religion promises a lot but has not delivered ... on earth anyway. But consider this: Mohammed said to kill your enemies, while Jesus said turn the other cheek. Which one would you follow? The Lamb of God or the Moslem tiger?) Many nations are uncovered by their actions...trounce America verbally while silently agreeing to anything we do. France for example...

America gives more aid to less fortunate nations than any country in history. Massive amounts of food and medicine are sent around the world, often to nations that openly hate us. North Korea comes to mind. I believe what is bugging liberals like you is President Bush is doing a great job of running the country considering what befell us on 9/11. Sadly, Democrat party leaders understand that they have no candidate that could possibly wrestle the White House from the Republicans and in all likelihood will lose senate and house seats in the upcoming elections. Face it, the country is turning conservative...

However there are other countries that truly love Americans...quite a few in the Middle East. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm? I am not surprised at your mention of Vietnam Vets against the war. No one favors war Pamela, especially those who participated. We gave Iraq 11 years to honor treaties they signed at the end of the Gulf War. They signed and agreed to disarm but didn't. I am a Vietnam Vet Pamela...and there are a lot of real losers in that crowd ... as there are losers in any group. Even liberals have a few dandies ... Al Gore, inventor of the internet comes to mind. Ted "sink or swim" Kennedy also.

Good evening all...


Randall Henderson 6-21-2003 19:23

negativity overload or what?

6-21-2003 18:23

thanks for your site !

Pee Girl Pee Girl 6-21-2003 16:55

Men are so funny. Jackson Cole calls Rachel "sweetheart" as though he has every right to and then tells everyone that they should all like a book because he does. Randall knew there would be trouble in Iraq; gee, who knew, just because we invaded, conquered and are occupying their country? Did the third-hand account reported on the cornfed conservative B-1 Bob Show say how many more Muslims hate us after our unjustified attack on Iraq than before? The George W.W. (weenie-wagger) Bush fan club is apparently alive and well-fed with misinformation from our so-called "free" press. Do you EVER read or listen to reports from other countries? Do you think that everyone who is critical of our policies is stupid or un-American (there was even a group of Viet Nam vets against the war)? Now I'm getting negative when I started the day feeling good, thanks for spreading the bad news and thoughts around. I'm going off to join the other gals who aren't here. PS--Andrew, congrats to you and Mrs. Andrew on the new "publication" in the works!

pamela 6-21-2003 16:49

Big bellowing hellos to you all.

ANDREW – You could have you protagonist choose one of the female characters but still harbouring doubts as to whether or not he has chosen wisely. This can give you a good point of internal conflict for any follow up story. (External conflict also, if you like.) I would go with the character that the reader would have most empathy and/or sympathy with – it makes for a more 'satisfying' ending for the reader, but leaves the reader (hopefully) with a degree of uncertainty (not enough to ruin the story ending) as to what may happen next. It doesn't have to be a one time only decision.

Here are some more links that I have harvested from my appalling file system:

These sites have got a lot of writing programs, some free and some that I think are overly expensive. Lots of writing associated goodies, but not all the links still work. Still, you should find some interesting stuff if you are still looking.

BEN – A Thane was a feudal lord or baron. He had the responsibility to administer an area of Scotland, normally defined by the King, as well as being responsible for the welfare of the people under his control and in providing fighting men for Kingly campaigns. Kind of like a Sheriff in England but normally controlling a larger geographic area.

Glamis Castle – be careful with your choice of venues, as the vast majority of Scottish stone castles were not built until after the 13th century. Glamis was not built until the 14th century at which point it was only a keep. Now it is a magnificent and very substantial stone palace. Scottish castles of the period that you are writing about would be earthen mounds and ditches with wooden palisades. To further confuse things there is another Glamis, originally called Glamis Tower and now called Kinghorn Castle, and is some 40-45 miles south of the Perthshire Glamis (Still a Royal castle and fully restored) on the north bank of the river Forth in Fife. This other Glamis originates from the 12th century at which point it was wooden, as described above, being upgraded to stone some time during the 14/15th century. I don't think anyone would be too upset if you set a fort/stronghold of wood at either location. Shakespeare was poor at geography and worse at recording history, but as he was going for dramatic effect and to appeal to the vanities of the royal family, accuracy would not have won him many friends.

RACHEL – I sure everyone in Scotland would welcome you. (Unless you think that personally meeting 5,000,000 would be a tad much. I'm also sure that whatever part of you is Scottish, it is an important one :o)


Litter Link 6-21-2003 7:40


Rachel – no, sweetheart, nothing of the pander about me. Last year I read something special. Books come and mostly go, but here was a book to stay. Over a week or two I read Charles Frasier’s Cold Mountain. It’s a book you want to read in a single sitting, but from page one it was evident that this was possibly a literary masterpiece. The reviews claimed as much, but reviews can mislead. The opening lines suggested this time they might be accurate, and I didn’t want the spell to end. So I stayed with the book for a week or two, reading no more than a chapter a time. Opening the pages day by day was like passing through this world’s door to a place beyond imagining. The language was beautiful, the folk within were standing or sitting close by talking, the terrain was rising and falling to the right and left and ahead of me, the mountain always in the distance. The book is as great as anything I have ever read. Why not buy it?

Frasier’s Heron

They had not walked far above the fork when Ruby stopped and squared her body to the water, sighting on something in it as if to take range. She sank down in her knees just a notch, like a fighter lowering his centre of gravity to compose himself for attack. She said, Well, look there. That’s not a common sight.
Off in the river stood a great blue heron. It was a tall bird to begin with, but something about the angle from which they viewed it and the cast of low sun made it seem even taller. It looked high as a man in the slant light with its long shadow blown out across the water. Its legs and the tips of its wings were black as the river. The beak of it was black on top and yellow underneath, and the light shone off it with a muted sheen as from satin or chipped flint. The heron stared down into the water with fierce concentration. At wide intervals it took delicate slow steps, lifting a foot from the water and pausing, as if waiting for it to quit dripping, and then placing it back on the river bottom in a new spot apparently chosen only after deep reflection.
Ruby said, He’s looking for a fish or a frog.
But his staring so heedfully into the water reminded Ada of Narcissus, and to further their continuing studies of the Greeks, she told Ruby a brief version of the tale.
– That bird’s not thinking of himself at all, Ruby said, when Ada had finished the story. Look at that beak on him. Stab wounds; that’s his main nature. He’s thinking about what other thing he can stab and eat.
They stepped slowly toward the river edge and the heron turned to look at them with some interest. He made tiny precise adjustments of his narrow head as if having trouble sighting them around the blade of its beak. His eyes seemed to Ada to be searching for her merits and coming up short.
– What are you doing here? she said aloud to the heron. But she knew by the look of him that his nature was anchorite and mystic. Like all of his kind, he was a solitary pilgrim, strange in his ways and governed by no policy or creed common to flocking birds. Ada wondered that herons could tolerate each other close enough to breed. She had seen a scant number in her life, and those so lonesome as to make the heart sting on their behalf. Exile birds. Everywhere they were seemed far from home.
The heron walked toward them to the river edge and stood on a welt of mud. He was not ten feet away. He tipped his head a notch off level, raised a black leg, scales as big as fingernails. the foot held just off the ground. Ada stared down at the strange footprint in the mud. When she looked up, the bird was staring at her as at someone met long ago, dimly registered in memory.
Then the heron slowly opened its wings. The process was carried out as if it were a matter of hinges and levers, cranks and pulleys. All the long bones under feathers and skin were much in evidence. When it was done the wings were so broad that Ada could not imagine how it would get out of the trees. The bird took a step toward Ada, lifted itself from the ground, and with only a slow beat or two of the immense wings soared above her head and up and away through the forest canopy. Ada felt the sweep of wings, the stir of air, a cold blue shadow across the ground, across the skin of her face. She wheeled and watched until the heron was gone into the sky. She threw up a hand like waving ‘bye to visiting kin. What would that be, she wondered. A blessing? A warning beacon? Picket of the spirit world?
Ada took out her new journal and whittled one of the charcoal pencils to a point with her penknife. She made a quick, loose-lined memory sketch of the heron as it had stood in the mud. When she was done she was dissatisfied with the curve of the neck and the angle of the beak, but she had the ruff of feathers at his crop and the look in his eye just right. Across the bottom of the page in her runic hand she wrote Blue heron / Forks of the Pigeon / 9 October 1864. She look up at the sky and the said to Ruby, What time would you guess it to be?
Ruby cocked an eye to the west and said, A little after five, and Ada wrote down five o’clock and closed the journal.
As they walked on up the river they talked of the bird, and Ruby revealed what she felt to be her snaggy relationship with herons. Stobrod, she said, had often during her childhood disclaimed her, saying she had no manfather. Her mother, during her pregnancy with Ruby – when drunk and embittered and wishing to get a rise out of him – had often charged that Stobrod had no part in the baby and that its cause was a tall blue heron. She claimed it had lit at the creek one morning and, after spending the forenoon spearing crawfish, had come into the yard where she was breaking apart a crust of old corn bread and scattering it on the ground for the chickens. The tale Ruby’s mother told, as recounted by Stobrod, was that the heron stood up on its long back-hinged legs and looked her eye to eye. She claimed, Stobrod said, that the look was unmistakable, not open but to one interpretation. She turned and ran, but the heron chased her into the house, where, as she hunkered on hands and knees trying to squeeze under the bedspread to hide, the heron came upon her from behind. She described what ensued as like a flogging with a dreadful scope.
– He told me that story a hundred times, Ruby said. I mostly know it to be one of his lies, but still I can’t look
on those birds without wondering.
Ada did not know what to say. The light under the trees by the river had fallen to gold and the leaves on beech and poplar shivered in a small wind. Ruby stopped and put on her sweater and Ada shook the wrinkles out of the coat and draped it over her shoulders like a cloak. They walked on, and at the ford of the river they met a young woman carrying a baby wrapped in a tablecloth slung over her shoulder.

From Cold Mountain, by Charles Frasier. (’Blue heron / Forks of the Pigeon / 9 October 1864' and ‘five o’clock’ are italicised in the text).

Happy days, happy writing.


Jackson Cole 6-21-2003 6:05

ANDREW -- Romance -- it don't last forever.

Notice how Hollywood marriages always break up? Actors see the angst in life and blow their marital difficulties out of proportion. The people there who have long-lasting marriages are generally the comedians. Those folks see the humor in both everyday and unusual events. If your hero is not a comedian, then he'd leave the first woman for the second one anyway. Make him round, put a string in his middle and call him Yo. He can go up and down between them.

Why do people stay together, anyway? Inertia. Training. Women look at their husbands and measure the time they've invested. Most would rather stay married than have to train another stumbling, ego-bloated man how to behave in the house. Men stay because the consequences of leaving are greater than the inconvenience of staying.

Jack Carter used to do a routine about old couples in Miami. Old guy in striped shirt and checked pants shuffling through the mall looks over his shoulder at his wife, who has stopped to windowshop. "Cmon, Snakebite. You know you said we'd be outa here by now. Keep movin."

RANDALL -- I believe we saw an earlier incarnation of today's graveside story once before. I still laughed. It holds up well (stays well-preserved?).

Mark Workbook 6-21-2003 0:34

Mark - thanks, seems I forgot the MAIN reason that the workbook should be restricted, that of publication. Many publishers demand that the story not be published anywhere prior so they have first rights or whatever. Since an open workbook would be open to the public, it would be considered published and therefore not eligible for publication by those publishers who require that, if that makes any sense.

Andrew, here you are with another problem while I've been working on the cloaking of a planet problem. I had it all figured out with mater/anti-mater generators and a unique prism, that or changing the vibration rate of the planet so it is out of sync with the rest of the universe, thus rendering it invisible. Only problem with both these ideas is that of gravity, how would one cloak the gravimetric pull of that planet on ships that near the position?

The idea of the soul mate v the current lover, it's always nice in the end to allow the soul mates to win out in the end, but can be a bitter sweet ending to have the hero end up with happiness, yet a bit of pain for having not paired up with his true soul mate, in fact an ending where the hero watches his true love walk off in the sunset with the protagonist arm in arm can make a fantastic closing.

Jerry 6-20-2003 22:18


Evening! TGIF!!!

This is another story about my friend Lynn. FYI... There are a lot of facts here and just a pinch of fiction. But like the big boys say...why let facts ruin a good tale.

By Randall Henderson

Bones! Bones in Greenleaf!

Well, shoot! As long as we're storytelling, here is another. Brownwood has two cemeteries, one to the north (the new one with lots of room) and one to the south, (the old one, somewhat crowdwd). The old one is known as Greenleaf, named after an early Brown County pioneer ... Greenleaf Fisk. He also has a couple streets named for him, (Greenleaf and Fisk) but this here tale is about the cemetery.

Now, I'm going to use a little more discretion than usual with this tale because the implications are far greater. That is, blood might be spilled as there are still rumblings in Brownwood nearly thirty years later. As most pranks, this one arose from boredom and involved a certain pair of Brownwood hooligans...Lynn Jones and Randall Henderson

When you dig a grave, there will always be left over dirt. As is perfectly obvious a good two foot or so will be occupied by the coffin. As a rule of thumb, a grave will settle somewhat over the years. For reasons everyone knows..."Earth to earth, ashes to ashes..." that kinda thing. The unused dirt is usually stockpiled somewhere on the grounds for fill in purposes later. Got the picture now?

Greenleaf also sits really close to an open pit mine, where rock is converted into road building material. One afternoon a Brownwood dump truck driver noticed the large area of dirt piled high just inside the cemetery fence. He made several trips to the mine that day and a scheme developed. Plans were finalized that night with his friend after the third six-pack. A midnight foray by the men to the area where a faithful milk cow laid down and died several years ago proved fruitful. Within hours the trap was set. Like a float bottle fisherman on the Pecan Bayou several residents waited for the fish to strike.

Miss Holier Than Thou was walking in the twilight a week later down by Greenleaf. She paused to get her breath, glanced into the well-kept cemetery. Her mom and pa, aunts and uncles were buried in Greenleaf. She was a member of the cemetery association and proud of its history of a resting place for hard working, though often stoic, humorless residents of Brownwood. An object was noted in the pile of dirt next to the fence, a white stick like object. Well now, there are no sticks allowed in fill in dirt. She entered the gate and walked over to the pile of unused dirt, grasped the unwanted stick and pulled. A thigh bone?

She screamed so loud the Chief of Police spilled coffee all over his new uniform in a cafe two miles away. And kept on screaming till the first patrol car arrived minutes later.

In the headlights of police and sheriff vehicles an officer gingerly probed the pile for more bones. A large crown of onlookers had gathered to view what was sure to be known as the Greenleaf Cemetery scandal. Word had circulated through pool halls, bars and cafes that someone had been "dug up" at the cemetery! An involuntary eviction!

"Those could be rib bones" the policeman muttered, digging softly in the dirt. Over the course of an hour he pulled out numerous bones, some quite large.

The cemetery association gathered and was glaring at several cemetery employees brought to the crime scene by policemen. Kinda off to one side the cemetery backhoe operator stood sweating profusely, though it was in the fall. Miss Holier Than Thou was weeping at the though that careless workers had inadvertently disinterred a citizen of Greenleaf. Who, no doubt, was minding his own business when the backhoe disturbed his slumber. Preacher B. Thumper was trying to console the onlookers that their loved ones were safe and STILL in their grave. Not carelessly dislodged and dumped upon the scrap pile!

A loud thump from the digging officer's shovel gave birth to a loud gasp from several onlookers. He knelt and gingerly dug with his hands. In the glare of a dozen headlights and flashlights he grasped a large white thing and shook dirt from it. A large, bovine skull, complete with horns...and a substance that looked suspiciously like lipstick around both upper and a lower jawbone dropped from his hands. He screamed! Miss Holier Than Thou screamed and for a moment panic gripped the onlookers. There was a long silence, then a titter, a giggle, and nervous laughter broke up the once grim scene.

Well the party ended and all departed. The backhoe operator's job performance rating returned to normal. But everyone was mystified as to how a cow could have been buried in the cemetery?

Sitting in a mud splattered patrol car two deputies sat smoking as the cemetery emptied.

"Jones," the big one said quietly, tapping his finger against the steering wheel.

"And Henderson," the little slender one answered, fishing under the seat for THE flashlight.

"Together again. Well, time to pay them boys a visit for a little one-on-one."

The mud-covered sedan idled away headed for a Vine Street location they knew so well."

Outta here! Have a good evening my friends!


Randall 6-20-2003 20:37

Characters are fairly well implanted in my mind, However, as for the soul-mate thing, that becomes more difficult. He is in love with both of them, but in different ways. Hard to explain, but that is his behavior and the way he is. He was on his way to marryng the first one when word reached him she was dead. He never thought he'd ever feel that way about anyone else ever again. The Heroine comes in and he loves her, but in a different way, so yes, he is torn.

True, he was originally supposed to end up with the heroine, but future events in the next book would work much better if he did not. But, like everyone says, your book, you decide fate and the future. Just a poll really getting different views and opinions.


Andrew 6-20-2003 13:49


It is your book. You can do this anyway you wish. Usually the hero ends up with the heroine. If you really know these characters, there should be no question in your mind who gets who. Bringing in a former lover builds a lot of tension and conflict, and that is great for your story, but the hero has to go with his soul-mate, the one he is fated to spend the rest of his life with, and you determine that fate.

Characterization is everything in a novel. There is nothing wrong with having a plot in mind and then forming your characters as the plot unfolds, but fairly early on in your book, you need to know your main characters. And when you define your characters, they should stay in character all through the book. I would suggest you do some serious brainstorming about your characters. If you think and talk about them enough, a picture of them emerges as do personality traits and tendencies. Explore their flaws and weaknesses as well as their strengths. If your hero is in love with the heroine, you should be able to connect with those feelings as your write the book. You should know your character so well, it should patently obvious who he ends up with.

These characters should be as real to you as your own family. If they are not real to you, they will never be real to the reader.

Rhoda 6-20-2003 10:30

Beaurocracy is rather stupid at times I agree.

Similiar insurance problem two months ago:

Travelling on a two lane street. Car next to me and behind me. Cars coming other way and
two lanes of cars waiting to go across the intersection.

I went through a green light, got slammed into by a large truck, totalled my car and myself.

Witnesses from the side of me, behind me, travelling the other way all say light was green.

Witnesses at the stop light say it was red. Witness behind the driver who hit me stated she saw them speed up at the yellow, it turned red and they went through anyway.

All of them gave thier testimonies to the police officer. Police say it was a ht and run as the driver fled the scene.
Police report says hit and run.

Insurance company for other driver says it's my fault for not stopping.

Now I may be odd, I admit, but I generally do not stop at green lights.

Idiocy in action in the Insurance least this one.

Andrew 6-20-2003 10:21

Greetings once more from the odd and sometimes eccentric mind of Andrew. Sorry it's been a while, but been a tad busy.
I wish to thank everyone who has given me so much help and advice thus far as it has really made my work grow exponentially.
I thank my lucky stars that I found this place and everyone here. (No, this is not just kissing up to everyone, although if it works.....)

Just a quick question...rather a poll if you will as I prepare to end Book 6.

Hero is in love with heroine and they are engaged.
Hero's first love and arranged love whom hero loves and was thought dead returns.
Hero's brother falls for heroine.
Hero is torn between the two woman.

Which should hero go for?

Brother and Heroine would make good couple.

But would reader be upset that hero left heroine?

Andrew 6-20-2003 10:09

Bungling, useless bureaucracy department:

The elderly sister of a friend of ours was involved in an automobile accident earlier this week. The car she was riding in was totalled when the driver (her elderly cousin) ran a red light. She was not seriously hurt, but required some treatment.
The insurance company refuses to take any action without a signed statement from this lady, with her account of what happened.
Only problem is -- she's blind and deaf, and has no idea what happened.
They're still demanding a statement.

howard 6-20-2003 8:23

Well, I already screwed up on the Workbook. Lost my password and although it sent me a new one, that one doesn't appear to work either so I just made a new username...Andrew1 (I know, what a unique one) So if you could upgrade me, it would be greatly appreciated.

Andrew 6-20-2003 8:12

OK you guys. I just changed permissions on the workbook. The WIP section is now private. New people can register, but they will have to let me know so that I can open their logons to the Work-in-progress section. Anything you put in there will only be seen by family.

If you try to get into the Works section and fail, then one of two things happened
1) I just don't like yer ugly ass
2) Ooops, sorry, my mistake. I'll fix that right away.

Mark Workbook 6-19-2003 23:19

Maybe we should restrict to "regulars" for now, and grant access to newbies on application after seeing that they're serious?
Dunno how to control that, though -- it would be work for someone.

howard 6-19-2003 21:04

Hi all. I have changed permissions on the Workbook. There are two forums -- 1) Works In Progress, where we can post stuff we want crits on and 2) This Is A Test, where we have talked about forum/workbook functionality.

New system as of a few minutes ago. Anyone in the world can read the Test section, WIP is invisible. After you log on, WIP becomes an option. Registered users who log on can post new topics and comment on other postings.

Next question. Is it necessary to restrict registrations to people we already know from the Notebook? Should this be a really closed group, or just closed to those willing to register on a writing board?

More later,

Mark Workbook 6-19-2003 18:01

I lurk everyday!

Oops! Now I've posted and ruined my lurking.


Cheri 6-19-2003 15:57

Excellent site. Love your work

cheap flights airline tickets cheap flights airline tickets 6-19-2003 15:09

I'm a lurkey turkey too...

Mel 6-19-2003 14:46

Lurking .........

Carol 6-19-2003 12:47

RANDALL -- it doesn't help, either, that textbooks in many Muslim schools advocate the destruction of "that evil Jewish state," and the annihilation of infidels. This to children at all levels of school.

howard 6-19-2003 12:19


Evening gang ...

Thanks for the compliments on my tale friends. Howard ... your comparison of me to Mark Twain is greatly exaggerated. (Grin) Mark, I'll get on the workbook ASAP! Looking forward to it!

Jerry and Mark... I too am worried, not only Iraq, but about the millions of Shiite Moslem radicals who believe that only a dead American, or Jew, or Australian, or Canadian or Englishman is a good ... well you catch my drift. On the "B-1" Bob Dornan radio show today, his guest said that a Moslem cleric poo-pooed the number of radical Shiite Moslems inclined to use violence as a vehicle for change.

"Not more than 10%." The Moslem cleric asserted.

The man asked, "And how many Shiite Moslems are there in the world?"

"One-hundred million world wide." The cleric answered.

"So we only have to be worried about 10% of them as a terrorist?"

"Well yes," the cleric said.

"That's 10 million persons!" the man exclaimed.

I knew what was going on in Iraq now ... would happen. The sniping, the drive-by shootings, the threats against Iraq leaders. The die hard Iraqi's of SH are not attacking our military, per se. They are conducting a public relations campaign of murder, not a military offensive. This is because Westerners (and other nations as well) are civilized and honor life. The terrorist handbook states that the American "free" press can be their greatest asset. Best when American soldiers are killed in a public fashion and broadcast world wide. It worked in South Vietnam, Lebanon, Somalia ... and the terrorist believe that eventually the American public, via the American media will raise such a fuss ... our troops will be withdrawn and the radicals regain power... and expand.

This military offensive against homicidal religious fanatics will last many years. And, sadly, there will be many young men and women die. But a lot more if we cannot halt the indiscriminate killing of innocent men, women and children by religious fanatics. It is reported that a general in charge of the 4th Infantry division said that the death of one soldier was "military insignificant." He's right, though his choice of words is debatable. If it WAS my son or daughter killed, I would be devastated and mad as all hell! But I am intelligent enough to understand that the course of national will cannot be halted by the death of one, or ten, or 1,000 fine young Americans. (That figure could go a lot higher, but best left to the individual.) Furthermore, the sacrifice of thousands of men and women who have already died in defense of freedom would be dishonored. I would urge that the men and women of all nations who wage this war understand that future losses in human life may be thousands ... more than we suffered 9/11.

Goodnight all


Randall 6-18-2003 23:17

PAMELA -- is a temporary address. My website is not ready for google or Yahoo. I have the workbook in place and just now gotten a blog online, but still have no home page. Some people are inductive, some deductive. Looks like I build the site from details to whole, that's inductive.

For those of you who want to know, DNS) is a tool used by people who have their IP address assigned to them by their ISP each time they sign on(dhcp). In order to get to my PC, you have to know the IP address. I run a little program that detects whether my IP has changed, and if it has then it tells dyndns the new address. When you click on my link, you actually go for a split second to dyndns, there you are directed to my PC.

Jack is also looking at this workbook software to see if he wants to use it. If he does, then it will be hosted at his site and we will then be directed to his IP. I am looking into getting a new wireless internet connection that will allow me a more straightforward server connection. If I get it, then the dyndns thing will go away.

Mark Workbook 6-18-2003 19:27

New fraud exposure site:
Looks interesting!

I haven't heard from Teekay in several days, and now even the Emails are bouncing back with errors. Hoping she's just on vacation, or simply away for a few days.

howard 6-18-2003 18:27


I'll pass on that cigar, but congratulations anyway. This is wonderful news.

Rhoda 6-18-2003 17:30

Do those talc in China people just send messages repeatedly to every group in the entire world?

The advice to Andrew about keeping track of characters and plot lines is proving helpful to me too with my humongous manuscript. I don't know how to do spread sheets or anything, really, but type (like Ben?) but have thought about starting some files (well, I have figured that out) with outlines of different branches or groups of people. Thing is, when I'm writing, I don't think I'd like to have to minimize the page I'm writing on to refer to the other files, so far I've just been scribbling notes on real paper. The advice has prompted me to get more organized with that, though, especially as I have some detectives investigating more than one crimes and I need to keep track of what they have done so far and when they did it so I'll know when reports should be coming back, etc.

Howard, I really liked the quote about there being three rules for writing but no one knows what they are, had to giggle at that.

Made it to the Workbook and commented on Andrew's sample. I connected through the link Mark posted but "found no matches" when I searched for "mlenihan," etc.

Speaking of detectives, I wonder how Ramon is doing with his efforts. I'm a little worried, have we heard from him since he went to lunch with the villian?

Also hoping Teekay hasn't fallen off the bottom of the earth down there.

And Hallee, still having a reunion with hubby?

Not worried about Mideast since back to only getting news from The Daily Show on Comedy Central. At least when I hear things like that we're considering offering healthcare to the Iraqi people (while millions here have none), I get a joke to make the bitter pill of government stupidity go down easier. The editor-in-chief of Harper's was on last night and absolutely blistered the government, so it's not just us old hippie types who are questioning authority, thank goodness.

Peas to all,

pamela 6-18-2003 16:59

Wow! All the advice I've been getting has really helped me out greatly! You have no idea how much I appreciate all of your help and criticisms. Finally solved the issue of non-cloning with my alien (at long last) and am now working on how to cloak a planet. I always seem to come up with the worst brain stumpers while writing, don't I? Ah well...Hope everyone is doing well. Found out I am ging to be a daddy once more so I will pass out the virtual cigars to everyone here or at least to those who want them. :) This will make #3 for my wife and I. Number one is my 3 year old boy and number two is my 1 years and a month girl.

Andrew 6-18-2003 13:45

RANDALL -- If I believed in reincarnation, I'd almost think that Mark Twain was back!

I hadn't heard "dumbull" in years! Someone at Scout Camp made one, and it scared the bejabers out of all of us!
We tried to make one when I was a kid, but the woodchuck hide got to smelling so bad we couldn't stand it. Besides, we didn't have a nail keg, so we tried an old wooden whiskey case, and the hide wouldn't stretch that big. Now a 5-gallon plastic utility pail would probably work just fine. Hmmm --- you got me going now!

I did make a bull-roarer out of a flat stick with a leather thong tied through a hole at the end of it. Grab the thong and whirl the stick around fast enough and it makes a hellacious noise, but nowhere near the bone-chilling, poopchute-tightening sound of a dumbull.

Great story!

howard 6-18-2003 9:22

Ah, the LIFO syndrome! I never get used to reading backwards here...
Yes, the IMAX experience of "Matrix Reloaded" was fascinating! And that kick was indeed awesome, as Mark described it. Some other visual effects were almost overwhelming on that huge screen, to the extent that I think I'll have to watch it on DVD in order to catch some of the symbolism they used. The Watchowski brothers had fun with that one, bringing in visual symbols from many different philosophies (some tongue-in-cheek, I think), and it's fun trying to spot them.
All in all an enjoyable day, in enjoyable company!

howard 6-18-2003 8:49

BEN -- Read "The Vikings" and "West With The Vikings" -- both by Edisson Marshall -- for some insight into the thanes, and into the effect the Norse had on western civilisation, especially Scotland, Ireland, and England.
Also very good (and by Marshall as well): "The Pagan King" (based on Arthur), "Earth Giant" (on Heracles) and another based on the life of Marco Polo, called "Caravan to Xanadu." Romanticized versions, but lots of good stuff there.

howard 6-18-2003 8:42

LITTER: The "what-not" is going great. I'm loving the story as it's turning out. It's "Scotch" history at its best :-) I'm not doing too much research, just enough to get by, but I do have a couple of questions about the "Thanes", and can't seem to find any answers anywhere. I did find some interesting tidbits about Glamis though. I've got two completed chapters to go with my prologue so far. But it's the historical fact that blends in with the fiction that I like. Harold Hardraade--he of the Battle of Hastings fame--was alive at the same time (I'm placing the story around 1050), and he opens the door to my fictional Viking, Thorgmund Hammerskull--just because I like the name.

Anyway, gots-ta-run, the computer wants to do the antivirus thing, and it slows down too much to do any creative surfing. Best just to leave well anough alone.

ANDREW: You got so many different angles to choose from here boy, hard to pick out the best ain't it? Oh yeah, who are the Spurs? :-) Just kidding. But who can watch Basketball playoffs, when the Stanley Cup is on?

RANDALL: Another smile...thanks.

ben 6-18-2003 5:01

lianchun yang talc 6-18-2003 1:39

RANDALL -- you posted while I was composing my notes. Good stuff. Thanks for being here.

LITTER -- Yes. Stop by the workbook. Post new pieces, reply to pieces already there. Use it and let me know how it works for you.

When I log on to the Workbook as Mark, I have to log on again when I enter a forum. It's like log once to get on the workbook and once again to get into a topic area. I blame it on the fact that because I am inside the firewall here, I don't register as being in the domain, but that's where cookies want to be set. When I log in as the administrator, everything works as expected. But the administrator is expected to be inside the firewall. Anyway, I just wonder if there are any other little glitches that affect the way the workbook works for other users.

Mark Workbook 6-17-2003 22:57

Hi, all.

HOWARD and I just returned from a trip to the IMAX in Rochester, NY where we saw "The Matrix: Reloaded." Wow. Some awesome special effects in that film, and the kung fu exercises the cast has been put through certainly paid off. Carrie Ann Moss threw one kick that went up her back and over her shoulder to reach an opponent's face. I don't know how much power that kick could generate in real life, but it would be a surprise when it got there.

I don't believe they did the film any justice by making it "An IMAX Experience." The previews of a coming Disney/IMAX Black Stallion looked as though it would make better use of the technology. Don't get me wrong. I'm glad I went.

"The Matrix," of course, raised more questions about the human condition than it offered answers, and for that I am grateful. I prefer the texture of a juicy, chewy question to that of a pat answer. (I have a friend Pat. I occasionally wonder if she's the one, you know, of whom people refer when they say they "Got it down Pat"?)

One of my favorite Literature teachers in college told us that he was there to raise our level of uncertainty. Thus far "Matrix" has similar aspirations.

Alright. Enough of that.

About the Workbook. Cheri left a note asking if visitors could read all comments in the workbook. Yes. The original Workbook was open only to registered users. Would that be the preferred way? As it is, anyone can read, registered users can write.

ANDREW has a piece of writing in the Work In Progress section (the real Workbook) and it has no replies. Frankly I hesitate to write critique in this book. It is on a machine on my desk, but I want it open. Something in the back of my mind tells me that if I start writing criticisms there, then I'm writing guidelines for acceptable posts. I'd rather stand aside an let the book have its own intellectual life.

JERRY -- nervous about our Iraq involvement? What took you so long?

Mark Workbook 6-17-2003 22:33


Evening gang!

Who in the Sam Hill is "buy phentermine online"?

Jesus H. Christ!

Well the site seems a little slow tonight...the last week in fact...soooooooo I'll post a selection from a little book I wrote several years ago ... THE SOUND OF YOUR VOICE CALLING. It stars my friend, Lynn who is now very ill with cancer...

By Randall Henderson

The Dumbull of Vine Street

"Speaking of fuzzy thinking, let me interject a tale here. Well ... let's call it The Dumbull of Vine Street. This ... ah, should explain exactly why Lynn Jones and I were practically persona non grata on Vine Street ... and he lived there! Along toward the early part of October an opportunity to leave town was timely. There was a certain amount of surliness along Vine directed to Lynn. Around south Brownwood the rumor mill hinted that a New Orleans "Hit man" had been contacted and negotiations were underway. I can't imagine why.

I worked for many years with the prince of practical jokers, Vernon Moore, a countrified man always on the prowl for humor. Rural person's, especially youngsters look long and hard for fun things to do and Vernon worked overtime in this respect. It was Vernon who turned me onto the Dumbull. Whoever thought up the conception of a Dumbull was searching for the ultimate kick... scaring the absolute crap out of his neighbors.

There are legendary stories of Dumbull's in action. In the 1920's a fishing camp along the Colorado River at Bend, Texas emptied one night as the Dumbull sang an eerie song. One elderly fisherman was observed sprinting up a dirt road carrying only a rod. A outdoor religious revival in Mills County dissolved in panic one night during the late 40's. Reports are rather sketchy, but legend has it a traveling minister led the hasty evacuation. It is reported that he shrieked, "Get outta the God damn way," and knocked down an elderly woman while fleeing through the throng of worshipers. Leaping into a dilapidated 1939 Ford sedan he was last seen headed south at a high rate of speed.

To construct a Dumbull one needs several things, and this is a brief description: fresh cow hide, wooden nail keg, a length of buckskin thong, a wooden washer and the skill to assemble the items. The nail keg should be tight and have both ends removed. Stretch a portion of the cow skin across one opening then lash it tightly. Let the skin dry in place and if you are skillful or lucky it won't split in the process. At some point in the curing, punch a slight hole dead center in the drum like surface and push a rawhide thong through. From the bottom tie a knot in the thong using the wooden washer so the thong may be pulled tight from the outside. (This is a bare bones description, so bear with me.) After the curing out process locate a tree with a forked branch, place the keg there with the open end away from you. Hold the thong/string tightly outward and with rosin on your fingers slide them backwards and forwards. A master can make the Dumbull positively shriek in outrage, groan in mortal agony and finish with a fluctuating wail guaranteed to frighten the dead.

Properly constructed, (this is iffy) stroked with skill, (this is difficult) the end result will make a squad of Marine combat veterans drop their M-16's and flee in terror. Somewhere between two Irish Banshees fighting to the death and a trio of Satan's worst quarreling over a lost soul, the sound is unearthly. Place the Dumbull in a forked tree, preferably at the top of a hill, on a chilly autumn night. (Sound carries better at night and in cool weather.) Grasp the thong firmly with one hand and pull tightly. Rosin up your fingers and began to work up and down, slowly, then faster and faster, vary the touch, softly then hard. If you're doing it properly, two things will happen. House lights will go out ... or come on for miles around.

In town the effect is devastating, spectral, chaotic. Grim faced men stand in front yards with only a bathrobe on, holding loaded shotguns. Some women (and men) weep in fright, clutch the family bible and burrow deep in the closet. Police officers and deputy sheriffs will race up and down the street trying to figure out where in the hell is that horrifying, phantom screaming coming from. Telephone lines will overload, computer links blow.

Ministers will open doors to neighborhood churches where true believers gather to meet the end of time. It's that bad, I'm not exaggerating. Properly constructed and manipulated a Dumbull will wreak havoc with the unenlightened masses.

Should I mention it's also illegal?

It was a perfect autumn night, cool autumn breezes with a partial moon. As cloud shadows raced across the land, we found an old half-dead mesquite tree. We positioned the Dumbull. Lynn grasped the string and within seconds a melancholy groan echoed across south Brownwood. Lynn followed it up with a long plaintive wail, moved adroitly into a high-pitched shriek and concluded with a low moaning sob. A masterly performance. Over the next several minutes we watched the chaos developing below. When flashing lights seem to approach our position we slacked off and sipped on a cold one for several minutes. As the patrol car moved away, another spectral lament would reverberate through the night air. Boy was this fun! However, an hour into the show our Dumbull folded, the head split, (Product defect!) so we walked to Lynn's home.

Patti eyes were the size of midsummer potatoes, she knew what we were doing, but more importantly she knew what awaited. Meeting us at the back door, she shakily announced that two Brown County deputy sheriffs wanted to talk with us.

"Lynn! It's them!"

"Them" were standing beside a mud splattered patrol car in front of Lynn's house. To protect the innocent, I will call them Deputy Dewright and Chief Deputy Lawdog. Both very formidable, veteran lawmen, easily a foot taller and a hundred pounds heavier ... without the boots, Stetsons, guns, handcuffs, spare ammo and ten pound belt buckles.

Chief Deputy Lawdog was casually leaning against his sedan with a solid gold toothpick clamped in one side of his mouth. Wearing a black long sleeved shirt, with a black tie, his silver badge shone brightly under a Texas harvest moon. Deputy Lawdog's black dress pants were tucked into custom made boots that featured a large rattlesnake about to strike. He wore a Mexican, hand tooled leather belt with a beautiful engraved gold and silver belt buckle.

What was engraved upon his belt buckle was widely speculated upon, usually by persons riding midnight bar stools in local gun and knife joints. Not many who had an opportunity to see it up close understood plain English much less Latin inscriptions. Certainly in should be related that most persons who came in range of Deputy Lawdog's belt buckle were in dire straits to start with. Much later in life I chanced to talk with the retired officer and he showed it to me. There is the outline of an archaic crested helmet and underneath in gold these words - In Utrumque Paratus. He told me it meant - Prepared For Either. He said it was given to him in Macao by Portuguese mercenaries in 1958. Macao? Mercenaries? (Is there a story here?)"

"Ah ... well, well. Mr. Jones and Mr. Henderson." Brown County's chief enforcer/deputy, shifted his toothpick and stared hard as we stopped in front of him. "I thought so. When Sara came to me in Gomez's Restaurant and said there was a panther loose in south Brownwood I thought 'bout you two. Would you two ... hooligans have any knowledge about the strange sound that made me leave my half-eaten dinner at Gomez's? I would be eternally grateful if you could help me out."

A large, elderly man, his voice had an ominous deep tone, like a distant rumble that heralded an approaching Texas sized thunderstorm. With rising apprehension I noticed his right hand was casually resting on the butt of a "cocked and locked" well worn Colt 45 automatic pistol. Loaded with souped up 230 grain hollow point, soft nosed bullets, they were "man stoppers." What they would do to a boy like me, well some things would be better left to the imagination. His skill with the descendant of Samuel Colt's six-shooter and John Browning's technical prowess was legendary. It was common knowledge that he once shot the eye out of a suspect on a dead run at a hundred yards. The slow rhythmic beat of his left hand upon the car hood jumped my heart beat sixty points in 100'th of a second.

That night on Vine Street, Deputy Dewright, Lawdog's companion, was lurking off to one side with a six cell, "Enforcer" steel flashlight and was ominously tapping his palm with it. Underneath the size 10, Triple X Stetson his eyes were glaring pinpoints of impending violence, much like a cornered rattler with an abscessed fang. Coincidentally, Deputy Dewright's nickname was, "Snake" because he was supposedly related to ex-Oakland Raider quarterback Kenny Stabler.

However, Ed Lane Smith, a notorious Brown County "Good old boy" and local desperado once confided to me the nickname was a logical completion of the phrase - "Mean as a snake." Ed had a run in with THE flashlight one night when a couple bottle's of Spanada overruled his better judgment. Ed assured us after being released from the hospital that it was a stoutly made instrument and suffered little in the altercation. (Ed also swore off wine that day ... for a good two hours, which was a record of sorts for him.)

All things considered Chief Deputy Lawdog's question was a no-brainer. The most powerful computer in the world couldn't have reached a decision any quicker than we. "Dumbull," the two Brown County hooligan's pronounced immediately.

"Good, very good. Knew I could count on you boys. Gentleman," Deputy Lawdog announced, rising to his full six foot six inch height. "On the way to visit Judge Jailemall, would you be so kind too direct us to the offending instrument?"

"Yes, his honor is waiting." Deputy Dewright added dryly, seemingly somewhat disappointed at the turn of events. No work for the flashlight tonight. "I'm sure the judge wants to see what started his new born twins crying at midnight."

I'll leave it off here and wish everyone a good night...


Randall 6-17-2003 22:09

Hi all.

Just lost a long post, so I am not a happy bunny. Consequently, this will be a lot shorter. MS Words file recovery totally failed to work. In fact, the loss happened when I opened up a second file in 'Word', to get some information for my now deceased post, and the first file just disappeared from the screen?!?!?!?!?!?

Big breaths, (yeth, and I'm only thixteen…)

JERRY – You are truly a prince among men. Your support is very much appreciated, as is your sacrifice to buy the book. I hope it doesn't disappoint, and I hope you weren't too attached to the leathers.

MARK – The Workbook looks good. Hope I get time to visit again, and again, and again…

WHORAD – Cute kid indeed.

RACHEL – And we'd all like to see you when you come here. (Unless you think 5,000,000 introductions is a tad much?) I'm sure that whatever part of you is Scottish, it's an important part…

BEN – good luck with the 'what-nots'.

ANDREW – It's a bit late, but check out 'Storybuilder' at --
And 'Storymind' at --

I find 'Storybuilder' is invaluable for keeping track of complex plots with lots of characters. (It's kinda like a database on steroids) However, contrary to popular belief, it doesn't do the writing for you, just helps with keeping your thoughts in order. This is from the 'Storybuilder' website:

StoryBuilder™ is a CAD (computer-aided design) tool that helps you rapidly create outlines that can be turned into effective, saleable stories. The elements StoryBuilder™ works with are the pieces of good fiction: realistic, three-dimensional characters that are engaged in meaningful and gripping conflict; dramatic and suspenseful plots; and settings that appeal to the senses. You'll find tools that no writer should be without. Dozens of templates with more than 100 story elements to choose from so you can build upon every aspect of story development, thousands of suggestions to prevent writer's block, extensive aids for character development, and so much more is at your fingertips. StoryBuilder™ won't let you forget anything that matters to great storytelling. Best of all, it's fun. Mistakes aren't costly, and false starts won' t fill your wastebasket. You're free to change and revise, to take chances, and to experiment- to find the story only you can tell.

Everyone – Hi and goodbye

Litter Again Link 6-17-2003 21:47

Thanks, phentermine, but this isn't that kind of site...

howard 6-17-2003 21:26

Another interesting quote:

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves
up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened."

--Sir Winston Churchill

howard 6-17-2003 21:24

You have a wonderful site. Keep it up.

buy phentermine online buy phentermine online 6-17-2003 19:03

Andrew - speaking of startrek something like"since his life form is based on copper rather then the human iron, cloning simply fails since the chemicals needed to produce a clone fail to react properly with his copper based physiology"

Big storm here last night but the bad stuff collapsed before it got here so all we got was an inch of rain in under ten minutes and lots of wind. It stripped the blossoms off our wild yellow rose bush, but the rest of the garden is in fine shape. Perfect growing weather this year, our garden is producing wonderful fresh vegetables, and I'm loving each and every morsel.

Am I the only one getting more and more nervous over this middle east crap?

Have a short story fermenting in my brain, now if I can just bottle it up and get it on paper. First inkling I've had to write since the snow left us, it's been a long dry spell. Hope I can follow through.

Jerry 6-17-2003 0:53

Of course it does follow that if such a similar circumstance had occurred in the aliens' history, one would be forced to explain how then the aliens could reproduce at all. Or how their bodies maintained themselves without normal cellular replication.

A biology teacher at school related the account of a friend of his who had been struck by lightning and survived. At least he survived for a while, then his organs began failing. Turns out the lightning strike had done something to his dna, and his body was unable to produce new cells to replace naturally aging ones. Not exactly like the some of the symptoms of AIDS, but similar. His body literally died cell by cell.

On dying -- we had to stop by the funeral parlor again tonight. Too many times in the past few weeks. This time it was a friend who had a massive heart attack at age 52 -- no warning signs, no history of heart trouble, just went to work and died.

Keep short accounts...

howard 6-16-2003 22:35

ANDREW -- There's an ongoing flap about genetically modified grain (modified by the seed companies) that will produce a crop, but no viable seed. This was done to prevent the farmer from saving seed for next year's crop -- thus ensuring he returns to buy more seed.
Unfortunately, it was found to cross-pollinate with other open pollinated grains (so it is claimed) producing sterile seed from them as well.
Perhaps something similar happened in your aliens' history?

howard 6-16-2003 21:42

Hey guys! Reading about all that beer made me go open one. Have any of you northerners had Alaskan Amber? I had some up in Juneau and it was great, has won some awards, higher alcohol content than usual in the lower 48 too.

Mel, my muse is being a bitch too. I chase her around the house but she manages to elude me, not too hard since she's invisible, the little hussy.

Rachel, glad the horses are okay if a little jealous of kitty. Kittens and puppies are so much fun. Seb tipping his hat does sound deliciously cute, you'll have to get a pic for us.

Howard, your grandson is a total doll! Can't wait to get some of those for myself (well, after my daughter gets married, hopefully).

Pester, I found your observations quite interesting. Some years ago, a pop-psychologist came out with the theory that we all operate in one of three modes: Parent, Child or Adult. It was rather simplistic, but when you think about it, almost all actions can actually be identified as falling into one of those categories. And who knows why we immediately like or dislike someone? I think that sometimes when we have strong immediate reactions to a person we just met, it can be from having known them in another life. Haven't we all met someone we felt we had known forever or someone we felt a strong antipathy for without any obvious reason?

Andrew, since it is the alien who can't be cloned, it can just be something different in their genetic code that makes it impossible, what is true for humans will not necessarily be the same for aliens. I always think it is dumb when the scientists say that some planet cannot support life; human life, perhaps, but who knows what other species may thrive on which would be deadly to us?

Sunny, hope you got through Father's Day all right. Your mom sounds like a very strong lady. It's been rainy here too, eleven inches in May, more than our annual rainfall is supposed to be. Maybe that's why my muse is hiding, she is waterlogged!

Rosemary, hope the tornado didn't get you, they've been dancing through our area a lot lately, wiped out a small town about 80 miles from here.

Ben, sounds like you are being wonderfully productive, good for you!

pamela 6-16-2003 19:58

I was looking into Eaton Literary services sometime back. They seem legit. They have a web page I was looking at. They run a contest where they pay $3000 and get your book to a publisher. I think you'll have to find out if they take previously published works. But I was thinking of sending them some stories and what-not just for the heck of it...I mean, what've I got to lose?

(I don't know how to do all that stuff everyone here seems to know. I just type. Sorry.)

ben 6-16-2003 14:34

Thanks for the link. It provided me with some valuable info. Yes, in the book, humans can be cloned easily, although cloning has been banned. Need to clone an alien/human hybrid, although the alien insists thier race cannot be cloned. Need a reason for that.

Thanks again!

aNDREW 6-16-2003 13:32

ANDREW, sorry the link below didn't work. Try direct copy and paste. Then search the site for cloning articles (the one I read was dated April 10, 2003, "Failures In Primate Cloning May Signal Impossibility Of Human Reproductive Cloning."

Mel again 6-16-2003 12:28

Hi to all...

ANDREW: You stirred my dormant reference librarian curiosity! (I usually do outreach library services, not much reference work there.) I found this article for you - seems science is more on the side of human cloning NOT being possible, so if you're writing about cloning as already a possible process, you can fall back on current scientific explanations as to why it won't work now and use that reasoning for why a particular character in your story can't be cloned. Clear as mud?

EVERYONE ELSE: Am enjoying reading here of your adventures. Keep up the good report posting. As for me, I fell out of the cocooned-novel tree, lost my binoculars, and tied all my writing fingers into knots. Uh... lessee, what other excuses can I find lying around here? Uh, er, well, ah, whew! It's getting warm in here! Hey, how about that sun? Hmm, I think I'd better go get some lunch!

Mel Cloning article 6-16-2003 12:19


How about those San Antonio Spurs?! Winner of the conference!

Andrew 6-16-2003 10:03

Donna -- seems like we have a "horse theme" going in the Notebook!

Pamela, Mel and the others -- thank you for thinking of me; I'm slowly surfacing as of Father's Day. Tomorrow I'll be sending off my first-round complete book draft, and I hope that my editor is ready to take it on. ;-)

You've all been amusing, touching and healing these past 6 weeks or so (I've lost count), and your words have really helped me. I'm still going back and forth to Baltimore to help organize my mom, but she's doing well, and I may be able to start some new projects (writing and otherwise) here at home that I've wanted to do.

Best wishes to everyone who is tired of this *%&$^! rain, or who might be suffering in any way (from little horse-bites to losing family and friends). Pain really sucks, but there's no way out but through.

Thanks for being there.

Sunny 6-16-2003 1:40

Thanks, Howard!
I am in the process of renaming and separating the trilogy in hopes of getting a mainline publisher. I got a critique from Writers Digest that was very positive and it gave me the impetus to try it.
Glad I found this forum! I've been on Author's Den since its inception but the site became so convoluted I became discouraged. Still there but not as active.
Thanks again.

Donna MIND SONG BOOKS 6-15-2003 22:30

Hi DONNA -- Welcome! I went to your site, and it's impressive! Here's the url for those who get an error clicking on the link you posted (for some reason the webwitch name gets stuck on the front sometimes)

Very nice sculpture, and interesting books as well. I just might pick up a copy of your trilogy!

howard 6-15-2003 20:26

Mark, perfect, perfect analysis. *Applause!*
Howard, I thoroughly enjoyed the 'Ruthless' poem!
Rachel - the famous laughter... or rather, I should say, infamous! Bwa ha ha hahahaaaaa

Heather 6-15-2003 0:34

Hi, writers,
I'm new here and have a question. Hope that's OK. I saw an ad in Writers Digest for a contest by Eaton Literary associates asking for mss. They are agents and I 've not found them in Guide to Literary Agents. I did a search and found they are a member in good standing with the BBB in Florida. Have any of you had contact or know of this agency?

Donna Swanson MIND SONG BOOKS 6-14-2003 19:39


When a man meets and deals with a man, he is dealing on several levels all at the same time (Though on some of them, depending on the persons’ own preferences, with more weight than others.) there is the man to man level which should at least form some common ground, then there’s the child level (What does he want from me, what do I want from him.) then there’s the emotional, intellectual, spiritual and physical perspectives. I.e. who is better, smarter, fitter, faster, more attractive, strongest, most stable etc.

The first question is generally, do I like this man, the honest answer should of course be I don’t know yet, I’ll wait before I decide as I need to know more about the person. Unfortunately the answer is generally yes or no and is made without thought, i.e. it is a pre-conceptual decision made by his own weights and preferences which he has collected over the years. First impressions are not real impressions at all, they are instant pre-determined Photo-fits and are very unreliable.

The greater the disparity between what a man does and what he wants to do, or what he says and what he really wants to say; the more unbalanced and intrinsically unhappy he will be.
If a man sublimates nearly all of his real desires, due to external or internal pressures or rules, something will eventually give way, he will either change drastically or flip out.

A man may investigate something for example U.F.O’ s out of hope, so he finds that they exist and that they are benevolent and here to help. Another man may investigate out of paranoia, so he finds that they are malevolent and pose a threat; another man may investigate just to prove that he is right in saying they don’t exist, all their findings will generally be exactly what they expected to find. An open mind is a rare and difficult position.

Pester Smemb Link 6-14-2003 18:05

Andrew - buddy of mine used to work in the Chemical Biological radiological devision, their moto: "Nukem till they glow and shoot'em in the dark!"

Jerry Ericsson 6-14-2003 1:00

JACK -- Thanks for straightening out that link. I did a DUH and put the name in the address box and the address in the name box.

ANDREW -- I just finished watching the season premier of 'Stargate: SG1.' In promos for the show, Michael Dean Anderson says, "We've got the greatest prop in television." Then he lifts his hand up and points over his shoulder with his thumb and says, "That thing." The stargate.
I thought about you when I saw that ad. I think Anderson is right about that prop. People go through that thing and can land on any world with any number of habitation and scientific possibilities. You have the same prop upon which all things are possible. A blank paper.
Most beginning writers are stumped by that omnipotence. Many like the formulaic worlds of paperback and magazine. Romance writers, for instance, get guidelines for stories and can create within the lines to achieve publishable books. College students get guidlines and write essays according to the limits discussed in class. The hardest thing to face is a simple blank sheet.
I don't care a lot about the technology of science-fiction. I enjoyed Asimov's 'Foundation' trilogy for its human motivation factors: politics, reward/punishment, sex, devotion to a higher power, devotion to causes. You get the picture.
The same was true of 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.' That show was more about the human factors than the geek factors. Stargate lives on while 'Farscape' folds. Why? Farscape was more techno than anthro. After a while, all the possibilities of technology are meaningless of themselves. Photons don't give meaning, people give meaning.
On death in a story -- Why does it happen? James Fenimore Cooper had a quandry in two of his Leatherstocking tales; in each, one of his main women fell for an indian warrior. Oh, my goodness. 1820-1840 New Englanders reading about interracial love affairs. This can't continue. In one case he kills the woman. Problem solved. In the other case, he has it revealed that she is really the dark-haired daughter of an English soldier and a Hindu from India. She's not all white. Hah. Problem solved. Death doesn't have the same meaning in a story as it has at home at the dinner table. And notice in one case it was death of a person and the other was death of a reputation. Both are nasty at home.
And what happens in a story when someone who should be dead turns up alive? Ever read 'Oedipus Rex'?

Mark Workbook 6-13-2003 23:53

A stormy evening to all,

Even a little nip by a horse can really hurt. When we first moved to S. A. the first thing we did was get a horse. She was a pure white mare named Dolly. To get her to come to us, we would slip her a sugar cube when she came to the fence. Once when we had her tied out in a neighbor's field in deep grass, my mother went out to bring her in. She didn't have any sugar with her and when she bent over to untie the rope, Dolly bit her on the back. She had a humongous multicolored bruse for a long time and she flushed the sugar cubes. We've never given a horse sugar since then. I can't remember being bitten since then and we've gone through a lot of horses.

There's nothing sweeter than a kitten. I can't stand a cat box so my two cats are outdoor cats. Actually I think I'm down to one cat because a couple of weeks ago the black one came in (Fuzface) all muddy and I gave him a bath. Wrapped him up in a towel and put him out on the porch in the sun to dry off. Haven't seen him since then.

Well, the thunder is getting worse and the news warned a small town about twenty miles away to watch out for a tornado---so I better turn this machine off and go hide in the bathroom.


Rosemary 6-13-2003 22:40


I think that all I can say is BWA, ha, ha, ha HAAAA! :o)


Consider yourself called ;o) I left a message with Renu about the writers' groups that I mentioned to you. I put in a call myself. It would be nice to hang out with some writers face to face. My life is a different sort of busy than it was when I discontinued attending the group. I would be able to go. I would like to sit and listen to some other writers read their works and see what others have to say. I'm not so shy as I used to be about my writing, or about most things (grins and laughter). From what I remember the group was quite nice. You and my hubby sound in and around the same weight. Dan was 175 when he hooked up with me. He now sits at between 240 and 245. Hey, but I was 112 when he met me and well, I don't want to go into what I weight now (grins and merry laughter). Let us just say that I'm a tad more than 112, and that the days when he could circle my waist with his hands are gone (grin/snort).


