Archived Messages from September 10 to September 15

Wed Sep 16 22:44:09 PDT 1998
David L. Gebhart Tue Sep 15 22:53:25 PDT 1998

Since I really have nothing to say about martial arts I guess I'll just stop in and say hi to everyone.

Thanks for all the good comments about coincidence, but maybe we should take the topic in another direction. What I would like to know from everyone is how they put coincidence into their stories. Maybe some examples would be nice.

The reason that I'm asking is that I'm in at a small block in one of my stories. It's where a character is about to do something really stupid which relates to the whole plot of the story. But, this thing can't happen or it would ruin the ending. Coincidentally, I would like this character to be saved by his best friend. I just have to get them to the same place at the right time.


Jack Beslanwitch Tue Sep 15 22:52:30 PDT 1998

IVG: It got worse, the link to the bottom of the page was also to the short story area. Some days I amaze myself with my fumble fingers. Oh, well.

If anybody else has trouble getting into the Workbook after they get their login name and password, please let me know.

Kathleen: Sorry I could not help. I ran through all the possibilities I could think of. Oh, weather is partly cloudy and in the 70s. Pike Place Market and the waterfront are their usual extraordinary selves and hopefully will remain so carrying the banner for what Seattle used to be. The region near Westlake Plaza is exploding with the opening of Nordstroms in their new building, Nike Town, Planet Hollywood and a whole host of other gentrification elements that make it less Seattle than every big city albeit thriving. Even the Central District is fast becoming gentrified.

Kathleen Tue Sep 15 18:00:05 PDT 1998

P.S. Jack,
How's the weather over there??? And
Fisherman's Wharf????? I miss the area alot.
I'm a Wenatchee girl...

Kathleen Tue Sep 15 17:53:37 PDT 1998

Hi All,

Jack, I've tried everything that I can think of
and it's still not working for me.......
Trust me... It's been one of those weeks for me.
No worries... I'll live . Thank you for trying
to help to help me though. I do appreciate it.

Have you tried : Dallin Sphere,
or Dallyn Cotwell... You may not like them,
but as an avid reader, either one would attract
MY attention...

just mt two cents, Cat

Toby Tue Sep 15 16:48:22 PDT 1998

I'm not in martial arts, but I do love balancing the mental exercise of writing with soccer, which I play like a madman, all out. I love the game. I'm also sitting here with a leg that refuses to work after getting nailed in the shin! I love contact sports, but in the space of the month several players have gone off with injuries requiring MRI's and other such treatments. The team has lost five people to serious injuries, making me glad I'm a big guy who lifts a lot or I would be on the injured list as well.

By the way, I've updated the writing part of my webpage, it's an interesting exercise in doing a diary of my submissions/rejections etc...I thought it would spur me on to make more progress by making it public, thereby making me more inclined to do better. :)

Love to chat on the more serious subjects, but I spent two hours doing Joyce today, I can't go deep, I'm all shallow for the evening, gotta run, I think Xena's on...

Lisa Tue Sep 15 14:39:06 PDT 1998

Hello, all. :) I just tried to fill out the form-thingy on the Workbook but I think I totally messed it up. Not a terribly big surprise, I suppose, considering the way this day has gone. Anyway, Jack- sorry if I sent it to you three times or so, or if it didn't get there at all. Also sorry that I can't tell ya (or *anyone* on-line) my address, as my parents would go berserk. They're sooo overprotective it makes me gag, yet still my mom's suggested sending me off to a school three hours away. Does this make sense??
the mysterious "J"- Don't force your story to stretch out. All you'll get if you do that is a lot of boring rambling in between all the good bits. If romance is appropriate by all means stick it in here and there, just be *very careful* with it. I've written (or, rather, failed to have written) novels where the romance completely took over the plot. Not a good thing, I can tell you.
Well, I'm off to karate. :) (Is it me, or is almost every writer involved in some kind of martial arts? Why do you suppose this is?)
Have a lovely day!

~Lisa :)

Invisigoth Gypsy Tue Sep 15 14:13:36 PDT 1998

Jack: I noticed that the link to the novel critique page in the workbook (from the novel-posting page) links to the *short story* critique page. Just thought I'd let you know... ~IVG

Jack Beslanwitch Tue Sep 15 10:48:56 PDT 1998

Just to let everyone know, there is now a poetry submission and critique area on the Writers Workbook. I was just wondering what people thought of the Workbook and if the critique areas are needed. So far there have been a number of submissions, but noone has made use of the critique area. Perhaps email is best in this regard and I should still maintain the critique areas against the remote possibility that this is not available. Let me know.

Rachel Tue Sep 15 09:49:18 PDT 1998

Hi all

I think it is safe to say I am blocked. Not a fun thing, but not the end of the world.

Have decided to take afew days off of writing and just review some old stuff that i'v discovered in the bottom of some boxes. I have lots to keep me busy.

On Karate. Yesterday we worked very hard, but it was still fun. I am rather stiff today and plan to do some stretching and take a run on my roller blades to loosen up so I can go back tomorrow and actualy be able to move.

Take care all

Dallin Tue Sep 15 06:39:40 PDT 1998

Thank you to everyone who replied to my post....

~ ~ ~


~ ~ ~

pS... I dropped my fake last name... anyone have any ideas what would be a good last pen name?

S.K.S. Perry Tue Sep 15 06:22:15 PDT 1998

I'm not sure why your E-mail messages aren't reaching me either. I've been getting mail from others no problem.It may be a problem at my server's end. Must just be one of those computer gremlins again. Could someone please try sending me something (nonsense or otherwise) at the above address so I can check it out.

As for the martial arts discussion, I've been involved in the martial arts since I was ten years old and have black belts of various degrees in six different martial arts. I've run my own clubs (mostly military) and have been involved in self defense programs for woman and children in conjunction with local police. In the past few years, I've become a bit more reclusive, only teaching friends who are interested. There are many reasons why you might want to take martial arts: self defense, exercise, mental conditioning, spirtual growth, or just as a way of getting out and meeting people. Most people take martial arts for one or more of the previous reasons. What you have to decide is why you want to study them, and then choose the style that best suits your needs. Please, don't try to learn martial arts by video tapes or books. You miss all the nuances, not to mention the commaradarie(sp?).


S.K.S. Perry

Howard Tuckey Tue Sep 15 03:58:53 PDT 1998

S.K.S. Perry -- I'm having problems getting mail to you, too. I've tried twice to thank you for your comments on "Migration", but both times have got 'mailer errors' and had the mail returned. Not sure why.

Caroline Heske Mon Sep 14 21:52:32 PDT 1998

S.K.S. Perry - In case my email doesn't reach you - I did received the first 3 chapters of your book and enjoyed them very much! I sent you a critique... I don't understand why the stuff I send you keeps getting lost between my address and yours. Thanks also for the stuff on Oka. VERY helpful. (Hope this clears things up.) When I get back to Melbourne where I've left your story, I will send you another critique - hopefully this one will work!

Jack Beslanwitch Mon Sep 14 19:14:17 PDT 1998

The new workbook has a link back to the old address for the Notebook which forwards it to here, so...oh, well...another thing to fix while I am at it. I have another announcement to make. I have the opportunity to add an extremely cheap domain name account. So, I am considering how to divvy things up between this new account, and everywhere else. All of the archives will go there and most likely the main page For Writers Only. I'll have to see actually how stable and usable this account is before I fully commit to things. At any rate, in the near future getting to For Writers may involve simply going to It also has full support for streaming Real Audio. I'll have to see how that pans out. Take care.

S.N.Arly Mon Sep 14 13:44:55 PDT 1998

Rachel - I've been studying Shorin Ryu for a little over 4 years. It actually tool quite a while for some of the stuff to feel natural to me. I'd guess a year before it felt right and maybe two before it felt completely natural. I'm a complete klutz to begin with, so for some it comes quicker. My spouse, for example, makes me sick. I just watched my brown belt test on video and for the first time in my life thought of myself as graceful. It's worth the work.

Barb - If you live anywhere near a college, community or otherwise, you might check there for classes. I have some friends in Tai Chi Cha, two are high ranking belts in my school of karate. One of them has Elhers Danlos, a wretched connective tissue disorder, and she has found it to be quite helpful in maintianing physical condition and easing pain. She really gets into the chi energy thing as well. She has studied under a couple different teachers just to get the feel of the different ways to do it, and has ended up with one she really likes. It's probably easier to self-study once you've been through a class.

