Archived Messages between September 23 and October 6, 1998

Clyde Dixon Tue Oct 6 11:38:16 PDT 1998

First paid publication . . . way to go Toby! Money is a great critique.

Goodweed . . . it is fun to write silly stuff. I like taking a genre and pushing it way over the top, hardboiled detective drival being a favorite style. Too bad Dave Barry has already filled the niche for silly in the newspaper.

Critique . . . in college, I would have been happy if the ideas in Jack's topic statement were the critique guidelines--he has many key elements listed. To critique the writing, and not the person, being primary.

Well, life is so busy.
Take Care,

S.N.Arly Tue Oct 6 10:53:38 PDT 1998

Barb - I think that happens to a lot of us. I'm currently trying to decide if I really need to eliminate an activity or if I can make up for my packed schedule by being more efficient. I imagine I'll eventually go critical and I'll have to axe something, but just now I don't want to.

Dallin - click on the button that says workbook at the top of the page. That's where it's gone.


Albert Lewis Jr. or Tue Oct 6 08:37:41 PDT 1998

It has been long since I've put pen to parchment and set my mind adrift on the endless sea that is my memory, for the purpose of documenting all that I've observed. But it is time. For in my ten thousand circles of existance I have seen and done much. Ever since the paths through
the ages have been revealed to me I have taken it upon my immortal shoulders to document the varying truths of our world.

Since the early days I have fought alongside the Warlords of the Agian age, defended the Mindplagued and suffering children of the Scion age, and lived with the twisted outcasts of the Arsian age. I have stared death in the face and defied it. I have walked among the creators of mortal life. I've watched in horror as ages died and with
hope as they were reborn. However, now, peace is ours.

Since the War of the Ages was won by the forces of the Sel'Moreim and their Chosen, many, even the Selestians themselves, have forgotten what it took to achieve the peace we now enjoy. But I have not and neither should you. For though many avoid them and see them as the bearers of ill omen, I know that the Seers still exist for a reason. And for me that reason is to remind us that although the sea is calm, and the sky is clear, there is still a chance that a storm may be brewing just beyond the horizon.

Nevertheless the time has come for me to begin. You are welcome to watch and read as I pen the words and images of my journeys through Agia, and speak of the deeds of the many companions of my past.

Feel free to speak to me and interrupt, I will not loose my place. For my memories are as clear and bright as a new day in the season of Shassan. The history of our world is a rich one indeed.


This is a snippet of an ongoing collection of tales and poems that my wife and I have been writing for an up and coming RPG that we are creating. But right now our site primarily contains stories about our RPG world named Agia. Our main purpose is to encourage artistic and literary creaivity and we hope to (once the game is released) build an online world in which writers can submit tales of their character's experiences in our RPG world. I sincerely apologize if this is the improper forum for this kind of thing, however the opinions of others are very valuable to us. Thanks all

Albert Lewis Jr.

dallinsphere Tue Oct 6 07:48:17 PDT 1998

Well, this is Dallin... I can't find the other place to post my story... but I just wanted to get a comment or two on the beginning of the rewrite of my Prologue...

~ ~ ~

The Darkest Prophecy

The Odillom silenced as the sacred bell tolled. The first toll sounded for awareness, the second toll for guidance, and the third toll for understanding. It may have been my imagination, but it seemed as if the three tolls were still sounding from the bell... three separate notes from one bell. The harmony created was as beautiful as the sky above. Clouds skirted the heavens at an almost impossible speed, creating the effect of a rapidly spinning world.
I watched as the elders of the Odillom made their way up the temple steps. In two parallel lines they took step after solemn step, until the first of the Odillom reached the top. It was a marvelous sight to behold. One priest on each side of every step, and the temple of the Adaillim towering above them. Even the High King Qnavin's castle was forced to take shelter under its shadow.
The chant of humility then began. Each Odillom speaking the sacred vow they made when they were chosen. Twelve times they were spoken, then all was silence once again. Every head was bowed.
Two servants, dressed in blood red cloaks, made their way down the temple steps; pulling each Odillom's hood over his head. Two by two, the Odillom's became less than people... less than individuals. They became servants themselves.
Once every head was covered, the two took their places at the base of the steps. They were chosen by the drawing of straws to become the hands of The Three. At the next gathering, two more would be chosen. This is the way it has been from the beginning, and this is the way it will always be.

~ ~ ~

Thankee m'lords and m'ladies...

Barb G. Tue Oct 6 07:38:39 PDT 1998

Hi Y'all,

SKS: You're a great critiquer (is that a word?) BECAUSE you're a good, no excellent, writer! A good writer sees flaws and tries to fix them by helping the struggling writer. I can't begin to thank you enough for your terrific suggestions re: Waltz.

And Rachel, and Brian, and Mick, and forgive me if I've forgotten someone. I put that dumb story up for one reason: to get help. And you guys offered that. Thanks a million. I'll put the other half up today sometime.

Yes, Jack, a month is more than adequate I think.

Speaking of being down, I'm at critical mass right now, fearing meltdown at any minute. I just can't say no to people who ask for my help, and I've painted myself into a corner. My brain is so small it can't hold the overload!!!


S.K.S. Perry Tue Oct 6 06:06:09 PDT 1998

That stuff below is mine--who put the shift key so close to the enter key anyway?

S.K. Tue Oct 6 06:03:52 PDT 1998


I thought we were SUPPOSED to be despondent. Aren't all writers morose, depressed, tortured souls. HA!


Sounds like a great idea! We can all use a little humour in our lives, and humour is difficult to write well. It should be a great exercise.


A month should be plenty long enough to leave someone's story on the workbook before archiving it. I wondered if it would be possible to have somewhere where we could work on or post query letters or synopsis. I've found these things much harder to write than the actual novel or story itself and I, for one, could definately use some assistance here. Also, would it be possible to create a central location where the finished queries or synopsis could be left, and that location be made known to agents or publishers? I'm kind of new to this internet thing, so the idea may be totally invalid, but hey, you can't kill someone for trying. (Actually you can, but its considered in poor taste.)On a more personal note, I have to say that For Writers Only is a great website--for what it tries to accomplish, for its resources and for the people here. If I ever do get my novel published you can rest assured that you'll get an honourable mention.


Caroline Heske Mon Oct 5 20:56:24 PDT 1998

Cassi and Tammy - Welcome!

Jack - I reckon a month would probably be long enough, though perhaps it would be good - to stop things clogging up - for people who get a few critiques to notify you so you can take there story down. And here's another idea... drawing on Goodweed's post: You know how you were talking about that round-robin story idea... How about we have a go at that with the aim of creating an urban myth?

SKS - You're still feeling despondent aren't you? So now I'm going to try shock therapy. STOP BLOODY FEELING SORRY FOR YOURSELF, YOU KNOW YOU'RE A PERFECTLY GOOD WRITER, AND CRITIQUING IS NOT THE ONLY THING YOU'RE GOOD AT, AND YOU KNOW IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There... Did that help?


Gooodweed of the North Mon Oct 5 20:15:30 PDT 1998

Sorry. Thought the first one didn't post. (red face. can you feel the heat?)

Goodweed of the North Mon Oct 5 20:10:37 PDT 1998

Hi all. I've just come up with a brilliant idea (what else would you expect from someone named Goodweed). I anyone out there interested in a pace on the workbook for play, a playbook area if you will. We could post tongue-in-cheek shorts (no more than two pages worth) following the ever-popular formats of "fractured fairy tales", tall tales, pseudo-experiances, and/or light comedy. I suggest this as a place to loosen up. It is well known to proffesionals in the behavior fields that play is an essential part of life which promotes creative expansion in a non-stressful environment. Since there is no pressure to succed in true play, one can get rid of all inhibitions and really concentrate on using ones imagination to its fullest. The most gifted and successful people see their professions as play, not drudgery. They literally love their work.

I think it would be a great tool. Anyone else who agrees raise up your cyber-voices to the sky until the very stars plumet to Earth to be captured in our Spawling baseball mits, or captured in jars like so many fireflies to amuse and amaze us ("Now let them out kids. You're starving the poor creatures."
"NO mom, they eat grass and there's lots of grass in there."
"You don't know what they eat. Now I won't have a jar full of dead bugs stinking up the living room. Gasp, Joey! What are you doing! You've just smeared that bug all over your brand new t-shirt!"
"But it's a black shirt mom. It won't stain. And look, (click), it glows int the dark...")

Heh heh heh. Sorry folks, got a little carried away there.

Anyway, whatcha think?

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

Goodweed of the North Mon Oct 5 19:52:07 PDT 1998

An idea! (how do you make a lightbulb on this crazy thing andyway) Would anybody like Jack to open a place on the notebook for the whimsical? Anyone who wishes could come up with a fable, a "fractured fairy tale", a tongue-in-cheek frolic. These would need to be short, no more than two or three pages. It would allow us to perform that all important activity which most of adults forget to do, PLAY.

Playing is recognized by most behavior experts as a way of expanding creativity in a non-pressured and therefor extremely productive way. It is also known that those who are most succesful, treat their jobs as a kind of play. Those who really love there work excell.

Is there anyone out there besides me who wants to try this? If so, raise up your cyber-voices until the heavens shake and tremble, an the stars cascade to the Earth to be caught in our spalding baseball mits, or caught like fireflies for our childish enjoyment ("have to let them out now kiddies. We don't want to kill the poor creatures. Joey! Don't smush that firefly all over your shirt!"
"But mommy, it glows in the dark...")

Uh, sorry there. Kinda got carried away.

SNarly, Hayden says howdy.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North Heh heh heh

cassi Mon Oct 5 18:44:51 PDT 1998

Hi 17 and i just read the topic dicussion. I noticed that it said to try to find something good to say about someone's work. Actually it is not all that hard to do. I can find plenty of good things to say. Its really all in the way one looks at it. But a good critique has the same amount of good as bad. We all learn somehow. Why not work on both at once?

Cat Jafek Mon Oct 5 18:27:31 PDT 1998

Hi All,

Jack: Thank you on the fix. I appreciate it. Again.
As far as the length of time for the reviews is concerned,
in my opinion, I think that you are right on the money with 1 month. Anything else would not give most of us time to read, then critique, then write our own pieces.

Tammy D. Smith: Welcome aboard! Don't worry too much on the length of time in- between writing now and then, it WILL come back. Good Luck and Have Fun!!!!!

Bye for now, Cat

Jack Beslanwitch Mon Oct 5 16:23:25 PDT 1998

Rachel and Cat: Misplaced or repeated postings have been corrected. Also, in reviewing the size of both the short story and novel workbook areas I have decided to archive both and leave up. My question for everyone is that since the Workbook area is for current stories, how long should I maintain these for review before eliminating them off of here. Indefinitely, as in the earlier Workbook, seems too long in my judgement, but a couple of weeks seems too short. What do people think about a month from posting. This would give a sizable chunk of time for people to give and get review of their manuscripts. Feedback here would be appreciated.

Tammy D. Smith Mon Oct 5 16:20:56 PDT 1998


I came across this site about two weeks ago but this is the first chance I’ve gotten to post. After much surfing, I have to say that this is the nicest writers’ site that I’ve found.