I spoke too soon about not having a horse bite. Scrumpy wasn't pleased when she saw me with our new kitten. She decided that she needed to give me a nip. It wasn't a bite, it was only a nip. A wee little reminder of what a jealous girl she is. Our new kitten is name Neekoe. He/she can't quite tell what it is yet, is adorable. I love shim ;o)

Nite all.


Rachel 6-13-2003 19:42

Well, I slept in today and screwed up my entire working morn by trying to catch up on the posts I haven't been able to get to in at least a week. I try to stay away from here because it takes time away from my writing. I do enjoy it though.

Rnadall: It's so great to see that Good Ol' Boy mentality is so universal. I'm thinking of graduating from a "practicing" alcoholic into a "functioning" one myself :-) As for Moose Head, well, 'nough said. We were down across the line some five , six years ago, staying in a small campsite my brother and sister-in-law were at, and happily discovered that the general store there had a vast selection of local and "imported" brews--the imported of course being the Canuck stuff we drank at home on a regular turn. We stumbled on huge bottles there--(40-50 ounce bottles that I'd usually only associated with pop varieties)--of some beer that came from Detroit. Now, when we drink beer, we don't go for taste, but we read the alcohol content. We want the buzz, as my wife so fondly says. (By the way, she's my favorite drinkin' buddy.) We don't normally drink "Yankee", beer. Coors? Miller? Bud? Well, at three point five, what's the sense she says? Well, this stuff we found was eight or nine percent...and tasted good. My wife kept saying things like: "Strong like Bull! But made for woman!" in some strong Russian accent she'd picked up from somewhere. We had Coronas too, but those were hors d'oevers as far as that went. They were for the morning, like tea, or coffee. We were there for three days, and on the morning of the third day, when we went to this little general store to pick up some more of his wonderful "Bull beer", the guy behind the counter laughed at us and said that we'd cleaned him out. There was only four of us drinking. He wasn't expecting anymore to come in until later in the day when we knew we'd all ready be on the way home. It was some years later that we stumbled across the same beer up in the local liquor store--(we can't get alcohol in local stores out here, but have to go to government regulated "liquor stores"). Thank God we don't drink that stuff anymore.

Andrew: Kill them all, and let God sort them out. Killing a main character's a great thing to do, bringing him back to life as another incarnation is even better. Look at Gandalf.
As for the afterlife, create controversy. Go out of your way to make it controversial in your eyes. What you might think is on the edge, is probably not. When it comes to writing a book and trying to sell it, controversy sells. When it comes to religion or any other beliefs, even better. It's just a story after all--it doesn't mean it's your personal slant on life. So, who cares? It's what works for you, and makes the story move along. I don't write for an audience, or with the idea of what this or that person is thinking: I write for me. I'm am my audience. If I don't like it, I don't use it. Period. I kill people off all the time; I write religiously blasphemous tales that involve sex, sin and Satanism, just kidding about that, but not the sex and sin part. That's what makes the world go round, that and money.

Mark: Interesting site. I have to spend more time on it and get involved I think...maybe even post on it.

Rachel: Call me.

Pamela: Don't worry about sending that thing on, not at those prices. Ridculous.

Mel: Nice to see you around.

Anyway, I gotta run. It's 2:15 p.m. and I haven't made the bed, made a lunch, or had my brekky yet--unless you count three huge cups of coffee as food like I do--and I gotta get ready for work now. I'm thinking a fried egg sandwhich with lettuce and maybe a slice of ham should just about cover all the food groups. That's why I like night shifts, too. I don't have the wife around telling me I should eat properly and look after myself. If she had it her way, I'd be as big as Jerry. I was 165 when I met her, now I'm up to the math. I don't think missing a few days of food here and there is gonna hurt me as much as all that lovin' kindness has done over the years. The way to a man's heart is through his stomach? Shit, I been trying to close that door for years!

Carry on, or be carried off, just don't be carried out...


Ben 6-13-2003 17:26

Litter - Sold off some of my old police leather that I found when when we cleaned up a small storage area in the back of the house after discovering a leaky roof. Funny how folks like that old police crap, I was going to toss it when the thought of EBAY crossed my mind. Got twenty bucks for that old stuff that nobody would ever use. At any rate, I used the money to order your book, now I wait anxiously for it's dilevery, I've been to your site and read some of the sample, it looks intresting.

Jerry Ericsson My page 6-13-2003 17:11

Writerly quote for the day:

"There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows
what they are."

--W. Somerset Maugham

howard 6-13-2003 10:52

Whenever I need a pick-me-up, I just drop by the notebook and all of you never fail to cheer me up!

HOWARD: What a cutie!

RACHEL: I have two kids myself, a boy age 5(will be 6 in July)and a girl age 8(going on 16). They never fail to amaze me with what they can do just by watching and imitating.


Have a great day.

Cheri 6-13-2003 10:30

Heather -- Thanks!

Your earlier post reminded me of a poem -- this is only an approximation, can anyone post the real thing?

I was riding on my Harley
Ruth was on behind me
We hit a bump at ninety-five
And rode on Ruthlessly!

howard 6-12-2003 21:42

Howard, he is an angel!

Heather 6-12-2003 18:44

Rachel - You sounded absolutely RUTHLESS when you said 'you can have a little fun with death' (I paraphrase)!

Just thought I'd make a mental note aloud...
*winks & grins*

Heather 6-12-2003 18:43

Wanna see a cute kid? Check out my youngest grand-kid!

He loves those chocolate girl scout cookies!

howard 6-12-2003 17:00


Ohhhhhhhh! The fun you will have. I don't believe in rules for death in writing. You can have some fun with death. For most people death is pretty freaky stuff. In writing you can bend it to your will, you can know what will come next, but maybe not tell your reading audience right away. Let them think it is death as we believe and then make it the death that your create. The great thing about writing is that you only have the unknown if you wish it to be so, otherwise you create a known, know what I mean ;o) I believe in killing off main characters. It can enrich the story and work with the directions you are going. I think Howard had a pretty good idea about the organization. I have little files for info about different characters, worlds, traditions, charactersics and the like. Lots of times if I'm working on something with a lot of different areas, I will write a short tell all about each and drop it to the bottom of the file so I can reference it if I need to. I keep track of characters and their relationships to one another, that sort of thing. It helps, at least it helps me (smiles).


I'll need to get a shot of Seb being a flirt. I think he is going to be a wonderful man (but what mother doesn't think this sort of thing?). Each of my children have been and are so different. Daniel is the strong, silent thinker who doesn't act the child often enough for me. My daughter is the secret competitor. She is the life of the party, and has an open and loving nature. Seb amazing. He is so observant. He only needs to see a thing done once and he is doing it. He is an explorer, but knows when to call for help. The way he rides, you would think he had been born up there. Then again he has been sitting on horses since he was one year old. I guess it just seems like part of life to him. He is such a love. He wants to help ladies all the time. He gets the doors, he tips his hat, he insists on helping to bring in the groceries and many other things. Seb is a happy guy, with a sweet temperment. At least most of the time (grins and laughter)!


Rachel 6-12-2003 16:47

In serching for the previously mentioned book I stumbled across a very interesting and informative site, containing bibliographies for several thousand authors. It's at

howard 6-12-2003 14:47

ANDREW (again) --- I knew I hit send too soon...
I personally don't believe in reincarnation, but it does make for an interesting plot element.
And heroes "die" and are brought back via miraculous intervention every day, so the only trick to that is to invent a new (and plausible, given the setting) way to pull it off.
I remember a story about an alien structure on the moon that humans were attempting to explore. Only a human could reason a way out of the hazards in the structure, and only after dying in each one. So a similacrum of one man is created - rather a series of similacrums, each having the up-to-date memories of the man, and they instead are sent through. As each one dies, the next in line is sent through, and gets farther than his predecessor, because he knows what killed him in his last try. Sounds complex, but was quite intriguing. I can't recall the title, but the author may have been Roger Zelazny.

howard 6-12-2003 14:31

ANDREW -- If you're going to try to incorporate that many plot, character, setting, and situation elements it might be wise to invest in one of the writing software packages. That will keep you straight as far as the details go. Either that, or learn to use one of the various spreadsheet/database applications, and set rules for different elements of your story. Writers Digest has an evaluation of writing software in the current (July 2003) issue.

howard 6-12-2003 14:14

Hi All :)

Andrew - I would think the answer to all three questions would be - you're writing scifi/fantasy. Do what you want, what will advance your plot and create unforgettable characters. If you have fun in the writing, the reader will have fun in the reading. And while what you mention doing has been done, what hasn't been done is your own take on the subject. Go for it!

Mel - those cocoons are indeed made of strong stuff. They do break eventually though and when they do -- oh, what beauty they give to this world!

Rachel - I don't know about the rest of the crew, but I know I'd sure love to see a pic of Seb doffing his hat to the ladies! He's got a good start on being a wonderful man.

Pamela - I'm pulling for ya! Editing the more recent stuff should do a nice job of getting you back into the story. I know it ususally helps me.

Now I best get back to my own writing. I'm getting a little nervous, its been going too well lately. Anyone got a big old bat I can swing when I see a wrench headed my way? hehehe

Carol 6-12-2003 14:01

As I emerge from the darkness of my slumber, I bid everyone a rather sleepy greeting and hope everyone is doing well. The stirring within the twisted and complex mess I refer to as my mind are awakened and order me to write. Once more I submit to my inner writing personality. I would beg the board for their infinite wisdom and advice on a few things, though (as usual, I know. What I pest am I.)

1. When dealing with the subject of the afterlife, (touchy one, I know) I have a place that is in-between heaven and hell. A type of judgment area if you will. Time has no meaning there and tis where one waits for either up there or down there. However, reincarnation is also an option if one goes before their time. Is this being sacrilegious on any level/ should I not deal with something like this? I know what Rachel may say- "Tis your writing, do with it as thou dost please." Still, any advice would be appreciated.

2. I doth believe I mayst have gotten myself into a sticky situation with too much going on at once, although it is all integral to the book. i.e., clones, parallel dimensions, etc. Any advice on this one?

3. (last one folks, I know there are better things to do than read these questions) Pondering killing off one of the heroes, but in such a way where he could be brought back in another book. Would it be better to kill them and leave them dead or to bring them back at a future date. Some readers think the idea of faking a death is just plain rotten.

As I said, any advice or comments from the great folks on the board (I know, a little butt kissing always helps.) is always appreciated.

Andrew 6-12-2003 12:45

MARK: Thanks for the cookie ingredients. I think I will keep the recipes at home, since I'm allowed to surf on my break times but the workbook may get me more involved than I can imagine right now! I'll set up another email at home one of these days...

PAMELA: Thanks for thinking of me. I'm playing tug of war with Ms. Muse right now, trying to yank the top off that dang cocoon - they're stronger than they look! Cocoons AND muses, that is!!

Hmmm, overcast skies here - it's going to be a thesaurus-kind of day. Prolific writing endeavors to all!

Mel 6-12-2003 7:52


I've been thinking of you, of your stories, of your friends, your past, present and future and these thoughts brought to mind this little bit from John Keats.

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increaces; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and heath,
And quiet breathing.

Take care you.


PS - My hubby says that Moose Head Beer really is just nasty stuff ;o)

Rachel 6-12-2003 2:13

Hi Pamela,

I dealt with my cranky teacher. I kind of had fun doing it too. Ahhhh, I love the thrill of danger (grins and laughter). The horses are doing great. I’ve been doing a lot of reading about horses, as well as talking to a lot of horsey folk. The results of this are that my horses are generally very well behaved (grins). Scrumpy is breaking in well. I had thought that breaking a horse to saddle would be hard, but it has been easy peasy. She has no real issue with road or trail. We took it slow to start and still won’t just let the children out on her. Daniel and Sebastian went on about a 45 min. trail ride the other day. What that means is that they both had the reins, while Dan and I each had a lead rope attached to the halter. This meant that Dan and I got a good trail ride in too (grins and laughter). Those hills aren’t so easy on foot. I don’t have the same stride as a horse. Sure, my legs are long, but I’m no quadruped. I’ll tell you Sebastian was as pleased as punch up there. He was wearing his little red ball cap and he doffed it to every lady that he saw. I have no idea where he got that from, but it is ADORABLE! I guess he looked pretty sweet up there on that horse with his custom kid saddle (it was given to me). I’ve got pictures on disk of the horses, but for some reason the disk isn’t readable right now. That is a bit of a tick off. In the pictures it can be seen that I hadn’t yet done a clip job on Dorie at the time of the photo, so she has her foot feathers and hadn’t quite completed her winter shed. I still think she is lovely though. Scrump looks as she does. My long legged beauty, with her flowing black hair. She is an eye catcher. As for Mr. Cole, I think I’ve given enough thought and words to him for the time being ;o) RDRKO is nothing more than my initials. No big mystery there (smiles). I like to sign off my posts and to sign Rachel then have the site add my name is just weird. Also, some time ago there was a second Rachel who came to post. It freaked me out. If she is to return, at least there will not be any confusion. I doubt very much that there is another Rachel out there with the same set of initials that I have. If there was, I would be quite surprised. That said, I’ve been quite surprised before (merry laughter). I’m happy to be a hoot for you (smiles). Yah love me! Well then there perty lady, I duno what to say to that. Heck! I’m a hetro gal (winks). Jes kidding. That’s a nice thing to say. I think you’re pretty peachy yourself.

Nite you.


Rachel 6-12-2003 1:13

I may have mentioned a time or two that I absolutely despise door to door salesmen, nearly as much as telemarketers and the like. At any rate, one of those damn salesmen got his hooks into my 76 year old mother. They had her convinced that she had indeed won a free trip to Canada, and was in the drawing for $500.00 worth of groceries to be delivered to her door should she win.

The neat thing was that she actually saw that it might be a scam of sorts and invited me to their meeting tonight at 5:00 PM.

Well I may not have mentioned that I still stand six foot one and a half, and still tip the scales at a nice 265 pounds, most of it firm not flabby as many get at my age, that and the fact that my haircut was a good one some two months ago, and my beard is indeed in need of a trim may have contributed to the dreadful fear in the eyes of those young punk salesmen as I stepped out on mom's front porch when they arrived to "show her the wonderful air purifier" that hey were trying to sell her for several thousand dollars.

It was quit comical, in fact my sister and her daughter came just to watch as I told them in that deep bass voice that put many a punk scum bag on the street in fear of life and limb directed the offensive slime balls to the highway. They did in fact jump back into their car and depart the street at a high rate of speed, didn't even stop to slam the trunk lid on their car before speeding off. I doubt that they will call on mom again, in fact I think they may indeed think twice before they even come to town (they claimed to be from Bismarck ND. and their license plates were from ND)

I know I should simply have had the local police handle the matter since I'm sure the sales men were unlicensed in this state but it did make me feel a bit of my old self simply to see that look of absolute fear in their eyes as I showed them the way.

Other then that it was a wonderful day on the High Plains, a bit of rain some thunder and light winds. The weatherman is telling us that the temp may indeed climb above the sixty degree mark tomorow, it will be the first time in weeks that it's been that warm but the rain and moderate temps have made our garden produce, we are eating the radishes and onions, have been for days and the rest of the garden is up and growing quickly. My lawn is in need of mowing again, seems I must mow now every dry day taht comes along, just to stay ahead of the wonderful rain. I hope it lasts.

Jerry 6-12-2003 0:27

RANDALL -- No, "One, Two, Three" wasn't Cagney's last film, although he did take a long break after it.
A search of his filmography shows:

One, Two, Three (1961) as C. P. MacNamara
Ragtime (1981) as Rheinlander Waldo
Terrible Joe Moran -TV- (1984) as Joe Moran

howard 6-11-2003 23:01

The new link works fine and I added a little something to it if anyone gets extremely bored and wants an old story of mine to look at.

Andrew 6-11-2003 22:31


Great movie!!! I love quite a few of the older movies out there. Not a lot of special effects, but they more than make up for it by way of dialogue, plots, memorable lines and the like.

Also, not too sure, but do you live in Utah? If so, where? I lived in Logan, Utah for a while during my period at Utah State University. I saw some beautiful country and sites while I was there.

andrew 6-11-2003 22:13



Rachel...Yes, Lynn has read both books, WASATCH BLUE & THE SOUND OF YOUR VOICE CALLING. I gave copies to everyone that was with us in the Utah hunts of 1979 and 1980 many years ago. Memories, sweet memories...

I would recommend that you search out and rent at a video store ONE, TWO, THREE staring Jimmy Cagney. It is a comedy about a Coca Cola manager in West Berlin in the early 1960's. Cagney at his fast talking best. This might have been his last film, I'm not sure? Howard?

Thunder Boomers a'coming. Better go outside and see which way I might need to run... (Grin)


Randall 6-11-2003 21:20

The URL for the potential Workbook was mistyped. Below should work.

Jack Beslanwitch 6-11-2003 20:29

MEL -- The only concern you should have about cookies on your company PC is whether you have to right to surf on the company machine. The cookie will be a trail to the workbook. You can log on without cookies, but, according to the BB programmers, you can lose your login by moving around without cookies set (lose your trail).

Cookies allow a program to remember you as you move from page to page, remember which pages are new and which you have seen. You could log in without cookies, but every time you come in, all pages will be unread.

Cookies are generally begnign, but a few unscrupulous cads have managed to figure out a cookie which will track your every move and report back to the company that set them. This program can only read the cookies that it set. That's the internet standard. Cookies cannot be visible to anyone else's programs. Cookies should not record your moves in anyone else'e websites.

There are cookie managers out there that know the difference between regular cookies and spy cookies. One big difference is that spy cookies are not simple text files, they are binary files.

Mark 6-11-2003 20:22

Hey, guys, whew, just got through catching up on the posts for the last couple of weeks that I've been AWOL. Not gone anyplace, just away.

Rachael, you are such a hoot (rhymes with "about"), I just love you! Hope you are enjoying your lit class and dealing with the cranky teacher. How are the horses? No more bites, I hope. I agree that Mr. Cole sounds a bit pompous, especially since he's so busy writing he doesn't have time to join us, just to lurk and grace us with his wisdom occasionally. BTW, what is RDRKO, I'm not up on all these acromyms.

Mel, thank you for sharing your struggles with the muse, hope you aren't all wrapped up in sticky stuff by now. It sounds like she is giving you a hard time of it but then birthing is never easy, is it? It also sounds like you are being productive, good, good, good for you!

You too, Carol and Andrew, Randall, Jerry, and all of those who have been more productive than I lately. Today I got my book back out, though, no new pages yet but editing the recently written stuff. Have new writing set-up in living room, need a lamp for the area but think I will like it. I'm determined to finish and submit to an agent by the end of the year.

Ben, guess what, I finally bought an envelope! Surely a trip to the post office will not be too far behind.

Andrew, I thought your excerpt had a lot of merit. I understand that it is rough and also taken from the middle of something but I thought you showed a definite sense of style. It aroused my curiosity to have such a tough guy as Astren hear such a helpless little voice within himself. Regarding your earlier post about describing the corridor, maybe you could set the stage in the course of some action, like, "The smooth walls of the corridors gleamed as Such and So raced down the hall, their silvery boots flashing against the dark carpet, the recessed lights in the ceiling blinking the red of high alert..."

Mark, thanks for making a critique workbook for us, I think that will be great.

Hello to Sunny, I'm thinking of you and your family, also Eddie's as always. HI's also to Heather (are you surviving the finishing up of the anthology?), Litter and Rhoda in hopes that your germs have gone away, and all my other cyberpals I haven't seen in a while, as well as new folk.

Okay, I'm off now, I have just enough time to write a short chapter before going to work.

pamela 6-11-2003 15:20

Hi, Everybody! :-)

Just finished a major project at work. YEEHAW! :-] Now maybe I can get back to regular lunch hours and more writing time!!!

MARK, a LOVELY Workbook set-up. Hurrah!!!! Thanks for doing that! One question for me and perhaps for others in my situation: the registration says something about placing cookies on our local computers - how might this affect my employer's computer system or my work pc if I register from my current work email address? I could set up email at home for this as I have my doubts, but just thought I'd ask what you know about how cookies work (besides greasing up your tongue and filling your belly!). Be good now, and give me a straight answer, if you have one. Thanks.

Masses of writing time wished to you all!!! :-)

Mel 6-11-2003 15:12

Mark: This looks perfect. As it happens, webwitch is sitting on Apache with PHP and MySQL I am very interested without a lot of time at the moment. Given you have things set up where you are at, lets discuss this off line and perhaps either temporarily go with your local hosting or work to get it set up here. Looks to be precisely what I was after. But until Westercon 56 - - my attention will be a little distracted. After that, yes. Lets get it set up here. I have plans to do major updates to, and some other professional responsibilities and the Workbook was also definitely on my radar screen. Take care everyone.

jack Beslanwitch 6-11-2003 14:00


I would love to visit Scotland as well. I have family and family friends who live there and all over in and around the surrounding areas. Who knows, maybe some day I’ll make the trip :o) I am obviously part Scottish (grins). I think that maybe it is my left hand that is Scottish, but I’m not sure. It may be my nose, or perhaps it is my right thigh ;o) I love when people say I’m part this and part that. I always get these pictures of them wearing bits and pieces of traditional clothing on different parts of their body.

Take care you.

Rachel 6-11-2003 12:10


I have wanted to do that three day contests for a few years now. I think that the only way I could pull it, is if I packed up and took a room away from home for the three days. I don’t know if I could do it though. I start to feel a little blue right before I start school. I get feeling sad thinking about how much I’m going to be taken up with studies and away from family stuff. I know it is worth it, but there are times, like the start of a new semester when I still feel flashes of guilt. I guess I could try to write it in my spare moments. I however do not think that would be enough.

Yeah, I’m a feisty girl (grins). I know of a writing group in Port Moody. I will make a few calls today to see if I can track them down. I don’t quite remember the name of them. I do however, remember the location that they meet at and will give the hall a call ;o) If it’s writerly human contact that you crave, I’m a writer and am from time to time human (GRINS), or at least humane ;o) I’m pretty hard to pin down in person, but if yah want to chat, you can give me a call or drop me an e-mail.


Rachel 6-11-2003 11:18

Hi Randall,

The situation is critical, but not serious... That sounds like something that I would say ;o) I can think of lots of critical situations that are not serious. I like that! That sounds like what has been going on around my house! We’ve had a situation that became critical, but that was at no point serious for anyone in my home. The family who initiated the issue have encountered both serious and critical. We were their last friendly front in this neighbourhood. It is actually kind of nice for us. Our home and yard is cleaner, quieter and more peaceful without the two children from the property over

I tend to think that it is good to let the person who is under treatment set the tone for what they want to talk about. I know that any time some big ugly has come up for me I don’t want to talk about it. I play it down and only, if ever talk about it and how I felt after the event is done. I don’t think that is too uncommon, or typically male (grins). I’m sure there are lots who would disagree, but that’s my take on it. Hey! Does Lynn know about your stories? Has he read them?

In my neck of the woods we have had beautiful weather. It only turned at the start of the week. We’ve had cooler temperatures and a couple of light showers. Looking outside this morning, I would say we are due for a few buckets of rain.

I like your stories Randall. They are nice reading. For the record, lots of people in and around my area say “shoot” and it isn’t limited to rural areas. This is one that is taken up by mothers and fathers who dally over the shhhhhhhhhhhh part of shoot ;o) Sometimes it sounds more like Shiiiooooooot!


Rachel 6-11-2003 10:32

OK, you guys. We have all been waiting for a workbook. Here is a sample. It's a Bulletin Board system where you post and people can reply, the replies are kept with the original post, so crits get attached to original work automatically. Try it out. I haven't done the nicey-nice stuff on it, just the rudimentary post-and-reply gizmos. post stuff there, ask for crits here.

Hit it. Test it. Let me know how it works. If you have a piece you want crit on, start a new topic with your story title as the topic subject.

JACK -- You said some time ago that you were having difficulty running the old workbook on the new service because of incompatibilities in Java versions. I tried building a java workbook and loading one from SourceForge. Neither worked. This one is running on a P3-866 in my basement with Apache2, MySql and PHP. Linux Mandrake 9.1. Looking around the 'net, PHP has more BB and blog development in progress than java, so I chose it. If this works, you can have the setup.

Mark workbook 6-11-2003 10:00

Give him hell Anona!

Jerry 6-11-2003 9:38

We would like to introduce us as a irritated board member in the U.S., our main irritation is you, your messages, wasted space, etc, you can go and post elsewhere thank you. View our web site at: Http://
If you find any of them be of interest to you, please feel free never to post here again, we would be never see your posts again.
Looking forward to your cooperation in near future.
Best regards.
Anona Mouse.

Anona mouse 6-11-2003 8:21

lianchun yang talc 6-11-2003 3:41

p.s. Also, as I am able I will try to archive when we get to half a meg rather than let things bloat. Take care everyone and hope everyone is having nice weather and lots of opportunities at writing.

6-11-2003 2:11

Ben: Ala place to crash when diving in southwest Canada, Thanks for the offer. I will pass it along to Fran. After Westercon will definitely consider it. Just got back from Cozumel. Well, actually, was staying in Cancun thanks to some friends of ours and did some extensive commute to Cozumel for some awesome diving. Did 14 dives in six days, including 10 dives on Cozumel and 4 dives at the Cenotes As it turned out the normal drift dive and current in Cozumel is usually .5 to 3 knots. As it happened, they were getting hammered by 4 to 6 knot currents. This meant we got to fly along like superman over awesome corel reefs with 100 plus visibility. Not the best conditions for either still photography or thoughtful videography, but a wild ride and a great deal of fun. Talk with you soon.

Jack Beslanwitch 6-11-2003 2:06



Evening all!!

Thank you Carol! There are darn few of us who know what MD 20/20 can really do for your nightlife! (Grin)

Rosemary...Well, now that you mention it. Those two clouds did meet over beautiful downtown Brownwood and dumped a 3" rain in two hours a couple of days ago! We even received rain last night when none were forecast. Now there is a line of thunderstorms headed our way. The Abilene weather person said some of the thunderheads top out at 40,000 feet!

Andrew...Great city! Our son, Sean, went to Air Force boot camp last summer at Lackland AFB. Then he went to Security Forces training, also at Lackland. We were down there several times last summer and fall to visit him...about a 3-hour drive from here. We picked him up after he graduated a week before Christmas and brought him home. Two VERY happy parents we!!! Now Sean is in Jerry's neck of the woods...North Dakota. Guarding Minuteman III missile silos. We are very proud of that young man!

Rhoda...Yeah! Home of Howard Payne College. Some of those "little ditches" are now running water bank to bank! Parts of Bwd flooded last year, including our store. (Eight inches in the lobby, a foot in the warehouse.) Now the lake spillway dam is running a foot over and my boss is suffering facial twitches. The ground is so saturated it is widely accepted that two cows peeing on a flat rock together up stream will cause us to flood again!

Lynn, my friend is ill from his chemo treatments. Though I haven't talked with him lately, it is said he is in high spirits.

By Randall Henderson

Chapter II
Suds and Fun

"There are not many men in Texas who could have accomplished our feat without losing all to alcohol insanity. We were accustomed to drinking beer at any time for any reason. Beer consumption, normal as breathing was nearly something done by reflex. It was for many of us then and others now a chosen lifestyle. When one lives like this they develop an incredible tolerance to alcohol, more so than casual drinkers.

An example: Lynn and I were almost run out of Fredericksburg during an Oktoberfest celebration one year for drinking too much. Seems some good German descendants couldn't stand the competition! Chamber of Commerce protests aside, this German folk festival is attended by persons who come to party, dance and drink large amounts of beer. A few are very formidable beer drinkers, not easily outdone and very territorial. Wandering through the festivities one night we quickly spotting a nearby unattended keg and settled in toasting each other, polka dancers, star filled skies. You must then understand our dismay to find this particular watering hole belonged to a nearby crowd of local rowdies.

"HEY! HEY! Horst, Otto ... get those two away from our keg! Get'em outta here! For crying out loud, they're drinking all our suds! Who are those guys anyway?"

"HEY YOU! Yes, you, wide body. Drop that sausage! I said get the hell away from our keg!" (I was eating Blutwurst. This form of Wurst is German blood sausage. Trust me, even though it is delicious, you don't want to what ingredients make up this old world delicacy.)

That outburst initiated a rather brisk argument followed by two Brownwood boys sprinting for one 1970 black Chevrolet pickup. I know how difficult this must be for you to grasp. But ... have you ever run full speed, with a quart size beer stein in each hand and casings of sausage dangling from your neck? No? How about escaping through a dark, dimly lit parking lot just ahead of a pursuing mob filled with brawny overly developed characters with names like Niemann, Schumann or Drueckhammer? Believe me it's not for the faint at heart ... or slow of foot. At the end I think Greta was our closest pursuer though, but she was foiled by skidding on a frictionless, odorous substance lying along my retreat.

Trying to run, drink beer and eat sausage requires deftness acquired only by persons who dedicate their life to good times. Quickly looking over my shoulder I managed to gasp between chew and sip. "Oh hell Lynn! They're going to beat the crap out of us!"

"The hell with that. Run faster and don"t spill any more beer or I'll beat the crap out ya." Lynn had higher priorities than any man I've ever known.

Average weekend alcoholic endeavors, (in Brownwood) could be aptly described this way. High spirited and very wet. An extremely bright Saturday morning sun comes up and our crew, usually numbering a dozen or so is red eyed and bleary from Friday night's intemperance. Friday night parties are best, at least for the chosen few who work only Monday through Friday. I believe it was Dr. Martin Luther King who accurately defined Fridays for the working man. "I have been through the week and I've seen the weekend. Friday at last, Friday at last. Good-God-O-Mighty it's Friday at last." (Although my recollections of this source-quotation are hazy, it might be attributed to someone else.) I always liked to taper off on Sunday, unless the Dallas Cowboys were playing, then it was Friday night all over."

Well, gotta go gang...


Randall 6-10-2003 22:47

Anyone up for a challenge? Enter the "Don't Get Mad - Get Evil" competition at There's no entry fee or stupid scams involved, just a probe into the dark side of your soul. Good luck!

Will Link 6-10-2003 19:33

Hi Andrew,

I’m glad that you were not offended by what I did to your writing. One never knows how a person will react to something like that ;o) I too have spent a fair bit of time reading this and that to add some substance to my science fiction. I don’t mind the readings. I can tend to fall into things. It’s like I go on reading binges (grins). I don’t think that research is ever wasted. It is good that you have done it and I am confident that it will make a positive impact on the final presentation of your writing.

Hey! Loved the Ode. How cool is that (grins). An Ode to Rachel. That is a first! I thought it was very nice, but wanted to say that your work was never “nothing” had it been, I would have told you so. My words, if they tower at all, only do so standing on the structure that you created. Keep that in mind. You are right, this site is lucky to have the writers that it’s got ;o) Hummmmmm...I think it is good that the text has a part that would make me need a cold shower. Doesn’t matter if folks admit it or not, most of us have a horn dog living in us (grins). Also, a little flash of romance and wicked good times are fun to write about ;o)

Take care you.


Rachel 6-10-2003 18:02

Ahhh, Randall, once again you have brought laughter into my day! I'm not sure where I gained the most laughter, my own memory of Mad Dog staining my nightgowns or knowing just what you mean about the alternate name for Moose Head Beer. And with that, I'll leave ya all hanging. hehehe

I have had the pleasure of visiting Texas. Nice little town of Denton where our son and his family now live. Hopefully we'll be down that way again next Feb. That's a good month to escape Wisconsin and head south. :)

Litter - I do hope you feel well soon. Add my chime into the music of combining scifi/mystery. Besides combining two things you know and enjoy, you'll expand your reader base.

I'm currently reading the third book in a trilogy by Elizabeth Haydon. For those of you who love high fantasy I highly recommend it in spite of the red, grainy eyes I've been getting every night.

Off to write some more. Have a good one!

Carol 6-10-2003 16:17

Rosemary, No. But I am interested in joining if you can send me info.

ANDREW 6-10-2003 8:17

Evening all,

You just keep getting better and better. Has the storm(s) hit yet?

Have you noticed that when the media thought it was going to be the Lakers against the Nets they were all talking about the series. Now that it's the Spurs, not a peep. They just barely mention who won. (Except the local news, of course)

Yes, I live in S.A. also. Welcome to the Notebook (a little late) Do you belong to the Writers Guild?

Gotta go, nothing going on anyway.

Rosemary 6-9-2003 22:57

I'm in good ol San Antonio. Home of the San Antonio Spurs if you're into the Basketball thing.

andrew 6-9-2003 22:43


Brownwood, Texas. I know where that is! That is the home of Howard Paine. You live in the flat, dry part of Texas where the people call these little ditches that are dry most of the year rivers. I dated a guy from there long time ago in my salad days.


Two of my children are Texans, both born in Dumas, so I will always have a soft spot for Texas. I have lived in Waco, Houston, Dumas and Perryton. My husband once lived in Odessa and Andrews.

Rhoda 6-9-2003 21:26



Nah, Texans ain't screwed up! We're just adventuresome!! Hang in there Litter! It would seem to me that ANYTHING written about Scotland...ESPECIALLY a murder/mystery/sci fi would be fantastic. I would love to visit Scotland. To stand on a rocky coast and stare west into the stormy North Atlantic as green, foam flecked water crash on the coastline...annnnnnnnnnnd to see some landscapes that were green!

Thank you for the nice compliment Carol. I'll post another tale tonight, just for you.

And Ben...comparing me to the rugged Canucks is a REAL compliment. Thanks Pal!

Jerry that's a great story! Your Styre conversion to a 444 is probably valuable now. Like the 45-70 pistol gun collectors fight over. Maybe you should try to get it back? I'll pass this along to my gun loving buddies.

Andrew...I live in Brownwood, Texas. Where do you live? If you don't wish to nail your exact location down that is ok.

By Randall Henderson


"Late one October afternoon found the (Lynn) Jones/(Randall) Henderson gang, on a desperate re-supply mission, peering intently into a frigid blast of sub-zero cold. Faced with a decision no Texas hunter should have to make, seize the moment or await another opportunity. The light was quickly fading, better make the call now. It was a moment of truth ... and one that we, as stalwart Texans and living incarnations of the Weekend Drunks Code would not shirk. Deep inside the Mormon State of Utah, amid rugged mountainous terrain at the back of a Mt. Pleasant convenience store, standing with both beer cooler doors open we couldn't decide which brand to sample next.

"Old Milwaukee?" I ventured.

Lynn frowned. "No I'm burned out on that!"

"Colorado Kool Aid?"

"Nah it's too weak."

I shrugged. "Hell it's all 3.2, we're getting waterlogged not drunk."

"Okay. How about some Busch Barbarian?"

"Gimme a break!"


"Very funny, there ain't a Pearl beer in a thousand miles of this joint."

"Okay, how about just close our eyes and grab something."

"No way, last time we did that you picked Mad Dog (MD 20/20) and spent the night in my bathroom selling Buicks!"

"Say ... wait a minute. What's this?"

Located on the top shelf rested an attractively decorated, six-pac cleverly proclaimed Moose Head Beer. A multicolored can with a picture of a rather petulant Bull Moose on the front claimed our attention. Minutes later we were idling down an isolated dirt road sampling our latest acquisition. One sip ... then another ... a third for confirmation. After a quick confirming glance and without speaking both windows go down, and as one we deposited the partially emptied cans into our handy-dandy dispose-all pickup bed. A quick U-turn and back to Mt. Pleasant to try again.

Later that evening with little ceremony we stashed the remains of our Moose Head experiment in a small creek next to Charlie and Marsha's home. (Maybe if it chilled out the taste would improve. But alas, upon departed days later we forgot to retrieve the remnants.)

So if there was a fish kill that year? In Sanpete County? I know absolutely nothing about it! I would be lying if I related there were no few comments on the likely origin of this beer, and a dubious relationship to the moose. But they should not be related here. After years of Shiner, Pearl and Lone Star a toll on out taste buds had been exacted.

If you are an attorney, retained by the irate brewers of Moose Head Beer? Gathering information about a possible liability lawsuit? May I remind you to again consult the title page, where it plainly states "... of a fictional, real life adventure." I am as well the biggest liar west of the Mississippi River and should not be taken seriously! Somewhere no doubt there are persons who literally live to savor the honey dew sweetness of Moose Head Beer and maybe one day I will give it another try. But not this decade."

Well outta here. See ya gang. As a parting bit of wisdom remember what old cowboys say. "If you spend your life punching cows...your hand is a'gonna hurt some."


Randall 6-9-2003 20:39

What ho, people?

Just a drive by posting as my health still sucks. But enough of that…

Things seem to be swimming along nicely here, but I am on the horns of a dilemma. A bookstore manageress of my acquaintance is urging me to develop a murder mystery that has been simmering for a couple of years, in place of the sci-fi stories I'm currently working on. It seems like a good idea some of the time (I worked with the criminal underbelly of East Central Scotland, for 6 years, so it's something that I know) and sometimes it seems like a bad idea coz I want to work on some more sci-fi to follow up the first one. Maybe I should mix them all up and have a sci-fi, conspiracy theory, End Days, murder mystery with a touch of satire? Sounds good…

Hoping to wake up feeling better tomorrow. Well, I hope just to wake up, really.

All good things,

Litter Litter's Stuff 6-9-2003 18:07

Oh yeah, screwed up and bonkers mean the same thing up here.

me again 6-9-2003 14:57

Hey Jack, next time you're up this way diving, stop by and we'll do the bar-b-que thingie. We gotta hide-a-bed downstairs you can use if you want.

ben 6-9-2003 14:56

We Texans are screwed up? A little bonkers, yes, but screwed up? Naahhhhh.

ANDREW 6-9-2003 13:29

Hi All!

A few months back I picked up a monthly newspaper called The Porcipine Press. Though it is a U.P. of Michigan paper and full of that brand of humor, so much of it also reminded me of Randall's type of writing. Goodness, this paper makes no apology either for printing ads with bent over, cut-off shorts, buxom ladies. It is full of the tongue in cheek humor that we all associate with Randall, jokes galore on every page and stories of historical lore. What was my point? Oh yeah! Only more proof of the need for writing such as Randall posts here. (dig, dig, poke, poke, got the hint? hehehehe)

My novel's moving forward nicely at the moment. I finally passed my all time high word count. I'm still excited about this story. And those are good things.

Now, I'd best get back to stringing some words together. Everyone be well and happy. Randall, I've added your friend Lynn to my prayers.

Carol 6-9-2003 12:22

Just got back from Cancun/Cozumel . Will take a look and see if the Notebook needs archiving. Off to bed. Take care.

Jack Beslanwitch 6-9-2003 5:58

Hey how ya doin' out there guys? I haven't been lurkin' as much as I've been workin', Mel--doin' that writin' stuff... I see we got some newbies who probably think I'm a newbie, never having seen me post before. Well, I've been busy. I was working afternoon shift on the river for the last week, which has been a relief since the temps have been out of hand. But I posted onto a different job where I get to drive all day in an air-conditioned cab with am/fm stereo. I listen to classical CBC now, because I'm sick and tired of constant ads and the DJ's with their endless babbling.

I love working afternoons. I've missed it. I get more writing time on that shift because I have the whole day to myself--or at least until school's out. I started rewriting my Macbeth story. I sent it into a contest last Labour Day--the THREE DAY NOVEL contest, and looking at it again, I thought, hey, why not? I wrote a "monologue as a prologue", and I think it worked pretty good. I just want to "flesh" it out a bit. I'm going to make it into a novel, because it's all there anyway, right? It's 17,000 words to start with, so adding 50, or 60,000 words more shouldn't be that bad. Ultimately, I'm looking to bring it in at around 90,000 words. But I want to use the historical facts as well as Shakespear's plot line. I've only come across one other book so far--by Dorothy Dunnet--so if anybody else knows of any historically fictionalized works based on Macbeth, let me know. Okay, I admit I haven't been looking too hard.

Oh yeah, RACHEL, you fiesty girl you, if you know of any writing clubs out here--your way, my way, anyway--let me know, 'kay? I'm dying to get together with other writers once in a while, just because I need some "human" input. I keep looking in the GEORGIA STRAIGHT and wondering if I should bring a story to one of those cold readings they have down town...but I think my stories are longer than they like.

Anyway, gotta run. It's only 9:30 and I can write for most of the night now. The girl's gone to bed; wifey's watching t.v...and the boy's trying to finish an essay about Buddism (I know I spelt that wrong...D'oh!) :-)

Oh yeah, RANDALL, I have to concur as to everyone's opinions on your homespun homilies. They always get me grinnin'. You Texans are as screwed up as us crazy Canucks up here. The funny part is that everything you guys do and say makes perfect sense to me...afterall, I work with guys who waterski on sheets of plywood behind boomboats that don't go any faster than seven knots, and that's only if they're going with the current.

ben 6-9-2003 0:33

Randall - good one, love your hunting stories. Kind of reminds me of an incident many years ago, when I was moonlighting as a gun smith. We had this full time gun smith who ran a little shop next door to the PD, and on my off days, I would hang around trying to learn the trade. After a couple of weeks of hanging around the smith decided to put me to work with the time consuming tasks that took little skill, like sanding down stocks, and polishing guns for re-bluing. This turned into a nearly full time job, and I spent most of my off hours working in the gun shop, heck he even began paying me, not in dollars but in free work, and all the gun parts I needed if he had them in the parts bucket.

It was late one night, well past midnight, and the smith was turning down a barrel for my "brilliant conversion" of an old Styre Manlichler 8 X 56R into a straight pull .444 Marlin. We were using the lath belonging to a machinist who lived on a farm some miles south of town, and after several hours of turning and cussing the old lath, the smith decided we needed a break. In addition to my barrel, he had been working on an idea of his own, it was a muzzle brake for his .50 BMG single shot rifle. For those unaware of the .50 BMG it's that huge bullet they used in anti-aircraft in WW II and on gun trucks in Vietnam the cartridge is over six inches long, and .50 caliber translates to half inch in English. The shouldered the twenty pound rifle, and stepped out the back door of the steel shed where we had been working. It was so black out that night you couldn't see your hand in front of your face, but we knew there was absolutely noting to the east of the building, so he elevated the huge rifle, closed the bolt and gently squeezed that trigger.

Now I've been around howitzer when they fired in anger, and I truly believe they were not as loud as that old .50 with the muzzle brake that channeled some of the fire to the rear to tame the punishing recoil. I could feel the fabric of my blue jeans push against my legs from the concussion. The ball of fire that came from that huge rifle looked to be the exact size of our moon on a sub zero night in January. Ice on the roof of the shed began to melt from the heat of that round I could have heard the water run from the roof had my ears not been ringing so loudly (made me wonder what would have happened had I not covered my ears)

The smith was satisfied with the workings of his brake, and we returned to the workshop, just as we turned on the lath to finish the turning of my barrel, the phone rang. It was the neighboring farm, the owner had been awakened by the blast of the Smith's big gun, and thought the whole farm must have blown up. Guess we had forgotten that most normal folk, especially those who farm and ranch like to sleep after midnight.

Oh and the .444 Styer was a huge success, I loved that little carbine till I had to sell it once when cash was short and bills were long. One of my hunting partners called it my "pumpkin launcher."

Jerry 6-8-2003 18:49

Evening all,

Sounds like you better batten down the hatches. Two storms comeing from different directions sounds scary to me.
Great story!!

Gotta go,

Rosemary 6-7-2003 23:27



Rachel ... well, I've been in a mental funk this week. I'm reminded of a statement I heard in a movie once. "The situation is critical, but not serious..." (ONE, TWO, THREE starring James Cagney). I didn't even turn on the computer this week. So things are critical, but not serious around our place these days. :-)

Lynn is taking treatment for his cancer on a daily basis... His is the typical male personality...and he downplays the illness. (Sigh) I have a hard time expressing my concern to him. For one thing he doesn't want to hear it...and I don't wish to intrude. He might resent it and then what would I do?

We have had several hard rain showers this week. On the local radar tonight there is a storm moving south from Abilene. At San Angelo there is another storm moving east...annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd Brownwood looks to be the intersection, Could be an interesting night. Two storms moving in different directions less than 100 miles apart, apparently going to join ... bring thoughts of THE PERFECT STORM movie.

My friends, this is another tale from a hunting trip to Utah in 1979. Lynn and I were rookie hunters hunting Mule Deer. Another man hunting with us had a cousin, Charlie (transplanted Texan) who lived in Utah and we stayed in his home for a week. Charlie was our guide and a fine, fine man.

By Randall Henderson

Lynn's Assault

"I never fired a shot on this trip, at frozen water or deer. However, Lynn did indeed have an opportunity to shoot at a mule deer. Fortunately an aspen tree saved us all from a potentially troubling situation. It lays out this way.

Late one cloudy afternoon heading back to Charlie's home, Lynn, Griff and Art were riding in the back of the pickup as we wound our way down Spring City Canyon. We had been more sightseeing than hunting and now a hazy autumn sun slowly settled behind the San Pitch Mountains. Charlie eased to a stop, motioning for us to be silent. After a few seconds of intense concentration studying a white trunk aspen grove, he whispered back to Lynn. "Get out and load your rifle. Stand up front, where we can talk."

Steadying his binoculars Charlie studied the situation intently, then whispered to Lynn. "There are at least two deer in that grove and I think one is a buck." Charlie had a fine game eye and not many men could have spotted the gray ghost like mule deer seeking shelter in a dense grove of trees a hundred yards away.

All Texans have a discernible southern accent and some more than others. There is also a terminology used by rural persons somewhat different from urban Americans.

For example: A farmer strolls into his house and drawls, "Well, shoot! Ma, those darned chickens have been in the garden again."

See how he uses the term, "Shoot?" Mr. Webster, in a rather long winded, wordy tome defines the custom of using, shoot, thus, "... used to express annoyance or surprise." Fred Farmer wasn't announcing that he intended to kill these offending hens. He was expressing annoyance to find them chowing down in his tomatoes. Though he may have indeed sought his trusty 12 gauge later on.

Okay. Here we have Lynn, brand new 300 Winchester Magnum in hand ... loaded. The gun, not him fool! Cooling rapidly, it is fast moving from sunshine to twilight in the rugged mountains of central Utah. Many yards away anxious mule deer pace nervously, by now aware of human predator scrutiny. Charlie whispers to Lynn who is in position, rifle laying across the pickup hood.

"The one on the right may be a buck ... get ready. When it clears those branches I can tell. Don't shoot till I tell you!"

Safety off, finger on the trigger, eye buried in the scope Lynn is set, tracking the potential buck. By now the deer are really nervous and move slightly, preparing to ping pong away. Naturalists call this unique mode of locomotion ... stotting.

"Well, shoot..." Charlie whispered in his soft, Coleman County, South Texas voice.

KA ... BOOM ... Lynn's 300 magnum roars without delay and a 250 grain soft nosed-bullet awakens and screams into flight. Spiraling out of the lands and groves at 3000 feet per second with over 3500 foot pounds of energy almost instantaneously it strikes, driving deep. Immediately it was apparent, to the shocked spectators of this incident, that more than one or two mule deer inhabited this grove of white bark trees. A flurry of startled deer flee from the dense growth, some running, others clearing fallen trees with that charming bounce. But nary a buck to be seen.

Tranquillity slowly returns as golden aspen leaves drift silently down to lie on the forest floor. Seconds slowly pass and while human eardrums vibrate wildly, everyone is frozen in place. Charlie's binoculars are still in position, though his cap is slightly askew. The spectators stand mute, stunned. One person in the cab suffered a temporary nose bleed, because his finger was where his mother told him never to put it. I have been around guns all my life but the sudden and thunderous event left my mouth hanging open. Silence is enormous in the Manti-LaSal National Forest after a deafening explosion of noise.

Charlie was using the term "shoot" as the farmer was. In annoyance. But he was interrupted mid-sentence while intending to say this. "Well shoot ... Lynn they're all does."

With blast echoes reverberating through the forest innumerable mule deer rapidly vacated the vicinity. Lynn's 300 Magnum's ear ringing discharge surely rattled any Utah game warden's coffee cup within a ten-mile range. A 300 magnum is capable of killing nearly any animal on the planet, and it's signature blast will awaken the dead. Real late one night in Mason County I had the opportunity to be present when Lynn discharged this same rifle. Forced to keep this anecdote brief for, uh ... well ... possibly legal ramifications let's say that this weapon is best left home when an appetite for fresh venison strikes.

Killing a female deer in Texas is no big deal. Usually state hunting licenses have at least one tag and maybe two. Not so in Utah. At that time killing a doe intentionally or not was a big deal, a major infraction of hunting regulations. Charlie had taken great pains to explain this to us earlier and it was not something to be taken lightly. No doe, buck only. (Sorry for the next line, but I can't help myself.) If you shoot the doe its gonna cost you bucks!

Charlie, as surprised as anyone that Lynn had taken the shot questioned his timing. But as Lynn quickly pointed out, "You did say shoot, didn't you?"

We scoured the area by flashlight long after dark and only found no deer, blood, hair, or anything indicating a wounded animal. However our departure quickly hastened and the ominous mood lifted when Lynn fingered an immense fist sized hole in an aspen tree and broke us up when he said. "How in the hell am I going to field dress this."

Good night all...


Randall 6-7-2003 23:07

Ode to Rachel (Had to happen, but forgive me, I am not good at poetry and such)

She helped out a novice, which all writers start.
She corrected his writing, this set her apart.
Her advice was so simple, said “here’s what you do,”
Write what you want, to thine own self be true.

She revamped and edited, this work of mine,
Turned it from nothing and then made it shine.
Your words are so brilliant, above mine they tower,
And yes, there’s a part where you’ll need a cold shower.

I give you this ode as my thanks to you,
Without this great help, don’t know what I’d do.
I’ll end this Ode now, with one final thought,
This site is lucky to have the great writers it’s got.

Ok, ok, ok. I told you I wasn’t good at this stuff. But had to do something to show my gratitude.

Andrew 6-6-2003 13:44

WOW!!! All I can say is.....WOW!!!! That was some bit of editing on your part. I am humbled in your presence. Another "Ode to Andrew" as well? Two in one week? My face has turned a violent shade of red now. *blushes* least I hope I'm blushing and it's not blood pressure. My Talaxians are not quite like yours. Muscular yes, but with light blue skin and very muscular due to the heavy gravity on thier homeworld.

Yes, it is quite difficult to create a science fiction world without science which is why I had to do quite a bit o' reading for such things as the environment, goverment structure, food supply and technology for spacecraft and weaponry. Talk about time consuming...But, all in all, I think after I finish editing, it will be worth it.

Andrew 6-6-2003 13:09

Hey Randall,

I wanted to open with you, as it has been you I have been thinking of (hugs to you). I also had an internet glitch. Yup, didn’t pay the bill and those nasty folks decided to pull my plug. That went over like a lead balloon ;o) That is taken care of now though. I hope that Lynn is well. I enjoyed your story very much. How I smiled and had a secret grin. Wow do I remember those days. I was once young and reckless. I was once the Reckless Racher, but those days are behind me now. At least for the most part (GRINS). What I get up to, I do not plan to go into (merry laugher). So Randall, where is that selection of stories that you said would be made available? If you are feeling a little shy feel free to post them to my e-mail. I drop it on my of my posts. As I said, I really liked your shortie. It made me think about being a kid. I had a few friends who were died due to excessive speed, reckless driving, trains (running my ass off on the trestle bridge), planes (only serious back injury - not mine) and other auto fare hood, roof surfing, back bends out of open windows at high speeds to see who would could come up with evidence of having scraped on the gravel roads. It made me not think of the loss of them, or injury to me, but of free, wild spirits, of a time of innocence, a time before mortality meant anything to me. I have to thank you for that (hugs). Ah and yes, I can still do backbends, but know what? They are getting harder to do. I guess I should practice. I’m not sure if it’s my abs or my arms that are letting me down ;o) All I know is both feel like they want to pack it in when I do this sort of crap.


An ode to you!!!!! Well, I want in on this one. I know that Science Fiction is not easy. Many people do not want to give enough credit to this area of writing.


He created a world.
He did the deed.
He put his pen to paper,
the guy felt the need.
He was not afraid,
he did not cower,
Man I hope there is a part where I’ll need a cold shower ;o)
Worlds apart, yet the same,
similar yet different is the name of the game.
A good science background, if not had you will fail.
knowledge is a must or you will de-rail,
geeks and gumps, gorps and goofes all will cry in vain,
if you but enlist the least bit of science in your main.
To hell with them, write what you will,
Follow your heart, crest the hill.
Andrew oh Andrew fear you not!
I will stand in your old spot.
I will fight with sport and might
to defend your right to be and say and write and play and be and see, and, oh yes, oh yes, and be, oh anything that you would be, will be, oh please let me see!

Yes anything!!!!

Whoever is lookin for Teekay, I would dare say she is here.

Teekay has a thing for pointing out the spelling errors of other. Ah, my dear, dear Teekay. I hope you will forgive my post above. I however am following my heart and not the posts on this one. I read and respond. What order I read in is up for grabs this evening. I’m in a jump and hop sort of mood (wicked grins). I miss your signature. I miss your muse. I miss your wicked persona who drop in from time to time.


Holy crap! I have Talaxaians in my stories. They are a society based on manners and grace. They have three sets of jaws, three eyes and low tolerance for disrespect. That must be a name from out of something else. either that, or you and I share a brain ;o)

You are welcome for and to my comments. A triple shift if never a good thing, aside from what it will so for the bank account (grins). I think it is a bad idea to write when you are exhausted. I however am willing to read on and comment. I doubt very much that you will thank me for it. Twilight zone. Want to talk about freak show time. I told you I write a bit of S&F. well buddy roe, I have Talaxians, and I’ve got the pen on the paper and the computer dates that will place them years and years back. Mine are quite interesting to look at, what do yours look like? Mine are manners freaks, with three jaws, killer rows of teeth (much like a shark) and three large eyes, with a fourth on the top of their head for detecting attacks from above. They are also almost eight feel tall, quite thin, but very muscular.

Welcome to the comment zone. It is not a place I enter into often. I can tend to be quite caustic and upsetting even cutting to people. I however am learning and will beg you to read on.

I’m not really sure how to comment on a thing, I tend to get harsh, so how about I edit. I seem to have a flare for that. I however have pissed off more than one person with my efforts.
Feel free to tell me to go and do any number of things to myself if you don’t like what I’ve got to say, okay?

I’ll start with a little tip I got from a well respected friend of mine. “Make every effort not to use one word within ten lines of itself.
How about “The Emperor of Longer was not in a good mood. In fact, he hadn’t been feeling darkly for some time now. It had begun with his death and subsequent regeneration, on board of the Artificial Carbon Life Form Ship (It isn’t artificial intelligence, it is artificial carbon formed life that you seem to be talking about *** At first glance seems his conscience and consciousness is intact, it only needed a new vehicle. Am I right?). Astren Sumner had awakened in this new flesh bag, skin, rot sack (your choice, use your imagination) Feeling no more alive than he had been when his last form had passed. (Andrew, you are trying to sound out of this world. Don’t use words we know, but make the association possible, even likely. How about, Scorge and Simma. That way you don’t draw up intentional disease and gods in your wake). Okay, so you have Scorge and Simma quarreling between the two of them, which at first had been quite entertaining, but had quickly become tiresome. Aside from their asinine antics he now had the issue that had been brought to him by the Federations Intelligence committee. If their reports were to be trusted he had need to believe that there were two massive vessels which had intercepted the Exclaibure (don’t capitalize names, if you want to play on the history, mythology of this name, then do so, but do it with demonstration, not with capitalization. Make this ship the Excalibure with experience, with crew, with action, not with capitals. Okay?). The Excalibure, had failed, despite the powers and talents of his own half brother being on their side. His intelligence, or so called intelligence knew all of this, yet, were unable to provide him with the simple answer or who had done this thing.