Dallin - Dave Pirner has tinnitis pretty bad. Soul Asylum took a year off to do just acoustic stuff to give him a break and they still do acoustic sets. If you've ever seen them play, there is a big plexiglass shield around the drums to shield him from the noises which give him the most trouble.

Mick Mon Sep 14 12:12:34 PDT 1998

Lo Barb, et al

Barb, try Tai Chi, it's wonderful, I've been practising for 10 years now, and that with my ruined limbs from playing rugby and football those many years ago in my youth. Get a good teacher and a good book, there are plenty, well at least in England there are.

Barb G. Mon Sep 14 10:58:00 PDT 1998

Hi Y'all,

Rachel: We had a very lively discussion about the type of thing you're experiencing with your writing. Personally, I think if you push that little button in your mind and there is no one there, let it sit. I become much more stressed when I try to force it. It was interesting to see how many people felt the same way. Maybe it's time to put it aside and go to something else. Only my opinion.

Hey Y'all: Since the discussion is seeming to center around the martial arts, I was wondering about TaiChi. I'd love to learn it and I have David Carradine's tape, but it doesn't actually give you the nuts and bolts of the art. It's more like a nice exercise tape. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Write your hearts out this week.


Rachel Mon Sep 14 09:31:26 PDT 1998

Hi all, yes that double unclaimed post is from me.

In my last post I said that I decided that I would just push on through with my writing instead of starting the same story over and over and over. The results so far are that I spent a couple of hours yesterday just staring at a blank screen then I decided hum maybe pencil and paper so I sat down and spent an half an hour looking at a blank lined page and tapping out songs on my writing board. Gave up read a book and went to bed. Oh well i'm not worried I guess I just need some more time to organize my thoughts.

Irene and S.N.Arly I believe the style is called "Butoku-kai" and it means "hard and soft"

The Sensei didn't really mean to hurt me, but she said it is important to understand the dynamics of what you are doing to another to understand the move - Those were not her exact words but it was something to that effect.

She is in fact a very nice person and I do not have the feeling that she or anyone else in the class would ever hurt me intentionally. I have another class today and am excited to go back. I have practiced lots and hope that I can focus more on the other things she is teaching me now that I can do the block without thinking about it so much. I get the feeling that I will need to practice for a many more hours before it is feels natural to me, oh well I don't mind I find it very relaxing.

Take care all

Hi all Mon Sep 14 09:14:19 PDT 1998

Hi all Mon Sep 14 09:14:19 PDT 1998

howard tuckey Mon Sep 14 08:58:32 PDT 1998

Tinnitus is indeed a common malady -- ringing in the ears. There's lots of research on it out on the web.

Dallin Mon Sep 14 07:51:43 PDT 1998

In J.V.Jones's latest novel, "The Barbed Coil", Tessa has a strange disorder called "Tinnitus". Does anyone know if this is a real disorder? If it is... I have a mild case of it. It's strange when I can find many things of myself in the books I read...

~ ~ ~


Howard Tuckey Mon Sep 14 05:31:30 PDT 1998

Ummm, Goodweed -- that's POUL Anderson, not POL. You're right on the "very respected" part, though, a very good writer.
Jack, thanks for all the hard work you're putting into this area. It really looks like it's working! One suggestion, though: how about a link back to here from the workbook page? Or am I missing something?
Another thought, from the "Proofreader" in me (OK, everyone has a Dark Side, right?): I *know* that a lot of this (forum and stories) is stream-of-consciousness stuff, but we should still try to make sure we use correct spelling and proper usage of the words that we choose to get our thoughts across. One thing we stressed in school was that many editors find it difficult to take seriously a manuscript full of spelling, grammar, and usage errors. Tupos are one thing, but carelessness in the language can get you circular-filed Right Quick(ly). Might as well practice here, no? ;-)

Jack Beslanwitch Sun Sep 13 23:48:17 PDT 1998

Irene: I apologize. I mentioned novel, short story, young writers, genre areas and artwork and completely spaced that I had intended to include a private area for posting Poetry as well. Consider it on my agenda for this coming week. I have some other responsibilities and today my wife did the Race for the Cure here in Seattle. Actually, Vice President Al Gore ran the co-ed part of the race along with Senator Patty Murray. Rather intersting. At any rate, this sapped a lot of my energies. I'll try to get this up after I take care of a couple of commercial responsibilities that I am a bit remiss with. Take care everyone.

Irene Sun Sep 13 20:14:42 PDT 1998

Rachel: My husband is a third degree black belt in Wado-Ryu
(Ryu pronounced Rooo) I took this same style with him for about 1 year got by orange belt, in this style we are taught respect for the black belts and as long as when we were sparing we did not try to out do the black belt then we were fine if we did then we were put into out place. Not to physically though just eneough to let us know they could really hurt us if they wanted to and that we needed focus on training and not winning the match.

Karate is a wonderful thing it helps you to learn to focus your mind and energy, it teaches you discipline, and wa-no-michi which means peace in Japanese. I think you will like it. Sometimes it takes a while to learn some of the kata's though, but just stick with it and don't give up.

I regret quiting but the disability I sustained to my shoulders in 94 keeps me from doing a whole lot. The only thing I didn't like was sparing at the tournaments, the rest was great.

I agree with the sleep thing I do my best writing at night, I wake up with a great idea and I have found if I don't right it down right then I will forget it by morning. I keep a notebook by my bedside so I can write those wonderful ideas down, and then I won't be tossing them through my mind all night... then I can usually go right back to sleep.

Jack: Is there anywhere on this web site we can post poetry?

Well everyone have a good one this is Irene waving a big hand see ya ... till next time, keep a smile and a P.M.A.

Jyuu-chan Sun Sep 13 20:13:31 PDT 1998

Hi all! Umm, you probably don't remember me, but I used to post a few weeks ago. I've not been here 'cause of pressing business concerns (ie. school and work). Can anyone give me a /brief/ rundown of what's goin' on? I really don't wanna read that whole thing..... Please?

Ja ne...

Goodweed of the North Sun Sep 13 20:09:04 PDT 1998


There is even a famous and well respected author in S.F. named Pol Anderson. I guess it's just a popular kind of nome if S.F. & F.

About coincidence. I do believe in coincidence but not luck. Sometimes things just happen in a story. Often, we, as creators of our own characters, are working in subconcious levels we never see while awake. I know that we figure things out subconciously. I was often told that I used to figure out sticky mathematical problems, speaking out loud in my sleep while attending a particularly difficult Navy advanced electronics course. I also figured out keyboard pieces (piano, organ. etc.) while asleep. I remember struggling with a concept before going to sleep and wakeing in the morning with a solution.

The same things go on with stories. Have you ever had a question you couldn't answer, or a name you just couldn't remember, and put it aside to work on other things? Then hours, or even days later the answer hits you between the eyes with such force that you remember every bit of the circumstances surrounding the question. I have.

As we create situations for our stories, we go into a mode called "critical thinking" which plainly put, involves problem solving skills based on a broad background of knowledge and applied on an unconcious level. This is what gives us such things as "gut feeling", intuition, sometimes inspiration.

Snarly, I hope you don't mind, but I do believe in God and spiritual promptings. However, I also believe I am a worthwhile intelligent being capable of solving many of my own problems and coming up with my own ideas. I do believe that some of the things I have been given, and I mean thoughts here, were given me by the creator, not to give me answers, but rather point me toward finding correct answers.

I believe our characters take on lives and personalities of their own due to the above mentioned critical thinking process. We really create those characters and decide how they will react in a given circumstance. Amazingly, like when an answer jumps out at me on a difficult problem, ususally when I least expect it, we are often surprized by what we put down on the paper.

Don't be surprized, be excited that your subconscious mind sometimes knows more than your conciois mind.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

Allein-chan Sun Sep 13 19:53:18 PDT 1998

S.N. Arly - I don't usually have trouble sleeping, so it's probably not insommnia. It's usually if I've taken a nap during the day that I can't sleep at night. And generally I don't stay up past midnight anyway.

I. Gypsy - I like my stories to be unpredictable. Which is why I don't outline. I jot down ideas in a journal as they come to me and remember them, then when it gets closer to when I'm goint to write it out, I start thinking of how to do it and where to put it and everything else. I'm not the most organized person (in fact I'd say I'm the least organized person) but it does work.

