Archived Messages from December 31, 1998 to January 8, 1999

Howard Fri Jan 8 20:55:35 PST 1999

It's raining here now, on top of about 6 inches of snow, but I have no trouble at all in remembering summer. I have a stack of seed catalogs to remind me, and occasionally I play Greg Brown's song about "summer in a jar." Then I go down to the shelf in the cellar and get a quart of home-canned peaches and my wife and I open it and share the sunshine again. And we get by.

Jack Beslanwitch Fri Jan 8 19:06:18 PST 1999

     On the question of imaginging winter in summer or the flip side, I can say from the wilds of Seattle where it rarely if ever snows and certainly not to the degree to have a white out, I can always remember snow and winter and fondly. Childhood memories of that kind I find somehow stronger in those individual details where others are completely lost. I can see the window in my childhood house with diamond glittered frost on some panes and others where I can stare out at the pristine white wonder that draped ever branch of ever tree and carpeted sidewalk, street and grass. Of course, as an adult I quickly tired of shoveling snow and the potential for slipping and sliding when driving. Which is an added plus for emigrating from Montana to western Washington. Or, as we sometimes refer to it here, you never have to shovel rain :-). Still, there are times when I miss that child staring out at the snow. Come to think of it, it has been much too long since I made a snowman or got in a snowball fight. Then again, maybe not. Take care everyone.

Goodweed of the North Fri Jan 8 18:14:51 PST 1999

I won't go into my heinz 57 except to say that after traveling to many parts of the Pacific rim, I found that people are pretty much the same no matter where they hail from. I even had a freind in a Judo club I belonged to who was from Iran, when the U.S. was still freindly with that nation. He was a very pleasant and had great integrity. It's too bad that national leadership does not follow the principles taught by most scriptures, that is without the man-made additions. I am also one who has too many freinds in too many places to place a great deal of emphasis on nationality. There are great and horrible people in all places, races, and geographies.

As a writer, I use the evil to create tension for the good to work against, and ultimately, resolve. As a person, I use mistakes and poor choices to learn from, to become better, for myself, my family, for the world society. I really hope that one day we are able to get past selfishness and move on to a more selfless world. If this sounds preachy, I make no apologies. It's who I am.

I am first and formost, a child of my father above. I am second, a father and husband. And finally, a citizen and freind who hopes to be in good standing in the world. I am not who I want to be yet. I still have a long way to go. I am grateful to be able to corespond with everyone here on the notebook. This is a unique place. Thoughts are free here, encouraged. This is a good place to visit, a good place to make freinds.

Use this place to enrich your life, your writing. Jack, again I say, thank you.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

Goodweed Fri Jan 8 18:02:41 PST 1999

Lena Fri Jan 8 18:01:08 PST 1999

I believe I am perpetually cold in winter, unless I take a really nice hot shower and jump straight into bed. Snow is beautiful, but why does it have to be so cold? BTW - I'm sure keeping your arse in your pants keeps it warmer in the winter, so...


Allein Fri Jan 8 17:00:33 PST 1999

Background - English/Irish/Dutch/Scottish/Cherokee (hardly)/Indian (hardly)/French/German (mostly) mix. I'm also some other ethnicities but they're numerous. I'm like Heinz 57.

Anyway, I'll stop talking now,
bye bye.

Thomas Fri Jan 8 13:33:21 PST 1999

SKS and Rhoda,

My wife is Irish/Welsh mix, I am all Italian. We have tried for the past 25 years to figure out how the marriage lasts! Our conclusion: neither listens to the other -- can't argue if you haven't heard what was said.

Seriously, I like SKS' words: citizen of the world. I truly feel that way. The only time I get deep ancestral feelings is with food. Must be something genetic about that, and the fact that I grew up in an Italian ghetto in Brooklyn. I have written about this subject in my book: the genetic and historical sense of growing up within a food culture inside a main culture. We used to wonder what "Americans" ate.

As for right and left, I say I have liberal tendencies but I refuse to accept a label -- on some matters I am deeply conservative, like when it comes to the Constitution, which too many politicians use as a shield for plain nasty lies.

S.K.S. Perry Fri Jan 8 11:49:13 PST 1999


Scotch-Irish/Welsh/English? Quite the mix, and not a group of people who are generally known for getting along well with each other either, so someone in your family must have been fairly liberal!