I’ve just started writing again after a very long time (10 years!). While in high school, I used to write constantly, but once I started college I found myself doing what everyone (i.e. my family) thought I should do instead of doing what I really wanted to do.

Anyway, I’ve pick up pen (er, keyboard) again and am having a blast. I’m so rusty right now, but I guess practice will eventually make perfect. At least I hope so!

Ah well. Thanks for reading my ramblings!

Oh – regarding urban legends, my favorite has to be the guy in the back seat of the car. I still check my back seat before climbing in. :-)

Rachel Mon Oct 5 09:17:48 PDT 1998

Jack - I went back to see if my story took last night, and it took alright, just to the wrong place. I seem to have left it in the critique section. I wondered if you could maybe boot it out of there to where it should be, and I will be more careful where I drop it next time. I am still getting comfortable with this computer. One would think that after 3 months I would be getting the hang of things, but I still am not comfortable with moving things round.

Well if you can't move it should I post it again in the proper section or just direct people to critique for my story?

I could rambel round in circles for days so i'll just stop and wait to see what you have to say.

Again I am looking for feedback on this story, negative or positive feel free to let it fly. Looking forward to what you all think.

Take care all

S.K.S. Perry Mon Oct 5 07:08:21 PDT 1998


When I get a chance I'll definately go over your story in the workbook. I promise.

Caroline, thanks for the critiqe.(By the way, I take no offence at any of your advise--I find it most helpful) I'll respond more personally and indepth by E-mail. I've read over your latest chapters of Erannon and will get back to you on them soon.

With all the reading, critiquing and editing of other peoples work lately, I've been so swamped I haven't had time to do any real writing or editing of my own work! Still, I'm glad to be of assistance. It's one of the few areas of my life where I feel I am contributing something useful.

S.K.S. Perry

Jack Beslanwitch Mon Oct 5 02:57:00 PDT 1998


Recipe is OK. I am just glad you did not include the urban legend that went along with it. I will not repeat it, but anybody who has been around the internet a while has heard it. Still, this brings up another thought for analysis. I am not posting this as an official topic, but wondering what are the elements of urban legends and other folk lore passed along as gospel when almost certainly they are not. You can also possibly share your favorite. Mine has to be the supposed couple who used their brand new microwave to dry off their dog just like they did with a standard oven with the predictable and rather messy results with the microwave. As we cringe. Notice the pathos of this story. Yes, story. When the shaggy dog version of this is done you definitely get the compassion for these elderly technological uninformed. Take care.

Kathleen Jafek (Cat) Sun Oct 4 21:47:53 PDT 1998

Hi All...

Jack< I KNOW THAT THIS IS FOR WRITER'S,(things concerning writing) BUT WE All have to get our inspiration from someplace... mine just happens to come out of the kitchen.
If any of you are Chocolate Chip Cookie Lover's, you won't want to miss this recipie... These really are the BEST that I have Ever tasted.... I just wanted to share them.
p.s. (this is their original recipe.)

NEIMAN MARCUS COOKIES (Recipe may be halved)
>> 2 cups butter
>> 4 cups flour
>> 2 tsp. soda
>> 2 cups sugar
>> 5 cups blended oatmeal ***
>> 24 oz. chocolate chips
>> 2 cups brown sugar
>> 1 tsp. salt
>> 1 8 oz. Hershey Bar (grated)
>> 4 eggs
>> 2 tsp. baking powder
>> 2 tsp. vanilla
>> 3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)
>>** Measure oatmeal and blend in a blender to a fine powder.
>>Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix together
>>flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add chocolate chips,
>> Hershey Bar and nuts.
>>Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for
>>10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 112 cookies.
>>Have fun!!!
>>This is a true story. Ride free, citizens!\

Toby Buckell Sun Oct 4 21:13:17 PDT 1998

Greg Butchers: Hate to say it, but you're going to have to get used to those form letters, I have a whole folder of them in my paperwork drawer. After many submissions of your hardest work, maybe a year or so, maybe sooner, maybe later, depends, you start to get ones with little notes scribbled on them signed by assistant editors, sometimes editors. Then a story catches someone's eye, and then you get a full critique, and a send more from an editor. It is a long hard road, and I had to buckle down for it. I keep the best rejections laminated and use them as wallpaper decorations, it impresses people who come over to visit...

Allein-chan Sun Oct 4 20:52:48 PDT 1998

Yes, I am still alive. Actually, I spent Saturday with my boyfriend (I have a boyfriend now - his name is Carl :) and Sunday with my confirmation group. So, I haven't had much time to write.

I still have homework, so I can't make this a longer post, I just decided I'd drop in to read the other posts. Well, I have to go. Bye.

Rachel Sun Oct 4 18:42:17 PDT 1998

Hi all

I went to writers group today and I got up the guts to share my first chapter, which was well received. I am told that I have good structure.

Hummmmm? sounds like a bad pick up line.

I am only kidding, the man who made the statement had afew bones to pick with others about structure and I know that it was a compliment that he thought my structure was good, but I should hope I have something right after the second edit, and yes I admited that I had edited it twice already.

Overall they only had positive feedback, and afew grammar tips. Ah and some much needed pen ins about my horrific run on sentences. Yes, I know I do it, yes I try to stop it, but they just seem to keep happening. I think its because I am always in such a rush to get the story out that it just sort of goes "blurp" onto the page and then i'm stuck forever trying to unravel it without loosing what it was I said.

I will go back again in a couple of weeks and I am taking the dreaded chapter two with me. It is the worst chapter in my entier novel. I hate it and I think that it hates me right back.

I plan to drop the first bit of another weird story that I have come up with into one of the novel workshop later, if I can figure out how to do it again.

SKSPerry - I plan to drop that story about the crash onto the shortstory section and would appreciate your opinion on it, does it make sense seem realistic, also feel free to give it a thump with the old editing stick.

Greg - Hey, glad to have helped, I am still looking forward to my first rejection letter. I suppose in order to get one thow I would have to actualy submit something (Hummmmm)

Ah well I better run, there is much to do on this the night before the school week begins (bath, stories, homework to check, lunches to make, cloths to lay out) Ick it just occured to me that I didn't sort through the backpacks on Friday so I am sure to find all sorts of tasty leftovers from their lunch that will be looking just lovely by this stage in the game.

Take care all

Rachel Sun Oct 4 18:40:21 PDT 1998

Hi all

I went to writers group today and I got up the guts to share my first chapter, which was well received. I am told that I have good structure.

Hummmmm? sounds like a bad pick up line.

I am only kidding, the man who made the statement had afew bones to pick with others about structure and I know that it was a compliment that he thought my structure was good, but I should hope I have something right after the second edit, and yes I admited that I had edited it twice already.

Overall they only had positive feedback, and afew grammar tips. Ah and some much needed pen ins about my horrific run on sentences. Yes, I know I do it, yes I try to stop it, but they just seem to keep happening. I think its because I am always in such a rush to get the story out that it just sort of goes "blurp" onto the page and then i'm stuck forever trying to unravel it without loosing what it was I said.

I will go back again in a couple of weeks and I am taking the dreaded chapter two with me. It is the worst chapter in my entier novel. I hate it and I think that it hates me right back.

I plan to drop the first bit of another weird story that I have come up with into one of the novel workshop later, if I can figure out how to do it again.

SKSPerry - I plan to drop that story about the crash onto the shortstory section and would appreciate your opinion on it, does it make sense seem realistic, also feel free to give it a thump with the old editing stick.

Greg - Hey, glad to have helped, I am still looking forward to my first rejection letter. I suppose in order to get one thow I would have to actualy submit something (Hummmmm)

Ah well I better run, there is much to do on this the night before the school week begins (bath, stories, homework to check, lunches to make, cloths to lay out) Ick it just occured to me that I didn't sort through the backpacks on Friday so I am sure to find all sorts of tasty leftovers from their lunch that will be looking just lovely by this stage in the game.

Take care all

Kathleen Jafek (Cat) Sun Oct 4 17:46:26 PDT 1998

Hi All,

Just popped into to read the posting's today.
Jack, I'm sorry but in Poetry Workbook, I burped again on the entry of Tumbleweed Mem'ry. Could you delete two of them when you have time? Thank you....Cat

Greg Butchers Sun Oct 4 12:48:19 PDT 1998

Hi all,
Well I just received my first rejection notice the other day - Hooray. I suppose that makes me a bone-fide writer now. Just a question - are all rejection notices as unhelpful as this one. It was basically a photocopy saying thanks but no thanks. No reason why no critique nothing. I have no problem with it being rejected (well mot much) but maybe after having it for 2 months they could have provided something slightly more useful. To this end I have added the short story to the Workbook and would appreciate any responses to it. Some of you may have seen an early draft on my website a few months back and I had some responses then. Thanks to Rachel who initially forced me out of the closet - so to speak - and inspired me to let someone else read my stuff. Now of course I have to deal with all this rejection.
That's it for now.

Litter Sun Oct 4 12:40:38 PDT 1998

Science fiction not "real literature?"
Aha! A professor of Literature who does not value the genre which is probably most read. A literary snob perchance! I would be asking WHY she felt qualified to teach on the subject of literature when she so obviously has a closed mind on one of the major genres. (Perhaps more than one?)
IMHO one who teaches in such a subjective field as literature should have an open mind on their subject in spite of prejudice. I do not like Jazz particularly but I would not dare pour scorn on those who did. Personal appreciation and an appreciation of the validity of a form or genre are entirely different. Education, surely, is a process of expanding the depth and range of knowledge of those who study and the prejudices of an individual should not be employed to restrict this learning process.
You may all have gathered by now that I have an intense dislike to ‘closed minds’ and a liking for Science Fiction and any form of writing which expands the boundaries of experience and imagination. Oh yeah, and I love being a thorn in the flesh of those who should know better…


Caroline Heske Sun Oct 4 07:31:27 PDT 1998

Yeh! I'm back from my holidays. I've finished my essay on Oka and would be happy to send it anyone who's interested.

Rachel - wow! I always get excited when other people read my work... Whether they like it or not doesn't *really* matter (though of course it's good if they do) - I just enjoy to know that what's in my head can actually spread into the outside world. You may get stuck for links after a certain point - up to chapter 9 is on there, but you may not be able to find it. If you're interested, just ask me!

S.K.S. - it's a colonial thing. In Australia, literature tends to worship our 'prairie house stories' equivalents - such as Malouf. It's meant to promote Australian culture, but I find it promotes boredom. (Sorry if anyone here writes in the genre - but after I've been force fed it for so long, it's difficult to stomach any more).

'Real' literature - I think the bias against fantasy/scifi has got to do with a very narrow approach in what's valued. If you look at the kind of books that win Bookers and other major prizes, they are frequently historical novels, or are concerned with representing a particular culture in this world - and are valued almost as *research*. So this automatically defines out most science fiction and fantasy. The other part is the association between imagination and children. I showed a friend a Pratchett book once and she asked doubtfully, "It's not about gnomes and fairies running around, is it?" I was sort of dumbfounded, but I suppose that if you haven't read much in the genre, your only notions of fantastical creatures would be the simplistic (and often patronising) versions in children's fairytales. None of this, in my opinion, actually excuses someone from making judgements before actually finding out for themselves - but as writers, if we're looking for a way to tackle that prejudgice, there's my theory of where it comes from. Tolkien wrote a great defence of fantasy, published in a book called 'Tree and Leaf'. It's out of print now, but is quite easy to find in second-hand book stores.