For those who have been to my webpage and are reading my story, I've recently put up chapter seven, so you can go and check it out if you like.
Love, peace and chicken grease,

S.N.Arly Sun Sep 13 17:53:14 PDT 1998

on Coincidence- While these may occur while I'm writing, I don't consciously put them into my writing. As an organic writer who does not outline anything (I usually don't know how my stories are going to end, I agree with I. Gypsy. If you plan it (esp if you write organically) it will ocme out contrived. Conincidences aren't important to my style of writing anyway and what shows up is exactly that.

Allein - On H.S. Lit. Zine - Been there, done it. Absolutely worth it. I was the exchange editor for one year and the editor in chief for one year. A lot of work for the editors, at least at ours. And I did nealry all the layout myself when I was Ed. It was a good experience and a lot of fun. Even though I can still point all the printer errors (oooh I hate that!) I still love it.

On having trouble sleeping - although you may find it useful to plot or work on characters at these times, that's probably only adding to the problem. Most initial insomnia is caused by the mind running in circles or just not stopping. This is why I have to put down whatever I'm writing an hour before bed or I'll never get to sleep and I'd probably end up losing my job.

Rachel - Karate? Great to hear. What style is it? Depending on the instructor and how much you want to work there doesn't HAVE to be a lot of pain. The whole no pain no gain line is a bunch of crap. Pain is the body's way of saying,"Hey I don't like that!" Anyway, if you get hard core you might have some pain, or when learning to spar (if your school does sparring). Otherwise it'll robably be limited to muscle aches of stretching and adjusting.

I.Gypsy - Happens all the time in my stories. I wrote one book (which was terrible) and I put it away for a long time. Then I wrote the prequel, not thinking about the original at all. A lot of the way the main character behaved in the first book made sense after I read the second (or prequel). Didn't notice it until I'd finished it and read it. I think my brain usually knows more about the stories I write than I do. For me this has nothing to do with god, who I don't beleive in. It has to do with a unique talent caused by a specific way my brain works.

Lisa - I've gone back and corrected out-of-character reactions on a rewrite, but I usually don't catch them as I'm writing them.

J- Romance is often in (and appropriate in) fantasy. To make something longer, which is sometimes a very good exercise as a writer, there are a lot of things you can try:
1. Decription - characters, world, actions.
2. Character building - backstory, flashbacks, regular interaction with other characters
3. World development - through physical description or seeing the world through the characters' eyes or in omnicient POV. Through history or myths (tales around the campfire, stories to little kids, a chapter just on history).

On other stuff - I keep a database of names as I come up with them or run itno ones I like. There are 2000 in there now, and I really like it. Often times my stories will get started off a name I see or hear.

I become my characters while working on a piece. If my character is happy, I'm happy. If s/he/it is sad I am also.

Invisigoth Gypsy Sun Sep 13 17:06:03 PDT 1998

J: Honestly, sometimes novels just *won't* stretch out. I tend to stick to short stories because I have a really hard time making my ideas last for a whole novel. However, when I *do* have enough material for a novel, I *still* have trouble writing enough for it! I wish I had some advice on how to make it easier to stretch novels and other long works out, but the only thing I know to do is sit down and *write*. Even if you throw out a lot of what you write, you'll come up with a few good ideas at least :)

As to romance in fantasy novels... IMHO, romance works in anything ;) provided it isn't stereotyped and that the characters can have a believable relationship. What sort of characters were you planning the romance for?


J Sun Sep 13 16:06:17 PDT 1998

I'm writing a very long novel. My teacher said that I should stretch things out a bit to make it more interesting. But I can't stretch anything out, can somebody help me?

Oh, and I was wondering if romance in a fantasy novel is good.


Lisa Sun Sep 13 15:18:28 PDT 1998

Hi, all! :) I only have a few moments, but I'd like to mention something that happened to me awhile ago. There's a part of my novel where the main character is supposed to go dowstairs, find her mentor murdered in his own study, and go bolistic- ie: start smashing things, yelling, all that good stuff, all in her personal grief/rage. What totally shocked me was that while I was writing it *started* out the way I'd planned, but then Anna (the mc) turned around and glared at me, wagging her finger and saying, "I'm not doing *that*!" So instead of going bolistic she fell to her knees and started sobbing her eyes out. I was totally stunned! Now that I think of it, of course, that's the way it should have been planned from the start. Anna's too gentle to smash things anyway; I probably should have guessed that would happen. But still...!
Has this happened to someone else?


Kathleen Jafek Sun Sep 13 14:58:07 PDT 1998

Hello all,

Call me stupid , but I am now totally lost in here.....
Anyone got a street address for the workbook.....
I have my login & password; What I cannot seem to find is the place to apply it.........
This has already been a hard day Jack, but now, I am thoroughly confused along with it..... explain PLEASE??


Invisigoth Gypsy Sun Sep 13 08:52:08 PDT 1998

Re outlines and planning: Like Rachel, I find it more entertaining to write freely and not plan out the whole story. Although I *do* have a basic idea of what's going to happen, it changes so often that if I *did* keep an outline, all my writing time would go to keeping it updated!! *L* I do a lot of brainstorming whilst trying to sleep, probably a good idea because it's easier to keep an open mind when trying to stay awake long enough to finish a plot twist! The good thing about staying flexible is that it leaves plenty of chance for improvement. 'Finstance, my hacker novella started out as a short story in third person. I had actually *finished* the dang thing, when I started thinking about it... and had a really great plot idea that required extending the story-- and changing it to first person. I didn't really want to do all that rewriting, but I eventually gave in, for the good of the story. Now the thing keeps getting longer, and longer, and longer, but it's soooo much better than it was to begin with. Any sort of lesson here? Hmm, guess it would be follow your hunches and don't be afraid to rewrite. Or something.

About interaction with characters... I love my characters, I really do. I always end up amazed when trying to get to know them better, probably because it's shocking to discover that something out of my own head can keep secrets from me! Writing out physical descriptions of them always helps me, as does coming up with a personal history for them. (The history is what led to the coincedence I mentioned earlier for a character in a novel I'm working on called "The Last First Place". Something I made up at random about a certain character's past suddenly linked up to something I had written earlier in the novel and had completely forgotten about. This, for me, is utter proof of the existence of God. ;)

Guess I'd better shut up now. I've got research to do for a persuasive speech I have to give at school... I'm going to convince my oh-so-skeptical class of the existence of life on other planets or die trying.

You guys want to come to the funeral? ;)


Rachel Sun Sep 13 08:33:05 PDT 1998

Hi all

Coincidence and characters. Yup have to say I love them both. I enjoy writing along and my oddball mind will take a little twist and i'll start laughing and a coincidence that I can create that will make somebody go, "Oh, neat" or "Oh my dear sweet fates, what sick puppy wrote this" It's fun and I think that it is part of being a writer. We manipulate the story to please ourselves and hopefuly our readers.

Names? I enjoy making up names. I will take a set of letters and start to write them out in all different orders untill find something that sounds interesting and different. I would not at all be surprised to find out that any of the names that I made up were already out there, but I also don't think I would really care (unless we're talking law suit here) The name Pol, well now there is a name I will have to give some consideration to developing a character around.
(just kidding, or maybe not, the more I think about that name the more I am thinking of a little twerp in one of my stories that it would suit nicely.

Lately I have chucked the outline and have been freewriting and having fun. I do find it frustrating at times because I seem to be writing myself into a corner on a daily basis. I have decided that today even if I do I will push on to the next chapter and leave a weird gap in the story that I am sure I will be able to fill in later, otherwise I just may write the same three chaptrers over and over again until I eventualy die.

On research - Yah I know old topic. I decided to take the hands on approach and have joined a Karate class. WOW! what a blast. I had so much fun, but then this is fun according to a girl who likes to read Policy Manuals. However my writ is still a little sore from a demonstration that I was given, Oh well I will live. I get the feeling that in Karate there may be a time or two when there is some mild to moderate pain involved in the learning process. (hoping not any massive pain)

Take care all

Rachel Sun Sep 13 08:29:04 PDT 1998

Hi all

Coincidence and characters. Yup have to say I love them both. I enjoy writing along and my oddball mind will take a little twist and i'll start laughing and a coincidence that I can create that will make somebody go, "Oh, neat" or "Oh my dear sweet fates, what sick puppy wrote this" It's fun and I think that it is part of being a writer. We manipulate the story to please ourselves and hopefuly our readers.

