Archived Writer's Notebook Messages

From September 22, 1996 to October 9, 1996


trudy trudan@mi.net Wed Oct 9 15:46:08 PDT 1996

Hi all, tried to visit yesterday but the server's been giving me trouble. Will catch up now though. Glad to see the punctuation thing got answered. I read all about quotations in a few grammar books and have to agree, punctuation is on the inside. That's the way it's always been at the paper but since we have guidelines to follow that aren't always "correct" I wondered.
SHERRIE, I like BRITOMART'S thought about thinking it's a not at this address return. However, rejections don't really get me down too much, especially since they are usually not form letters and wish me luck. They say if you get a personal note that shows you have talent so I just keep thinking that.
I have to tell you guys about one rejection I received for a short story and maybe you can tell me what they meant...

The editor wrote (handwritten): Some nice touches here: the mother's phone call, the ending. Unfortunately, we couldn't agree to publish the piece. At times, ...(He then offers some helpful criticism and suggestions, but what does "We couldn't agree to publish the piece" mean!!!??? - I decided there was a group deciding what was publishable and it was a three-two split not to accept...sounds good to me!) Anyway I save all my rejections for when I'm famous and it goes to my head...plus I can write them and say see what you missed!!This was the second magazine to reject this story but I console myself with the fact that my favourite author, James Joyce, was rejected 21 times before he got a publisher for Dubliners.

Anyways I ramble...take care all. Will return again. Trudy


Philip mclaren@magna.com.au Wed Oct 9 15:33:19 PDT 1996

HELLO EVERYONE: a quick note to tell you while I was compiling our biog's and putting them on one sheet, some appear to missing - KITTY, LISA, TRAVIS and TAMLIN. If I've missed your postings could you please do another. I'll place my compile in the Workbook for anyone else to download. So far it makes good reading.

Back soon - Philip.

PS: I wonder if the mysterious TAMLIN is actually two people. My daughter and her friend have done this on the Net, she is Tanya and her friend is Kylie together they become ********SHAZAM******** KYLANA!

So I'll take my guess... hello to TAMMY and LINDA.


Jennifer allan@pslm.com Tue Oct 8 19:04:40 PDT 1996

Thanks for your comments Philip I agree with you and I'll see what I can do. I'm busy painting I'd much rather be writing.
I'll write more later..that is if my arms still work.


trish Tue Oct 8 18:35:55 PDT 1996

Just wanted to drop by for a few seconds and catch up. I seem to be awfully busy doing nothing the last several days, but soon hope to have time to join in again.

Philip-you piqued my interest with you 1000 words. So what happened to Aaron next?

Jack-a quick congrats. Hope all goes well for you in this new venture.

Trudy-glad you're not giving up.


Bob Hanford 2hanford@itech.net Tue Oct 8 12:21:04 PDT 1996

Philip. Saving your 1000 wds for dessert. Hey, I was serious about your book centering on mining; can I get it here in the states? If not, give me some info as my stepson is in NZ now and heading your way. Are you around Sydney? Maybe he can pick it up for me in a bookstore..
Have the feeling I'm going to want more than 1000 wds...
Bob


Philip mclaren@magna.com.au Tue Oct 8 08:56:28 PDT 1996

HELLO ALL: sorry to fade out for the past week or so, really busy here trying to meet my next deadline (actually it's already gone by). Seems like there was a lull on these pages but I see it's back to normal now.
JACK - good on you mate! The fact that publishers are actually coming to you is definitely a good sign.
BEN: none of my original USA hippy beads survived to the nineties I'm afraid, but I do have some interesting Aboriginal hand-painted Boa nut beads. I sometimes wear them to art gatherings and book launches. And regarding proper punctuation I believe the following is correct:-

I've said it once, I say it now:
Death for a cause is just;
'Vengeance is mine,' saith the Lord,
And those are words to trust!

And if you are quoting from a piece:

"I've said it once, I say it now:
Death for a cause is just;
'Vengeance is mine,' saith the Lord,
And those are words to trust!"

Single quotation marks inside doubles - all punctuation should be inside the double marks. Yes, I used to illustrate and for a while I worked at it in your town, Vancouver. It is most unlikely your publisher will allow you to dictate what the cover of your book will be - trust them. I still paint and sculpt and exhibit.
SHERRIE: I really liked your typesetters info re: punctuation. That is something I suggest you save for use in your fiction.
BRIT: your first print run is generous, mine first book was 3,000 - the good bit was that it sold out in six days, it became a national best seller. The bad bit?... they couldn't get the reprints out quickly enough to really maximise sales. But years later it's still selling, very unusual, most new books sit on shelves for one month only. You asked who my publisher is now, HarperCollins. Yes, I remember Nietzsche's 'noble man' who somehow romantically rises above everything (and everyone) and is permitted to become a 'superman' or dictator - and the rest of society is suppose to allow this? Titles: the title of a book often changes from contract to cover, so yes, suggest your changes. THE DON'Ts: don't be coy with your editor or publisher, you all want the best result. There are the traditional battles between authors and editors but usually the best outcome will surface. Don't be horrified when your precious manuscript comes back all marked up by your editor, a writer friend described these as scars on your heart. Don't be foolish or stubborn in this phase, give a little. You must stand up for what you think is really important in your work and not battle over small potatoes. Don't be afraid of success, grasp it firmly with both hands and thank some provident Being for allowing it to happen to you.
BOB: I knew you would be a multiple book reader. I'm enjoying my Hemingway, it is interspersed with Robbins, Mailer and brilliant young Aussie writer, Tim Winton (36 years old and 12 books published). I'll get back to you soon on your email about your feature article.
TRAVIS: I can't condone drug assisted literature, I think it really is a nonsense. Experimentation is one thing, to actually believe you need or want to use booze or any drug to produce any art is irresponsible adolescent behaviour. Having said that you might want to read the Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley - one of the great minds of this century writing about creativity and drug induced art while he is stoned. The slow release of endorphin after a long bout of morning exercise and two cups of coffee with all the jolt should set anyone up pretty well for a challenging day of writing. Recreational use is a different matter - these days I love my wine.
LISA: I like you additions to the train, more please.
KITTY: come back soon, there's a warm fire and a pot of coffee waiting.
TOBIN: put that baby down, stop gloating and get writing man!
JENNIFER: may I presume to comment on your mother and child poetry ideas: I really believe you should develop these into a series. One negative: you fill us with deep, psychological tensions then let us off the hook when you use "warmfuzzies" as a noun instead of searching a little longer for something more in keeping with the mood you've created. I think we should all stretch, rethink and rewrite our work several times over. Come on, get cracking, I want more in the series please.
TRUDY: I like that you keep sending that work out there - I guarantee some of it will stick somewhere. As well I see that you get straight onto the next project in the meantime - great!
BIOG'S: interesting to read everyone's biog's - I'm going to string them together next to my PC to remind me who everyone is. This is really a sharp, supportive writers' circle right here. Back soon - Philip.


Britomart s333289@student.uq.edu.au Tue Oct 8 03:00:22 PDT 1996

Hey everybody! Have you noticed that Phil and I are Australians and we both have books published? But before you think about emigrating, consider the small market. My "huge" first print run will be around 15-20000.

Anyways, if Jack's a Yankee, he blitzes us with his good news. Well done - to be approached must mean you're pretty special.

Ben the Canadian - I am sorry that I didn't give you a chance to enter my "name the epic poem from which my pseudonym comes" competition. For your sake, here is another teaser: where in English lit did the word "Pandemonium" first appear (ie. who coined it) and for what purpose? I'll send you a bouquet of virtual flowers if you get it right.

Travis - thanks for the words of support and the lovely images. As far as recommending a good Tennyson volume, just grab a complete works. However, the Norton Anthology of English Literature Vol II has lots of fab stuff from the Romantic period up to the early 20th Century, and it's brilliantly glossed. I recommend it to anybody who's getting into poetry. Tennyson is marvellous, but Keats - wow, that kid could write. And he was only 26 when he died! Anybody who wants to be a poet should read "Ode to a Nightingale": Darkling I listen; and, for many a time / I have been half in love with easeful Death, / Call'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme, / To take into the air my quiet breath; / Now more than ever seems it rich to die, / To cease upon the midnight with no pain, While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad / In such an ecstasy!

GOD I LOVE POETRY! But I never write it.

Hey everybody, help me. I don't know what to do about the title for my book, because I don't like the one on the contract. Perhaps Phil can help - can first time authors chuck teddy out of the bassinette this early in the game???

Trudy - good luck with Bossy again. I read (I think in one of those writers' mags) that when you get a rejection, you should just imagine that you have addressed the envelope: "To the editor that can appreciate my work", and that sometimes it just comes back "Not at this address".

I've gotta go work on a Philosophy essay. BLEEARGH!!! Anybody hate Nietzsche as much as me?

Byeeeeee!!!!!


Jack Tue Oct 8 00:40:39 PDT 1996

Ben,
   No, you're not missing anything. Nobody has dropped anything off on the Workbook. I plan, as soon as I get this proposal in to take all the fragments of the railroad, put them together, normalize their tenses and maybe add something of my own and then repost it. Hope people don't mind if I do a little rewrite. I have this idea for Jimi Hendrix to lead Kirt Cobain back to the train. It's still sort of rolling around in the back of my head, but, there might be something there. Thank you, everyone. This place has come to be very important to me. BTW, contrary to your assertion about all the rest being Yanks, do remember that Philip hails from the Land of Oz.

Don't worry about archiving, a least for a day or two. Just hope this place doesn't grow too large, but if it does, that's OK, too. Take care.


Ben Woestenburg Nittritz@netcom.ca Mon Oct 7 23:21:45 PDT 1996

Well Trudy, It seems like I'm not the only one who thinks I'm missing posts. I turned on the p.c. every night and dropped in to see if anyone had written anything, but the last message I saw posted was Jennifer's for Sept 29th. Now it's Oct 7th. I thought that something had happened to Jack, and that he wasn't posting any messages anymore. I was wondering if there was something I should be doing. (One hears these stories of people contacting police in other cities continents apart because they haven't heard from someone for an extended period of time.)

I'm just glad to see that I'm on-line for the night, and will probably fill up the rest of this just in time to have it archived, if you can believe my luck!

JACK: Congrats on what looks like an interesting development. I've never had anything expept for the usual form rejection slips, and to actually be contacted...puts you in the same league with Britomart and Phillip.

BRITOMART: Now here's the shame of it all, because I just read where you gave away your name to everyone, and I hadn't even had the chance to seriously give it any thought. You see, unlike most of these other people, (they're Yanks, except for Trudy and Tobin and myself I believe.) We're Canucks, and as Canadians, we have an education that leans more towards English Literature as opposed to American Literature. You see, I love English poetry, and especially Tennyson. I even went as far as to steal a copy of his IDYLLS OF THE KING from my school library when I was in my last year there. I thought they would never miss it, because the book had never been signed out by anyone -- ever! I still have it, but the worst part is that now, twenty years after the fact, I now live four blocks away from that same school, and have to drive by it twice a day on the way to and from work.

TRAVIS: You sound too much like me. I bet your still young too. Not that anyone here's old. But I mean, I wasted a good seven or eight years of my life just getting stoned and pissing myself up against the wall. I thought that going out and living life meant experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Well, you do things like that without realizing how many years of your life go by. I'm not pontificating, even though it sounds like I am, but writing under the influence doesn't do anything, unless your just trying to come up with an idea...a plotline or a train of thought. You probably all ready noticed that anything you may have written when you were f#*ked up doesn't make any sense to you. I still like to party, and boy do I ever, but I don't try to be creative with it -- I gave up acid after the kids came along -- but drinking and writing don't work for me because I know before I even sit down to write that I'm not going to understand it when I read it the next morning. It's better to scribble down idead and then try to make sense out of them when you're straight. Music and drunkeness go hand in hand of course...and that's coming from an oldtime groupie from a long time runnin'.

KITTY: I'm sorry about your kitty. I'm sorry my email doesn't work either. You can always try snail mail if you want, and you can still be first.

However, PHILLIP you seem to have caught my attention with your post-hippie long hair. I'll bet you even have beads laying around the house somewhere if you really looked hard. But seriously, you've caught my attention because you say you're an illustrator, and the one thing I've been seriously considering is illustrations. Short of doing it myself (and it's been a long time since I've tried to draw seriously, because I once wanted to be an animater as well), I've given up on the idea of finding anyone around here. So what do you suggest I do? Further research into has led me to understand that the publisher -- if and when I am able to find one -- but that the publisher will handle that aspect of it. But what if I don't like the illustrations? Do I get the choice of what sort of pictures I want? I mean, I have a fairly good idea of what I want.