The divide is artificial, I think, because literary professors and critics are quite happy to read fantasy and scifi if it's old enough: eg. The Iliad and Odyssey, King Arthur's Tales, Shakespeare (I know most is not strictly fantasy, but if a modern author came up with the plot for Hamlet or Macbeth, it would not be considered mainstream literature), and the vast bulk of mythology. In a sort of subconscious 'noble savage' theory, those historical writers are excused because of primitivism or completely different cultures.

Science fiction, I think, is more respected than fantasy - because utopias and dystopias are generally seen to have a purpose. Books such as Huxley's 'A Brave New World', Atwood's 'The Handmaid's Tale', and much of Orwell's stuff, and Ursula Le Guin's are quite well accepted. Ideas and theories tend to be scifi's strongest point... whereas fantasy - well it's not as clear. Fantasy's strongpoint (I think) is plot, and its ethical dilemmas, where scifi often focuses on presenting an ideology. The plots of mainstream literature, and the amount of experimentation with new ideas is notoriously limited. They focus on character development, on examining this world... and when mainstream readers pick up a fantasy or scifi book, they look for these things - and usually don't find much of them. Until someone respected academic writes a comprehensive theory for critiquing fantasy and scifi - what to look for etc. - well, these genres will continue to be marginalised.

That's my

Chris Tannlund Sun Oct 4 07:18:04 PDT 1998

Now on-line! The debut issue of Tintern Abbey: The On-Line Journal of Contemporary Poetry, theme: "The October Project." Celebrate autumn with the finest poets on the net. Featured Poet: Charlee Jacob. Autumnal poetry by M.Alexander, Virginia Beesley, Nancy Bennett, C.E. Chaffin, Robert Duffy, Heather Hadley, Larry Kilman, Leonard Kress,
Jennifer Ley, James Brian Livingstone, E. McGrand, Michael McNeilley, Denise A. Nardone, Patricia Ranzoni, David Sutherland and Robert Zordani. The issue #2 theme will be "Mothers," and issue #3 will be a special "All Formal Poetry" issue. Please visit the on-site guidelines for discussion of these themes, list of future themes, and complete submission guidelines at

Howard Tuckey Sat Oct 3 18:00:29 PDT 1998

Science fiction not "real literature?" Perhaps that professor has never heard of C.S.Lewis? His "Out of the Silent Planet" , "Perelandra", and "That Hideous Strength" are classics.
Not a valid or lasting form of expression? Mention H.G. Wells or Victor Hugo.
Too unrealistic? Check out Arthur C. Clarke -- then look at satellites, the space shuttle, and several other things we take for granted. He proposed them in his stories years before they became a reality.
But please let's not be guilty of the same form of prejudice. Writers such as Flannery O'Connor, James Joyce, Thurber, Updike, etc, etc, are too good to be ignored. We can learn much about writing from them, and we (just like that professor) do ourselves and our potential readers a great injustice by ignoring them.
ANFSCD -- (and now for something completely different)
Check out the latest Writers Digest magazine for an interesting article on the return of the Omniscient Point Of View.

toby Sat Oct 3 15:33:21 PDT 1998

Sorry, mistyped my URL...that should get anyone who is interested to my journal.

Toby Buckell Sat Oct 3 15:25:01 PDT 1998

Goodweed: rock on dude. I'm all there. I read "With The Night Mail" for the first time only a few months ago, it was awesome, I couldn't believe it. If I can find it I will be dropping it on said professor's desk.

First paid publicationToday was a miserable Saturday at start. Was dragged out of bed at 6:00 AM to play soccer in Indiana. We were kicked 7-0. I almost scored for the other team in a crappy clear. Highlight of the game: I closelined four players who had the ball while hustling, one landed four feet out of bounds. (I'm not a thug, I just get sick of seeing other teams push my guys around and ripping shirts).

The day picked up though, I got back to see a reply from Altair, didn't like "Abrupt Salvage", too cliche, which seems to be the general consensus about that one. Then when checking E-Mail saw James Baker asking for 'Airtown, he wants to put it on the February issue of their E-Zine The Martian Wave. He offered money, so that will definitely be my first sale. Not a bad end to a long day. I was thrilled to paid.

Sat Oct 3 14:10:11 PDT 1998

Is anyone out there?

S.N.Arly Fri Oct 2 21:01:00 PDT 1998

Barb - I'm not sure if it's an online version of the print magazine of the same name, since I haven't actually spnet too much time at the site. Anyway, there are a lot of e-zines and print magazines out there that are martial arts oriented. I have a story I'll be sending out shortly (after thte rewrite) on an individual who is preparing for the brown belt test. Aaah market research. A tasty time waster.

But here it is: Black Belt Magazine


Goodweed of the North Fri Oct 2 19:56:25 PDT 1998

I read the postings of anger against those who put their noses in the air, and talk down, and criticize science fiction and fantasy. Some ammo for your guns: Ask that literature teacher if she considers Rudyard Kipling works in her "classics" group. When she says yes, inform her of Mr. Kipplings SF short, "With the Night Mail". Poe is considered a master of his genre. I can think of no more surealistic peice of fantasy than "The Masque of the Red Death". And What about Shakespear's "A Midsummer Nights Dream." How can you label that work as anything but whimsical, if very clever, fantasy? The list goes on.

Also remind this teacher of Mr. Isaac Asimov. Not only is he regarded by many as the "Father of modern Science Fiction", but was a very respected physicist who wrote many a physics text-book in his day. Some of the greatest minds in the world of writing have been prominant scientists in their own right. The stories of Sherlock Holmes, it could be argued, used the science of deductive reasoning. Isn't that Science Fiction? Just because it deals with the present, or near future and doesn't use technology as its backdrop, doesn't mean it's not science-fiction. What would you call "The Island of Dr. Morrow", or "Hunt for Red October"? Both of those stories are woven through a tapestry of scientific breakthroughs that are currently taking place within our present time, i.e. cloning and the use of magnetoheterodyne propulsion (mhd), respectively. I would even go so far as to presume that the teacher doesn't know much about either subject.

Challenge your literature teacher to read any of Marion Zimmer Bradley's "Darkover" books. The stories are rich in texture, imagination, intrigue, and character. But they are placed on the imaginary world of Darkover.

Remind her that one who speaks from ignorance is practicing the same predjudice as those who condem others for their race, religeon, or beliefs. If you want to print this posting and give it to her, feel free.

Let me give some background. I hold a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering Technology, and am versed in various forms of literature ranging from hard science fiction and fantasy through works by Tenessey Williams. I have read and thoroughly enjoyed "Catch 22", "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf", Death of a Salesman", "A midsummer Nights Dream", Huckleberry Finn", "Call of the Wild", etc. I choose to read predominantly Science Fiction due to the excellence of the writers and their ability to extrapolate the future into believable, and sometimes disturbing posibilities (Try any work from the master of speculative fiction, Mr. Harlan Ellison. Men and Women are faced to force morality issues which may soon be upon us, overcome trials not possible anywhere but in the future (or near future). It opens my mind to the future, just as mythology and history teach me of the past. To be well-rounded, one must throw away stereotypical thinking and be willing to experiance the new.

I love to cook and eat. How much I would have missed had I been unwilling to try the superb and varied foods of the many countries I was blessed to visit while in the navy. If I had been predjudiced against other races, I would have missed out on making the many and varied freinds I have had in my life.

To be closed minded is cheating one-self from the vast experiance available in this very large and rich world.

Besides, what is she afraid of, losing her status among her peers because she might enjoy a different genre? If that is the case, her own belief in her self-worth must be very limited. And that is a sad thing.

I will let no one dictate to me my likes and dislikes so much as my choices do not interfere with another's freedoms.

Sorry this was so long. I have fought this stereotype for a long time.

And thank you to SNarly and one of my favorite people, Rhoda for sending me some e-mail addresses.

Seeeeya; Goodweed of the North

I bet she'll erroneously assume I'm a drug abuser because of my internet name. If so, she will certainly show her true colors.

Fri Oct 2 19:23:58 PDT 1998

S.K.S Perry and S.N Arly:

Do not think that I hate regular literature. I was reading Kipling and Shakespeare and loving it well before I was weaned on Clarke and Asimov. Like I said, I am an English major, not a masochist, which I would have to be if I didn't enjoy it, and appreciate it. Dickens is probably one of my favorite all time writers, as well as DeFoe, I am looking forward to reading Moll Flanders near the end of this term. It is the value judgements that I can't abide by...

Barb G. Fri Oct 2 18:30:21 PDT 1998

Hi Y'all,

I've posted half of a short story in the workbook. Please, help me fix what's wrong. It's only a few months old, but it keeps coming back.

For those of you who are into martial arts, I've found a magazine on-line where you can send your karate or whatever stories to. It's called Black Belt, I'll get back later to give you the URL.


Judi Gemeinhardt Fri Oct 2 15:32:59 PDT 1998

Don't know whether you are aware of the e=zine "Storybytes." It can be reached at
Laurel Shirmer runs it. It deals with historical writing and reading. Check it out. It might be right up your alley. Judi

Cat Jafek Fri Oct 2 13:42:13 PDT 1998

Hi Again......

S.K.S: OKIE-DOKIE fine... We'll try this e-mail thing again.. I just sent it out to you again.....Cat

Zinza Fri Oct 2 13:20:11 PDT 1998

Hello all!

I've noticed that I've been away far too long...*l*

Where do I get to the workbook? I can't find it.

Zinza sen Leigh

Barb G. Fri Oct 2 11:34:28 PDT 1998

Hi Y'all,

And speaking of Horror stories, yeah, I know we were in the down-trodden SF/F mode there, but many times Horror is tagged along with those two genres. And saying that, I'd like you all to visit the new issue of Underworld Magazine and take a look at a fiction piece titled: "Funeral Fever" by some woman named Rachel Anne Garrett. IT IS "R" RATED so please use discrescion(sp!).

Also, there's a story up for critiqueing at Zoetrope on-line magazine.

Now I'll hide my red face for being so brazen.

By the by: I loved all of Orwell's work and *some* of Huxley's (Eyeless in Gaza was a real stinko and of course we all know he was deep into drugs, so this must have been stream of consciousness writing from a stoned POV). Ira Levin had a couple that were terrific, too. So even though I lean toward Literary and Horror, I still very much love SF. If I could write it I would.


S.K.S. Perry Fri Oct 2 10:54:00 PDT 1998


In keeping with what S.N.Arly was saying, there's nothing like reading the old literary works for developing new worlds, customs, ideas ect. Sometimes the ideas and the everyday-taken-for-granted--customs of the period so casually described in these works seem totaly alien to us looking back from our perspective in time. It's even interesting to see how writing styles have changed, even in SF. Read H.G Wells "War of the Worlds." The style reminds me of a technical manual, or some scientific paper. The writing is VERY formal.