Names? I enjoy making up names. I will take a set of letters and start to write them out in all different orders untill find something that sounds interesting and different. I would not at all be surprised to find out that any of the names that I made up were already out there, but I also don't think I would really care (unless we're talking law suit here) The name Pol, well now there is a name I will have to give some consideration to developing a character around.
(just kidding, or maybe not, the more I think about that name the more I am thinking of a little twerp in one of my stories that it would suit nicely.

Lately I have chucked the outline and have been freewriting and having fun. I do find it frustrating at times because I seem to be writing myself into a corner on a daily basis. I have decided that today even if I do I will push on to the next chapter and leave a weird gap in the story that I am sure I will be able to fill in later, otherwise I just may write the same three chaptrers over and over again until I eventualy die.

On research - Yah I know old topic. I decided to take the hands on approach and have joined a Karate class. WOW! what a blast. I had so much fun, but then this is fun according to a girl who likes to read Policy Manuals. However my writ is still a little sore from a demonstration that I was given, Oh well I will live. I get the feeling that in Karate there may be a time or two when there is some mild to moderate pain involved in the learning process. (hoping not any massive pain)

Take care all

Barb G. Sun Sep 13 06:43:58 PDT 1998

Hi Y'all,

David: Thanks for clearing that up for me. Yes, outlines can change and finally be thrown out in many cases. I was just concerned about the one point.

Coincidence: I wrote a story (horror) where the female murderer gets ready to leave the house of another one of her acts of mayhem, when she sees teenagers taking a shortcut through the yard of the victims. She joins the kids and laughs all the way to her car parked on another street. It was planned by me. And I worried about it, but the story was accepted on the first time out, so the editor must have forgiven my manipulation of the action to cover the serial killer's departure.

Thanks again, David and

Zinza http://zinza.OnTheWeb.Nu/index.htm Sun Sep 13 06:41:44 PDT 1998


I must confess that I too talk to my own characters. Since I spend a lot of time with them, they are now real to me. I know what they fear and what they like and everything...


Allein-chan Sat Sep 12 23:00:47 PDT 1998

David - I know about imagining characters. If I'm in a situation that would pertain to a character of mine, I often think "what would (character's name here) do in this situation?" I try to visulize what his or her reaction would be and what he or she would say. I especially do this with characters that I've just created in order to grasp the type of person they will someday come to be.
Another thing I find myself doing (very rarely though) is sometimes when I'm bored or really tired and trying to sleep (I hate it when I'm really tired, trying to sleep, and then I can't get to sleep) is I talk to myself trying to figure out what a character would do in some situation. No, I don't have an imaginary friend, I don't have coversations like 'hi how are you' 'fine and you' and very seldom do I listen to the voices in my head. *taps head with finger* Shut up in there! No, I often find myself thinking about the story (especially if I'm stuck on something and it's beginning to annoy me) and think of however many characters I have in the scene and say something like "well, I suppose (character's name) would handle it this way and (another character's name) would handle it another way" and then I'll jot it down and it'll get lost in that big pile of papers in my room (hey, there's a desk under there somewhere). So, I guess, it's not really talking to myself, it's more like thinking out loud.
I also like to take on the personality sometimes (I like acting, but I'm lousy at it). Of course, all of my characters have one of my traits - whether it be physical or personality. I also have older characters whose personalities I know well, so instead of saying I'm in a calm, sensitive and mature mood, I'll say I'm in an Allein mood. Hyper, zany and weird is my Lunika mood (usually this mood will be accompanied by an odd clothing ensamble). Sassy, sarcstic, bitchy - all those PMS moods that pop up every now and then is my Kachik mood (of course, she's this way 24/7). If I'm depressed, withdrawn and gloomy (but not nessascerily in a bad mood) I call it my Quachik mood. And then of course the ever famous Umi mood - pervertedness - luckily a VERY RARE mood, but hey, it happens to everyone occasionally.
Well.....I really do have to go now. I've taken up enough of this page. So, I'll write again. These methods really are good for trying to really grasp a character's personality - every writer should try at least one. They help me anyway. Okay, I'll go now. I have homework. I should do it. No really, I will!! Don't roll your eyes at me! I saw that! Um..bye.

David L. Gebhart Sat Sep 12 21:45:16 PDT 1998

Barb-Since you left me such a compelling statement I have to reply to it.

Coincidence, let's see. Well, I do write an outline to everything that I work on, but I often find that it changes all the time. Something that I write today will have little similarity to the outline that I wrote yesterday. That's why I believe that coincidence is left to characters. I like to think of my characters as real people, because in our lives coincidences happen all the time, and the coincidences are unintended.

Just for fun, I like to imagine my characters sitting right next to me, especailly when I work on a novel.(still unpublished) I don't sit at my dinner table and do this, I do it on my ferry on the way to work. I just write and try to imagine what they would talk to me about. Their favorite color, their reaction to a first kiss, their feelings when they contemplated robbing a conveniece store, anything that would make them seem more real. Hey, we're writing about them, so they have to be as real as possible.

These are my reasons for believing in the power of coincidence. Hey, it's like the other day. There I was in Save On Foods doing my grocery shopping, and right around the corner comes my sister's friend that I haven't seen in three years. I don't know if it was a coincidence or not, but that person was best friends to one of my basketball teamates. Actually, now that I think about it three years ago this teammate drove his jeep over a local cliff after drinking too much...........

That's all for now.

Caroline Heske Sat Sep 12 19:16:24 PDT 1998

As to character names - is it coincidence that nearly every fantasy book seems to have a character called 'Pol' appear somewhere along the way? (Or is it some secret code for getting your book published?). A few I can think of off the top of my head is Prince Pol from Melanie Rawn's Sunrunner series, Aunt Pol from Eddings stuff, Jill from C.S. Lewis' The Silver Chair, a stablehand in The Wheel of Time... I think there was a Pol in a Discworld book too.

I tend to leave co-incidence to my characters too. I only have the broadest idea of where my stories are going... and I like this because they flow so naturally, and are generally more original than if I plan them. However, the method does have problems - because after all, your characters aren't really choosing the story, you are, albeit subconsciously. And my subconscious seems to revel in bringing in irrelevancies and killing off characters I still need. It means I've had to cut whole chapters where the story had taken an inconvenient twist. I don't get impatient when I do this - I'm happy to - however I realise that it's time-consuming, and hence being an author is not a career option for me.

Allein-chan Sat Sep 12 14:58:01 PDT 1998

I also have had perils in naming characters. In the story I'm writing, Rean used to have a different name - Strecktron. I thought I'd invented the name, but it was only after eight months that I found out it was the name of a tool company. Nobody had bothered to inform me of this. Unfortunatley, unlike your name coincedences, I had to change it, or risk getting sued if my stories were even published. And I think Rean is a much cooler name! ^_^ (His boyfriend Allein thinks so too.)
There are also the coincedenses that are intended. Such as, it was planned that the matriarchs (magical beings who have special powers) are named after cities. Another one is Umi's name. Umi is the Japanese word for ocean and my character, Umi, is a sailor - planned coincedense. (I've found five or six different ways to spell coinsedence - and they're probably all wrong). There are also names that have relations to words (i.e. Magiki - magic) and then there are those strange ones like Azol and Loza (the letter arrangement was simply switched - although this was not planned). Another one is Kachik. In the story they mention that the name Kachik means "having a small mouth." Unfortunately, it's just the opposite with the character. But a fave would have to be Baka's name. In the story it's mentioned that in his language the name Baka means "strong" however, in Japanese, it means "fool" or "stupid." The Japanese meaning describes this character to a T.
Okay, I've taken up enough space here. I have to go do some cleaning anyway. Bye bye.

Invisigoth Gypsy Sat Sep 12 13:47:14 PDT 1998

Zinza-- I know all about coincedences where names are concerned! The same thing that happened to you also happened to me. I wanted an original name for one of my female characters, so I made up the name "Galena" out of the blue. About three days later, I found out that galena is actually some kind of mineral (lead ore, I think, or something like that). About a week after *that*, I discovered that Galena is also a city somewhere, and *then* I heard "Galina" as a real person's name! So much for originality! ;)

Yes, the workbook is working quite well *S* And if, ahem, anyone has some spare time, check out the "novels" page... because I'm the first to post there! *big grin*


Allein-chan Sat Sep 12 13:26:51 PDT 1998

It does work now. I was able to get in. There's not much there yet, but there probably will be. If you haven't paid a visit there in a while, don't worry. All the stuff is in the archives - but then you all probably know that. Sorry about all the talk - I'm bored. So, I'll take my two cents elsewhere. Love, peace and chicken grease.