SHERRIE: I'm sorry to say that you were mistaken about the quotation marks at the beginning of the little passage I left. You see, this is an extention of that piece I left in the workbook, and is being related by Lyttle John to the travelers. That's why I was wondering about the quotation marks, because it's a quotation within quotations, that are being 'quotated' a thrid time. Confused? I am, and I worte it. If anyone wants to read the remaining twenty-five stanzas to the prologue, you have to sort of vote on it, because we all know I don't have the email up and running, and I'm beginning to discover I'm pretty well computer illiterate.

As to the eclipse...I saw it. I was at work in my machine. There's a radio in it, with F.M., and they played some Pink Floyd, (as if we can't guess what THAT would have been, eh Travis?) I parked my machine around a corner, turned off all the lights, and watched it for a while. It's been a long time since I've seen one, and the last one was a partial if I'm not mistaking, but the thing that sort of surprised me, is that I always thought they were geographical, sort of like solar eclipses, and certainly not visible to Trudy, on the other side of the continent. You see, you really do learn something everyday...Of course I was probably stoned the last time we had a total eclipse, too, so that might explain a lot. But I enjoyed it. I even phoned home to make sure the kids saw it. We had a bit of cloud cover in the beginning of the evening, but it broke away almost as soon as the moon rose up over the trees on the hills around us.

Anyway, I have to go to bed now. I haven't even had a chance to read the notebook/workbook whichever, because it took over forty-five minutes to read all of these postings. I've missed my hockey hilights, and Trudy, you know as a die-hard Canucks fan, and hockey fan in general, summer's pretty boring without some good highlights to watch.

I guess I go have a smoke instead, and then read what else has been posted in the other one. You see, I don't want to quit smoking yet. My wife wants me to, but I tell her I'm not ready for it yet. Maybe when I'm forty...

Ben, and thanks for listening.

I just got back from the workbook, and the last thing posted on it is Phillip's Shaman scenario. Am I missing anything? It's a week old as well.


Ben Woestenburg Nittritz@netcom.ca Mon Oct 7 23:19:28 PDT 1996

Well Trudy, It seems like I'm not the only one who thinks I'm missing posts. I turned on the p.c. every night and dropped in to see if anyone had written anything, but the last message I saw posted was Jennifer's for Sept 29th. Now it's Oct 7th. I thought that something had happened to Jack, and that he wasn't posting any messages anymore. I was wondering if there was something I should be doing. (One hears these stories of people contacting police in other cities continents apart because they haven't heard from someone for an extended period of time.)

I'm just glad to see that I'm on-line for the night, and will probably fill up the rest of this just in time to have it archived, if you can believe my luck!

JACK: Congrats on what looks like an interesting development. I've never had anything expept for the usual form rejection slips, and to actually be contacted...puts you in the same league with Britomart and Phillip.

BRITOMART: Now here's the shame of it all, because I just read where you gave away your name to everyone, and I hadn't even had the chance to seriously give it any thought. You see, unlike most of these other people, (they're Yanks, except for Trudy and Tobin and myself I believe.) We're Canucks, and as Canadians, we have an education that leans more towards English Literature as opposed to American Literature. You see, I love English poetry, and especially Tennyson. I even went as far as to steal a copy of his IDYLLS OF THE KING from my school library when I was in my last year there. I thought they would never miss it, because the book had never been signed out by anyone -- ever! I still have it, but the worst part is that now, twenty years after the fact, I now live four blocks away from that same school, and have to drive by it twice a day on the way to and from work.

TRAVIS: You sound too much like me. I bet your still young too. Not that anyone here's old. But I mean, I wasted a good seven or eight years of my life just getting stoned and pissing myself up against the wall. I thought that going out and living life meant experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Well, you do things like that without realizing how many years of your life go by. I'm not pontificating, even though it sounds like I am, but writing under the influence doesn't do anything, unless your just trying to come up with an idea...a plotline or a train of thought. You probably all ready noticed that anything you may have written when you were f#*ked up doesn't make any sense to you. I still like to party, and boy do I ever, but I don't try to be creative with it -- I gave up acid after the kids came along -- but drinking and writing don't work for me because I know before I even sit down to write that I'm not going to understand it when I read it the next morning. It's better to scribble down idead and then try to make sense out of them when you're straight. Music and drunkeness go hand in hand of course...and that's coming from an oldtime groupie from a long time runnin'.

KITTY: I'm sorry about your kitty. I'm sorry my email doesn't work either. You can always try snail mail if you want, and you can still be first.

However, PHILLIP you seem to have caught my attention with your post-hippie long hair. I'll bet you even have beads laying around the house somewhere if you really looked hard. But seriously, you've caught my attention because you say you're an illustrator, and the one thing I've been seriously considering is illustrations. Short of doing it myself (and it's been a long time since I've tried to draw seriously, because I once wanted to be an animater as well), I've given up on the idea of finding anyone around here. So what do you suggest I do? Further research into has led me to understand that the publisher -- if and when I am able to find one -- but that the publisher will handle that aspect of it. But what if I don't like the illustrations? Do I get the choice of what sort of pictures I want? I mean, I have a fairly good idea of what I want.

SHERRIE: I'm sorry to say that you were mistaken about the quotation marks at the beginning of the little passage I left. You see, this is an extention of that piece I left in the workbook, and is being related by Lyttle John to the travelers. That's why I was wondering about the quotation marks, because it's a quotation within quotations, that are being 'quotated' a thrid time. Confused? I am, and I worte it. If anyone wants to read the remaining twenty-five stanzas to the prologue, you have to sort of vote on it, because we all know I don't have the email up and running, and I'm beginning to discover I'm pretty well computer illiterate.

As to the eclipse...I saw it. I was at work in my machine. There's a radio in it, with F.M., and they played some Pink Floyd, (as if we can't guess what THAT would have been, eh Travis?) I parked my machine around a corner, turned off all the lights, and watched it for a while. It's been a long time since I've seen one, and the last one was a partial if I'm not mistaking, but the thing that sort of surprised me, is that I always thought they were geographical, sort of like solar eclipses, and certainly not visible to Trudy, on the other side of the continent. You see, you really do learn something everyday...Of course I was probably stoned the last time we had a total eclipse, too, so that might explain a lot. But I enjoyed it. I even phoned home to make sure the kids saw it. We had a bit of cloud cover in the beginning of the evening, but it broke away almost as soon as the moon rose up over the trees on the hills around us.

Anyway, I have to go to bed now. I haven't even had a chance to read the notebook/workbook whichever, because it took over forty-five minutes to read all of these postings. I've missed my hockey hilights, and Trudy, you know as a die-hard Canucks fan, and hockey fan in general, summer's pretty boring without some good highlights to watch.

I guess I go have a smoke instead, and then read what else has been posted in the other one. You see, I don't want to quit smoking yet. My wife wants me to, but I tell her I'm not ready for it yet. Maybe when I'm forty...

Ben, and thanks for listening.


Sherrie sdl@srv.net Mon Oct 7 18:48:24 PDT 1996

BEN--The poem is punctuated correctly, except for the quotation marks at the beginning. The poem should begin simply:
I've said it once . . .
Here's a little tip for remembering quotation marks. Originally, commas and periods were set OUTSIDE the quotation marks, but since these little dots of punctuation were so small, they repeatedly fell off the ends of the lines of lead type. Typesetters, being as easily frustrated--but as inventive--as those who gravitate toward detail work usually are, began setting those tiny punctuation marks INSIDE the quotation marks, which were larger and heavier pieces of lead; these were able to hold the line together.
JACK--Congrats. Definately keep us informed.
TRUDY--Hang in there. I'm so pleased you won't accept the first "No, thank you" as the last one.
Personally, I'm still waiting to hear from my agent about the proposals she sent out. Though I'm anxious to hear, I'm not too worried about it; it's in greater hands than mine. Meanwhile, I've nearly completed chapter 2 of the next book in the series . . . because that's what I do. Right? Write.


trudy trudan@mi.net Mon Oct 7 17:04:25 PDT 1996

Hello all.
JACK hope all goes well with then proposal; sounds exciting.
BEN, I'm a little concerned you're missing posts; in the week you were away we were a little infrequent visiting but there were several posts, or were you just commenting that we weren't here as much as usual?
TRAVIS: I've never been so confused about punctuation, which I always thought should be in the quotes, but I'm checking the punctuation books and will get back to you.
Everyone: I have mailed my team penning story to the magazine along with photos and anxious awai their reply; Also Bossy is on its way to second-choice publisher so am hoping there too. Later all; happy writing! Trudy


Travis Emmitt txe@thunder.swa.com http://faraday.clas.virginia.edu/~osse Mon Oct 7 11:06:43 PDT 1996

Question:

"I know," said Travis, "that you're supposed to put the punctuation before the ending quotes." However, technical writing can suffer from ambiguity if you leave the punctuation inside the quotes. For example, imagine a file called "README." Now, is its name "README" or "README.?" If the former, should you write "README..?"

JACK: Re technical writing, I find that the manuals most fun to read are unfortunately the least useful in terms of reference material. User-friendly manuals tend to be very verbose, linear, and continuous, while useful references are terse, treed, and atomic.

Fow a how-to programming book you could really split the book in half: a user-friendly introduction to concepts, and a lean-n-mean reference section. K&R has a nice balance. One of my favorite manuals (I forget who wrote it) started off VERY informal, with lots of analogies and real-world examples; information that is perfect for a beginner but useless to a no-nonsense expert.

What language will it focus on, or will it be general programming strategies n' tactics? Have you considered making an online tutorial instead of book, or as a companion to it?

Travis


Travis Emmitt txe@thunder.swa.com http://faraday.clas.virginia.edu/~osse Mon Oct 7 10:46:38 PDT 1996

BRITOMART: Wow, great quotes! I'll have to check out Tennyson. Are his poems long or short? Is there a good compilation of his work?

Last night I got sort of toasted and when I got back to my hotel room I typed in a couple of pages of rambling something, although I'm not sure if any of it's brilliance. I'll read it in a few days, after I am COMPLETELY sober (takes me a while to get back to normal).

I will also try the left-hand drawing trick. Neat idea! I wonder if drawing in general loosens up the mind, letting the creative right side have more reign. You know, that's interesting, because I used to draw a lot during high school. Mostly it was doodling during classes. But also I would draw maps and cartoons and little flip-book stories. I was always making silly little sketches. At the same time, I was writing lots of stories and music. When I got to college, I didn't draw as much, didn't write as much. At that point I had my own computer. It's hard to doodle on the computer. After college, my full time job demanded my fingers be glue to the keyboard. At home the first thing I'd do was turn on my computer or flop down in front of the TV. Neither were conducive to doodling. And again there was a further decrease in creative inspiration and productivity. There's no way to tell if the doodling did indeed help the creative juices flow, or if doodling was simply another creative outlet that dried up along w/ writing and composing.

Still, it would make an interesting psyche experiment: pick 30 (creative writing?) students and have 10 of them draw a page's worth of pictures w/ their right hand each day, have 10 draw w/ their left hand, and have the 10 control students write numbers from 1 to 500 or so. Then at the end of a month or so, tell each of them that the next step is to write a short story (no length specified) due the next week. Then see which students wrote the longer stories. It's a rough test but hey.

By the way, BRITOMART, you get to work in the garden, sniffing the lovelies, hands flirting deep with the coffin dirt, eyes tasting dangling dew, blaa blaa blaa. Crap like that. What I was TRYING to say, ahem, shake head, swat head, thunk head with calloused intersection of palm and wrist, you know the anchor allowing your fingers to troll like huge fishing cranes the deep waters of the freakin' KEYBOARD, the KEYBOARD, where you can't sketch and binary is the 01 eyed king.

Ech. What I was getting at is you are working in the garden and notice all the animals that want to eat your plants, to take advantage of you and your labors. And there are of course the pesky gnats and scary spiders and nasty nasty centipedes and larvae. (yuck!) But most of us don't see the icky nitty gritty. We just see the roses and your bright green grass.

Trav


Jack Sun Oct 6 22:31:50 PDT 1996

P.S. Sorry. This place is getting to a 100k so when I get a couple of spare moments to rub together I plan to archive things. I sort of see that as the best bite size for the Notebook.