Amusing? How about Bemusing? was all Astren could say as he read the report while occupying his seat of power in the receiving room of the head of the Imperial Command (makes him sound like he has a tad more clout, maybe it is just my theatrics). Astren cast his gaze to first Scorge them Simma, each in there subservient posture at his feet, awaiting his response to their pathetic and lacking reports, which offered scanty information that one of the attack ships was approaching Longer. Astrent cast a cool gaze in the direction of Simma, certain that the market huckster down the block could have given him as accurate of information. Astren turned his gaze to Scorge who had reported that the attack from the invading force would resound like a whip, that it would inflict pain and wounds upon their world and be a punisher and chastisement upon the people of Langoria. (Yup, use the dictionary to make Scorge into a Scoorge. Got me ;o)) This secondary report was something that made the ever present smile fade from his face, a frown mare his perfect brow as he contemplated the two underlings before him. Surely these attackers were not so feeble minded as to attack the Longorian Empire unassisted and think to get away with it? Then again, perhaps they were not unassisted, or, perhaps they were that foolish.

After some further thought on the matter, Astern knew that the time had come to call his generals. Who else would he blame if all went wrong? It was at one rotation into the meeting with his generals that the planet was put on an amber alert ( give a colour, people associate with colours, or levels. An general alert is like something you give in the cafeteria when the dorm master is near. Save the red for total, freaking, shield breaking, grandma raping attack ** got me (winks).

Astren conferred with his generals without needing their input, he knew but the vibrations alive and breathing that the time had come to put up an Amber Alert, that would have all of his fighters, and warships on standby and alter, in case the needed quick mobilization. Astren noted, that of the two ships his underlings viewed as a threat, that only one of the two was headed for his planet, the other, strangely, had set a course for his childhood planet of Talaxia. He wondered if there was a Talxatian resistance movement forming against the empire? Perhaps his fellow brothers were on board, perhaps that was why his half brother had failed, or been spared... All questions that he would need to consider. A wry grin split his sober face and a chuckle broke forth, which he noted, stuck fear into his underlings, No, the Talxaians were all dead. Those who had remained had given their lives to save he and his half brother. Any other thought of a Talxian resistance was foolish and paranoid. Everyone knew of the Talaxian inability to act against authority (there has to be some sort of flaw, as for a world leader to think that there was no threat, all genetics aside would make said world leader a total ass. At least that is my take on it.)

The wait for the vessel to arrive was intolerable (Okay, are you attackers total delay cases? C’mon, if they know you are on the way, then you know, that they know. Don’t you? I mean if you don’t then you better brace to kill you two underlings right now. Anyway, Astren was gloating by the time the secondary attack ship arrived. He had, had plenty of time in which to mobilize his forces. He gazed at the blip on his monitor screen, which vanished with the eye shocking blast that streamed across the night skies of his planet. Astren bumped into his seat like a child who had suddenly had his tonfa candy stolen by an entertainment korg. There had to be more, and when hours later, an energy burst emitted from the origin of destruction he was not overly surprised. He wondered about the people, the crew and the intent of what was now raining down upon him and his planet. He remembered standing out on the balcony of his Imperial Palace, of feeling the sharp prickling sparks of the remnants of the explosion raining down upon his face, of thinking them the salts and stings of victory and now he wondered as the voices persisted and gained strength within his mind, if those sparks had perhaps been something more. He had been trying to ignore what he had been feeling, trying very hard not to hear the small, quiet, soft voice in his head, that repeated again and again ‘Help me.” Astren looked around him to see if anyone else demonstrated any indication of having heard these words. He saw Scorge and Simma in their accorded places to the left and right at the foot of the dais. Neither of the two of them seemed to hear any more than the pathetic and rapid beating of heir own hearts.

Anonymous Poet.

I usually hate all anonymous posters, but you are different. This is not with ill intent, or with vice. This poem, it is nice :o) Come around, show your face. Beautiful poem.

Hey JC.

J.C., J.C. Don’t yah die for me (wicked laughter).

Oh dear, or dear, oh me, oh my, oh heave a sigh. You sound quite prim and proper my dear, or dear, or goose and moose. You do protest? I wonder, do you protest too much (snort grin)? How can you respect my temper? Are you deficient in some way? My temper is not a thing to respect. It is a thing to scorn. If you respected me you would not have posted to me in the initial manner in which you did. Your response at this point I find equally lacking in respect and instead dripping with sarcasm, which, I thank you for. I do so enjoy a good grin and laugh in the evening, which, you have provided me with. Gezz buddy boy, I could come to like you yet ;o) Talking over coffee eh? Well, you better bring it, I ran out a couple of days ago and have been too lazy to trot off to the shops to get more. Nasty me, with my tea, cutting teeth and temper upon thee. I’ve no idea why you would respect me, as I’ve no notion whatsoever of who you are. Between the two of us I did not interpret your comments as innocent in the least. Maybe you should read back over them, or would you like it better if I traced back over your words? Then again, thinking of Anna Karenin, I am not so fond of your words that I would remember them to you... Hum, you and I over coffee, I return to that. I do actually like to talk literature, but I like to do so with an minimum or esoteric bull shit. If Joe Schmoe in the street doesn’t know what you are saying, I will likely enjoy the play of slice and dice with you. Your post in general made me have a grin and a snort. I like that you responded. It gives me a kick. Go to buddy roe, go to! You tell me. I’m sure I’ll care. As I said, I’ve been out of coffee, so if you said any of this over coffee I would have likely said, “Buh, buh, buh, anything you want masta - GRINS)!” This however is cyber town and I aint tastin you coffee mang! If what I bristle about eludes you, that only accentuates the point that you do not know me at all and should not feel at liberty to make comments on, in reference to or in relations to me in any way, okay doll (sugar sweet grins)? I do not understand what you say in relation to myself. You know me not, you assume too much. I feel no need to digress in what I have said. If it is but a trifle to you, all the better, then leave me alone. Those who are my friends usually know that they are my friends. With them I would bow and scrape if I were to blast my cap, but for the crowd I’m worn with the pretending. It is really a service I do you. I will not pretend. I think that you are a cheeky little beaker and don’t mind telling you so. I’ll not be at your door knocking and asking for anything, other, than perhaps a few scoops of coffee... As for your message to Howard and I, do not bore me. If you had no time, you wouldn’t have posted at all. Few of us here have time, we are as addicted to this site as we are to the writing, the muse, the scent of paper and ink, so dream on boy, dream on. You just came on by on a whim, you’ll never return, you don’t care what any of us write... Yeah, right!

I read on to see a word to Howard and to me...

Yes, Welcome to the crew you. Hum, I see you mention a book. Is it that why you come here, to Pander you wares? Have you read Troilus and Cressidea my dear Pander? What have you to sell? What is it that you think you have done so well?

Yes, yes, yes! Happy writing to you and to me and to he and to she and to all that will be! Happy, Happy, HAPPY! (Snort, laugh).
Take care you. Take care all.


I hope that the new pain meds continue to do the job. Your post about the shops busted me up!


Rachel 6-6-2003 11:53

Ever have someone utter a phrase that sticks with you always, one that shocks your sensibility yet tickles your funny bone?

The one that sticks in my mind the tightest came from the lady who used to run the city office in a city where I worked as the Chief of Police back in the 80's.

Now this is an older lady in her early 60's, one of the most pleasant ladies who you ever met, she'd charm the socks off a traveling salesman, never cussed never even uttered a dirty word that I ever heard till that day.

I don't recall the girl she was speaking of, but the phrase she used will forever ring in my ears, it was:

"If she had as many sticking out of her as she had sticking in her she'd look like a porcupine!"

Yep, left me searching for words while trying to hold back a belly laugh that ultimately escaped right there in her small office, I nearly rolled on the floor and you can bet I'll never forget that minute of my life.

Oh from that day on, the lady in the office had the nickname of "Mrs. Trouble"

Jerry 6-5-2003 21:14

Ever wonder how they learn to do what they do?

:-}) !!!

howard 6-5-2003 16:12

Yes, Jerry, what WERE you thinking?
Even I wouldn't dare ask my husband to accompany me on a shopping trip that I knew would take more than a half hour!
(I really love my husband, and don't plan on killing him with my flair for shopping....LOL)

It's true that the vast majority of men shop this way: They know exactly what they want to purchase, make a bee-line for it in the store, grab it, make a short pause in the checkout line to pay for it, and back into the car.

Shortest distance record: 37 foot dash, 19 items, Canadian Tire, 1996 by Carl Folger
Speed record: 18.64 seconds, 15 items, debit card, Vince Terk, Kroger's Foods, 2001
Bitch record: 62 muttered complaints in under 12 minutes, Zellers, Wayne Myles, 2002
Longest silence during shopping record: 3 hours, fifteen minutes, twenty-two seconds, Outdoor Mall Hell, George Gurst, 1956

Hee hee....

Heather 6-5-2003 13:36


What were you thinking?!!!!

Andrew 6-5-2003 5:37

Therecommingtotakemeaway ha ha, therecommingtotakemeaway HOHO, to the funny farm where all is happy and gay! I'll look so good in my new white coat.....

Took my wife, mom, sister and her daughter (FOUR COUNT'EM FOUR women) on a shopping trip, a hundred thirty mile drive to a bigger town where the MART's live, along with the BIG LOT, and the THRIFT SHOP and all those wonderful places that women long to shop.

WHAT in the hell was I thinking???? How can one usually sane man who has lived through combat, who served over seventeen years behind the wheel of a squad car, who survived Basic Training in the old BLACK SHOE army where the DI could still knock you on your ass if you screwed up suppose he could live through such an ordeal????

Now don't get me wrong, I love all these ladies dearly, but there's my mother, who rode shotgun and dutifly called out each and every speed limit sign, every stop sign, called out curve signs, narrow bridge signs, and no passing zones even where there was no traffic. And my good older sister who, although ridding in the back seat, felt in necessary to let me know if I should get a "bit close" to any parked car when entering or leaving parking spaces, and my good wife who usually enjoys letting me know to "turn left here" even though I've driven the streets many more times then she's ridden them, and managed to cause me to drive down a dead end street, where one could see but not reach the wonderful Wally world store, and my ever quiet, ever suffering niece, who once learning of an illness suffered by anyone nearby, suddenly has all the symptoms (I dearly hope she is never near a person nearing their death for fear she would die with them, just to prove she can suffer as much as they).

Then after visiting all the mandatory MART stores, the BIG LOT store, all the time in the midst of the ever so wonderful rain that has blessed this great country, causing pain only in those farmers who decided that "it's still to dry and I can't afford to plant when I know it's a drought!" and men forced to accompany their female relatives shopping.

Alas we had very little funds left, and only spent twenty dollars at all the shops, the full size Mercury (an 87 model with only 30,000 miles on it always garage kept, oil changed every 1000 miles weather it needs it or not) car to the brim with the wonderful objects d'art that the other three female shoppers sought out in the MART stores and the BIG LOT, not counting the BARGINS at the second hand store.

If I doubt my sanity, it's not because I was surrounded by all this estrogen, but simply because I even considered driving the car in such circumstances.

And Their coming to take me away, ha ha....

Other then that it was a fine day.

write on

Jerry 6-5-2003 0:52

Wow! An Ode to me. *blushes* I feel so special. Yes, writing a world becomes quite difficult when trying to go beyond the ordinary. A problem I try to work on, but have difficulty with.

andrew 6-4-2003 19:46

Ode for ANDREW:

Beyond the 2nd dimension is where we want to go,
to get below the surface there’s so much that you could show.
Give us scents and atmosphere, touch our senses all
That way you will enchant us and have us in your thrall.

The more you can involve us, ensnare our heart and mind
The more realistic that world becomes I’m thinking you will find.
Sing loud with all the beauty worthy of this song
BTW, I hate to say, I’m afraid you spelled fowl wrong.

6-4-2003 17:50

Hi everyone! Mel, Carol, THANKS for speaking to me! LOL

Heather 6-4-2003 16:24

Mark, thanks for the comments. I suppose it is a little mixed together, but this part comes in the middle of the book. The minion thing has already been resolved, this is simply a aftereffect. There is both an Empire and thier foes, a League. As for the rest, you'd have to read the first part of the book to understand. Perhaps I didn't choose the best section to insert for comments. My mistake. Humble apologies to all if this section confuses anyone else.

ANDREW 6-4-2003 9:05

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lianchun yang caustic calcined magnesite 6-4-2003 1:18

ANDREW -- Far too much stuff going on here. Looks like this is about quarelling minions, then it's about mysterious vessels and a league ship (wait, is this an empire or a league?), then it's about the emperor and his brother, then it's the talaxian remnant who came to be emperor, then it's about the voice in the head.

All of these ideas get about the same line count (probably close word count, too) and about the same emphasis and detail.

Mark 6-3-2003 23:17

o god - the dreams have started again...

howard 6-3-2003 23:04

Well, once more I emerge from the depths of the darkness to once more face the blinding light of....Sorry, just woke up after pulling a triple shift. almost 72 hours with 3 hours sleep. Well, here is where I come to the writers of this fine site and implore them on bended knees to survey that which I present before you....wait...whats that window coming towards me? Methinks I have passed into an other zone a Twilight one....

For your consideration (ala Rod Serling) a man with a bit of a story for you to look over and give your comments. A man who has just entered...the Comment Zone...

The Emperor of Longoria was not in a good mood. To be perfectly honest, he had not been in a good mood for some time now. Since his regeneration after his death on board the A.I. ship, Astren Sumner had been in quite a fowl mood. First, his two minions, Scourge and Shiva had been at each others throats, quarraling with one another and trying to get the other killed. At first, Astren had thought that this would provide him with some entertainment, which it did for the first few days. After that however, it became irritating.

Now he had another problem on his hands. Intelligence had reported to him that two massive vessels had intercepted a League ship named the EXCALIBUR. Apparently, it had been defeated quite easily and more than that, his own half-brother had also been captured by these unknown entities.

“Amusing.” Was all Astren could say as he read the report while seated in his throne chair, Scourge and Shiva on either side of him, bent on one knee each.
It was amusing, but then as he read on, he saw that reports indicated that one of the ships was coming towards Longoria. That was something that caused his smile to fade and his brow to raise. Surely they were not feeble minded enough to think they could attack the Longorian Empire and get away with it? Then again, perhaps they were.

After conferring with his generals, the entire planet had gone to alert status as all fighters and warships were put on standby in case this ship wanted a fight. It was curious to note though, Astren saw, that the second ship had merely waited for a few hours with her sister ship before turning and heading towards his old planet of Talaxia. Were there Talaxians on board perhaps? No, He chuckled to himself, that was absurd. The Talexians were all dead and gone save himself and his half-brother. Thinking anything else other than that was foolish and paranoid.

The wait for the vessel to arrive went on and on with the vessel finally coming to rest beside the Longorian moon of Agador. For some reason, it just sat there as if contemplating the idea of attacking or not. Now, hours later, a high energy burst had appeared in the sky which Astren could tell was an explosion of mass proportions. As he stared up in the night sky at the remnants of the fiery blast, he wondered if it was the vessel that had been ready to possibly attack his Empire. If so, what had happened?
It was then that something odd happened to the Emperor of Longoria. Something that was felt inside of his head.
A voice. His voice. Talking to him.

“Help me.” It said.
Looking around him to see if anyone elese was hearing this, he found that although Scourge and Shiva were at their rightful places by his side, neither one of them appeared to have heard it.

That's it. Please comment no matter how bad it is and I'm sure it can use a lot of work.

Andrew 6-3-2003 19:50

Ghostly morn in shrouded white,
silent mists and muted light
I feast upon this magical sight
And satiate my soul

In solitude and quiet thought
a dreamlike world around me wrought
seeking lessons seldom taught
I sup with runcible spoon

And from the forest, air and sea
her fragrant voice does beckon me
breaks me from my reverie,
and fills my heart with joy

My dearest friend, the sweetest flower
the hands have not approached the hour
still I must sit and yet devour
On shores of Walden pond.

6-3-2003 19:03

Rachel – oh dear!

Oh, I protest. I respect your temper as much as I do you, even though we know one another by words across a screen only; but I can’t imagine, were we talking over a coffee, that a query, absolutely innocent, on hearing you disclose that you found Russian literature relaxing, would have brought anything like the belligerent response it did here. The blind insinuations, the foot-stamping general tantrum. Crazy. I would have said over coffee much the same as in my note, that many Russian writers are outstanding, and I would have given my response to various works, some studied, some not. If there’s anything to shout about in that, it eludes me. Then you might have said, ‘I understand what you say, but it’s the way I am. What I mean is this…’. And that, after some illustration from either side, would have been that. Well, as far as I’m concerned it’s a trifle, nothing but a trifle. My own temper has more than once seen me call cap in hand next day at someone’s door to apologise, needing to be excused – for me, the only known antidote for the embarrassment of something mortifying said in the heat. (Waking in the small hours excepted).

Howard and Rachel

Thanks so much for the hello. I’m not able to become a member here. I write, and there isn’t time enough left over. But I’ll do as I’ve done for a while now. I’ll look in from time to time. Maybe post some stuff.

Happy writing everyone. (Again, do pick up a copy of Cold Mountain, if you haven’t already. You seldom come across literary masterpieces pretty-well hot from the press, and that’s exactly what this is. An exceptionally beautifully written and moving story. A love story, basically, but much more. Somewhere near the middle there’s a word picture of a heron, my favourite bird, given while Ada sketches it, that’s beyond anything I’ve ever read. What a book. Mesmeric, exciting, but relaxing in many short sections ;-). One thing: should you go for the paperback, DON’T read the blurbs inside. Those on the outside are okay. Within, one or two reviews give big hints towards the conclusion. Didn’t spoil it for me, but with such a book I’d rather have had no idea).


Wonderful to read your post. Recovery is really something. I’ve been where you are now, and stepping out into the world again, feeling slightly brand new, is not to be forgotten. Happy days.


Jackson Cole 6-3-2003 16:30

Hi, CAROL! Hi, CHERI! Oh, I am so relieved that I'm not in the Twilight Zone or something. :-]

You gals keep on writing - and reporting in! It gives me strength to climb the tree where my muse took my cocooned-novel, dang her! I hate heights! But I love trees, so maybe I can work something out with her. ;-]

THE REST OF YOU LURKERS: You better be writing! I has spokened.

Mel 6-3-2003 15:43

I'm here too Mel. Just feeling a little blue. My 'friend' coming for a visit is probably the reason for this and lack of a proper nights sleep. Also, I am annoyed with my sister. We run a business together and lately she's not been holding up her end of things. I don't want to have to ask her to sign things over to me completely, but unless she starts being more responsible it's going to have to come to that.

Enough sobbing from me!

I'll be going to North Carolina from the 21st to the 24th of June. My grandparents live there and my husband's home office is in Charlotte. He'll be taking a week long class while the kids and I visit with my grandparents. My parents are coming also, so hopefully I'll have some time to myself for writing! Yeah!

I sure my muse comes along!

Cheri 6-3-2003 13:19

Ok, ok, ok!! I found a knife and slashed a couple of slits in the cocoon so I could post. Hey, I've been getting work done on my story despite all the balderdash that life is throwing me. I missed out on my little vacation this past weekend. Pooh! Troubles on the homefront kept me from leaving. At least the troubles have abated and I can move on with the writing. So, Mel, just put away those tissues, you don't need to start crying just yet.

Jerry - so very wonderful that you've got some pain relief.

Heather -- some very nice tips! Thanks! The highlighting I have been using to some extent. The little <> signs work pretty well for me too, especially if they're in red or blue, nice and noticable. Your description hint is a keeper. I hadn't thought of finding those little out of the normal things. That just may come in handy. :)

Elaine - congrats on another year out of the way. I hope you get to spend a lot more time with your writing this summer!

Now - time to get to work! The story awaits!

Carol 6-3-2003 12:55

WHAT???!!! Methinks a plot is afoot, Ms. Muse. Maybe they called a writers' conference and didn't invite me.

Or...maybe all their computers crashed and they can't get here from there (GO TO YOUR LOCAL PUBLIC LIBRARY to get ACCESS!!!)

MAYBE...they're all sneaking chocolate bars behind their writing desks and don't want me to see. How'd you guys know I'd started another diet? Oh, woe is me.

Time for some soup. GOOD soup. Mmmmmm... BUT no soup for you lurkers!

Holy crashing cymbals, Batman, I can hear myself thinking in here! Let's zoom off in the Batmobile to someplace more distracting! Batman? Uh, Batman?


Zots! I'm going to lunch now. Maybe SOMEbody will be here when I get BACK! Hint, hint!!!

If it's the Writer's Tribulation or an alien invasion, and they've all been TAKEN except me, I'm gonna cry buckets.

Mel 6-3-2003 12:26

Yoo-hoo, Lurkers???!!!


Mmm, superb echo. Just kinda lonely sounding.

Mel 6-3-2003 10:04

Gosh, Ms. Muse, I scared everyone off to do cocooned-novel hunting of their own... I'm glad it's contagious but--sad there's no one here to talk about it...

Sigh. I guess it's one of those schitzophrenic "doomed to split up and go my own way" days. Talk to ya later, Ms. Muse.

Mel 6-3-2003 7:31

JERRY!!!!! :-] It's WONDERFUL you're feeling WONDERFUL again - ENJOY!!! Do the writing thing AFTER your day has worn down to the nubbins, AFTER you've caught the fireflies and released them again, AFTER hearing the hooty owls celebrating the moonlight... After so much time in pain, you should thoroughly enjoy your renewed freedom! I'm so happy for you. BTW, what a lovely birthday present - belated HB to you!

JACK: And a belated HB to you too! From the Turtle (slow as I go but eventually to arrive...)

RANDALL: If you don't send your hilarious stories to a publisher soon, I'm gonna go crazy!!! 8-} That's pretty dangerous 'cuz I'm already teetering on the edge!!! Get cracking, boy! :-)

HEATHER: Such energy, even when you're sleepy! Green, here. :-) A GREAT DAY to you!!!

And a GREAT DAY to everyone else too!!!

Must get to my desk. I'll be cocooned-novel-hunting later. While I was distracted over the weekend, Ms. Muse hid it somewhere. (*^^#^*_)(&(&!_)!!!! And I'm so close to breaking the dang thing open! Drat her.

Mel 6-2-2003 8:04

Errrrrg! Please ignore my grammar. Blurred vision... really!

Fine, don't believe me.


Me one more time 6-2-2003 7:21

Sorry, the post under this one should come second, in case it makes little sense.

(It might not make complete sense in the right order, either, but my handful of cents have been paid! LOL)

Heather 6-2-2003 7:18

Heck, it might not need mentioning at all!

Another interesting trick with Corel or MSWord is the highlighter.
If this one area in your description is really bogging you down/taking forever, give it a highlighting. Continue on with whatever writing or editing you had planned next.
Come back to the highlighted passages later.

It comes in handy... and saves paper and red ink!

TEEK! Where are you???

Heather 6-2-2003 7:15

Hallways... Rooms....

I find some of the descriptions posted in the last few days hit me heavily. No matter how well-lit in words, these imaginary hallways cast shadows that are effectively too large.
Concentrate on movement if there happens to be daylight roaming across the ceiling inch by inch or human traffic clotting an intersection. Concentrate on answering questions only you may ever pose: Are there spiderwebs in odd corners, wall paint rubbing off with thousands of hands grazing it daily? Is there anything remotely interesting or important about these tidbits of information on the setting, and does it need to be mentioned? Unless a scene takes place there (or if it is noticeably missing) it might not need such careful, slick wording.
How do I know? I've done it.

And I'm reminding myself I already know this by putting it down here.


Heather 6-2-2003 7:12

If I seem to be away more, and posting less, it's not because of anything in the Notebook, it's simply that, like the lead character in the PC game BLOOD, "I live again!"

This new narcotic pain killer the doc put me on a couple of months ago has brought me back among the living, I can move again without pain, and I've been moving about a bunch as of late, no time to sit and write, no time to screw with computers, there's life out there and I want to be part of it.

Well I have screwed with my computer a bit, having rebuilt the hard drive like three times in the same amount of weeks but other then that, it's outdoors doing yard work (when the rain that keeps coming and coming allows), quick trips to neighboring cities to buy things I need for yard work and such. GOD it's good to be able to move again, now if I could just stop long enough to write again...

Oh as far as gray hair, I don't have any on my head, but my beard has interesting streaks, back when I was in college, my beard had a distinct skunk double stripe, but it has since grown a bit more dispersed and seems to have joined to one simple wide stripe. Now the wife went gray when she was thirty which proved to be a bit embarrassing, since I still look around thirty without my beard, one time when our daughter was in hospital the Dr. came to speak with us about her condition, when he came into the room, he was concerned for privacy and asked the grandmother to step form the room, only it was just me and the wife in there. She has since began to dye her hair which is totally white, my mom just said today that she's going to let her's go gray. Probably for the best since she's a bit over 75 now. My dad was gray as long as I can recall, but he had these bright red sideburns. The wife's little brother is solid white and he's just a few months younger then I. Guess I'm lucky that way, in fact I've been thinking of shaving off the beard and looking like a kid again, since I feel like one now.

Jerry 6-1-2003 23:42

Hello all! Well I'm free at last! No more exams no more finals, no more gray hairs!( I hope) I'm at my friend's house, her name is Hope. She says 'Hey." Well I've got to go. See ya all around!
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 5-31-2003 15:42


FRIDAY!!!! At LAST!!!!!

I recently wrote that my friend, Lynn, has bone cancer. So for the next day or so I'm going to post a selection of excerpts from two books I penned many years ago which included my adventures with Lynn. Uh, ... mostly humorous, a few that escape definition. (Grin)

This one is from WASATCH BLUE...and for Rachel.

"Lynn Murice Jones approaches life with gusto, always having a good time and bet your church key a cold beer is always close at hand. He has an infectious personality and the unique ability to have a good time no matter the circumstances. Adding to the fun, Lynn is a consummate Romp Hound with an affinity for unbridled, seat of the pants acceleration down narrow back roads in vastly overpowered hotrod cars. It is said of him that he likes to drive comfortable. "Both feet flat on the floor."

Or... "Enjoys trimming his toe nails with the engine fan."

Frequently heard in the 1970's. "Good-God-O-Mighty look out! Here comes Jones and he's got his foot in it!"

I will state unequivocally that the phrase, "Please God let me live ...." was never spoken with more urgently, by more distraught people, with no greater fervor, at any other time in recorded history, than when riding with Lynn. The true meaning of abject fear became apparent one night as we made a dash for the beer store a few seconds before closing time. In his fat tired, side piped, overpowered, mid-night black 1969 Pontiac GTO we rocketed along, there is no other phrase suitable. An F4-J Phantom jet at full military power would have made less noise at tree top level than we did. In seconds my whole misspent life passed in front of me and for days afterward (between panic attacks) I gave serious thought to joining the priesthood.

Defensive driving is a class taught around local schools these days. Brownwood residents were years ahead in defensive driving techniques, as per boulevard instructor Lynn Jones. It has been widely reported that national auto insurance rates began climbing the second week after he secured his driving license. The monthly income and financial security of numerous insurance companies began climbing rapidly shortly afterward.

Brownwood's city council met one night in emergency session determined to put a stop to his scaring the bejesus out of common folk. They ordered the police chief to have a talk with the young offender. A red-faced, underpaid policeman reportable told them, "Talk hell, we can't even catch him, much less talk! He gets on them damn dirt roads and we can't begin to follow. That boy is bad to the bone!"

Shortly afterward, following, an ... oh ... uh, rather one-sided discussion with dad over proper method of acceleration, underage drinking and driving sanity, Lynn was banished to a small town fifteen miles south of Brownwood. To dry out and think things over. Keyless, afoot, exiled in the sticks, living with Grannie and the cows and chickens. Soon reports made the rounds that a young man with longish hair was patrolling the back roads down there, via Ford tractor with a Styrofoam cooler tied on - sipping on a cold one. Bootlegged to him by sympathetic (but well meaning!) fellow drunks. Nature takes beer out of a boy, but you can never take the boy out of beer. One friend reported locating Lynn was easy, upon spotting a trail of water drive slowly along until a farm tractor, leaking cooler and Mr. Jones hove into view.

A comparison between Lynn and old time Utah outlaw Butch Cassidy frequently cross my mind. They even look a lot alike. (He also resembles George Thurgood. You know ... the rocker who sings "Bad to the bone?") I read once that Butch had an affable personality, (I don't know anything about George) and persons sought him out for fellowship. An amazing revelation because Fellowship is one of Lynn's favorite terms and practically a religion for his group, even today.

Heaven forbid that the Good Lord sees reason to give me a tour of duty in Hell. But if that happens, and I'm fleeing through flames of everlasting fire in the suburbs of hell and hear that distinctive laugh? It will probably be Lynn speeding through the fire driving that damn black GTO, hollering, "Hey Randall, what's happening!" "

Have a good night all...


Randall 5-30-2003 16:51




ANDREW 5-30-2003 13:11


Thanks. I hope you can find a copy of Tolstoy. Enjoy your time away.


My hair started to turn gray when I was very young. I have an uncle who was full on gray by 12 or 13 years of age. Don’t stress on it girlie (smiles to you). Remember that there are hair salons and boxes at the drug store to deal with such matters ;o)


Most of the people that I know, have at this stage in the game seen a flicker of my temper, be it the white hot or the slow burn ;o) I am nice, but I don’t tend to take a lot of crap. I think the shocks from me are reserved for the people who don’t know me at all, or who presume that they know me, when they do not. Those are the folks who get shockers from me.

Happy 20th to you! Dan and I will have been a couple for 20 years this September. We’ve only been married for 13 years though.


Thanks :o)


Rachel 5-30-2003 12:59

Hi, RACHEL! :-) I liked your "standards of the academy" approach too.

Mel again 5-30-2003 12:42

ANDREW: Try some metaphors or emotions; put some purpose in your description. Some examples of questionable quality follow, but I hope they relay what I'm suggesting. Set a mood.

--The white-washed corridor walls played strict nanny to the dark carpeting roaming the halls of the ship.

--Gleaming walls of white guided the dark carpet as it flowed through tunneled halls of energy.

--Recessed lighting bathed the corridors in a soft-white glow, coming to rest in the dark carpeting.

--Crimson carpet snaked the maze of hallways, the corridor walls of white grasping for it at every turn.

Well, however you say it, I'm an ST fan and I'm there with you! :-]

Mel 5-30-2003 12:40


If that doesn't sound very good, it is likely because I'm not really a dedicated fan of Star Trek. I do like to check out the movies as they come along and watch the occasional episode. I've got some science fiction stuff that I enjoy working on, and imagine that one day I will look into seeking a publisher for it. I just need to decide what sort of venue that I wish it to be received in. For the time being it can move in many different directions. I very much enjoy the flexability of being a writer ;o)

Rachel 5-30-2003 12:33


How about... the immaculately clean and sterile walls reflected the standards of the academy from which the ships crew had graduated. The only variance to the uniformity could be seen in the occasional control panel interspersed with framed achievement certificates, or war history documents. Aside from these few things, the greatest decoration within the ship was to be seen in the warriors and crew which served upon it. The rolling blue/red (whatever colour) carpets, could be likened the the endless flow of dedication, energy and courage that was to be found emitting from all of those true and faithful to the cause.

Rachel 5-30-2003 12:27

Hello once again fellow writers of the world. Been a little busy lately with finals and finishing off another side job, but I have returned. Trying to get back into the writing thing, but am having some difficulty. I'm sure it will pass, but...

A question to any Star Trek fan out there. How would one describe the corridors of the ship? Possibly:

"The corridors of the vessel were laid out with white walls and dark carpeting throughout the ship, with the odd panel embedded within the wall every few feet."

I'm trying to dsecribe a new vessel's inner design and am having problems detailing the corridors. I envision the interior to that of the Enterprise or Voyager.

Any ideas?

ANDREW 5-30-2003 10:48

Hello Y'all!
Carol: Well, I guess my dad still beat me, he had gray hairs at 13. (Though I found another three or four yesterday).
I'm going to ask for y'all to keep me and a friend of mine in your prayers. Do some of you remember Bookie from last year? The very opinionated amatuer writer? Her older brother died last night. I'm sure that she would appreciate it. I want to be a help all that I can, and that's why I want you to pray for me also.
He had cancer and was 20 when he passed away.
Well, I only got two more exams left, American History and German 3/4. I'll need help with both of them. In fact I should be studying right now, but I wanted to let you guys know about Bookie and how I was doing. All right, I'll see you guys on the flip side of school.
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 5-30-2003 9:16

Oh my... I think I'm on to something here. My novel-cocoon is starting to quiver with rapturous joy... I think labor-pains are nearly spent--soon,a birth, no, a re-birth! A novel soon reborn... :-]

Somebody, boil some water! (Not to wash the newborn; for HOT COCOA!) Find clean rags--er, no, no, that's for human babies. Bring me something to bite on, to hang onto!!! Uh, fresh pens at the ready! Paper, I need paper!!! (The home computer's in the repair shop.)

Gosh, no one could tell I've birthed five children. Now I have to birth this 30-year-young novel!!! 8-]

Y'all write gobs of good stuff today!!!

Mel 5-30-2003 8:28

Just popping by.....

....and dropping off again!

Seize the day and CHOKE everything you can from it!

There, that was a Heather Myles quote. LOL

Heather 5-29-2003 20:53

Hi everybody,

I just posted a new link in the small press area of the site but I thought I should mention it here also.

If you like to write short-stories, poetry, Christian, historical, mystery/suspense, children's (ages 8-12), or young adult/teen, please stop by my site for free writers' guidelines and more information about GRAND REFLECTIONS.

The web address is

Thanks - hope you all have a great week!

JR Thompson Grand Reflections 5-29-2003 18:49

Hi All :)

Rachel - I never even thought of picking up Tolstoy in the past. Now you've got me itching to get to the library for a copy! Your entire post was open, honest and entirely enjoyable. :)

Rhoda - congrats on the anniversary!
Jack & Jerry - a belated, but heartfelt, happy birthday!

Elaine - hehehehe Only three gray hairs at 17? You got a long ways to go! When they start appearing in your eyebrows, you can complain. :)

Viv -- good luck! With everything :)

Now, I'm off for the weekend. Not a major trip, but one away from home for a few days. I'm going to pack all my worries away, stomp the lid down and forget! Just for a few days. That's all I'm asking. Hope all of you have a great weekend, whatever your plans!

Carol 5-29-2003 18:11


It is always the "nice" people who have the hottest tempers. People probably think you are so easy going and then when that temper flares up, you shock the crap out of them. I have the same problem.

Greetings from Las Vegas!!!

Frank and I are here for our 20th Wedding anniversary which was yesterday, May 28th. We are having a great time and will be back home tomorrow.

Rhoda 5-29-2003 16:04


Thanks. I will be sure to enjoy my courses. None of the classes I'm taking will be easy, but all will be a pleasure.


Rachel 5-29-2003 11:19

RACHEL: I LOVE that quote you left here from Troyat's TOLSTOY book! Leaving a reader feeling his own life-thread has been cut - YES! THAT's how I want to learn to write! A lifetime's ambition, surely, to learn to write that powerfully. Enjoy your lit courses! :-]

ALL: Novel-cocooning is very fascinating. You should try it if you get stuck between drafts (mss.,not beer). You peek, you pull a thread of cocoon loose and see what it unravels to be - if you don't like it, you stuff it back into the cocoon until it becomes something better. :-) Much more satisfying than sticking a muse-doll full of voodoo pins!

A G-R-E-A-T day of writing to each of you!

Mel 5-29-2003 8:04

Sorry for not posting y'all! It's the last week of school. Just the exams left. I hope I do well. I've been so stressed lately that I don't sleep or write. It feels like forever since I've written something more than a sentence. I found the third of three grey hairs today. I found two of them before today. My point is: grey hairs, I'm 17! I'm not supposed to be getting grey hairs!
Sorry, sorry. At least four or five exams to do, then I'll be free! I'm just venting some of my frustration. All right, thank you for taking the time to listen. Happy Birthday to who ever's birthday it is. My mind is shot. Well I see you all later.
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 5-28-2003 23:17


Indeed Robin, it is true, I have a fierce temper at times ;o) I’ve never denied that, not on this site and not in person. People seem to have a hard time believing that I have a temper, that is till they see it in action. Too bad you weren't here in person, I’m told I’m kind of cute when I’m angry ;o) That said, there are some things and people for which and whom I have almost infinite patience and tolerance. I wouldn’t want to discredit myself overly with my temper (grins). It in fact can be an excellent motivator when the softer aspects of my nature are in play. Passion was a good choice of word to sum up my outburst. I’m sick of suffering through the misconceptions and misrepresentations that people create for, of, about and around me. I can have some pretty strong feelings around all sorts of things and one will never know when I’m going to go off ;o) Often I will be surprised to find that I feel strongly about something and may not have even realized it before somebody has said something to provoke the issue. You can speak of anything you like, and I, from time to time, will sound off and have myself a little fit. You comment about the prairies is a little strange, as I do not live there, though once I suppose I did. I think that Ontario is still classified as a prairie region, and, it is where I was born. Yup, born on the shore of Lake Ontar-i-air-i-o! Okay, not actually on the shore ;o) I was born in Kingston, which I suppose is fairly far east.
In 1975 I was seven years old and attended R.P Elementary School ;o) My teacher was a beauty that likely would have taken the breath away from most men. I thought she was very pretty and she thought I was very sweet. It was she who put it together that I was dyslexic. After that, I also began to attend at the University of British Columbia. Ahhhh yes, those were the days. I wasn’t there to study, but rather was the subject of study. I know that sounds sarcastic. I know that I was pretty lucky, I got the cutting edge folks to work with me and I am willing to bet that has a lot to do with why my dyslexia didn’t slow me down for long. It also had to do with some IQ tests that they ran. I doubt that every kid with dyslexia got the sort of attention that I did. It was the doctors there who had my parents buy my a typewriter. It was then that I took off. Oh wow and how. I could type the words that I couldn’t ever seem to write by hand. It was so fantastic, so amazing and wonderful. Sure, my spelling was still pure living hell, but I could write!

Since my return to school I seem to have cornered the market on tough teachers. Every class I take seems to have what I am told is the toughest teacher in the department. I find that pretty hard to believe. I’m doing well enough and enjoy the company and humor of each of my instructors. I’ve only had a confrontation with one and it was due to her using non-specific generalizations which she was not able to back up when I inquired as to what in the name of all that was holy she was making reference to.

I do not like when there are flocks of people in my classes who only take the lit for requirements sake. It ticks me off when I think of how hard it is to get into a good class. I do not think I need to worry about the soap opera gang in the class I will be taking. Maybe the 256 would be like that, but the 351 is a little different. It is directed studies and there will only be two other students besides myself. If the class fills before my registration date, then I will take it another semester. I am still trying to get into 100 level English courses. I’ve only managed one of them to date. I guess by the time I’m able to get into a few more that I’ll have a fairly easy time with them. That will be nice. Don’t go thinking that where I attend there are no pre requs for classes. There are, I just managed to move around them, through a stack of e-mails, a paper and interview and after that, my grades.

Hum, I have this old book that I’m quite fond of. It is part of what makes me want to study Tolstoy and to explore his works in greater depth. The book is called “Tolstoy” it is by Henri Troyat he says of War and Peace ...”When he looks up from the last page of the book, the reader feels lost, as tough the thread of his own life has been cut. An yet he is not blinded, he has had no revelation, heard no prophecy. Here, Tolstoy is not a visionary; he is not waving a torch above the abyss, like Dostoyevsky; he does not turn his people inside-out like gloves, he does not scare us with our own shadows. His exploration never goes beyond what is directly perceptible to ordinary mortals. But he responds more intensely than ordinary mortals to the appeal of beings and things. Instead of brining us closer to the Beyond, he brings us closer to the Here-and-Now. Men and plants, stones and animals are on the same plane for him. He observes a piece of carrion as attentively as a flower. That fatigue in the eyes of a ages horse is as significant to him for the comprehension of the universe as the fractious conceit shining in the captain’s face. The paradox is that this pantheistic process of creation, binding together pure and impure, great and small, beautiful and ugly, animate and inanimate, suffuses the entire work with the mastery of a second Genesis.

Now that is what writing is about! I think that books are intended to be read on different levels. At least good books are. An author knows that not every reader is going to dive into the ocean of wonder that they have created. Some readers will only every skate over the surface. Some readers will only admire the pretty princess, or prince and gasp with anticipation over who will do what to whom and when things will be resolved and if they are not, they may feel that was not a well written piece of work and never stop to consider that perhaps the lack of resolution was in fact the point, or a pointer towards a lager concept that is deep within the text of the book. Lots of people will only ever read the story. That is okay. I don’t think that such readers should be frowned upon in the least. They are consumers of art, in their own way as well. Their lives are enriched and widened as much as they should be. If every person were to dive to the depths, then there would be those who would beat out the floor of the oceans to discover new depths, then scorn those who hadn’t found the new depths.

Thunderstruck is what we were the other day. We had such boomers it was really beautiful. I love storms. When I was a girl I used to make a pot of tea and sit out in the storm. My parents thought I was quite the odd duck, but left me to my weirdness. I in turn tried not to expose them to overly large doses of my strangeness at one time. I was a solitary young person and spent most of my time on long hikes that took me off into the foothills. I was very happy there. I would climb up a tree and read or write for the better part of the day then hike home when I grew tired.

So, how far West am I? I guess if you went much further west than I am you would get wet ;o) I live in British Columbia. will give you an idea of my specific location. The girl on the horse in the river would have had her picture taken about two kilometers from my home. It is a nice place to ride. The river she is in, is directly across the street from my home. Sadly, I do not live on the river front.

Rachel 5-28-2003 17:01

Howard: Thank you. Great site! I needed that!

Jerry: Sorry to get cranky on the government worker stuff. We get a lot of stuff about being "lousy government workers". I get defensive. Then again, once in a while I pipe up and say something like, "Good enough for Government work."

Mostly I think it just hit me on a bad day because my keyboard on my laptop broke. That's my only computer and the keyboard fits my hands. This big one I have plugged in makes me stretch my fingers and it's not comfortable in the long haul. It's also a pain to carry on the train in a backpack.

Viv 5-28-2003 9:46

oo, sticky mess!!! That's what I get for trying to poke my head into my novel's cocoon before it's ready to emerge... Back, I say! Get back in there and become something prettier! I refuse to write something that dark and personal. ho-hum...this could take another eon...

You-all have a GREAT writing day! Watch out for flypaper and honey-covered muses! 8-]

BTW, ELAINE, my hubby's not marching this year. His growing years found him with the Mark Twain Cadets, followed by several years in the Rochester Crusaders and a couple partial years with the Syracuse Brigadiers (all New York State drum corps). He might march again next year, either with the Brigs or maybe Mighty Saint Joe's (Batavia, NY). :-)

Mel 5-28-2003 8:46

lianchun yang dead burnt magnesite 5-27-2003 22:51

lianchun yang caustic calcined magnesite 5-27-2003 22:49

RACHEL -- Such passion!! What was that? "frickin fire balls"? Holy heat stroke, Batman, Rachel has a temper. And it comes out over Russian Lit. Blimey, lads, don't be talking about Moscow ramparts or the Crystal Palace in Petersburg; we'll set off flames in the Canadian prairies.

1975 I was a 28-year-old veteran finally returning to college. I read Tolstoy with a prof from a highly formal background at U. of Chicago. (b.a. at Harvard, Chicago had the better Lit program so PhD from there). Tough bastard. Gave me the only 'C' of my scholastic career.

I read 'War and Peace' twice every session, once for the pleasure of his storytelling and once for critical understanding. The 19 and 20-year-old nursing students who were there for a Literature requirement would treat the book like a soap opera. Every class I heard those women talk about 'the little princess' or 'Bolkonsky' and say things like "I can't wait to find out what she does next."

I couldn't join the soap-opera gang, but that was pretty close to how I approached my first reading of the book. The second reading was always where I got thunderstruck.

Speaking of thunderstruck, I'm pretty far East. How far West are you?

Mark 5-27-2003 13:55

Jack - Thanks, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY yesterday.

I have mine back up and running, the damn thing made me almost mad enough to stick ME on it, but I didn't went ahead and used the restore CD's that I got after the last time I killed the hard drive. HP doesen't furnish the recovery disks, but instead rely's on a hidden partition on the main hard drive. Only problem, they quickly found that many folks, me included killed hard drives, including that stupid 4 gig hidden partition and began sending them out free on request.

What I did was to download a partition program with the intention of sticking a small windows 98 partition to use for my old DOS games. I set it up, then decided against using it and uninstalled it. The uninstall killed the MBR on both 40 gig hard drives. Now under the old 9X systems, one could use the tried and true "FDISK /MBR" command to recover from this error, but I quickly found that they will not work on NTFS hard drives, so I booted from my XP PRO cd, it too lacked a working FDISK program. In a moment of madness, I installed XP Pro, and quickly burned a backup of a few files I wanted to keep, neglecting my "MY DOCUMENTS" directory where I had ALL my writing stored. Then tried to use the restore disk to recover all the drivers and such from XP Home. It did a quick install, then gave me that dreaded unverifyable SN error with a dead halt of the system. In the end I ended up reformating both hard drives, loosing tons of stuff on my second "BACKUP" hard drive and all my writing.

Oh well sometimes it's nice to have all that space and nothing in it.

As far as monitors, I still use the little 15 inch that came with my system. Maybe some day when the wife get's on medicare, I can afford a bigger screen but till then, the 15's fine.

Jerry 5-27-2003 0:26

Jackson again,

ARGH! Why can nobody think of this stuff as relaxing. I'm thinking about that and about what everyone says to me about all of the books that I read and know what? I'm about fed up! It is relaxing. I find it difficult to listen to the bull crap barf that is spurted forth left and right, I find it relaxing to fall into the grandure of excellent writing, which, is not limited by any means to the writers that you have mentioned.

Please do not think that I'm trying to brawl with you. I see what you are saying, understand that you don't know me, or are likely to ever know me, as I simply have no inclination to make any new friends at this particular time in my life. Yezzzzz, I'm limiting myself. Perhaps my writing will suffer (merry laughter).

Anyway, you seem very nice. I am sure the NB will LOVE you. You remind me very much of a man that I know and am most fond of. You however are not him ;o)

Enjoy the NB and I'll try not to talk about how I feel in regards to Russian LIt as it would seem to make you and other feel uncomfortable with yourselves, your writing or whatever.


Rachel 5-27-2003 0:17


You ought to try a month in my shoes ;o) After that, you would likely find Russian Literature relaxing as well.

I thrill to the passion, art and mastery of the writing. I find that a roll into it, I wrap it around myself and just savor the wonder of it.

Maybe, it is that I relax differently than most people (wide, wicked grins). I don't tend to laugh when others laugh, or cry when other cry, so perhaps I also relax when others would not.

I've been known to kick back with a thick book of government policy and procedures and enjoy it to no end, so who knows what wonders and beauty of relaxation I can find in the rich and textured writing of the writers you are so quick to quote.

I love to find all those quotes sites. Arent' they just a delight?

Know what I enjoy? I love to prick and pick at those who make quotes and don't have a frickin clue where or who they came from, let alone what the blazing fire balls they were ever inteneded to communicate.

I've had a wicked hard day. It's time to have a seat in the steam bath and relax ;o)

Ciao for now Jackson.


Rachel 5-27-2003 0:08

JACKSON -- Welcome! and thanks for the quotes on writing.

ALL -- anyone wanting to brush up on English grammar might enjoy

I haven't been through it all yet, but so far it looks good.

howard 5-26-2003 22:04

Hello Notebookers!

Mostly for young Sarah

Hello Sarah. I wander through this happy site every now and again to see what’s going on, always enjoying what the various members are saying to one another, though never contributing. But today I found you, right at the beginning of a life, should you remain with writing, that I believe will be like no other. That is to say, people may possess things you very much want for yourself, things you very likely could have for yourself, too, were you to spend your time pursuing life in another direction; but sitting alone in a room with a pen, a typewriter, or a keyboard, is your thing, your life, and nothing – believe me – nothing will ever match it or be able to tear you away. I’m not sure writing is fun (to be honest I’m absolutely positive about that). It’s something wonderful that’s in you, and you can’t do anything but bow your head and get on with it. Nothing in life compares. It’s beautiful, brilliant, rewarding, exciting, educational, psychologically broadening, even thrilling at times, but I’d say the work is far too hard ever to be called fun. But have it as you will right now.
I’ve taken the very considerable liberty of collating quite a number of quotes for you, by writers on writing, which you’ll find below. The members of Notebook are an altogether pleasant bunch of people, so I have no doubt I’ll be forgiven, even if they know them all by heart. Anyway, take a look and see what you think. I expect you’ll be familiar with some already. I find them all very true, and maybe you will also. You might take to something in particular, as I have, print it off and paste it at the top of your monitor. I have the Anton Chekhov appeal written across mine: ‘Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on a broken glass’. (Whenever you hear talk of ‘showing’ and ‘telling’, remember that one). But I love all the quotes below, especially, perhaps, the one about being published, the anticlimax of it all. The only thing good about being published, it seems to me, is to be able to answer in the affirmative when someone discovers you’re a writer, then immediately asks what’s considered to be the all-important part of writing: ‘Have you been published?’ Then you can simply answer ‘yes’, close that uninteresting part of the conversation down, and move onto something else. Well, Sarah, I certainly wish you well.

Russian Literature

Someone, Rachel I believe, finds Russian literature ‘relaxing’. Really? I don’t want to be the least contentious, but are you quite sure about that one? I think of Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, the horror and beauty of that great work, Tolstoy’s gargantuan panorama of humanity, War and Peace, Pasternak’s unforgettable story of love and country, Doctor Zhivago, Turgenev’s ineffably beautiful Fathers and Sons (in the modern translation by Richard Freeborn), and ‘relaxing’ isn’t exactly what springs to mind. Reading books like this I’m on the edge of my seat with tension and wonder, and my heart is pounding!

Charles Frasier

I’ll leave with a recommendation of an American modern masterpiece. To everyone: if you haven’t read it already, pick up a copy of Charles Frasier’s Cold Mountain. The best book in years and years by some way, I’d say, and one that won’t be long in finding its way to the set books’ list for literature students, if it isn’t there already. Another excellent modern novel is Ian McKewan’s Atonement. I’ll go.

Sarah, I hope the writing life goes well for you.

Jackson Cole


Sit down, and put down everything that comes into your head and then you're a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff's worth, without pity, and destroy most of it. ~Colette, Casual Chance, 1964

Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~Anton Chekhov

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. ~Ray Bradbury

There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein. ~Walter
Wellesley "Red" Smith

Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. ~Gene Fowler

Life can't ever really defeat a writer who is in love with writing, for life itself is a writer's lover until death - fascinating, cruel, lavish, warm, cold, treacherous, constant. ~Edna Ferber, A Kind of Magic, 1963

It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop. ~Vita Sackville-West

Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn't wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say. ~Sharon O'Brien

The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is you really want to say. ~Mark Twain

Easy reading is damn hard writing. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

If it takes a lot of words to say what you have in mind, give it more thought. ~Dennis Roth

Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable. ~Francis Bacon

Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them. There's many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher. ~Flannery O'Connor

When a man is in doubt about this or that in his writing, it will often guide him if he asks himself how it will tell a hundred years hence. ~Samuel Butler

Every writer I know has trouble writing. ~Joseph Heller

If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad. ~Lord Byron

Publication - is the auction of the Mind of Man. ~Emily Dickinson

You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what's burning inside you. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke. ~Arthur Polotnik

The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof crap detector. This is the writer's radar and all great writers have had it. ~Ernest Hemingway

Many books require no thought from those who read them, and for a very simple reason. They made no such demand upon those who wrote them. ~Charles Caleb Colton

I am a man, and alive.... For this reason I am a novelist. And being a novelist, I consider myself superior to the saint, the scientist, the philosopher, and the poet, who are all great masters of different bits of man alive, but never get the whole hog. ~D.H. Lawrence, preface to Shestov, All Things Are Possible, 1938

True Ease in Writing comes from Art, not Chance,
As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance.
~Alexander Pope, "An Essay on Criticism"

Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself. ~Franz Kafka

An author in his book must be like God in the universe, present everywhere and visible nowhere. ~Gustave Flaubert

One ought only to write when one leaves a piece of one's own flesh in the inkpot, each time one dips one's pen. ~Leo Tolstoy

Loafing is the most productive part of a writer's life. ~James Norman Hall

The artist's only responsibility is his art. He will be completely ruthless if he is a good one.... If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate: The "Ode on a Grecian Urn" is worth any number of old ladies. ~Faulkner, quoted in M. Cowley, Writers at Work, 1958

Having imagination, it takes you an hour to write a paragraph that, if you were unimaginative, would take you only a minute. Or you might not write the paragraph at all. ~Franklin P. Adams, Half a Loaf, 1927

The writer writes in order to teach himself, to understand himself, to satisfy himself; the publishing of his ideas, though it brings gratification, is a curious anticlimax. ~Alfred Kazin, Think, February 1963

Read over your compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out. ~Samuel Johnson, "Recalling the Advice of a College Tutor," Boswell, Life of Johnson, 1791

The good writing of any age has always been the product of someone's neurosis, and we'd have a mighty dull literature if all the writers that came along were a bunch of happy chuckleheads. ~William Styron, interview, Writers at Work, 1958

Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. ~Winston Churchill

A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author. ~G.K. Chesterton

Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

The best style is the style you don't notice. ~Somerset Maugham

Listen carefully to first criticisms made of your work. Note just what it is about your work that critics don't like - then cultivate it. That's the only part of your work that's individual and worth keeping. ~Jean Cocteau

Jackson 5-26-2003 13:47

I forgot to say Happy Memorial Day to U.S.ers. I just rented a biography called Maya Lin from the library, about the 21 year old young woman who designed the Vietnam Memorial. There was a part where two men were upset because they couldn't find their loved one's name on the wall, and the one turns to the other and says as he sobs, "We're looking for one name ... it doesn't really matter--just look at all the names ..." and he melts down, completely overwhelmed by the hugeness of it all. It's one of the best documentaries I've ever seen. I bawled through half of it.

My sincere condolences to everyone who has lost a loved one to war.

Christi 5-26-2003 12:42


Morning all...

And YOU thought you could write fiction? How about a tip of the old hat to Cedar City, Utah Mayor Gerald Sherratt...

May 26, 2003


By Paul Rolly and JoAnn Jacobsen-Wells
Salt Lake Tribune Columnists

"Southern Utah was all abuzz recently after Cedar City Mayor Gerald R. Sherratt began running notices in local newspapers about the discovery of ancient Viking artifacts in a cave near the city.

The so-called Himmeslk Papers accompanying the artifacts disclosed that Vikings sent by King Eric of the Blodosk line discovered a tiny island in the South Pacific on April 1, A.D. 956.

Eventually, the coral-based island became unhinged, having been loosened over the centuries by earthquakes. A tsunami carried it to the American continent and the wave, several thousand feet high, threw it hundreds of miles inland, where it landed in what is now Cedar City.

An explorer sent by President Polk in 1845 discovered the settlement. Eventually, the Vikings were tricked by a treaty that deeded the settlement to the United States. They never were paid for the land.

After it was evacuated, the settlement was razed, extinguishing all evidence of its existence. The recent discovery in the cave presented a problem for the United States because calculations determined that in today's dollars, the government would owe the Blodosks $88.7 billion.