And if you think SF is looked down upon where you're from, try living in Canada. Here, it's not REAL literature unless you're writing about a little house on the prarie, or growing up a poor immigrant hooker in some fishing village on the coast.

S.N.Arly Fri Oct 2 09:37:26 PDT 1998

I'm sneaking on at work. Aaah, free internet. Yum.

SKS - It could be someone's name. That'd be my guess.

Rachel - That was sort of the aim. It came across pretty strong because, well I feel strongly about the subject. Oh, and the spelling I believe you're looking for would be sensei.

Keep up the horror stuff. It's good to try your boundaries now and again. You may find a genre you never realized you could write.

Toby - Some lit teachers would drown if they went out in the rain. That aside, literature does have a value you may not see just now. Very few students see it until later. You do get a historically accurate view of how many things operated. Through description you see how people dressed, what the architecture and art looked. You can see what the social norms and appropriate behavior were. A lot of that finds its way into literature, even if it isn't blatantly obvious. In a way it's nice to see where we came from so we can decide where we think we might go or how things could have been different if only... (hence the connection to fantasy and sci fi).

toby buckell Fri Oct 2 08:36:54 PDT 1998

Science Fiction contains more information in history, science, philosophy, religion and thought and learning in general than any other genre. My teachers always ask how I can know so much about so many different subjects, and my reply is 'it is in the books one reads'. Coming to college and being forced to read the more literary works has given me the impression that I am actually learning less now than I did before when I had the time to read ten SF books a week. I give out my feeling on the incredible aspects of SF not because I am a fan, but I have read so much as an English major that I feel I can sit down and compare faithfully. Most literary critics don't read SF, they don't have a *&^%ing clue what they are talking about.

I'll try not to get started. Sore subject. I was told by one prof that H.G. Wells wasn't valid early 20th century British Literature, even though on the back of the Joyce books we've read the Brits themselves have thought it important to include a blurb by Wells on the book. I think this prof needs a reality check, and soon I'm going to drop on her like a ton of bricks if she doesn't one day drop this superiority complex over literature.


Kathleen Jafek (Cat) Fri Oct 2 08:22:11 PDT 1998

Good Morning All,

S.K.S: I hope that you recieve the e-mail that I sent you
concerning Wet Ware.... I enjoyed it. Cat

Rachel Fri Oct 2 07:00:33 PDT 1998

Hi all

S.N.Arly - Read the column, I thought that it was very good. I want to say again that I am new to this all. I didn't even know about "gener" untill I came here and as an ignorant reader I just assumed that Science Fiction and Fantasy were "art" I think that all expressions of self are "art" and therefore beautiful in somebodys eyes. As for science fiction being easy to write HA!SNORT!NOT! There is absolutly nothing easy about creating worlds, systems, religions, faiths and beliefs, to say nothing of believable characters.

I am currently working very hard on a Science Fiction piece and my blood boils at the notion that anyone would think that it was easy or a cheep way to write a story. Maybe I read more into your article than was there but it left me feeling ticked off for science fictions writers everywere (Ah yes and the fantasy folk as well)

All - TIME - Such a short TIME ago I has so much and suddenly it is all gone. In Karate everyone was complaining of lack of TIME and the Sinse (spelling?) said "wake up earlier if you need time" I of course knew that was the answer, but hey I like sleeping in till 7:00 or 7:30, oh well I guess if I want to do the things I love and keep the people I love early I will need to drag my sorry behind out of bed and get to it.

My writing has become a major point of interest with my friends and family and they all want to know what i'm doing, what i'm thinking why i'm thinking that, where did it come from, how do I get my ideas?????????? Ahhhhhhhhhh! Everytime I turn around I seem to have two people (yes I am serrious) reading over my shoulder and it makes it unbelievably hard to concentrate with "Who is Rixtal, who is Tyne, moma, moma whats a Nantalation. Do you know any Tanglions. Is there such a place as Izon?

Dan wanted to know a little about my creepy, creepy, story, so I sat down and told him and he looked across at me and said "Thanks Rach, God I never want to go to sleep again." He was dead serrious and gave me the realization that I guess I am writing a horror and I haven't written a thing on it since that day, but I know i'll go back to it because now i'v started and now I know where it's going and (does anyone else feel this) The story is pulling me, wanting to be finished. It's not just this way with the horror, it's the same with the science fiction as well, and short stories.

Yikes what a massive post.

I talked to my children yesterday about hanging over my shoulder and to Dan as well. I think he figured I was kidding so I will need to mention it to him again. I have told them all that when I am done something that they can read it but I feel weird about people watching it take shape. You know to me its just like bare bones and it will need some serrious care and attention before I want people to sit down and start reading.

Jack - thanks for the new password, maybe someday I will get to the new areas (sigh)

SKSPerry - Was I mistaken or did I read something about you questioning your writing? Tsk, Tsk, not allowed, there are lots of other people who will do that for you. I for one really enjoyed the pice that I read and the rest that you sent to me. I believe that you have a talent for telling a story, don't stop now!

Caroline - I am anxious to get back to your story, as is my young daughter who wants me to tell her all about Eranons story. Look you already have a fan!

Have to admit I didn't take the time to read all the posts, but plan to go over them sometime over the next few days.

Take care all

S.K.S. Perry Fri Oct 2 06:12:56 PDT 1998


I checked out the shallow End (your link works fine). I don't know much about E-zines as I'm pretty new to this internet stuff, but I thought it was cool (is it cool to say cool?)I read Barb's column, as well as yours (as an aspiring SF writer, I totally agree with you)and read some of the poetry and fiction. When I have more time I'll have to check out the back issues--especially your columns (both you and Barb.)

By the way, does the word Naejin mean anything to anyone else. I thought I made it up for my novel (they're elite warriors--sort of a play on Ninja) but when I went to use it as my Email ID I was informed that it was already in use.I did a quick search on it but turned up nothing.

S.K.S. Perry

Eliahu Cahana Fri Oct 2 04:34:00 PDT 1998

Hi all ,

I am new in the eavy forest of writing .

I keep dreaming about writing historical novels .

Because i am a jew i would write novels about
famus jewish characters from and out of the
bible and talmud .

I would like to communicate with a person with
intrest in historical novels .

A very good new year to all of us .


S.N.Arly Thu Oct 1 20:24:26 PDT 1998

This has nothing to do with critiques.

Thanks Barb.

There's a great little E-zine out there called the shallowEND. For those of you who have not yet found it, Barb (G) and I each do a monthly column, and Barb has been known to submit stories as well. The october issue is out and includes my first column.

Go visit it, read work by your fellow writers. And enjoy. Incidentally, my spouse did not like my column. Too in your face, but that's what I write.

Gonna try a link here, and as I'm new to html,I hope it works:the shallowEND


W. Olivia Race Thu Oct 1 18:44:33 PDT 1998

Hi all. Still replotting and revamping the old novel. It seems that every time I change one element it completely turns the story in a new direction!!!. If playing in my little alternative world wasn't so much fun I'd have chucked it all by now. May be I just have a God complex. Or maybe I know that one day the whole darn thing is gonna gel and I'll actually be ready to submit it to a publisher.

Caroline: I actually spend the last moments before I drop off to sleep plotting what I'd like to dream about. This actually seems to work for me. I usually end up dreaming about whatever I had in my mind prior to dropping off to sleep. Sometimes it is sequential, other times it's an endless loop of the same scene with different variations. All in full color. I've always been able to do this and the only time it doesn't work is if I'm really stressed.

On critiques: I like to look at all of the elements that really gelled in a particular story. Then I see if the plot stood up under the elements. Really snappy dialogue or characters that take over and literally "breath" also get to me. When someone really gets it right, JOY; if someone almost gets it, but not quite? Point out areas that might need improvement ie: maybe a particular character needs more work, or a particular section of dialogue is slightly wooden, etc. Above all, be kind; they might read something I've written once. Like Jack says, we aren't critiquing people, but words on paper.

Okay, I've taken up enough space for tonight. Good writing, all!!!!!

Allein-chan Thu Oct 1 17:04:05 PDT 1998

I don't know if anyone here has been reading the chapters as I add them onto my story. But if you are, they'll be under MAJOR construction on my webpage. Sorry for the inconvenience.


S.K.S. Perry Thu Oct 1 16:24:26 PDT 1998


Any time your server is up to it, I'd be glad to look at your work. When I said I do critique as to subject matter, what I really meant was that I don't get all negative if the subject matter is something that makes me uncomfortable or offends me personally. I critique it as to the story itself and the writing technique.


Glad I could be of help.

Barb G. Thu Oct 1 14:32:52 PDT 1998

Hi, Y'all,

S.N.Arly: GREAT WORK!! I just read it. Why don't you tell the others about it.

S.K.S.: I'm really happy I could be of help, thanks for your note. I probably will take you up on your offer because I have one that comes back and comes back. It needs something and I'm at a loss trying to find it (I'm not saying that it's so-o-o good, I can't find anything wrong with it, or anything like that...)

SKS & Snarly & anyone else who has been trying to reach me -- something is wrong with my outgoing mail so I'll e-mail after it's fixed.


Allein-chan Thu Oct 1 14:15:16 PDT 1998

S.K.S Perry - you're a good critiquer. You really helped me with my rape story. You're honeset - which is the best quality in a critiquer. Most people just say "it's nice" so they don't hurt anyone's feelings.

Speaking of critiquing, in the lit. zine group at my school is also discussing having a writing group where we sit down and critique each other's work. I'm all for it.

Well, gotta jet.
Bye bye.

S.N.Arly Thu Oct 1 13:54:32 PDT 1998

Aaaah critiques. Giving and recieving critiques is almost as essential to being a writer as the actual writing part. For some, it can take a long time before you feel comfortable recieving a critique, even if it's constructive. I've gotten over that myself, but I've been watching an individual in my writer's group slowly get accustomed to this. So it's as important to be open-minded on the receiving end as the giving end.

I like to think I give pretty good critiques, and from what I've been told, my thnking is not too far off from the actual world. Always a nice touch. I've created a form that I use when critiquing someone else's stuff. When designing it I tried to think of what aspects of writing are important to editors and what I would like to have feedback on.

I always start out with my first impressions. Did I like it, did it feel complete? If I liked it, do I know why? If not, likewise? What was my first response. Then I re-read the story (sometimes days or a week later), line-editing ad I go, and looking at the following categories: appearance of MS, plot/storyline, characterization/character development, world development, description, dialogue, consistency, plausibility, reader interest, grammar/style choices, and other.

In any of these areas I try to tell the writer where his/her strong and weak points are. I let him/her know if they've done enough for any given aspect or perhaps too much (ie: some stories don't need a lot of character development).

It's a given that you shouldn't be out to shoot someone else down. You also don't want to baby someone along too much. I always re-read my critiques to be sure the language says what I want it to without attacking or coddling. If a story really sucks and you can't find anything good to say, it's perhaps best to tell the writer that the story didn't seem to work and maybe it needs more attention before you try to critique it.

Like Jack, however, I'm pretty sure that there's almost always something salvagable from a story, and I do like to mention that to the writer. Having done a fair bit of teaching, I know how important it is to deliver good news with the bad. Unlike SKS, I will critique just about anything, including the subject matter. But again I try to keep it constructive. It can be a great help to a writer to find out that the subject as is has been overdone in the market and the story may be hard to sell. That doesn't make it a waste of time, since a sale isn't always the primary goal. I've made corrections in my own subjects to keep them out of the world of cliche.