Jack Sun Oct 6 22:26:05 PDT 1996

Bob and Jennifer,
Thank you, I hope. Just wanted to emphasize that this is a proposal only and I could be one among several. Still, it was an ego boost to be asked and the process will be educational whichever way it goes and when I have more information I will, of course, share it with the rest of you. Take care and good writing.


Jennifer Sun Oct 6 20:04:52 PDT 1996

Jack, HURRAY!!!!!!! I'm pleased for you . Tell us everything that happens so those of us who don't have a book published can enjoy the adventure. I'm very happy for you.
Hi everyone! Hopefully this week we'll all have more time.
Bob, You are a gem.


Bob Hanford 2hanford@itech.net Sun Oct 6 19:44:04 PDT 1996

Jack. Pretty exciting. Congrats!
Bob


Jack Beslanwitch top@webwitch.com Sun Oct 6 15:15:39 PDT 1996

Ben,
I was contacted last week by a well known computer publishing company as to whether I would be interested in submitting a book proposal on a specific subject. This blew me away a bit and I've been concentrating on that. Never fear. In the words of Arnold too-many-hours-in-the-gym, I'll be back. Just a little distracted for the moment.


   Normally I was posting a question or subject of the week. Since Notebook has been flowing so well on its own I neglected that duty. However, given my foray in non-fiction technical writing, I was wondering if people had a perspective on what the differences are between fiction as opposed non-fiction written in the fictions style as chronicled in the book Writing For Story or in my own case a how to programming book. I might add in this latter regard, this is only a proposal and no done deal. I am a little superstitious about mentioning it at all. Take care.


ben woestenburg nittritz@netcom.ca Sun Oct 6 10:42:33 PDT 1996

Where is everybody? A week's gone by and nothinng's been posted. I guess everyone's busy writing and living their lives like normal people. I've got a question to ask anyone who can answer it. I know I should know this myself, but sometimes the mind goes numb.

' "I've said it once, I say it now:
Death for a cause is just;
'Vengeance is mine,' saith the Lord,
And those are words to trust!

Is that the proper punctuation, or should the quotation marks in the third line be changed.
Thanks.

Ben.

(Where are you Jack?)


trudy trudan@mi.net Sun Oct 6 09:31:19 PDT 1996

Hey Bob, I popped in yesterday and was wondering the same thing. Thanks by the way for answering my question; my article will be in the regular mail first thing tomorrow morning. Something didn't feel right about purolating anyway. Well must put the finishing touches on the article so will check in again later. Hope all is well with everyone! Trudy


Bob Hanford 2hanford@itech.net Sun Oct 6 08:12:00 PDT 1996

What happened? It's Sunday morning and nothing from anyone since Friday afternoon?
Bob


Bob Hanford 2hanford@itech.net Fri Oct 4 17:34:19 PDT 1996

Trudy. I freelance a lot of articles and my advice is just regular mail. You don't want to be marked as an amateur. Very sorry your kid's book was rejected. Glad though that you're sending it right back out again. Have read so many times that the difference between a successful writer and an unsuccessful writer is not talent but persistence. I have one article that when I wrote it I decided I was going to have it published twenty-one times. Am on number four. Just persistence and fun. Best of luck to you.
Bob - And may the rain never find your hiding place.


trudy trudan@mi.net Fri Oct 4 16:54:31 PDT 1996

Only have a minute and a quick question.
I have an article I'm sending to a magazine (the penning one; it's almost done) and was thinking of purolating it. Is this a good or bad idea? Or should I just send it via regular mail? I don't know if there's an etiquette for articles being sent on spec, I just want to get it there as quickly as possible. Thanks for any advice you can give. Will try to visit longer soon.

Had a quick chance to read a few short messages; JENNIFER haven't had a chance to read your poem yet so don't think it's because I don't like it I haven't responded - will get around to it this weekend. Will also send you an article or something via e-mail sometime and am still working on that story I started that I will eventually post in the Workbook for feedback.
Oh and for those who remember - My children's book Bossy was rejected. (Boo hoo!) Got the letter today (but it wasn't a form letter!) and am going to send it to another publisher on monday. Have a list of three more then will start the search again if I have to!
Later all. Happy writing!


Bob Hanford 2hanford@itech.net Fri Oct 4 16:16:18 PDT 1996

Jennifer. Thank you. Send me your e-mail address and I'd be proud to send you a column. Wanted to talk to you after reading your poem but frustrated that you had no e-mail address. I will keep it private.
Bob


Jennifer Fri Oct 4 15:18:13 PDT 1996

Hi All, Bob read your bio. you sound like a very caring person and a great parent.I'd like to read one of your columns..
Hope to read something from you Trudy. No one has commented on my little poem or maybe that is a comment.. Ha
Talk to you all later...


Britomart s333289@student.uq.edu.au Fri Oct 4 14:36:27 PDT 1996

I really hate that so many people would swap places with me in an instant, but I have so many misgivings about the professional writer's life. It's the coolest thing in the world that I'm having a book published, but when it comes to doing things like readings and seminars and etc etc, I just feel so out of place, like I can't be myself. Does anybody have any advice. What I do here at my computer between 5am and 8am in the morning seems to have nothing to do with this other life, where I have to talk to editors and other writers and... Sorry to have such a whinge. You must all think me a royal pain in the bum. I have a reading to do in 3 weeks, and I wanted to write something new for it, but I'm just so snowed under at uni. It's exciting, and I'm reading with a writer I really admire, but sometimes I just wish I could stay *home* in my own cosy space and not have to deal with it. Maybe I'm just nervous and this is the way it manifests... AARGH!

TRAVIS: I know a girl who won't put a word on paper unless she is stoned. I think it probably shows. I guess when you're in other states of consciousness, it just means your left brain (? is that the linear-thinking one) has shut up and stopped criticising you: "This doesn't make sense, idiot - fix it!!!" Another way to tap into the right side without destroying brain cells is to draw with your non-dominant hand. I do it every morning before I write - put the pen in my left hand and draw a whole butcher's paper sheet full of pictures. It seems to open something up in my mind, and I get very creative (I'm normally highly organised and inflexible). I think you should save all those flashes of fire in a separate file, and when you're writing something and you just need to give it a boost - WHAM! - throw in something gorgeous. Tennyson did it - his poetry is great to read for that mixture of purpose and nonsense. In "The Lady of Shalott" there's this line I love: "little breezes dusk and shiver" - it doesn't mean anything, "dusk" isn't a verb,but he uses it like one and we know exactly what it means. Also in "Tithonus": "the ever-silent spaces of the East, / Far-folded mists, and gleaming halls of morn". God, it's marvellous. He seems to be able to just throw words together that don't make sense, and have them mean more than they've ever meant before. Sorry, I got sidetracked. I'd love to see some of your rambling brilliance if you'd care to post it in the Workbook.

Bye everyone!!!


trudy trudan@mi.net Fri Oct 4 13:10:40 PDT 1996

Hey where is everyone? Happy return Travis! I just stopped in for a quick read before supper and will return later. Hope all is well. Trudy. No writing here ... does that perhaps mean lots of writing elsewhere?


Travis Emmitt txe@thunder.swa.com http://faraday.clas.virginia.edu/~osse Thu Oct 3 14:24:42 PDT 1996

Hello, everyone! I've been off a while, working on web pages. A couple of days ago I decided to try to get some storywriting practice in. I didn't really brainstorm, but instead started with a dream I had a long time ago, just an interesting "adventure" scene forever etched in my mind. I suddenly had a torrent of images and wanted to write them all down but had a miserable time even getting one onto paper.

If I concentrate really hard on something, picturing it honestly in my mind, then analogies spring forth (parallel associations). I squeezed my mind really hard and then words blurted out of me. Only about 2 sentences worth, but the wording was ultra-dense and noncliche.

I find that when I am really drunk (it's been a while), I can churn out these high density, almost poetic phrases. Sure, they don't make a whole lot of sense the next day, but they are very concentrated, fat-free.

The same goes for music, except I don't have to be really drunk. Some times I will just say "f*#k" it and start to improvise, to wing an entire track of drums, then completely wing the bass, then some organ, then some vibes. All together, it sounds very chaotic, but VERY emotional, so unlike the rest of my music, which is very simple, watered down enough so that I can play it the same way twice.

If I had more musical ability I would be able to play with the emotion and intensity of my "improv" tracks, but without losing control of basic song structure. Just like if I had better story writing ability I could harness those cool "drunken" phrases and fit them to a plot.

Do you guys have the same problems? Is part of your goal to build bridges between the rich "John Coltrane" swarm of consciousness and the calm, calculating "Beatles" knack for organization?

Travis


trudy trudan@mi.net Wed Oct 2 19:21:54 PDT 1996

As per usual not a lot of time but tried to e-mail Kitty and got return mail so in case she's checking in:
Kitty as someone who grew up on a farm and lost many pets, I feel for you and cried as I read your message. If you need anything, e-mail please! My thoughts and prayers are with you. Trudy

Everyone else: hope all is well! T


Philip mclaren@magna.com.au Wed Oct 2 16:13:21 PDT 1996

BEN: liked your romantic piece: time, setting, people, sexual tension, want to see the rest. To place poetry - or just surf - you may want to check out ZUZU's site - http://www.lehigh.net/zuzu/poelink.htm - Philip :-)


Jennifer Wed Oct 2 10:02:03 PDT 1996

Lisa,
Are we all on the same train? I really enjoyed that piece!!!
Ben,
Lovely , I want to read the rest.
Philip,
What an imagination! That is what its all about.
Hello to everyone!!! Thanks for all your concerns, got to run will write more this afternoon..Write,Write,Write!!!


Bob Hanford 2hanford@itech.net Wed Oct 2 05:32:31 PDT 1996

Kitty. Ouch. I feel so foolish and selfish now asking for your comments. Sorry you have to go through this pain.

Sherrie. Bio. Tough. I'm 52, two kids: Sean 26 and Maria Elena 17. Sean's with me. Maria Elena is with her mom in San Antonio, Texas. She'll be with me after graduation to go to college. I'm father first, writer second. Because of my adult ADD, I prefer writing columns, bursts of 800-1000 words. Have had one column or another past five years. Working on young adult novel that will take readers inside a raptor rehabilitation facility. How do you take an owl's temperature? Eventually want to write long novel about the siege of Leningrad. I freelance for regional mags. Downsized my life, ride bike instead of car, don't buy or want anything. Do carpentry four to five hrs per day to pay for existence. Coming out of fourth long depression and impatient to re-establish contact with my emotions so I can write.
Peace. Bob


Jack Beslanwitch top@webwitch.com Wed Oct 2 02:13:33 PDT 1996

Kitty,
   Take the time you need to mourn and heal. Having known all too many reasons for experiencing both, my thoughts and prayers will be with you.


Sherrie,
   As far as a bio is concerned, I am a native of Montana now living in Seattle. I am 44 years old and mad passionately in like with wife :-). After eleven years it still is a joy to know how much in love I am. I wrote my one and only completed novel when I was 16. Believe me, the fact that I somehow lost it was no loss. Academia and pursuit of a degree in Psychology prompted me to write a variety of stodgy essays. This was followed by several short stories and a novelette. Other than winning an essay contest for Walden Book's Science Fiction newsletter about fourteen years ago, I have not published anything in fiction. After attending a panel about Writers Workshops about seven years or so ago at a Science Fiction Convention, we started a writers group called Writer's Cramp. Subsequently several members have gone on to become Writers of the Future and several others are Clarion or Clarion West Graduates. Unfortunately, considerably less fiction got written in the last two years or so as I got into website creation. I am the vice chair of the Northwest Science Fiction Society

   I have a rather involved time travel novel idea that I have been dithering over, researching and trying to get past my writers block to do something with. I have a fantasy novel in mind, as well. Another computer related non fiction project may loom large in my life in the near future depending on an editor's decision. The rest can be picked up from my personal website

Sorry about babbling on. Take care.


Jennifer Tue Oct 1 22:36:41 PDT 1996

Kitty,
So very sorry about your sweet kitty.. My thoughts are with you. Take care and hope to hear from you soon..