An agreement was made with the Blodosk heirs that, in lieu of payment, they could retake ownership of Himmeslk (aka Cedar City), for 10 days every year and celebrate their kingdom with an annual Himmeslk festival beginning on the 1,048th anniversary of the settlement's founding: April 1 (note the date), 2004.

Cedar City officials hope the annual festival will become a tourism and economic development boom rivaling the wildly successful Shakespearean Festival and the Utah Summer Games.

But after the ads began to run, Sherratt and his brain trust received a unexpected reaction. Calls and letters from St. George residents laid claim to the treasure found in the cave. Several St. George residents said their ancestors had been part of the settlement and had owned some of the artifacts. Others linked the story to the Book of Mormon.

When Sherratt explained the whole story was made up to promote the festival, the St. George residents accused him and other officials of a cover-up. (St. George is near La Verkin which, as you will recall, banned the United Nations from its boundaries.)

As a result of the St. George reaction, Sherratt said in a recent Cedar City newsletter that the festival will no longer be advertised in the St. George media. It will continue to be advertised in Cedar City, where residents can take a joke."

Ya gotta love him!!!

God bless all the veterans and please take time out from all the furniture, car and hardware sales (at least) ... pause to reflect upon their service to America.


Randall 5-26-2003 12:22


Mary, Congratulations to you! I hope you're getting some well-deserved rest. How is it having a wee baby around again? My new nephew was over the other day and I can't get enough of kissing him. He'll probably scream murder the next time he sees me.

Howard, I remember that one, I think. It's still lovely. :)

Oh Jerry, I do sympathize. Here's a link to a fantastically funny and true review by Orson Scott Card on Windows XP, just scroll down a bit. I'd copy and paste it but I don't want to get sued. Let's see if I can get it right the first time--I'm retarded link-wise.

Litter, Thanks for pulling me out of the woodwork. I couldn't resist giving props to one of my favorite bands of yesteryear. (??yesteryear?) Madness rules! Sugs gets my vote for pop singer with the most indecipherable/interesting accent ... that is until the Gallagher brothers came along. They actually run subtitles on the screen in the U.S. sometimes when they're interviewing those guys! I laughed until I hurt when I saw that, and even more when I saw how utterly necessary it was! They're freaking hilarious.
I feel for you, sick-wise, man. I too am quite sick and phlemy--thinking about having my middle name changed to phlem actually. The flu I had decided to morph into a sinus infection. It ain't pretty, nossir.

Welcome Denise, Larry, Andrew, Sarah and Kate! Pull up a chair and join in.

Hi Jack, Heather, Randall, Rosemary, Rhoda, and everyone in the nether-regions of the notebook that I didn't have time to scroll down to. So glad to see the gang's still here!

And now I, like Litter, am succumbing to the phlem. Bye all!

Christi Orson Scott Card's Hatrack River 5-26-2003 12:07

Jerry: Condolences on nuking your computer. In my own case, it was a bit more dramatic. Yesterday, I was happily enjoying my computer when my 10 year old Viewsonic 20 inch monitor that had done journeyman duty for a goodly long time exploded in a bright flash of electrical discharge and a puff of smoke. While I frantically yanked cables to make sure nothing would happen to my computer, I did first steps of analysis to discover that the monitor was indeed dead and after borrowing my wife's 15 inch monitor, discovered that the computer was intact. The one saving grace in all of this is that getting an equivalent and actually more robust monitor will only cost me between $200 to $250 whereas 10 years ago, it cost a $1000. Of course, this is due to my not needing an LCD.

BTW, in terms of Micro$oft operating systems, XP Home or Pro are far and away better than any 9x versions that company has produced and infinitely better than the disaster that Micro$oft ME was. I am very happy with it. It is built on the same kernel as Windows NT and Windows 2000 and as such is far and away more stable, though, not proof against defective hard drives. Hope that last helps and good luck with reviving your computer.

p.s. it is now up in the air whether I will be gone for 10 days or so, but we will see.

Jack Beslanwitch 5-26-2003 0:18

It is still completely possiable to completely NUKE a computer in just seconds. I know because I did it this morning. Just got it working again. I shan't go into the whole sad story, suffice to say I screwed it up.

We went to the graduation of our twin nephew's today, and after the ceramony at their open house we sat at the table with an old man who lived on a neighboring farm. Nobody knew he was a veteran, as he never mentioned it in all the years my wife and her family knew him, but since it's memorial day weekend, he told the tale of one day in 1944 when his bomber was shot down over Europe.

It was facinating to sit there and listen to his tale, seems they were stationed in liberated Italy, and bombing a munitions factory in Austria. Their bomber was badly damaged and on the way home, it went down near the border of Hungery and Checzoslvokia. He bailed out, as did the rest of the crew, and when he landed, he was in the middle of a field, there were peasants working the fields who were loyal to the German's, and they began to take out their anger on him, just as they were about to cut off his head, his "gardian angel" in German Uniform stepped in, and saved his life. He was taken to a prisoner of war camp, and spent several months there. His family was notified that he was MIA, and his father being of failing health immediately sold the family farm, then before he was liberated, passed away. When he was liberated and flew home, some months later, he found his father's farm in the hands of strangers, and it took him weeks to locate his wife, who was never notified he was found. Guess everybody was celebrating the end of war in Europe about that time.

It was a great day, despite the computer problems, and I'm sort of getting things back up and running, still can't see my second hard drive, as the program that killed it destroyed the master boot records on both hard drives. Damn windows XP and DAMN BILL GATES!!

I'm half tempted to go back to Linux but there's just too many things I like to do that I can only do in some sort of Windows. [maybe windows 2000 is better?]

Jerry 5-25-2003 23:32

RANDALL and JERRY -- your mention of losing old friends reminded me of something I wrote a while back for my father-in-law, after taking him to the funeral parlor:


He still stands tall and straight.

In place of bib overalls and flannel shirt a threadbare blue suit hangs on his gaunt frame. Gray-white hair hangs stubbornly down over one ear, matching the stubble covering his face. His gnarled and stained hands testify of years of manual labor.

Lifting each foot deliberately, as if stepping over wrinkles in the carpet of time, he walks with the motion common to those who have long sailed the ocean of years. After so long a time keeping balance his hips refuse to bend, and he rocks in an economical rhythm, using the inertia of his whole body to stay just one step ahead of the overwhelming tides of age.

He slows to let his eyes catch up with him, and stops to listen to some sound that younger ears would not hear.

This place is too familiar. He's come too often lately, bidding farewell to family and friends. Now it is Glover -- another old friend -- to whom he nods a quiet good-bye. "Glover looks kinda poorly -- but better now, than the last time I saw him."

He becomes quiet again, thoughtful, as if going over a list, adding a name. Telling the names of those waiting to receive him keeps them from fading. And to him it is a duty.

howard 5-25-2003 15:40


That e-mail is on its way.

Rhoda 5-25-2003 15:23

Competitions and markets this side of the pond

Eddie French WriteLink 5-25-2003 9:04

I suppose I'm barred from answering that one, being a bit of a Sugs fan......

eddie french 5-25-2003 9:02

Larry & Denise – Welcome to the house of fun. (OK gang, where is that quote from?)

Litter Again 5-25-2003 8:21

Hi Gang!

I've been in the clutches of a nasty chest infection and have spent rather more time in bed than I would have liked. (Instead of promoting my book, doing housework, gardening, repairing the shed roof…) It is so *^&$%^ frustrating!

I've been asked by friends in the US for signed copies of 'The Watchers' but postal costs are pretty prohibitive, so I'm making up a book plate that I can send out for those that want. Mail me on the eddress below if you wish.

MARY – if you're reading this, WAY TO GO! Many congrats.

RHODA – have you mailed me anything to check for you? If you have, then I haven't received it.

SARAH, ANDREW, & KATE – many welcomes.

DEBRA – I probably still owe you an email? Sorry, but I think it should be answered in part, above.

EVERYONE ELSE – Lang may yer lums (collectively and individually) reek!

Litter, slowly succumbing once more to snot and phlegm. Nighty night! (1.20pm!!!)

PS Anyone in the UK who is interested in 'The Watchers' – I can supply in the UK without the international postal charges.

Litter LitterAli Writing 5-25-2003 8:19


Add me to your bad agent story list. I paid an agent $200.00 up-front once. I learned the hard way. I think he actually sent my work in, but he must have done a poor job of it, because the rejection letters from the editors he sent to were all form letters and very brief, and were much more impersonal than any rejection I personally got from an editor. A good agent would have edited the manuscript and would have suggested changes before sending it on. The agent never sold anything for anybody, but he probably made a lot of money at $200.00 a client.

Never, never, never send money upfront. Agents are supposed to make their money off percentages of work they sell, not the fees they charge you. And remember; anybody can be an agent.

I am embarrassed to admit that I have allowed someone to take advantage of me this way, but if it saves someone reading this post from making the same mistake, then the admission is worthwhile.

Rhoda 5-25-2003 2:04

Getting Started:I am a young writer, who has never had anything published before, although I understand the basic terms; Query, Killfee, first rights, SASE, ect. I would really like to get of to a good start. I have an idea for a short story: historical fiction sit in the early 16th century, which involves stream of conciousness. ANyone know good markets for me to consider? I'd really like to query first.

Larry 5-25-2003 1:52

Getting Started:

Larry 5-25-2003 1:49

Hello! I love your website. I've just been looking around the web at writer's groups and things in celebration of just selling my first book. We're still working out a title, but it will be out later this year from White Paper, Black Ink Press P.O Box 66204 Seattle, WA 98166. I never thought I'd find a publisher, but I guess perseverance finally paid off.

Denise 5-24-2003 23:04

Hi all and Howdy to all the newbies.

My learned advice about agents---Be verrrry careful. There are wolves in agents clothing out there. A number of friends had the experience of sending money for copies and postage and receiving the advice that they should send their manuscript to a bookdoctor for major bucks. Turned out later that the agent and book doctor were in business together. (I can't spell cahoots) Another aquaintance received, for her money, the placement of her manuscript with Xlibris==A POD publisher that charges for their services. Anyone can go to them on their own.

You want to feel your age? Just buy a tree that you need for shade. For thirty dollars or so, you can get a nice little tree that will shade your back porch by the time you (or I) are Seventy-five years old. I did that a few years ago when I was just 55. I'm now 60 and it's about a third grown. But a nice little tree.

Hi Carol, long time no read.

Gotta go check on my Poodle. He's raising a racket about something in the other room. He''d better not be fakeing it. :-P


Rosemary 5-24-2003 20:02

Randall - well now that you asked, they declared my birthday a national holiday this year, it falls on Monday, they're calling it memorial day or some such. Never figured out exactly what I did to deserve such recognition.

Oh and Jack will be celebrating his birthday this Sunday if I recall my dates correctly. I'm not quite the double nickle as of yet, just 52, but it's close anyhow.

I know what you mean about loosing the old gang, I've seen mine go the way of the wind myself, seems it gets smaller each year, but then so are those old fellows who I didn't much care for in my younger days too. Not that I'm dancing in the street when they pass on, but then it's a bit satisfying that I outlived the bastards. All part of aging I guess.

Speaking of cowboy poets, theres a bunch of them around here, they coverted an old Church of God church to a cowboy theatre and have recitals as well as gospel singing and authentic cowboy songs several times a year, lots of fun to attend, and now that I can get around a bit better, I plan on taking some of them in now. In the past I've watched them on our local cable channel or on the internet, as they have installed a net camera in the old church and a local fellow keeps the last one on his server so a fellow can go there and see what he missed.

Jerry the lemmon opry site 5-24-2003 19:26


Afternoon all...

Darn! Howard... I thought you were from Maine! Sorry about that. When one gets past the double-nickels the mind starts to go... And I was referencing your post that listed a web site for Nova, though I didn't check could be the Church of Christ site for all I know...

Jerry...missing posts? Are you past the old double-nickel age wise? (Grin)

I attended the funeral of a darn good man last week. Husband, father, grandfather ... cowboy poet. A cowboy/hippie in fact. Texas has a lot of these. Stetsoned cowboys with long hair, battered Ford pickup, horse trailer, a free spirit and laid back life style, forever in the saddle. Able to quote lyrics of George Jones or Jimmy Page at will. Lung cancer at 52.

Yesterday my best friend, Lynn, confirmed he had cancer. The story going around town had Lynn with colon cancer and would soon be cleared up. Wrong. My friend told me on a beautiful spring afternoon he had "bone cancer." It was a shock. I ran around with Lynn and his wife for almost 11 years. 1970 till 1981. I was single then and we went most everywhere together. Summer evenings at my dad's lake cabin...hunting deer at my grandmother's ranch...hunting doves at his dad's ranch...boat races in around town in the hot rod cars he loves to build. All the thing's good friends do.

I guess what shocks me so is the double whammy of one friend dying of cancer, another sick and my own heart problems. As if mortality wasn't visible enough, now friends with cancer. It is also a reminder that old gang of mine is getting older. Lynn looks bad, face drawn, thin, haggard. He and his wife drive every day 70 miles to Abilene for treatment. I yearn for the positive but negative thoughts intrude. We often made jokes about dying once upon a time. Now it doesn't seem so darn funny. Shore hope God has a sense of humor and a place for us knucklehead Texans when the time comes.

Beautiful day here. Not conducive to thoughts of your own mortality.

See ya!


Randall 5-24-2003 16:07


You are just going to have to stop talking about talc and going on about your factory in China. JACK always takes those off.

Rhoda 5-24-2003 14:42

S - T - R - A - N - G - E -
I left a post here last night and it's not there?

Oh well probably wasn't that important anyhow.

Jerry 5-24-2003 14:19

RANDALL -- "Maine?" No -- New York, unless you're talking about another Howard. We do like to travel up thataway, though, and are now considering a trip to Nova Scotia, stopping along the way for a whale watch, a LL Bean watch, and other various and sundey stops along the Maine coast.
And what web page? :-})

SARAH -- Yes it's a beautiful name! and welcome again to you, Kate, and Andrew.

In a previous job I once had to call a person whose name was Hannah-Sarah _______child (I won't mention the last name, as this is an actual person). A nice deep baritone voice answered the phone, and I asked to speak with Hanna-Sarah.

He said "That's me."

After the slightest pause we discussed (and resolved) his computer problem. Then, because I am interested in names, I asked the origin of his last name. I had never heard it before, and it did not fit any ethnic pattern with which I'm familiar.

He replied very seriously: "Hannah and Sarah were two women from the Bible that I was very impressed with, and _________ was a fascinating woman from a Marion Zimmer Bradley novel, that I wished could have been my mother. So I had my name legally changed to Hannah-Sarah _______child."

Absolutely true story!

howard 5-24-2003 11:06

Randall, your toilet humour positively REEKS!


Heather 5-23-2003 20:43

Andrew - there was a software product that I happened across once, with special categories for characters, chapters, and so forth in the menu tabs; the program allowed you to take chunks of work and set it aside, play with it, and reinsert it in another section (and I suppose the pagenumbers would change to suit the new)... but it's nothing we can't do with Corel 2000, or the latest MSWord if you know how to cut and paste, etc.
There were a few things that Corel or MSWord didn't have, pertaining to character lists and attributes, and probably had a name generator in it as well.
If I remember the name of the software I'll let you know - but I didn't buy it because:
a) It requires time to figure out all the new buttons and tabs and settings
b) It requires even more time to insert all of my character information already in existence on simple paper...
c) There isn't anything about the program that couldn't be accomplished with what I've already got (paper, pen, Corel 2000, oh, and my brain)

I also figure I get pissed off enough with Corel, why take it to a new level? LOL
But, in case you are interested, try doing a search in google for 'writer's software'...

Best of luck narrowing down the list of potential publishers, Andrew. You're ahead of the game if you know the target audience, have a pitch ready, and can spell your own titles. Weeeeeeeee hhheeeeeeeeeeeeee (I'm being a sarcastic nasty-head today, please pardon me)

Heather 5-23-2003 20:42



TGIF Guys!!!!!! GOOD OLD FRIDAY!!!!!

Nova...Good for you! I don't care what anyone else believes. A persons religious persuasion is their business! For reference...Church of Christ believers can be a little side of that fence are you on?

(PS...My grandparents were Church of Christ...the other side were Baptists. And they got along like twin Burros.)

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd somehow I am not surprised that Howard, our man in Maine has the web site at hand. (Grin)

Hi Viv! Japan's PM is in Texas at the Bush ranch. Any bets on the ubiquitous snapshot of him wearing a western hat?

Jerry...our answering machine has this on it. Our daughter, the up and coming banker to be does the vocals in her best loan officer voice. "Hi! We're not home now. At the beep ... start talking!" This was borrowed from one of the funniest movies I've ever seen...MOUSE HUNT. I am appalled that some people can not HANG UP the phone when telemarketer call. My wife's grandmother would listen for hours, too afraid she might get into trouble "and don't want to be rude." Just hang it up! Jeeze!

Jerry, a much younger Randall once helped his grandparents kill a hog and well understands where lye soap originates. From that process, he once took a Mason jar full of hog brains (in alcohol) to his 4th grade teacher. She was somewhat taken aback to say the least. Mom later said she was informed at a PTA meeting later that the poor woman confessed these were the first "brains" she had ever seen! Somewhat dryly Mom asked..."Does that include Randall?"

Heather...I like the quote about the Texas politician! From one jackass to another is true Texas politics!!! After all Texas brought to the world the killer cheerleaders mother case!!!

Welcome Andrew, Sarah, Kate, Nova ... Andrew...the best sofware comes from years of reading and observing everything around you. Everything... For instance, recently, over the course of a week, I read every single article in a Scientific American magazine. Honest. Cover to cover. Even read the adds, just wished I knew what they were advertising... Of course, it was the only magazine in the restroom. An enforced posture dictates inquiring minds must stay activated and not fall into an aroma of inactivity!

Good night and remember the vets this weekend...


Randall 5-23-2003 20:33

Hi Sarah, Andrew and Kate :o)

Welcome to the N.B.


I love your name. I think it is beautiful. I have a character that I've been working on for years with the name of Sarah. Your post caught my attention. Are you asking about being addicted to writing? I’m not sure I understood what you were saying when you wrote... “But can writing stories go to far that there's something wrong in life.” What I think is that you need to strike a balance. I think that all of life is writing and all of writing is life. It it isn’t that way, then I think the writing will come out empty and hollow. If you don’t live and only write, then how can you write with any depth? Hum, is that any help? So, what I’m saying is live with passion and you will write with passion. How’s that?

Rachel 5-23-2003 12:15

BTW, does anyone know of any writing software out there either Freeware or on the market? I know Word and WordPerfect help with spelling and grammar, but I was looking for software that goes beyond that.

ANDREW 5-23-2003 11:32

First things first, Welcome to Andrew, Sarah, and Kate.
MEL. Your hubbie's in a drum corp?!? Which drumcorp? I saw a drumcorp show once in Boston, now that was really cool. I aim to be involved in a drum corps one of these days, maybe after college or before, whichever comes first. Music and writing are my passions, after God. It's a good thing that all three go along together very well. Well, I hate to leave but bell rang! And MEL, I do appreaciate my muse very much. I apologized shortly after I took the keyboard back.
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 5-23-2003 10:32

Viv - I wasn't talking of government workers who actually do work, what I was refering to was burocrats like the third undersecretary to the secretary of the secretary of art in charge of frames. I know there are those sort of jobs filled by folks who do things that indeed need not be done. I am aware that there have been house cleanings and many of those folks have been let go, but knowing the government, there must be a few thousand of them laying around in back offices in government buildings who do little more then generate uneeded paper work, and drawing sixty thousand dollars a month doing it.

It does strike me as strange that when Congress is screaming that there isn't enough money, their solution is more taxes, in a business if ther isn't enough money, workers are let go. In the governemnt if there isn't enough money they hire more people on to "study" the problem. Those study groups seem to be permanent employees only weeks after their employment.

Then again, I could be wrong...

NOTE excuse my spelling, I had to reformat my machine and haven't installed my spell checker as of yet. DAMN viruses!

Jerry 5-23-2003 9:35

Sorry -- make that


howard 5-23-2003 9:22

ANDREW -- you can also subscribe to any of several newsletters on and get updates on many topics.

Story fodder:
A woman from upstate New York (not far from here) was arrested and charged for 3 counts oc second degree murder when they found the bodies of 3 of her children in a storage locker in Phoenix AZ recently. She had driven around for over 10 years with them in boxes in the trunk of her car. It's an interesting story. There are details on in the current week's issues.

howard 5-23-2003 9:21

Jerry: Thanks for the ideas on the keyboard. You're right, the screws are pretty well hidden..I just looked over the laptop and I don't see much in the way of how to take it apart.

Hey, Jerry: Ummmm, my husband works for the government. He gets up and off to work at 6:30 AM and I'm always kavetching because he's either home late or goes back to work in the evening. Please don't advocate that we contract out the government jobs, because contractors work for those who hire them. You can pay a contractor to say or do anything whereas the average government worker will give it to you straight because that's what he's paid to do. In Environmental health, that straight answer is worth a lot of healthy lives. If the water isn't clean, we aren't going to say it is.

Viv 5-23-2003 9:20

You mean the ghosts don't only visit me? Well! I'm going to have to have a word with them. Yes, Writer's Market is a great book to have and I do subscribe to the online version. It helps to be up-to-date. Still considering an agent and am currently going through a list I made of potential ones. Keeping my fingers crossed.

ANDREW 5-23-2003 8:18

ANDREW - Writer's Market is an excellent source for picking out most accurate matches between your writing and what houses publish similar material... also an excellent guide in many respects. They have an online version that is probably more up-to-the-minute with the details, so you might look into subscribing. I don't know of any other guide so complete.
I play my own agent, so that narrows the field; I trust myself to be a good judge on where to send my work, whom to deal with. If my vision would stop blurring while reading the tiny font on contract forms, I'm sure there wouldn't be those strange dreams and odd knockings on my door...


That's what happens to you after reading ghost stories on blustery May nights.

RANDALL, some truly frightening quotes you have there.

Oooh, forgot to mention that I got my copy of the 'Writer's Digest Writing Clinic' with my work in it. My first paid publication. Rip roarin' rah rah rahs, and all that. Forgot my cheerleading pompons. ;o.

Heather 5-23-2003 5:10

Viv, I've never tried to fix a notebook keyboard, but I imagine it can be done, depending on the brand and so forth, I know one can purchase new and used notebook keyboards on Ebay. The few notebooks I've worked on usually make one wonder for hours at how the stupid things come apart, seems they're all built a bit different, and the screws are hidden in illogical places.

Mom used to make soap, lye soap, and it seemed to do the job intended, I still remember her standing over the old gas engine Maytag washing machine in the entry of our old house with a knife chipping on a bar of lye soap into the tub of the wash machine. I do recall the stink when she was making it, rendering the fat and all, then mixing the lye and other ingredients and pouring them into molds made from cardboard.

Wonderful day here, the temps in the high 60's, just touching 70 this afternoon, bright and sunny and my friends the birds sang such beautiful songs as they seemed to thank us for the feed we put out every day for them. This evening, there were two cotton tail rabbits cleaning up the seeds that the birds spilled from the feederes in their frenzy to get enough food before a bigger bird came and chased them away. Smoky, our x-kitten, now cat, sits on the back of the couch and watches those birds nearly all day, well when he's not chasing the dog that is. Come noon or there abouts, Renn joins him and watches for that hatted mailman, then barks and runs from window to window insuring that that horrid man doesn't enter our home. He always looks so proud when the mailman walks away from the house, seemingly frightened by that little terrier (terrorier?)

I once thought anarchy a good thing, I still believe that should the Goverment get rid of all the dead weight that seems to populate the halls of Washington DC, we could all live a lot better, and would no longer fear that call from someone telling us "hi I'm from the Government and I'm here to help you!"

Speaking of phone calls, got one of those from an idiot salesman yesterday, the wife answered and misunderstood, (or was lied to) him to say that he was with Medicare. When I got to the phone and he began asking questions about my suplemental insurance I demanded to know if he were indeed with Medicare, and he admitted he was a salesman. Maybe it was the day, maybe it was just the intonation of his voice, but I think I heard a bit of a sop as I slammed down the phone, and half expected the neighbors to call the cops reporting someone was getting killed or something. I haven't lost my temper that bad in years, and I almost felt bad about it for a few minutes.

Damn I hate salesmen, especially those who call uninvited and pretend to be something they are not.

Write on.

Jerry 5-23-2003 1:00

Sorry about the mess. I found the first post and posted it last. Things aren't going as planned today.

Viv 5-22-2003 22:59

Welcome Kate: Where are you now? Do you like it there? A traveling nurse, what a wonderful job! What's the best place you've lived and the worst?

Carol: Wow, a real live bear! Take care! I'm looking forward to reading the next bit you have. I'm not doing my work because I'm totally stressed out by trying to get the on-line classes going, as well as keep my own classes working. Today, sigh, ANOTHER meeting to steal my special quiet time for writing. Still, an interesting meeting on how to use the digital vid and upload it to the internet. If it weren't interesting, I'd play hookey. Hope when I get there this workshop is worth it because if it isn't I'm going to be mad about missing the time to write. Maybe when I get home.

Jack, where you going? I want to go to Yap so bad! A friend sent her diving pics from there and I'm sitting here sick with envy.

Jerry; How hard is it to fix a keyboard on a laptop. Mine is busted, much to my disgust. I'm sitting here with a keyboard from on of our regular computers plugged into the back of my laptop.

Viv 5-22-2003 22:57

Well, that's strange...lost the first post. Oh well got to go get back to work.
Carol: Can't wait to see it. Watch out for Teddy.
Kate, Welcome. Where are you now? Do you like it?

Viv 5-22-2003 22:57

Well, that's strange...lost the first post. Oh well got to go get back to work.
Carol: Can't wait to see it. Watch out for Teddy.
Kate, Welcome. Where are you now? Do you like it?

Viv 5-22-2003 22:57

And AS I WAS SAYING....Jerry, this is inconvenient at the least and disgusting at best. Can't read the phone book and find out where to take it here in Japan. Disgusting. Well, it still works enough to get the writing done Got to write a test first but then....
Let's see what comes. Probably will make me late to the meeting but I need the stress release.

Viv (again) 5-22-2003 22:54

NOVA -- Welcome But I don't think you'll find too many anarchists here. You'd probably be happier at

howard 5-22-2003 21:40


NOVA BAKUNIN 5-22-2003 20:35

Hi All :)

Mel - what a smart must you have! Do let us know when that butterfly emerges. I'm sure it will be well worth the wait.

Hi Kate & Sarah! Sarah, hmmm. You asked a question I think we all struggle with. In fact Rhoda addressed it a moment ago -- its a struggle to keep balance in life. I know I've been struggling with it and I doubt I'll ever get it perfected. As soon as I think I do, something rears its head and demands attention and then I have to make more adjustments. But that is where the creative mind of the writer comes in handy. We can and do make the adjustments. We may wail and scream the entire way, but we do it -- somehow!

Speaking of balance -- I did get groceries done today AND close to 1000 words done! Yipee! Now to see what tomorrow brings, if I can sleep decently tonight. I have a confirmed sighting of our local "teddy" bear. He's grown a bit since last year and is still including our yard in his rounds. Thank goodness the dogs are fenced in at night, but they sure do put up a ruckus when he's around!

My wishes to all to find just enough balance today to keep you happy. And happy does mean getting in the writing. :D

Carol 5-22-2003 16:56


The link below is for a separate Workshop that precedes Westercon 56. I or Fran will be attending that, depending on the amount of time I can steal away from Westercon 56.

Also, I will be leading a dive probably Thursday morning before things get rolling at the con. In case I did not mention it, I am Vice Chair at Westercon 56.

Oh, also, if you want to see the diving videos they are now available on a new web site -

Take care everyone.

5-22-2003 16:54

Hello everyone: Still running around like a mutant cat with a dozen long tails in a room full of rocking chairs. I did have time to wipe out the talcum powder spam. When I archive I will wipe it out entirely.

Wanted to let everyone know I will be leaving for warmer climes for two weeks, or, I should say, hope to be out of here on Saturday. We will see. I will bring back video and photos for all to see and stories to tell.

Jack Beslanwitch Business of Writing Workshop at Westercon 56 5-22-2003 16:51

Hi I'm 19-years old a fiction and non-fiction storie writer, I write for fun. But can writing stories go to far that there's something wrong in life. Email me please at

Sarah 5-22-2003 14:47

As for agents, I'm still doing investigations into that. However, the only source I have for finding publishers who do accept MS from unagented authors is the Writer's Guide. Is there another source I could consult?

ANDREW 5-22-2003 14:02


Soapmaking! I am impressed. I have always wanted to make soap but have not had the time to set it up. I made some in high school chemistry once, and I was so proud. I have books on it, and one of these days, I will do it.

Welcome to the Notebook, and I hope you will keep on visiting, because you seem to have an interesting life and I have no doubt such a life would inspire great poetry.

I am still working on this blasted manuscript. I am struggling not to stress about it. Also it is interfering with my life to some extent. It is almost to the point that I am not enjoying what I am doing anymore. My husband tells me that when it ceases to be fun, something is wrong. Then again, writing for money is work, and there will be fun times and not so fun times. But I cannot let my household go to the wayside over all this. I need balance.

Rhoda 5-22-2003 13:53


Hi to everybodeez! :-) It's been a hectic week but I've been lurking now and then. You guys come up with the most fascinating conversations most of the time... :-] I just don't always have time to jump in with my half cent.

MARK: I enjoyed your short story about a tall woman. :-]

ELAINE: I enjoyed your short happy story on marching bands (my husband's #1 hobby is drum corps!). Also give your muse a hug from me. She's a precious cutie - DO appreciate her all you can!

ANDREW: WELCOME! To Agent or not to Agent... It's a personal choice. If you don't want to share your money with one, be sure to choose wisely where you submit your un-agented mss. If you can find a GOOD agent, report back here and tell us all. I firmly have my doubts about most of them. I haven't tried one either, so what do I really know? NADA! Just my thoughts. I don't think your agent question has a right answer to it. You'll have to guess your way. :-]

KATE: WELCOME! There are a lot of poets on this site as well as all kinds of writers. I loved your description of the wide open western spaces - wish I lived out there. Maybe someday!

CAROL: ANY songbird is a happy thought. Enjoy your warblers and hummingbirds! :-)

JERRY: Gosh, OUR state DMV seems out to save US money - they recently sent us, out of the kindness of their hearts (?), a renewed (5 more years) learner's permit so my now-21-year-old daughter can continue to learn to drive in New York State. HA! Shall I tell them she got her New Hampshire license two years ago? Nah! :-]

RANDALL: I enjoyed the "famous-folks" quotes, whether they're authentic or not. They were hilarious! :-D

And now, for my news bulletin of the week:

The strangest thing has happened. (No, I'm not published yet!)

My caterpillar-of-a-novel has crawled through thirty years of sweat and anguish, feeding on stray plotlines and growing fat, yet retaining an elusive hunger for something more to give it just the right zest.

Well, I tried feeding it a treeful of new plot twists and new beginnings, as you know, if you've been following my wanton whining from time to time.

Last night, again on the hunt for that missing whatever, I stumbled upon some story notes that I thought were unrelated, e.g. notes for an entirely different story.

Wrong! Huh? My muse snatched them so fast, I couldn't react. My caterpillar-novel crawled right into a cocoon and Ms. Muse won't let me peek! Every time I get close, she slaps my nose!

I am trying to decipher the hints of material that glisten on the outer side of the cocoon. It seems the novel I thought I was writing is to be something entirely different! I can't wait to see the butterfly it becomes! :-) But... how long does a novel cocoon itself? This is different than all the crawling back into the closet it's done over the years... This is--a work in real progress! :-) I think Ms. Muse will let me help soon - she keeps peeking into the cocoon and then back at me with such a sweet smile - a real smile, not one of her deceptive, smug looks.

Under the circumstances, I think I must release myself from the original rules of the 4-month writing extravaganza I set for myself... This new development could take me places I've never been - who knows how long it will take? As long as it's GREAT...!!! 8-] I'm excited.

The search for my novel's hook continues behind webbed curtains... I'll be on a mysterious hunt tonight! Shh - don't tell my muse I'm coming and maybe I can get a better peek--

Mel 5-22-2003 13:23

One of the things the makes one scratch one's head around here is the renewal of license plates. You see the State figured that it would save money if they stopped mailing notices of expirations to us, so they did, and they saved money. Then they figured it wasn't worth it paying the City Clerks to do the renewal's so they stopped paying them. The other day, I noticed that our plates had expired in Feburary of this year. So we went to get them renewed. Now under the new money saving plan, we had to drive to the County Seat to get them, it's fifty miles down and fifty back, so in total we drove a hundred miles for a forty second chore, somehow I don't see the savings, at least for me....

Jerry 5-22-2003 0:53

Greetings! I am new here--thought I would briefly intro
myself. I am a travel nurse--have been on the road for 7 years now! I am also a soapmaker and a beader--both very
addictive--well, I was going to say hobbies, but they both
are more like mini-businesses! And of course, I write.
Poetry is the passion of my heart, the blood in my veins.

I was reading a post about the Dakotas---I was reminded of
living in the Mojave Desert in AZ. I loved the solitude--
the aloneness--the sheer wide open spaces with no people ,
no houses--just wide open spaces. The cactus, surviving
the desert heat and relentles sun, but blooming in abandonment with only a sprinkle of rain. And the scent of
the air laced with dry spice scent of the fragrant creosote
plant. And the sunsets and sunrises that mere words could
not capture. I stopped my car on the way home from work one
morning so taken with the sunrise now. The sky was a passion red--I have never seen such a deep intense red in
the sky before or since. The mountains were splashed in pinks and golds. More than inspiring!


kate 5-21-2003 22:27



A good friend sent me this. I cannot verify these quotes though...


Question: If you could live forever, would you and why? Answer: "I would not live forever, because we should not live forever, because if we were supposed to live forever, then we would live forever, but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not live forever," -- Miss Alabama in the 1994 Miss USA contest.

"Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can't help but cry. I mean I'd love to be skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff." --Mariah Carey

"Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life," --Brooke Shields, during an interview to become Spokesperson for federal anti-smoking campaign.

"I've never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body," -- Winston Bennett, University of Kentucky basketball forward.

"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country," -- Mayor Marion Barry, Washington, DC.

"I'm not going to have some reporters pawing through our papers. We are the president." -- Hillary Clinton commenting on the release of subpoenaed documents.

"That lowdown scoundrel deserves to be kicked to death by a jackass, and I'm just the one to do it," -- A congressional candidate in Texas.

"I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves." -- John Wayne

"Half this game is ninety percent mental." -- Philadelphia Phillies manager, Danny Ozark

"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it." -- Al Gore, Vice President

"I love California. I practically grew up in Phoenix." -- Dan Quayle

" It's no exaggeration to say that the undecideds could go one way or another" -- George Bush, US President

"We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?" -- Lee Iacocca

"I was provided with additional input that was radically different from the truth. I assisted in furthering that version." -- Colonel Oliver North, from his Iran-Contra testimony.

"The word "genius" isn't applicable in football. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein." -- Joe Theisman, NFL football quarterback &sports analyst.

"We don't necessarily discriminate. We simply exclude certain types of people." --Colonel Gerald Wellman, ROTC Instructor.

"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure." -- Bill Clinton, President

"We are ready for an unforeseen event that may or may not occur." -- Al Gore, VP

"Traditionally, most of Australia's imports come from overseas." -- Keppel Enderbery

"Your food stamps will be stopped effective March 1992 because we received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances." -- Department of Social Services, Greenville, South Carolina

"If somebody has a bad heart, they can plug this jack in at night as they go to bed and it will monitor their heart throughout the night. And the next morning, when they wake up dead, there'll be a record." -- Mark S. Fowler, FCC Chairman

God help us!


Randall 5-21-2003 19:56

Hello everyone, well, it's crunch time again and semester finals are coming up. ANd then school is out and I'm free again! I can't wait! Ohhh....nooo, wait don't'll wreck the keyboard...

Hello everyone. It's Elaine's muse again. I'm tired of sitting on top of her pencil, so I decided to drop in a line. Teekay-where's your muse? I told her to call me last weekend, and she never did. Oh, well, she's always been a practical joker. I'm really sore at Elaine. After organizing all her stuff and filling her pen and pencil with lovely writing ideas all she can say is 'you'll wreck the keyboard'! Hhmmph! See if I ever do her a favor again. Haheehee! She's glaring at me! I think I made her mad. It's about time I've had a little fun. I like the keyboard. I can jump on all the keys, Elaine is saying that she hopes I won't break them with all the 'abuse' that I'm giving it. Can you really believe her? I'm a muse, I don't wreck writing tools (well, most of the time anyway) I help put the creativity there for her to use. And anyway, I'm light, I can jump on the keys all I want... Oops. (Sheepish grin) I guess not. Now, which key did I break? uh-oh, she's looking my way and she's seen the keyboard! Oh, no, please just let me say goodbye quick....Ahhhh!

Wheww! Now let me look at this keyboard. Nope everything looks okay, well I gotta go, (so does my muse) So
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 5-21-2003 10:30

Is this going to work? Be right back. This is only a test! Please do not be alarmed while reading this post! I repeat, this is only a test

Elaine 5-21-2003 10:21

lianchun yang talcum 5-20-2003 23:20

lianchun yang caustic calcined magnesite 5-20-2003 23:20

lianchun yang dead burnt magnesite 5-20-2003 23:19

lianchun yang talc 5-20-2003 23:18

I've had my fair share of dealing with coyotes and wild dogs in the area of Texas I live in. You can hear them at night scurrying around outside the fence and just looking to try and find a way in. Good thing for me our dogs keep them at bay with their barking. Most of the time a gunshot into the air is enuogh to scare them away for the next few nights, but i have had to take one down (unfortunately) but thank goodness that was only once (so far).

With all this talk of German food I had to go and eat some sausage, weiner schnitzel, and a beer (root beer, but beer is beer). I truly thank everyone for thier ideas and support. The book I am currently edting before finally sending it out for possible publication (fingers crossed) is nearly done.

On a side note, does anyone here have an opinion as to whether or not one should go with an Agent or just send a manuscript directly into the publishing house? That is, of course, if they accepted unsolicited manuscripts, but I've gotten a list of some who do from the current version of the Writer's Market. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Andrew 5-20-2003 15:30

Way to go Carol! Oh, and thanks for the compliment. How is every one?
Congrats to Mary and her baby! And SUNNY: My deepest condolances. I wish I could give you a hug. My friends like them, and I'm sure that you could use one right now. So, lots of HUGS coming your way! Well, I don't have much else to say, Oy, just forgot something! Somebody smack me on the head! I had that German fieldtrip yesterday. We ate lunch. OHHHH! UMM! it was so delicious! I had weiner schnitzel with mushroom sauce and Spetzle, ummmhhumm!
Okay that's all!
(SMACK!!!) Thank you to whoever did that!
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 5-20-2003 10:10

Howard - it's the same way here abouts, packs of dogs rarely last much longer then it took them to pack up. Nearly every farm used to have a 30-06 but that's changed a bit of late with the advent of all the new 30 calibre magnums the 06 is on it's way out, but the new mag's shoot farther, and harder so it takes less ammo to do the same job, and the thunder of it all would wake the dead.

It's not only acceptable to shoot wild dogs, it's the law here, if any dog is harming wildlife, or livestock it's supposed to be shot on sight, that's on the books and I doubt it will ever change. This is after all ranch country.

Jerry 5-19-2003 22:08


This morning I came awake to barking and yelling. I looked out to see my neighbour chasing their nasty dog all over the place while other folks yelled at him. My horses were in a bit of a twist. They don't like that dog at all. It is funny, because neither of them ever had any problem with my dog. They just hate that dog. I know that it bit Cinn and I bet it is what bit on my sweet doll face.

Hey! In about half an hour the pony is leaving my house and being replaced with a 16.5 horse. Yikes! Scrumpy is her name and she is quite the looker ;o) I was the second person ever to ride her. She took her first rider yesterday evening. Scrump was at auction from the S.B. track and was rescued from the Alpo can from a local gal who runs the horse rescue, we are adopting her.

Rachel 5-19-2003 19:58

Short story about a tall woman:

She looked at her chin in the mirror. Bent forward and saw her nose.

Mark 5-19-2003 14:19

Hi All!

Way past time for me to enter into the conversation again. And now I sit here, not knowing where to start. Ok, I'll start with Viv since we're writing buddies. :)

Viv - Here's some chicken soup to help out with that cold. Now remember, Sarah will have to have a bout too. :) If I don't send you some material today, I will send tomorrow. The day has turned cloudy, threatening rain so no fishing on the lake for me. But a good day for writing.

Mary - congratulations on the baby! I hope you get that new computer real soon so you can tell us all about her.

Mel - when I think of something happy, I'll let you know. Does a three day visit from a rarely seen Cape May Warbler count? The silly thing had me all confused when I tried looking for him in all three bird books sitting on my shelf. Warblers like insects the best. So just who was this warbler looking bird feeding at the hummingbird feeder? And the internet got another point for giving more information than a printed book. Yes Virginia, a Cape May Warbler will drink nectar.

Eddie - I like the long sentences of Jamie Stuart. The story still moved along and kept me interested. Thanks for posting a taste of it.

On the topic of living in the woods with the predators? Yeah, they are there. The dogs have been doing their "angry" bark late at night for the past week or more. That bark tends to be heard only when there's a bear in the area. Lots of knowledge helps a person deal with whatever is out there. Seeing the night sky in all its glory is only one of the perks well worth any possible danger.

Sunny - more hugs for you and your family. The writing will come again, you may be sure of that.

Howard - hmmm, now where exactly is it where you live? hehehehe

Elaine - thanks for the "happy". I worked in my office reorganizing. Way too many shorts are waiting for a clean editing job. But - they are now in seperate, labeled folders!

Everyone else -- a big hello and hug! Time to write, time to write, time to write .........

Carol 5-19-2003 13:04

Well, my muse has decided to help me organize all my writing stuff (I had to clean my room this weekend) and we worked on that happy short story besides! (Only partly, I had it written down mostly before, added a few perks, tweaking it up here and there) So here it is:

The Big One

The judges watched impartially as the band stepped cleanly out on to the field. They stepped crisply and cleanly in step. The judges, for the first time since they sat down, were impressed.

"Clean, very clean," one judge muttered to another.

"Yes, but is their music as clean as their marching?" the other judge murmered back.

When the drum major took the field, the crowds quieted down for the final time. There was something different about this band. Everyone could feel it in the atmosphere. Then, the drum major's arms went up, and the final band in the State Championship Marching Band Competition started to play.

Music filled the field and even reached the back of the stands. At one point, the judges forgot where they were and leaned forward as they strived to hear a diminished note.

Then, two voices raised over the hushed band. A trombone and a tuba solo soared over the held notes of the other instruments. The songs ended and the judges stood up with the rest of the crowd, stomping and cheering. Beside the minor flaws, this band was clearly the best. The two drum majors waited on the field while the other drum majors of the other bands stepped out onto the field also.

The judges stepped out of the crowd, all carrying trophies. The judge holding the first place cup approached the microphone. He read off the names, sixth place, fifth place, fourth place, third place, second place, and it was there that he paused for effect.

"And now the runner up of the Grand Championship with first place... is Kentucky Riverband and that leaves the last band as the Grand State Champions."

The drum majors of the winning band stayed as still as stone. Though the crowd was cheering wildly, they stood, calmly and with no smiles on their faces.

Of all the Grand State Championship Marching Band Competitions, the judges always remembered this one the best. For although the winning band's drum majors were stony-faced, even they couldn't hide the glimmer of tears as they saluted to the crowds one final time.

Copyright: Elaine

Well, that was fun. I hope you all enjoy the happy ending or that you enjoy the story, one or the other. I'm going on a field trip today. Woopee! I'm going on a GERMAN field trip today. I'm missing out of school, I'm going to miss out of school! Okay, I'll stop, well, gotta run, homework to do!
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 5-19-2003 10:27

We used to have night packs running here, too. We (the residents around here) lost sheep, chickens, etc, and even people were threatened. We thought they were all coyotes, but some turned out to be coy-dogs, and even household pets.
None of them survived the various and sundry small and large calibre weaponry kept on most farms around here.
Last fall we had another pack of dogs running (and killing) deer right here on our road. Same solution resolved our problem.
I told one neoghbor that I had seen his dog chasing deer across my yard, and he asked where I'd buried it. I said I didn't shoot it, and the neighbor said I should have. Next day I heard a shot over that way, and haven't seen the dog since.

howard 5-19-2003 7:42

Hi Pamela,

Yes, being close to nature is very nice. There are dangers, but there are dangers in burbs and the city. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages :o) I find the Russian Literature relaxing. It is very rich, textured writing.


I have seen night pack dogs. It isn’t very nice. I am a little tired of hearing from people who swear that there dog wouldn’t hurt a flea. My neighbour is that way. She swears up and down that the animals are harmless. The folks behind us have massive fences and sectioned off areas for their dogs. They never say that they are sweet or kind. Their dogs are for guard, not for pets and kisses. I kind of wonder what they are guarding... We have a lot of grow operations in our area. In fact, there was one right next door.

A short story about a woman. I’ll need to think about that.

Take care all.

Rachel 5-18-2003 17:59

VIV -- I've been known to run naked through the periwinkles -- a la Opus and Bill the Cat, from "Bloom County." We had a thing going on that a few years back, right here in the notebook!

JERRY -- We have to drive a few miles just to get into town. But it's getting crowded around here -- nearest neighbor's a few hundred yards away. Used to be a half mile, and the closest house we could actually see from ours was on the hill across the river, a couple miles' drive. Now civilization encroaches. We have those &(*@%(## four-wheeler ATVs zipping around in the summer, and snowmobiles in the winter.

howard 5-18-2003 16:37

blog is short for Web Log. Those who keep logs on the web are webloggers. Bloggers. The space they inhabit is called blogistan by many. Some blogs are the outpouring of teenage angst, some of real quality.

Blogs tend to two flavors
(flavours in Canada):Both flavors have value, both have adherants with undeveloped brain stems.

I think most of the material printed in blogistan reaches an already-established fan base. In other words, these guys usually preach to the choir. I keep up with Jorn Barger runs it; he's an AI wiz and an old-fashioned academic. His blog tracks the interesting places he has found on the web and his taste is omnivorous. In his blog I have found poetry, short stories, art work, space photos, and political essays.

Mark 5-18-2003 15:22

Viv, that's the hold back, jobs are few and far between. That's part of the Dakota's few people = few jobs but there are some around if one searches the right places. I guess I don't know those places all that well but my kids seemed to find jobs where ever they look.

Ever heard of blog? Just read an article in the NYT about bloging (or is it blogging?) seems to be folks who share their lives with anyone who will read them with online diary's. Here's a link to one as an example -

I don't know that I'd do something like that, but from what I've read there are hundreds of thousands of folks out there doing it all over the web (must be a well hidden thing since I've never ran into them before but then again, one must search the right places to find what one's seeking). Another way of promoting one's self I guess.

Jerry Ericsson Just me 5-18-2003 12:44

Jerry, I'm coming. Just find a place we can work! I wouldn't go crazy out there on the plains...but I might try running around stark naked (except for tennis shoes) in the backyard...just for the sheer enjoyment of the privacy. Might whoop a couple times as well. Maybe those city folks were just enjoying themselves in a weird and novel way.

Viv 5-18-2003 11:23

Sunny- what a hard thing to go through. I hope all goes gently for a little while. My prayers and hugs sent now.

Mary- Wonderful! Congratulations!

Pamela again, well...we have a job in for iceland! Brrrrrrrrrrr! Once in a while I get the pleasure of seeing us rejected, I'm kinda' leaning that way on that one, but my husband is really excited by the prospect. Hummmmm, hot soup anyone? How do you walk the dog there? I guess in big boots and a parka, and that's just for the dog.

Viv (again) 5-18-2003 11:18

Viv - if your looking for the wide open spaces, seek employment up here in the Dakota's. From my house, I can go three blocks and be in the country. I can drive a mile west then turn south and not see another town for sixty five miles (you don't hit the town, but have to turn to get to it), and after the first twenty four miles, there are only three ranch houses till the next junction, at that junction if you don't turn right you can drive another seventy miles till you hit a town, in those miles there is nothing but wild-life and off in the distance you might get a glance of a ranch house far off the highway.

There have been cases of city folks coming to visit and nearly loosing their minds at the sheer loneliness of the prairie.

Jerry 5-18-2003 11:18

Andrew - another possibility - since nobody has yet to clone a human, there is a discovery that in addition to DNA, there is yet another attachment to the chain, called "Trans DNA", within this new chain is contained all the memories of the DNA donor till the point of collection.

Just a thought.

Jerry 5-18-2003 11:13

Uhhhhh Pamela, I hate to burst your bubble on Japan, but we've got some of the same cockroaches here in Japan. I just love opening a new box of cereal and watching one run out. Ahhh the joys of the hot summers here...but we also have the most wonderful dragon flys and preying mantis you ever saw.

I guess I'm glad you never saw Thailand with your parents! Bangkok is not a nice city. My plane usually gets in about midnight, so I hop a cab for an all nighter down to Trat (4-5 hours outside the city). Then I grab a boat over to an island called Ko-chang. After that I grab any boat going to another island a little further out. My thing is finding open spaces without people. I'll do about anything to get there. It's the novelty of being able to walk or run without stepping on the backs of anyone's shoes!

Viv 5-18-2003 11:12


Congrats on your new wee one :o) Hope that you and the wee bee are enjoying one another. I send hugs and kisses and all the very best wishes for you and yours.

Rachel 5-18-2003 11:04

ANDREW -- I was working a while back on a story where the "meaningful populous" had a process that allowed them to create and access backup copies of themselves. The backups were kept in a suspended state in a computer bank, where they received regular updates from the owner, as well as regular updates of current events, so they would be ready to go in case of catastrophic failure of the original.

Besides the obvious use for these backups, there was a special use in cases of capital murder -- the backup of the deceased replaced the "being" of the murderer, and appropriated his body.

While this is not "cloning" per se, the "being" still had to be kept current, and this was done via computer programming, with inputs from news and educational channels, as well as "personnabooth" updates.

Of course, the "lower class" had issues with this...

I may dig that up and dust it off!

howard 5-17-2003 21:09

SUNNY ~ ~ ~ You were aptly named! ~ ~ ~
Giant HUGS to you, am thinking of you and yours often.

Heather 5-17-2003 19:30

Just wanted to pass along the good news:
Mary had her baby, a girl ~ Claire Marie ~ on April 16th!
She had some complications afterward (though the baby was fine!) but all is well now.
Then... a storm cut power to a lot of houses in her area, and when power was restored, a huge surge destroyed her motherboard and all. She'll be back online soon with a new system. She's just contacted me through her mom's email.


Heather 5-17-2003 19:28

Thanks to all of you who posted such comforting words.

I'm finding it very difficult to get back to writing (or doing anything organizational for that matter), but I know that I have to take time to grieve. Thank goodness for my mother's inner strength; she's amazing. I'm going back down there next week to help her with some things, and am grateful to have my brother in close proximity to her while she's still recovering her strength after her stroke.

I feel my dad's energy around, and we've had some wonderful synchronicities to confirm that belief. I've found it comforting, and truly believe that it was his time to go.

I'm just so sad and feel a big emptiness. I've never lost anyone close to me before, but obviously this is the age -- 2 of my friend lost their fathers in the last 3 days.

Please know that I'm checking in, and that I'm very appreciative of the thoughts you've shared.

Sunny 5-17-2003 19:21

What nice writing samples from our varied membership, well done, all. Eddie, I like Jamie's experience so far and have no problem with the long sentences, sometimes "incorrect" grammar can be used to effective purpose. My only proof-reader comment would be that I think it is "slake" one's thirst. That being said, now I want to know what happens to Jamie, is he really dead or going through some otherworldly (besides death) experience????? Elaine, I liked your poems and the irony of "The Monster", and Andrew, you have a nice way with dialogue and I really like the name "Kjaan." Mel, you broke my heart, I am so sorry for your lost daughter, especially if she had a choice and made the wrong one. Then again, youth has its own set of rules, doesn't it, and logic doesn't always enter in.

Rachel, it does sound like you have a dog or coyote around there, I thought there would be more damage from a cougar, even with the horse's evasive actions. So many of us dream of living in the country but don't think about the ramifications of such close proximity to Mother Nature, whose tempests and creatures can show us who's boss, despite our "superiority" and guns. Brains and weaponry couldn't stop a tornado from destroying a small town about 60 miles from here. Rattlesnakes on the porch of a beautiful new home is another interesting example.

Rhoda, I enjoyed your ramblings, I think I have heard something about the little ice age that could follow our current warming trends.

Viv, no I didn't live overseas, I was grown when Mom married Bill. They lived outside of Bangkok in a kind of compound for the company workers but rode the baht bus into town whenever they wanted. She had white-blonde hair and was apparently rather a curiosity. The states will be so different from what you remember after 21 years! Not so wide-open as you remember, perhaps, although there is still lots of space left, I know you can drive out of Nashville in any direction and be in the country very shortly. I'm sorry the Texas job didn't work out, do you have any other locations you are looking at? Texas is great but did Randall mention the heat, humidity and giant flying cockroaches?

Yes, Randall, there does seem to be a link between Texas and Tennessee, for one thing: Me! Then there's the Jimmie Rodgers song, "T For Texas (T For Tennessee)". One of my sister-in-laws researched our family and discovered that they came from this area and some went to Texas and some stayed here in Tennessee. I think there is a musical connection too, Nashville and Austin are kind of like sister cities.

Ramon, how's the mystery with the not-the-police but not-bumbling-amateur going? Sure, we're kindred spirits, we're writers, aren't we? My philosophical ramblings would likewise overload the ether, I've been pondering for decades, after all.

BTW Mel, I heard a comedian talking about kids' piercings looking like they "fell face-first into a tackle box" so can't take credit for the imagery, but it's a good line and I use it in conversation.

Rachel again, Russian Literature? You are TOO amazing, where do you get your energy? Thought you were supposed to be relaxing!

Rosemary, men running around like wild dogs? Huh, whaaaa? How can that be? Maybe your story about women could be them acting like men. My net connection has been losing itself too, very annoying.

Heather, you're nuts!

Sunny, I'm thinking about you and your family, hoping you are getting over the shock of your sudden loss and finding some semblance of normality again.

Wage Peace,

pamela 5-17-2003 18:32


andrew 5-17-2003 8:26

Wow! All of these have been brilliant ideas and ones I would have never thought of. I do rememner that episode of Star Trek and it is one I was considering, however, transport technology is a bit too advanced, though the idea still may be incorporated. I am including a bit of my 1st novel to see what you guys (and gals of course) think.

Within minutes, the RENEGADE had moved beside the EXCALIBUR as he docking clamps extended and locked onto the vessel’s exterior docking bay. As it sealed the connection, Kjaan walked to the back of the shuttle as Jake began to explain what they could possibly encounter.

As the doors slid open, Kjaan raced inside, as if consumed by a passion to find his brother that could not be extinguished. Not bothering to wait for the others, his hands began to glow bright red as he sped off down the corridor.

He heard Jake’s voice from behind, “Damn it Kjaan! Wait a minute!” Followed by several people’s footsteps following behind him, running to keep up as he turned down hallway after hallway. As he raced along, he took in information about what he was seeing. The computer panels along the hallway grids had all been removed with wires and panel debris littering the corridors.

The sound of someone tripping on a particularly large piece of debris filled his ears for a moment as Finicus shouted out, “Damn it! I can barely see in here! Where are the damned lights?”