I look back at my critiques and ask myself, would this help me or not? If not, why's it in there?

Last i try to help the writer with possible markets - this is usually in the case of short stories. I'll sugguest various magazines that print that kind of stuff.

And for those of you who actually read this whole thing, thanks, it's nice to know I'm not wasting my time.


S.K.S. Perry Thu Oct 1 12:39:24 PDT 1998

Oh yeah,

Just another point on critiques; if someone takes the time to read and critique my work, I take the time to respond. I take all the critiques I collect on a particular story and place them in a folder, then go over them and apply the combined suggestions where nessecary.

S.K.S. Perry Thu Oct 1 10:03:26 PDT 1998

Generally, when I critique someone's work, I give them both positive and negative views. If I can't really find anything negative, then so much the better.

I start by telling them whether I liked or didn't like the story, and why. If I didn't like it I try to come up with suggestions as to how they could fix it (only my opinion, of course.) At this point I'm usually only concerned with the idea (is it original, does it have a new twist, etc.), style, mood, and flow of the story (how easy was it to read.)

Next, I try to correct the work as to basic spelling and grammar. If it's a long piece of work, I'll probably only do this for about a chapter or so. I may even rewrite it a bit. I usually do this by showing them their original paragraph or sentence and then my rewrite. Obviously, it's up to them whether they use my suggestions or not. If the person returns the favour and critiques my work, then I'm more than happy to assist in editing the entire story.

I never criticise the story’s subject matter, although I will tell them if the premise seems weak or unbelievable. Again--always explain why.

If you're looking for a detailed critique however, check out ftp://ftp.webcom/pub1/victory/www/download/howcrit.txt

This site breaks down how to critique into the nitty gritty details--plotting, resolution of conflict ect. ect...

Kathleen Jafek Thu Oct 1 00:41:42 PDT 1998

Hi All,
I've been gone for awhile because of health problems.
I have kept up on the reading though.

Judi- Please, don't get too depressed because of those "professional readers". Actually, they might even do a better job at reading what we send in then what some editors or publishers would do, simply because they are not quite so swamped. Most of them love they're jobs, for they would prefer to read more than anything else that they could(or would) do...

Jack- "What consists of a GOOD critique" to ME,
is #1: Walking in (or opening) to a reading with an open mind. Letting your sense's (the reader's), be available to perceive the root of the story, poem or novel.
#2: A "critique" has to be totally objective, but yet at the same time self-serving; in this, I mean that it has to be able to stand alone, in itself and for itself. For each problem that one see's, suggest a way (so to speak) to fix it or make it better. Even if it is in the abstract.
#3: A "critique" should be given ONLY towards the written words or phrases that are read, though sometimes this is hard.
#4: They should be constructive, not condemning OR condescending.
#5: As writer's, we don't need to be talked down to, JUST TALKED TO!

Alot of people may not feel the way that I do, but basically
each person has to judge for him or her self......
This is the way that I FEEL.

Judi Gemeinhardt Wed Sep 30 19:03:44 PDT 1998

Thanks S.N. but with a book out to an agent, it makes one wonder.
Clicked on the "Post Now" and it didn't bring me to this area. It sort of left me in limbo, hee,hee. What can I say, sooner or later the bugs will be dead!
Judi G

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Sep 30 16:49:35 PDT 1998

Topic? Your wish is my command.

Given the new expanded Workbook with more critique areas and the even more expanded
version with multiple genres that is coming in the near future, it is probably time to discuss what constitutes a good critique. I like to think that there are no bad writers, just ones that have not written their first million words of drek. So, it is probably a good idea for a critiquer to at least find one thing positive to say in addition to all the its terribles. And there is the primary previso to critique words on paper or screen and not people. So, what are the elements of a good critique?

S.N.Arly Wed Sep 30 15:01:54 PDT 1998

Judi - This is why we say don't get down about a reject. The business has sort of always been that way, it's just that now there are more writers and more professional readers than there used to be.

Jack - Topic? Please? Much as Lydia may like the personal anectdotes (and there really is nothing wrong with them), I most enjoy the shop talk. It's what has made this site useful to me.


Judi Gemeinhardt Wed Sep 30 14:26:02 PDT 1998

Hi y'all!
Just found out some disturbing news. As aspiring writers, we don't need any more discouraging news than is already out there and this takes the cake.
Are you aware that when you send your manuscript to a publisher it is very possible that he/she will place it or send it on to a "professional reader?" This means they don't even see or read it at all. It goes directly in an envelope to the "reader." Whether or not it gets published depends on that particular "readers" report *written opinion) as to whether it is worthy of publishing! If they happen to have a bad are dumped.
I feel this is an unfair practice for the writer that works so hard on their short story, novel or poems and only to have it pushed on to someone else. The publisher or editor doesn't even have the courtesey or decency to read because most are overwhelmed with manuscripts. So when the rejections come, you can't be sure if they read it at all even if their name is on it.
That is pretty discouraging for the aspiring writer don't you think? Please give feedback on your thoughts about this.
Judi G

Invisigoth Gypsy Wed Sep 30 12:56:49 PDT 1998

Caroline: Re dreams... Mine are never terribly interesting. I always dream about mundane things, like school and people I know. In fact my first flying dream EVER happened about two weeks ago-- and I'm 16 years old! Sixteen whole years without a flying dream. *sighs* I feel so deprived. I dream in color, but only ordinary colors. My dreams look just like real life. Not much inspiration for the writing *there*.

S.K.S. Perry Wed Sep 30 10:55:59 PDT 1998


My work Email address is
This one works for some of you, not for others.

My home Email address is
This one should work.

If all else fails, my wife's Email address at home is

Good Luck!

Lydia Sweet Wed Sep 30 09:28:16 PDT 1998

Hi all,

Have been trying to get a minute just to read the postings, but have been so busy haven't been able to really digest and comment.

What I would like to comment on is that although this is a writing forum, I like the little montage of personal moments we get from time to time. It let's me get to know the writers whose work I am reading.

S.K.S. Perry - I have E-mailed you several times on two different addresses and have had the mail returned each time. I'll keep trying eventually I'll get through.

Hope to have more time soon.


Toby Buckell Wed Sep 30 09:02:30 PDT 1998

S.K.S- also try 'I'd like to kill Bill Gates'. I don't think that programmer is still with the company.

Won our first game of the season yesterday. Very emotional, it was tied and went into overtime, sudden death, very close calls on all sides, then with 15 freaking seconds left we managed to score. I'm too young for a heart attack, but man, what a game!

See ya all around:

S.K.S. Perry Wed Sep 30 06:20:09 PDT 1998


Welcome back. Nope, didn't get any of your Email. Figures! For now, you can Email me at That's my wife's Email address and it seems to be working fine. I think I'm going to set myself up a hotmail account as you suggested. I hope you had a great holiday, even if you are smelly now.

As to dreaming, I rarely remember mine. When I do they usually make no sense what so ever. Well, it makes sense while I'm dreaming, but when I wake up and think about it, it's like I was working under a whole different set of rules for logic. I do dream in vivid, almost neon colours.

I'm pretty wiped right now. I accompanied my wife and daughter to a Janet Jackson concert in Toronto last night. At least I think it was Janet. We paid over $200 dollars Canadian (that's about 75 cents American) for seats about a football field away from the stage. The music was great and the dancing was phenomenal. It sure sounded like Janet. Then again, it could have been Michael.

For all you Americans out there, here's something that you might find interersting (if you don't know about it already--I'm pretty out of the loop up here.)
If you have MS Word 7.0, open a new page and type --I'd like to impeach Bill Clinton.--then highlight it and open the thesaurus. Read the "replace with." Apparently some programers have just too much time on their hands. (I don't know if this works with previous versions of MS Word.)

Oh well, back to work. I have to give a demo on "using common everyday items as weapons" in an hour.

S.K.S. Perry

Jack Beslanwitch Tue Sep 29 23:08:01 PDT 1998

Before anyone tries to get into the Workbook before they read their email, I have changed to a new set of login name and password. Take care.

Tue Sep 29 22:57:42 PDT 1998

oops, i meant Gaidal... I can spell, really

Caroline Heske Tue Sep 29 22:56:35 PDT 1998

Well, I hope everyone is enjoying themselves with hot showers cause I'M NOT!!! The stupid gas system in our stupid state has stupidly blown up because our stupid premier decided to sell it off to some stupid company who were too stupid to keep maintenance standards up, and consequently there's barely enough gas to keep hospitals running, and industry is losing 100 million dollars a DAY, and it's going on for two or three stupid WEEKS, and now the stupid premier's trying to bring in stupid legislation so no-one can even sue the stupid company for negligence... and the whole stupid thing didn't have to happen! I'm sorry, Jack, I know what you said about bringing tabloid press onto this site, but I smell and I thought you'd all like to know why I'm so miserably pissed off, and Australian news doesn't seem to reach the rest of the world.

There... out of my system.

Salome - would I be right in thinking you were from South Africa? I don't know much about the writing scene there, but I would reckon you could find out by either ringing the government's education department, or the universities.

SKS - don't be depressed. I've sent emails to both your addresses, but knowing the auspicious eye with which you are viewed by the fates, I imagine neither will reach you. Just remember that YOU HAVE TALENT! Stories are so much a matter of taste, so you shouldn't let one person's opinion get you down... there's a whole world out there. Anyone who's done psych knows that that's hardly a representative sample.

Olivia Race - Do you dream sequentially - I mean, like virtual reality with the full works and real time? Without funny leaps of logic? When I dream, it's very often like that, though I gather that's fairly unusual... What do other people here dream like?

Keith - no, but the moment it's out in the shops I'll be buying it - and I still maintain that Giadal Cain is in Mat!

Salome Blignaut Tue Sep 29 11:45:11 PDT 1998

S.K.S Perry: THanks, I appreciate help tremndously and I'm getting down to the library as soon as possible! Sorry to see your still having problems! Hope it goes better.

Keith Fox Tue Sep 29 06:47:07 PDT 1998

Just curious... but does anyone have Robert Jordan's new novel on reserve? I do...

Goodweed of the North Tue Sep 29 03:56:33 PDT 1998

After 2-1/2 frustrating months of formatting my hardrive, and reloading everything, swapping memory modules, asking tech freinds for help, etc. I finally found the problem with my computer. It wasn't something as sinister as a virus, but caused the same symptoms. If you have problems with you machine running flaky, locking up, not reading fonts that it read before, giving lots of errors causing you to shut down, and corrupting files, check the cpu fan. That's all that was wrong with my machine. It cost me $16.00 dollars U.S. at Radio Shack for a new fan and seven minutes at home to replace it.

The moral of the story; Go for the easy fixes first. I've been in electronics forever. I've worked on extremely high tech stuff in my carreer. Don't over-think a problem. It does nothing but cause grief. My machine now works perfectly. I'm Back.