Kitty Dwyer edwyer@spherenet Tue Oct 1 21:33:51 PDT 1996

Thank you all for your kind messages. I do not have good news. Kittycat died during the night. The vet does not think she was in any pain. Her body shut down and there was nothing that could be done. We buried her today in the stand of old white pines near the stables where she liked to prowl and hunt. I don't seem to be able to concentrate on anything right now, so I'm going to take some time out. I'll be back when I feel better. --Kitty


Sherrie sdl@srv.net Tue Oct 1 19:29:40 PDT 1996

Hi Guys!
Boy, it took a while to catch up. I was out with a sick teenager. After 7 hours of dry-heaves, the poor boy/man (191 lb) was reduced to sobbing in his mother's lap. Better, now, though.
THE BIO: I'm 40 years old and work, by day, as the health & safety officer for my office building and 3 projects researching the treatability of radioactive/hazardous waste.
By night, I write.
I freelanced for a few magazines and the local paper for four years but grabbed my tax-deductible status and ran (it don't pay, folks) about a year ago, to devote all my spare attention to my second novel. The first one was a good apprenticeship--NOT publishable--but I think this one will make it. Anyway, it's in the hands of my agent, whom I acquired three weeks ago.
Have to admit, I'm a little touchy these days--scared to death the book won't sell . . . and scared to death it will. After so many years of wanting, this is all coming together with lightning speed, but I'm not certain I know how to function with success. Not sure I deserve it. What if I can't do it again? What if this was a fluke? What if they discover I don't really have any talent--I just sold myself well?
Since I'll be up against a deadline, I'm stepping out in faith in December by cutting back to 30 hr/week, and that's scary, too. Anyone relate? Anyone who can help? I KNOW it's not PMS, but it feels the same.
KITTY: Where's you feline? Give me input.
JENNIFER: Hang in there. I smoked as a teen, gave it up for 15 years, then started again for 18 months when I went back to college. I quit several years ago and don't regret it. I'm even losing the weight I gained. Just take it one minute at a time.
Everyone else: love hearing from/about you. Need some bio on JACK and BOB.
Thanx, guys! Sherrie


Bob Hanford 2hanford@itech.net Tue Oct 1 17:15:00 PDT 1996

Quickly:
Kitty. It is Barbara Wersba.
Trudy. Hooray!
Phil. Always have had at least three books going at one time. Sometimes six.
Peace. Bob


Trudy trudan@mi.net Tue Oct 1 14:22:43 PDT 1996

Hi everyone; I don't have a lot of time but wanted to respond to Philip who asked Sue about Writer's Haven's home page. They don't have one. They communicate through e-mail. I've joined but after three days am considering unjoining. It just isn't the same as here, though I'm not sure why. The people seem nice enough. I think I just like this forum the best where you can scroll up and down to what's been said by who easily. Plus tonight I had 13 e-mails and most of them weren't of interest to me - rather cumbersome. May wait to see what develops by the weekend. Anyway must get supper and thought of a short story idea that I'd like to work on a bit. It just won't go away and I think it's all your fault (Yes, all of you) You've inspired me! Thank you! Maybe I'll post some of it...no maybe I will for sure. Take care; happy writing. Trudy


trish trishm@iswt.com Tue Oct 1 08:26:16 PDT 1996

KITTY, just wanted to take a minute and say that I hope your cat recovers quickly. I am a "cat person" myself. At present I have only 2, Spike, who lives indoors, and Smokey, who lives outdoors. I would probably have more, but Jeff says this is all we need. We have had Spike for 6 years and lost his sister, Gizzie, just last Feb. Still miss that little fat cat. Smokey is only about 2-1/2 yrs. old. I found him in a ditch across the road. One thing about living in the country, everyone thinks they can just dump their unwanted animals and someone out here will adopt them. Not always the case. Many of lthem are shot, or run over, or become wild because noone can get near enough to them to take them home. Seems a cruel way to get rid of your unwanted animals to me. We also had to put down my dog of 13 years a couple of months ago, so I still carry around a bit of fresh loss to darken my spirit from time to time.

As to the lunar eclipse--it was so cloudy here you couldn't see a thing!! I was pretty disappointed and kept looking, just in case the clouds might part unexpectedly and allow me a glimpse of the phenomenon.

Philip-thanks so much for the encouragement.

A brief hello to everyone else-enjoyed your postings!


Bob Hanford 2hanford@itech.net Tue Oct 1 05:30:27 PDT 1996

Kitty. Hope you follow through and get one of V.E Wolff's
books from library. Read all her stuff two or three years ago and still get a warm, magical feeling when I walk past the 'W's in the young adult stacks. June Rae Wood is also good, Katherine Paterson, Evelyn Wersba. I think it is Evelyn. Having lost a dog to old age after sixteen years and a cat last year after twelve, I feel for you. Please let us all know. Hope you have a good vet. If you can find the time, the child in me has waited impatiently for your comments on my piece in the Workbook. Tks. You tickled my memory about the gentleman and the advice letters to his son. Just out of reach. Letters are my absolute favorite medium for writing. Not Chief Seattle. Hint: think Russian.

Philip. So there are at least two of us hippies who didn't come in from the cold. Really appreciate you taking the time to try to market my piece. Nice. Nice. Nice. Don't expect sympathy from me that you must wallow once again in the delight of Cannery Row. Very interested in your book centering around mining. Can I get it here in the States?
Love the aboriginal concept of singing everything to life.
Don't know if I'm going to jump into the Shaman piece or not. Like Jack, scriptwriting is not in my resume. We'll see.
May you all wake every morning with a grin.
Bob


Britomart s333289@student.uq.edu.au Tue Oct 1 02:32:06 PDT 1996

Okay, thanks for putting me straight on the criticism thing - I had the impression that this forum was primarily for criticism - stoopid me. Never mind. I'm certainly not a professional critic, but I'm thinking of becoming one because I seem to be doing an awful lot of "favours" for people who suddenly decided they wanted to write after finding out that I was being published. Again, never mind.

To all those who entered the guess-where-my-pseudonym-
came-from competition, it's from book three of Edmund Spenser's "Faerie Queene" - Britomart was the way cool female knight of chastity who wasn't afraid to shed some blood in the name of sticking to her principles. I like that in a woman. So I guess the prize money of one squillion dollars will just have to go to charity.

Philip: hello fellow Aussie author. Who is publishing your books now, and which one do you recommend for me (I like anything dark, mysterious, violent and erotic)??? E-mail me sometime. Yes, the Warana fesival was called the Brisbane Writers' Festival this year. I had a pretty yukky time, for various reasons too complex to go into, but which have something to do with me being young, and in the in-betweeny stage (not quite published). I'll get used to it. How much will I hate editing? I start editing on my holidays from uni, so I guess around December/Jan. All advice welcome.

Byeeeee everybody....!!!!


Philip mclaren@magna.com.au Mon Sep 30 21:08:18 PDT 1996

HELLO ALL: I'm having a great day - it's warm and sunny, the surf is huge from yesterday's strong winds but there's only a gentle breeze now. We are experiencing the beginnings of spring here in Sydney. I thoroughly enjoyed my walk along the beach and through nearby parklands today, and the early morning birdsong was really something very special. I'm making this one of those Kitty-type postings, attempting to catch up.
BOB: I'm posting your *Under the Influence* to a few places down here today and including your email address. I will send you the publishers list. I have you to thank/blame you for distracting me by forcing me to once again read Cannery Row - and this is interspersed with my tall pile. Does anyone else out there take on several books at the same time?
TOBIN: welcome back to the beaming dad! They reckon time management is essential to keeping the domestic front running happily after a new addition - Roz and I found that was fine until the newest dictator assumed the mantle - in our case it only took about six weeks for that to happen. Whenever, between naps, feedings and diapers keep in touch here.
SUE: can't find your site @ Writers Haven. Can you not contribute here?
SHERRIE: what books have you written? I'm interested - titles, ISBN and publishers please.
TRUDY: yes... a short biog - I'm at the wrong end of forty, married to Roz - my English rose - who is also a writer. I have a daughter, Tanya who is 18, and a son, James, who is 11. I live in a very old fisherman's cottage, renovated, at Newport Beach 30 minutes drive from downtown Sydney, Australia. I'm a full time novelist onto my fifth book, Deputy Chair of the Sydney Writers Festival. My background is in fine art, illustration, TV and film set design, advertising art, animation, bus boy, waiter, labourer, carpet cleaner, telephone solicitor, golf course green keeper, life guard etc. A former sportsman: swimmer, runner, golfer, rugby and tennis player. I lived away from Australia for 12 years, travelling the world as a single man. I married Roz in London. I'm a left-over hippy and still wear my curly, black hair to my shoulders. I vary my writing: my first book was rigidly set in 1869, an historical thriller; my second was in the crime genre and set in the present, next a thriller about the corruption surrounding multi-national mining of sacred Aboriginal land, then a socio-realism story set in the 50's and 60's and now I'm 16,000 words into my first non fiction crime story. I write from 7:30 am to 1:00 or 2:00 pm - usually seven days a week.
TRISH: I liked your addition to the Workbook. It is hard to stick your neck out there but that's what we constantly do as writers, isn't it?
BEN: good on you mate! Sawmill by day fine writing by night. Please keep going, I somehow feel I'll be able to boast one day to meeting you here.
JENNIFER: writing for kids - why not? Especially science fiction/fantasy: RL Stine, Terry Pratchett.
TRAVIS: please come back! I miss your intelligent philosophical input.
TAMLIN: I really like your descriptive pieces. You have a great eye, do you draw or paint? I'd like to hear some dialogue come directly after your last passage so you can reveal to me more about what Johhann thinks.
BRIT: hello fellow Aussie, ironic meeting you here. I picked up in an earlier posting of yours that you were at a writers' festival recently, was that the Brisbane Writers' Festival, formerly known as Warana? I see you're email is @ UQ - the University of Queensland Press published my first book. How exciting for you to have Random House accept your first manuscript. I will be on the lookout for it.
KITTY: please do find time to join us in the Workbook. I'm sure your contributions would be very insightful and interesting.
JACK: I will email the information about Sydney that you asked about, I haven't forgotten. Thanks again for providing this site. I think you've created a writer's Eldorado. To reach so many sharp writer's minds from all over the world congregated right here at the flick of switch is very enriching. Best Wishes - Philip.


Jack Beslanwitch top@webwitch.com Mon Sep 30 20:03:09 PDT 1996

For those interested in the PBS The West. Check out the above link. It has a interactive chronological timeline from pre-Columbian times to present, a map area and biographical area as well. For research purposes looks like a tremendous resource.
Re: Healing Kittycat. My thoughts will be with that one. Just so you know my heart is in the right place, here is Sabbath who has discovered the joys of hunting birds and mice and bringing them for Fran and I to wake up to :-).


Philip mclaren@magna.com.au Mon Sep 30 19:20:45 PDT 1996

KITTY: I am sorry about your cat. Our Burmese went missing five weeks ago and hasn't returned. The posters and ads went up and we waged a good hunt for him but he's gone. We like to think he was catnapped into a caring home. And why did I assume Tom Robbins narrator's voice was male? That really is the question......hmmmm. Maybe because he is male, I'm male and I'm conditioned to believe a male writer might be writing from the point of view of his own sex. I fell beautifully into his cleverly set trap. It's like the old chestnut of the neuro surgeon being referred to numerous times in a story and the reader finding out in the tag that it was a woman all along. Most people might assume, as was intended, that the surgeon was male because of our perception that most are... but not all. You will agree that the vast majority of male writers narrate with a male voice. I think it's that simple - I fell in nicely with Tom's intention.
With regard your observations about the science fiction script *The Shaman*, I'm surprised you didn't learn that the New York you write about and knew well, changed after July 4th - Independence Day. *The Hairless* are not skinheads - more details could reveal in later pages that they are members of a violent, hairless, witches coven. And everyone might learn on page ten that in 2017 The Native Americans won their International Court claim for the return of title to their traditional lands - which included much of the east coast of North America - and some of the scattered bands chose to settle in the newly established city. As most of New York State was flattened, townplanners insisted the old town architects were wrong to compress cities on small pieces of land and created large tracts of bushlands for citizens of every rebuilt city to enjoy. The speech vernacular of future Native Americans I won't vouch for. That nothing is too well established in the initial posting of this futuristic saga is because I didn't want to put too many constraints on anyone who might want to follow. Surely the attraction of science fiction to the writer is that anything is possible, offering us ironies beyond the conventional. We all believe Clark Kent fies. But hey... my proposed future New York might be wrong and it will remain exactly as you describe it to be now, and as I remember it to be from my visits and my readings of its history, even after ID4 ... I'm new at this Net stuff - but it's fun, isn't it? - Philip.