Kjaan had noticed this as well. The lights had been diminished a great deal. Perhaps this was due to low power sources or perhaps it was to conceal an enemy attack. Either way, it made it difficult to see where he was going.

As he came to the elevator doors, he found that there was no power going to them and pried them open. As they moved apart slowly, the others caught up to him as Jake caught his breath.

“What the hell are you doing leaving us back there like that? You have no idea what awaits us in here!” He yelled out.

“I’ll deal with whatver it is when the time comes. For now we need to get up to the bridge and see if there’s anything up there of any use.” Said Kjaan as he maneuvered his body inside the shaft and began to climb up the side ladder attached to the tube’s inner wall.

After ten minutes of climbing, Kjaan had reached the doors to the bridge as he activated the manual release lever. As the doors slid open, Kjaan looked inside and found that the bridge had been demolished as well.

Climbing out of the shaft, Kjaan walked around the bridge once to see if there were any traps of any sort. Finding none, he moved over to the control panels to find that, like the rest of the ship, they had been removed.

“All of the ship’s computers and databanks are gone.” Teresa said as she slid her laser pistol back into her holster and began a search of the bridge.

“Maybe not.” Jake replied as he moved over to the Captains chair and began to pry it from the floor.

“What the hell are you doing?” Kjaan asked as he looked over in puzzlement.

As the chair titlted over and fell to the floor with a clang, Jake reached into his boot and pulled out a large knife as he slid the back of the chair down the middle. Reaching into it, he felt around until he found what he was looking for and pulled out a small black box. Wires led from underneath the inner base of the chair to the box as he disconnected the wires and grinned.

“Black box. This will have some useful information, I’m sure. We can connect it to the shuttle’s computer and find out what happened here. It should have video, audio and computer links up until the time we arrived.” Teresa said as she looked down at what Jake was carrying.

Andrew 5-17-2003 8:25

Wow! All of these have been brilliant ideas and ones I would have never thought of. I do rememner that episode of Star Trek and it is one I was considering, however, transport technology is a bit too advanced, though the idea still may be incorporated. I am including a bit of my 1st novel to see what you guys (and gals of course) think.

Within minutes, the RENEGADE had moved beside the EXCALIBUR as he docking clamps extended and locked onto the vessel’s exterior docking bay. As it sealed the connection, Kjaan walked to the back of the shuttle as Jake began to explain what they could possibly encounter.

As the doors slid open, Kjaan raced inside, as if consumed by a passion to find his brother that could not be extinguished. Not bothering to wait for the others, his hands began to glow bright red as he sped off down the corridor.

He heard Jake’s voice from behind, “Damn it Kjaan! Wait a minute!” Followed by several people’s footsteps following behind him, running to keep up as he turned down hallway after hallway. As he raced along, he took in information about what he was seeing. The computer panels along the hallway grids had all been removed with wires and panel debris littering the corridors.

The sound of someone tripping on a particularly large piece of debris filled his ears for a moment as Finicus shouted out, “Damn it! I can barely see in here! Where are the damned lights?”

Kjaan had noticed this as well. The lights had been diminished a great deal. Perhaps this was due to low power sources or perhaps it was to conceal an enemy attack. Either way, it made it difficult to see where he was going.

As he came to the elevator doors, he found that there was no power going to them and pried them open. As they moved apart slowly, the others caught up to him as Jake caught his breath.

“What the hell are you doing leaving us back there like that? You have no idea what awaits us in here!” He yelled out.

“I’ll deal with whatver it is when the time comes. For now we need to get up to the bridge and see if there’s anything up there of any use.” Said Kjaan as he maneuvered his body inside the shaft and began to climb up the side ladder attached to the tube’s inner wall.

After ten minutes of climbing, Kjaan had reached the doors to the bridge as he activated the manual release lever. As the doors slid open, Kjaan looked inside and found that the bridge had been demolished as well.

Climbing out of the shaft, Kjaan walked around the bridge once to see if there were any traps of any sort. Finding none, he moved over to the control panels to find that, like the rest of the ship, they had been removed.

“All of the ship’s computers and databanks are gone.” Teresa said as she slid her laser pistol back into her holster and began a search of the bridge.

“Maybe not.” Jake replied as he moved over to the Captains chair and began to pry it from the floor.

“What the hell are you doing?” Kjaan asked as he looked over in puzzlement.

As the chair titlted over and fell to the floor with a clang, Jake reached into his boot and pulled out a large knife as he slid the back of the chair down the middle. Reaching into it, he felt around until he found what he was looking for and pulled out a small black box. Wires led from underneath the inner base of the chair to the box as he disconnected the wires and grinned.

“Black box. This will have some useful information, I’m sure. We can connect it to the shuttle’s computer and find out what happened here. It should have video, audio and computer links up until the time we arrived.” Teresa said as she looked down at what Jake was carrying.

Andrew 5-17-2003 8:25

Wow! All of these have been brilliant ideas and ones I would have never thought of. I do rememner that episode of Star Trek and it is one I was considering, however, transport technology is a bit too advanced, though the idea still may be incorporated. I am including a bit of my 1st novel to see what you guys (and gals of course) think.

Within minutes, the RENEGADE had moved beside the EXCALIBUR as he docking clamps extended and locked onto the vessel’s exterior docking bay. As it sealed the connection, Kjaan walked to the back of the shuttle as Jake began to explain what they could possibly encounter.

As the doors slid open, Kjaan raced inside, as if consumed by a passion to find his brother that could not be extinguished. Not bothering to wait for the others, his hands began to glow bright red as he sped off down the corridor.

He heard Jake’s voice from behind, “Damn it Kjaan! Wait a minute!” Followed by several people’s footsteps following behind him, running to keep up as he turned down hallway after hallway. As he raced along, he took in information about what he was seeing. The computer panels along the hallway grids had all been removed with wires and panel debris littering the corridors.

The sound of someone tripping on a particularly large piece of debris filled his ears for a moment as Finicus shouted out, “Damn it! I can barely see in here! Where are the damned lights?”

Kjaan had noticed this as well. The lights had been diminished a great deal. Perhaps this was due to low power sources or perhaps it was to conceal an enemy attack. Either way, it made it difficult to see where he was going.

As he came to the elevator doors, he found that there was no power going to them and pried them open. As they moved apart slowly, the others caught up to him as Jake caught his breath.

“What the hell are you doing leaving us back there like that? You have no idea what awaits us in here!” He yelled out.

“I’ll deal with whatver it is when the time comes. For now we need to get up to the bridge and see if there’s anything up there of any use.” Said Kjaan as he maneuvered his body inside the shaft and began to climb up the side ladder attached to the tube’s inner wall.

After ten minutes of climbing, Kjaan had reached the doors to the bridge as he activated the manual release lever. As the doors slid open, Kjaan looked inside and found that the bridge had been demolished as well.

Climbing out of the shaft, Kjaan walked around the bridge once to see if there were any traps of any sort. Finding none, he moved over to the control panels to find that, like the rest of the ship, they had been removed.

“All of the ship’s computers and databanks are gone.” Teresa said as she slid her laser pistol back into her holster and began a search of the bridge.

“Maybe not.” Jake replied as he moved over to the Captains chair and began to pry it from the floor.

“What the hell are you doing?” Kjaan asked as he looked over in puzzlement.

As the chair titlted over and fell to the floor with a clang, Jake reached into his boot and pulled out a large knife as he slid the back of the chair down the middle. Reaching into it, he felt around until he found what he was looking for and pulled out a small black box. Wires led from underneath the inner base of the chair to the box as he disconnected the wires and grinned.

“Black box. This will have some useful information, I’m sure. We can connect it to the shuttle’s computer and find out what happened here. It should have video, audio and computer links up until the time we arrived.” Teresa said as she looked down at what Jake was carrying.

Andrew 5-17-2003 8:25

Wow! All of these have been brilliant ideas and ones I would have never thought of. I do rememner that episode of Star Trek and it is one I was considering, however, transport technology is a bit too advanced, though the idea still may be incorporated. I am including a bit of my 1st novel to see what you guys (and gals of course) think.

Within minutes, the RENEGADE had moved beside the EXCALIBUR as he docking clamps extended and locked onto the vessel’s exterior docking bay. As it sealed the connection, Kjaan walked to the back of the shuttle as Jake began to explain what they could possibly encounter.

As the doors slid open, Kjaan raced inside, as if consumed by a passion to find his brother that could not be extinguished. Not bothering to wait for the others, his hands began to glow bright red as he sped off down the corridor.

He heard Jake’s voice from behind, “Damn it Kjaan! Wait a minute!” Followed by several people’s footsteps following behind him, running to keep up as he turned down hallway after hallway. As he raced along, he took in information about what he was seeing. The computer panels along the hallway grids had all been removed with wires and panel debris littering the corridors.

The sound of someone tripping on a particularly large piece of debris filled his ears for a moment as Finicus shouted out, “Damn it! I can barely see in here! Where are the damned lights?”

Kjaan had noticed this as well. The lights had been diminished a great deal. Perhaps this was due to low power sources or perhaps it was to conceal an enemy attack. Either way, it made it difficult to see where he was going.

As he came to the elevator doors, he found that there was no power going to them and pried them open. As they moved apart slowly, the others caught up to him as Jake caught his breath.

“What the hell are you doing leaving us back there like that? You have no idea what awaits us in here!” He yelled out.

“I’ll deal with whatver it is when the time comes. For now we need to get up to the bridge and see if there’s anything up there of any use.” Said Kjaan as he maneuvered his body inside the shaft and began to climb up the side ladder attached to the tube’s inner wall.

After ten minutes of climbing, Kjaan had reached the doors to the bridge as he activated the manual release lever. As the doors slid open, Kjaan looked inside and found that the bridge had been demolished as well.

Climbing out of the shaft, Kjaan walked around the bridge once to see if there were any traps of any sort. Finding none, he moved over to the control panels to find that, like the rest of the ship, they had been removed.

“All of the ship’s computers and databanks are gone.” Teresa said as she slid her laser pistol back into her holster and began a search of the bridge.

“Maybe not.” Jake replied as he moved over to the Captains chair and began to pry it from the floor.

“What the hell are you doing?” Kjaan asked as he looked over in puzzlement.

As the chair titlted over and fell to the floor with a clang, Jake reached into his boot and pulled out a large knife as he slid the back of the chair down the middle. Reaching into it, he felt around until he found what he was looking for and pulled out a small black box. Wires led from underneath the inner base of the chair to the box as he disconnected the wires and grinned.

“Black box. This will have some useful information, I’m sure. We can connect it to the shuttle’s computer and find out what happened here. It should have video, audio and computer links up until the time we arrived.” Teresa said as she looked down at what Jake was carrying.

Andrew 5-17-2003 8:25


Do you remember Star Trek, TNG episode where the transporter made a replica of Commander Riker? The person left behind in the transporter had the same DNA structure plus the memories. Of course transporter technology might be too advanced for your story, and it might not be appropriate, but it worked there.

You might also consider employing some sort of cosmic element. Perhaps you could come up with some plausible way to duplicate the human soul complete with memories. There could be some scientic basis for the soul if it can be identified by energy waves or patterns. And in actuality, the human brain does emit waves. A sophisticated device or system could record those waves, interpret them and even duplicate them. Maybe in those waves there is a code that contains memories.

Speaking of science, I have been reading about the idea that we might be coming onto another little ice age. The last one began in the 14th century and we are just recently coming out of it. The onset of a little ice age affects different parts of the world uniquely. Some of us are familiar with the Anasasi tribes of the Southwest. Their civilization began to unravel about the 14th century, and one of the reasons might be because the climate changed. The area that is now the southwestern United States became too dry to plant crops.

Why do I bring this up? I do because I have just been reading about more new storms in Oklahoma, Tennessee and kansas. Liberal, a community we almost bought a home in just a few years ago, was struck by a tornado. This little ice age idea be nothing but idle speculation on the parts of some bored scientists, but I find it interesting.

Incidently the centuries leading up to the 14th century were unusually warm. This warmth allowed the North Sea to be more easily navigated and enabled the Norsemen to colonize Iceland and Greenland as well as explore America. The Norse abandoned Greenland in the late 14th century because they could no longer bring in needed supplies from Iceland and Scandanavia. The Norse who remained either starved to death or were killed by irate natives. I read this very sad story in my old college Geology textbook. There is much about weather and the workings of the earth we just do not understand. Somehow, I find that comforting that we have not yet figured it all out.

I ramble. Even away from my novel, my brain is working overtime. I am so wired I cannot sleep.

Rhoda 5-17-2003 1:53


I now think that the bite marks on the horses are from a dog. A big dog, but a dog. We have a lot of coyotee (spelling again)? in our area. I've been talking to other horse owners who have been having coyotee troubles. They are a real problem. Lots of people go down a pet if they leave them out at night. Given the amount of deer in the area, I think that the cougar will stick to its diet of preference, which, I am told is not humans or horses. If we have any more evidence of cougar I don't think I'll need to take much more action than to pick up the phone. Tourist season is starting this weekend. The Province doesn't want all those nice campers being frightened away. Fisheries and wildlife also don't want people to get hurt. When they need to they act quickly and with results. I will use my head and see what happens. I'm not offended by what you said and I hope you weren't put out by what I said. I still can't believe the image of your friends sitting out with the snakes! I didn't rent in a nice area once because it was on "the snake side of the river" Yikes!

I just watched "The Tuxedo" with the kids and husband. That was a funny show. Have you ever seen it? Pretty silly stuff, but good for a laugh.

Nite you :o)

Rachel 5-17-2003 1:51

If the csf doesn't do it, how about a bit of brain cell transplant?

Then again, it could be rapid education type thing with films (ok now days video) tapes and so forth.

Then there's the electricity thing, everyone knows that the activitiy in the brain and the nerves are done via electricity right? So why not some sort of machine that reads the electrical impulses of the brain and transfers them to the clone?

Jerry 5-17-2003 0:46

Andrew - I've seen this done in other works in various ways, the most common seems to be an injection of Cerbral Spinal Fluid. Not that it would work in actuality, since I doubt that nay memories are in fact stored in the fluid but it seems to work in fiction quite well.

Jerry 5-17-2003 0:01

Hello to everyone once more! Good to be back. Well, here is my quandry dealing with science fiction if anyone may be able to give advice.

I am dealing with the issue of a clone. The aging process of the clone is not the problem. Question is how would a clone possibly gain the memories/knowledge of the the original. Any ideas?

andrew 5-16-2003 22:17




I accept your feelings. I don't understand, but respect your beliefs about killing animals. I'm not sure where you live, though you acknowledge a move into an area where wild animals roam, possibly cougars. To local predators you also brought lunch, free at that, ... in the form of pet and livestock. This is happening more and more in the western states, coyotes in LA for an example. Bears in Salt Lake City suburbs. Predatory animals do not have your belief of live and let live. They read from a different book and have no regret about dealing in blood and raw meat. Their world is a constant preoccupation with survival on a daily basis and this means nutrition pursued with single minded dedication. Animals like these do not exist on vegetables. They can't buy meat in a store freshly wrapped in cellophane. And if there is a cougar in your area it will kill and eat humans and horses without qualms about hunting etiquette ... witness the attempt to kill your beloved horse.

Along that line, if you have children I would NOT let them out alone until I knew exactly what was in the area. A dead child, half-eaten and partially buried can not compare with a predator controlled (okay, killed) by a professional hunter or citizen hunters operating within a state controlled hunting season. I don't care what people like PETA say ... this is a NO BRAINER. If there is an animal predator in your world you must choose to deal with it. It will not respond to humane pleas to quietly leave, because violence is it's very existence. And you are the intruder in it's world. I believe in humans first.

I have a retired friend (Highway Department) who built a magnificent home on top of an isolated rocky knoll. Just him and his wife. Their home is stunning, wide open verandas, great views...and hundreds of rattlesnakes in residence nearby. Well, maybe not hundreds, but more than one rattlesnake in residence is too many. They nest in the rocks during the winter months, and venture out in the spring and summer months to feed and mate. My friend, Leon admitted he, and his wife sit on the porch and watch the sunset. Each has a small iron rod, eight feet long, with one end curved close at hand. They use it to remove the rattlesnakes that slither onto the porch. !!!!!!! Leon admitted to me the snakes are a daily (and deadly) problem, but they choose to live with them!!!

As a person who grew up with guns and wild game I accept that we as humans have a duty to protect all of Gods creation. But that does not mean that we have to be lunch. God made us to rule over animals, top of the food chain, not furnish large predators with a free meal that might be our children.

I hope you take this with the good natured intent with what it was offered. Good luck with your horse! And keep me posted.


Randall 5-16-2003 21:03

Thanks all, Sorry I'm back so soon, I have an Internet errand to do for my parents. I'm looking for times for the movie Holes. I can't wait to see it.
MEL: Thanks for inspiring the old noggin. I saw your plea for something happy, and an idea is flittering around in my head now, I should have something done before the weekend if it goes well. (and if it doesn't, I'll just have to get my muse to knock me on the head a couple of times to get the idea out of my head and onto the paper!)
Well, gotta git!
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 5-16-2003 20:09

I thought that some of you may be wondering how Jamie came to be in this situation.............
but.....oh yes

A solitary black crow circles high above the battlefield, eagerly awaiting the first rays of the morning sun which would soon disperse the dawn mist, spread like a grey blanket across the shallow valley below. A second crow joins the first, then a third, wheeling gracefully on the warming thermals. The sun at last peeks above the distant eastern ridge. Caught in a piercing shaft of brilliant sunlight, they cry out in unison, unable to contain the building anticipation. Their cries drown out the sweeter sound of the dawn chorus of lesser creatures below, harsh rasping voices, resounding through the air as if to hurry the dispersal of the covering mist. Looking still somewhat gorged from the previous days feeding they begin their descent through the obligingly clearing mist. A vast feast waits below. They whirl expectantly down the thermals, the sun glinting off their over-nourished, blue-black wing feathers, sleek with oil.
Pickings had been rich lately.
Jamie Stuart knew he was dead, he had to be. The redcoats' bayonet had struck true, he had felt the cold steel slice into him. He had seen his kinsfolk fall, one by one, overwhelmed by the merciless discipline of the relentless English with their stabbing bayonets. The battle had been hard won by the English redcoats, more than two hundred of them lay dead in the valley, forced onto the slashing claymores of the hopelessly trapped highlanders by the ever increasing press of rear ranks as the advancing regiment had forced the ragged Scots onto the prepared ground at the head of the valley. Pressed against the impenetrable rows of razor tipped branches, the bravest of the newly allied clans had fought their last battle to the last man. At the end of it each had preferred to die a warriors death rather than live the slow lingering torture of confinement in the English hellholes of the lowlands.
The excruciating pain of the bayonets entry into Jamies' side had mercifully receded, he felt that he was floating on air, rising above the dead and the dying.
'To what?'. He wondered.
Did it really matter?.
After all, it was so peaceful here, so quiet and peaceful. The screams had halted, the war-cries silenced. He would stay here, just as he was, forever. All he had to do was keep his eyes closed and drift away. He would be safe, welcomed into the company of departed kinsfolk The screeching of the crows faded gently.
He lay back and gave himself completely to the beckoning mists of eternity.

Eddie French 5-16-2003 18:51

I just looked at the properties of that last post...........
I wrote that extract in 1996
Boy am I getting old

Eddie French 5-16-2003 18:45


It works great! Don't worry; the internal editor has been shut down for now. Grammer is not an issue. Hopefully I can get the editor back when it comes time to write the final draft.


Thanks for the emotional shorties.

Rhoda 5-16-2003 17:16

Please don't post about the long sentences and multiple comma's, I know!
This is experimental. I am trying to sing this tale at this point. I want you to dream it.
It probably doesn't work, but how else do we push the boundaries?
(((((((((((((((Hugs to everyone))))))))))))))

Eddie French 5-16-2003 16:14

For the second time in as many hours of travel along the soft, moss cushioned trail Jamie Stuart felt eyes upon his vulnerable body. was more than just a feeling, he knew that they were there, watching, following just out of sight in the forest on either side of him. They were good, very good, they left no sign and disturbed nothing as they moved with him, it was as if they passed through obstacles without slowing, yet no leaves rustled nor twigs snapped in their path. Jamie Stuart knew they were there, he seemed to see the holes they left in the harmony of the forest's breath. He tried hard to understand what it was he felt, what he saw. He saw nothing move, heard no sound, yet he plainly saw the result of their progress through the forest all around him. He saw the forest claim back the ground and the air above as his pursuers passed through, until way back down the trail the disturbance dimmed then finally disappeared like a slow river claiming back calm after the wake of a boat passing through. Eventually he gave up trying to understand and accepted this strange seeing as a new sense, after all, who knew the differences between life and the afterlife. He considered calling out to his followers but putting aside the thought he pushed on along the trail intent on completing his journey. As he travelled alone along the trail the songs of his earthly clan found voice in his mind and afforded much needed, albeit scant fortitude as he reluctantly accepted his ghostly companions on this momentous journey, his heart lifted by the familiar lore of his peoples history and the harsh yet fulfilling life in the rugged Highlands of Scotland. As he walked he sang aloud of the feuds between clans which begot great victories and of the recent battles with the English redcoats which had spurned hero's by the dozen and he sang of love, and of lost love, like that of his beloved mother, his father, left to rot in an English prison for more than ten years, finally to come home a broken man, old and prone to outbursts of violence and madness which would last for weeks to be calmed only by the fiery brew found in the men’s meeting crofts and then carried to the side of his bed when he could no longer make the journey to the crofts.
His melodic laments bemoaned his sad lot at being chosen for the afterlife before knowing the feel of a woman's soft flesh yielding beneath his untried body, eager to please. The few fumbling, rushed moments he had enjoyed with his cousin on the eve of the battle had only heightened his expectations of glorious fulfilment upon his safe return. The delights of that return were now lost forever within the mists of time, never to be sampled, of this Jamie was certain, there was no returning to the simple life of the clans. He had left the realms of the mortal forever.
The noon sun beat down heavily before he decided to rest and seek out sustenance, being dead did nothing to assuage the gnawing pangs of hunger nor slate the thirst of the weary traveller. Jamie sat and pondered his plight. He sensed the flow of a spring to the north, the quickening flow of the water rushed in on his senses like the gaiety of a spring festival celebrating the banishment of dark winter with the welcome of returning sunlight. The path to the spring was light and easy of passage, no great boulders barred his way or treacherous footing fouled his tread. His path seemed lighted somehow, he knew without really thinking which way to walk, directions seemed to flow into his mind. Was this not right, correct in the scheme of things. Guidance was expected in the afterlife, otherwise how was a soul to get to paradise, unaided.

Eddie French 5-16-2003 16:09

Wait a bit and I'll post a little of Jamie Stewart.
It might help you get back into that magical mood of imagining Highland life.

Eddie French 5-16-2003 16:03


Hi to all!

PAMELA: I enjoyed the "face in the tackle box" image of pierced young faces - hee! :-)

And now, on a more sobering note, on the heels of Elaine's emotional shorty, here's another emotion my muse threw onto the paper (maybe it's EMOTIONAL SHORTY week...?)...


She had no choice, my mother;
STROKE killed her walk and speech.
I reach for her through silence
but can't transcend the breach.

She had a choice, my daughter;
LOVE stole her years eighteen.
I reach for her through heartache
but can't say what I mean.

'Though others have their mothers
and daughters, home from college,
Two empty places in my heart
numb Winter's icy knowledge.


Okay, now, someone write something HAPPY and cheer me up, won't you? :-

Mel 5-16-2003 15:50

I brought it today. I wrote it a little vaguely just in case you get confused. All right, here it is:
The Monster

"I admit to being evil," a quiet voice said, no sneer, no smile, only seriousness.

"I don't know how, you're the best person I know, if you're evil, then what does that make me? I'm ten times worse a person than you are," another voice said, deep and reasurring.

"It's just one of those things that you know, I guess. Look at what I've done. I've destroyed lives by being intelligent, people die, families break up, thousands murdered, all of their blood on my hands, and all because I've created such a thing as this monster," the quiet voice said again, the person shaking his head, overcome with sadness.

"My dear professor, you were ordered by your country to build this 'monster'. It's the only thing that could have forced our enemy into a quick end to this war. We saved countless lives by building it."

"And wasted countless thousands more when we used it. Mein Vater, please forgive this atrocious sin of which I have committed..."

"Professor, please stop doing this to yourself. You need sleep, yes, I think that is what most of your problem is. You've volunteered countless hours in a harrowing position that no sane man could tolerate and yet you still stand. Please, Professor, come to bed. Sleep yourself out, you need rest."

"I can't rest, not with all of these countless lives hanging on my shoulders! I tell you, I am evil!" the Professor said, his voice raising in pitch and volume.

"Professor, please. You are becoming hysterical. You must get rest and if you will not willingly get into your bed, I will force you into it. I have a doctor's permission to do so if you become difficult. You are not evil. You were doing your duty, man, your duty! Sometimes we have to do what is not expected of us. It was war! People die in wars! They always have and always will! Understand this and no longer torture yourself with these thoughts. Now, go up to bed," the deep voice said, tired of being patient with the overtired professor.

Stunned into silence, the professor walked up the stairs to lay down in his bed. After a few minutes, snores could be heard coming down from the floor above him. The man shook his head as he listened to the gentle snores.

"Poor Professor Oppenheimer. He will kill himself with his own rope if he doesn't stop blaming himself for Little Boy and Fat Boy. He was just doing what the government told him to. He was just doing what the government said to do..." the man trailed off, shutting the door behind him as he made his way out of the conservatory.

Copyright by: Elaine 5-12-03

Well I hope y'all enjoyed it. I've got other work to do so I'll see you later.
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 5-16-2003 10:23

I know exactly how you feel! I'm up to Chapter 16 and some of it is so rotten it smells like the inside of my refrigerator. (I make a project out of not cleaning my refrigerator until it walks down the street on its own.)

Carol: I've got to be slow for these next two weeks. Have a little too much stuff going on at work. I also have a rotten cold. My yearly kanto crud attack. Good news...I can't smoke because I can't breathe. I think I've kicked the habit. No folks it's not SARS but my poor Chinese students are going to catch this lousy cold and everyone is going to panic. Maybe someone should shoot me for being a typhoid Mary in these times.

Viv 5-16-2003 6:32

I thought I would pause from biting my nails and climbing the walls and check the Notebook. I am working step by step through my outline. Some of the writing is pure pleasure, but most of it makes me cry with disgust. I look at it and it is so awful, but at this point, I just cannot do any better. My goal is to spit out the rest of the first draft.

I never thought I would ever say that I am tired of Dougie MacLean and the Chieftains and all the Celtic music I play to stay in the writing mood.

I am doing a Western next--if I ever can bring myself to write another book.

I have found some good web-sites on the Highlands. I also have found a modern guide book. It doesn't help much with the history, but it gives me a little help with the geography.

Rhoda 5-15-2003 22:43

It might almost be better if it was a cougar. We have had whole heards of goats and sheep slaughtered by packs of dogs. These dogs have homes but at night they got together and went out to play. (Almost like men. Theye're great one on one, but when you get a bunch of them together, it's liable to get disgusting)(Not you guys, of course. :)

A number of the men that lost animals got together one night with shotguns and solved that problem. You could hear neighbors screaming for miles around that their sweet Poopsy would never hurt a flea. Even staring the fact that the dog is dead in a field full of dead goats and dogs.

A short story about women is due next Wednesday and I can’t think of a thing interesting. That’s a first for me. Must have been slacking off too long.

Gotta go. Internet has been logging itself off everytime I'm on for a couple of minutes. It better quit that!!!

Rosemary 5-15-2003 20:05


I contacted the fisheries and wildlife people, who hooked me up with a bunch of info. If I have any more evidence or sightings I've got a file number and can call them back. I had the vet out recently, but not before the bite event. She will be back in a couple of weeks to administer the second half of the West Nile Virus shot. I'll talk to her then about what she thinks made the bites. I do not think that they are a concern to the health of the horse. I have seen evidence of what people do to cougars that they hunt. It makes me want to vomit. There is not much more shocking and awful than the bloated, rotten, skin, paws and head missing from what was once a cougar. I guess the bloated, water reamins of any creature would be disturbing. I've no desire to contact those sorts of people. There seem to be enough of them around without my invitation. Sure, I don't want a cougar in my yard, but know what? I live where I do by choice and I know what comes with the area.

Rachel 5-15-2003 19:45



Michael Key...Don't we all Pal! Don't we all...

Rachel...What did the vet say? Have you contacted a state or federal animal control officer? How about a private game trapper? Local hunters and/or hunting clubs. A state game warden? These people will or should sort out the problem.

Ramon...Nothing yet.

Night all. Very tired.


Randall 5-15-2003 19:37

i am a poetry writer/positive rap artist/biography writer/
and i honestly need a record deal and a book release contract.

michael key 5-15-2003 17:02


I've been out for a visit with a neighbour and had this one come look at the bites. We talked about the cougar and though the bite marks are big, he feels that I likely had a rotter of a dog come on through. There aren't any scratch marks and he seems to feel that a cougar would have left scratch marks. That was something I had been thinking as well. So, it would seem we have a nasty dog in the area. That isn't much of a surprise either. There are so many dogs around here. You should hear them set to singing from time to time. It is really something. We have some hounds in the area and that long, low, mournful sound that they make will set off every other dog in town (grins). Between you and I, I would rather go with the cougar option. At least a cougar would only attack for food. A mean dog will attack just because it is a mean dog.

Rachel 5-15-2003 13:12


There is no doubt about what sort of bite this is. It is from something with canines (spelling)? There are two on the top, two on the bottom and about 3 - 3.5 inches between the upper and lower marks. They broke the skin and caused swelling. That is the extent of things. There have been no further attacks and I've found no more prints in the yard. Each morning I go out and scope about the soft ground for anything that could indicate the return of our visitor. Horses don't have teeth that could leave a bite mark like what is on my little sweeties side. The scabs are starting to pull away now and she is being a little pissy when I groom her. The day that she was attacked she also had a lump on her side, that I assume was caused by a kick from the pony. There would have been a heck of a panic in that shed and those two would have just been kicking out at anything and everything, thus the kick to the one horse. Like I said, I'm not really overly worried. I still let the kids out in the yard they go to the rivers and creeks. It's life as usual with a little caution is all. I think that as long as I'm not find tracks around the yard that all is well enough. Funny you mention a dog. My neighbour does have a dog that I think should be put down. It is a nasty animal which attacked my own dog while she was tied up and recently got out of the yard and jumped up to bite the pony on the neck. I really dislike that animal and have made my suggestion as nicely as I could to the mother, that perhaps the dog should be put down. She maintains that it is a sweet dog, a good dog. Yeah, the same sweet dog that bites her own son. Well, I guess we all have different ideas about what makes an animal sweet... The thing that seems strange to me about the bites is how tidy they are. I had thought that a bite mark would be pulled and messy, but this just sank in and left tidy marks, aside from the one set where there was a bit of a pull on the top set of the four. Oh, and I've seen the horses bicker. They can be real rotten to one another (grins). The pony is in charge at our house. She is a bossy little thing with a lot of spirit (grins).

Rachel 5-15-2003 12:45

Morning all,

It has been extra hot around here lately. I'm considering becoming a hermit. (with air conditioner)

I noticed you said 'one of my horses.' When ever our horses come up with bites on them, it's very sure one of the other horses did it. We don't have the amount of wildlife here you have, just possems, racoons, hawks and some cockroaches that look lethal. It's hard to believe those sweet gentle horses would do that to each other, but. . . .. Of course if it is deep enough and ragged edged, it's probably either your cougar or a local bad dog.

This morning, I opened the door to the back yard to let the poodle out and found myself staring eye to eye with a buzzard standing on top of the electric pole. (the shorter kind with the meter on it.) What a way to start your day--with a buzzard patiently waiting in your back yard.

Think I better go somewhere today.

Rosemary 5-15-2003 12:12

Forgot my short-short story today. (Sigh) Oh, well, will bring it tomorrow. I don't have anything to say today, said everything yesterday. Sorry this is so short, I've got more work to do. Talk to y'all later!
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 5-15-2003 10:10

DEBRA: Thank you for the encouragement. I really do hope I can draw from the tensions with my boss (who isn't in today - WOOHOO). Not only will it make for a great novel and but I think it would make great therapy. At the moment I am bordering on depression because of him, but I am buggered if I am going to let him get to me.

PAMELA: Thank you. I don't think there are any answers to life. I'll leave it there because if I spill out my life philosophy onto this site, people will get sea sick just trying scroll past it, not to mention thoroughly miserable.

Aha another brave soul attempting a crime novel. Does this make us kindred spirits? I know what you mean about procedure, and yes some research for proper detection will be necessary, although my problem solver will not be policeman, and certainly no bumbling amateur. I'll say no more. Good luck with yours and let me know how you get on.

RANDALL: You have such a gift for writing, and a sharp wit, I am surprised your work hasn't been published. Or am I being an ignorant Brit and in fact you have puiblished some work?

THE GANG: Have to go as work calls.

Peace and long life. Live long and prosper.


Ramon 5-15-2003 9:00

Don't mind me, I'm stupid in the mornings. ;oD

Heather 5-15-2003 8:25

Pamela! Good to see you back!!!

Tolstoy et al.... hooooo, damaging to the writer's fragile spirit by way of destroying any thoughts of competition, that is certain!
I hear you on that one, Mark. But I'd rather believe that it is quite possible to top them by sheer..... uh... I'll think of something.

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lianchun yang talc 5-15-2003 4:58


You made me grin and then you made me laugh. Thanks :o) I was getting a little pissed off this afternoon while I was brushing out my baby. I don’t like those bite marks down her sides. They are going to leave scars. I mean it would be different if she were a Stallion, because you know the old saying -- chicks digs scars ;o) I don’t think that a werewolf would come around here. I am much to frightening and powerful of a dragon seed for that sort of foolishness ;o) I do have a deranged neighbour or two (laughter)! There is this wild old woman across the road who bowls about puffing on her smokes. She is a bit odd... I’ll need to keep your suggestions in mind. One never can be too safe ;o) I like the idea of a party, but lets not bother with the whole shooting thing. We’ve all slept outside here, right under the stars and not one of us has been eaten yet. I’m not really too worried. I think it must have been an isolated incident. One of my neighbours now won’t go outside without his machete. That is a little frightening in itself. I would hate to be lurking about in the bushes round my house late at night. He would likely chop you into burger meat before he calmed down enough to see that he didn’t have a cougar. That actually does worry me a bit. Yup, you send on Red and George, but tell them to look out for Mr. Cory, as he is packing a mighty mean bit of blade ;o)

Take care you.

Rachel 5-14-2003 22:43


I am excited about the Russian Literature. I also am a fan of Checkov whom I discovered via Americo. He brought that writer to my attention, along with many other amazing artists. I love Gabriel Garcia Marquez! Have you read anything by Eca de Queiros? If you have not, I would recommend him in a heart beat. I also very much enjoy the writing of Jose Saramago. He has a new work out, at least I believe it is new. It is called “The cave”, I understand that it is taken from the idea of Platos cave. I will want to get my paws on that one. The only thing that worries me a bit about this course is that it is a 300 level. It is my first 300 level course. The other classes I have done for English have been survey courses, this will be my first in-depth study of a major set of works. Starting with Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky is quite a jumping off point (grins). I’ll be a junkie ;o) I look forward to the exploration of these works and delving into understanding their ideas and how they have influenced the development of modern thinking around the world. I don’t know that I’m intimidated by any writer. I stand in awe and respect of many giants of literature, but aspire only to my own voice and expression. I can think of no greater accomplishment for me. For me, I can find that after reading a really amazing book, I carry a residual signature in my writing from the author that I have admired. I find that a revolting trait in myself and work very hard to see and crush it as quickly as I can when it rears its ugly little head. We will also be looking at a writer by the name of Lev Nikolayevich. I haven’t even heard of him! I’m going to want to do a web search and find out something about the fellow. I am pretty excited about this class. I didn’t get to do any Literature at all last semester and really missed it. This semester I just may do nothing but literature! That would ROCK! Man, you do NOT want to get me talking about books and classes and stuff or I will never shut up ;o)

Take care you.


Rachel 5-14-2003 22:28



Pamela, I believe if you asked ten Texicans which state in the Union is as close to their heart, most would say Tennessee. There are country and western songs that link the two states. The old country ballad THE TENNESSEE WALTZ had better be in the bands play book if they are playing at the rodeo dance and wish to be invited back! Why might this be? Well, to me it could only be the Alamo connection, Davy Crockett and his friends who came to Texas to settle, ended up fighting for the right to do so, but died at the Alamo. To hear you are from Tennessee is a great big PLUS!

Viv...I am humbled that my writings could influence ANYONE. And what a terrific compliment. Thank you! Yeah, Texas is a good place to live (NO INCOME TAX!) but if I had my druthers I would live in the Texas Hill Country. Kerrville is a beautiful town, small, a great retirement community. The smaller towns in the Hill Country are fantastic as well...Mason, Llano...Blanco...San Saba...Gruene...Wimberley...many, many others. I am sorry that your deal fell through for South Texas.

Have you guys heard that the Texas Legislature, the Democrats, have fled the legislative session in Austin? And are in a motel in Ardmore, Oklahoma? Honest to God, it's the truth. ONLY IN TEXAS! The whole state is convulsed with laughter over the Red River Escape! Alarmed that redistricting will further erode the Democrats power base and unable to stop the Republican majority they "Flew the Coop" and are now in Oklahoma hoping their flight will kill the bill! The Speaker of the House sought to send the Texas Rangers (not the baseball team, but might do just as good!) to ARREST them and bring them back to Texas!!! I mean what a state!!! :-) It is rumored that the Texas governor has warned the Oklahoma governor not to harbor fugitive Texas legislators!!!


Rachel ... hmmmmmm. I can't pass this up.... It could be a fledgling werewolf ... a rookie ya know. I understand the first attack of werewolf to be are feeble and inept. Lots of posturing and snarling followed by tripping over four feet that used to be two kind of a thing. This is also because they are shortsighted and really should wear bifocals. The transformation from human to wolf eye never seems to work. Maybe a giant predatory vampire bat looking for something to wet his whistle, but clumsy with the flight angle of attack and keep missing the neck? Judging distances at night as one swoops in from 10,000 feet has to be difficult! A deranged neighbor who thinks he is a zombie but lacks the ability to separate horse meat from cow steak? Wily E. Coyote, famished beyond reason for something other than roadrunner feathers? Hey, I'm just throwing out a few ideas here. Trying to help a friend. :-)

You might consider the old stake out a goat ploy and stay up all night with flashlight and shotgun. This works in Africa. I know because I saw Val Kilmer execute this setup in a film not long ago. But beware though, cause your partner/spouse might fall out of the tree after falling asleep. If the goat, (pig, house pet, teenage son, spouse, mother-in-law) are staked out remember the military term "lethal density." That is, bring of all possible amount of firepower into a selected area to achieve a sure kill! Remington 1100 semi-automatic shotguns loaded with 00 buckshot are good for this. Just never try it after a fox in a crowed hen house at midnight. It is a guarantee, certified ... send the hens into acoustic feather shedding shock and set egg production back decades if not longer. If you need a couple of reliable fellows I'll ask Red Britches and varmit hunter George to come and look things over. Ah, course you would be responsible for the wine and additional damages to ... just about everything in the immediate vicinity... (GRIN)

Good luck!!!


Randall 5-14-2003 22:11

RACHEL -- Russian Literature. I don't know whether to envy you or not. Dostoevsky, Checkov, Tolstoy. Two of the most enlightening semesters I ever enjoyed. The down side is that I didn't write anything of my own for three or four years after. I used to just flop and wonder how I could measure up to THAT. I suppose everyone has his/her own tower of intimidation to face. I was impressed but not intimidated by Shakespeare, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Thoreau, Emerson, the rest of the canon. Tolstoy and Dostoevsky still haunt me.

Mark 5-14-2003 21:59

Hi Pamela,

He, he, he, a flying cougar (grins). I like the sound of that ;o)

On a more sober note. I found three sets of bite marks on the side of one of the horses. I was not pleased. I don't know that they are cougar bites, but something tried to take her side out. She must have been pretty evasive. The marks just break the skin, and show top and bottom marks. Kind of freaky. I showed them to a few different people who agree that something tried to make a meal out of my baby. I no longer close them into the loafing shed at night. I leave it open so they can run into either one of the two pens and crash the fence if they need to. As it was the two of them kicked out the door to their shed the night they were attacked. You should have seen the condition of my front year. Holy turned over clods of grass! The neighbour teels me that something has been trying to get at her rabbits. I think that is likely her dogs... Ah well, life goes on. We have cousin Kim over for a visit this afternoon. I am making plans for my fall semester, connecting with profs and the like. I've got my list of reading for my Russian Literature course. I'm going to enjoy myself a good deal in the fall. It is an independent studies class. This will be my first experience with indpendent studies. I wonder what it will be like. I guess I'll find out soon enough.

Happy day to you :o)


Rachel 5-14-2003 13:31

Hello everyone and happy belated Mother's day to all you mothers out there! Just a quick recap of what has happened in the past week or so: Had prom, danced one dance with a friend, went to post prom afterwards, won a red Hawaian shirt, a couple of food certificates, a red laniard (?), got sick while there, threw up, slept all of Sunday in my bed, went to school on Monday, gave blood, had a concert, my director decides to mention to us that we're going to the National State Music Convention and performing next year, found that I have a bruise as big as a tennis ball (not exaggerating) wrote a short story last night that's under 3 pages, and I have a test in history today. Okay, that's all that has happened to me within the last 120 hours. How are the rest of you? Oh yeah, I had at least two solos and four other melody lines that could be considered solos. Guess I forgot about that, i don't like solos very much. Oh well. I don't have my short story with me right now, or otherwise I'd share it with y'all. It even has some German in it! Ach, ja! Well, I wish I could stay and take up more room than I already have, but I have other work to do and I'm sure that everyone of you has something more important to do than hear me babble. (Wink, wink) Be back soon with that short story!
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 5-14-2003 10:24

Hi Pamela, Yup 21 years, but not all in Japan. It's a little too long because it divides the family too much.

I was hoping we'd get a job in Texas. My husban applied for a job on the Texas Mexico border and we wanted it so much. Randall's writing has really caught our family's imagination and we were ready to go. Just two days ago we got the official letter that we weren't accepted. We were disappointed, but not let down completely because he has a bunch of other applications in the system. For me it seemed a special loss. I thought it sounded pretty nice just to live in an area with so much open space. I read about the crime in the area, but we'd decided it was worth the bother, just to experience Texas. We don't have that much we care about materially anyway. (Other than the teenage daughter we travel pretty light!) There's something very special about Texas. It's big for one thing, varied, and I think I'd enjoy the people. Heck, after reading Randall's stories, I'd just enjoy watching the people. I'd also like to see the night sky from a completely dark area as well. I like watching the stars. So it's not Texas this week, but I like to think we'll get there once we get that last child through college. I just have a bug in my bonnet to see the place thoroughly.

Thailand is a beautiful country. Were you there? Where did your mother and father live? Do you plan to go there again?

Viv 5-14-2003 9:48


I finally arrive in cyberland! A plethora of Tennessee tornados and almost daily electrical storms have forced unplugging. Then weird happenings when just trying to sign on, maybe that virus, though I don't know much about them; tons of windows opened up, like 70 of them, I thought it was just the mercury in retrograde thing, got it all shut off, then started up again and it was okay.

"Correcting" the southpaws, I always heard the lefties had something to do with the devil, perhaps stemming from the good guys being on the right hand of God in Christian folklore, the bad on the left. So where does that leave us ambidexterous folks? Like Mark, I do some things with left hand, some with right, some with either (I like your wife's quote), perhaps we are schizophrenic? As a good friend songwriter used to say, "I may be a lonely schizophrenic but at least I have each other." Guess what? I was actually diagnosed as one in my crazy prison days, being a teenager having a major disassociation event, it was a handy catch-all diagnosis. Don't worry, that was thirty years ago and I'm fine now, no really, I mean it, I'M JUST FINE!!!!!!!!!!!

Mel: You have a laundry chute? (How cool!) You saw a guy with orange hair? (How used-to-be-cool but now becoming mundane, like those obnoxious piercings that look like someone fell face first into a tackle box.)

Ramon, your life questioning was so very poignant. I wish I could tell you that it all becomes clearer as you get older but I have not found that to be the case. I too am working on the mystery aspects of my novel. I know Who-Done-It, that is the basis of the whole book, but I am realizing that I need to figure out the clues that I will offer to the reader, via the detectives, and that I need to keep track of and develop them logically. This will be more like Ed McBain/Evan Hunter (the TOPS in police procedural, should you need to study that genre) as opposed to stupid amateurs bumbling around, so I need to get as organized as professional investigations are.

Rosemary, thanks for welcoming me back after my hiatus.

Viv, enjoyed your insight into Japan, has it been 21 continuous years since you have been stateside? My stepfather was in overseas constuction and he and my mom spent several years in Thailand. Why do you ask Randall about Texas, are you possibly going there? Come to Tennessee, it's great here! Hawaii is okay too, I guess, if you just HAFTA go there.

Ben and Teekay, should get manuscript sent to someone this week or next (embarassingly low on cash at the moment).

Rachel, I think you might have the rare Flying Cougar in your little corner of the world. Think about it: you heard growling, your neighbor saw something flying through the air.....

Sunny, sending L*O*V*E your way. Talk to your dad, he can hear you. Ditto to Eddie and Michael.

Feeling slightly nuts but good, peace and love to all,

pamela 5-14-2003 1:39


FYI friends...

For more on Will Adams


Randall 5-13-2003 20:44


Hey! too!

The foreword to MUSASHI: AN EPIC NOVEL OF THE SAMURAI ERA was written by Edwin. O. Reischauer a professor at Harvard University. Professor Reischauer served as ambassador to Japan from 1961 to 1966. He has also written of Japan and well versed on the subject. Probably....

In his opening remarks the good professor is disdainful of comparisons between MUSASHI and James Clavell's, SHOGUN. Historically both novels occur about the same time. The SHOGUN character Blackthorne is based on a real person, Will Adams. The fictional Lord Toranaga, based on a historical ruler, Tokugawa Ieyasu, at the end of SHOGUN departs to fight the battle of Sekigahara. Miyamato Musashi, as a very young man, also fought in the battle, against Ieyasu (Lord Toranaga) was wounded and left among a reported 70,000 casualties. Barely escaping with his life Musashi was lucky because Ieyasu's army took no prisoners.

Professor Reischauer rather sniffingly writes Clavell distorted historical facts to fit his tale. Furthermore, he asserts Clavell inserted a western love story that would have been impossible at the time. Adding to the fun Clavell bases Blackthorne's love, Mariko, on a real lady, Gracia the Christian wife of a member of the house of Hosokawa, Tadaoki who is one of the main villains in SHOGUN! Whew!

According to the Prop...Yoshikawa's MUSASHI is historically accurate at least true to tradition and sticks faithfully to facts of history as known. He says Clavell borrowed from Japanese history and created a great novel, but in the process distorted the historical record. fiction writers have the right to distort historical fact for fictional purposes? Remember we had a heated exchange on this last year or so? I am sure thousands of Americans view SHOGUN as an epic Samurai adventure, while just as many Japanese are aghast at the liberties taken by Clavell. Personally, my wife and I like SHOGUN, book and movie and have the mini-series on tape. On the opposite side many persons have no idea who Musashi was and could care less.

Duel versus dual. Words I swapped around in my post last night. As I have never fought a duel, the word is somewhat obscure in my brain. But dual! Now there is a word that has been a faithful companion... dual exhausts ... dual carburetors ... dual tires ... dual whip antennas ... dual racoon tails ... dualies (pickups with four wheels on the rear) dual gas tanks ... dual jet engines ... the list goes on....

Proofreading...not my best talent as I used spinisterism instead of sinisterism as well. The beat goes on!


Randall 5-13-2003 20:34

izzat yosushi?
dass masushi.

5-13-2003 20:11

Virus alert!

-- from a friend:

This one is coming in thru Kazaa. It will also affect outlook and outlook
express users.
Scan all Kazaa files before you play them and the web link for Trendmicro
will show you
the headers for notes in outlook.,1282,58813,00.html

howard 5-13-2003 18:13

Randall - Musashi is indeed a great collection of work!!!
We have the entire collection in one hardcover, and I couldn't put it down when I read it last year. Beautifully written.

Heather 5-13-2003 13:35


You have the perfect outlet for the perfect crime novel. Who could't relate to a boss who needs.....well you know.

I would suck that situation dry for all it's worth.

In the end you will have the best crime novel ever and feel better in the process.

Debra 5-13-2003 9:55

Great samurai info Randall. Seems to me Musashi may have been the inspiration for the old general in Clavell's SHOGUN: gruff, ill-mannered, harsh and judgemental. Fascinating. I love that sort of stuff. In fact, the getting rid of the Christians was sort of a round-about inspiration for my story 'St. Freda'--but that's a round-about way from way out there in left field...

Gotta go. Work calls and I've decided it's time to start walking again. The weather's fine, okay great, and it only takes little under an hour. A guy can do a lot of daydreaming during that time.


Ben 5-13-2003 9:36

Greetings one and all.

My crime novel is still not off the ground yet but have patience. I am reading a text book on crime fiction writing and I am also reading some Agatha Christie for inspiration. Wow what a writer.

I know one thing for sure, I think I will be able to create a tense atmosphere, based on the relationship I have with my boss. We argue all the time and all the time I find, where he is concerned, human instincts kicking in: when threatened run or brain the bastard. Since I can do neither, VOILA, pent up frustration which leads to much revenge plotting as well as tension so thick you could cut it with a knife.

Writing has stopped for the mo but still being flooded with ideas. Methinks that office life has me so stressed that I need some form of escape.

For now I will escape back to my desk and show my boss that I actually do work for a living. I swear he thinks it just magically tends to itslf and that I am surplus to requirements.

Cheers folks.


Ramon 5-13-2003 8:48


Good evening...

Not going to get into the sinister discussion gang. Though I have had a LOT of experience with a sinister left eye. Usually after a night of dancing with Gypsy floozies and binge drinking wine when out of spite and spinisterism the left eye refused to open the following morning. :-)

From left field...

I have reread Eiji Yoshikawa's epic of 16th century Japanese Samurai...MUSASHI-THE WAY OF THE SWORD. It is based on fact, an account of Miyamoto Musashi 1584-1645, the greatest Samurai of Japan. Somewhat laborious reading, (for me) as plot, intrigue and counterplot swirl through the five books encompassing numerous charactors amid various locations in Japan. (Hi Viv!) Written just before WW II, Musashi is the Japanese GONE WITH THE WIND, as per the novel's introduction.

A cruel, headstrong man, six feet tall, Musashi fought 60 duels with stick, wooden sword and steel sword. Reported to be a large, uncouth shabbily dressed man it is believed he followed the Zen code and only took cold early morning baths. Not a slave to Samurai fashion. At his last dual he was given water to wash with, but drank it instead and with typical Samurai aplomb swaggered into legend. He was never defeated and once battled 80 Samurai from one martial art school who ambushed him! For reasons only clear to Samurai of the time Musashi killed the head of the school during the melee, a thirteen-year old boy before escaping. (This in effect "killed the school" a fate worse than death to the members.) Contrary to thinking of the period Musashi used both swords, the long and the short sword ... one in each hand.

During Musashi's last dual at age 28, he killed the greatest swordsman in Japan, Sasaki Kojiro. Musashi (believe it) used a wooden sword carved from a boat oar on his rival ... bashed him on the head, then sought retirement. But no. Returning years later in the service of the lords of Kyushu he participated in the slaughter of Japanese Christians in Japan, (1638) which closed the country from the outside world for 200 years. I suppose one must view Christians from the perspective of Japanese rulers and the Samurai elite. Usurpers and bad news to any heirachy. Turn the other cheek was most likely an option Samurai warriors quickly cut through.

I have a screen saver of Miyamoto Musashi's paintings on my monitor. More than an efficient killer Musashi was a poet, a painter and a writer GO RIN NO SHO (A BOOK OF FIVE RINGS) was finished only weeks before he died and is a primer for weapons use and corporate intrigue. Musashi's book of tactics and strategy, is and has been used by Japanese industrial giants in dealings with foreign nations, read America. In many Japanese companies the book is a must and required study!

I quote...

"Musashi wrote... " 'When you have attained the Way of strategy there will be not one thing that you cannot understand" and "You will see the Way in everything". He did, in fact, become a master of arts and crafts. He produced masterpieces of ink painting, probably more highly valued by the Japanese than the ink paintings of any other. His works include cormorants, herons, Hotei the Shinto God, dragons, birds with flowers, bird in a dead tree, Daruma (Bodhidharma), and others. He was a fine calligrapher, evidenced by his piece "Senki" (Warspirit). There is a small wood sculpture of the Buddhist diety (sic) Fudo Myoo in private hands. A sculpture of Kwannon was lost recently. He made works in metal, and founded the school of sword guard makers who signed "Niten", after him (see below). He is said to have written poems and songs, but none of these survive. It is said also that he was commissioned by the Shogun Iemitsu to paint the sunrise over Edo castle.' "

"Musashi writes about the various aspects of Kendo in such a way that it is possible for the beginner to study at beginners' level, and for Kendo masters to study the same words on a higher level. This applies not just to military strategy, but to any situation where plans and tactics are used. Japanese businessmen have used Go Rin No Sho as a guide for business practice, making sales campaigns like military operations, using the same energetic methods. In the same way that Musashi seems to have been a horribly cruel man, yet was following logically an honest ideal, so successful business sems (sic) to most people to be without conscience."

The Empire of Japan christened a battleship after him, "MUSASHI" a sister ship to the "YAMATO." Both were sunk by allied planes toward the end of the war. The "MUSASHI" was sunk in an inland channel of the Philippine Islands. Our ship passed over her grave several times as we traversed through the island channel. Samurai sword slingers and gun toting Battleships are obviously outdated in all respects ... except ... Miyamoto Musashi's thinking and teachings in GO RIN NO SHO is still in use.

As per his request Musashi was buried in the uniform of a Samurai general ... standing up ... with a sword in hand! He guards the road to Edo (Tokyo) and would be a hellish apparition to come across on a dark and stormy (grin) night!

Anyway ... take a look at Mr. Yoshikawa's epic novel of Samurai Japan.

Good night you warriors of the Cyber word!


Randall 5-12-2003 22:28

HOWARD: Thanks. I needed a good laugh - ha! 8-] I think I know a couple of Fred's relatives...

Mel 5-12-2003 13:14

Family tree:

howard 5-12-2003 8:36

HEATHER -- Yup, I knew about 'sinister,' sister. In 9th and 10th grades I was a Latin scholar ... You've never known me to exaggerate, have you? I'll have to start sometime soon.

In the aforementioned post, I realized (ex post facto) that I was playing off a lead HOWARD had given in his 'correction' post (which really corrected nothing, but that wasn't the point of the post; it was ... well, that's a tangent isn't it? My, these ex post facto re: post realizations come in waves today.) I realized that the way the Notebook works, you'd see my post and then see his afterward.

Is it hot in here? Or have I found my muse?

Finally. To all you mothers and children out there:

****** HAPPY MOTHERS' DAY ******

Mark 5-11-2003 10:41

Just a quick note to announce that Scheherazade Tales Romance E-Novels is open for submissions in novel-length romance only. We are looking for great love stories that may or may not fit the mold of traditional romance. See our website for submission details and to read excerpts of current offerings.

Scheherazade Tales Romance E-Novels Scheherazade Tales Romance E-Novels 5-11-2003 9:59

Hmm, maybe our literary villains should all be left-handed, since they are definitely sinister...


Mel 5-11-2003 8:56


Happy Mother's day to all Mothers.