The worst part is that I've lost many of my e-mail addresses due to the hard drive reformat. Does anyone out there have the e-mail address for Hayden Grayel, Bill Whitney, or Kay Brown. I know that many here are new with relation to those names. They are good freinds however and I would like to contact them and say hi. If you have them, please e-mail me. I had them written down but didn't have the sense to put the adresses in a safe place. They got lost.

As for the notebook/workbook, I can now participate again. I will read and pass on what meager knowledge I may have for critiqueing work.

Thanks everyone.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

K.C. Mon Sep 28 23:06:37 PDT 1998

Hi y'all,

I haven't posted much since school started but I have finally settled in and am writing again. I have started (re-started) a novel. Two of my friends and I had started to write a story in 8th grade but we didn't keep it up. I finally got curious as to where the story had gone and asked one of my co-writers. I found out that she had been wondering the same thing. We finally talked to the other girl that was writing with us and she had it. It was somewhere in her room. Took her two weeks to find it but now it is in our hands and we are working on it. We have the first 30 or so pages hand written and I am going to transfer it to the computer for easy editing. I just have to keep up with my co-writer.

I started college today. Two days a week I run (drive actually) from the high school to the college. I really like my English teacher and think I am going to have lots of fun in her class.

If I am boring you - WHY ARE YOU STILL READING? I am just really hyper and excited about actually going to college (even thou I am 2 years younger than most of the other students.).

Hope everyone has a good time writing.


Invisigoth Gypsy Mon Sep 28 19:12:38 PDT 1998

Olivia: Yay, fellow Tanith fan :) Of the books you've mentioned, I've only read 'The Silver Metal Lover,' but it's my favorite of all her books that I've read. I absolutely loved it! I even started a fan-fiction sequel sorta thingie about Jane and Clovis but I never got very far with it :( Anyhow, I also enjoyed her 'Unicorn' trilogy... 'Black Unicorn' was what introduced me to her work. Glad to find someone with shared interests :)


S.K.S. Perry Mon Sep 28 18:50:51 PDT 1998

Ok, Get this.

Remember that little discussion we had a while back about coincidence. Well....

I finally get connectet to the Net at home, hoping it will solve all my E-mail problems. Guess what, their POP server (incoming E-mail server) has been down all night for the first time in history, so I can send E-mail but I can't receive it. Now I KNOW there is a God. SOMEONE must be out to get me.

W. Olivia RAce Mon Sep 28 17:18:19 PDT 1998

Hi all. Popped in to see whats up. I have both my writing and tons of legal crap from work that I need to catch up on. Sometimes I feel like I'll never get caught up. Oh well, being a paralegal pays the mortgage and the bill so I guess I shouldn't complain too much.

Invisigoth: Wow, another Tanith Lee fan. I am not really thrilled with her horror stuff, but "The Birthgrave" absolutely blew me away when I was in highschool. It was the first epic fantasy I ever read. Also good are "The Silver Metal Lover" and "Kill the Dead". These are all DAW paperbacks that might be out of print, but geez if you can find them, you'll see the first inspiration for my desire to be a fantasist. I have all the first editions of her books from DAW.

Changing subjects abruptly: I too am having problems getting into the critiquing area of the Workbook.

Jack: BTW, I love new Workbook!!! Less cluttered and easier to go to specific sections. Once I stopped w/ my typos in the location address I popped right in w/ not problems.

Anyway, the work from my "real" job is waiting.

Good writing all!!!

Allein-chan Mon Sep 28 16:19:40 PDT 1998

S.N. Arly - Yeah, I think you're right about it being orally passed down. My Chinese pen pal has said that it's a very famous poem in China. I saw the Disney movie - I can't wait to get it on video.

If anyone hasn't read the entire thing and would like to then go to
On there is a link to connect you to the Mulan poem.

Well, bye all,

Invisigoth Gypsy Mon Sep 28 14:39:27 PDT 1998

Hi y'all! I haven't posted in forever 'cos I've been cosmically busy, but I have a few extra minutes so I thought I'd blab.

Anyone having to deal with Hurricane Georges? I certainly am. I live in south-central Alabama, so we aren't getting REALLY awful weather, but it's certainly bad enough: lots and lots of rain. And we're under a flood and tornado watch. The county I live in was the only one around here where the schools were still open. Figures, doesn't it? ;) If it's like this tomorrow, I'm not going. Rather stay home and write anyhow ;)

My poor stories. I've barely touched them lately because I've been loaded with school work, plus I just got a job. Fun. Still, I've managed to make time for 'Confessions...' since it's my top priority at the moment.

I'm so happy... Today in the mail I got the magazine that had published the first writing I've ever gotten paid for! It made me feel so special to see it, even though it's really just a devotion/short essay type thing and not a fiction story. I don't care, I'm still happy :) *IVG hopes that the euphoria will carry her through tomorrow's dentist appointment. Yuck.*

Oh, and one more thing... Anyone around here familiar with Tanith Lee's books? I adore her writing (right now I'm reading 'Heartbeast', which is excellent!) and since not many people have heard of her, I'm always looking for fellow fans...

Since I had nothing of real content to say, I guess I'll hush now and get back to 'Confessions...' 'Later, y'all! :)


S.N.Arly Mon Sep 28 13:34:14 PDT 1998

Allein - I think the poem Mulan is much like Homer's The Odessy. It can't really be attributed to anyone because it was part of an oral tradition long before it was ever recorded. It's a Chinese story usually called Fa Mu Lan. Last name first and all that. The Disney version isn't too bad, they did a decent job translating it into something Americans would understand on some level.

W. Olivia Race - I'd never heard the term before I met in my writer's group, and I nearly laughed because I thought it sounded awful pretensious (and coming from the person, it seemed as likely). I have run into it elsewhere, however, so I see it is at least a commonly understood term.


S.K.S. Perry Mon Sep 28 12:11:44 PDT 1998

Oh Yeah,


I'm not at work today so I don't know if I got you're E-mail there or not.

Mon Sep 28 12:06:28 PDT 1998

Let's try this again.

I finally got on the net at home. You can try E-Mailing me at Hopefully this one will work better than my work address. I just receieved another rejection letter for one of my short stories so I'm really kind if bummed out right now. Oh well, life goes dull and depressing as it may be.

Jack, Will I need a new login ID and password to get onto the workbook from home now?

S.K.S. Perry

Barb G. Mon Sep 28 10:22:53 PDT 1998

Hey, maybe it does take a church-steeple to hit me over the head!


Barb G. Mon Sep 28 07:17:11 PDT 1998

Hi Y'all,

Still can't get in the workbook to make critiques...

Would someone send me the correct URL?

Thanks, and Havahappi

adrianne Mon Sep 28 04:17:02 PDT 1998

hi everyone
I haven't been in here awhile coz I've been frantically job searching, house looking and the like...
I'm going somewhat crazy actually, but these things happen.
Hurray!! I came second in a short story competition yesterday, weird coz I wasn't happy with the story, it was only allowed to be 500 words so I had to spend awhile cutting down (took longer than writing the actual thing!) Well I'll post that in a sec then I'll get to reading I guess. I'm getting happier by the day.... things that were depressing me - I wrote them down and sorted them out one by one and even though I'm not happy about all the outcomes at least they're dealt with and nothing is in limbo anymore (besides finding a job, a house...) Well what I'm trying to say is that my mind is cleared and I'm looking up.
Here's to feeling happy....

Howard Tuckey Mon Sep 28 03:53:08 PDT 1998

S.K.S. Perry -- I sent you some thoughts on Wet Ware (I like it very much) but just got my note back as undeliverable. The error message says that it will try again. I resent it, so maybe it will fly today. Otherwise I'll post it to the critique area.

Jack Beslanwitch Sun Sep 27 22:44:12 PDT 1998

I am almost fully recovered, everyone. Thanks for the well wishes and Toby if I had some rum in the house I think I would take you up on the suggestion :-). I have gotten some excellent suggestions on genres. But, now that I am health, I have to run and catch up with my commercial commitments. When that is done I will start taking a stab and expanding the scope of the Workbook and perhaps experiment with some alternate guestbook scripts that allow for either just the title of the manuscript and you can go directly to that or one for the collaborative stories in which each posting is added at the end. I have something in mind along with text, but the script is still not working. Also, I have to work out the ground rules of what happens if we create something we want to try to market. Take care.

Toby B Sun Sep 27 21:22:43 PDT 1998

It's like, and I'm thinking wow, I haven't been able to slow down. Last week, and the upcoming one: busy. Last week we had one of the girl's dorms catch fire, and the night after that the alarms went off again by accident. The girls spent time in our lobby, which of course meant I was out there. (Despite what some are thinking, I was only out there to offer support, many of the girls are friends.) I also had a severe practice where I ran twice as much as my teammates for missing a team meeting. It took me twenty minutes to get my breath back, and thirty to find my sense of humor. My weekend was shot, we spent saturday away at a game which we lost, my parents were there to see the team in all its glory. Now I face three essays and a midterm, and I haven't even stopped my 1500 words a night minimum. Thank God for laptops, but even then...

But I complain too much...I'm still having a load of fun despite hectic schedule. Work on novel is backburned now for short stories again (I alternate in phases, shorts for three weeks, novel for three...). I have three or so being handled at the same time. Yeah. I love being me. I also am reading Heinlien's sequel to 'the cat that walked through walls'. Heinlien is great, but man those books always rock my world, they're explicit.

On the Writer's Digest books, I have them all in my bookshelf, they make good reading whenever I need to pick up the pace or rewrite. I particularly like Scott Card's ones.

Jack, hope you get better. Have a rum toddy is my suggestion, I'm a big fan of those. My mum's solution to almost any cold...

Write lots all...

W. Olivia Race Sun Sep 27 18:36:07 PDT 1998

Hi all. Am in the midst of once again re-vamping my novel. I have posted a couple of chapter in the Novel section of the workbook. It's working title is "Bad Mojo" and re-writing is a slow process but I love it because of the characters I created.

Salome: I understand what you mean about stories writing themselves; the same thing often happens to me. It's like a movie running in my head, music and all. Then again I dream in color so everything is extremely real to me when I write or sleep I guess.

Snarly: "Organic writer"? I like it.

Jarell: I have almost all of the Writers Digest books and I agree with you. Their books are an exception to my research frustration problem.

Jack: Hope you feel better.

Anyway, back to THE REWRITE; Good Writing all!

Allein-chan Sun Sep 27 13:20:25 PDT 1998

Jack - never mind, it's working now.

Howard Tuckey Sun Sep 27 13:02:17 PDT 1998

There's an excellent article on character development in "THE ROCK," an online magazine for writers. For those who haven't seen it, The Rock is a free weekly e-magazine that carries writing news, tips, bios, interviews, and info on research sites. Subscription info is available at:
Their servers are down right now, due to a train wreck, but info is available also from
It's really worth a look.

Allein-chan Sun Sep 27 10:21:56 PDT 1998

Jack - I don't see it up there, so AOL must be pretty slow. Feel better soon.

Nie-way, the link I've made to the webpage where my name and e-mail addy are above this entry will take anyone who wishes to read it straight to where it is on my webpage.