Jennifer Mon Sep 30 18:42:08 PDT 1996

Kitty,
So sorry to hear about you sweet kitty..anyone who has the ability to hurt an animal isn't human. I'm an animal lover infact I find them to be far kinder and more loving and forgiving than many people..My thoughts are with you.
I hope everyone is finding the right words for their thoughts..I'm having problems with something I may put it in the workbook. later friends...


trudy trudan@mi.net Mon Sep 30 18:30:34 PDT 1996

KITTY, I was wondering where you were. My thoughts are with you as Kittycat heals. I can imagine what you must be going through. I have a two year old furball (Riley) who is the light of my life. I remember one night when he didn't come home his usual time, I waited and waited and finally at midnight in the middle of a snowstorm went searching for him, driving around the block slowly. When I got back to the house nearly in tears he was sitting on the doorstep looking at me as if to say, why weren't you here to let me in? He's done a few other disappearing acts and had me in tears; now I try not to worry unless I don't see him for a whole 24 hours (not always easy)- if he doesn't come home for breakfast or supper I'd know something was wrong!
KITTY, As for the cowboy stories, maybe I'll pick up a writer's market book for the states sometime, but right now I'm being a true Canadian and giving my country a chance to have me first. If they can't see talent then I'l move on; and once they give me a chance and I'm more secure in myself, maybe I'll move across the border. Thanks for the idea though; it wasn't one I had thought about. I'll try to send you more info about our cowboys soon; you've got me even more interested in it than I was before.
TRISH: boy can I relate to that I need to talk less about writing and write comment. I am definitely in the same boat as far as writing my fiction goes. Of course the only way I might get more writing done is to lose the internet but then I'd go through withdrawels and couldn't write either. Just have to learn to juggle better.
BRITOMART: I am not a professional critic and can only give my personal opinion of someone's writing; I think you will find this group is a genuine bunch that is not kind for kindness sake. I know I will feel comfortable posting something someday, knowing it will be criticised in a helpful and friendly manner. Since you have criticing background I may call on you to be extra hard on me though because I probably will post things more out of a need for advice than a need for approval. Still haven't figured out where your name comes from, but I'm thinking!
Take care all and happy writing. Trudy


Jack Beslanwitch top@webwitch.com Mon Sep 30 16:45:11 PDT 1996

Philip: I absolutely love Tom Robins, especially Another Roadside Attraction. If you haven't checked it out, it's worth it just for the following excerpt:

Jesus: Hey, Dad. Western Civilization followed me home today, can I keep it.
God: Certainly not. And put it down! You don't know where it's been.

Your movie script on the Workbook sounds interesting, but I'll have to think about it. That's a media I have not attempted yet.

Kitty: Yes, loved The West. My only regret is not stopping and thinking about recording all of them. I am veritable addict to those kind of PBS historical pieces.

Also, I'm


Kitty Dwyer edwyer@spherenet Mon Sep 30 14:03:32 PDT 1996

Hey y'all. Everybody's been writing! So much to catch up on. I spent the past week distracted with worry over my cat, Kittycat, who went missing for three days, I found her on the side of the road huddled low to the ground, head down on Friday. It looks like she may have been poisoned. At this point, whatever it is has to work itself through her system. She's with the vet now, under observation and there is not much more I can do. At least, she is not lost and alone.
Jack, did you see Ken Burns' The West on PBS? I caught only a couple of episodes, but what I saw was riveting. When I am researching history, I always look for children's books on the topic at the library, bookstore or the museum shop. Often books geared toward children have a lot of great details and anecdotes that makes research fun.
Bob, "the wind in your hand" sounds vaguely Native American, so I will make a wild guess. Are you emulating the wisdom of Chief Seattle? I'm off to find some Virginia E. Wollf to read. If you feel so inclined, tell us about your son, Sean--and does anyone remember the Elizabethen(?) gentleman who wrote letters of advice to his son?
Trudy, why are you concentrating only on the Canadian market? Your ideas are good and could sell to the U.S. market. If you wanted to go on another "ranching" tangent, you could write about the food served at these Cowboy competitions: Chuckwagon Fare: New Brunswick, More Than Stew. People love to read about food and collect recipes, especially those with regional flavor. Or you could write an article from the perspective of what children/families might do at a Cowboy competition--do y'all call them rodeos? (there you go, a sidebar with east coast cowboy vocabulary), which would be suitable for magazines like Family Fun or Family Life. I'm stopping now. I promise. I guess the more I think about it, the more I want to know about your cowboys.
Trish, have you thought about writing about what it would be like traveling across the country in a wagon train? I have this book, A Pioneer Story, The Daily life of a Canadian Family in 1840 which is part story book and part history book, and thought a wagon train adventure would lend itself well to this format.
Tobin, the land of puke and diapers--the picture you paint! If memory serves me right, newborns are not offensive in either the diaper or the puke department. Give Hunter a month or two. I would have thought you were suffering from sleep deprivation at present. I am happy to hear that all is well with you and your family.
TamLin, welcome back. Please write more.
Ben, Thank you for designating me first to see the Tale of Friar Tuck, but since you had problems with e-mail does that mean I go back to the end of the line--the long line?
Sherrie, welcome back! When I saw your posting I thought, hmmmm..... I've heard that name before. There you were in the midst of the second set of archives!
Jennifer, welcome. I've never smoked, but grew up around smokers, so I am wishing you an abundance of will power and a tip: stick a pencil betwen your fingers and start scribbling whenever you get the urge to smoke. Your entry in the Workbook is charming. Please do consider Bob's suggestion.
Britomart, is your book currently available or still in production? If available post the title and ISBN#, it is amazing how resourceful we can be when we really want something. Also, I agree with Bob regarding criticism. I'm not here to critique. I see it more as give and take and observation. As to your name, I'm ruling out Marlowe and Shakespeare or should I reconsider?
Phillip, as instructed, I will dash out to get this Tom Robbins book, but could it be that because you are a man you read it as if the narrative voice were male? I didn't assume it was male, and am trying to figure out why you would. Also, I had a few comments about some of the details in The Shaman which may not be very important: 1. New York has a lot of gangs, but there is not, to my knowledge, a great presence of "skinheads" in the City. 2. Nor is there a lot of Native American presence in the city, NYC is very modern, very urbane. It is a city of immigrants, wave after wave of Europeans carving out little neighborhoods then, when prosperity permitted, moving out to the countryside. It is a city built from the great American fortunes of the 19th century. If there were a gallery, it would probably be in the Village. Not to say that your gallery and gang could not exist in NYC, it just was a little jarring. Houston, Dallas, Phoenix or L.A. would seem more likely to me. 3. I don't think there are any bushlands around NYC. City dumps, land fills, warehouse districts, facotories and refineries on the Jersey side, but no bushlands. 4. Liza says "Everyone liked 'our' David." I don't think Americans don't use that particular turn of phrase: our Susie, our Tommy, etc... I think it is more U.K. than U.S.A. Interesting opening sequence. If I knew more about Native American lore and tradition, I'd be tempted to jump in. I take it David turns out to be an avenging Shaman? or is it going to go in an entirely different direction. I think Bob may be able to help out here.
What I don't understand, here at the Notebook, which has a strong Sci-Fi connection, is why no one commented on the lunar eclipse this past week?! Where I am, the moon has been brilliant. A true harvest moon. --Kitty


Bob Hanford 2hanford@itech.net Mon Sep 30 05:30:52 PDT 1996

Britomart, I am not in this group to be a critic. That's too much like work for one thing. Someone said recently that the group is "like friends getting together for coffee." I agree. We're part support group, part friends, part workshop. We are not professional critics. I am not going to worry that my praise of Jennifer's piece was "an abuse of power" on my part.
Bob


Philip mclaren@magna.com.au Mon Sep 30 03:06:04 PDT 1996

HELLO ALL: further to writing recently in the Notebook about second person in the present tense, I thought I'd share something with you for discussion and examination. My wife Roz, who is also a writer, recently steered me onto *Half Asleep In Frog Pajamas* by Tom Robbins. Tom writes this piece in the second person present tense and you'll forgive me if I reveal one of the best features or uses of this narrative that I've read in years. Tom begins:

Four P.M.

The day the stock market falls out of bed and breaks its back is the worst day of your life. Or so you think. It isn't the worse day of your life, but you think it is. And when you give voice to that thought, it is with conviction and a minimum of rhetorical embellishment.
"This is the worst day of my life," you say, as you drop a salted peanut into your double martini - on better days, you drink white wine - and watch it sink.

...and on goes this remarkably talented writer deceiving us with his assumed male narrative position but revealing later that the *you* he refers to is actually a woman. As well, you may all already know, he is an acknowledged master of the metaphor. As writers, I recommend you add it to your reading list. I've only just started it.



Ben Woestenburg Nittritz@netcom.ca Sun Sep 29 22:04:47 PDT 1996

JACK: Just went for a quick cruise through the libraries to see what I could come up with for you. I found an interesting site with all sorts of links worldwide that might interest you.
http://www.teleport.com/~tbchad/index.html
I don't know if it will be any use to you, but it wasn't any good to me because I want ancient history. I'm pretty sure you can find something from 1849 here though. Good luck, and happy hunting! (That's always the best part of it anyway!)
Ben


ben Woestenburg nittritz@netcom.ca Sun Sep 29 21:43:18 PDT 1996

Welcome back Tobin. I hope you enjoy the newborn as much as we enjoyed both of ours. It's been some time since those first months, but it's a time I'll always relish. In fact, my sister-in-law's pregnant right now, and my wife keeps looking at me and smiling one of 'those' smiles, saying how nice it would be to have another baby around the house...I just smile back and say, 'Gee, maybe I should stay on afternoon shift for a while longer?' Or at least until she gets over it. It's pretty funny actually, because everytime someone else has a baby, she comes home and says how nice it would be if we could have one too. I figure a ten year old and an eight year old are fine enough. Somehow I have a feeling I may lose this arguement (not that it's really an arguement.)
Jennifer: I don't know if I really had a chance to say hello to you yet, and if I didn't it's not because I'm rude or anything. I'm new here myself, only been writing here for a couple of weeks now I guess. But when I look back and see all the messages, it looks as if I've been here a lot longer. These people here are great. Don't feel uncomfortable or seel yourself short. Everyone here is here to encourage you and help you in whatever way they can. The hardest part is actually not coming here and trying to do the work we task ourselves with. I seem to be able to write more at work than I do at home, because when I get home, I want to cruise the net and look for as much info as I can. The funny part about that, is that I drive a huge machine at work. But hey, you'd be surprise what you can write down in a few minutes. And when a few minutes here and a few minutes there go on for eight hours, before you know it, you've got two or three pages written.
Anyway, it's still early, so I'll post this and see if anyone else is still up.
Ben


Britomart s333289@student.uq.edu.au Sun Sep 29 21:17:33 PDT 1996

Towards a few guidelines for criticism:

I get offered a lot of work to criticise, and I have considered a few things to make my work "ethical" for want of a better word. I just wanted to offer this to the other writers here for when we talk about each others' work in the Workbook. My opinion is that you are only doing your job as a critic properly when you refuse to make any "secondary gain" out of criticism. You are in such a position of power when you are criticising somebody's writing, and there are two temptations you should never give in to: the first is to withhold approval and focus only on the "bad" points, in order to make yourself feel more powerful. (This certainly isn't a problem for us from what I can see). The second temptation is to be the super-likeable critic, who only praises the good points. Again, I see this as an abuse of power - "this person will like me for saying that". So for me, criticism is always a balance of highlighting good points and suggesting improvement, and it is NEVER for my benefit. What do others think about this? Avoiding the two "deadly sins" of critic-egotism?

I think you are all great - interesting people. Jennifer, I'm so glad that you are writing and taking yourself seriously. You might find it cathartic for your depression. Trudy, my book is an Australia/New Zealand release only - never mind. Perhaps I'll be super-successful and crack the overseas market one day - I live in hope. I'm still pretty young, so time is on my side. The title is a matter of contention at the moment, so I shall let you know when it's finalised. I haven't started editing yet, so I'm still fairly wet behind the ears in the business, though it has been nice to get paid for doing what I'd do anyway. I hope everyone has the chance to do it too!

FAREWELL!!!