Called my Mother today... She told me that "Correction" had been stopped because forcing people to go against their nature like that was causing some problems.

I write with my left... Throw with my right and kick with my Left foot. So I guess I'm mixed up... Lol.
And it's also funny... Nobody on my mother's side is Lefthanded... But had several in my Dad's side. One of my brothers and I are lefthanded as well.

And by the way it seems... The amount of lefthanders are on the increase... Soon we may rise up and overthrow the righties

Taylor 5-11-2003 1:46

I can't remember the term for right eye, but it just might be oculus dexterous.

I think we have the evolution of the word sinister right before us, folks. (Not very hard to see it, I admit!)

From latin for 'left', the word 'sinister' has this meaning - probably the only meaning at that time. Lefthandedness was considered occult centuries later??? Surely anything associated with 'left' at that time would be also. Natural name for it is SINISTER, since that word just sounds so.....snakey and eeeeeeevil.

There ya have it.

What I don't get is where people pulled the idea from about lefties being occult or just plain wrong... (or terrible at baseball).
Why did the 'anyone different must be evil' misconception ever come to pass anyhow? Seems silly to me....but then again,

I am

Maybe just a little. :o)

A sinister person even looks at you through his evil, slitted LEFT EYE..... (LOL, I'm getting carried away now)

Heather 5-11-2003 1:39

Mark, what made me laugh the most about your post was that you said, 'there's something sinister there'.
Did you know that the medical term for left eye is 'oculus sinister'?

I couldn't tell by your post whether you knew that or just happened to use the word!

.... what made me laugh second-most (ha ha ha) was the rest of your post. ;oD


(I don't dare try html this late at night)

Heather 5-11-2003 1:31

Had some fantastic birds visit my feeders today, a rose brested gross beak, and a black headed gross beak, along with all the usual suspects of sparrows, fiches and grackles. Spring is indeed here, even the weatherman is saying "well we may well see an end of the drought!" They report that we're now an inch ahead of "normal" for the year's rainfall. Not much but we do hope, now folks are beginning to say it would be nice to see the sun. You just can't satisfy some folks.

Renn went to the doggie beauty parlor today, now Smoky just can't get used to his new smell and look. Ever since he got home, Smoky has been bothering him, poor dog just can't get a moment's peace.

To all you mothers out there, Happy Mothers Day!

Jack - it seems age keeps creeping up upon us, another birthday approaches, another year done, a new year about to begin, one must wonder if he has accomplished all he sat out to do in this year of our life. Our birthday's approach, much like time, they simply can't be put off, can't be stopped, and must be faced. Myself, I think I'll smile as it approaches since I never got done in this year of my life all that I intended, the approach of another year gives me that much more time to get it done, heck another whole year what a deal.

Jerry 5-11-2003 0:56

We had a kids' activity today at church, and during a lull I asked several of our leaders (ages 20-70) about the correction of left handers. The older folks all said yes, they remembered it, and said it was quite common.

Then I was surprised to hear one of the parents say that one of the kids in the youth baseball league was having problems because one of his coaches had found out that he was a natural lefty, and was trying to get him to throw with his left hand.

The kid told the coach that his dad and grandfather had made him learn to throw righty, because they thought he'd never be able to throw accurately with his left. It wasn't "natural." Now his coach is trying to correct the correction, and the kid is having a terrible time.

howard 5-10-2003 19:42

Of course there's the right-brain, left-brain thing. The right side of the brain controls the left side of the body and the left side of the brain .. well, you get the picture.

My wife likes to say that left-handed people are in their right minds. I dunno. Something sinister there.

I've never followed up on the brain-sidedness of mental activity. Music and math are on opposite sides in most people, but not in musicians. Maybe that's why they rock their heads from side to side, all that activity is on one side and they try to throw some back the other way.

So I'm right-handed. Does that mean I use the art or the science side of my head?


I'm gonna go practice throwing a ball with my left hand. The puppy won't know I'm awkward and inaccurate.

Mark 5-10-2003 12:03

By the way -- for anyone interested in heraldry, there's lots of definitions and descriptions at


if that long one doesn't work.

howard 5-10-2003 9:16

TAYLOR -- "Way back in the 1900s" ? :})
Yes, it was way back in the 1950s when I went to school, and back then anyone who was left handed suffered greatly as they were "re-educated" in the "proper" way of writing. In our elementary school years we were all forced into the proper posture, and made to practice those little exercises that were intended to produce just the right angle for all those lowercase cursive letters. Left-handers, of course, were unable to see that angle from their perspective, and most of these writing sessions ended in tears for them. I think Nancy Duke was the only one with starch enough to say "That's the way I write. I'm not changing!"

The whole right-left thing goes way back in history, to a time when left-handedness was actually considered to be a mark of the occult. The word "Sinister" is connected with left-handedness, while the word "Dexter" or "Dexterous" means right-handed.

You'll see it quite often in heraldry -- in the symbols on shields and flags. I found a reference to the eagle on our "Great Seal" that talks about the way the claws are depicted. The right (dexter) talon holds an olive branch (for peace), while the left (sinister) talon holds the arrows of war. And mention is made of the fact that the arrows in the sinister talon are held in front of the dexter.

If you know what to look for, you can see the dexter-sinister conflict everywhere -- from ties (look at the stripes on 99% of them) to tools.

howard 5-10-2003 9:09


I was thinking of posting a poem about my hometown on here, it maybe a little long and I'm not really a poetry writer. Perhaps when I'm done I shall post it in parts I think. So far, as I look back on my hometown Kalgoorlie, it seems it's history has happened in stages.

And has anybody heard any stories about "Correction"? Early on in the nineteen hundreds... Not sure on when or why it was stopped... But when youngsters wrote with their Left hands they were corrected so they wrote with their right.
Being lefthanded this brought up my curiousity about the whole thing.

It's funny when one day you have nothing to say, but on others you have a few things to talk about.

I found it difficult to deal with the loss of my Father. I think it was the suddenness of his death that hurt the most. The thing that helped me get through it was that he collapsed doing the thing he enjoyed. Goal Umpiring... And the other thing was, I knew in my heart he would've wanted me to keep going and enjoy myself.
At times I still think of him... Like when I watch a footy match sometimes. Or even camping.

Sunny, don't forget to give yourself time to mourn and deal with your own feelings. I know that's difficult when you feel you have other people to look after.

Taylor 5-10-2003 7:32

Sunny--No one and everyone knows how you feel...When my father died when I was 15, I kept looking for some meaning to alleviate the pain. Sometimes stuff just happens. Of course you will miss your Dad but be glad for him that he has escaped this physical plane to return home. That is where we all strive to be.

pamela 5-9-2003 22:49


I pray you find the peace you need.

Debra 5-9-2003 10:45

Hello everyone! Well I've come back to finish the rest of that shortie up. I'll just start at the paragraph I ended on.

"You see, father, this heretic is confessing truths that the Pope does not say to be true. I thought as his confessing father, you might have a better chance to knock some sense into...him? Is he dead already? Not a very sturdy fellow, was he?"

"He was always a self-controlled, quiet, well-behaved young man. It's too bad that it had to end like this," the confessing father said, shaking his head.

"Did he have any relatives?"

"None, he was left here at this village of the child. He was a ward of the Church."

"Then all of the loose ends are taken care of, I'll leave as soon as I write out the report," the inquisitor said as he turned to walk out of the dungeon.

The priest waited for a few seconds after the door had closed before taking a look at the dead body. The tears started to fall as he cradled the blonde-haired head to his chest.

"Oh, my son, my son! Why must you have done such a thing as to antagonize Rome? Can't you see how much pain you caused? Father, thy will be done. Thy will be done."

The father picked up his robes and took one last look at his son before he closed the dungeon door.

The End Copyright Elaine @2003

Hope you enjoyed it.

SUNNY: Many hugs and hot chocolate (is that how you spell it?) coming your way. Wish there was more I could say, but there aren't any words left to give. If you have time, read Psalm 23. It's always a great comfort to me when I feel said or depressed. (((((HUGS)))))

I hope that everyone else's life is as carefree as possible. I'm waiting for the right weekend to catch up on the 300 hours of sleep I've missed. Oh, well. Life goes on. I don' have much else to say except: thanks Viv for the compliment. Those are always fun to get. Oh, well I have other work I need to do so thanks for reading when you have the chance!
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 5-9-2003 10:24


My prayers and hugs go out to you.

Rhoda 5-9-2003 9:00

Greetings one and all. I am about to prove to you how bizzare I am. I've just spent my lunch hour sitting in the park on this warm sunny day, listening to "Staind" on my walkman and I finally wrote this little poem/ode/ditty/garbage (take your pick)


What to thee my friends is a waste of life?

Going to work everyday to a job you hate,
not caring if you're early, on time or very late.

Working to be a doctor, lawyer, teacher or some other pro
simple because your parents, family & friends told you so.

Blessed with the brain of Socrates, Eisntein and other great thinkers
and yet with theft, murder and drug use he tinkers.

Having the perfect family, job and life
yet risking it all for a woman who is not your wife.

On a glorious day when the sun is shining and the sky is blue
you stay inside and don't care what others do.

But what to you my friends is a waste of life?
After all my smiles and frowns, troubles and strife,

I can only conlude that with a nod of my head and a shrug of my shoulder,

Just like beauty, a waste of life is in the eye of the beholder.


I will try something a bit more chirpy some other time.

Peace and good health to all.

Ramon 5-9-2003 8:54

Sunny - You and your mom will be in my prayers, take care.

Jerry 5-9-2003 0:27

Speaking of location. My plan is to find a prototype village--one that existed in 1820 and fits the criteria I have set up in my story. I can learn the details about it and pattern my fictional village on it. I was previously using Mallaig for this. Then I learned that at this time, it was accessible only by boat. That is too remote. I will find my village, I have no doubt. I went through similar headaches when I was writing my dark age novels. The nice thing about writing about the remote past is that no one knows the details anymore, so you have a certain latitude to add them in at will as long as they are technologically and geographically consistent. No such luxury with the nineteenth century. Research has been far harder.

Rhoda 5-8-2003 23:19


Thank you for the information of The Two Towers. Last year we bought the VHS, the DVD, and then the extended DVD version of The Fellowship of the Ring. After having seen the extended version, I cannot watch anything else. My daughter and son have bought several action figures. We saw FOTR three times in the theatre and TT twice. We have done our part in making Peter Jackson a very rich man. Now I know that this second one has an extended version, I hope I have the discipline to wait until it comes out before buying a copy.

Rhoda 5-8-2003 23:07

Sunny: Take care of yourself as you care for your mother. Be sure to eat well and get out in the sunshine together. You've suffered a big shock too. I'm so sorry.

Howard: Interesting Links. Testing...hummm, I kinda' like testing unless they dumb down the tests. Tests show us what we need still need to teach or what we've taught badly. If we get it right, tests show us that we succeeded. I like the idea of testing so I tell my students that I'm not just testing them, I'm testing me to see how well I taught. When I see a question on a test that a majority of my students missed, I know I didn't communicate well. I apologize to the students and try again. I usually give at least two tests every class period, one on material learned and one at the end of the class on the things I just taught. This way I check retention and material introduced. It gives me lots of grades so if a student is doing poorly, I catch it quick and can remedy the situation. The big general tests are necessary as well because it forces teachers to pay attention to the building blocks of an education. It also forces the administrators to pay attention to some of the reasons the teachers can't teach (too many fluff programs, not enough time to teach)

The parents need to remember that the school isn't a ladder. Kids don't advance year by year always. I took my children out of school so there wouldn't be a "time schedule" for learning concepts.

Viv 5-8-2003 20:47


I send you hugs too ((((((((hugs))))))))))

Rachel 5-8-2003 19:55

People write books and in most cases suffer rejections and depressions.
Better not live in illusions. We can help you publish your mansucript in the
original language and in more languages and it will not cost you to publish!
Visit us at and learn for yourself....

Uriel Paz 5-8-2003 19:42


Teekay 5-8-2003 18:39

Sunny -- and more hugs from way up north {{{{HUGS}}}}

Carol 5-8-2003 17:55

I just received notification that TTT is available for pre-order, to be shipped arouond the 3rd week in August. This is the theatrical version, in wide screen and full screen, 2 DVDs, and is US/Canadian format only. Dunno about other countries' formats yet.

I checked the New Line site and found the extended version -- 6 DVDs with 35 minutes of footage not in the theatrical release -- will be coming out around November 18th.

There are also rumours that ROTK will be released sometime in mid to late November in order to make an early enough try for the Oscars. Dunno how that might affect TTT extended version release.

howard 5-8-2003 15:21

SUNNY ~ All the hugs I can muster coming your way....


Heather 5-8-2003 13:40

Morning all,

I was just reading the latest book by M. C. Beaton--The Death of a Village. It is set in the Highlands of Scotland. There are descriptions of the rugged clifts, small villages along the coast, the smell of wild thyme and Highlands heather. It mentions the length of the days. Describes some of the crofts and calls church a kirk. It is a cozy mystery, only 245 pages long and should be in your local library. This is the latest one of a series and might not be available yet, but any of the series should have tons of descriptions. This author has another series with Agatha Raisin, but it is set in England. Hope you have a chance to check it out.

Rosemary 5-8-2003 11:57

I was right up in the Highlands last December. The thing that struck me almost immediately was the sight of the sun struggling to reach about 16 degrees in ascension at midday. It seemed to roll along at that height through the short day and barely reached it's (To us) natural yellow colour. It made me think about Iceland where the sun sometimes rolls along the horizon during the day.
Hope this image helps.

Eddie French 5-8-2003 10:30

SUNNY: My condolences to you and many {{HUGS}}.

MEL: I'm sleepy also. Of course staying up to get laundry done til 11:30 at night for two or three nights in a row will do that to you. :)

PS Happy B-day to...guess who!

Cheri 5-8-2003 9:33


I am excited about you being able to go to Hawaii. My brother-in-law and his wife have been several times. Someday I will see some more of Scotland. I never got north of Edinburgh when I went over in 2001. Money is an issue, but time is an even bigger one. Speaking of money, my sister-in-law flew to Edinburgh this last winter for $300.00 a person, round trip. She not only took her husband but her daughter also.


Thank you for the historical map link. I browsed over the site and I think it will be helpful. I just have to consider some basic geography here. The highlands are far to the North of anywhere I have lived, so I would think days are very long in the summer and very short in the winter. I am sure there are statistical web sites that list sunrise and sunset for certain days of the year.

I am writing a lot, but am also getting jitters. But still the writing is fun and exciting now that I have a more specific goal.

Rhoda 5-8-2003 8:48

VIV: Hi, you. I'm not sure I'd trust my 12-year-old with laundry detergent yet, but I'll consider it! He might experiment and use too much, just to watch soap bubbles lifting the lid of the machine! 8-}

HI to everyone else too!

Sleeping at my desk today... Jab me if I snore... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Mel again, not yet awake 5-8-2003 7:53

SUNNY: More (((HUGS)))

TINA: And some for you (((HUGS)))!

How about a SHORTY this week on our parents? I've given the assignment to Ms. Muse and she's deep in thought already...

Mel 5-8-2003 7:48


Check the link.
it may be of some help

Eddie French Historical Maps UK 5-8-2003 6:45


Sunny: Condolonces and prayers going your way from this end

Taylor 5-8-2003 4:25

Here are a couple of articles that might interest you.

One on general education and testing:

And one on teaching writing:

howard 5-7-2003 23:36

Sunny, I'm sending you a virtual (((((HUG))))) A HUGE one. I have a thousand words I'd like to say but can't put in order, so I'll just say I understand. My dad passed away in much the same way just 2 years ago.

If you need to talk, e-mail me.

More (((((HUGS)))))

Tina 5-7-2003 23:27

SUNNY -- Prayers from this end as well. Hang in there, and hold your mom. No need for words, just hold her.

howard 5-7-2003 23:11

SUNNY -- Condolences and Good Thoughts your way.

Mark 5-7-2003 23:07

Hi All -- I came to Baltimore to help out after my mother's minor stroke a few weeks ago. This morning my Dad died of congestive heart failure. He had had 4 previous attacks, and had a defibrillator, but kept active, and we thought he would just keep on going, I guess. It was sudden, and he didn't suffer, but I'll be here for about a week, helping out my mom.

Just wanted you to know, because you're one of my support groups and I feel the need to reach out.

Thanks so much for being there.

Sunny 5-7-2003 23:02

Rhoda: I don't want to make it sound like I'm rich or I can do it easily. I THINK I'm going this summer. I've been saving every penny for a long time for this. I still don't have enough to sleep anywhere but the airport and maybe a park bench. I still have a long ways to go. It's either this summer or maybe fall. I need to have the money for a rental car so I can drive around and see the locations I chose. I also need enough money to spend two nights in a hotel before I head back. I just have to do it now before I go to America or the cost will be out of reach.

Is your husband in the military? I think they have a way the wives can fly for free. Could you hop a MAC transport to Europe and fly from there cheaper?

Viv yet again! 5-7-2003 21:00

Rhoda: Don't feel bad, feel excited. Do you feel the makings for a dream trip? Ok, you don't have the money now but when you do you will know the place before you go and discover how it looks.

I'm doing the same thing with Hawaii. I use maps and restaurant guides to get my locations. I've picked the brain of someone who lived there. I'm going to go this summer and look to see if I got it right. Fun.

Viv 5-7-2003 20:51

Boy Carol, I'm going to shove you more often! Great Chapter. Now you've got me hooked...keep going. Really though, I think the vacation helped you. Your writing is sharp again.

Elaine: Great poems and a shortie as well. You sure don't have any problem putting out great writing. Although I never write poetry if I can help it, your call for a haiku that really sounded Japanese sung to me loud and clear. The cherry blossoms were beautiful this year, although I always prefer the plums. Let me see...

Mel: What a shortie! Loved that description of the boxers. Try a 15 year old girl and bras. Hate to mention those unmentionables but boy, oh boy is color in fashion right now. Time to buy that boy his own personal box of laundry detergent. My daughter loves hers. In fact she loves it too well. Recently she washed all our whites with her new hot pink bra. I had to buy her something new...a personal bleach bottle...or her father might have killed her. Pink and the underware of men pushing 55 don't mix!

Viv 5-7-2003 20:42


I will get that e-mail off to you in a couple of days. I am currently compiling my list. I really feel so stupid about chosing to write about someplace I have never been. I have to be really careful because there are many highland coastal communities that did not even exist in the early nineteenth century because there were no roads.

Rhoda 5-7-2003 20:06

Hi All!

Just a quick post from this lurker -- I wrote today! I wrote today! Now I'm off to play!

Thanks for that shove Viv!

Carol 5-7-2003 15:07

The sun is bright here also, just got in from mowing my yard. The grass was a bit on the wet side but radar shows a huge rain storm heading this way from Montana so I needed to get it cut down before we have a jungle out front.

Been fighting with my stupid computer most of the morning, so the mow job was welcome, dang windows XP has suddenly began behaving like it's in an old 286 or something. Takes over a minute for an application to start, I think it's time for a format and reinstall, funny how that cures so many things.

Mark - just had a visit with my Uncle while he changed the oil in my truck, he's just had a spot removed and being checked for skin cancer at the VA. Too bad your VA hospital is so busy, here he got his referral from his regular VA Doc to the cancer doc the same day they found it, and will know the results tomorrow. He was telling me that he was going to have the local eye doc replace a lens in his VA glasses as they told him he could only get new ones every two years. I suggested he call, and when he did they told him to come on down, they'd do a whole exam and give him a new set of specs.

I am amazed at all this since the Legion magazine is quoting vets from the eastern part of SD as having to wait months too, I think we must just have a very efficient administrator or something as I have yet to have a bad experience with them. Neither has my Uncle, as we were talking of the problems others are reporting with VA medical, he's been enrolled for several years and has had super care down there.

Jerry 5-7-2003 14:09

Thank you Mel for the compliment, but no thank you for the weather. It actually is storming pretty bad today, (Not enough to close the school up though)

I have a shortie, I have a shortie! Actually I have two, but I don't have the one right now. My teacher has it. Oh, well. I thought you might enjoy it.


"Do you or do you not deny that you were aiding and abetting the Devil and his work in spreading lies about the Church and it's saintly work?" a rough voice echoed in the torture chamber.

Nothing could be heard from the heretic in the cell, only his gasps for breath. The inquisitor took a wooden wedge and stuck it into the toes of the heretic, and slowly pounded it into the wick.

Chains rattled as the heretic strained against his restraints. With each pound from the inquisitor the chains were pulled taut and with each brief reprise came only pants.

"I do not delight in torturing you. Why don't you just tell me your heresy and I can stop giving you pain," the booming voice said, trying to sound convincing.

The heretic didn't speak, instead he waited for more torture to come. The inquisitor slowly shook his head and pulled out a hot iron from a bellows. He lightly touched a spot there, a spot here, picking places that he knew were sensitive. He waited for the screams. None came. No begging for mercy, no cries of confessions, only the hisses of hot metal on skin and the sharp intakes of breath from the heretic could be heard.

The hours dragged on as the inquisitor tried torture after torture and barraged the heretic with questions. When it was well past midnight, he stopped.

"Well, you're all warmed up for our next session," the inquisitor said tiredly as he slammed the dungeon door shut.

The blonde-haired, blue-eyed man stared blankly across the dungeon. His breaths were coming out in rasps and there was a bitter twang every time he drew in another life-giving breath.

"Lord," he said as his bloody and bruised body slumped to the wall, "forgive them, for they know not what they do." This being said he fell into a feverish sleep. He was roughly awakened the next morning.

"You are the most persistant heretic I have ever met. Why won't you just give it up? Confess that the pope is right and that Martin Luther is wrong and we'll set you free."

Looking at the inquisitor with eyes dulled by pain, the blonde rebel said his first words to the inquisitor.

"I obey God, rather than men."

"That's treason, man. I think you've lost your senses. How are you saved? If you answer this correctly you could be set loose."

"By grace...not by works,"the young man said.

"You will pay for that, after I get my tools. No one gets away with preaching such heretical nonsense. You've lost your chance to be set free. I'm only waiting for your confession."

There was no answer. The inquisitor turned on his heel and walked out.

"To preach to a stubborn and obstinate people that they may come to know you and your gracious love for all mankind. That was my mission, Lord, and I get turned in as a heretic. They say there is no way to escape death from the inquisitors. They say...forgive me, Lord. Your will be done." The eyes started to close as he was drifting off.

"Lord, into...your hands I spirit," with those words said the blonde-haired man died.

"You see, father, this heretic is confessing truths that the Pope does not say to be true. I thought as his confessing father you might have a better chance to knock some sense into...him? Is he dead already? Not a very sturdy fellow is he?"

There is more but ran out of time, will write the rest up later.
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 5-7-2003 10:33

HELLO, EVERYONE!!! Ah, the sun returns in all its glory this morning (uh, sorry to whoever gets the rain and gloom today, although that's great weather for curling up with a great book!)

CHERI, HOWARD: Thanks for kind words. I know my meter-writing skills are rough, but Ms. Muse wouldn't let me write it as a paragraph. The picture was too precious to let pass unmarked, like a Kodak moment. :-]

ELAINE: I liked your poems. :-)

Is everyone off writing gobs of great stuff today? I hope so. I mean, if you can't be HERE, then I hope you're THERE, wherever that may be, writing frenzied forms of fantastic fables and fine feature articles. I'm now making Ms. Muse put away her thesaurus - she loves those doggy-eared pages!

8-] Let's hear from some LURKERS today - c'mon, you've been hanging around here, just reading stuff - now cough up some dialogue (or monologue, whichever you prefer!).

Mel 5-7-2003 8:07

Oops! Hello again! Well, it should a-muse you that my muse is back, with a price. She made me write lymricks...again. GROAN!!! Actually, I like writing lymricks, they're fun. So, here it is:

Poetry Lymricks 4-17-03 @12:55 pm

What does free verse mean?
It's worse than a crop of cream!
There is no more rhyming,
And they've done in the timing,
Wake me from this horrible dream!
Oh, write me a Narritive poem
Where the verses of the free can't roam
Just sell me a story
And I'll be hunky-dory
And feel like I'm right at home
But what if I want something funny
That makes me feel all sunny?
Just give me a minute
And I'll write you a lymrick
That'll give you a run for your money.
Well, what if I want a Haiku
Is there anything I can do?
I want something please
That sounds Japanese
Not something right out of the blue
What if I want a classic sonnet
Let me get the bee out of your bonnet!
Just wait one more day
And as the French would say
"Hear, here is your zonnet!"
Here's a little intermission
Let's talk of a poem of tradition
The rhyme goes either which way
One night, and one day
You can't put THIS poem in remission!
Now, I don't mean to be a bore
But what if I want something more
Let four words rhyme at the end
And call that poem my friend
Both now and forever more!
Whether it's at school or at home
I will stop to write a poem
During day or at night
I'll just sit down to write
And let my imagination roam!

Copyright: Elaine
I hope you enjoyed this one too. Oh, and don't let the lymrick bite you. It will have you writing lymricks before you know it! (wink, wink!)
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 5-6-2003 19:32

hello everyone! I've been busy with projects that never seem to go away. Sorry that i haven't been on earlier. I have two poems for all of you guys. I don't know which one you want first so I'll just pick one. And the winner is...
May 5-5-03 @9:27 am.
Unable to speak
Unable to say
I need to tell you
Without a delay
You might be amused
When you find out today
That, although it's storming
Today is in May.
Soon, there will be flowers
And children who play
Outside in the grasses
And the rocks that are grey
Everybody is smiling
No more batteries of A
All the kids have thrown
Their Gameboys away
And even though it's gloomy
I would just like to say
God bless you as you eat
(But don't try to eat hay!)
The children are waiting
I'll hold them at bay
But if you're not going to help
Then you'll have to pay
For they're getting antsy
And down they won't lay
"Come on, let us up!
It's stopped raining, hooray!"
I tell them not to go
I tell them to stay
They trample me under
"We want some rays!"
I have to consent
I must say, "Okay"
It's a lot easier
Than to say "Nay"
I go outside to watch them
A man said as he passed on his way,
"Come on, now, be happy
For it's May today!"
I give him a smile
And it's on here to stay
For I finally realized
That it is May.
Copyright: Elaine
One down one more to go! I hope you enjoyed that one. I think I'm going to post the other one seperately so it's not too long.
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 5-6-2003 19:22

And UNICORN -- Welcome! You can horn in here anytime!


howard 5-6-2003 17:44

MEL -- Neat imagery! Very nice!

howard 5-6-2003 17:43

I just stumbled onto this and it cought my interest, I've always love to write. Although I've never had anything published. I've always written for the fun of it. I love science fiction I can let my imagination flow, create anything and everything. I'm new at this computer thing and I hope that the next time that I'm on the computer that I can find you again and maybe share a story or two with you. For now I have to go. So until later, goodbye.


unicorn21053 5-6-2003 16:22

MEL: Beautiful! You always inspire me.:)

Cheri 5-6-2003 15:49

A morning visual that captured my gaze:

Baby stroller on the prance
Pushed by one who felt the dance
Could the baby smiling be?
I couldn't tell; yet smiling me,
I had to take a second glance
At the man who pushed with a frolicky stance.
Oh! The crazy socks and sneaks,
The carefree shorts and T-shirt speak
Of one who loves to play all day;
So who's watching the baby, anyway?
What really caught my eye? The hair -
The man loves clown-orange, I do declare!
And to see it bouncing, flouncing there!
Is he aware? The carefree baby needs care?
If this bouncy man is the babe's caretaker,
who watches this child-man? Oh,yes: His Maker. :-)

Mel again 5-6-2003 14:52

LITTER -- It's "ILLEGITIMATTI NON CARBORUNDUM" -- "Don't let the bastards wear you down."

Semi-review ('cause I'm only part way through): I'm enjoying it! There's some stumbling over the UK/US differences in terminology, (like "called to wind up") but I can usually figure out what's meant from the context. Neat concept!

howard 5-6-2003 8:57

Hi All!

I've been keeping a low profile awaiting the first reviews of 'The Watchers', but now my RA is active again… Bugger! My confidence has crumbled of late, but that's supposed to be 'normal'?

For those in pain, I empathise in a real and painful way. MARK – glad you are on top of those nasty Melanomas. In a previous incarnation, as a medical photographer, I took photos of an old guy with over 100 melanomas on his body. He'd spent most of his adult life in South Africa and never thought to check out the growths. Silly old sod – he was in hospital to die. How can you not be worried about over 100 growths?

Welcome those that are new.

I should be addressing lots of you with sparkling wit and gay (in the original sense) repartee, but I'm off to bed for a bit of lying deathly still. Could be for one day, could be for the better part of the year, no way of telling…

Don't let the buggers grind you down. (Can anyone remember the Latin for that? It sounds somewhat more noble in Latin…)

Litter LitterAli Writing 5-6-2003 8:47


"It's always a lovely day somewhere..." All right, who's got the sun today? It isn't here!!! :-(

Anyway, a good morning to each of you lurking here! :-]

um...I don't mean to digress into a dialogue about underwear, but I need to vent! I get home last night from a meeting around 10:55 P.M., ready to hit the hay. My 12-year-old appears as I enter and says "I need boxers for tomorrow."

What?!!! "You expect me to do a load of laundry at this time of night?" I have to get up at five in the morning to catch my 6:30 commuter bus, so I don't give Suzy Homemaker ANY GUILT at that hour of the evening. I said "No. And what are you doing still up? You should have been in bed two hours ago!"

I'm about to crawl into bed when he reappears with a couple questions and a brilliant plan. "How long does it take to to wash a load of clothes with boxers in it?"

I grumble "About 40-45 minutes."

"And how long to dry the load in the dryer?"

"An hour or so." I could smell the smoke from his thinking so hard this late at night coming out his ears.

SO politely and tactfully, he next says: "I have an idea. What if you threw in a load in the morning when you get up, then they would be dry by the time I need them?"

Batting my lashes at his charm, I said, "If I'm downstairs by 5:30, I'll throw your boxers in the wash, okay?" He trotted happily off to bed.

What is it with boys and their boxers? What's wrong with the tidy whities? Not cool any more? Don't growing kids realize that boxers cost more money that isn't worth it because they outgrow them before the school year is over??

I shook my head wearily as I trundled off to bed. I figured, as most wise Moms know, that tomorrow must be gym day (#1) and to wear anything but boxers on gym day would be sheer laughing-stock material (#2). I guess boxers make a guy feel macho. Is that right, GUYS? Do you have to feel macho even at 12 years old???

Or maybe it's a prestige thing: "Look! I can afford boxers. I'm rich." If boxer-preference is for other, lewd, reasons, I DON'T WANT TO KNOW! 8-}

I got up this morning, not quite as early as planned, but dutifully made a trip to the laundry room. I found only three pairs of boxers - threw two in the wash , took the least offensive pair to my son's room to be recycled for another day if the wash wasn't ready in time for him.

Payback time. "Hey, you. Time to get up. I have questions for you. Wake up!" I pull the covers from his scrawny body. "How many pairs of boxers do you own? I only found three pair in the wash."

"Six. The other three are in the chute."

In the chute? Three pair? I just cleaned the chute Sunday night and it's only Tuesday morning! He went through three pair of boxers in one day???!!! How am I supposed to know when his underwear runs low if he's hoarding dirty laundry in his room???!!!

"Here's a pair to recycle for today." Have a great day. I'm off for my bus!

Humming to drown out his curses, I head for the car. It's going to be a Frosted Flakes kind of day. ;-]

RACHEL: I dreamed the other night that there was a lion prowling the streets of some city. Coinky-dinky? :-)

VIV: I've enjoyed your Japanese tales. It will be nice for you to come home to the U.S. - you will have such culture shock to enliven your days further! :-)

A G-R-E-A-T writing day to all!!

Mel 5-6-2003 8:18

Pamela: Thanks for your interest. Japan is not very exotic really. I too love travel and exotic things. It's been my passion since I was a very little child and loved a stool given to my grandfather by Gentleman Jim, a trader from Thailand, and a picture brought back by my mother from Japan.

Some exotic is good. Often though, it's terrible poverty and the humiliation that comes with being poor. I'm glad sometimes that Japan is not too exotic anymore. Where I live is like New York City without the crime. We have a wonderful subway system, and interesting museums and lots and lots of buildings. I live about two hours outside the city. Most of the time the Japanese people are kind and fun to work with. Sometimes, you get a cranky person or our country does something that is preceived as wrong, and you get a tad disgusted with the place! Mostly though I've loved every minute of beautiful Japan. Here we enjoy flowers year round but still get snow. It's a magical little island in my eyes.

I'm here with my husband who is a Chemist. He got a job with the government right before we were married. He said, "Would you like to go to Japan?"

I said, "You're kidding!"

So off we went. I've also lived in Germany for six years and although it wasn't all fun and games, I loved it. All in all we've been overseas non-stop for 21 years. Now we're getting ready to retire and come home to America. I'm so glad. There are so many places in my own country I haven't seen. Did you know I've never seen any of the East Coast. I've only driven through Texas (mostly at night) and I've never seen the Great Lakes? I love our freedom to travel inexpensively in America. I love the big spaces in America. I love the clean beaches and open space where wild animals are out bothering the humans!

I love our freedom to say what we think and write what we feel without the fear of "being different". I'm so glad I am American, because we work together well as a nation. We allow for differences in people and have laws that make it so all people of all types, beliefs, and colors are accepted. I don't like it when I see anything that might mean America is loosing these valuable things. So I'm coming home to make sure our country stays the way I believe in it...Land of the Free.

Viv 5-5-2003 19:44

Teekay: Well, that spunky little muse of yours is on his way back. My land, your muse Yam can work magic. After I bought him a couple cases of Kirin beer and a large vat of kimchee, he reworked chapters 14 and 15 for me. Amazing. My thanks for the loan of your muse. Sorry for the slow postal service, it's the only way possible from here that I know of.

Randall: Thank you so much! I was writing about a woman who has a senile mother and two children under school age, and her husband brings home a puppy.

I was using my own experience with my pup to bring the thing to life. Now here is absolutely my characters reaction in nice bold strokes. It's fun and funny. (Actually, I was in the same boat as you were when I brought my pup home. My husband isn't too keen on animals and had said, "NOT ANOTHER DOG for years." I tricked him, I brought home half a dog. He won't get over 8 pounds.

We slept on a futon in my study for about three weeks but now both of us are back sleeping with my husband. Fleas and all. Guess he must love me enough to keep me.

Viv 5-5-2003 18:58

Hi Taylor,

It's nice to see you posting again. All is well with me. I'm busy with family, friends and the like. It's enjoyable times for me.


We have thought for a week or so that there could be a cougar on and around our property. That would not be a surprise. It has happened before and honestly is to be expected given our proximity to a park that is 55,590 hectares in size. I think that maybe I should call in my concerns the the wild life conservation officer. The guy who lives in the loft above our barn got freaked out the other day. He was out feeding the neighbours horses when the horses both spooked. He says that something flew over his head, he felt the motion of it, but by the time he turned it was gone. Hum, either we have a big, fast animal, or we have the alien visitors from Signs (grins/wink). This morning I found some rather large, deeply impressed tracks near the hitching post. I’m no track expert, but they weren’t there last night and when I tried to make an impression like that on the ground I couldn’t, which means the thing has some decent weight behind it. I could see only three tracks. I looked for more but the ground is harder and I guess the impressions didn’t take. The three tracks were spaced about 2.5 feet apart and you can see where the claws dug in out front of the toes. One of the neighbours tells me that I don’t need to worry too much. He says that the Cougar just like to know what is going on. He tells me that they can be quite interested in people and what they are doing. He also says that being very close to a junction between two water ways, as I am that lots of game will be out and about. I know we get lots of deer out and about, which I am told are a fav with the cougars as meal options. I have since this morning called the fisheries and wildlife department and talked to them. They tell me that there have been a few calls in from my area about a Cougar and that there was one last year. I saw the fellow last year while we were driving up to do a bit of camping. He was being chased by a set of folks (conservation officers). I guess he got away. Last summer while Daniel and I were up for a ride on the trails the horses got all weird on us. They started to really act up, circle back and the like. We thought they were just being pests. Then that sound. Holy crap did I get a thrill down my spine. The sound of a cougar scream is unmistakable and at the same time not easy to describe. It was at the point of the scream that the horses were off at a flat out run. I’ve never gone so fast via horse in all my life. I just let her go and didn’t try to do a thing, aside from hold on. The horses thundered down this narrow downhill path at speeds that still make me feel a little queasy when I think about it. So, now I’ve got a mitt full of web sites and advice on what to do if i do happen to come face to face with one of these fur faces. Yikes!

Rachel 5-5-2003 13:39

That should be G'Morning, ALL! Darn caps key, as flighty as a muse.

Mel again 5-5-2003 9:14

G'morning, ALl! :-)

I loved all the muse stories (yeah, even Mark's!). Nice creations, you-all.

I've a busy day at work today. Just wanted to report in: I'm not sure where the month of April went, so I've re-scheduled March-April writing intentions into May. And so it goes... BUT! At least I'm writing now and then, and thinking about it more often!!! :-}

May today bring raptures to your pens and happy clacking to your keyboards in the way of writerly satisfactions.

Mel 5-5-2003 9:13


Rosemary: I've had my foot stepped on by a horse... Left a big red hoof mark on my foot. It happened when I was helping my mate walk the horses.

My grandmother once kept next door neighbour's pony in her yard (she had two yards actually) when I was talking with a friend it took hold of my jacket and started tugging at it. I guess it felt left out of the conversation.

Sorry I haven't been on much lately... Just haven't had anything to say. But am doing well. How about all of you? How you all doing?

Taylor 5-5-2003 5:23

Randall - Wives are like that, go figure. My thoughts exactly about that fellow who was stuck in the rock, damn I don't know if I could do that myself, they'd probably find my bones as they rained down from the mountain some years after I went missing.

This new med is wonderful, I have had several pain free days now, but when I try to be creative, it seems the skill has left me. I don't know which is worse but I guess I'll stick with the stuff, even if it gives me a bit of brain fog, it's well worth the new freedom to move about at will.

It was the city wide garage sale weekend coupled with an auction sale to support our new museum folks driving to and fro buying things that they will probably put up for sale at next years city wide garage sale, you know how that goes. I accompanied my wife as is our custom, and did find a few bargains myself in the form of printers that "suddenly stopped printing in black and I don't know how to fix them" explanation. I know that cartridges are expensive but so are printers, I refilled the black cartridges after I got them home and they both work fine, one is a rather expensive HP model, the other an Epson ink jet. Maybe I'll sell them with a computer or something.

The wonderful rain keeps on coming, we even had the threat of a tornado yesterday, got the old heart beating a bit faster for a bit, then it dissipated and all was well again.

I guess we had those wonderful April showers of song and legend and now we do have some fanatic flowers in the yard too, I guess the sayings were right.

Jerry 5-5-2003 0:22



An update on Ella the puppy. My wife was mad at me cause I didn't TALK it over with her. (That's big with her!) Not mad enough to throw me out, but mad enough to say it will be a while afore I get any. Know what I mean? I knew talking about a new puppy would be a dead end street anyway, so I got her on my own. Thunder, lighting, batten down the hatches and ride out the storm thinking.

I have been married to Debbie for 22 years and knew she would eventually get over it. As it is Ella, has charmed her somewhat and things are a little easier 'round these parts. Ella is a cute dog with a large black muzzle and drop dead goregous eyes, a charmer. We were cooking out this afternoon and our cat, Scorch, her two kittens, Jack and Ripper were playing with Ella. My wife laughed at their antics and I knew the storm was about over. Course I ain't likely to get any any time soon. (Grin)

Say! How about that guy in Utah? Cut off his own arm to escape being trapped by a large boulder. WOW! There are still some old time tough folks around.

Thanks for the nice comments on my Red Britches story. No I haven't submitted any for publication. I did send a couple on a hint from Jerry to a paper in SD but haven't heard anything from that arena. Yadayadayada. No news, bad news.

Gotta go, work tomorrow.


Randall 5-4-2003 22:48


Oh my word! I’ve had my foot walked over, stood on and the works more times than I care to think about. There are the glancing sort of steps, then there are the full on, holy crap, thank God its been raining for a week and the ground is soft, because the big ass animal won’t budge off my foot ;o) There are times when I think they do many things with intent (grins). The one horse farts every time I’m cleaning her rear hoofs. Its almost as if hoof cleaning is a cue for her to fart (laughter)! I’ve decided that horses are like very large three to five year olds. I bet that your mare did get tired of standing around and let you know it. They have temperaments and inclinations that you find out quite quickly (smiles). I haven’t lost any toe nails yet (ouch that would have been nasty). I wouldn’t have taken my boot of either. Sometimes its best to keep things contained till you are good and ready to deal with them. It’s nice to know that other people get knocked around by horses too (grins).


Doll Face is a sweet thing. She always needs to walk up and greet anyone who comes to visit. Her newest thing is to lean as far into a van or car as she can get. I think she is looking around for any good eats that she might be able to pick up. Most people just don’t know what to do about a horse trying to get in their car (laughter). Your description of your childhood rides made me think of Seb. He loves to ride. I let him sit up there on his own now. I don’t go past a walk when he is solo, but I can’t imagine how it must feel for him to be up so high. He laughs and talks to the horses, holds the reigns, tells them they are good and strokes them. It is really something to see. I guess by the time he is three or four he will be able to out ride us all. Ahhh, the rush in the bush to scrape of the ride on your back trick. Yup, I’ve seen that (grins). It’s good that you were able to hang on. I’ve seen people get scraped off. It isn’t very pretty. I’m glad that thinking about the girls and the meadow brought you good thoughts (smiles and hugs). I love their little velvet muzzles too.

Rachel 5-4-2003 22:46

Me again :-Q

Thanks for the info about Alfalfa. Think I'll give them a try. Feel better today but I think the half/tab of Vicodan has a lot to do with that. Can't keep that up.

Great to see you posting again. Your messages are always fun and interesting.

Did your wife throw you and the puppy out? Or was it just the dog?

Hi to all the new people.

Rosemary 5-4-2003 21:43

Evening all,

Thanks TEEKAY,
actually the puppy was like sweet and sour. I love a cuddly puppy but I have two-and-a-half dogs and really don't need another one. (The half is a large dog that makes the rounds of the neighborhood and splits most of his time between myself and my sister.) Also, my Poodle is in much better mood now that the puppy is gone. The outside dog still won't come into the back yard or the house. He'll probably get over that as soon as the weather gets bad.

Love your horse experiences. Identify with being knocked around by horse heads. Have you had your foot stepped on yet? I swear they do it on purpose. Always at the worse possible times. Lost my big toe nail once from that. I was at a neighbor's house, the mare on a lead and I think she got tired of standing around while we talked. She stomped me a good one and I went straight home. Didn't dare take my boot off. Don't have her any more.

Ya gotta love Red Britches.

Rosemary 5-4-2003 21:28

Hi All,

VIV: Aha, so I see he has been working his magic on you also, the fickle creature.
I hope you sent him back economy, some time in a box might make him realise just how good I am to him. Most of the time.

SUNNY: Have saved the site to favourites. Thanks for that.
Also, I didn't quite reach 14 at the show, I think it may just be gone forever.
It was dusty and noisy and jampacked with people so that most of the time it was just a horrible crush. I'm pretty sure it wasn't that bad last year.
Number one son had a ball, though he was happy to come home and rest his sleepy head.

ROSEMARY: Ah, sorry about the puppy, but at least you know he was wanted. (this is me trying to cheer you up)
Maybe you should go to the pound and get yourself a sad little dog that's just the right size.
Am I right in thinking that if you did that you'd bring home more than 1?

Have a jolly good day all.

Teekay 5-4-2003 20:10

Hi Mark,

You know, I think that a lot of the time our horses rub their heads because they do have itches. They get bug bites and right now are in full shed, though the shed of face is pretty much over. Now when they rub on me I don’t have great mats of hair on me. I don’t think it is eye crap. I only say that because I clear their eyes out for them. I hate eye snot. It really sicks me out. Speaking of snot, I’ve been had train tracks of horse snot up my back more times than I care to think about ;o) I was out at the store last summer and some woman said, “Uh, Miss (lovin that she called me Miss, still enjoying that now) you have something up the back of your shirt.” I looked back and said, “Yeah, looks like horse snot.” Well, that woman just about turned green. It was pretty funny. Now I check my cloths before I go out. I’m still new as a horse owner. I think that things happen to new horse owners that don’t really happen to people who have grown up around horses all theri lives. I for instance have been knocked into shit, been knocked into mud, been knocked into trees, fences, you name it. Horses have a sense of humor (grins). The one horse bit my ass last summer. Now I’m careful about where my butt is in relation to her teeth. She didn’t bite to hurt, just to tell me she didn’t like me tightening the saddle (grins). I had such a bruise on my backside from that one!

Yes, if a horse were to rub its head on you, you would likely be moved, unless you are a really big guy. Even if you are quite big you would likely be moved. If you think you would be uh, er, “moved” in any other way, well, that is something you can keep to yourself mister (laughter)!

Ah, and you are welcome (hugs to you).

Rachel 5-4-2003 19:20

And Viv! After I signed off yesterday I realized I forgot to say it was nice to see you back too, after a bit of an absence. What a rambunctious fellow that muse is, whoever he belongs to. Is the Sumie ink for writing Japanese characters? Are you Japanese? If not, where are you from and how did you end up in Japan? What is it like where you live: big city, small town, country? Those who have been here longer than I have probably already know all of this, but I have been fascinated to hear from someone in someplace so different and exotic.

Mark, you boobie-obsessed man (sorry, that was redundant), you crack me up.

Rachel, I imagined lying in the grass with Missy Doll Face nuzzling me with her wonderful velvet-y horsey nose. I remember riding as a child in Texas and South Dakota, my feet not even reaching the stirrups, hanging onto the saddle-horn for dear life while bouncing around on the back of someone's horse (I begged for rides all the time). They plowed into fields of standing cattle and tried to swipe me off on branches of trees but I never did fall off.

Andrew, best of luck with submitting your manuscript but if you are talking about a book, you might want to check with the Writer's Market (published annually, available at the library) which outlines what each publisher wants. Many do not even read "over-the-transom" submissions but want a query letter, synopsis or agent (or all three) before taking a look. Regarding introducing a doppleganger, I like the idea of having it be an accident, it could be a surprise for the reader as well as the character involved.

Another nice Red Britches story, Randall, did you say you were going to finally gather some up and submit them? Good for you!

Hello to Eddie, I'm thinking about you and Anita and Nikki.

pamela 5-4-2003 19:09

RACHEL -- Thanks for the thoughts. Our old dog, Fred, comes and rubs his face on us. We used to think he was getting affectionate in his old age. Then Cate read an article that said "Your older dog getting more affectionate lately?" Turns out he has mucous in his eyes he can't do anything with, so he rubs it on soft things (pant legs, sofa cushions, bed quilts). More than once I've heard Cate holler, "Fred! Oh, no. Now I'm going out with dog snot on me." A case where ignorance really is bliss.

I've never been around horses, but if one had to rub its head on me I'm sure I'd be moved by the experience.

Mark 5-4-2003 19:01


I also wish to welcome you here. I read some science fiction but never wrote it. I admire your tenacity to write so much and not be deterred because you cannot publish immediately. Persistence is everything.

Thanks for the kind words and wishes from those here. I have worked my tail off and I am under all kinds of pressure to get the book out in a timely manner. I hope I don't get a nervous break-down before it is all over. I suppose this is what it is like working toward a dead-line. I will do the best I can to justify your faith in me.

Rhoda 5-4-2003 18:55

Thanks for the welcome everyone. Thanks to everyone for ideas and thoughts. I am hoping to have a final edited manuscript ready for shipping to variosu publishers by Tuesday. Crossing my fingers to hear from at least one of them.

andrew 5-4-2003 18:05

Well I just don't seem to be able to write when I am so short on cash. Two weeks back I finally took the plunge to investigate the seedy looking world of 'make money from home using your computer!'. Yep, there's plenty of shady stuff going on there alrght, but I did my homework and have found that some are on the up and up. This week I am $400 USD in profit. And I am actually getting paid! Thought I would pass this on instead of my usual lurking, so if you want any info just email me at home at:

Melody 5-4-2003 17:43


I’m Glad I’m taking some time off too. I could be looking into Deviance and Crime right about now, but instead I’m looking into R&R which is more of what I’m wanting. I did have to work hard at the end. In particular after that disaster paper I wrote. Creativity and philosophy do not mix (grins and laughter). In any event I wrote a dry, by the books, cut to the chase and waste no words sort of essay and I got at A on it in the end. So, the disaster was no problem, just a bit of a road block ;o)

I was writing outside the other day. I had set up a table the whole deal and over comes Missy Doll Face to push me around. She loves to rub her face on things. I think she gets itchy, but in any event the brat near knocked me off my chair. After that I decided to lay in the meadow. I guess it is their meadow, but honestly! Anyway, I am stretched out writing away and up the two of them come to stare down at me. They just like to be near me. I think they have decided that I can conjure food out of thin air. It’s not me they love, just the feeding and the brushings, hoof picking (yummy)!

Glad you enjoyed the Bealtaine story. It’s always nice to get new info, or be reminded of old info that may have flittered to the back of your mind.


You be bustin me up (grins and laughter). I loved your muse post. I am a three muse sort. I knew the others were there, what I didn’t know was that there had only been three to start. What an old school gal I am ;o) I saw mention that the muse were all female. That’s a bit of a drag. If I had to say I would think that two out of my three muse were male. maybe it is just that I enjoy male company. I don’t think of my muse as being scantily clad. I don’t think of them as clad at all. They are free things dressed in colour, light and the whispers of time. They are and should be, beyond the imagination. Anyway, I loved your breasty, chesty post.

On a more serious note, I hope that the rest of the little cancers will not cause you any more problem than a shave and a short term sting or burn. It is good news that the removal will not be complicated or involve any nastier forms of treatment. I’m happy for you. My father also lost a part of his ear to cancer. I swear it was all those days out in the sun without a hat when his ears got crisped up. I’m pretty quiet about cancer talks on this page. I’ve lost too many people to cancer and mention of it tends to make me quiet. I however wanted to wish you well and tell you that I was happy that it is not a nastier variety of the thing.


Your puppy sounds sweet. I had a neighbour who had a Ridgeback mix that they called Bose. He was the biggest, most solid built dog I ever have seen. What I remember most about Bose is how much he loved children. If the ball went over the fence, he would toss it right back to them. Man, he was a big dog. I guess your Ella is going to be big.

Take care all.


Rachel 5-4-2003 11:45

The muses were children of Zeus and Mnemosyne (Memory). Originally there were only three: Melete, Mneme, and Aoede (meditation, memory and song). They were worshipped at Mount Helicon. Three others came to be worshipped at Delphi later
and were named after the strings of a lyre: Nete, Mese and Hypate. Ultimately there came to be nine muses. Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia and Urania.

Look them up in the encyclopedia and you'll find that they generally represent music and poetry. Clio and Urania take History and Astrology; that leaves seven for music, poetry and song (poetry set to music).

Of the seven I like the three usually depicted with a breast exposed. It's probably supposed to be a nourishing breast, but I find I like the playfulness of it (the foreplayfulness?). The first I looked at was Erato, simply because of the association I expected with 'erotic.' I didn't get it. Maybe that's not play, maybe that's a tease I'm getting. Hey. These other bitches better come across.

Now here's Tersichore. She's got one sticking out there alright. The right one again. Wonder if that means she's right-handed? I'm right-handed. And her skin is completely pale, this babe has never spent a minute in the sun. Hey that's two things we got in common, I gotta stay out of the sun too. In spite of that, I'm getting hot here. This is May, right? The month for getting in shape by taking your clothes off under the trees.

Freakin' woman dances in the shade alright. Dances with her lyre and a plectrum. Wouldn't you think a freakin' plectrum would be something erotic? But NNOOOOO, it's a freakin' banjo pick.

I'm gettin tired of this. There's gotta be one of these tit-out babes who's got the kind of play I want. Thalia. Now this is my kind of woman. Playful, represents comedy and playful poetry. Yup. This is the one for me. Tell me about
yourself, babe.

WHAT?? I'm outta here. This playful fruitbowl had kids with Apollo: all boys, all became priests who castrated themselves. Keep that tit away from me, bitch.

Shoot, I'm goin' back to the Notebook. These tease-dancers ain't got what I want.

Mark 5-4-2003 10:48

RANDALL -- Great story! Thanks!

howard 5-4-2003 9:57

Well Randall: You gave me a great twist to my story without even realizing it. So your wife threw the dog out and he has to live in your camper? I have to laugh. She sounds wise.

I'll bet my husband wishes I had a camper for my little Gizmo. He's gotten so he wants to wake up with the birds. I don't mind that except he wants me up with him and walking. He drags me around at the end of the leash at the unGodly hour of 5:00 AM, then comes home all day to sleep. I have to get the day started and off it roars. I'm feeling a little wibbly from all the exercise and none of the sleep.

Must have been what contributed to my version of the May Muse.

Just in case folks like me are dropping in and don't have time to read the whole page...

I have Teekay's muse. He is drawing on my poems using my daughter's first grade Sumie set. (Black ink which stains clothing hands and faces, used with a brush)
He has made a royal mess of my desk and the curtains in my office are now footprint patterned. All in all he's having the time of his life. Unfortunately, muses are personal and Teekay's muse only works for her.

Well,'s what he's scribbled all over the desk after tossing the paper away.

Mays Yams
Yams I ams,
That’s what I is,
And when I is
She’s called a whiz.

I grab her pen
Take full control
Spin around and
Off she goes.

Yams my name,
Don’t twist it round
It gives it such a funky sound.
I ain’t no fairy,
I ‘s a muse.
Long red nose and snaggle tooth’d.

I’ve come to paint with Sumie ink.
Bold strokes first then
Fade to WUMP
Hey, no fair.

I’ll say it’sMay.
But Yams is me
I’m on my way,
By parcel post
Watch out Teekay!

Viv 5-3-2003 23:55


Good Evening...

There are several reasons for my absence on the notebook ... the least of which is ... I have a new puppy. A girl, Hound Dawg and Rhodesian Ridgeback mix. At six weeks she IS a handful. My wife threw in the towel, that is after she threw the sink at me! So, puppy, I call her Ella, is going to work with me and naps in the camper which I pull to work for that reason. Consequently, I am dog tired (is that a pun?) when I get home and the computer stays off. However, I wanted to write a Red Britches tale and used the petrified log incident I previously wrote about as a basis....


By Randall Henderson

"So what's your problem?" Red asked as we sat behind George's Auto Repair Emporium and Central Texas Think Tank.

Far away to the west enormous thunderheads were building. It was late in the day and the storms would soon roll over us. Probably after 10 PM. They always do. It's as if some hidden rule of nature demands that residents of central Texas lay awake wondering when the roof will lift and a tornado will give you the ride of a lifetime as it clears the neighborhood of carpet, cats, chickens and cars.

Earlier in the week I gave Red a National Geographic magazine I recently "liberated" from a hospital waiting room. A current issue, February 2003, it included an article about recent finds in the Universe... DISCOVERING THE FIRST GALAXIES. According to the article the "Big Bang" occurred 14.5 billion years ago. The residual hiss we hear as TV static is the remains of the explosion. Well, I don't believe it either, but then I'm not a scientist! A billion years is a long time ago and contemplating 14.5 of them back to back is hard to imagine.

"Time, Red." I answered. "Time gives me a problem. It's the only thing I know of that there is either too much of or not enough of."

Red nodded sagely from his position on a stack of used truck tires. "Heard that."

"As if that wasn't enough, the same magazine featured an article on Sudan. It seems there is always a place where wars seem to never end. The folks on the bottom level always suffer and die, to no avail. Where's the reason?"