I'm Scotish/Irish/English/French and American Indian (Cheyenne) myself. I find when you're such an eclectic mix, it's hard to get all wrapped up in ancestorial pride or predudice. I consider myself a child of the world (maybe even the Universe if I'm lucky!)

Be Well, Live Well.

Rhoda Fri Jan 8 11:17:56 PST 1999


What type of place is upstate New York? Conservatives? Up there? No way! They are only wan-a-be's. Consider where I live. Over half the people here belong to the NRA. Still these Texans are too liberal for me. There are no true conservatives--excepting myself and Rush Limbaugh. I think it is all relative. You must be extremely Liberal and I must be extremely Conservative. Strange that we get along so well. Italian/Americans and Scotch-Irish/Welsh/English Americans don't do anything half-heartedly.

When I have too much caffine during the day from my diet soda, I get terrible insomnia. During those times I don't even try to sleep. I stay up till three in the morning writing, cleaning house, or reading through the Notebook. Most of the time I sleep just fine unless I am concerned about something. Then I stay up and try to work through it all night. Like Eddie, I find a lot of help curling up with a good book. That is very relaxing unless it is one of those books so interesting I can't put down.

Got to go!
Happy writing!


Thomas Fri Jan 8 06:13:08 PST 1999


It was Eddie who referred to the "unusual urges". My dig was to his phrase. But I do like being in the minority somewhat. How couldn't I? I am an ethnic Italian-American with decided (perish the thought) liberal tendencies, living in a world of right wing natives. Being a minority makes me get noticed, if not threatening phone calls from the things I say in my newspaper column.


On the winter subject, I agree about the cave/hybernation instincts. Perhaps because half of my blood is Mediterranean I have a tremendous distaste for severe winters (What am I doing in upstate NY? Don't ask).

While in the Air Force I spent a year in Thule Greenland. There was no depth to my depression, only an endless sinking abyss. Not only was it the temperature but the true hybernation instinct was brought out when for a few months there was no sunlight either. I think I read everything I ever read in that one year. Unfortunately, I was not writing then, except for the pleading letters for someone to get me out!

I assume the arse in those pants was yours; but then, what fun junior school must have been if it wasn't. Have you ever seen the arse in Burne-Jones' painting, The Doom Fulfilled?

Caroline Heske Fri Jan 8 00:17:39 PST 1999

I've got the ICQ thingie downloaded and working... Well, sort of working. I've only managed to get Lydia, SKS, and Rhoda on my list... I'm #27535888

Argh! I hate the holidays - during semester I have unlimited access time (ie. I can actually sit here and write letters), but now I only have 20 minutes a day.

Marshall Arts again, I've TOLD myself I will stick with it this year, and not lose track during essay season. But well... we'll see...

Eddie French Thu Jan 7 19:30:38 PST 1999

Me pants r' as good as yer kecks any day. Is it my fault I was born where the kids play tick wi' 'atchets?
In fact, I was one of the posh ones...I had an arse in my pants!...All through junior school!
Beat that!!

Eddie French Thu Jan 7 19:12:08 PST 1999

Your comment about not being able to imagine summer in the middle of a whiteout on the bus really touched a chord with me.
In summer I can hardly imagine winter and in winter..summer seems like a different world (literally).
This is a theme which I have tried to write about in the later chapters of the novel I have up in the workbook (Novel Workshop). It is an excercise in trying to capture that vunerable feeling which we experience when alone in a strange town or city at the onset of winter!.
You know what I mean. That strange, sort of fearful nostalgic/daja vu feeling which comes just after sunset.(especially on a cold windswept night).
Personally I think that it is a genetic hangover from the days of human winter hibernation....I believe that we once did. How else could these feelings be explained?
Ahh... such philosophical musings! Like coloured belts!

Joan Thu Jan 7 18:24:03 PST 1999

Hi all--

How exciting to see all the old "faces," along with the new! Hello again to Jack, Michelle, Goodweed, Hayden, Philip and all the rest. Wrote a Christmas story and sent out with our cards this year---nothing like a deadline for motivation. Happy new year, and write on!