Jennifer Sun Sep 29 19:41:23 PDT 1996

I'm so happy I stopped in to chat yesterday it was my first time and I wasn't sure what to expect. I have been very depressed and not certain if I was maybe fooling myself as far as writing again. I've read every word in the workbook and I've got to tell you I'm impressed.
If this group doesn't encourage a person to write than nothing will..Thank-you.


trish trishm@iswt.com Sun Sep 29 18:51:24 PDT 1996

I haven't had a chance to welcome the newcomers yet. Hope you guys enjoy this site as much as I do.
TRUDY, my biography: 28 yr old wife and mother of a 2 yr. old. I no longer work (just 6 hrs a week), but still have little time for writing. I find it hard to justify taking my daughter to the babysitter when I am home and capable of taking care of her myself. I have a BS degree in dental hygiene and now wish I had taken more literature and such in my elective courses, rather than focusing on math. But math came easier to me and I needed to devote my active mind to the sciences, no time to study much else. I need to talk less about writing and write more.
JENNIFER, I quit smoking 9 yrs ago. You can do it. I still get cravings, but have learned to deal with them.
SHERRY, glad your back!!
TOBIN, glad to hear all is well.


Bob Hanford 2hanfrod@itech.net Sun Sep 29 18:44:31 PDT 1996

Jennifer. If you just wrote that piece quickly, you definitely have talent. A secret that is just slipping out is that much of the best writing being done today is for young adults. Virginia Euwer Wolff for one. Read anything by her and you'll see what I mean.
Bob


trudy trudan@mi.net Sun Sep 29 18:00:37 PDT 1996

BOB, great idea; I may try that though it may be a little informal for what I want, but it's a great starting point. Actually I think I've got a pretty good grip on the piece, but one never know when the terrors will strike again!!!!

TOBIN, hi, happy fathering. Must be giving you lots of writing ideas being a dad if not the time to write them down eh? Hope you get to visit often too. This place is really hopping sometimes, but the more the merrier.

JENNIFER, everyone has talents, we just need to practice, practice, practice to make perfect, so keep writing!

Later, Trudy


Jennifer Sun Sep 29 14:29:01 PDT 1996

Bob
No I don't write for yound people,however, thats an idea. I just wrote down something really fast for a little fedback. I don't know if I have any real talent. Normally I write pretty serious peices. Thanks for asking.


Bob Hanford 2hanford@itech.net Sun Sep 29 14:22:17 PDT 1996

Trudy: I combat the writer's terror by changing the article to a letter to my son. Once I've finished it, I just delete the "Dear Sean." Just an idea.

Tobin!!!Great to hear from you. Glad everyone is ok.

Jennifer. Do you write for young adults? Loved your piece on the Workbook. Two great lines: "Mama does it hurt?" and "I think I'll call it Oscar."
Bob


Tobin tkelliott@speedline.ca Sun Sep 29 10:35:51 PDT 1996

Have I really been gone to the land of puke and diapers that long? My God! 400 new names, a new site, and about four hours worth of catching up to do!
Have a kid - fall out of the loop.
Okay, I'm going to try to be a little bit more of a regular again. Everything has suffered since Hunter was born, because I can't do that sit down at midnight for a few hours thingie anymore, but I'm gonna try.
But I'm NOT complaining, he and my daughter and my wife are the light of my life


trudy trudan@mi.net Sun Sep 29 09:20:56 PDT 1996

Hi gang, just dropping in, actually just procrastinating; I'm working on my team penning piece and keep experiencing writer's terror (similar to writers block but terrified because what if they hate it? how can I write under such pressure?) I have become too secure I guess in my full-time writing position where I know they will like everything, pretty much. It's been so long since I sent something to a magazine on spec, I'm scared. Plus, on the other hand, I keep having fantasies they'll absolutely love it and bombard me with writing assignments. Ah well, it's all part of it I guess.
Britomart, congrats on your novel being published! Will it be available in Canada? What is it called and where will I be able to get it? I love reading books by people I know and I feel I know everyone here in the notebook personally. It's the amazing thing I'm discovering about the WWW is how easy it is to make friends from around the world...I love it!!!
Thanks to all who have responded to my curiosity about y'all. And now I best get back to the article. Will let you know how it goes. Trudy


Ben Woestenburg nittritz@netcom.ca Sat Sep 28 23:57:54 PDT 1996

Hie everybody. I guess I'm too late as usual. Things get pretty hectic around here in the evenings, or at least on weekends, with the kids and the dog and the wife, and the T.V. and Nintendo and...well, you know, all in the same room with the computer. I have to admit though, I got a little lost scouting through some websites, distracted you might even say, with the graphics and animation. I wanted to be a cartoonist when I was a kid, and so when I see a website that's unbelievably well drawn, I have to take it to the end. I guess it's just the kid in me still.

OK Trudy, since it seems I haven't told you everything about myself, let me tell you a few more little things about me to help you pique your curiosity. I'm thrity-eight years old, live out here in Lotusland -- that's Vancouver, B.C., as we so fondly call it -- work in a sawmill by day (Or I should say a lot of nights lately) and write as much as I can everyday. I've been distracted since I've gotten my hands on this computer, and the guy that lent it to me said that I would have a hard time giving it back to him. I can say right now that he's certainly hit the nail on the head with that one! I have two kids, a wife, a dog, live in a townhouse surrounded by books, movie posters, movie P.R. headshots (Gable, Vivien Liegh, Taylor and James Dean) The room's full of toys and the usual things one accumulates with kids, but hey, it's home. It also explains why I have to do my writing either early in the morning or late at night.

I'm sorry I ended the story the way I did, or even changed the style. But like I said, I only changed it from my point of view. It's simple enough to carry the story on from where I left off. How about, he steps off the stage and runs into Elvis, or John Lennon? Or Ottis Redding? I'm glad you guys liked it all the same, and as for the criticism, Taken to heart, and in toatl agreement with it. (Don't worry, I can take criticism, I'm married.)

Oh no, I'm rambling again, aren't I? I have to get back to my work again this Monday, because weekends are usually a write off when it comes to actually trying to write anything. There's always so much to do --pay attention to the wife and kids kind of stuff -- do the chores I was able to dodge through the week for the most part, those things that always catch up with you later, and generally do the Dad thing. I'm just sorry I can never catch anybody here when I'm here. See ya tomorrow night maybe.
Ben


Jack Beslanwitch top@webwitch.com Sat Sep 28 23:07:06 PDT 1996

Welcome to everyone. Nice to see all the new faces. And were not an exclusive club by any means. Grab a cup of coffee and jump in.
Ben: Good Job! The next time we may want to make it part of things to try to stay in the same tense, but in this case the writing was really quite effective. And it had a nice feel to it.
    Although the idea of multiple possible endings, especially if it could be worked into the structure of the story has appeal, too.
    Since I put out the first such experiment, if anyone wants to do one, please feel free. Just enclose in () that this is your intention and perhaps suggest any limitations on tense or anything else you might wish to place on things. Or none. Since I set none on mine, I think it was fair game. I would, however, propose that such limitations be made suggestions and not rules. Experiments should be free.




Britomart s333289@student.uq.edu.au Sat Sep 28 23:01:41 PDT 1996

Dear everybody

What a great bunch o'people you are. The Writers' Workbook is a fab idea, and just as soon as I can I'll put a small piece of my (currently) first-person chapter one on there so you can tell me whether or not my narrator is too miserable to spend 400 pages with.

A short biographical pause now for Trudy who wanted to know something about all of us. I'm 26, female, using the pseudonym Britomart from my favourite 16th century epic poem (10 points for anybody who can name the poem and its author). I live in Australia. My first novel is being published July 1997 by Random House - it's gothic-historical-supernatural-horror with loads of sex and violence. Now I'm trying to get my stuff together to write the follow-up, which is about pain, pleasure, death and desire. Mmmm. As well as writing, I'm a student of English literature, and have a poem in my head for almost every occasion (ie. comforting the smokers and alienated souls of this world) though I don't write poetry myself.

Enough. This is way better than some of the other sites I have been checking out. Would love to speak/communicate to others at a similar stage in their career as me - but all attention is welcome (attention junkie).

Good stuff in the Workbook!!! Speak to you all again soon.


Sherrie sdl@srv.net Sat Sep 28 22:11:44 PDT 1996

Oops. Mistakenly called the Workbook the Notebook. Forgive me, gentle friends.


Sherrie sdl@srv.net Sat Sep 28 22:10:09 PDT 1996

Whoa! What a story--the Notebook, that is. Very powerful. However, BEN--rather than use a phrase such as, "I could hear someone pounding on the door," (or whatever it was) cut it to "Someone pounded on the door." It not only makes the writing tighter but also sets the reader closer to the action. Do you hear how the phrase "I could hear" insulates the reader? It's something to avoid and just a thought shared with the warmest of intentions. (Go ahead and throw sharp objects at me--I who lack the courage to write an entry in the Notebook. :-))
Welcome newcomers. You'll find talking to these people feels like coffee with friends. More tomorrow.


Jennifer Sat Sep 28 17:01:09 PDT 1996

Trudy,
Thank-you for that nice welcome. I'm glad my story made you laugh. I've been writing stories since childhood and had a couple of articles publishes. I'm a Paralegal and until recently spent most my time in Federal Court rep. folks against the goverment. I raised my children and at forty-seven I feel now is the time to do what I enjoy. I like writing short stories of all sorts. I love reading.


trudy trudan@mi.net Sat Sep 28 16:39:24 PDT 1996

Just read some more of the workbook; welcome back TamLin! Enjoyed your entry.
Ben - Wow! It's always so interesting to me how different people end stories so I would be interested if others continue ending it.
Jennifer - your entry made me laugh.

I'm curious to know what everyone's main interest in writing is. I am an advertorial writer for a daily newspaper and do some freelancing (non-fiction) on the side. I also write short fiction and children's stories. Still waiting to hear from the publisher regarding my most recent children's book attempt (and only attempt I've sent to a publisher in this genre). Like every writer I am working on a novel, though it is something I pick up only now and then; guess it's still writing itself in my head! And I dabble in poetry. Gee, have I missed anything? Sounds like I just love to write eh? Later.


trudy trudan@mi.net Sat Sep 28 16:26:02 PDT 1996

Welcome Jennifer and Britomart. No cliques here as Bob said; everyone is welcome, and everyone is interesting enough to communicate with.
Regarding what person to write a story/novel in; I have written stories in whatever voice comes naturally and then completely rewritten them in a different voice to see how they read. What's important to me is getting the story down and then worrying about details like voice, grammar, improving character and setting, that sort of thing. Might want to give it a whirl, at least with a chapter. Most times you'll find what comes naturally though is the right voice.
Jennifer, can relate to both of your postings though I have been a non-smoker for nearly four years now. (I must admit Ido fall off the wagon once in awhile, but there's usually an immense amount of stress or alcohol involved). Before I quit though I quit a million times easily so keep trying. Next time you may quit for nine, or more months. As for feelig disconnected from your kind you have definitely found the right group here. This bunch has motivated me more than they will ever know, both in my fiction and non-fiction, so I suggest visiting often. Happy writing all, Trudy


Jennifer allan@psln.com Sat Sep 28 15:42:02 PDT 1996

That was beautiful and I thank-you for taking the time. I really should be writing but I feel like talking. I would like to hear more about your first novel.


Britomart s333289@student.uq.edu.au Sat Sep 28 14:09:29 PDT 1996

Jennifer:

Yes! in the sea of life enisled,
With echoing straits between us thrown,
Dotting the shoreless watery wild,
We moratl millions live ALONE.

Matthew Arnold can relate even if nobody else can. Your feelings of alienation/isolation/desperation etc are all fuel for your writing - REJOICE!


JENNIFER ALLAN@PSLN.COM Sat Sep 28 11:05:21 PDT 1996

I STARTED SMOKING AGAIN AFTER EIGHT MONTHS.. WHEN I ASKED ASKED FOR SOME DIVINE INTERVENTION I SWEAR I HEARD SOMEONE GIVE ME THE RASPBERRY. ANYONE THERE WHO CAN RELATE?


JENNIFER Sat Sep 28 10:18:48 PDT 1996

I FEEL SO I WRITE, I FEEL ALOT SO I WRITE A LOT. STILL I FEEL DISCONNECTED FROM MY KIND. ANYONE THERE WHO CAN RELATE?


Bob Hanford 2hanford@itech.net Sat Sep 28 06:16:59 PDT 1996

Ben. You write very well. I was settled in for a long winter's exploration of the story line but...

Philip. How about starting a new one?

Brit. You've already come inside. We are not a clique, just a bunch of serious writers talking to each other about writing. No way would I presume to offer advice about the first person vs. the third. I'm having precisely the same problem. Writing in the third because the editor strongly
suggested my doing so, but want to write in the first. I change day to day. Help!