Red snickered. "Oh Randy boy, ye of little faith."

He fished around his overcoat and pulled out a bottle of Ripple Red wine.

"What's faith got to do with it?" I asked as Red struggled with the twist off lid.

After seconds merged into eternity, he handed it to me. "Fingers a little sore today. Open it for me. That petrified log the other day. You see it?"

"Yeah. Really something." I handed the bottle, sans cap back.

"How old was it Randy?"

"How the hell should I know. Some teacher at the college said it was 250 million years old."

"Was it?" Red asked as he offered the bottle back to me.

"I suppose so. Why?"

Red shook his head. "I read that there article. All I got out of it was there were a lot of computer simulations, a lot of pretty pictures. A whole bunch of folks who believe they are on the cutting edge of something really big." Red raised his arms, wonder on his rugged face. "Stars ... windows in time!"

Red stood and shucked his overcoat off. He paced before me. The thunderheads were churning and boiling with energy behind him. "None of that means squat Randy. I suppose they want to take credit for a baby's smile too. The grass beneath my feet. The air I breathe. Over educated fools!"

Red tossed the wine bottle in the air. It tumbled in the air and fell back to his hand. "All this started when Newton, a damn fool if there ever was one, said gravity makes things fall down. Einstein said he proved it during an eclipse by the displacement of the visible image of a star! His discovery! Insanity!"

George wandered by about then, no doubt drawn by the shouting. I had seen Red this way before and mentally settled in for quite a show. Red had the bit in his teeth and had bolted. George looked at me with a puzzled expression. I shrugged, winked. George sat.

"That damned fool professor has no ideal how old that log is. The pompous fool is hindered by higher education!" He shouted. "It may be 250 million years old but only got that way in the last few thousand years! Them pretty pictures of swirling galaxies may very well be 14 billion years old. But they got that way only recently! The dinosaurs buried up there in the Montana Badlands aren't 300 million years old! Any fool should be able to understand why."

Red drank from the wine bottle. "Humans look but don't see! They understand nothing, when the truth is right before their own eyes." He blocked his eyes with both hands. "I see more than any of these fools and their eyes are wide open."

George wiped greasy hands with a greasy rag. "How can something be 250 million years old but only in the last few thousand years? That doesn't make any sense Red."

Red shook his head. "Dinosaurs and other fossils were buried by the flood. Noah's flood."

I cleared my throat. "Ah, Red that's simply nuts. I mean at one time the Book of Genesis was credible before scientific thought... Maybe in the time when St. Jerome said the contorted features of the earth were an indication of God's struggle with sin. But that was a long time ago. Science has proven ..."

"What Randy?" Red insisted. "Science is mans way of rationalization. What we cannot understand is solved using formulas of science not religious thought. I know the dinosaurs lived before Noah! That they drowned as Noah floated along makes as much sense as an astronomer seeing a star far out in space, extracting shifting light patterns and WHOA NELLY! The star is receding at a million miles an hour from earth. Then..." his voice rose as he pointed a different direction. "Then, they do the same thing in a different direction and by the Great Horned Spoon this star over there is doing the same thing. Expanding Universe! Then they call this science and the truth is known and all is well in the universe! But it's only a fart in the wind. Has nothing to do with reality and our purpose before God! Nothing! The earth is not billions of years old, but a classroom in which we are to learn. The people of Sudan understand learning. Their hardship and suffering are direct links to the Jews in Egypt! Same thing, same process, different time. A precursor to better life."

"Oh boy..." I whispered to George as Red tipped the bottle up.

"What was that Irish guys name who figured out how old the earth really was?" George asked after a long silence.

"Bishop Ussher." Red said turning to look at the roiling thunderheads. "Using the Book of Genesis, he tracked the beginning of time back to 4004 BC. Yet few understand what he really did. James Ussher using the very word of the Bible gave a splendid definition to faith. He took the Bible literally, as we should. For to do otherwise might cast doubt on Jesus's ministry. An irreversible crack that might collapse the Christian religion."

"Red, explain about the 250 million year old log that is only a few thousand years old."

Red sighed. "The power of God Randy. If God created this magnificent star studded universe, formed immense swirling galaxies, but took time to color a butterfly's wing... Do you not think He could create and bury in stone an object that science identifies as a petrified log? Bones that are identified as coming from an immense animal,that never lived? You see ... God has placed us inside a puzzle. He creates complex, but amazingly simple problems for us to solve. It is for us to sort through the drivel and develop intelligence. It has to be difficult Randy. Nothing simple like a forbidden fruit that grants instant intelligence. Free choice and free will and both eyes open!"

"So God is fabricating evidence?" George grinned.

Red paused and smiled. "How not? But you must also ask, to what purpose? And would that make Him defense or prosecutor?"



Randall 5-3-2003 22:40

There once was a muse from Bombay
Who only came out every May
Her writer's frustrated but she is elated
Eleven months off is okay!

Mel, you sure stirred something up with your misbehaving muse, we got to hear about Rachel's three muses, Carol's muse off making lilacs bloom, Carol's in the closet (hopefully cleaning it) and Teekay's getting kicked in the arse!

Hey to Ramon, long time no see, and to newcomers Will and Andrew.

Ben, no wonder you haven't answered my email, I just sent you another one before reading the notebook. Teekay, I'll contact you for your snailmail address to send his manuscript to you. Ben, I really liked your story, good luck on the submission in the contest.

Rachel, you were working so hard, I'm glad you are taking some time off now. Read some books, roll around with the horses, etc. (I'm so jealous, not of reading, I do a lot of that, but of the horses, I LOVE them). Thanks for Bealtaine story, that was interesting. How appropriate (some might say) that the image of witches on broomsticks stems from menstruating women (Bitchy? Who SAYS we're bitchy?).

Rosemary, how nice to have a puppy come for a visit for a while. There are some kittens around our house but I am resisting, there are lots of strays in this neighborhood, I would have a houseful if I got started (we did take in one cutie last year, my dog was not amused).

Sunny, thanks for update on astrological happenings, what's going on for us Libras lately? I don't know much about it, but usually when those retrograde things happen, stuff does get a little weird. Or sometimes when things get weird, I just assume something astrological (or other invisible reality) is affecting us.

Mark, I hope you are doing okay and the procedures aren't too terrible. I see you mowing the lawn in kind of a bee-keeping outfit from the thirties, a blousy white long coat, a pith helmet swathed with netting.

Tina, thanks for the pretty visual trip to somewhere else.

Peas and love,

pamela 5-3-2003 22:33

...that's MSM Glucosamine

howard 5-3-2003 20:52

MARK -- Yikes! That doesn't sound pleasant at all! And it's nothing to fool around with, either. Lemme know if you need help with that lawn!

ROSEMARY -- I use MS Glucsamine as well, and it's done wonders for my knees, but it desn't seem to be helping my neck at all.
Here's some info on ALFALFA tabs -- more at

PROPER NAME: Medicago sativa
COMMON NAMES: Alfalfa, Al Falfa, Lucerne, Buffalo Herb, Purple Medic, Silverleaf, Milkvetch
PARTS USED: Leaves, flowering tops, root
FORMS: Tea, tablets, capsules, fresh
CLAIMS: Remedy for various types of arthritic conditions including rheumatoid arthritis. Advocates also claim that large quantities of tablets taken before meals will prevent the absorption of cholesterol, thus benefiting the heart and blood vessels. The leaves of the alfalfa plant are rich in minerals and nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, and beta-carotene. Claims are made for the capability of the tea in treating diabetes, boosting a sluggish appetite, and acting as a general tonic. Alfalfa has also been stated to have estrogenic activity, in which it is recommended to help stimulate milk production. Other advertised claims include use for upset stomachs, urinary tract infections, ulcers, anemia, and a natural laxative and diuretic.

howard 5-3-2003 20:51

Mark: Wow, that skin cancer sounds terrible. I'm glad I had all my precancerous spots burned off in March. Painful but much less so than what you describe. That makes me double willing to put on the sun screen, and dig out my floppy hat.

You might try going to an import shop and buying some "hippie" shirts imported from Thailand and India. They are meant to keep sun off while keeping the wearer cool.

I'm having trouble finding gloves to wear in the summer. White cotton gloves are really out of style in Japan now. Twenty years ago we all wore them and I cussed them because they were such a pain to keep clean. For now I'm wearing sunblock because I hate looking weird. If I'm going to be weird though, I may as well go ALL the WAY. Elbow length anyone??? Our grandmothers were not dumb! Hats and gloves! I wonder how many folks died in the old days because no one knew what skin cancer was or how to treat it. Sobering thought.

Mel. You are right! It's awfully hard to forget Teekay's lines though. That's the hard part of writing, you want your own style but the words you read stick in your mind. Somehow that little imp of Teekay's muse keeps skipping into my poem. He takes out this big Sumi brush and paints a big black kanjii character right on top of my words. Then giggling,he turns the word May backward to Yam. After that,he dashes off leaving little black footprints all over my page, across my desk and up the curtains! Perhaps he's trying to say something. Perhaps not. I'm not in the mood to listen to him. I have my net and a box handy. Teekay, expect a package in the mail.

Teekay, I'm sorry. He's over here bothering me. Believe'll get him back. What a pest!

OOOOOOK Teekay's MUSE! I'm going to get you and toss you back to Teekay if it's the last thing I do today.

Viv 5-3-2003 20:03

Okay, I’ve thought of a nice May story that I may share. It is quite short and has an informative side to it. This information comes to you as a result of the efforts of a woman I know to inform her family to the celebrations that she enjoys through the year. She was kind enough to offer me her works for use in a paper that I wrote. Now I am happy to share them with you guys :o)

Bealtaine, May 1 (May Day).

Bealtaine is the third of the fertility festivals It falls exactly opposite to Samhain (Halloween) and these two days marked the beginning and end of the two seasons in old Celtic times. Winter was officially over and the main concerns now were tending to the new shoots that had sprouted, as well as tending to the needs and protection of livestock that were now allowed back on the fields. The word Bealtaine comes from the word meaning “bale fire” (or bon fires as they are now known) and many of these fires were lit and are still lit, all over Britain and Ireland on Bealtaine. In order to protect, heal, and purify their livestock, ancient Celts use to drive these animals through or over the bale fires (meaning between two such fires). many fertility spells and rites were also performed at this time to ensure the new growths in the fields would prosper, such as: having pregnant women walk through the fields and bless the shoots; pouring the blood from birthing animals over the fields; women riding brooms (fertility symbols) through the fields, especially menstruating women(this is where the modern image of a witch flying on her broomstick comes from); and the spreading of the ashes from the bale fires over the fields (which modern science has now discovered that the ashes are rich in nitrogen and this is very good for growing vegetables).

Bells figure prominently at this Sabbat (holiday). The main reason for this was to scare away fairies and other baneful spirits who were also coming out of the woodwork at Bealtaine. The ringing was said to hurt the little people’s ears and so keep them away. People would often wear them (especially around their ankles, i.e. down low), or they would hang them by windows and doors to keep anything fey from entering (the origins of our modern day wind chimes).

Mythically speaking, Bealtaine celebrates the “marriage” or union of the God and the Goddess; the union of opposites to create anew. People dance around the May Pole in celebration and re-enactment of this union. Red and white (symbolic of the female and male respectively) ribbons hang from the pole about 10 feet tall. With the men holding the white ones and the women holding the red ones, they each danced in opposite directions, going over and under, to weave the ribbons together down the poll.

Flowers are also a huge part of this Sabbat and in olden times if a man presented flowers to a woman in public on Bealtaine, and she accepted, they were as good as engaged. Flowers are so very important now because there are many in bloom and they show the ultimate beauty of life. In observance of the joy of the whole Earth feels after the long winter’s rest is over, Bealtaine is a time for feasting, rejoicing and celebrating life.

Beauty is to live and life is beautiful.

Rachel 5-3-2003 18:52


I am loving my time of reading and other enjoyments. My grades have begun to be turned in and as usual I am doing better than I expected. I wonder why it is that I do not yet believe in myself. So many other people seem to believe in me, but I have these dark little rivers of doubt that flow out of me. Each time I believe that I have halted the flow of one of these little devil rivers of doubt I find that another has sprung to the surface in a new area. ARGH!

Was the shortie to be of Muse and spring? Hum,

I have three muse and they have me. We dance, we sing, we paint, write and play. I never feel them far from me. I never hold them for they are free. Free to come and free to go and free to let their energy flow. I find they spark, spray and spirit their way in and out of my every day. I am blessed with their company and dream that it should always be, I with them and they with me.

My muse are in the spring, summer, winter and fall. My muse are for each season they are for one and for all. They are my companions, conspirators, my captives and captors. They are my friends, my foe and forever they will go on. It is I who will stop. It is I who will pause and stand in awe of the boundlessness of their beings. It is I who blocks them and not they who block me. In the spring they are here and so will they be in the summer and fall and the winter for me. My will and my wish is that I will see. What else after all could be better for me?

Thats about all I can think of to say about my muse buddy kins and spring.

Take care all.

Rachel 5-3-2003 18:14

Hi All!

Rachel - a summer of reading? Oh, enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

Rhoda - congrats on getting an agent to request the entire mss.! That's always good isn't it? Well, so I've heard at any rate. And as you mentioned, its another step forward -- to publishing!

Teekay - wonderful "muse" poem!

Sunny - thanks for the heads up on mercury. I had a friend who used to warn me of such events and I've miss her dreadfully. Though I suspect mercury has been retrograding on me since last Sept!

Hi Andrew and welcome.

Rosemary - good luck with the arthritis trial. My own is hit and miss, but I sure do ache when its in the hit mode! "Warming" thoughts to you.

Mark - ouch! I've had one mole "frozen" off. In some ways, I'd like the rest removed, but oooohhhhh, that thaw time! Have fun with puppy, they grow so fast. Noodles is now 7 months old and is as tall as our standard sized female german shepherd. His name? hehehehe Ok, I know its unusal for a shepherd, but he really does flop around like a wet noodle.

Like always, I have a hard time with listing everyone's name and responding to everyone. But, I've read all the news and wonderful literary words! I'm very slowly getting back into my own novel. I've been reading "Finding Your Voice" and its getting the itch to write started again. I had someone tell me years ago that I already had my voice, but I had no idea what she was talking about. Now I've got a better clue. All I have to do is put it to proper use.

My best to everyone!

Carol 5-3-2003 13:20

My shortie contribution and then I'll catch up ---

It's the month of May again. While I love to watch the trees beginning to bud out, I miss my muse. She has taken on the job of inspiring the lilacs to bloom. To give her credit, she knows of the hummingbird's love of those fragrant blooms and my own love of the darting green arrows. Patience is a virtue. Patience is a virtue. Patience is a virtue ... .

Carol 5-3-2003 12:45

Hi, all. Just back from the doctor's office. Wednesday I had a skin cancer removed from my left ear. Today I had a skin graft done. Took a piece of skin from my neck (not enough to give me a lift) and put it on my ear. Beginning to hurt.

Next month I see the dermatologist and get 20 to 30 spots frozen on my arms and hands. Those are commonly called little skin cancers, but in actuality they are pre-cancerous. So the good news is that it all can be simply taken away. The bad news is that the lawn needs to be mowed and I must wear sun block, long sleeves and a wide hat.

There's a happy puppy in the house who now weighs 35 pounds and awaits my presence.

More later.

Mark 5-3-2003 11:35

I thought alfalfa tabs were a diuretic. That helps your neck? I have used the Glucosamin/Chondrotin mixture for a few years and it seems to help knees. Lately, it's my back giving the most trouble and until I get the Vioxx back into my system, I will be moving around as little as possible.

If you have a chance, you might try an acu-pressureist. It really helps in some cases but not a cure. Good luck.

Going to turn everything off and try to get into the latest John Grishem. It's slow beginning, but I'm having trouble concentrating lately, so it might not be the book.

Great visual a while back. Your powers of discription are artful.


Rosemary 5-2-2003 23:24

ROSEMARY -- let me know if you find anything that helps -- my neck is really getting to be a pain! I've been taking alfalfa tablets, and it seems to be helping a little, but most of the time I'm miserable, and the rest of the time I'm asleep! :-})

howard 5-2-2003 21:57

I'm baaack,

As fortune would have it, I share Teekay's birth sign. I really never have paid much attention to it except to realize that Scorpio's seem to have a sarchastic humor and generally are slightly vicious. Having a brown stone and a poisionous bug for the sign probably didn't help. This write-up on the month for our sign was very interesting. A number of things came close to what is happening in my life. The warnings are useful. (to everyone-if you think about it.) Anyway, Thanks for the link.

Went to the Arthuritis Trial Dr. this morning. He took me out of the program. He said there were two kinds of meds. being compared against each other and it looked like mine wasn't working for me. OH Well. That whould have been either three or four visits at $40 each.(they pay me) Back to the Vioxx.

Some kids came by asking if I had seen a stray puppy.---- The puppy is now gone but I had the fun time with him. They grow so fast, in another week or so, I wouldn't have been able to pick him up. Really didn't need another big dog.
Have I convinced us all?

We took eight baby chicks (I know that is redundant but cute) and sixteen baby ducks to the pet store today. We're $20 ahead. Should pay for a month's chicken feed.

Going to post now then read the rest. Hate to lose a post.

Rosemary 5-2-2003 20:58

Teekay - I loved being 14! Sometimes I think I still am.

What the heck are battered savs?

This is the url for someone with your birthday:

Let me know what you think!

Sunny 5-2-2003 20:26

Hi All,

thanks for the pretties on the poem. After checking it for spelling errors, after posting I found I'd spelt Autumn Spring, so DUH to me :-)
Anyway, I'm thinking maybe I need 2 muses as the one I have is a bit faulty.

SUNNY: I was born November 8th. Am looking forward to seeing this site.

BEN: That title sounds familiar. Finally figured out who Pam is :-D

PAMELA: If your the Pam BEN's speaking of (I'm sure you are :-D - I just can't seem to think of you as a Pam) I've attached my email addy and would love for you to send it on.

ANDREW: Hello and welcome to you :-)

Whatever has become of GARIESS. I hope he's still alive and well.

It's Show day today whooo heeee!! You know where you get to pay a whole heap of money to throw balls into clown's mouths or to eat battered savs or to do just about anything.
There's going to be fairy floss and candy apples and noise and crowds and fireworks and for a few hours this afternoon I get to visit the tender age of 14 again. Hee hee, can't wait!

Going :-)

Teekay 5-2-2003 19:41

Mel - you are an inspiration! And you even remember everyone's name. ;-)

Thanks for asking. Believe it or not, I'm racing toward the finish line with this first draft. I have 2 more stories to complete, an overhaul of the Table of Contents, and the conclusion to write, and that's it! The weird thing is, I want to *keep* writing. I asked my editor if it would be OK to hit her with ideas for the next book before this one goes out, and she said sure.

Last time I did this, I was all excited about the publicity tour and book signings, but now I've been there/done that, and what I really want to do is just write! It's weird but true what publishers say - after the first interviews and TV shows, it's a pain in the butt. One I'm very grateful to have had, but nothing that I look forward to doing again.

The publishers put such pressure on you to market your own book for them, that it's alot of extra work for me. I have to hire my own publicist, which is not cheap, and work the internet connections myself. I'm not complaining, just realizing for the first time what it is about all of this that I really love: first - helping people through my book, and second - being part of the writer community.

Mel - keep-a-going! Anyone who writes like you do, and the Notebookers do in general, deserve a chance to entertain everyone else like you're entertaining me!

Onward & upward ~

Sunny 5-2-2003 18:43


WEll!!! I did stirr up some muses - yea!!! :-)

TEEKAY: Brilliant poems - see, your rascally muse is right behind you. Now keep your clubbing under control. ;-]

CHERI: Yeah! I identify with that tale, Ms. Suzy and Ms. Muse frequently battle for my attention, undivided, of course. BTW, keep it simple, for Evan's sake! :-)

SUNNY: Are you writing/editing??? ;-] More (((HUGS))) too for your journeying for family's sake.

ROSEMARY: I don't like coffee!!! Ever!!! It's just my normal too-much-normalcy state - I sometimes go POP!!! 8-}

VIV: I'm glad YOU'RE here! :-) And remember, we're not competing with each other here - just share any kind of shorty or other words you like - anytime. It's just good to hear from you (and all).

RAMON: You go, boy! Write your muse into the ground - whoo-ee, yeah! :-) I love those writing energy spells. I'm due for another one soon...

HI to HEATHER, JERRY, HOWARD, BEN, TINA, DEBRA, and "WILL" (aka Shakespeare??!!!)

ANDREW: Hi and welcome! I love the parallel universe stuff. I'm working on a few paradoxes of my own right now. I say introduce your doppelgangers any way you like; an ordinary meeting can quickly twist into an awesome event. I like JERRY's idea too. Are you looking for a way to take one character into the other dimension or just to have two meet when they are already in the same place?? Good luck - what fun to write! :-]

A great weekend to all!!!

I'm freeing my muse from the flypaper now - she has mellowed and has been extremely helpful today, if not overly ambitious! :-] I wish the same to all you'ses and your muses.

Mel 5-2-2003 16:07

ANDREW -- "I have written several 250,000 word books so far..." "Prospective writer?!" :-})
Welcome! And flattery will get you noeverywhere!
We do get published occasionally -- I'm currently reading LITTER's The Watchers, and HEATHER (thank you again, love) is doing the final edit on our collection of ghost stories, and some here published Shadows In A Dream a while back.
Anyway, welcome!

howard 5-2-2003 15:16

Heather - You need to Low Level Format your hard drive, that will rid you of the virus.

What LLF does is write 0's to every sector of your hard drive and there are absolutely no viruses that survive that treatment unless, of course they have infected your floppy's and burned cd's then that's another story.

All hard drive manufacturers now have LLF software on their web sites, at least all that I've dealt with. The process is a bit scary since it removes all trace of all data from your drive.

Once the LLF is done, you must reboot, then run the program FDISK that's on your boot floppy, select the defaults and FDISK will make a new set of data tracks on your hard drive, once that's complete, you need to reboot again, then type FORMAT C: at the A:> prompt to prepare your hard drive for use. Once the format is done, you can go ahead with the installation of your operating system (Windows XX) and software. You then should be virus free, unless the virus has infected your floppy's or burned CD'S. If it reappears it has to have come from one of those sources or you got it off the web again.

Andrew - While I don't write Sci-Fi (love to read it though) I could suggest a way that happened to me.

I once did a search on the internet for my own name using the GOOGLE search engine. It showed two others with my spelling. Bravely I sent email's off to both, and was shocked at the reply from one. Seems we had lived nearly parallel lives, he too was a disabled police officer, having worked the same number of years that I had, our families were the same size, however we did name our children differently. Our birth dates were the same, except for year. As we continue to email one-another, we find more and more in common. Only difference, he worked on the east coast while I in the mid-west. As far as we can we aren't related but our descriptions on our DL's are nearly identical as far as height, weight, eye color and hair color.

So I guess I'm suggesting something along that line for a meeting in your alternate world. While they may not have the internet, most have communications systems that this could happen, maybe a mis-entered locator when making a call or something like that.

Jerry 5-2-2003 13:59

Greetings and salutations to one and all. I am a prospective writer in the science fiction/fantasy genre. I have written several 250,000 word books so far, although none of them have been published. As for my problem (which I hope some of you may be able to help me with) is this:

when dealing with a parallel dimension/alternate universe story, what would be a possible way to introduce one's counterpart/doppleganger? If anyone has any ideas I would love to hear from you.

On another note, I have visited this site many times and am amazed at how many talented people there are out here and yet how very little of them get published or noticed. Ah well, the world's loss I suppose.

Andrew 5-2-2003 13:12

A Muse in May

As muses go, mine is pretty fickle. She whispers in my ear ‘Look, what a bright sunny day in May. I know you love spring, why don’t you write?’ But she won’t stay and gladly skips out the door to play. She doesn’t really want me to write she wants me to come out and play with her.

‘How can I finish the book we started when you won’t stay here and help?’ I ask. But she’s not listening. She’s flying around in the bright sunshine, breathing in the fresh spring air with a beautiful smile on her face. I beg her to come down and work with me, but she’s only listening to the music of the new spring.

Then along comes Suzy Homemaker saying ‘Play? You don’t have time to play OR write. It’s spring, the perfect time for SPRING-CLEANING!’

‘AAARRRGGGHH! NOOOOOOO!’ I scream as I run for the door. But it’s too late she’s blocking the way with brand new mop and broom.

I sulk as I watch my muse flying with the birds and bees, then continue working on the kitchen floor.

‘Next is the bathroom,’ says Ms. Homemaker.

As I start on the shower I hear my muse whispering again. ‘Come on, I’ll give you a hand with that story now.’

But Ms. Homemaker says ‘Oh no you don’t!’ and promptly locks Ms. Muse in the closet.

Funny thing is I’m almost happy that Suzy did it. You see Suzy hasn’t come for a visit in quite some time and since she’s most happy to give me HER undivided attention, I guess it’s Muse’s turn to sulk in the closet! Maybe she’ll clean a bit while she’s in there. HA.

Cheri 5-2-2003 11:27

TEEKAY: Your poems are great. I used to write some poetry but lately the muse hasn't wanted anything to do with it.

Actually, the muse hasn't wanted to do ANY writing!;P

SUNNY: Prayers for you and your family.


PS Mel; I'm thinking, I'm thinking!

Cheri 5-2-2003 10:59


You never disappoint. That poem was gold!

Debra 5-2-2003 10:17

Hi one and all. Just popping my head in to make sure everybody's behaving themselves and trust that my little message finds you all in good health.

JERRY: I read your Biography with much interest.

Christi: I was flicking through the archive and saw your name and thought Oh must drop you a line. I am cool thanks for asking. I am not into wrestling as much since the WWE did the old brand extention thing. Also I am too focused on my job and the home still, although my writing seems to have taken off. Hope you are well.

I feel like a bus at the moment. You wait ages for one then suddenly three come at once. It seems my writing and creativity has really kicked off. I've written one story which I will post once I've trimmed and tidied it. ANother story is in the pipeline. My detective novel is on the shelf as I am still reading my guide to crime fiction writing in order to hone my technical skills in this genre.

Thanks to y'all here for keeping what's left of my spirits up.


Ramon 5-2-2003 9:11

Teekay! Thank you for that poem, you made my evening!

Tina 5-2-2003 1:50

TEEKAY: My e-mail doesn't seem to be up for some reason--some problem with the server I guess--but anyway, Pam has a copy of a story Mel's had for the last year or so--a different copy--and it's a story I promised to send you a long time ago (Tarot Cards and Tea Leaves). Anyway, if you could email Pam and give her your addy, she says she'll forward it to you. I entered it into a contest so you don't have to do anything to it...just read it. You can send it on to whoever wants to read it, or just send it back home.

In other news, I'm back to work now--working overtime again too--and trying to edit a story down a couple hundred words a day. I stumbled across an old PLAYBOY at work (1994), and it had an article in it about a mole at the CIA. But the story was written by a former spy who served in Nam in '69. He was 24 at the time. I have a story in mind for this character that's screamin' to get out. So, all you old vets out there--and we all know who that is--if you can remember any words or phrases that come to mind, and their meanings, could you send them onward for me please?...words for sex, drugs, girls, that sort of thing. Anything you can tell me about Da Nang would be useful too. It's not going to be a war story because I can't do that, it's just some words I'm trying to string together, OK?

ben 5-1-2003 23:22

I’ve said, at least a thousand times before
Some muses shouldn’t oughtta ever dance
And yet you pirouette across the floor
And stomp and turn and twist at every chance
You’re much too slow, too clumsy on your feet
To trip the light fantastic publicly
And yet you keep insisting it’s a treat
When you pretend to be Terpsichore
You’re dart-struck in the bum? Your lucky day!
Be thankful you weren’t turned the other way!

Will 5-1-2003 23:13

So, there I was, just dancing in the sun
I tried to cheer her up ‘cause she’d been down
Her sombre mood admittedly no fun
Each time she’d pick up pen, then sit and frown
I poked, I prodded, pled to no avail
To her the inspiration would not come
Until tonight she shot me in the tail
Yes really, Will, a dart right in the bum!
And then she had the gall to write it down
A POEM! Way to go, my little clown!

Teekay's muse 5-1-2003 22:52

TEEKAY -- Great poem! But to treat a muse like that? Suppose you drave him owt for goode!?!?

howard 5-1-2003 22:34

Sorry, Teekay's muse was such a show stopper that I couldn't read further until I replied...then the next post...and so on and so on.

Mel, now I see who put the little muse into his May dance. Where do you come up with these wonderful ideas? A May and a Muse, huh. Well, I won't ever top that dancing muse of Teekay's with her wild and unexpected shooting of the muse, but I think the slugs in my brain may be moving a little.

Thank you for being here Mel.

Heather: Haben Sie Gedult. Alles kompt mit zeit! (Have patience, all comes with time.) That's my catch phrase for when things take a lot longer than I think. You did fine and if you'd rushed things that would have been sloppy work. You got the job done and that's all that counts.

Rosemary: I always love the descriptions of your farm. A little trouble maker came to your door huh! I could just see that cute little guy making your old dog seem so good. That's exactly the way it is around here.

Viv yet again! 5-1-2003 19:18

Teekay that was a beauty! What a poem! I could see your muse. Clean that one up and send it in, you have a winner there.

Viv 5-1-2003 19:09

Teekay -- there's your muse! In the poem! Maybe you should switch from novels. ;-)
Let me know your birthday (month & day), and I'll post a url for an excellent site that explains the whole mercury retrograde thing.

Sunny 5-1-2003 18:53

Hi All,

Muse in May.

In the clear blue chill of a new spring day
I sit and watch my muse at play
He giggles and chuckles, throws leaves in the air,
twirls and whirls with nary a care.

Through squinted eye I watch him prance,
numb to the joy of his pagan dance.
Cold of heart I pull the trigger,
mutter,’go to hell you useless buggar’.

Stunned surprise on his fat round face,
he slumps to the ground with surprising grace
I go outside and drag him in
Remove the dart, wipe spittle from his chin

Next time he cavorts he should have a care
not dance with glee as I sit there
with heavy heart and inkless pen
Wondering when he’ll love me again.

He’ll be groggy when he wakes,
A rotten disposition and throbbing headache
Soon he’ll recover to dance again
but I’ll still be here with my inkless pen.

SUNNY: What's all this stuff about mercury in retrograde?

Teekay 5-1-2003 18:40

Hi all,

Just dropped in for a sec.

You've got to cut back on the coffee. :-P Your posts always give me a boost.

It's been hot here for about a month. Seems we pretty well skipped spring. And they're already hollering about not enough rain. How soon they forget.

I entered a trial medication program for my arithrus (I know that's spelled wrong, but I don't feel like fooling with it.) I'm afraid I got the plecebo because I have been in major pain for the whole two weeks so far. That doesn't even count the week I was on nothing but tylenol to get the Vioxx out of my system. I'm going in tomorrow morning and if they can't fix something (that doesn't mean adding massive doses of tylenol) I'm dropping out.

See---I can be decisive. I think. Maybe I'll give them another couple of weeks.

A puppy showed up at my front porch. About six weeks old. He couldn't even climb the stairs. Never could resist a puppy. Looks like a yellow Lab except for the black spots on his toungue. He doesn't have Chow fur or face. Maybe just a little in him. I generally don't get along well with Chows.
I don't think I've ever seen a dog grow so fast. It's only been about two weeks and he has at least doubled his size. He has also found three ways to get out of the back yard. Makes my poodle look like such a GOOD DOG.

Bored you all enough for now. Does this count as writing? It's all I've done for a while.


Rosemary 5-1-2003 17:55

Maybe if we all just shoo our muses away, they'll beg us not to leave them. ;o,

Heather 5-1-2003 14:40

How did I miss this? Sunny, blessings your way - for both you and your family.

Heather 5-1-2003 14:39

SUNNY - thank you, now I know why I've been dropping my pen all day, and why I've reformatted this #)*&$#)%*_ computer four or five times and the virus is STILL THERE.
I have backups of all my backup's backups, so there's no need for me to worry I'll lose anything but my bookmarks.
It is frustrating, though, reformatting and getting all my programs and files back in, only to discover.... it's back again.

The cat came back.....the very next day....


I was born with a few planets retrograde, thankfully they are all the outermost planets. Well, maybe that's not an item that should be on the 'thankful' list - my whole generation seems messed up beyond repair! Almost everyone I know that is my age has had a terrible time making a career for themselves - or at least a career that pays what it should. Even my older brother had trouble for the first ten or so years. Fits and starts... (SIGH)
Sits and farts is more like it! HA HA HA HA HAHA HA

Thanks, Sunny, for keeping track of the planetary motions - I haven't got a decent ephemeris anymore.
But good news on the old project needing to be finished - Full steam ahead there!

Everyone, I thank you for your 'thanks' to me on Phantasium - but I really should have had it finished about six months ago!

Heather 5-1-2003 14:38


1,2,3 on Ms.Muse!!! Caught you, ya little d'vil.
NOW, back to work!!! ;-]

For anyone needing to know, I was gazing wistfully out the window, pining for my muse, when she tried slipping inside the house through the back door, preparing to grab a sleazy dress for another week on the town - OH! The bells clanged, the cans clattered, and the flypaper stuck to her like warts on a frog (nothing personal, Toady!). I re-hung the flypaper, with my muse conveniently attached, near my writing desk.

She's rather upset, as hoodwinked muses go, but struggling to get free when she thinks I'm not watching. Meanwhile, she's trying to schmooze her way into my heart by feeding me bits of inspiration that suspiciously smell like flypaper glue; things like one more new character, a new way to piece my decrepit novel together to give it a facelift... Do I dare trust a captive muse? Is she trying to ball me up in the flypaper as she slithers free?? Decisions, decision...

Anyway, I found a gazillion shorties I used to write here and have decided I'd like to do a few gazillion more. Anyone up for a SHORTY CHALLENGE? :-]

Since today is MAY DAY and too many of us are having problems right now with slippery muses, I think perhaps a simple sentence challenge is in order.

TODAY's SHORTY CHALLENGE, for anyone interested in re-trapping their muses:

Write a sentence (or two or three) including the words "may" and "muse." I'll start:

MAY is when my MUSE misbehaves in the mountains. I may drag my muse back to the meadows by her hapless hair. May-be I'll a-muse myself by mustering mayhem in a mad writer's museum: "Here is displayed the writer Mad Mel, who trussed her muse in a flypaper shell; the muse caught fire near a musty novel and well, that may be the end of writer's block for the gi'l."

um, hmm, maybe the flypaper is a little too tight... I won't give up my day job yet.

Mel 5-1-2003 14:18

Writerly quote fo the day:

"A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the word you first thought

--Burt Bacharach

howard 5-1-2003 13:05

Good Morning!!!!

The gentle morning sunlight bathes the world, washing the world with the sparkle of morning dew.
It is a splendour of texture; softly even grass, lush and green as it can only be in spring. The rough bark of apple and cherry and pine trees stretches upward into rich foilage bejeweled with blossoms, creamy white on the cherry, magenta on the apple. Red and yellow tulips declare optimism on the day, secure in their rock-ringed bed. Chickadees gather bits of dried grass off the recently trimmed lawn, then fly off in a flutter of excitement. Already a few bees circle the trees, impatient for their prize. Good morning May!

Wonderful day wishes to everyone!

Tina 5-1-2003 11:00

Warning: we're in Mercury retrograde for the next couple of weeks. I've already had one computer go down, and another doesn't look so well. Back up everything!!
P.S. This period is good for one thing they tell me - going back to old, unfinished projects. ;-)

Sunny 5-1-2003 10:40

Litter: Congratulations! Nice Website and an even better description of how it feels to hold the first copy of your novel in your hands. You need to save what you wrote there, because when you have 30 books to your name that will still be the most important day of your writing life. Obviously I'm buying a copy on payday.

Heather: Thank you. I remember all the hard work you did with me for that story. I don't remember which copy or what I wrote. I have so many versions of that story saved I'll never work through them all. I'm just going to leave it in your more than capable hands.

Mark: The Japanese always tell me not to let my dog eat Nori (dried seaweed) I've always shared my norimaki with them and the cat is addicted to the stuff. Now I know why they get so upset. I don't give any of the three much of the stuff because it's expensive. Still, next time I'm cleaning the beach, I'll watch to make sure the pup stays away from the kelp. Thanks for the heads up!

Back to work. Lost a bunch of changes in chapter 15. I have to do all that I did over. It was strong too. Oooooh frustration but I'm going to do this if it's the last thing I do tonight.

Viv 5-1-2003 10:17

Mark, Your hands aren't idle, they're picking up puppy poo. :D heh heh

Christi 5-1-2003 1:42

SUNNY -- Too much time on my hands? Probably. Have you something else you'd like to put in my hands? drumroll, rimshot
Reference you guys with horses, though is not mine. The only one I see is Litter's suggestion to SUNNY/HEATHER that those pics might be illegal. How HEATHER came to be in the horse pic is another mystery to me since it's RACHEL that's on that thread.
Now then, the important stuff. My hands and their idleness . . .

Mark 4-30-2003 22:56

Teekay -- there's no secret, believe me. ;-)

I'm sitting here, pushing myself to finish this book that I'm already sick of, so I can write another one! How crazy is that?

And you know what keeps me going? It's reading about everyone else in here who's trying to do the same thing. I'm thrilled for Rhoda and Litter and whoever will be next to move ahead a step.

I know that I'm sappy as hell, but I'm grateful to all of you for your humor and sharing and encouragement, and whatever else we give to each other. Oh, and the stories!

I always want to list everyone's name and respond to what they've written, but honestly, my memory sucks. And I think I've used it up trying to remember what story is where in my book. (Heather, my hat really goes off to you for that gargantuan task you took on.)

I do want to especially thank Mel, though, for keeping up with me week after week. I know I haven't been very responsive lately, but I'll pick up my end of the stick in a bit.

My mom is a little better, but I'm going to be going down there next week to give my dad a break for a couple of days. Thanks for all of your good wishes.

And Mark, that was a very interesting image you had of Rachel and me playing with the horses! You have entirely too much free time on your hands. ;-)


Sunny 4-30-2003 21:02

Hi All;

MEL :-D Ayup, the shivery cold is here, the magical frosty mornings and icy lawns, evenings by the fire.
Autumn is gorgeous, and this is the first day of the last month of it, soooo, a pinch and a punch and all that.
My muse isn't into Autumn much, says it gives his chilblains gyp.

HOWARD: Typical ruddy media!

HEATHER: You have done so much work on P* (is it still called that?) and I want to thank you for all the work you've put in, and thanks also to you MARK. Though you've been very quiet about it.

RHODA: Good luck (not that you need it, but it never goes astray), I am sooooo excited for you. What a thrilling time.

Well I'm feeling positively sterile (out of ink hee hee - sorry). Can't find my pen, nor my muse (I suspect he's in Vanuatu) my ragged copy of THOTH is next to my bed, but I just have to look at it and any inkling of creativity that may have been lurking in my heart gets a hefty karate chop.
Don't feel like writing any shorties. THOTH is like this great black swollen cloud over my head (think Eeyore) and I have to get rid of it before moving on, and *sob*, it's just soooooo hard!!!

When I go to the library or to bookshops and look at all the new and wonderful books practically falling of the shelves I'm amazed that so many people are not only writing novels, but are finishing them.

Is there some great writerly secret that I am missing?

Anyway, have a good day all.

Teekay 4-30-2003 18:42

This just came in:

The Pope is visiting Washington DC. and President Bush takes him out for an
afternoon on the Potomac river, sailing on the Presidential Yacht, the
Sequoia. They're admiring the sights when, all of a sudden, the Pope's hat
(zucchetto) blows off his head, and out into the water. Secret service guys
start to launch a boat, but President Bush waves them off, saying "Wait,
wait, I'll take care of this. Don't worry."

Bush then steps off the yacht, onto the surface of the water, and walks out
to the Holy Father's little hat. He bends over and picks it up, then walks
back to the yacht and climbs aboard. He hands the hat to the Pope, amid
stunned silence.

The next morning, the New York Times and other liberal papers report the
story under the following headline, "Bush Can't Swim."

howard 4-30-2003 16:01

LITTER -- Guess what the mailman just left in my box! The Watchers!. Looks good! I'll be reading that tonight for sure!

howard 4-30-2003 11:43

Hi all,

Thanks to those who answered my plea for postal charges. I now have what I need.

HAWROD – What a little gem – the website, not you. Oh, OK then, you as well…

DEBRA – I shall bear that in mind when I finalise my order for the book. Ta!

MEL – thanks for the website comments :o)

Everyone else… no, wait, this just in -- I've just seen the tail of a report on, wait for it, Muslim porn! One of the 'actresses' interviewed said that as a Muslim she is against porn but is a physical being with needs, so she divorces the spiritual from the physical and does it anyway. Mm, hmm! Seems amongst their biggest customers are Saudi, and Iran. (That's right, IRAN!!!)

Back to work for me,


Litter Litters Pages 4-30-2003 5:38

Mark - we went through a similar thing with our kitten, turned out he was allergic to red food dye? At any rate we now buy outrageously expensive special cat food for him and he's doing great. Only problem, his litter box is in my little computer hobby room, so a couple of times a day I get evacuated after he visits it. The outrageously expensive cat food stinks to high heaven after it's been processed.

My muse has left too, maybe it's the wonderfully wet weather, April Showers are here and it's absolutely wonderful, farmers and ranchers are smiling when they see each other on the street, even the bankers are rubbing their hands together in anticipation of a good growing year followed by good payments from the ag sector, even the lawyers can be seen with their hands in their own pockets. Surprising what a bit of rain can do after several years of drought.

Do you think there's a muse revolution????

Jerry 4-30-2003 0:51

Hey guys, haven't been very writerly lately, my muse has gone on vacation with Mel's. I'm feeling like getting back to my book soon but will wait until my daughter moves out in a few weeks. She is now sleeping in my room so she can use the computer when she gets home from work late and the room is so messy I can hardly get to the desk. The living room where she was staying is still overrun with her stuff so I am consigned to living and sleeping in my little den. I've loved having her here and she has helped me financially a lot lately, bless her heart, but it will be nice to have my little house all to myself again. It is fun to think about rearranging rooms and setting up a nice writing space, maybe in the living room. The weather has been great here too, we're having the kind of days that make us say, "Ain't it great to be alive and to be in Tennessee!"

Heather, you are fabulous, I can't believe all the work you are doing on the short story collection, I hope the darn thing gets published. Mel, I'm glad you're fine if muse-less. Rhoda, good luck on the interest in your book, hope all goes well with that. Litter, loved your site and goofy photos.

I may cancel my net connection soon, I got it for my erstwhile business and don't really need it anymore, just don't get into that surfing thing. If I do cancel, I guess I can still pop in to say hi from a computer at the library, can't I? Speaking of which, it is interesting that there is a new sound in the library now, that of computer keyboards clicking away; sign of the times.

pamela 4-30-2003 0:05

mark person seaweed in mulch piles are a Yeti deliciousness but puppy creature has tender inside and can not keep long in there. better give bone. i must go.

sasquatch 4-29-2003 22:57

litter person i sasquatch will bring to you the books but cannot for reason they would smell as Yeti and humans persons will not go more than some pages into reading. i sasquatch am wishing to only help. it is good to make a book. please to show sasquatch the way. i must go.

sasquatch 4-29-2003 22:54

Hi, all.

For 10 days our puppy had diarrhea. We got darn little sleep in that time. Every 60 to 90 minutes little Beauty would whimper and we had to let her out. I began to think about a heating pad under the kennel and leaving her out at night, but she could never defend herself against any critter coming into the yard. And we have two large cats who travel through here.
Had Beauty tested twice for worms. Nope, that's not it. "Can't you tell from the sample what she's getting, or what's causing this?" Not really.
Cate just happened to notice Beauty dig in our mulch pile and pull something out and chew on it. Seaweed. My AKC pure-blood smart-as-a-whip German Shepherd puppy was eating rotting seaweed. Not only that, but after leaving a diarrhea puddle she'd go back and bite it. !!??!!
Vet laughed and said puppies love stuff that stinks. Apparently they can't distinguish good and bad, only high odor and low odor. Believe me, she was high odor. I couldn't see the dark dog on an unlight night, but I could tell what she had done in the yard.
Now that it's over, I really enjoy watching her romp with her toys. I paid $50 for toys and she likes plastic containers out of the recycle bin. Finish a yogurt, throw the container at her and she's good for 20 minutes. I dropped icecubes in the water dish to keep it cool on the porch, she bites the cubes, throws them and chases the squirty, slippery things all over.
Life is good.

Mark 4-29-2003 22:46

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lianchun yang talc 4-29-2003 22:32


I need to know enough to not have some person from the Western Highlands read my book and know immediately that I had never been there.

I will ready a list of questions and fire them toward you.

Rhoda 4-29-2003 22:24

Hi Tina,

Yes! We are having kickin amounts of sun in Maple Ridge. I'm lovin it :o) I've got the most brutal cold/flu thing, but it isn't getting me down. Not much could get me down this week (wide smiles). I've got no more school, the sun is out. I heard that it could be like this for the rest of the week. That would be soooo great.

Enjoy the sun!!!!


Rachel 4-29-2003 21:52

flipflipflip--nope, not in there.
flipflipflipflip--nope, not in there either.
flipflipflipflipflip--ew! did I write that? oh dear...

Where DID I leave my muse?

flipflip----- oh HELLO, everyone!!! :-] I've been a lurky turkey sometimes but only when I've been here doing other things... I'm not sure yet which end is up so I have to flip through some more writing notes...

Say! Here's a few tidbits that might make the muse bite, if not my muse then maybe your muse(s) [meeses??]

Rules For Writing:

Show, don't tell.

Death to cliches!

Keep writing till you finish. Then, keep writing.

Start anywhere - the end, the middle...put it all in order later. Or write the beginning last, if it's difficult to get started.

An easy way to combat procrastination: don't do it.

Story-tell it.

sigh... Maybe Ms. Muse will respond to an Indian Love Song: I'll be calling you-oo-oo-ooo-oo-oo-ooo...

um, hmm... oh, all right. I'll start reading through the bloody manuscript AGAIN... She can only turn her head for so long before the edits cry for fresh blood on the page, heh heh.

LITTER: Your website is a screech! :-]

HOWARD: Loved that poem you recently posted here. :-]

SASQUATCH: I loved your last poem here too...

I guess I have been away awhile...

MARY: Did you have that baby yet? :-]

PAMELA: I'm here, I'm here! Feeling museless, but I'm here.

TEEKAY: Are you writing in your warm woollies yet? I'm enjoying Spring breezes over here. Maybe my muse went adventuring again, Spring Fever y'know...

TAYLOR: ((HUGS)) just because. :-)

Okay, okay, line up: (((((HUGS TO EVERYONE))) !!!!!!! :-]


Mel 4-29-2003 21:06


When the book is ready let me know and I'll send you the money first. Then you can send it to me. How does that sound?

Debra 4-29-2003 20:02

Litter - I know there's a book rate that's way cheaper than surface rate but I wouldn't know how it works internationally.

Jerry 4-29-2003 18:59

Or, you could check

the exact url is

and it looks like it'll be expensive -- even economy surface (4-6 weeks) is $71.75 USD based on only the weight.

howard 4-29-2003 17:10

LITTER -- If you can post the package dimensions I can check tomorrow at Pack'n'Mail. They have several ways to ship, and will give me a range of prices. I just sent a package to South Africa, and it was rather reasonable, so if you want to move there it might be cheaper.

howard 4-29-2003 17:01

LITTER - Yup, probably illegal... (and that was a treacherous comment, by the way! LLOOOOLLL)
Best bet on shipping quote is to go to the US International post website - it might be an offshoot of USPost. Anyone know the exact web address? I lost it in numerous reformats.


Heather 4-29-2003 16:54

All this sunshine has me feeling winded! G'day all!

Viv - remember ages ago when I worked with you on editing Urban Legends through email? That's the version I went with. The editing jobs done after that version didn't work as well as that one did. The page numbers I quoted for you are for the final copy that is already printed and ready to be mailed out! (pgs 42-53)
I have to add a few stories to the end of the manuscript, whip up a quick letter to Ron, and that is it. It's all done.
There aren't any other BIG edits to do at this point. Only a quick last last last proofreading as I insert pagenumbering and make sure the text, font, titles and all are exactly the same as all the other stories.

I am positive that I have everyone's approval on final copies of their works, but if I run across a story that hasn't had final editing approved, I will contact the individual pronto so we can finally see this collection off on a long overdue voyage!

Christi - Death Is A Redhead may be the only exception to the above - want to send you my final edited version just to be sure I had your approval on that one. There were quite a number of versions in my stack of that one story, so I want to be positive I've got the right copy.

Whew.... ok, now I'm pooped.

Heather 4-29-2003 16:50

Hi All!

Looking for a zip-zip-zippity-quick and cost free favour from one of you lovely people in the US. I need to find out the most cost efficient way of importing my novel into the UK. So, can anyone tell me how much it would cost to ship a carton of books which would weigh 15 kg, from the US?

RHODA – I know a bit about the West Highlands and I have a few friends who come from that area, so I should be able to help you out. What do you need? (My Clan Seat is in the foothills of the West Highlands

SUNNY/HEATHER – Aren't those kinds of pics illegal?

ASHLING – Twice in a week… We'd better stop meeting like this :o)

Thanks to those who commented on my shortie. Glad you liked it.

HORDAW – Awww, shucks… Thanks.

Got the authors copies of 'The Watchers' today. I didn't think it was going to be a big deal since I know it was going to be published. It was a great feeling holding my own work in my hands and I found myself reading the story, which I knew backwards and was more than a little fed-up with, just for the pleasure of it.

Then I turned the book over… anyone who is buying the book, the photograph is not my fault – my daughter took it and ran away… Duct tape works for me.

That's it for me.

Litter Litters Pages 4-29-2003 16:40

Hi people! Happy Tuesday.

Heather, I just e-mailed you about Phantasium.

Thanks for the well-wishes on our house. We have a bit more paperwork to do, and then it's all ours.

Rachel, hope you are getting as much sun right now as I am! It's fabulous outside. Think I'll head into town on my bike, enjoy the day. Christi, days like today make me yearn for Arizona!

Ashling, hi! I've heard your name before, nice to e-meet you!

Everyone else, hello hello hello, now I'm outa here! C-ya.

Tina 4-29-2003 14:13


I am quite a persistent sort (grins/wink). I hope you will keep us posted on your journey to publication. It is an exciting voyage that I would recommend to any writer. Have you kept a seeking a publisher journal? I kept a journal of every place that I sent a queary letter to and the restults of the letters, etc. It is kind of neat to look back at it. I found that some of the publishers that I connected with were very nice. They seem to appreciate a sense of humor ;o) If nothing else I found a lot of encouragement in areas that I never expected it. I even got a letter of introduction to a larger publishing company from a smaller one after a period of correspondence with the editor of the smaller publishing press. That was kind of nice.

Good writing to you :o)

Rachel 4-29-2003 10:31

Hello everyone! All I have time for is a quick post, I have homework to do. Just dropped in to see how everyone was doing. Well got to run!
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 4-29-2003 10:00


Thanks, but I will have to rely on atlases and picture books as I always have for geograhpy and not be too specific.


The submission process is usually a long one. Thank goodness you were persistent and found a publisher in the end.

Rhoda 4-29-2003 7:39

Happy Whoop you can hear across the Pacific!

What a wonderful thing you have done! Thank you so much.

I'm worried that I won't be able to do the edits. Could you make sure to allow time for me to mess it up. I'm not all that good at making changes without ruining the story.
Or are the edits done?

If I worried about this before and you told me done, please excuse me. Sometimes my head just doesn't hold onto information. I seem to think it is but I know I've done nothing since you started your work.

Thank you for the neat news. I'm going to print the part where you inform me that my story is on page number...? What number was that??? Oh shoot. I need some sort of Rogain for memory.

Someday maybe this will be more...but for now it's enough.

Viv 4-28-2003 20:22

Hey Rhoda,

Thinking about it, I may have only sent out four full manuscripts. It was a while ago now. These days all I send out are papers for teachers ;o) Those aren't always well received, but I don't have to worry about them being rejected ;o)


4-28-2003 17:24


When I was working on getting Shadows published, I believe it was seven full manuscripts that were requested and three or four partials (a few chapters). It is pretty exciting when you send out those intro letters with the theme of the book and three or four lines about it, then get a request for more. It is thrilling and I am happy for you. I hope that this is the big read for you (hugs).


Rachel 4-28-2003 17:22

I wish I could help with the geography of the highlands myself, but alas, it's only the geography of dreams. Wind in the heather? :o)

Heather 4-28-2003 17:08

ASHLING, welcome back to the fold!!!

Heather 4-28-2003 17:07


Playing and rolling with horses... Well I'll tell yah what ;o) It looks really freaking dangerous (grins and laughter)! Horses are big animals. They and I need to remember that. I'll need to get some pictures of them at play. The little pony is so funny. She hates being put in for the night. She would stand outside day and night if we would allow it. Each morning when I let her out, she waits till I'm clear of the gate and then just takes off at a gallop. It is a blast to watch her go. She hops around and kicks up her heels as if she were a few months old instead of 22 years. She is a funny little thing. I want to pick up a scanner and if I do then I can post off some shots of the girls at play.

Wow! I am so happy :o) The sun is out and I'm in my element. I'm little miss domestic panties ;o) I'm cooking, cleaning, doing the gardens, grooming the animals, working on the yard. I really miss having the time to do all of that stuff as more than a chore. I think I'll take a big stack of laundry out to the yard to fold. Ohhhhhhhhhhh! I'm lovin this!

Take care you.


Rachel 4-28-2003 14:41

Hey Rachel -- can you post a pic of you and the horses playing? I can't imagine what it looks like to roll around on your lawn with a horse. :-)

Sunny 4-28-2003 13:22


Thanks for the congrats :o) It was a hard semester for me. I did three on-line courses. On-line class seems to take three times as much effort (I kid you not).

I saw you mentioned Rhondale Press. I remember them. They have nice stationary... I hope it works out for finding a publisher for *P*

I should get going. Seb has now parked on my lap. It will not be long before he decides that he needs to type for me. Right now he is looking back at me with a sweet smile saying "I wana help."

Today I do plan to lay a blanket in the yard and do some reading. I hope the horses don't take it as an invitation to lay down with me. They would likley roll right over me thinking it a game!

Take care you.

Rachel 4-28-2003 11:27

Hello everyone. I wish i had more enthusiasium, but I'm sick, again. Welcome back Ashling! Haven't seen you in the NB before, but I'm still kind of new. How is everyone else? I won't tell anyone what I have. That way none of you can get what I've got via the computer. One of my projects is really looking up lately. It's supposed to be a trilogy and so far I have good beginnings on each one. Now I just have to concentrate on getting one of them finished. Well, I would love to stay and chat, but I have some things to take care of. Wish you all good health and wonderful writing!
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 4-28-2003 10:07


Great to see you back! Yes, I am now a Southern belle. I have been in the New Orleans area almost 10 months, and I do not want to move, unless it be to Gulf Shores in Alabama.

If you plan to be in New Orleans again, e-mail me and we will arrange lunch or coffee or something. I would enjoy that very much.


Let us not get our hopes up. I have had an entire manuscript requested before and nothing came of it. I do think I have a good shot with this one because both the agent and the editor (who wants 3 chapters and synopsis), told me it was an excellent concept. It will all depend upon my story and my writing as to whether or not I can pull this off. I have had many friends come oh so close, and then it doesn't happen. I just look at it this way: I have managed the art of the pitch. That in itself is progress whether I sell or not. Also this book has placed in a contest. That is progress also. But I am still keeping my fingers crossed.