Lena Thu Jan 7 17:53:51 PST 1999

Yesterday on the bus ride home from school I was looking out the window as the wind kicked up and we experienced a white-out for a few minutes. Looking out at the whirling white snow, I was struck by the silly thought that I couldn't imagine what the world looks like in summer. Oh, I can conjure the words 'green' and 'sunny' and such, but I can't actually picture them. I wrote a little poem a few weeks ago about summer, and I just thought I would share. I don't consider myself good at poetry, but this was an inspired poem and I thought it might bring a spark of summer into a cold, chilly winter. Check it out on the Workbook, and smile as you remember what it is like to be warm.

Eddie: No, your ideas are still completely original! I just wanted to recommend those books to you because your ideas reminded me of them, and I thought you would enjoy them.

Thomas: 'Unusual urges,' eh? I see nothing wrong with reading a good history or biography, and I enjoy it greatly. Just because you enjoy one type of book doesn't mean you should eschew all others. However, if you like being the tortured minority, don't let me stop you. ;-)

"And so it begins..."

Allein Thu Jan 7 17:24:34 PST 1999

Jodi - I got your e-mail and have e-mailed you back.

On the subject - pants, slacks, trousers. I call 'em jeans because that's pretty much all I wear. I have dress pants but only wear them for important stuff like parties and church.

Bye bye,

Thomas Thu Jan 7 16:27:24 PST 1999

Welcome Eddie's friend Ray, whenever you arrive. Glad to hear of a kindred spirit who is interested in reading about real people and lives -- my personal favorite kind of read.
As you can see, here among the sci-fi people, some with their do jo's working, we are likely a minority, but hope springs eternal; even Eddie admits to "unusual" urges in other directions, and this from a guy who wears pants instead of trousers.

Thanks Rhoda for the name of that editor at S & S. My book proposal will be in the mail tomorrow.

Eddie French Thu Jan 7 16:07:57 PST 1999

Evening everyone,
just a note to introduce a good friend of mine. I have just set his computer up to get on to the net.
His name is Ray Walsh.
Ray is unashamedly computer illiterate but he is a writer. He doesn't actually know it yet but he most definately is! We have different ideas about what constitutes 'A Good Read' (He is interested in people and real lives) You all know what gets me going!. Ray has never actually completed anything but inside he has already finished several stories. I know he could produce good work so I encourage him when I can.
I'm sure he will drop in soon because as of tonight this is the only bookmark I have set up on his machine.

Fight Scenes:
I find it quite easy to write fight scenes, in fact I consider them to be among some of my best descriptive work...don't ask me what that says about my character!!
Recently I have been experiencing unusual urges. I have been thinking about writing something which has nothing to do with science fiction or fantasy!! This is a departure for me. (I will probably put it on the back burner for a few months though) Oooops - Visitors, If I remember I will finish this later. Bye for now.

S.K.S. Perry Thu Jan 7 13:10:47 PST 1999


As any martial artist will tell you, any belt with a big gold buckle on it is a very effective weapon, and if you're wearing something like that in my neigbourhood you'd better learn how to use it, because there's going to be a lot of people thumping on you!!

Be Well, Live Well.

Jodi Thu Jan 7 12:21:04 PST 1999

Hello all,

Where do you all find the time to visit the Notebook so often? I find that it is difficult to get here more than once or twice a week, and by then I am waaayyy behind.

Concerning the e-book idea, I could never read novel length manuscripts from the computer screen. Major Headache!

I do like the idea of purchasing books via the net, Amazon is one of my most regularly visited sites.

The government does over regulate everything, and you can bet they are looking for a way to get their hooks into the Internet.

As for insomnia, I am one of those here who does suffer from that malaise. I have tried over the counter stuff, prescriptions, meditation, reading, not reading, hot baths, wine, etc. None of these seems to work without leaving aftereffects that I would rather do without. The meletonin does help me sleep but it also leaves me with a hangover like headache in the morning. It took me several years to realize that the only way I could sleep was to write down what was keeping me awake. Sometimes this works, sometimes not. However, if I donít write, I donít sleep the next night either. When I was younger, I could do that for a few days, not anymore. I think it has something to do with trying to keep up with my kids. Oh for the inexhaustible energy of youth!