Jack Beslanwitch Sat Sep 12 13:09:52 PDT 1998

Hello everyone:

Well, I am sitting here with egg all over my face. Actually, everyone was subscribed to a membership of Writers Workbook, but I neglected to put the response page thanking everyone for joining in the right directory. All of you that attempted should have your login name, password and Workbook location by now or as soon as it transits cyberspace. I just sent it out about five minutes ago. Also, anybody else who tries will now find a nice response page thanking you for joining.

Finagle, St. Murphy and all of those kind are alive and well and living in my computer. Oh, yes, then there is Frank's Corollary to Murphy's law: Murphy was an optomist. :-)

Zinza http://zinza.OnTheWeb.Nu/index.htm Sat Sep 12 13:07:11 PDT 1998

Hello all!

I have some things on 'coincidence', but maybe not the same as the rest...*l*

I think the names are fun. Like the name I use for one of my characters, Zinza, was a name I created. I thought. But there are some people in the US that has that name as their last name! And my 'evil god' has the same name as some evil god in another mythology, someone I've never heard of.

I think that is quite strange, getting the same name as somebody else, though you never even heard that name.


Mick Sat Sep 12 12:27:58 PDT 1998

Lo Jack
got the same message as everyone else, I just clicked the link on your e-mail so it must be summat screwed in the address.

Irene Sat Sep 12 12:21:39 PDT 1998

Invisigoth Gypsy: Welcome, I am new myself don't worry about embarrasing yourself you have to start somewhere and when first starting makeing mistakes is easy to do, but I think you did just fine :-)..I really like this page.

Jack: I got the same message as everyone else URL not found check to make sure that you spelled everything exactly as you saved it when you uploaded it to the server. Another words if you named it Jack's writers workbook and mispelled it or left a letter off when uploading that could cause a problem.

SKS: Thanks for visiting my home page, I have been meaning to put more P.M.A material on there but have been extremly busy here lately.

David: Same as above I also added you to my ICQ list still waiting for authoriztion, so if you get something from Cherokee that is me hehe :-) raising a big wave and welcome from down here in Tennesee.

Allein: thanks for signing my guestbook and visiting my homepage glad you liked the dolphins.

Back to coincedence I agree you make the character and it is your job to control what happens and make it seem real. Writing is somewhat like cooking just the right amount of spice and it tastes perfect and leaves you wanting more, just as writing wets a readers appetite it can also be to dry, and or over done.

Good luck everyone and keep a :-) on and a P.M.A (positive mental attitude) in your heart, mind and soul


Mick Sat Sep 12 12:18:57 PDT 1998

Lo All

Barb, I agree, we should know where our stories are going. I know there are some writers who welcome the characters taking over but I'm more of: who is playing the barrel organ, the monkey on the top or the man turning the handle.

S.K.S. Perry Sat Sep 12 11:51:19 PDT 1998

I think I'm confused here!

Are we talking about purposely writing coincedence into our stories as part of the plot, as in the main character steps out of the shop and onto the sidewalk just as the old girlfriend he'd been daydreaming about steps out of the cab in front of him--or coincidence as in you made up an alien sounding name for your main character and find out that that turns out to be your new landlord's middle name?
In the first case, of course there's no coincedenc--your the writer, the omnipotent god of your little creative universe. You know everything that's going to happen, and if something comes up later in the story that doesn't fit with what you wrote earlier, well you can just go back in time and change it. Forget to mention something vital to a new plot twist that just struck you in the middle of the sixth chapter?--no problem, go back and rewrite. The reader won't know you did this and they'll think the foreshadowing was brilliant. Plots, character development, even the ending of the story; they're all fluid when you're writing. Heck (no I don't really say heck, but there are some younger readers here) I wasn't even sure who the good guys and bad guys were for sure in my novel until I was 4\5ths finished, and even then the ending came as a bit of a surprise to me. The way I figure it, if I can see it coming, so can the reader!
As to coincedenc in plotting, I stand by my comments in a previous message.

S.K.S. Perry

Invisigoth Gypsy Sat Sep 12 11:39:56 PDT 1998

Like everyone else, I also got a wrong url message when I tried to sign up for the workbook...

Barb G. Sat Sep 12 11:22:34 PDT 1998

Jack, Ditto for me. Came back wrong URL or something like that.

Barb G. Sat Sep 12 11:12:42 PDT 1998

Hi Y'all,

David: You have an interesting point there with the coincidence matter. But, do I understand you correctly when you say that we create our characters and we have no idea where they'll take the story?

If so, shouldn't we have a pretty darn good idea where they're taking the story?

Maybe I read wrong. I have a propensity for that, at times.


Allein-chan Sat Sep 12 11:03:29 PDT 1998

S.K.S - it's on Jack's side because I got the same thing.

S.K.S. Perry Sat Sep 12 10:28:44 PDT 1998


I don't know if this means anything or not, but when I filled out the form for my password and tried to send it, I got a message say URL not found on this server. Did you get the information or not? Is this a problem at your end or mine.

S.K.S. Perry

Invisigoth Gypsy Sat Sep 12 10:05:19 PDT 1998

Um, hi everyone. (IVG looks around nervously.) I'm new here, so I hope I'm not doing anything embarrassing in this post... Oh well, I probably have already, so I guess I'll throw caution to the wind and say what I was gonna say! ;)

Re the assorted postings on coincedence in writing... I agree wholeheartedly with David; for a coincedence to be believable, you mustn't *plan* it-- otherwise it wouldn't be a coincedence, now would it? ;) Just let the characters do what they want to do, and the coincedences will happen all by themselves. Things "fall into place" all the time for me in my writing; for instance in a novel I'm working on right now, about three coincedences suddenly linked up into an integral part of the plot, all at the same time! Amazing!

Jack Beslanwitch Sat Sep 12 02:02:19 PDT 1998

Hello everyone:

     I would like to announce it to one and all that I finally have established the private area for Writers Workbook. Follow the link above or at the top of the page and you will be guided through the process of getting your login name, password and location of the new Workbook. This has been a long road and I hope that this area will see considerable growth and use by one and all. At this point there are areas for short stories, novels and critique areas for both. In the future I will be adding an area for Young Writers. Also, separate posting and critique areas for different genres, starting with science fiction and fantasy. Depending on requests from everyone here I will add additional genre areas as well. Oh, one additional site that I am considering is one where people can post links to their artwork and a critique area for that.

     Stories posted in the private area will be archived separately by me and a hard copy maintained against any and all possibilities of plagiarism. This is not foolproof, but it gives some paper trail recourse.

     I will also make the point that I have made the Workbook a donation area. This is not to say that payment is required. However, if you find the new Workbook useful and some of the rest of the site, I would not discourage anyway who is able to donate toward the care, maintenance and upkeep of this site. For Writers Only and the Notebook are and always will be free. Also, all Workbook items posted up to tonight will be maintained as the Workbook Archives Kathleen, given that I have archived things right out from under you again, I will leave A Winter's Kiss in this Notebook. However, I would like to say that I cordially discourage any additional posting of manuscripts except in the private area. In the past, a good deal of discussion has gone into why this has troublesome ramifications as far as copyright and serialization rights. It is hoped that the password protected area will solve this potential difficulty.

Writers Notebook will continue as it always has and as it always should be, a central area about talking about Writing topics and the writing life.

      Thank you all and hope this meets with everyones approval.

David L. Gebhart Fri Sep 11 22:55:55 PDT 1998

ICQ 18610246

Well, to me coincidence is everything. I could write about this forever, but I will only include one main thought.

If anything were to happen in a story it would have to be a coincidence. When we create characters for a story we really have to idea what is going to happen, the characters have to tell us.

If we make up a story and concentate on the plot, then nothing is a coincidence. We've made up all the actions and tailored them to our needs so we've lost the power of coincidence.

If we center the story around our characters then we have the power of coincidence. Our character may like the color red for instance. Say he/she goes to a flower shop and selects yellow roses instead of red. Coincidence or not? Who knows. The character could have had a bad day, could have been robbed, raped or anything else. Maybe he/she just wanted a change. Although the example is broad I believe that the power of coincidence can be found in any situation. The main point I want to bring out though is that we should leave the coincidence to the character and not to the plot.

Thanks for the space.