Rhoda 4-28-2003 8:15

ASHLING !! It has been a long time -- 1118 days, to be exact! Who said we don't keep track around here! :-})
Welcome back, and good luck on your novel!

RHODA -- You too! Let us know what it's like!

I checked out that wondervoice site, and it does look interesting, but it's 99.9% newspapers. That's not a bad thing, but it would be a rather sparse way to make a living. It could be a handy thing, though.

howard 4-28-2003 7:10

Rhoda--not Rhonda! I have been gone a long time.

Ashling 4-28-2003 4:36

Heard from Litter recently & then today got an email from someone who wanted to link their site to mine. Small problem there because I don't have a web site, not yet anyway. Finally figured out they culled my name from a 3 year old post here.

End result, I got curious about the old Notebook gang and I see some of you are still here like Howard, Jerry & Rhonda.

Good grief Rhonda, you do get around the U.S. How long have you lived in New Orleans? I've been to the French Quarter twice in the past year or so ... once for a writers conference. Next time I go I'll look you up ... if you haven't moved again! Congrats on the agent interest in your book!!!

My novel is finally (almost) finished. After one more coat of polish, I'll be sending to agents I met at writers conferences. Maybe I'll have good news to share before summer's end.

Good luck to all with your writing.

Take care,

Ashling 4-28-2003 4:31

It was a good day today, the Ericsson's gathered to celebrate the 90'th birthday of the last living of dad's brothers. It makes me wonder if dad would have still been with us had he stopped drinking.

It was nice to see all my cousins aunts and such, it's rare that we gather anymore, except at funerals, and then one feels a bit uncomfortable having a good time, birthday's are much better for that.

It was many years ago, but the day stands out in my memory. Dad had farmed me out to work for a different uncle. I joined one of my buddies out there on the farm, neither of us old enough to have a car, so we stayed at my uncle's will, and he worked us hard from sun up to sundown. His wife had to be the very worst cook in history, and the old fart never wasted a thing.

That day when we finished breakfast, and headed out to the barn to start chores, we found one of his sheep had died in the night. I ran back to the farm house to tell my uncle, and he came right out, skinned the sheep and gutted it right there in the barnyard. Then we took the carcass to the windmill and hung it by it's hind feet, and he cut off the useable meat from the stiff carcass, and took it to the house for his wife to cook up for our supper.

I looked at Ron (my buddy) and he looked at me, and right there we decided that we would walk back to town rather then eat that old sheep that had lay dead for several hour from some unknown disease.

We told my Uncle, but he said we had to stay at least till we had all the hay mowed and stacked, and there was enough work left to take up at least another week.

His wife put the meat in salt water to soak, and they went to town to pick up groceries and sell the cream from the milk of the cows we had just milked that morning, leaving us there to make hay. Instead of going out to the fields we sat there on the front porch of that old farm house and talked about what we should do. Neither of us wanted to eat that rotten meat, and we knew damn well we couldn't walk to town, not in the hot sun, and it was nearly twenty miles to town.

It was about that time that we saw the gas truck coming down the old gravel road that ran by the farm, we talked of running down the drive to flag it down, but that wasn't necessary, the truck turned into the farm and drove right up to my Uncle's gas tank, where he began pumping gas into the big tank that sat atop a wooden stand near the barnyard.

We ran across the yard to the truck, and there pumping the gas was my other uncle, the fellow who's birthday we celebrated today. We quickly told him of our fate, and he offered to give us a ride to Thunder Hawk, where he worked, only nine miles from our home town. It took about two seconds thought before we both shouted yes, and jumped in the cab with him. He drove us into town, where we sat and drank cream soda's while he finished his day, then he gave us a ride home in his pickup.

You know I've never liked mutton since that day, in fact I haven't eaten any mutton since that day, and probably never will again. Too bad to, I used to love lamb chops. (Oh the other farmer wasn't a blood uncle, he was married to my aunt, had to clear that fact up...)

Jerry 4-28-2003 0:23

Litter, super short story. Been playing with an idea myself for a couple of days, you inspired me to write it down, it's not really a story, more of an idea for one, or maybe a beginning or even the end of a longer one, who knows. I guess it's just an idea that grew onto paper, or virtual paper at any rate.

“Get back here you filthy brat!” Jameson shouted as he chased the little blond haired blue eyed hell on wheels nine year old.

It was a short chase thanks to Jameson’s old sheep dog that lay sleeping across the sidewalk unseen by the screaming demon that was Dennis Miller.

Jameson grabbed the boy by the scuff of his shirt and half drug; half led him home to his mother who stood watching from her comfortable front porch.

“What did he do now?” she queried the elderly gentleman who now tossed the boy over the gate, then opened it to follow quickly behind, up the steps where the boy now hugged his mom’s legs and began to quiver. First Jameson thought it from tears of fear till the raucous laugh escaped from between his mom’s tight legs.

“The bugger bit me, right on my hand when I caught him pulling the flowers off my tomato plants, I told you it was him doing that damage to my garden, now look what he’s done.”

“Oh my, that does look bad, it’s bleeding isn’t it?” she said, a note of fear crept into her voice.

“Bleeding hard, that it is, he bit real deep!”

“We best get you to the medic, have it checked.” She said, frowning at her son who now stood beside her surveying the scene.

“It’s off to the medic we go, bring the boy!”

“Bring the boy?” she echoed, “You don’t mean to report this do you?”

“Damn straight I mean to report this, you know the law, now let’s be off!” he said, pointing over his shoulder with his right thumb, a bit of blood dripped down on the collar of his shirt, and spread getting ever larger till it was the size of a quarter.

The medic’s office was just a few blocks away, and the trio made the trip quickly, Jameson because of his anger, the mother and child to get it over with.

The medic examined the wound, then cleaned it with soap and water and bandaged it with gauze and tape, then administered an injection to protect the old man from infections that come so quickly when a human bites another.

With that, and the paperwork done, the medic took the boy back to the lock-up for his three day evaluation, should all be right in three days, Jameson would not have to suffer the added injections against Chandler’s disease. Then the mother and Jameson turned and went to their homes.

Three days later, they again met at the medic’s office for the results.

“Boy’s doing fine, looks like there’s no infection.” The Medic began.

A small smile came across the mother’s lips. Then the Medic continued, but I see that this isn’t the first bite case on this boy, in fact my records show it to be the third in as many weeks.

The smile disappeared on the mothers face, and was replaced by the look of worry.

“Since this is the third reported case, I am forced to declare this a dangerous child, and he will be put down tonight at closing time. Madam, you can, should you wish, spend the rest of the day with the boy in his cell, and sit with him when I administer the shot.”

“No, I think I’ll just go home, it’s easier that way you know, at least that’s what everyone says anyhow.” She turned and left, and as Jameson left, he glanced back at the Medic, who simply shook his head in disgust, it was going to be a long day, he could just feel it.

Jerry 4-28-2003 0:05

I am back from my conference and had a wonderful time. Gulf Shores was beautiful, and the hotel was right on the beach. I made some new writing friends and had two calls to submit my manuscript.


Great story! I got your book information in the mail. It sounds interesting. When I get more time, I will visit your web-site.

The agent wants my entire manuscript. The most daunting thing is getting my facts right about the geography. Do you know much about the western highlands??? If you do---help!!! Please?

Rhoda 4-27-2003 22:57

Rachel! Congrats on finishing up your semester, and I do say, a wise choice to take the summer off and simply ENJOY!
I used to wonder why people seemed to read more in the summer, because I read so much all year long when I was a bit younger. Now, with ample responsibility and not enough time for it, I understand. Summer: longer sunlight hours, watching the kids in the back yard equal the only reading time available aside from middle of the night renegade sessions!

Heather 4-27-2003 21:26

I'm glad to know such a warped and twisted gentleman such as yourself, Litter!
Lovely grit to the short story, literally...Litterali. LOL

Heather 4-27-2003 21:23


You're welcome :o) Psttttt, guess what? I'm done with this semester! And know what? I am not going to do the summer semester. It is time for some sweet, lovin recreation reading. I am in seventh heaven and kickin back with "The Idiot" No, I'm not trying to say anything nasty about any family member (grins), that is the name of the book ;o) I'm looking forward to a season of being a more active person on the NB.

Rachel 4-27-2003 20:43

Dear all,

If you write op-eds, essays, etc., and are regularly submitting to editors, try

It enables you to submit to hundreds of editors with a couple of click.

It works.


Jane Kang WonderVoice 4-27-2003 17:08

RACHEL -- Thanks!

LITTER -- Yes, ages! But that (almost) makes up for it! I'd say one or two more like that and you'll be ahead again. Awww heck -- you're there already! Welcome back to the immediate!

howard 4-27-2003 14:23

Hi guys and guyesses.

It seems like an age since I posted anything 'creative', but I had a funny thought an hour ago and 45 minutes later I had this. (I've been taking Terry Pratchett lessons :o)

Plaudits, snide remarks, and verbal abuse appreciated, as always ;o)

(I'm making up my own lexicon…)

The Temporary Triumph of Ugly Kevin

The Angel of Death appeared before him. He had neither scythe nor hourglass, nor did he beckon with a bony finger, but Walter knew who he was. Death was tall, blond, and fine featured, and although he had a robust physical presence, the Angel shimmered and sparkled in a visual feast of 'pretty-boy-ness'.

Walter, on the other hand, was a large portly slob who had always seemed to be unnecessarily ugly.

"Walter," Death began, "it is your time."

"Bugger off ya big Nancy-boy bitch!" Sneered Kevin.

"Now," said the Angel, "we can do this the easy way or…"


Kevin's grapefruit sized fist connected with Death's jaw, sending the Angel sprawling backwards onto the sticky floor of Kev's basement hovel. Death looked somewhat flabbergasted as he tried to unstick himself from the matted shag-pile.

"Not feeling so friggin' sparkly now, huh bitch?"

'The Hard Way' Death thought to himself…'

Ten minutes and lots of broken furniture later, Death dusted himself off and left Kev's hovel by it's only door. He didn't need to use a door but had always thought that this simple act added a certain gravitas to the situation.

Kev lay on his back on the floor, rigor-still, eyes staring blankly. Suddenly, he sat bolt upright and belly-laughed in triumph.

"Up yours!" He yelled at the departing Angel. "Thought you had me, didn't you? Huh? It'll take something bigger and sparklier than you to do the job…"

Death shrugged off the insults and smoothed off his bruised ego, mumbling to himself, determined not to look back.

"Fat, ugly bast…." He had started to mumble until his lips healed over. He looked up and gesticulated his apology. His lips un-healed. "Thanks Boss," he muttered.

Half an hour later, Kevin was down the pub.

"Seen Death, kicked the crap out of him, and got the t-shirt," Kevin boasted to his 'mates'. A couple of more beers and it was time to stagger to the next pub on the circuit to spread the word of his grapple with Death.

"You be careful, Kev," Warned the bar manager as Kevin walked through the door of the pub, already open due to the clement weather.

Kevin turned to the manager whilst continuing to walk, backwards, through the door to the street outside.

"Right you are," he shouted back. "I have a funny feeling that Death will give me a wide berth from now on," he continued, his bloated face rosy with the warm glow of free alcohol.

The raucous laughter from the pub was rudely interrupted by the rattle-snake-on-steroids hiss of enormous air-brakes, the manic squealing of eighteen monstrous tyres, and a loud sort of squelchy-scrunch, as blubber and gristle made deep and intimate contact with steel, rubber, and concrete.

"Not as wide a berth as you may have thought, old son," Death said smugly to himself, as he gave the thumbs-up to the smiling bar manager through the side window of the big-rig cab…

© G.K. McLaren, 27th April 2003

All good things

Litter Link 4-27-2003 12:43


Beautiful poem.

Take care you.


Rachel 4-27-2003 11:32

Oops! This is not supposed to come off as an afterthought, but I have high hopes about Phantasium and Ronsdale Press as well!

Heather 4-27-2003 4:07

Oh my....Carol, your husband is lucky indeed to be 'knocked out' for the procedure. When I assisted at a smaller nearby hospital (doing ER work, and that included outpatient scopes) it was optional and encouraged to only be sedated mildly for the procedure. I've seen a few people that were allergic to the meds go without, and it's not a happy morning, that is for sure.

Heather 4-27-2003 4:06

Carol - I wish I had your hubby's doc, when I had my first one done, they refused to put me out. They had the drip going but kept me awake till the reached the end, then turned up the drip and I drifted off to serenity.

I don't know if it'll work for everyone, but I was first diagnosed as having irritable bowl syndrome, it then turned to colitis, but a surprising thing happened a few months ago. The doc put me on a drug to kill nerve pain down the legs, a side effect of the drug was that it cured my colitis/irritable bowl syndrome thing. The stuff is called Neurontin and it was designed to stop seizures but has been found to be useful in stopping nerve related pain. My doc says that it has never been tried for colitis or IBS but he is going to try it on all his IBS patients. He says the side effects are very minimal, and if it works as well for others as it has for me it will be very useful.

It's sure worth a try I guess. I know how your hubby feels about the prep, what a miserable night.

Jerry 4-27-2003 0:22

Hi All :)

Heather - yeah I know, but I have high hopes. Even if Ronsdale doesn't, for some idiotic reason, publish *P*, then someone else with intelligence will.
On the other note, its the prep work for the colonoscopy that is unpleasant. They are kind enough to knock you out for the actual procedure. The doctors are now of the opinion that hubby has Irritable Bowel Syndrome since no other reason has been found for his problems. Time to do a little more research.

Haven't gotten back into my novel or my short stories the past few days. But, I did get back into the habit of writing in my journal again. I still can't believe I went 8 months without writing in it! Right about the time things started going screwy on a regular basis for us. Hmmmm, is that the key to keeping life on an even keel? I do know I'm feeling more "up" than I have in a very long time. I've got two more deadline projects to complete then I hope to get back to the "real" writing again.

Carol 4-26-2003 23:46

Tanya, i just finished a good new book -- The Writer's Mentor, by Cathleen Rountree. If that doesn't help you out, nothing will. ;-)

Sunny 4-26-2003 21:01

P.S. If anybody does have the cure for The Block, my muse Ruby and I would love to hear it.

Tanya Reed 4-26-2003 18:59

My friend Darren and I love to write but we're not always able to form a complete tale. Because of this, we've come up with a site we call The Write Stuff/Creativity Unleashed. It's like writing a round robin without the commitment. Please check it out. We've just started and we'd like to get enough people on board to make it fun. Just go to and click on the "write" link. :)

Tanya Reed DarreNet (The Write Stuff) 4-26-2003 18:56

Did someone say "colonoscopy!!???"

What did the irate proctologist yell at his nurse??

"No, no, no! I wanted a BUTT light!!!"


Sorry, it was in there and it just hadda come out...

howard 4-25-2003 20:21

Viv - your 'Urban Legends' is story #8, pgs 42 - 53.

Heather 4-25-2003 15:22

Carol - there's no guarantee that Ronsdale press will publish Phantasium, unfortunately. But, keep your fingers crossed, never know!

Colonoscopies......oooooohhhh bleecch. I've assisted on those procedures. Never had one, but from the look of it, it's mighty uncomfortable what with the scope all the way up your ---! and then the sharp utensils that are hidden inside the end of the scope... biopsies don't actually hurt but they sure look like they do. The rest just reminds me of that tunnel at the beginning and end of every Dr. Who show... LOL

Heather 4-25-2003 15:21

Hi All :)

Finally taking some time for myself to get caught up on things. Hubby's been getting a number of tests done to discover what's wrong with him. He had his last test yesterday, now its just a matter of waiting for the results. Yesterday's event was the colonoscopy. He sure hated the prep work the night before! The dr. did let me into the room when they did the procedure - quite interesting. The photos could make nice scenery for a sci/fi movie. heheheh

Heather - you're most welcome. I'm looking forward to seeing Grandma Rose published, and all the other stories of the talented people of this board.

Viv - good for you! I'm glad you got more work done on Pommes. Now to make those computers of your's work .... :)

Elaine - good to see you pop in again.

Tina - congrats on the home purchase! I'll bring fresh vegies and dip to the housewarming party. Got an old family recipe for the dip that is wonderful! I'll even share if you wish. :)

Hallee - good to see you too. At least you do get to see your hubby on a more regular basis again. That's always good.

Howard - sounds like you are having a lot of fun with that old house, and all its goodies. I do so love old houses and all that they contain. It sends the imagination spinning in all different directions at once.

Everyone I missed - Hello and hugs! Got more to get caught up on yet.

Carol 4-25-2003 13:46

Hello everyone!
I've done the last of my catching up on the NB so I decided to drop in a line. We had opening night last night for the musical. Oh! It was spectacular. See, the practices weren't very fun, but when you throw in an audience, a little bit of laughter, and the make-up -- well, it can't be any better than that. I'm sorry that I haven't dropped in earlier. School's coming to a close, so that means...Projects, projects, projects, tests, exams, and of course, projects. The way I see it for most teachers, they figure they haven't done enough teaching in the bulk of the year, so they leave the last two months do teach you everything they know! I've got to go, bell rang!
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 4-25-2003 10:32

HEATER -- and anyone else interested -- I just put a folder of pix of that Poe book out on
I'll leave it there for a while.

howard 4-25-2003 10:02

Congratulations on the new home Tina! Let's hold a housewarming party at your new place. Virtual of course.
I will bring a big plate of Gyoza and a giant platter of sushi. Oh and a couple of those huge bottles of sake.

Heather take a night off from Phantasium and have some sake. Please though, tell my story still there??? I haven't heard a thing in so long.

Carol, finished Chapter 15 but computers are going crazy here. Lost two monitors in two days! Lightening storm???? I didn't see one, but who knows! Probably gremlins. My computer is still acting crazy too.

Howard, no time to even read the poem tonight but saving it for tomorrow when I'm fresh. Contact lenses have this screen so blurred. Time to go yank them out and get the glasses.

Viv 4-25-2003 8:17

PAMELA -- right on! The carbide was placed in a tank in the cellar, then water was added. The resulting chemical reaction produced acetylene gas. Pipes ran through the house, carrying the acetylene to gas lamps. I also found one of the lamps, still attached to a length of the piping.

JERRY was correct also, about the acetylene gas used in torches, but I had never heard of its use by Colt to harden revolver frames. All sorts of trivia to use in stories -- and they thought we were wasting our time here!

Thanks for the comments on the poem as well.

howard 4-25-2003 7:31

Congratulations, Tina!
Did you ever receive my email with the final copy of 'Daniel'?
Hope your new home is as awesome as you can possibly have dreamed!

Howard, wow wow wow. Poem, yum! (Am I suddenly five? Sheesh!) I'd also love to be the one looking through all those things at Bryce's home - that is entirely incredible all the beauties you've found! That ol' Poe volume would be amazing to see!

Ok....and here's the skinny on the latest Phantasium work: Finally got the virus out of the system with three reformats and such... (SIGH).... I've been working on pagenumbering several more stories too, and the pile continues to frighten me with how tall it's getting!
Pagenumbering - I can hear the question marks rising from your minds! Why do I need to insert the pagenumbering by hand? Because the pagenumbering system does not allow me to use italics for the first part and not for the actual numbers. I wanted the pagenumbering to look like so:

Phantasium, pg 101

So I'm inserting them all one by one as I go and make the final proof of each story. That is part of what is taking so long. If I need to go back and take out or add a line or two...the rest of the pagenumbering in the mss is screwed up. It's happened a few times, believe me. Slow and steady, I'll get this thing done eventually. By the time it reaches Ron he'll be retired....LLLOLLLLL
Well, he better not be!

Carol - thanks for the go ahead on Grandma Rose!
It's story #12, pgs 125 - 137.

Ta ta for now, and a springy spring to all,

Heather 4-25-2003 4:19

Hi all!

Hallee, hi! Sunny, hi! Pamela, hi! Been wondering about all three of you lately.

Jerry, your 'gas lighting' reference is entirely different than what I've heard. I've heard it comes form a play - don't know the name though - where the antagonist drives his wife insane by very gradually turning down the gas lights, and insisting that they are fine. End result is kinda similar, but not.

Howard, it's very cool to go through things and find that kind of stuff. When my hubby's great-uncle died a few years back, we spent hours and hours going through things. Fascinating.

So, we bought a house. The deal doesn't close until May 15, but the subjects are off so the deal is done. Now I get to look forward to a real house, with a bathtub, and an oven, and my own space. Yay! Buying again wasn't my preference, but it'll be good. Cheaper than rent, at least.

Late now, so I'm outta here.

Tina 4-25-2003 1:50

HOWARD - I've seen those carbide lights, in fact when we moved back here in the mid 70's I rented an old farm house just south of town that still had the carbide lights in the basement, just the lights, no carbide (acetylene) to burn in them.

Welders use the stuff to cut steel, and one can set a acetylene torch with too much of the stuff, then with a low flow of both gases, run the torch over soft steel and "carbonize" it, making the surface much harder carbon enhanced steel. This process was used by Colt on their Peacemakers, well they didn't have a good supply of acetylene so they used burned bone to furnish the carbon to harden the frames of their famous revolvers.

Dad used to tell tales of his life when gas light was in fad before the electric lights ruled the night. Interesting things were done with the stuff, besides the lighting of homes, it was at times used to place folks in a sleepy state, then rob them of their valuables referred to as "gas lighting" them.

Oh for the bad old days....

Jerry 4-25-2003 0:54

Hey guys, just popping in to say hello, still on the up-and-down roller coaster that's called life. Sunny, I was glad to hear from you although sorry for your troubles, I had noticed you had not posted lately. Also Mel has been quiet of late, are you okay, girl? Howard, my guess is that the carbide cannisters had something to do with illumination. Also, nice poem there. See ya,

pamela 4-24-2003 23:35

you were there tonight
just as you were
just as before

i forgot you once
now you return
now back again

your eyes held me then
that elfin smile
that raven hair

then i thought of her
she holds my love
she keeps my soul

and i turned from you
gone from my thoughts
gone from my mind

you came back again
same dancing eyes
same tempting lips

but i pass the test
she holds my heart
she is my love

yes, i pass the test...

howard 4-24-2003 22:50

Yes, it's now mine. He has one cousin, but he gave his books and some other things to me. We're now trying to get the house cleaned out, but keep finding little things that we can't just throw out.
I called the county historian, (after okaying it with Bryce)and took him on a walk-through, looking for things for the county archives. He and an associate came in and both of them went bonkers just looking around! They left with quite a stack of pictures and other stuff relating to the county -- some dating back over 100 years. Some of it they'd never seen or heard of before. It's a real treasure trove of old documents and pictures. Since then I've accumulated another stack for them.
Also have a potential buyer who wants to restore the house -- not just hack it up -- and live in it. I'd do that myself, and could probably come up with the $20-$25K to buy it, but the $50-70K to resore it would be a bit out of my reach right now. It needs complete replacement of the plumbing, heating, and electrical systems, as well as insulation throughout. Then there's all the walls to redo.
If I were 20 years younger I might try it.

I found a couple of large cannisters in the attic, that are marked "CARBIDE." Can anyone guess what they might have been for? A virtual cuppa for the first correct answer, and a second if you can guess what associated bit of 19th century technology I found that goes with them.

I also found in the cellar the old cistern, in which they collected rainwater for household use. It would probably hold a thousand gallons, maybe more.

The bathroom has another interesting feature -- a door on the back wall, leading to the original three-holer! it's a little room that hangs off the back of the house, and under it was a pit (you can still see the foundations for it) that they would occasionally have to empty. It's all there -- seats, TP holder, just like back in 1910. No half-moon on the door, though.

howard 4-24-2003 21:11

HOWARD: I'm drooling! I'd love to own something like that. Does it now belong to you or did the gentleman you were caring for have relatives that get first dibs on it?

Cheri 4-24-2003 19:52

My daughter calls P.E.T.A. People eating Tasty Animals.
I had my first veggie burger at Burger King the other day. I thought it was a fat saturated blob of yuck on a bun. The day they come up with edible food made entirely from vegetables is the day I give up meat and fish altogether. I love tofu, but the veggie burger is going way too far.

Viv 4-24-2003 18:58

LITTER -- I think it may be just a tad t-i-c (tongue-in-cheek). Or maybe PETA got hold of it. What a bunch of whackos! Here's their latest lunacy:

PETA asks town to change its name
By Associated Press, 4/22/2003 10:34

HAMBURG, N.Y. (AP) A national animal rights group has offered Hamburg officials $15,000 to change the town's name to Veggieburg.

''The town's name conjures up visions of unhealthy patties of ground-up dead cows,'' said Joe Haptas, spokesman of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), in a letter faxed Monday to Hamburg Supervisor Patrick Hoak.

PETA offered to supply area schools with $15,000 worth of non-meat patties for the name change.

''Our offer is serious as a heart attack,'' Haptas said.

Hoak immediately declined.

''With all due respect, I think it's a delicacy in our community,'' he said about hamburgers. ''We're proud of our name and proud of our heritage.''

The Buffalo suburb, named Hamburg since 1812, claims to be the birth place of the American culinary staple. Hamburg commemorates the birth of hamburgers at the annual Burgerfest.

In 1996, PETA proposed that the Hudson Valley town of Fishkill change its centuries-old name to Fishsave, since the group believed the name conjured up violent imagery of dead fish.

The town was named by Dutch settlers in the early 1600s. ''Kill'' is the Dutch word for ''stream.''

I like another definition of PETA better:
People Eating Tasty Animals!


howard 4-24-2003 14:35

Um LItter:

Are you wearing the shirt?

Debra 4-24-2003 12:41


Do let me know next time you are in New Orleans. Perhaps we can meet somewhere for a cup of coffee.

Rhoda 4-24-2003 10:28

This warning was on the lable of a t-shirt my daughter gave me for my birthday. The brand is Meat and Cheese. Should I be worried?



As if the poisonous inks we like to use in the manufacture of this garment weren't bad enough, we have also selected the unhealthiest mix of cotton available to man. The label says 100% cotton but of course that's bullshit. It's about half that. The rest is made up of hazardous chemicals, non-biodegradable manmade fibres, mouse droppings, and God knows what. THIS PRODUCT MAY CONTAIN NUTS. Shit - It may contain body parts for all we know... probably does. Chances are some poor little slave-labour blind kid from some third world shit-hole fell into the machinery at some point in the manufacturing process. Hey but that's not our fault. The dead fish in the river outside our factory are though.

Don't iron or even touch the decoration on this shirt Doing so may release poisonous spores which if inhaled could cause blistering, breathing difficulties, blindness, or death.

The web address below goes to a new gateway to two of my web sites. I'll be adding more later.


Litter Gate to Litters Sites 4-24-2003 6:59


Hi everyone!

Things are slowly settling down here. My husband and I are back to travelling 5 hours one way to see each other, but I refuse to complain about that. So, my weekends are shot and work is insane - hence my silence.

RHODA: You passed right by my house. Almost literally. I wish I'd checked in sooner. On my 30th birthday, Gregg took me to New Orleans. On the way there, we stopped in Mobile and toured the USS Alabama. I LOVE WWII - it is absolutely my favorite time period. We went to New Orleans, Biloxi, and had a great weekend, but I still think the Alabama was the highlight of the whole thing.

He goes often to New Orleans and Biloxi (when he's a civilian - we've only been able to go together once in the year and a half since we met) - he buys his coffee in New Orleans. Anyway, I'll be sure to let you know the next time we'll be there.

RANDALL: My dad got me a petrified log from Yakama (sp?) Washington when I was a little girl. It was probably 8 or 9 inches long, and about 3 wide. Perfect. Absolutely perfect. It looked like a piece of wood that had been glazed with ice or something. Someone stole it once when our house was broken into. I'd had that thing for 20 years, and it broke my heart that it was gone.

I'm not going to try to catch up much more right now. Maybe if I catch a quick minute soon, I'll be able to read further back.

Take care, all - Happy Thursday.

Hallee RememberSeptember 4-24-2003 6:16


Howdy to all... I haven't been on much lately, but I'm alive and kicking. Writing and singing.

Well, I went to a store the other day that I've never been in... And now I'm going to learn how to play two-up. I now have a set.
Two up is virtually legendary in Kalgoorlie and I've never played it before.

Taylor 4-24-2003 3:45

Oh, and also found four gold pocket watches and some other stuff...

howard 4-24-2003 0:22

O joy! O rapture! O frabjous day!

Today, while cleaning the old house belonging to the gentleman we're caring for, I found several very old books.

One of them is a leather bound (unfortunately with some binding damage) copy of Poems of Edgar Allan Poe - with memoir, published in 1882!

howard 4-24-2003 0:20

Randall - We have tons of that stuff laying around up here, well we did till a few decades ago when an enterprising fellow decided what you should do with that wood-rock is build buildings and stuff out of it.

Soooo, it being the depression, and Lemmon being Lemmon, he went to the City and told them of his dream. To help him out with the project, they gave him all the City Prisoners to do his work. Now back then it was illegal for folks to get drunk then appear in public so this being a hard drinking town, the work crew was always plentiful, and the fellow's dream became reality, I have a link to it here. At any rate, we have a wonderful park all built of petrified wood, and it's growing all the time, in fact the latest part is under construction as we speak, and to keep up with tradition, it's being built by almost prisoners, well they're the kids that got caught destroying our gazebo, a neat spot in a nearby park that lots of folks used to get married in and such. Well those wild boys were ordered to rebuild the wooden gazebo, just that the wood they are using is well about as old as that log...

Jerry Our park 4-23-2003 22:55


Good evening...

How the heck is everyone? :-)

A local man showed up at the store yesterday with a 300 million year-old petrified log on a flat-bed trailer. Of all things ... a giant cedar, so well preserved the bark was clearly visible. The thing was about 6 foot long, and wider than I could reach around. Apparently a tank (or pond for some of you) was being dug on his place and the bulldozer uncovered this one and SEVERAL MORE! They managed to load it and a visit to a local college confirmed the facts above... but before he could get it off campus someone offered him a $1.50 per pound. Estimated weight 1400 pounds...


He wanted to keep the location secret for now, not wishing to be deluged (no pun intended) with treasure hunters and other thrill seekers. Homeowners in Houston or Dallas pay over $200.00 for an ordinary boulder to grace their lawn. How much would an object like this fetch? A lot more than $1.50 per pound I might think.

On a lighter side...a conversation inside the store shortly after the man left went like this...

"Wow! That log was real old."

"Sure was. Neat to touch something that a person 300 million years ago might have sat under."

"Wasn't there dinosaurs back then?"

"Cavemen too!"

"That was back when Adam and Eve lived! Maybe they sat under that old tree!"

I attempted to correct the conversation. "Men didn't live in the time of dinosaurs. Geological speaking we were not around."

"Nah! Randall, everyone knows humans and dinosaurs lived together. Why I saw a documentary just last week that said just that."

At the earliest opportunity I ducked out of the conversation. To grasp the concept of 300,000,000 years escapes some people. Honestly, it scares the crap out of me. Not the lack of time appreciation but that some persons believe that dinosaurs and people and giant cedar trees lived at the same time. 300 million freaking years ago! I don't argue with people. It's not something I enjoy and a persons beliefs are theirs. If a friend came up to me and asserted "The sun rises in the west and sits in the east..." I would reply ... "And how beautiful it is!" I believe there is enough evidence to place dinos and people and giant cedars eons apart. And thank God for all parties involved.

Good night


Randall 4-23-2003 21:06

Happy Birthday, Will!
Now go back to sleep.

4-23-2003 8:16

geTTing !

howard 4-23-2003 8:16

According to this article SARS is gerring worse -- be careful out there!

howard 4-23-2003 8:15

Damn now we're exposed to that new thing from China arwhateverthehelltheycallit!


Heather - yep, seems like all I've ever said to half the folks I know "that's with no K and two S'es". Said it today when I was making an appointment to get my tires changed. Now that we're back home the usual retort is "Oh like Bill!" Bill's my cousin who also lives here in town.

Told my First Seargent one time that if he didn't spell my last name right on the Duty Rouster, I wouldn't show for CQ Runner, his reply was something like !@#$!@# and if you don't #@$@Q@$ show I'll have your @#$#@Q@#!@ ass in the #@#$@# stockade!

Some times it doesn't pay to correct folks...

jerry 4-22-2003 23:41

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lianchun yang talc 4-22-2003 22:54

SUNNY -- They were looking for the killer here, as he had lived here in the Binghamton, NY area for several years. But today's paper reported that he had been killed in a shootout with police in Florida on Sunday.

We had some excitement this afternoon -- a train derailed on an overpass in downtown Binghamton, and at least two cars fell to the sidewalk below. Messed up rush hour traffic, but no one was hurt, and relatively little damage was done. Pix in tomorrow's

Sorry to hear about your mom, but thankful it wasn't as serious as it could have been. Hang in there!

howard 4-22-2003 21:55


So sorry to hear about your mom and the police officer in your town. Don't worry about being too busy. I am just glad you come by and keep us up to date. Hope all goes better for you.

Rhoda 4-22-2003 21:46

Hi everybody.

I've been lurking for awhile, but haven't been up to writing. My mom had a stroke, thankfully minor, but she lives a few hours away, and the travel takes a toll. And we had a real tragedy last week in the small town where I live in New Jersey. Our first police officer was killed in 73 years. She was the first woman on the force, and an incredibly popular person. She was backing up a cop from another town, in a car chase, and arrived just as the other officer tackled the suspect. The suspect pulled out his gun and shot her.

I just wanted you all to know that I do check in here, and enjoy keeping up with the news.

Take care.

P.S. Congratulations to all those with good news, and get well soon to those who need it! ;-)

Sunny 4-22-2003 20:56


Thanks a lot for the advice and the hugs. I think you are absolutely right, and I am working on a better synopsis for my current novel. I just wish I had finished the rough draft, but I am not far from doing so.

If I lived as far away as you do, I would not even think of going to Disney World. I also think your children can grow up to be fulfilled, well-adjusted adults without ever going. Really! They can. We drove there in the family van. It took us about 12 hours and we stayed off the park, because there was no way we could pay all the money to stay in Disney's resorts. It would have been nice to have done it, but prohibitively expensive. As it was we got very reasonable rates at the Hampton Inn we ended up in.

We just got Six Flags in New Orleans. The park used to be Jazz Land and it had deteriated over the years. Six Flags took it over and fixed it up nicely. The children enjoy the rides at the moderate sized parks a lot better. We used to go to Silver Dollar City in Branson while living in Oklahoma, and the rides were far, far better. First of all, the lines were not nearly as long, and these other parks have more thrilling roller coasters. The Disney parks have their charm and are unique in their own ways, but none of them have a decent roller coaster--not that I care because I am too chicken to ride them.

New Orleans is quite a place for attractions and amusement and family excursions. We visited Chalmette Battle Field three weeks ago where "we beat the Bloody British in a town called New Orleans." Actually this battle was very sad because in it the British needlessly sent an entire Highland regiment to their deaths. The Americans only suffered 6 or 7 deaths. They say that the Americans wept after the battle when they saw those Highland boys on the battlefield, but those were the fighting tactics of the day. Goes to show war is never glorius. The next week we visited Fort Jackson in Plaqamines Parish.

Here we also have the D-Day museum, the Confederate Museum and several little museums. We have swamp tours, Cajun culture exhibits, and many first class restaurants. Yesterday I accompanied my daughter and her class to a walking tour of the French Quarter. We had a good guide and I learned many things. Since living here, I feel like a perpetual tourist.

Rhoda 4-22-2003 19:16

Rhoda - I would take along the latest rewrite of The Reluctant Barbarian, but I would be pitching your new work instead. After that, if there's some time left in the appointment, ask if they are interested in another work of yours as well...
That's how I'd play it, anyway!
((((HUGS)))) RHODA ~~ And best of luck on Friday!!!!
The vacation sounded like fun, too - I haven't been to Nasa in Florida for many years, or Disney World for that matter. Too expensive for us right now, but I'd like to take the kids before they're too old (and blame me forever for not taking them!!! LOL)
We do go to Canada's wonderland every summer, which is getting very much like Disney land with the number of rides.
The giant walking stuffed animals are missing, however...

Heather 4-22-2003 13:03

Jerry! You silly guy - my last name is Myles, not Mills.
But very very close, and my daughter's name is Hailey. Not that I named her after Hayley Mills - I didn't even know who she was until a year or two later, and watched one of those old movies of hers. I don't usually get 'Mills' instead of Myles, but I do get 'Miles' a whole lot. I'm in the practice of saying, "Myles with a 'y'" whenever necessary.
How about you, Jerry? Do you have to tell people that it's Ericsson with two 's's'?

Heather 4-22-2003 12:57

Oh Heather - Got this piece of spam yesterday, it was from : - thought you had a new email address or something till I opened it and found it an offer for some add blocking software.

You in a new business now an did'nt tell us?

Jerry 4-22-2003 0:40

Local news reports say that the aaahhh was not in fact the ground, but the voices of thousands of farmers and ranchers. Personally I think the news reports are wrong.

Just got back from the city of rapids where the wife met with her Dr. seems that her new insurance will not cover her treatment for her arthritic knee, well they will pay 64 of the 1100.00 cost of the procedure. Medicare will, on the other hand pay all but 250 of the cost. Since the wife's Medicare kicks in in July, she will have to wait till then to have it done, that or we will have to scratch up the cash. He did double her pain meds, hopefully that will get her through till then. Damn insurance companies.

Wonderful day for a drive in the country though the prairie was so very green, I looked on it and commented on how it looked so very much as I would expect Ireland to be, the emerald island. The wife turned and said that she thought it looked sort of like a golf course. Our daughter who was ridding in the back seat of the pickup piped up and said that those comments show where she got her creativity.

The wildlife was so plentiful, there must have been over a thousand antelope, the little ones frolicking in the bright green expanse of prairie brought a smile to even the gruffest trucker guiding his rig down the empty road. Saw a small herd of the biggest damn bison I've ever seen, must be the rain making them grow or something. At any rate we had a great trip, well except for the disappointment at the Dr's office. I think if the wife takes it easy we can wait till July, if not there appears to be enough in the savings account, but there goes our little buffer that we like to keep "just in case".

Strange, gas prices have been falling and on the way down we noted the prices, I filled and drove twenty miles north, the town we had checked on the way down had raised their prices by a nickel a gallon in the time we were in Rapid City. Guess it must be getting on to tourist time or something, and with all that oil we have in Iraq right now...

Jerry 4-22-2003 0:37

this girl takes the pearl examining the moonbeam iridescent reflections refracting pale swirling hues within the darkness of my dilated eyes the universe of my mind sparkles and accepts your love a treasure precious to behold

Alicia 4-21-2003 21:20

this girl takes the pearl examining the moonbeam iridescent reflections refracting pale swirling hues within the darkness of my dilated eyes the universe of my mind sparkles and accepts your love a treasure precious to behold

Alicia 4-21-2003 21:15

To Alicia...i will chase down the chalice for you...i will hand you the pearl...i will capture you moonbeams...if you will be my girl...

Erato 4-21-2003 17:22


I meant submarine--the ships that travel under water and shoot torpedos. My spelling is horrible, and I was too lazy to use the spell check.

Rhoda 4-21-2003 1:30

RHODA -- They had a "submarian"? Would that be Maid Marian or Marian the Librarian? (It'll help us understand who was in the submarian position. He *would* be risen).

Mark 4-20-2003 23:25


Amen to that!!! Happy Easter.

I just got back from Disney World the day before yesterday. We had a wonderful time. We saw Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Disney MGM. I never saw money go away so fast. It was so bad my credit card company called me to find out what all the activity on my charge account was about. We also went to NASA, Kennedy Space Center. This has changed a lot since I saw it last back in 1970. I would highly recommend it. On the way back we saw the old WWII battleship, the USS Alabama in Mobile. That was exciting. They also had a submarian and one of those supersonic spy planes. I have some great photos. If I find time I will post them on my web-site. But probably not this week. It is gearing up to be a busy one. The kids have a lot going on and then there is the conference on Friday.

Glad to be back. I do not know all I missed since the site has been archieved and I cannot access most of last week's posts.


If you have noticed there has been no one home in your neighborhoods, I can tell you where they were last week. They were on holiday--at Disney World. I sware half the UK was there. Last time I went, years and years ago, the overseas tourists were mostly Japanese. It must be a good year for the pound and a bad year for the yen. Anyway, I am glad that people feel good about traveling overseas with the war and the turmoil going on in the world.

I need some advice!!!

I am going to a writer's conference this Friday and I have both an editor and agent appointment. I will pitch my current project, but should I consider also pitching my previous project, THE RELUCTANT BARBARIAN? I have rewritten this book three times, and I think it still has merit. The only problem is that I have submitted it already to anyone I can think to submit it to. The acquiring editors are all different now, but some of these houses have seen it before. What do I do? Also I submitted it to this particular agent five years ago, about two rewrites back. Any suggestions?

Rhoda 4-20-2003 21:44

He is Risen!!!!!

Happy Easter!!!!

howard 4-20-2003 12:34

Carol - maybe it is exactly that feeling of accomplishment from the results of spring cleaning that gives you a feeling of satisfaction - or at least helps calm you down. I think the whole whomping and scraping of melting, falling ice/snow clumps right after the major tree-falling is making you edgy; but combine that with worry about your health and your husband's as well - there's nervous and jumpy and all sorts of things right there.
I hope you can relax (now that things have melted, and the tree job is all lined up to be done) and take things easy, and here's a HUGE HUG to get you started!

Heather 4-20-2003 1:04

Jerry, good to actually hear the ground is enjoying the first real rain in ages! Wow, I'm not sure I've ever heard that sound. Sure you don't live in Eerie, Pennsylvania? ;oD

Heather 4-20-2003 1:00

Hey Litter!

Wanted to say that your publication is great news. I wish you all the very best :o)


Rachel 4-19-2003 14:21

Hi All :)

Jerry - now that is a nice post. Very vivid. I'm glad your new meds are working too.

Our own ice storm finally quit and most of the area has power again. But its still raining and gloomy. I got a guy coming out next week to clean up the tree mess. He doesn't think the tree split inside when it came down so Dad should be able to get some nice lumber out of it. I still had fears as the ice started melting off the trees. Great big clumps of ice and snow whomping down onto the ground makes a dreadful noise. Then the ice came off the metal garage roof. Though I've heard that sound a lot, this time it reminded me too much of that tree cracking and I had to take a branch count.

Hubby is finally undergoing a variety of testing to find out what his health problem is. Since the VA put his test appointment in July, we decided to take matters into our own hands and go to a local doctor. So far, nothing has shown up but he has the colonscopy this coming Thurs. I sure hope they find something soon so we know what we're dealing with.

Everyone's posts lately have been helping me a great deal -- lots of good humor on this page! My thanks.

Now to see what else this day is going to bring. I'm slowly working on spring cleaning type chores. For whatever strange reason, it seems to be helping me to calm down. Maybe its seeing a tangible result.

Have a good day everyone and a Happy Easter tomorrow.

Carol 4-19-2003 12:18

Strange things are afoot in Lemmon South Dakota.

First off the weather has been very strange, here a few days ago, it was thundering, then the rain came, it rained for two days, then the snow came, snowed for a day and a half, then the rain came, it's still raining. There is a very strange sound when one goes out doors, mixed with the rain, and sometimes snow, above the sound of dogs whining to get in out of the rain is this low sort of rumbling sound, sort of an aaaaahhhhhhhh.

Everyone has been trying to discover the source of this sound, then it dawned on me, it's the sound of the very earth enjoying the first taste of measurable moisture for so very long. Is it the end of the drought? Who knows, but it sure is nice to see.

When it warmed up, the local handy man came to the daughters house to begin repairing her chimney. Just when he got started, the snow and rain came, so her house sits with this big hole where the chimney used to be, two walls removed so new sheet rock can be installed, and of course with no chimney there is no heat. So we have house guests.

Not that that's a problem, we're always happy to have the kids home, but she brought her two cats, the oldest knows me well but the new one has only seen me a couple of times, and is afraid of me. Now that's not a problem either, cause our cat Smoky has ruled this house since he came, and demanded in no uncertain terms that those two strange cats be kept in their room. Only problem, their room is also what Renn considered his room. So now we have a scared cat, an old cat who used to rule the house both locked in the dog's room, our cat standing guard at the door, and Renn constantly seeking a place to lay down only to be chased off the furniture when we wish to use it.

The whole house is in an uproar, and outside the very ground still says aaahhhh.

To top all this off, the new meds that the Doc has me on have me feeling better then I have in over ten years, ain't life grand.

Jerry 4-19-2003 0:31

Would you believe there's a website honoring (tongue-in-cheek-wise) Baghdad Bob! They've got tee-shirts and all, and a piece of the profits goes to the Red Cross and Red Crescent for relief aid.
The site has all of his memorable quotes, and it's a real hoot!

howard 4-18-2003 8:20


Good evening...

This is from Robert Kirby, columnist for the Salt Lake Tribune 04/17/03


By Robert Kirby, Salt Lake Tribune Columnists

"Trust war to bring out true human nature. Mayhem, robbery, looting -- it's the kind of stuff you expect to see when civil order collapses. Or possibly at a summer Boy Scout camp.

The good news is that an even more basic human force is now at work to restore law and order in Baghdad. A current rumor says a new Muslim edict forbids Iraqi wives from having sex with looter husbands.

Forget coalition firepower, the troubles of an interim government, and where's Saddam. This is serious stuff.

The rumor is getting some live support from Muslim clerics, who insist that it is in keeping with the teachings of Islam. Surrendering booty is the only way for Iraqi men to get . . . well, booty.

"A good Muslim woman would not let [her looter husband] touch her, as a signal to everybody that this is not a way to behave," said Sheik Ali Jabouri, who also preached that people must give up their loot.

Finally, a glimmer of civilized behavior from the war-torn region, proving that Iraqi and American men have far more in common than previous thought.

"First Saddam, then the bombing, and now this," said Salami Hazmat, an Iraqi cab driver I just made up. "We cannot stand it. No man can live without that which is behind the veil."

Hazmat was hauling a busted Mr. Coffee and an empty Rolodex back to the office from whence he looted them, inconsequential items that now have serious consequences.

All over town stuff is showing back up, hauled in by guys who, despite years of government oppression and social deprivation, still have something to lose. For the first time I realized that Iraqi men are my brothers. Still, it does seem more than a little ironic that in the cradle of civilization men have to be reminded of the very thing that first made men civilized, namely that real men are afraid of their women.

Dumb as I am, I figured out who the boss was the first time I found the bedroom door locked. It was a whole two hours after I cleaned a mess of fish in the bathtub but I still made the connection.

How man got to this point is easy to figure. Eons ago a wife confronted her supraorbital browed husband at the entrance to their split-level cavern, pointed at herself and said, "If you want this, you have to get rid of that."

"That" was her husband's two loutish friends, the 12-bag of mead, and the dead boar they were dragging. The husband thought it over and sent his buddies packing. Pop. Civilization was born.

With the Sexual Sanction Age under way, other important stuff soon followed, including regular bathing, mandatory utensil use, live-in mothers-in-law, neckties, lawns and fiscal responsibility.

It all makes sense now. As amorous as they are purported to be, maybe this is the real reason the French stayed home when we went to war."

Thought you might like this. Ridiculous huh? Guys?


Randall "Guess I'll go clean the bathroom" Henderson

Randall 4-17-2003 21:48

An oldie but goodie:

A man in his back yard is trying to fly a kite. He keeps throwing it into
the air, where the wind catches it for a few seconds before it comes
crashing back down.

Watching him from the kitchen window, his wife mutters to herself how men
have to be told how to do everything. She opens the window and yells, "You
need more tail."

He shouts back, "Make up your mind. Last night you told me to go fly a

howard 4-17-2003 15:03


I can't remember if I told you how fantastic your book looks.

If not, I'm telling you now.

Debra 4-17-2003 10:57

Hi Christi! So good to see you here!
Congrats? To me? For BBQ-ing my chesticles? HAHAHHAHAHAHAAAAAA

Well, happy (what day is it?) Thursday....*mumble mumble*

Heather 4-17-2003 7:53


I'll give yah an x-rated bio! Anyone catch the FULL MOON last night??? I can be so immature. Having a three-year-old son around all day doesn't help. I don't know if I'll remember how to be civilized if I ever get to go out on another date with my hubby!

CONGRATS, Heather! You are amazing! And hilarious!

Don't go away, Teek! I was just getting used to seeing you here more often!

Tina, You can send me poetry anytime! (drool, slobber)

Thanks a mil, Jack! My computer thanks you too.

Litter, I loved your page! And your high-faluting poem that nobody understood? HYSTERICAL!!!!!!!!!! Reminds me of so many people I've known. AND your gerbil-bustin'? One word for you: C-l-a-s-s-i-c!!!!!!!!! My belly hurts from laughing.

Carol, Close call! Glad it all came out all right! Sorry, I can't get off the toilet humor. OFF THE .... nevermind. On the serious side, it seems that we've all been experiencing some pretty hefty depression around here lately, but most everyone seems to be inching their way out of it. I'd say it's time for some celebration! Partay at the Notebook! Bring your pens and your notepads and your funny bones!

Mark, You toast your tamale on a hotplate and MAYBE, just maybe Heather will return the favor and do her buffy barbeque again. *muffled giggling* *security guard stalks over and escorts Christi out of the room*

Americo would be SO disgusted with me right now.


Christi 4-17-2003 0:26

Hi all!

Since Jack archived just after my post, I'm repeating myself here. Anyone feel like reading a poem and giving me some feedback? Drop me an e-mail if you're willing.

Good to see you Carol! I'm spoiled by a fast link, and forget what a big page does to some people.


Tina 4-16-2003 22:59

Oy, and to be contradictory, (why not?) I am not shy around those I know well. Hence the topless BBQ incident...

The other morning I was making a dash for my bedroom upstairs without the graces of a second towel. (First and only large available towel was wrapped beehive-like on my hair). My five year old son happened to come out of his room just as I entered into the dash ---- and out of his wee mouth comes, "Mom! You should show off your boobies EVERY morning!"

What on earth do you say to that? I was ready to check him for facial hair. LMAO

Heather 4-16-2003 19:52

Uhm, X-rated bio pics.... never even crossed my mind!

Now that it has, (thank you, Mark) I must say.... one of the reasons I did not get farther into acting was because I am a little on the shy side. I like the capacity for anonymity in writing. I can put a picture of a hand-puppet on the back inside cover, and no one will ever know! LOL
Actually, I will have some scintillating black and whites taken if need ever be.

Heather 4-16-2003 19:48

I was reading about SPAM and came across this site, it will encode your email address so it can be read by a web browser, but can't be harvested by SPAM'ers.

For example here is mine encoded

You can encode your address there, copy and paste it into Note pad or any other text editor you use, save it as a file then when any site requests your email address, open that document, copy and paste it into the browser and it'll be hidden from spamers yet be available to the site that wants it, like the Notebook.

Looks like a great idea to me, I'm going to use it, in fact I saved a copy of it to my desktop so I can get to it easily.

Jerry Email address encoder 4-16-2003 18:47

henry silva was a quasi-moto!

Quasi-moto 4-16-2003 18:01

Howard: Thanks for the heads up. There were a number of mismatched links on the archive page. I have corrected the last five so they now point at the correct archived address. Also, the web address for the archives is now simply Hope this helps. Will be out of the loop a bit as I am a panel participant at Norwescon 26 - . So, take care everyone.

Jack Beslanwitch 4-16-2003 17:23

Hi All!

Especially a big thank you to Jack for achiving. I couldn't post before this.

Right now, my heart is still pounding a little harder than normal. You see, one of the reasons I feel in love with this house years ago was the grove of 60' red and white pines on the north side of the house. Such a wonderful grove! They remind me of "Heidi" and the scene where she's laying in Grandpa's loft listening to the wind blow through the trees. Its such a relaxing sound. But -- those trees can make other sounds too. Like "crack"! With the weight of ice covered branches and the force of today's wind, one section of white pine came crashing down today. It JUST missed the house and laid the electric line on the ground. Our bathroom window looks upon this grove and I had just sat down. Oh boy! I don't recall ever getting off the toilet so fast in my life! Things are ok now. Public Service arrived well within one hour of the report and took care of that worry. Now to do the clean-up. Hopefully the largest chunk is salvagable and Dad can make some nice white pine paneling.

Now, on my writing front. I had several weeks of major depression just with some other obstacles life was throwing at us. While I haven't gotten back to my novel yet, I have been working on some of my short stories. I sorted through all my printed pages and put each story in its own folder. Now to use the education I've picked up in the past few years and edit those stories to a publishable level. I was quite surprised to see just how many shorts I've worked on in the past.

While I haven't been able to post, I have been able to keep up on the rest of you. Litter -- a big congrats on your book!! Randall -- I'm so very very proud of you for submitting some of your "Red" work! Do keep us posted. I'll keep my fingers crossed for ya.

Now I'll let someone else fill up the page. Take care everyone and have a great day.

Carol 4-16-2003 13:52

HEATHER -- What to wear? Aren't you our barbeque-in-the-nude lady? Send in a barbeque pic.

Mark 4-16-2003 12:24


Guess what. You haven't learned the lesson I finally learned. So I'm going to share it with you. You look better in pictures the instant you stop trying to not be in the picture.

Think about it. Look at everyone else around you in the picture who are not fighting to get out of the way.

Just smile look natural and stop fighting it. You might find a few you like in the future.

Debra 4-16-2003 10:20


I wouldn't mind being on the Bios page. As soon as I can find a relatively good picture of me to scan and send. I'm afraid the camera is not a good friend of mine.
That's why I try to avoid being on camera... But sometimes it just does not work... Goshdarn it

Taylor 4-16-2003 8:32


I met my first Ant-War demonstrator tonight... All dressed in military gear with helmet and all. Peace symbols on his jacket pockets, lovehearts scattered around. Found out he was part of an organised demonstration and been doing it awhile and around West Aus as far as I know. Since I was only waiting for dinner, I didn't have time to get into an in depth conversation about the whys.
When I left I said to this young man, "Good luck with your protests" At first I thought it was suppose to be a sarcastic gesture, but it certainly didn't come accross that way.

What is the origin of the Peace Symbol anyway? And is it only coincidence that it's center looks like an upside down Y?

Taylor 4-16-2003 8:24

Not to worry -- they're still there. The link points to the wrong url. The latest archive is at
if you want to see it before Jack tweaks it. The previous one has the same problem. To see that one, change the 143 to 142 in the link.

The drop downs look good, Jack -- waiting to see the paypal link so I can chip in my share.

howard 4-16-2003 7:57

Umm.... Jack -- thanks for the archive, but check the dates on the latest one. I hope that doesn't mean...

howard 4-16-2003 7:45

Jack - I'll add my bio to the page once I figure out what I'm gonna wear..... LOL ;o)

Heather 4-16-2003 7:29

p.s. I am interested in getting the biographies page expanded as well. Let me know if you would like to be added to that page.

Jack Beslanwitch 4-16-2003 6:38

Heahter: You are welcome to be the first. Wanted to also let people know that I have slightly redone the drop downs for the Notebook, eliminating the dead links. I will also be adding a Paypal donation button sometime in the next little while as well. Take care everyone.

Jack Beslanwitch 4-16-2003 6:36

HAAAAAA HAA!!!!! I've finally done it!

No, sorry, Phantasium is not quite ready (but very very close)......

I just meant.... that I was first to muss up a perfectly clean new notebook page.
Aw, shucks, that wasn't as fun as I thought it would be.



Heather 4-16-2003 6:22

OK. As indicated earlier, I notified all that we are back to a tabula rasa. I am off to pick my wife up and then I will archive the messages up to this point.

Jack Beslanwitch 4-16-2003 4:42

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