Keep the wind in your hands and stroke the gentle butterfly that wants to fly away to forgetfulness.
Bob

(Fun question for the group: Whose style am I emulating when I sign off like that? It's a tough one.)


Philip mclaren@magna.com.au Sat Sep 28 04:31:26 PDT 1996

BEN: well done! But what was the rush to bring the 10:45 to a halt. I'm sure in your inspired enthusiasm you overlooked that Jack had set the piece in the rather difficult style of second persons in the present tense, you seemed to have slipped it into first person past tense - please don't think I'm being a smartie, it is just an observation :-)


Britomart s333289@student.uq.edu.au Sat Sep 28 03:26:25 PDT 1996

You people seem like a happening bunch. How do I get into
the "inner circle"? It's like being at school again, and
watching all the popular kids fool around and have fun, while I eat my cheese sandwich (crusts have gone hard) and drink my watery orange cordial. Am I interesting enough to communicate with? Perhaps someone can offer advice. I'm having a bit of a point of view crisis. My first published novel was in first person, now I'm tossing up about using first or third for the next one. I keep changing back and forth - my narrator's a little miserable. Do people want to be stuck with a miserable narrator for 400 pages? What if she sounds just like the narrator in my last book? AARGH!


Ben Woestenburg Nittritz@netcom.ca Sat Sep 28 02:03:07 PDT 1996

Okay guys, I did it. I ended the story as far as I'm concerned. I just let my fingers do the walking and followed a single train (no pun intended) of thought. I thought it was sort of ironic to make the character turn out to be Kurt Cobain. They say suicides are condemned to a fate worse than anything anyone could imagine, because it's a sin in the eyes of both God and Satan. That's because they both want our souls. I'm sorry Jack, but just because I ended it the way I thought it should be, in my own mind, doesn't mean the story's finished. Anyone can easily pick up the baton and run with it. I just wanted to put it to rest in my own mind.

I guess I f**ked up on the email thingie, so I'll have to try a different tactic. I think I'll call the owner tomorrow and see what gives here. He'll explain it, and then some. That's the thing about afternoon shift: everybody and his uncle is on days, and if you want to see anyone, you have to wait the entire work week. But I'm on days next week.

SHERRIE: I'll have to go back and check those website for you after I finish here. I'll drop in tomorrow and let you know what I found. I'll do some digging for you too, JACK. I don't know if what I've found will help either one of you, since the history I'm interested in is two thousand years old, but I'm sure the links will be a great help to you both. Now if you were to ask me about the 1849 revolution in Europe...


trudy trudan@mi.net Fri Sep 27 19:39:40 PDT 1996

Hey guys! Everybody must be busy writing. I'll be busy sleeping soon; writing tomorrow.
Sherrie I will see what I can come up with for info on the trail ride.
Wanted everyone else to know I signed up with writers haven after a few e-mails back and forth with Sue; had my first batch of e-mails and (sorry Sue, if you're reading this) so far it doesn't seem even a little bit as interesting as this. Postees seem very nice and there were a couple of interesting postings on getting your first chapter started and a checklist to keep in mind while writing, but so far I find this avenue much more satisfying. Time will tell I guess; I mean I did leave here for awhile until Kitty called me back right? So you never know. Later! Trudy.


Sherrie sdl@srv.net Thu Sep 26 17:25:28 PDT 1996

TRUDY--Thanks for the offer for more info. I'm "calling" from southeast Idaho, the heart of the Rockies and Old West pride, but I'd be willing to travel faaaaar if the research were rich enough to warrant it. If you could find out who I can write for more info (you need not stay in this loop)--perhaps the New Brunswick Chamber of Commerce--then get back to me, I'd really appreciate it.
JACK--I've found coffee table books to be the absolute best sources for 19th century info; they have so many pictures and photos w/ cool captions that convey all the nuggets you'd normally read pages to glean. Also, check out "The Writer's Guide to Everyday LIfe in the 1800s," ISBN 0-89879-541-9. And I bumped into a cool source in the bookstore when my gaze slid to a coffee table edition about antiques. Yep, lots of photos and little info clips about the articles in question. Some details I found about pocket watches really added to a scene in my latest novel. Oh, so fun, Jack! Good gracious, I love writing historical! Would love to hear more about your time-travel. Such an intriguing thought. I may write one, someday, if I can figure out a new twist.
By the way, I checked out the Workbook and the story in the train. Cooool. You guys are imaginative! Now, somebody get back on it and type. I want more!


trudy trudan@mi.net Thu Sep 26 16:54:58 PDT 1996

Wow! to the notebook. You guys are talented. Can't wait to read more. happy writing all. Trudy


trudy trudan@mi.net Thu Sep 26 16:40:34 PDT 1996

Sherrie welcome. I'm not too familiar with the wagon ride, but can get more details from my family next time I'm home if you want them. I'm not sure where you're located but my family goes on the wagon ride in New Brunswick, Canada. I may go on it next summer to get somes pictures and see what story ideas I can come up with. Plus then i can give you first hand answers. Any specific questions; I'll be happy to try to answer them.
Hi everybody else. I think I'll chck out the workbook for the first time finally while I have 10 minutes. See you all later. Trudy


Jack Beslanwitch top@webwitch.com Wed Sep 25 23:58:27 PDT 1996

I'd like to jump in and request any info on the Old West circa 1846. If anyone finds interesting sites in that era I'm up for it. Of course, my interest centers around a time travel saga I'm doing, but same degree of research involved.

  Sheri, welcome. Also, glad to see the Workbook taking on a life of it's own. looks great.


Sherrie D. Lord sdl@srv.net Wed Sep 25 20:59:55 PDT 1996

Hi guys! I've been following your adventures (though, sporadically), but haven't written much, up to now. Can't be quiet any longer. TRUDY--what wagon trail ride? I'm a historical novelist (my novels are historical; I'm just approaching The Hill) and would love to join one, for research. I rode in a three-day re-enactment in Wyoming when I was a Girl Scout, but at the time I was more interested in the boys in the wagon three spots back. These days, I'm a little more interested in the ride, itself. Some more details, please. And BEN--what history sites did you find? I'm particularly interested in Old West, circa 1850. Can you save me some mouse-work (as opposed to leg-work)? And TRISH--so THIS is where you come every day. You're just a little gadabout.


Bob Hanford 2hanford@itech.net Wed Sep 25 18:22:20 PDT 1996

Philip: My permission of course. I'm a minimalist used to writing 700-800 words and used to cutting, cutting, cutting. I have absolutely no idea which version is better nor is my ego tied into the answer. Pleased that you liked it enough to play with it.
Oh...drop the "a" after the "n" in my name. It will be interesting to see if anything develops.
Peace. Bob


Ben Woestenburg Nittritz@ntecom.ca Wed Sep 25 14:40:03 PDT 1996

Hi guys! 2:30 in the afternoon and the kids will be coming home pretty quick. I found out (DUH!) that I can email things through the word program, so I'm going to try it tonight when I get home. I just went through the archives and read a little here and there as I wrote everyone's adresses down in my notebook for later. I'll try and see if I can send anything out, and Kitty, I think I'll start with you because you seem to have hit me the right way.
TOBIN: I checked out the Poe board and bookmarked it. If I can get things running the way I want, I might even send you a sample chapter of the big book just to see if you like it. I think I'll even check out the Haven. I'll still be here though, every night, just to read what you guys have to say and drop in a line or two. I think I'll have this computer for another five or six months, so I want to take advantage of it as much as I can. I went cruising again today and found some really great history pages. Boy I tell you, when they say the internet is addictive they ain't foolin' are they? I've got so many things bookmarked and earmakred for future references that I don't know if I'll ever be able to stop myself. Anyway, that's it for now. Gotta get the kids busy on their homework and get ready for work. See you guys tonight, and maybe we can try out some chatline and get a real conversation happening? Let me know. Ciao!


Ben Woestenburg Nittritz@Netcom.ca Wed Sep 25 02:29:38 PDT 1996

Hi Guys! I'm feeling great, and thanks for all the encouragement. It's nice to see everyone can accept the fact that a person can get down in the dumps and not actually dump on him. You guys are great.
Anyway, I was just reading through the archives, because I somehow missed them before, and I can see that I've hit on to quite the great little group here. So tell me Jack, is that chatroom still up and running? Are any of you in a chatroom so that perhaps we can all talk on line since I don't seem to have my email up and running. I've got my posting back -- although this week's a write off because I'm stuck on the afternoon shift again (and missing the Black Crows concert tomorrow -- today -- as a result. But hey, that's life.) I'm looking forward to steady day shift for a while so that I can talk to some of you. Oh yes, and Jack, if you can figure out a way to make that little scenario run in some sort of order that would be great, if not, I can live with it if everyone else can. I was going to write in it tonight, but I thought I'd leave it for the night to see what someone else comes up with. I all ready had an idea of what I wanted to do with it, and depending on how much it gets changed around, I'd like to see if I can pull it all back together again to sort of match what I had in mind. I'm sure y'all -- (now I sound like then Southern belles instead of the Canuck I am, eh?) -- anyway, I'm sure y'all have ideas of what you would have done with that little scene, and maybe it would be interesting to see how each one of us would have finished it off. Maybe we could suggest that one of us -- since there seems to be a set number of us who are writing here continuously -- come up with a little scenario once a week? On a monday or a Sunday night. I'm sure if we play with that train going through that tunnel for an entire month, someone's bound to derail it!
Anyway, "just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in." Bob, I found an interesting library on one of the Palace websites. History, ancient stuff so far, but that's because I was looking for it. That way I don't have to dust off my copy of Tacitus (I never leave home without it!)
Saying good-bye's the hardest part sometimes, isn't it?


Jack Beslanwitch top@webwitch.com Tue Sep 24 22:39:31 PDT 1996

Trish,

  That's what the Workbook is all about, practicing and experimentation. Feel welcomed.



Sue and Writers Haven,

   thank you for not repeating your message again. I think the message that Writers Haven is available has been shared. If you establish a webpage I will happily link to it from Writer Resources, as I told you in my email. Please think about it, that's really the more appropriate way to get the word out about your group than on Writer's Notebook.


Jack


Writers' Haven Tue Sep 24 19:15:47 PDT 1996

Please check out BOTH OF my archived messages. I wish Jack had left them up for at least a day because they answers ALL of your questions. We're a very active group and your notebook couldn't handle all of our traffic, and as I've already stated we are trying to avoid any hassles over first publication rights. Also, as I've stated previously, I've observed this board, mailing lists, other bulletin boards, newsgroups, etc. before creating Writers' Haven. It definitely has its own flavor. For further explanation, check out my second message which contains my answers to Jack. I almost posted it a second time to avoid this, but I didn't want to be considered rude.

In one member's words:
>Recieved more help here than I have in all the months I have been on other
>writing workshops. I noticed something while in (other writing group) and having done
>Exercise one so far (others I have done in the past but had to start in the
>beginning)...I am not exactly passionate about it. It didn't, so far, help
>much. I think I might drop it altogether and just work here and on my stories.


trudy trudan@mi.net Tue Sep 24 18:47:36 PDT 1996

Quick response to a few of you though the rest of you are not forgotten:
Kitty, no I do not live on a ranch, though I grew up on a rural farm with lots of horses, goats, pigs, chickens, cows and so on and so on. I guess in the true sense of the term cowboy we do not have them, but with the growth of sports like team penning I think that may change. Like your second story idea; I'm going to look through my Canadian Writers' Market to see if there's an appropriate magazine for it; will also query Canadian Horsman about it when I send in the first story.
Also yes you are right about New brunswick being on the East Coast near Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. Just had an interesting thought; I think we have a dude ranch type thing here I should look into too. Plus my family has gone on an annual covered wagon trail ride the past couple years; maybe we're slowly developing that cowboy connection just for me to have a story!!!
Trish: as you can see,I will likely followup on Kitty's idea. It's a good one, though finding a market for it may be difficult.
Thanks for the feedback and ideas.