In regards to martial arts, the closest I ever came was watching Kung Fu and Enter the Dragon when I was a kid. Having been raised on a farm, I spent most of my time riding, moving cattle and haul hayÖ.and of course reading. As for a belt, does one with a big gold buckle and your name on the back count? I donít think soÖ

My how I do rattle on...



S.K.S. Perry Thu Jan 7 11:19:41 PST 1999


I couldn't tell you if I write better fight scenes since learning martial arts. I started at age 8, so I knew martial arts before I started writing. I'd like to think my fight scenes are pretty convincing though, and most of the people who've read my stuff and are into that sort of thing liked it. I haven't really posted much of that type of writing here on the workbook, but my novel is filled with it. Of course I also have a strong background in securtiy, having been a body guard and securtiy advisor, so I'm sure the old adage "write what you know" applies--at least I hope it does!

Be Well, Live Well.

S.N.Arly Thu Jan 7 10:55:26 PST 1999

Rachel - I've taken a couple bad falls, and that generally means I'm not tucking the chin in. Oooh whiplash, how I love thee. Now that I'm one of the high ranking belts, I envy those below me. It's great to have all those experts at your disposal. You'll learn more from them, and at a faster pace.

Lena - We had the educational version of a rec center. The classes for gifted (read: hyperactive get them out of the house and dump em on someone else for a few hours) children. I took chemistry and German.

I definitely find my fight scenes easier to write now that I've done some. Well other than the stupid scraps I got into as a kid, that is. There are several weapons experts in my school so I can ask them about the things I don't do. For example, I'll never be able to handle a sword well. I'll be happy if I can manage my rubber sais and eventually a set of tonfas. My bo is rattan, my nunchakos are ratttan. Why can't everything else be rattan?

Who are you? What do you want?


Lydia Sweet Thu Jan 7 10:01:59 PST 1999

Hi all,

Down in the south USA, we call 'em pants, trousers, jeans, even slacks. It all means the same thing, the only difference is how they are filled out. You know those that just hang on (with the assistance of that belt thing) and those that hug in all the right places (Sigh!!!) Ooops! Sorry, I tend to get carried away with that visualization thing. Personally I'm rather fond of Kung Fu, but I also liked the Karate Kid. That is as close to a dojo as I have gotten.

I don't have trouble with insomnia. If I'm awake it is because I want to be. If I get 6 hours a night sleep, I count myself lucky. Moms tend to be the first up and the last down at night. Sometimes in the evening I sit up after everyones gone to bed just to enjoy the peace and quiet and sometimes the solitude while conscious. I used to be a light sleeper. If the kids rolled over in their beds, I knew it. Now they can tramp all over the house and me and I never know they are there. Goes to show what age can do to a tired body.

I got my ICQ number (27616031) and have†put those listed on my list. I sent my number to Eddie. Hopefully he will be able to post it soon.

Hope everyone had a great holiday.


Thomas Thu Jan 7 07:53:18 PST 1999


Pants! What a strange word for trousers. At least you aren't referring to the romance books "pants in the night".

Gee, six hours sleep out of twenty-four. Then you write for two and you are online for fourteen; when do you eat?

I attempted to add the chat room to my account. ICQ told me I am unauthorized, which I have always known. (I have wanted to get a bumper sticker for my car that reads "Authorized Vehicle" so I can go anywhere in this world.) ICQ asked me to type in a reason for wanting to add the number. I said something inane and then it showed up on my account as "waiting". Is that correct?

Eddie French Thu Jan 7 07:29:48 PST 1999

Boy am I glad we don't have those face to face meetings know, like Christmas parties and the like......('Hi, I'm Charlie, seen this one?'... HAAARRRUMPH.........THUD!)
'Ouch!...that hurt'.
Judo..Karate...Kung-jitsu-fu-thingy. Wow!. I'm with Thomas on the belt thing. I don't care what (colour) it is as long as it keeps me pants up. (Pants is an English word for Trousers, as is 'Kecks')
My family does have a strong Military connection though. I served in the British Army in Northern Ireland and Hong Kong back in the seventies. My two daughters both served in BAOR (One of them still does.) Both are married to Servicemen. Seems like another thread there!

For as long as I can remember I have read for at least an hour before falling asleep in bed. I truly cannot get to sleep unless I have a book in my hand. I work freelance so when I can do it I let my body clock slip a bit in the direction of Jacks'. I find that I need only about six hours in 24 anyway so it's no big deal if I am up until around Five.