Kathleen Jafek Fri Sep 11 21:21:37 PDT 1998

I just wanted to let you all know that the excerpt that I wanted your opinions on, Jack moved for me to the Archive.
I would still like for you all to read it and give me your HONEST reaction......
Should I take these two further into a relationship, or should I forget that they ever were.....?????
I do have to admit though, I like them, and they do have potential as I see it......

I put it in here because I need the help. It's as simple,
AND as complicated as that. Thanks..

Thank you Jack for fixing my screw up!!!!!!!

Allein-chan Fri Sep 11 21:04:05 PDT 1998

Well, I'm gonna be even busier now. Both of my English teachers are working on a litterary magazine where students at our school can get their poems, drawings and short stories published. I'll be helping my teachers and the group put it together. KC might help too. I hope to get one of my poems published. I'm so excited. Plus I can put this onto my college applications - colleges look at stuff like that. Well, until later...sayonara.

Bill Fri Sep 11 20:33:01 PDT 1998

Hi all. I'm so exciiiiiited! Check out the above link and read the non-fiction article that I have just gotten published on the online version of the East Central College Cornerstone newspaper. It's at the bottom of the page--called: "Opinion: Deforestation" under the
Editorials. By the way. I am now the official Commentary writer for the paper. **Brag, brag** Bill..;)...:0...:)

Irene Fri Sep 11 19:01:58 PDT 1998

Kathleen: :-) I love this!! Tell me do they get married or is it just an old lady looking back on her youth when she and her husband met is this on the day of his death. Do they have children later? Is this women looking through a photo album with her daughter who is now in college thinking about the day she met her husband. Was it just a weekend thing before she got married to the wrong man? How did she meet him was it over the net if it is set in present time or maybe future time? What did they do for the rest of the weekend? For the rest of there lives was she a college major at the time, what did she do for a living or does she do, what did he do was he a lawyer, Dr., teacher, or just a plain blue collar worker, or did he work for the resort? These are just some ideas don't know if this is of any help or not but just thought I would pass them on.

Irene Fri Sep 11 18:49:38 PDT 1998

In order for a coincedence to seem real to your reader you have to live it,in your story, for them...Live it, breath it, see it, smell it, feel it, with every being in your body, and that is with anything you write in order for it to be real or seem real for the reader the writer has to live it by imagination, study, or real life experience. Immerse your self in your story, find out by reading it yourself if you would think, is this real, stand back and think as the reader would... another words put yourself in the readers shoes.

Caroline Heske Fri Sep 11 18:46:40 PDT 1998

Allein - yes, I've had a few things like that happen in my book. For example, when I started working out the details of the world about 7 yrs ago, I was trying to think of a good name for their god. It wanted it to be something short, so that it could be used as an expletitive (sorry Rhoda) if they needed one. After a while I settled on 'Tem'. A year or two later I wrote this scene based around a cult in the book - who worship a guy named Keplar, and they were in a place called a Keplarple. They then had to visit a place where Tem was worshipped - and I thought I'd be consistent - and what I got was 'Temple'. I have a hard time convincing people that Temple was derived from Tem rather than the other way around! But there you go, complete coincidence.

Allein-chan Fri Sep 11 15:14:21 PDT 1998

Coinsedence - (yeah, probably spelled wrong). I find that most of the time coinsedences aren't on purpose. For instance, I didn't plan for the entire royal family in my story to be born sometime in June but with the exception of Rean and Magiki - they were. And some are planned (for instance, Rean was born on the same day and at the same time that his uncle Chélon died 25 years earlier). Well, planned or not, coincedences in stories are pretty cool if you discover them. So, um, that's my 1/4 cent.
I'm outie.

Zinza http://zinza.OnTheWeb.Nu/index.htm Fri Sep 11 12:26:47 PDT 1998

Sorry to have to post this, but I saw a story by someone here yesterday or so, and I read it and liked it. But now I can't find it, so can the person who wrote the thingy about Billie Rae email me? I liked it, you see.

/Zinza Fri Sep 11 10:50:20 PDT 1998

Sorry 'bout plantin' that in here....
The window was closed and I thought that I was in the other
spot. Sorry Jack.

Kathleen Jafek Fri Sep 11 09:27:37 PDT 1998

Hello folks.....
Hopefully you all can give me your views on something that I am working on.. I seem to be stuck, not quite sure where to take these two.. Further in the relationship or just rush them to the nearest trash compactor!!!! I would appreciate any and all HONEST responses or thoughts....
Wether they be good or bad

Thanks, Cat
p.s. Please don't fall asleep.

A Winter's Kiss

Maine was a place that I had never really expected to go... but somehow, before I knew it, there I was. Not only was I in Maine, but I found myself standing in front of this giant of a man. I could feel the butterflies going crazy throughout my body as they tried to fight their way out of my chest... God, I was so nervous.
As my eyes travelled upwards, I couldn't shake the feeling that this gentle giant standing before me was someone that I had known forever. I knew you in my soul just as if you were my split-apart.... my other half.
With eyes the color of sparklin' jade and with lips that were at once firm, yet so
very tender, you smiled at me.... That's when I knew that this weekend of ours, this one moment out of time, was meant to be. I had the oddest sensation... I felt that I had just come home.
You had planned everything for that weekend out for us.... the only thing left
to do, was for us to begin making all of the memories that we would share for a life- time....
The horses were already waiting for us at the stables. They would be the ones to carry us up the mountain trail, into that small canyon that you had told me so much about. To the clearing, in which the cabin we were to use for the next three days, sat resting in a new fallen blanket of snow. When you told me that it would take most of the morning for us to reach this place, my only thought was that I couldn't have asked for a better companion..... or a more attractive one.
As you had said, the view was glorious. The winding trail up that mountain, was just as beautiful as you had promised that it would be. Silence was all around us, except for the natural sounds of nature. The brisk wind that was singing it's song amid the dense line of forest tree's, had a calming effect on my sense's... I
guess that was a good thing, for every time I looked your way, all those butterflies came flittin' back around again.
What I found most breathtaking, was the sight of you, as you sat astride that massive mount. I couldn't take my eyes off of you... You eminated a strength and virility, an inherent sensuality that embraced me and held me captive with fine, silken threads... just as surely as if I were in your arms. If only you knew, that held tightly in your arms was where I wanted most to be....
I prayed that you wouldn't see the effect that you were having on me, at least not yet. I didn't want to make the wrong move, or say the wrong thing. Most of all, I was afraid of not being who or what you wanted me to be.....
Yet, I wanted... I needed to be in your arms. I had an increasing, almost overwhelming urge, to run my fingers through your hair and lightly whisper them
across your face as I nuzzeled into your welcoming strength. To inhale your scent, much like a wild animal would it's mate... To listen to the husky, deepening drawl of your voice as you became more aroused. Desire was inflaming my sense's so.... I could barely concentrate on what you were saying to me.
I could feel myself growing damp... It was so very easy for me to imagine that the steady, but slow rocking gait of my mare, was in fact you. As you lay beneath me on the ground, holding me to an excrutiatingly slow rythem, an erotically stimulating pace, while you burrowed yourself deep within me.....
I could feel my face flush with the heat of my thoughts. I prayed, fervently, with everything that I had inside of me, you would think that it was due to the bright morning sun, and the glare bouncing up off the snow. Even more so, as I glanced up and saw you gazing at me... oh, joy!!!
With a valiant effort, I turned my thoughts aside from my fantasy's and looked around me. Suddenly, I realized that we were nearing the end of the trail. I had been day-dreaming all morning, wrapped up in my own little world.
Down the path in front of me, I could see bits of blue and white, winking at me through the tree's. We were almost there!
Anticipation raced through me as I realized that in a very short time... mere moments in fact, we would be in the canyon. At the cabin that we were to share. Glancing over at you, I could see that you wore a look of excitement on your face as well. I had to wonder at your thoughts!!
As you unloaded our supplies, I looked around me. In all my life, I had never seen anything more perfect, more picturesque, then the setting that I was now staring in awe at. Even your description, was no-where close to it's real essense. It was as if we had just ridden into a fairy-land.
Nesteled, in the head of this small rocky canyon, sat our cabin. It sat proudly, surrounded by towering tree's that were shining and glistening, due to the soft covering of christmas snow. This was a home that had been made to last. It was built in the old way and fashioned by caring hands. The overlay of one log set onto the other, was plain for the eye to see.
Maple had been laid securely, one on top of the other. This created a slight checkerboard effect in the late morning sun. The chink, sealing each piece, had long ago been bleached to a pale tan, although the luster of the wood held true.
As you led the way up to the door, we happened to glance into each others eyes... This was really happening, and no other place could have been so perfect for us.
Opening the door, the first thing that I saw was an enormous fieldstone and slate fireplace, with a black bearskin rug laying in front of it on the floor. After being out in the fresh, but cold air, it was a very welcome sight... You must have thought the same, for you told me to look around while you went to lay in some wood for the night to come...
I let my eyes wander around the room and as they did, they fell on the largest, antique Chippendale, four poster featherbed that I had ever seen... Suddenly, my thoughts went flying back to you and the nights that we would spend here alone together, in that bed making love ..... to each other...
My eyes flew to the bay windows, I could see that you were busy chopping wood for the fire....and I couldn't help but wonder what it was that you were thinking of.
You must have felt my gaze, for all at once you looked up and saw me standing there. The look that you gave me was so tender and caring, I could hardly bear it.
I never did ask if you were able to see the fear in my heart... If that was why you put down the axe and came back inside... In only a moment, you were standing there in front of me.
As I stared into your eyes, I could see that I had nothing to worry about. Then, for the very first time, you held me in your arms. I was in my own special heaven..... Dear God, how I needed you !!!!!!
You leaned down, letting your lips caress the side of my neck, just below my ear, sending shivering chills down my spine. The heady feeling that swept through me was almost overpowering... I could feel myself quiver, as you let your tongue lightly play around my ear. Liquid fire filled me, leaving me breathless and wanting.....
I looked up at you, just as your lips met with mine. They were so hard and demanding... wanting unconditional surrender... then asking softly for the same, which I was more then willing to give ... I was begging to give.
All that I could do was cling to you desperately. My body ached for the final completion that I knew only you could give me...
My fingers felt their way up your chest, and though shaking uncontrollably, started to unbutton your shirt. My knees were so weak, I knew that I would not be able to stand for very much longer. You must have known.
Sweeping me off my feet, you carried me over to the bearskin rug where you gently lay me down. Following, covering my body with yours, you let your fingers trail
across my skin.
As you quickly dispensed with all of my clothing... my fingers still fumbled at the buttons on your shirt. Your lips traced a path over my shoulder, to the turgid, swollen tip of my breast... You were lighting a fire that shot its way down over my stomach and increased the ache between my legs. Your fingers were softly stroking me as you removed each piece of my clothing. The inner heat was burning me up.
After I finally had gotten your shirt off, I couldn't resist rubbing my face against your chest. As my lips found your nipples, my fingers were gently tugging on the soft mat of hair that covered you . I could feel your heart skip a beat as I tenderly nipped at the hardening bud and when I heard you groan, it was music to my ears.
It was so very erotic, feeling my naked body pressed up to yours. Your mouth caressed my hardening tips, until I was writhing beneath you. As you were suckeling and pulling, the fierce excitement was unbearable... Shuddering with delicious anticipation, I waited breathlessly for you. Finally, positioning yourself over me, you entered me with a slow, sensual steady thrust. I could feel myself expand to accept your size.... ooohhhhhh... what a delicious man you were! The final act of your possesion was enough. I was helpless as I was flung over the precipice that you had me on.
Crying out, I was swept away by the convulsionions overtaking me. Heat washed over me and blinding fire exploded, within as the aching pleasure that I felt inside was met... even as your delighted gaze rested upon me.
Ages later, I was able to see that in the midst of my own explosive fulfillment,
my movements had triggered your own... Never in my life had I had experianced anything that was quite so perfect as you...
As our eyes met, I knew that no matter what else ever was happen in my life, this was a special place and time that I would remember always. I could see that you felt the same.
I knew that our weekend was one moment be shared by only two.....but remembered forever by both.....