Stay well everyone. Can't wait to have time to look into the Workbook; it'll be interesting to see everyone's voices in a new light. bye for now. Trudy


trish trishm@iswt.com Tue Sep 24 13:18:24 PDT 1996

Ben--I agree. There is no need to apologize to us. For you to feel emotional about your family's gethering and subsequent parting is only natural. And for you to want to write down those feelings is only natural, too. Who among us should apologise for what comes naturally?
Trudy-Kitty has some interesting ideas for follow-up stories about your cowboys. Do you think you'll pursue any of them?
Jack--I enjoyed the submissions to the Workbook. I often feel that all of y'all at the Notebook are more articulate and expressive than I am. A feeling that, I'm sure, comes from my comparitive lack of experience in the field. But I left my 2 cents worth anyway. After all--practice makes perfect.
Trish


Kitty Dwyer edwyer@spherenet Tue Sep 24 07:19:51 PDT 1996

Ben, no need for apologies. I agree with Jack and Bob. There you were celebrating fifty years of steadfast partnership and you knew, within a day or two, all who had gathered would return home-- far, far away. How bittersweet to be surrounded by those you love and know that you cannot keep them close. Time marches on and you must let go. "Sentimental and happily depressed," I'm putting that one in my journal. You made perfect sense to me and I hope your family knows how much you care.
Also, Ben, I did not think you were being either snide or ascerbic. Nothing in any of your postings to date would indicate that you had those traits in you. Earnest and enthusiastic, yes, but I've seen nary a snide or ascerbic comment. I just didn't know quite what you meant, how you were using consequential-- I even looked the word up in the dictionary which didn't help at all. But you told me not to be concerned, so I am not.
Trudy are you living on a ranch? Now here's an interesting thought, to me at least, when I think of cowboys and cattle round ups and ranches, I think of the west not east of the Mississippi. New Brunswick is on the Atlantic coast near P.E.I. and Nova Scotia, isn't it? Are there big differences in the eastern/western cowboy cultures? Is there another article here: There Are Cowboys In New Brunswick Too....?! You don't have to answer now, I know you are on deadline, but you certainly have my curiousity piqued about these eastern wranglers.
Sue, your original posting was quite unlike anything I have read here at the Notebook and perhaps that is what caused the confusion. Usually it is people first, who they are and what they write, and eventually we get around to sharing our favorite alternate web sites. When we do talk about other sites, it is usually confined to a few descriptive sentences, not paragraphs. Thank you for your invitation to participate, though.
Catch y'all later. --Kitty


Bob Hanford 2hanford@itech.net Tue Sep 24 06:01:57 PDT 1996

Ben. Be glad for the melancholy. Cherish it. Hug it. Hold onto it for as long as you can. The real problem would have been if you had had all those visitors and had no emotional reaction. Since day one, I've admired your honesty. We love our characters for their vulnerabilities. Being honest and feeling the mixture of happiness and sadness seems to me like a recipe for a good human being.
Absolutely loved your addition to the shared world.
Philip. Second that.
Bob


Jack Beslanwitch top@webwitch.com Tue Sep 24 02:42:02 PDT 1996

Ben,
   Don't worry about being long winded or needed a place to air things out. As someone who this spring had to come to terms with mortality as my wife dealt with breast cancer and...mind you...not my own mortality...but hers, which, if this is understandable, is worse, anything is open here and welcome. So, wax poetic and long. I welcome all and sundry to do the same.


   Philip: Love your additions on the Workbook. I printed it out and read it to my wife with great joy. However, I either have to reverse the order of the Workbook or figure out a system where you and others do not have to add a repetition of what I propose or others before we add to things. Don't let me discourage, however. Elvis singing amidst the smoke and tunnel and sinders was absolutely wonderful. One though is to eliminate the URL request and just have a subject line. That might work. Take care.


Jack


Ben Woestenburg Nittritz@netcom.ca Tue Sep 24 00:02:47 PDT 1996

Hi Guys.
I'm kinda depressed tonight, so I don't know if anything of what I'm going say is going to make any sense. Just bear with me if you can. We had a big dinner at my house tonight -- my wife put out an incredible spread as usual (I can at least feel good about that) -- bit unfortunately it had to end. I'm not depressed in a sad way, but in a happy way, if that makes any sense to anyone. I suppose I'll have to explain a little bit about it. I come from an immigrant family. I was the only one born here in Canada, all of my cousins and aunts and uncles live in Holland. Well, we just celebrated my parents' fiftieth anniversary last week, and I have two uncles, two aunts and two cousins visiting. The two uncles are leaving tomorrow, the two aunts and cousins are leaving on Thursday. Now it seems the older I get, the more sentimental I become. I traded tonight's shift so I could be with the family, but being with them (now that they've left) just shows me how much I missed not knowing them as I was growing up. It's a no win situation of course. If I would have grown up in Holland and came here ten or fifteen years ago, then I suppose I'd be feeling melancholy because I was here alone. I would still be married to my wife of course, because I couldn't imagine it any other way, but then my kids wouldn't know their cousins from my side. It sounds stupid, but it's something that I can't seem to shake out of my head. I think it's because one of my aunts has been here seven or eight times before, and has sort of seen me grow up in an off-hand sort of way. Her daughter once spent a year with us, and seeing her after twenty-eight years, it was just as hard to say good-bye now as it was then. Like I said, I'm just being sentimental and happily depressed.
Kitty, I don't know what I meant by consequential interests, so don't be concerned. I'm the kind of guy who writes and doesn't even realize what I've said. If it was anything though, it was probably meant to be taken humorously. Anything you might read from me that looks like it might be snide or acerbic, just take it with a grain of salt. I'm sort of warped that way. As for education, I know you're right, it's just one of life's regrets. I should have taken the opportunity when I had it, but I didn't and that's water under the bridge.I've learned more with the diversity of people I've met over the years than you could ever imagine. It's not something I'd want to do over again, and ceratinly not the sort of lifestyle I'd want my children to lead, in fact, I think I'm the person my parents used to warn me to stay away from! But I've matured since those days, and somehow managed to put them all behind me, not to mention live through them.
JACK: I love the idea of the writer's workbook, and if you want to use it as a forum for us to post work that we want feedback from, or to use for a story to be developed, I'M open to it. I don't know if I'd want to put on a whole chapter on, because some of them go on endlessly, or so it seems, and they wouldn't make much sense to anyone without really knowing what's gone on before it. Short stories, fine. But the idea of writing a story and letting someone take off with it when you've done what you can with it is great. I seem to recall someone having said something about a word limit. I don't know about that. I think everyone should be able to take a scenario as far as he can and then leave it for the next person to try and figure out how to get out of whatever situation the character might be in. If it takes fifty words or five hundred, what does that matter? It would be interesting just to see how others would handle impossible situations.Like Elvis tapping the character on the shoulder. Is it a dream sequence, an alternative dimension? What? Everyone has a chance to take it as far as he can, and then change it to suit whatever he or she envisions it as. Am I wrong in thinking of it like this? It would be like a challenge, like painting a person into a corner to see how he gets out of it, and then when you come back and see the little footprints on the wall and the corner completely filled in, you say: 'Now there's an interesting way of doing it.' What do you think?
Anyway, I have to go to bed now. It's early still, and tomorrow I'll be back on the afternoon shift again, but I hope to get a lot of writing done because I should be able to be up by at least eight or so. Once again, I apologize if I rambled on about nothing, but I just needed someone to talk to, even if it was my computer screen.


Trudy trudan@mi.net Mon Sep 23 18:15:59 PDT 1996

Just popping in for a minute to say hi and find out what's happening.

Kitty,
in answer to your cowboy question, there were 33 teams of three cowboys and cowgirls (though some rode on two teams) and there were a fair number of cowboys and cowgirls watching. My family is developing quite a few of their own in fact, especially my brother Jsmie who has taken to a gorse like a burr and loves team penning like there's no tomorrow. Actually I'm tempted to give it a go next season though I'm trying to talk Dad into getting some calves for us to practice with - now that could be a story!

Jack,
Glad you (and Kitty) share my vision of the Workbook. I am relived to find another outlet for feedback on some work; right now work work is priority (lots of feedback there though from editors) and personal work is on hold. It's just nice knowing the outlet is there.

Sue,
I have to agree with Philip. We seem to have developed what you were having difficulty finding on the WWW. I do plan on checking out writer's haven sometime though so don't think we don't appreciate your interest in us. I'm sure Jack didn't intentionally archive you and if I know the group here, everyone was like me and saw your posting anyway because I had to find out what I may have missed that got archived!

Well I'm actually playing hooky; I have an assignment to do for work that has to be on someone's desk by 9 a.m. so I should get at it. Later folks! trudy


Philip McLaren mclaren@magna.com.au Mon Sep 23 17:18:06 PDT 1996

SUE @ WRITERS' HAVEN: why don't you simply join us here at Notebook or Workbook? Is it really necessary for you and I to meet elsewhere? Your posting does represent that of some sort of cyber-raid or advertising teaser, one with motive, unintentional or not. - Philip.


Writers' Haven jglantz@int1.mhrcc Mon Sep 23 15:14:54 PDT 1996

I just wanted everyone who may have missed my explanatory post due the Notebook's 127 k allowance to know that the invite is still open FOR FREE for those who feel the wonder, frustration, pain and joy, of writing and would like help with their projects. It is unfortunate that my explanatory post was archived right after it was posted, but I would like to thank Jack for leaving it in the archives.
Sue


Travis Emmitt txe@thunder.swa.com Mon Sep 23 08:59:21 PDT 1996

Hi everyone!

Kitty said "If as a writer, you sit there dithering about 'THE TRUTH,' you'll never get any writing done." In a sense, I agree that talking about doing something takes away from the time you could be doing that something, like talking day after day about playing tennis and never having any time to play tennis... However, writing about writing about THE TRUTH isn't all that far removed from writing about THE TRUTH. Meta-writing is still writing, when it comes down to it, and even though it doesn't describe elves and dwarves, it is still creative because you're piecing together loosely associated thoughts into a strong, comprehensible whole. And the point of all my "pretentious" notes last week was that any writing is in the end just as "ficticious" as any other.

Travis


Jack Beslanwitch top@webwitch.com Sun Sep 22 18:58:08 PDT 1996

  Writer's Workbook is now up and running. Finally got the bugs out. So if people would like to drop things off, feel free.

  Trudy,

  Fully understand the time constraints you allude to. And I would gladly welcome portions of a project that are giving trouble to be able to sharpen my criticquing skills on. This, in fact, is precisely what I had in mind for the Workbook. I view shared world experiments or projects as a way to stretch the writer's muscle or break out of a period of writer's block, but they can also be a distraction. The last thing a writer needs is distractions. We're too adept at coming up with these all on our own. Take care.


Kitty Dwyer edwyer@spherenet.com Sun Sep 22 18:41:36 PDT 1996

Trudy, you are correct. I was responding to Trish's question and typed your name. Well, I'm fond of you both and this way you got to tell us about your freelancing. Yeehaw, girl, I'm thrilled for you, but do tell us how many cowboys there are in New Brunswick?
Ben, thanks for the clarification re: Cornelius. A university degree means squat. What is more important is what you do with the education you have received, whether you got it from an institution or on your own. There is far more knowledge and far greater teachers out in the real world than within the hallowed halls of academia. And by the way, what exactly did you mean by "consequential interests." Should I be concerned?
Jack, my thought on the Workbook run pretty much the same as Trudy's. --Kitty


trudy trudan@mi.net Sun Sep 22 16:44:14 PDT 1996

Trish I think Kitty got us mixed up there for a minute since you, not I, asked about her freelancing. I may have mentioned that I do some freelancing though I have a full-time advertorial postition with a daily paper as well. In fact today I spent the day at a team cattle penning event and am going to write a story on this fast growing sport for Canadian Horsman, completely on spec (they say that's the best way to break into their market) so everyone keep their fingers crossed for me. The editor did write a personal note on the bottom of their guidelines saying he'd respond to anything I sent so I'm hoping it will be a learning experience if not a published one.
Jack, My time schedule is overbooked lately it seems so I'm not sure how much time I would have to participate in a group project (love your setting idea though); what I would like to see the writer's workbook used for as well perhaps is as somewhere I could post portions of projects I am working on and perhaps having difficulty with. If you do not envision it this way that's ok because I have acouple of writer friends who e-mail me their writing for critiquing and feedback, and vice versa, so it's not something urgently needed in my writing life. I really just enjoy the small community we have growing here and thoroughly enjoy our discussions and think the workbook will be a great extension of that.
Later gang! Trudy


Jack Beslanwitch top@webwitch.com Sun Sep 22 16:01:05 PDT 1996

Hello everyone,
    Given that the Writer's Notebook had reached 127 k I decided to archive it early. I would like to suggest as a topic the ways we would like to use the Writers Workbook. It should be up by the end of today, but I still have to tweak it a bit to get it working right. I will make an announcement as soon as I work out the bugs. Anyway, what uses would you like to make of the Writer's Workbook? If there are other areas of interest people would like to discuss, of course jump in.


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