Jack Beslanwitch Sat Sep 26 22:58:20 PDT 1998

Allein: Actually you have to be a bit patient, especially with AOL. I am not sure what the problem is, but it tends to have to worst record for not updating a page and resulting in duplicate entries. Yours is in the novel workshop and was entered twice. So, I deleted it here and will shortly delete the duplicate posting there. Not a problem :-). Truly. These things happen. BTW, I am sniffingly horizontal and not feeling all that bad so I think I am on the downhill slide as far as this cold is concerned.

Allein-chan Sat Sep 26 19:48:15 PDT 1998

Jack - I tried the writer's workbook thing and for some reason my submission didn't post. I reloaded the page and signed off of AOL, but it still didn't appear. Is there a certain amount of time that should pass before it'll be up there?

So, everyone else, I'm leaving it here, because I want to make sure it doesn't screw up. It's chapter 8 of the first story in my Mali and Azol series. Don't worry, I've kept everything at at PG rating. The first part before the three astereks are supposed to be in italics but I'm not sure it'll work. Here is:


(Snipped - check in the Novel Workshop)

Sub-note: Mulan was a poem written in the 5th or 6th century A.D. I don't know who wrote it. Disney recently made a movie - as all of you probably know by now.

S.N.Arly Sat Sep 26 14:36:09 PDT 1998

Salome - Sounds like you're an organic writer. i don't, and never have, outlined my stories before wrriting them. OCcasionally if I'm having trouble getting from point A to B I'll rough out what's supposed to happen and I'll go from there.

On the publishing. Don't get your undies in a bundle, you've got a ton of time. It never feels that way, but there you have it. I also had such high hopes when I was your age, but quite honestly it's no cakewalk for anyone to get published, regardles sof age and/or seasoning. I'm sure there are contests and the like for kids, but I could never find them. IMHO your best bet is to put yourself in the position all us adult type writers are in. Start collecting writer's guidelines for places, see where your stories would be appropriate (which publishers take the kind of stuff you write), talk to other writers of your genre and see what publishers want (how do they like a synopsis to look, etc). Then start sending (either a query letter or the story, whichever is appropriate) your stuff out. And only send any given story to one place at a time.

Now I hope this doesn't squelch your enthusiasm, because you're going to need to keep that if you want to get published.

Rachel - Great job on the kata. The first is always the hardest, they usually get easier from there on. There are occasionally exceptions, but... I've got two kata I need to learn before ascending to black belt, one empty handed and one with sais. Right now, however, I'm helping teach a Women's Self Defense Class and I'm teaching blue belts in the regular karate class.

Keep it up, I'm glad to hear you're enjoying it.

Allein-chan Sat Sep 26 09:07:15 PDT 1998

Jack - don't feel too bad. There's something going around because my entire family has it. I still have a cough, but it seems this thing clears up quickly.

The thing that really irks me though is that I have an audition for a choir at school Monday and I can hardly talk, let alone sing. I've gotten no practice and if I try singing surprano, it comes out in a whisper. And the worst of it is that I have something on Tuesday (for the writer's magazine at school), so I can't push the audition back a day.

Well, I have to go now. There's a party for the confirmation group at my church (even a cough isn't keeping me from that :).
Die dulce fruere!

Salome Blignaut Fri Sep 25 23:29:40 PDT 1998

I don't know whether it is just me, but my stories seems to write themselves, they are going in lots of other directions which I never intended for them! Also I am so happy that I found this place, I think it is really nice!

Jack Beslanwitch Fri Sep 25 21:13:59 PDT 1998

p.s. For everyones edification, yesterday I was miserably horizontal. Today I am miserably vertical. So that at least it something of an improvement. ;-)

Jack Beslanwitch Fri Sep 25 21:12:47 PDT 1998

Judi: You do not know the half of it. I went into the file to check it out and discovered that somehow I had the wrong addressing on every single Critique page. No wonder nobody has been posting to the critique pages up to this point. I have made the appropriate changes, the permissions and checked, checked and doubelchecked and then replaced each page with pristine copies. They do indeed work now. So you and everyone else can post to the Critique area.

Mea culpa and, as I communicated to Allein, that translates from the Latin as roughly My Fault.

This may sound like I am a bit masochistic, but I have decided to take on adding the genre portions of the Workbook sometime this weekend or early next week. Could you let me know what genres you think are necessary. Science Fiction and Fantasy, of course. But should these be divided into separate areas. Also, it strikes me that there should be a romance area, although I would not have a clue how to best critique this genre. Any others? Let me know.

Oh, also, as soon as I get done with this, I am going to be getting up a new version for my wife's breast cancer page. It will take me maybe an hour or so to do. And I wish to give great thanks to Mary Higdon, an intern that has been helping me this summer, for doing the lion share of work on this. Take care.

jarell Fri Sep 25 20:40:22 PDT 1998

W. Olivia: I belive that Writer's Digest puts out the best over all guides for writers. There individual subject books are very good. Each is written by a well known, published author who has focused on a single topic. (Setting, Description, Viewpoint ect.) I believe the series is called "The Elements of Fiction Writing" There great becuase the subject is handled by chapter. You can pick one of them up, review a single chapter and move on. You don't have to read cover to cover to get anything out of the books.


Judi Gemeinhardt Fri Sep 25 20:32:53 PDT 1998

I see you are still having problems with the Poetry Critique area, or at least I am!! I tried to critique Kathleen Jafek's poem and clicked on Poetry Critique. It brought me to Post your manuscript. I did my critique and clicked on "post your manuscript" now but it said "File not found" Hee,hee,sorry you are still having problems. Don't worry the bugs will eventually be worked out. Just thought I would post this so you could fix.
Judi Gemeinhardt

W. Olivia Race Fri Sep 25 20:19:43 PDT 1998

Hi all. Just jumped on to see what was up. By the way, speaking of great reference books, I just read a great one "The Writer's Complete Fantasy Reference" from Writers Digest. Its hard cover and about $18.00 which is pricy on my budget but it has tons of info but in bite sized pieces which, when reading reference books is about all I can handle. Don't know if this store is in any of your area's but I picked it up at Borders Books & Music.

Anyway, I am having trouble getting to the Workbook, so I guess that means I have no excuse not to write tonight.

Good Writing!

Rachel Fri Sep 25 16:30:24 PDT 1998

Hi all!!

Have spent the past few days with no time to get to the computer. I will not put you to sleep with the details of my crazy life.

Plan to get some early a.m. time in tomorrow and am really excited.

I have writers group on Sunday and feel excited and freaked out about bringing in my first chapter, which by the way I have not yet printed out. (Still don't have a printer to call my own, but will soon.)

S.N.Arly - I completed learning my first Kata today and am thrilled. My feet are in a sorry state, but I am told that they will toughen up. Also found out that it is Japanese style, oh well shows you how much I know. Still love the classes and am attending three times a week, and finding that the workouts are getting a little easier, but I still have to work very hard to complete the sets, in particular I have difficulty with the push-ups. Oh well I am sure that in time even they will come to be easier.

Take care all and have a wonderful weekend

Lydia Sweet Fri Sep 25 13:14:39 PDT 1998

S.K.S. Perry

Yes, I recieved your critique and would be glad to have you read the entire MS. Once you correct your E-Mail I could send you as much as you would like. Chapter 19 is the last complete chapter I have at this point. What takes place before will explain away any confusion you have from reading the independent chapters. Thank you so much.


Goodweed of the North Fri Sep 25 11:20:35 PDT 1998

I'm beginning to despise sillicon. My computer is still not working right. It seems I had no virus after-all. I'm beginging to think this is a hardware problem. I hope it's not in the cpu. I can't afford a new one, or a new mother-board. This is truly maddening. As for my novel, I have had the first 2000 words on a site which showcases a query, biography, blurb, and first 2000 words for the entire summer. I don't think I'm reaching the type of agent I'm looking for. I believe the story is written well enough to be published. I have presented it for review to some very critical people. Everyone who has read it says it is a "great" story. I guess I just have to bear down and make a short list of agents from "Litterary Marketplace of Agents". I need to know what contitutes "acceptable fees" for an agent. I have heard everything from "no money until the book is sold" to $200.00 for copy and mailing costs. Most people I've spoken to say RUN if an agent asks for any money up front. The money should come from the advances from an advance after the sale.

I don't even know if this posting will go out. I'm haveing trouble with my e-mail.

I hope everyone is doing well.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

S.K.S. Perry Fri Sep 25 11:12:35 PDT 1998


Sorry, I didn't recieve your E-mail. I just sent you another critiquing chapter 19. Hope you get it.

If anyone has anything to send me, please post it here, or in the workshop critque area, at leat until I straighten out my E-mail problems.

Sorry for the inconvenience,

S.K.S. Perry

Lydia Sweet Fri Sep 25 10:23:38 PDT 1998

S.K.S. Perry - Most certainly did and sent you a response this morning. Thank you very much. I hope you receive your e-mail.

Amanda - approach your essays the same way you would creative writing. Once you have your research and information about the subject, write a story about the project. It works very well and teachers tend to like it as long as you are giving accurate information.


Amanda Fri Sep 25 10:01:52 PDT 1998

I have been writing for years. I do well if it has to be creative but when it comes to essays I have a bit of a problem So if anyone can help me it would be nice
Thank you

Salome Blignaut Fri Sep 25 09:38:22 PDT 1998

I am thirteen and I am writing fanatically (have been since the first grade)but it just seems too long to wait! PLEASE if anyone can tell me of competitions I might enter(especially for children's books) or know of someone who might be interested in seeing my work?!I Really want to publish before I am a grown up, I think, I cannot judge for myself of coarse, but I think it can be good enough to publish. I'll be grateful for any kind of help. Thanks.
Salome Blignaut

S.K.S. Perry Fri Sep 25 07:38:01 PDT 1998


Just wondering--did you get the E-mail I sent you yesterday on chapter 18? I'm still having problems with my server.

Lydia Sweet Fri Sep 25 07:26:40 PDT 1998

Just left the next chapter of my story in the Workbook thinking to give you an example of more dialogue, however after reviewing, I realized that although there is some important things happening here there isn't necessarily more dialogue and what dialogue is there is one sided. Oh, well, it will give you a better insight into what is really happening in this story.

Jack, just wanted to say I really like my password. Don't know why, just do. Thanks.

s.k.s. Perry. I found your story and will read it sometime today and get back to you.


S.K.S. Perry Fri Sep 25 05:59:24 PDT 1998

I've posted my complete short story--Wet Ware--to the work book if anyone's interested. I'd appreciate some feedback--do I have any talent or am I just spinning my wheels. Lately I'm getting really discouraged.

As to Historical References:

Has anyone bothered to look through the links available right here at For Writer's only. There's an amazing one called Wichamstow Village under Historical sites/Geographical Based Historical References/Europe and Asia, that lists the same type of material Howard mentioned in the Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in...series.

I realise I haven't been very active in the notebook lately and have missed out on some of the goings on, but I've been concentrating on critquing in the workbook. To those of you who have recieved my E-mails, I hope I've been of some help. I'd like to try to participate more in these discussions on the notebook however--for whatever that's worth.

Be Well,

S.K.S. Perry

Leonardo Wild Fri Sep 25 03:52:31 PDT 1998

Hi everyone!