Barb G. Fri Sep 11 09:18:14 PDT 1998

Hi Y'all,

Rhoda: I'm sorry about my remarks if they angered you. My only interest was in the censorship topic and if I used your phrase to make my point, it was just that. A means to an end. Same for you Snarly.

Snarly: Send your column to: The boat has sailed on the fiction piece...


Irene Fri Sep 11 08:37:05 PDT 1998

Coincedence..... or fate to ponder.... what a small world we live in ... Are all things in our lives just happen stance? the people we meet, the things we become involved in, or the things we do? Can it be we are put on this earth to learn lessons and teach others? I mean some are funny and some things are really sad. For example a man (totally fictional) is run over by a bus and killed the same bus his wife and mother are riding to go to town? It could happen, is this or would this be coincedence or fate. Recently here in Tennessee there were two sisters who were killed in a three car pile-up with an eighteen wheeler their vehicle was the last one hit and no-one else was injuried. Was this coincedence or fate?

On a lighter side you are walking down the street and in front of you on the ground a $1 dollar bill catches your eye and in binding over to pick it up ... rip... and your butt is hanging out for the whole world to see. You were there at just the right time I mean if you had just left a few minutes later or earlier would someone else have found the dollar would you have been spared the embaressment, or was it sopposed to have happened that way?

I am not saying I feel one way or the other just giving you something to think about isn't that what writing is about?

have a great one and have fun pondering this one :-)


S.K.S. Perry Fri Sep 11 06:15:24 PDT 1998

I hate to harp on an old topic, but I'd just like to set a few things straight before I move on to the subject of coincedence (I promise Jack!)


I in no way meant any disrespect for you or your opinions in any of my previous commentaries. I simply used this forum to express an alternate viewpoint in the hopes that it would get people thinking, or at least make them aware that there are alternate realities out there. I will sometimes do this even if I don't agree with what I'm saying; it's an exercise in free thinking and free speech.(Isn't that what writing is all about?)
I'm happy for you that you have found something that you can believe in and that gives structure, order and purpose to your life. If that something is God (and I use the capital G out of respect for your beliefs)then more power to you.
I personally have never found anything that I can believe in with such conviction. I can't say I believe in God, or Budda, or the Great Spirit ect. because I'm afraid I'm one of those people who need more proof than faith can offer. On the other hand, I can't call myself an atheist because that would mean that I know there isn't a God, and the truth is I don't know anything for sure. My basic philosophy is that anything is possible (though some are more probable than others)and therefore I can never say that THIS is definately true or right and THAT is definately false or wrong. How many times have we been told something is so, backed up with all the science and logic of the times, only to find out we were way off the mark. To me, life is one big MAYBE, or COULD BE. Because of this, I have no right to tell you that you're wrong, or right--I simply offer alternate views, or realities, for consideration. I like to make people THINK, to question, and therefore hopefully learn. I certainly meant no harm.
I do not ask God for forgiveness, I ask the people I've hurt for forgiveness. I figure if a mere mortal can forgive what I've done to them directly, then God (if he exitst) would do no less.

New subject: Coincedence in literature.

I agree with both Caroline and Greg on this point. I've found in my life coincedence has played a large role. Sometimes it's unbelievable the amount of tiny, unrelated things that had to come together at just the right time and place for some of the events that have happened in my life to have occured. But in literature, coincedence always seems contrived. Small ones, OK. But major ones where the entire resolution of the plot of your story would fall apart without them--no way. Even though things often do happen that way in real life, when I see it in a story it makes me think the writer took the easy way out and brands it as amateurish, IN MY OPINION.

My but I do ramble on,

S.K.S. Perry

Howard Tuckey Fri Sep 11 05:35:08 PDT 1998

A coincidence by nature has to be (or appear) unplanned. I've experienced 'staged' serendipity -- everything from "I had no idea you'd be here, but what a coincidence! I just happen to have a set of encyclopedias..." to "By the way, as long as we've met out here in this [nature preserve] (I was taking pictures and they were in high heels) I'd like you to meet my unmarried neice Samantha. What a coincidence!"
You get the picture. A written coincidence can seem even more phoney, because the reader (if he's awake) can see it coming, and can prepare for it.
This is not to say that a carefully written coincidence cannot work, but it has to be just that -- very carefully staged and written -- and not some last minute "Oh look, I've painted myself into a corner! Well I'll just paint myself a door and get out of it!" Douglas Adams (Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy) did a very nice job with it, but used it for laughs.

Greg Butchers Fri Sep 11 05:13:46 PDT 1998

Whenever I read a coincedence in a story it always seems contrived. I don't know why as it happens all the time in real life. Maybe that's it, when I read a story I don't want it to be real life. It's like on T.V no one ever makes mistakes, it always gets cut out, leaving everything perfect. Just occasionally I'd like too see someone fall over and actually carry on with the sceneor whatever.

Caroline Heske Fri Sep 11 04:31:06 PDT 1998

I try to avoid exotic coincidences, because my reality's fragile enough without actually suggesting to the reader to question it. Even if I provide supporting logic later, by then the damage is done. But then again, life is full of strange quirks, and it's good to spice up your writing with them. As long as it doesn't look like you did it to back your story out of a tight corner it adds to the entertainment. I think you're right, Jack, about it being most useful in humour.

Jack Beslanwitch Fri Sep 11 00:38:22 PDT 1998

I would like to propose a new line of discussion to augment the lively one that has gone before:

How do we effectively use coincidence in your fiction. In many respects it is a dictum to avoid coincidence in your stories, the dreaded Deus et Machina. But, coincidence can be quite useful, especially when it complicates the plot rather than resolving it. Another instance where it might prove useful are in writing humor. A final possibility is when the concidence seems improbable at the time but as supporting logic is added later to explain it and make it reasonable as in espionage or mystery novel.

Greg Butchers Fri Sep 11 00:21:55 PDT 1998

Hi All,

Rhoda: Wouldn't life be boring if everyone agreed. I for one didn't take offense at your views. Any sincerely held beliefs are ok by me - even if I don't necessarliy agree with them. As for only discussing things like this face to face. I discussed this with my wife last night, and I think this medium is good because it gives you time to give a considered response. (It still might sound like rubbish, but I have thought about it - honest.)

Just a couple more thoughts then I leave it alone for a while (maybe).

To be an atheist surely takes as much faith as to believe. I mean to state for certain that god does not exist takes some guts. I prefer to be a sit-on-the-fence agnostic.

The ideal "do unto others ..." maxium I'm afraid has been replaced by "Do unto others, unless they can't do it back, then do what you want."

Jack Beslanwitch Thu Sep 10 23:05:20 PDT 1998

Hello everyone. I have archived everything at 150k and reserved the last several messages. Hopefully, this will keep this lively and interesting discussion going. When I get back from picking up my wife at work I will try to drop off an additional new topic. Take care.

Caroline Heske Thu Sep 10 22:47:45 PDT 1998

A BIG thanks to everyone who responded to my Oka question! I'll correspond with you by email, cause it's not really a notebook topic.

On censorship - I don't think my parents deliberately censored stuff on sex and violence, they just were uncomfortable talking about it. What they did censor was commercial television (because of the commercials), and junk food. I don't know if it worked. I eat McDonalds like nothing else - however I never went through childhood bugging them about buying me toys and stuff. So there's censorship and censorship. When I have children I don't want to censor sex - because I don't want them to grow up thinking it's something to feel guilty about. But I probably would censor violence (so when they get old enough to understand the issues behind war and things, they're not numb to the enormity of it). I couldn't handle censoring junk food - but I'd probably do my best to ensure my kids watched videos and read books instead of TV.

I believe right and wrong are learnt and are purely subjective. However, when we learn them, we internalise some of them to such an extent they might as well be irremovable. This is not to say we shouldn't have ethics - but just to be aware that these aren't fixed. This, of course, is just my opinion. If you are to look at common factors through societies across the world and through history - one that sticks out blindingly is the oppression of women. (No, I know it's not in all of them, but I would wager it's in as many as, say, monogamous relationships are.) Just because it's a common factor isn't really a reason to oppress women. (Yeah, no-one was arguing this, but I think it's a point to be made.) To take another example, war is also a common factor to most civilisations. I think most people would agree that this is no justification for war.

I am an atheist - although I was educated in Christian schools - and what I have chosen to use as a test to determine what is right and wrong is to look at the effects of a decision. Who will be hurt? Who will be happy? And to try and look beyond the immediate event. For instance, if you have one person who wants to hurt another, and won't be happy till they do - there seems to be no way around a lose-lose situation (leaving S&M aside). However, if the person who wants to attack could change what makes them happy... then no-one gets hurt. If there is a role for censorship, then I think it's in promoting this kind of behaviour.

On Political Correctness - this seems to be a derogatory term for anti-racist/sexist/anythingist policies when the writer can't think of a better argument. That's what our politicians use it for, anyway (and most of our newspaper columnists (eg. Terry Lane, Paddy McGuinness).

On Mythology - since mythology's come up in this discussion, here's an argument I frequently have: Do you disagree with writing myths and fairy-tales to reflect modern values?
- personally, I don't (though since fantasy often seem to be about this, I may have a vested interest in the matter). I think Xena or feminist fairy-tales are a perfectly valid undertakings. My argument for this is that myths have traditionally been dynamic - this was unavoidable because of a lack of written communication - and so the same story becomes a tool in the hands of the next generation to pass on their ideas and values. Homer shifted the Trojan War by a couple of centuries - and the Greek playwrights absolutely tore the myths they knew to pieces for their plays. For instance, Lord of the Rings and Star Wars can be seen as modern interpretation of Arthurian legends (as can many more).
- though in all fairness, against this is the idea that to change myths we're destroying history. I know I'd be pissed off if someone down the line rewrote Erannon.

Allein-chan Thu Sep 10 20:38:09 PDT 1998

Well, I finished the rewrite and it's in the workbook (at least, it should be). There would be more but because of homework, I haven't had much time or energy to write. So, those of you who sent e-mails and haven't gotten a response yet, don't worry, I've saved them and I will write back when I'm not so swamped with homework.
Gotta go..sleep...precious, precious sleep...

Toby Buckell Thu Sep 10 20:01:58 PDT 1998

Not all atheists despise religion. I am an atheist and definitely follow a strict moral code that is heavily lifted from that of the christian religion. I am a humanist in that respect. I don't despise religion, I just don't believe in it. It bugs me that people are so much for or against. I personally don't believe in vegetarianism, but it doesn't mean I have to despise them...
I use the christian code of ethics, which is similar also to many other ethics, because it makes sense and is workable. Collected sayings that have lasted so long obviously have some merit to them, ergo my moral structure, not to mention that my upbringing was fairly religous. I must admit, I also follow in action the tenets of Christ more than most christians I have met (which is not a knock, but just an observation).
I also wasn't brainwashed from early age, I learned to read young, and was into novels at the age of four. So I have been an atheist since I discovered how to find things out on my own. My stepdad is studying in seminary to become a priest, it irks him that I am this way, and my mother and he are always on me, refusing to acknowledge my long held beliefs, so I do have some insight on that issue.

I won't comment on censorship except to say that I don't believe in it. My mother never censored me, and it is the best thing she ever did for me. I see college kids all around me who have been sheltered and when they hit life, they screw it up because they have no idea what the hell hit them.


Lisa Thu Sep 10 18:55:50 PDT 1998

Hi, everybody! My, my, what a lovely roaring debate all you people just had. :) It seemed like quite a lot of fun, but I think I'll keep my nose out of this one for the time being.
No, wait! Never mind. I was lying. I do have something to say and by my funky sandles I'm going to say it! Voila:
I think for the "wrong is wrong" thing I'm somewhere in the middle. I believe that most people share similar (if not the same) morals and ethics, and live by them conscienciously (sp?). Since a good healthy chunk of the population believes in some form of religion, this is hardly surprising. Most modern day religions encourage kindness to fellow humanity (at least fellow humanity of the same faith, anyway!). One example of this which springs immediately to mind is the Wiccan Rede: "An' it harm none, do what thou wilt."
And while a lot of passionate believers will happily round up, torture, and kill disbelievers in the name of [insert god-thing here], conversly these same people won't think twice about adopting an orphaned child of their own faith.
Hey ho, it's a funny old life.
But- back to morality. As I was trying to say before my thoughts ran away with me, religion helps keep most of us in line. Atheists are a trickier bunch as they believe in nothing but themselves, however generally I think they tend to structure their personal code of ethics on the religions they so despise. It's one of those peculiar quirks of human nature (such as the woman who was sexually abused as a child and then becomes a prostitute. I know, not the best example in the world, but hey, I'm tired, cold, and very cranky so leave off. ...thank you.)
Thus "wrong is wrong" really does make sense for the majority of the population. There are people like Hitler and Stalin etc who believe their wrongs are right (tricky, that), but they are the exception. I have faith in my fellow sheep (sorry; couldn't resist saying that. :}). I think people know right from wrong and strive to be as good as they can be.
But then again, I also believe in aliens.
Here's a thought: why don't you make up your own darn mind??!
I'm going to bed.

~Lisa, confused and alone. ( :) )

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