I have been looking into this notebook and some of the other postings, but since I´m not at home (Ecuador), and since I´m using (abusing) my friends´ internet access from different locations in Europe, I don´t dare make my navigation an open ocean crossing, just quick probings of the water in your virtual bay.
Theme of discussion: RELIGION
How about: VIRTUAL or EXTRAPOLATED RELIGION? No, not Internet Religion, but rather that step further into the Written World of each one´s (created) universum. Some SF fan / atics in this group, I´ve read, who dream up/invent different worlds, even if within y/our own. SF is an extrapolation ... also of religious sciences? What next (if you get my point) will happen when certain branches of science suddenly merge with the Great Mystery and prove (if that´s at all possible) that the Allmighty exists? (with no religious preferences).
I am working on a novel that deals with this (at one of its levels). However, since the file is almost 10.000 miles away from where I am right now, I can´t post it (yet). That should happen after mid-October, when I go back to South America.

Leonardo Wild

PS: Thanks Jack for the login name and code. Hope to be of some use in this group. Any personal e-mail postings should be sent to my alternate address while I´m under way:

Jarell Thu Sep 24 22:26:46 PDT 1998

Howard: I have found the Writer's Digest Books very helpful. Another good book from them is "Building Believable Characters" by Marc McCutheon. If you ever get a small case of writers block when it come to describing a charater, this book can help. It cover everything from complexions and skin types to Psychological and Psychiatric problems for that character of yours suffering from inadequate personality syndrome.


Jarell Thu Sep 24 22:06:03 PDT 1998

Irene: You're most welcome. Good luck. Hope to see more from you in the near future.


Irene Thu Sep 24 21:08:03 PDT 1998

Hi everyone :-)!!

Allein & Jack: Sorry you two are sick hope you get to feeling better.

S.K.S & jerell: Thank you for your critique on my novel appreciate that very much, you have been alot of help.

S.K.S: The editing showed me alot of my mistakes...and will definetly help with this book and future books.

Well this is Irene from Tenessee, waving a great big good bye...ya'll keep those fingers popping on the keys, a :-) on your face and a P.M.A ...until next time K ...

Howard Tuckey Thu Sep 24 18:54:24 PDT 1998

A very good resource for details to "flesh out" a character, or a setting, is the "Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in the
(historical period)" series. It's a group of books, each concentrating on a particular time or place. I have in front of me the one on the Middle Ages. The table of contents lists EVERYDAY LIFE (food, clothing, medicine, economy, family, women, festivals, music, weights, measures,containers, and vocabulary); RANK & PRIVILEGE (kings, queens, titles, knights, heraldry, castles, servants). There are sections also on GOD & WAR, and PEOPLE & PLACES, with listings similar to the ones I detailed.
These are published by Writers Digest Books, and may be available in your local library. They come in handy for details like 'did Henry VIII drive a Rolls or a Bentley?'
Or 'what was the 10th century group who believed in two Gods - one good and one evil?' (the Bogomils).
There's also an extended reference list for further reading.
Lots of pictures, too, of armor, shields, etc etc.
Other books in the series cover other areas and times. It's a great source, if you're serious about researching your characters.

Keith Fox Thu Sep 24 17:54:08 PDT 1998

Um.... here's a review I found about it....

Well... I made a mistake... it's the first in a Trilogy... I never knew that!

~ ~ ~

A review by Wayne MacLaurin

I must admit I'm new to J.V. Jones'work (having missed her popular Book of Words trilogy) but she had been recommended to me several times so when I came across a copy of The Barbed Coil I eagerly took the opportunity to introduce myself to her work.

From the first page, The Barbed Coil draws the reader into a novel of complex characters and a multi-layered plot. The novel's main characters grow and change with the story as the plot progresses and even the minor characters are rich with depth. The tale of The Barbed Coil comes alive as Jones paints a compelling tale of a young woman drawn into a world where paintings and patterns hold great power.

The Barbed Coil will be a welcome encore for fans of Jones's earlier work and, for those readers like me, it's a wonderful introduction to an engaging story-teller.

~ ~ ~

Zinza )- How dare you give me such a smart mouth answer? *g* to ye tomorrow!


W. Olivia Race Thu Sep 24 17:13:48 PDT 1998

Hi all. Its been awhile and I can see I missed some really good conversation.

As usual, I have been at the mercy of my online service and modem but I think I've worked almost all the bugs out.

By the way, tried to get on the Workbook and got an "URL not found on this server" message. Did I goof up?

Allein-chan Thu Sep 24 16:46:43 PDT 1998

Kitty - thanks. I was wondering who had written it. But right now, I'm sick and could hardly remember my own e-mail address. Unfortunately, I still had to go to school.

Jack - I've heard 'mea culpa' before. I heard it means 'my bad' is this correct?

Well, bye all.

Kitty Thu Sep 24 16:26:01 PDT 1998

Toby, Keith, Allein--The Black Cauldron series was written by Lloyd Alexander.

Keith, congratulations to you upon your engagement and felicitations to your fiancee. I am not familiar with J.V. Jones, book review please.

Zinza, I've read the Paksenarrian series. Loved it. Her new series featuring Herris Serrano is good too. Still, my all time favorite is Lois McMaster Bujold.

Jack, hope you and Fran feel better soon. Sounds like your trip was fun and romantic. When are we going see y'all on the east coast?

Jack Beslanwitch Thu Sep 24 16:10:05 PDT 1998

Barb: It is there. Or, at least, the Workbook is there, but the button above was pointed at the wrong address after archived. Mea culpa. This has been corrected. Coughingly yours, Jack :-)

Allein-chan Thu Sep 24 14:04:39 PDT 1998

Keith - oh, well, I read one of them. I knew it was in the series, but couldn't remember which one.

Well, um...nothing much going on with me right now. So, um, bye.

Barb G. Thu Sep 24 13:34:09 PDT 1998

Hi Y'all,

Are any of you having trouble getting into the Workbook? Today I'm getting "URL not available or something" so I thought I'd give it a short while to see if the site was just giving me a "busy" signal. But, even after I wait, I get the "wrong URL" note.

Just wondering.


Zinza http://zinza.OnTheWeb.Nu Thu Sep 24 11:41:22 PDT 1998


Keith: But maybe that his books are a bit to violent for children...*l*

I've been reading Elizabeth Moon's books about Paksenarrion. Am I the only one who like them?

Zinza sen Leigh

Margaret Thompson Thu Sep 24 09:11:37 PDT 1998

For insights on a historical character, I ask my dad, the history buff, who knows everything worth knowing about American history. I take into account the things happening around the character and incorporate their emotions about what they're going through.

Keith Fox Thu Sep 24 05:31:47 PDT 1998

Allein) ....oh yeah. The Skeleton on the cover was probably Lord Nudd.


Keith Fox "Dallin Sfear" Thu Sep 24 05:28:02 PDT 1998

Allein) Well... Book one of the Prydain Chronicles is "Taran - Assistant Pig Keeper" ....not The Book of Three. That's a book that was mentioned within the main story. What you must've read was one of the MANY short stories that were written afterwards... I do believe that I remember one being named "The Book of Three", also. When I bought the Prydain chronicals, I bought a binding with the 5 main books, plus all of the collected short stories.

Zinza) I have also read them several times... my latest time was ....say about...... 3 months ago. They are very enjoyable... and if anyone says they are strictly "childrens'" stories... that person needs to be reminded of David Eddings. His books could also be interpretted as childrens' stories.

Toby) You should be able to find the series at almost ANY book store. It's very famous... I just can't remember the author's name at the moment.

Anyone) Has anyone read "The Barbed Coil", by J.V.Jones? I'm about 2/3s through it now... and excited about the ending. I just don't see how all that needs to happen, can happen in the few hundred pages that are left. I've never been a big fan a one book sets, yet this story is beginning to change my mind.

Keith Fox

Jack Beslanwitch Thu Sep 24 03:34:13 PDT 1998

I am fair to moderately miserable with this cold, but given I am not having any luck at sleeping I have elected to take a few moments to archive things back to something reasonable. Take care everyone.

Clyde Dixon Wed Sep 23 17:29:53 PDT 1998

Hi All,

Saw an interesting little tid-bit on the Locus web page dealing with online publication and high-tech printing of as few as one book. Look under the Aether Vibrations section.

Such things may one day change the reluctance of publishers to keep books in print. One can hope.

The Locus Magazine site is at


Allein-chan Wed Sep 23 16:16:16 PDT 1998

I've read the first book in the Prydain series. It was the Book of Three. I had to read it for English. A little story - there's a picture of the bad guy on the front (he's some sort of skeleton I think - I read it in 7th grade so I don't really remember), but he had a tooth missing and, incedently, it was the same tooth that my teacher was missing, so we replaced the bad guy's name with our teacher's.
Ah, memories. I'd like to see The Black Coldrun though, it sounds interesting. But I don't have the money because I'm still paying my dad back since he bought Pocahontas II and Titanic for me. But, when I get the money, I'm going to rent it.
Well, school was actually good today. I have very little homework. Unfortunately, I'm sick, so I really don't feel like doing homework today. But, it must be done.
So, I'll go and do that now.
Have a nice evening, everyone.

S.N.Arly Wed Sep 23 11:33:39 PDT 1998

Zinza - Although SF & F are my mainstays, I also write straight fiction/contemporary fiction and horror. I typically avoid Romance and non-fiction. I'm willing to try nearly anything once. Who knows I may find something else I'm good at.

On the choldren's books with an adult message: Have to entertain the parents who are reading these to their kids too, you know. It's also a good technique to get repeat readers, if you find something new in each read. It's also a nice way to slip in a bit of conditioning, if you wanted to do that sort of thing.

Jack - Take it easy, hope you're feeling better soon.


lydia sweet Wed Sep 23 10:48:10 PDT 1998


There are other genre' out here, but we seem to be few in numbers. Romance here.


Zinza sen Leigh http://zinza.OnTheWeb.Nu Wed Sep 23 10:10:41 PDT 1998


I saw that you were talking about the Prydain Chronicles, and I just thought I wanted to say somethings about that one:
I love it. I've read it four or five times now, and I think it's good. And what difference does it make if it's childrens books? A lot of good authors' works are so called children books. (CS Lewis, Guy Gavriel Kay)

And another thing: Is this just for fantasy/sci-fi? I have to ask, since I write other things too.

Zinza sen Leigh
Marie Hogebrandt

toby b Wed Sep 23 07:56:31 PDT 1998

I wouldn't mind reading them for myself, where and how could I find the Pyrdian chronicles. But I agee, I thouroughly enjoyed them, but I can see how many parents would not want children to watch. I myself as a child would have enjoyed it though, I was never raised to be scared or kept away from something, so as a result I never did get scared. I find if people are expected to get scared they more often than not do, especially children. I've noticed my brother watch a movie and not be bothered, than freak out after my parents started making a big deal about it...but enough physchology, I wouldn't mind hearing more about what the Pyrdian chronicles are...

Keith Fox "Dallin Sphere" Wed Sep 23 07:48:24 PDT 1998

Toby: The Black Cauldron is book 2... or 3 of the Prydain Chronicals. They were supposed to be children's tales... yet I too feel that they seemed to be a bit "dark" and morbid.

Keith Fox

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