On the future of the Internet Thing:
Isn't that the way of it all. Every time you get an idea somebody ups and tells ya that it's already been done.
I might still start it off for a Round Robins thread if anybody fancies it though.

You should now do a search on ICQ# 27429421 and add this to your contact list. This is the chat room (To keep it outside of my personal ICQ lists) You will then have two links with my computer here in UK but only one will be used for chat. The benefit of setting it up this way is that even if I go offline after initiating a chat then the chat room stays open for the remaining participents. We can also KICK out any unwanted intruders by 'Voting' to kick (Or not to kick)

Lena Wed Jan 6 18:48:54 PST 1999

SN Arly: I think the reason I got put in ballet (and later karate) when I was so young was to get me out of the way... the Rec Center was half a block away from our house, so I was able to walk to my classes without supervision and be On My Own. Quite a big thing, let me tell you. Also, I was a military brat so there wasn't much of a chance someone was gonna jump me in the middle of a military base! I'm glad my parents did that, though, because it has given me a hobby I can do for my whole life, something I really enjoy. A question for you martial arts people: do you find it easier to write fight scenes because of your training? I have a horrible time writing fight scenes. I can't even write convincing scenes with people in (physical) pain. Maybe it's just me.

It is surprising that there are so many other martial arts people on this writing page, the same thing with so many people here being insomniacs. Maybe it's all part 'n parcel of the whole 'Being A Writer' deal.

Howard: LOL!!! :-)

I have read Xanth (a very punny series, if I may say so!), but none of the other series people have recommended. If Xanth is a guide, however, I believe you mistook my idea. In Xanth (as in Discworld, Black Stallion, Star Trek, etc.) each book has a distinct plot, and all the books share a common world. My idea is too take my short stories and weave them all together into a single, connected plotline. Just an idea. Does anybody else think it would be possible to fit some (if not all) of the short stories they've written into a single story? Have all the characters you've ever written meet each other?

"Truth is a three-edged sword,"

Howard Wed Jan 6 17:03:02 PST 1999

I knew a guy named Marshall Artz once, way back. Just a little guy -- but real wiry. He was settin' at the bar one night when this big drunk wanders over and outta the clear blue he hollers "HiiiYUH! and whacks poor Marsh 'cross the side of the head with a forearm shot. Marsh staggers to his feet, and the guy says "Kung Fu -- Korea." Marsh just looks at him, and sets down and gets back to his Genny Cream Ale. A few minutes later the same guy comes rollin up behind him and screams "HoooAAHHH!" and gives him a head butt that knocks him right onto his dooper again. We all helped Marshall to his feet, and the big guy just says "Karate -- Japan." Things settle back down for a while, and here comes the drunk for a third shot. "Yahh-HO!" he goes, and kicks the poor guy right off'n his stool again! Marsh just lays there this time, and the big guy laughs and mumbles something like "Kwang Do -- China," and heads back to his barstool.
'Bout that time Marshall climbs to his feet and heads out the door. We thought he'd had enough, but a minute later he's back, walks up behind the big guy and lets him have it good, right betwixt the ears with a wrench handle. The big guy drops like he's been pole-axed, and Marshall just looks at him layin there with his skull split wide open, and says "Tire Iron -- Montgomery Wards."

Rachel Wed Jan 6 16:55:07 PST 1999

SKS and S.N. Arly

I just learned to break fall in December and learned on my very first fall from the standing position why Sensi kept on about tucking my chin in. Fates I thought my head would explode, but I got up shook it off and got pushed over, tossed round and tumbeled all over the dojo.

I like the style that I am into its GoJo Ryu, I think I have the spelling. It seems pretty physical, we do a fair bit of sparing and grappeling, which I think is just a laugh riot. I am often the only white belt in the classes that I attend so get whomped on a regular basis, but I love it, not the getting whomped part, hum I sound like quite the little pain freak here.

On insomnia, only ever been cursed with it from time to time, usualy related to some stress in my life or another, and tends to just sort of go away on its own. Hate that nasty feeling of being sleep deprived thow. Not very fun stuff. For the most part I am a fall asleep in seconds kind of gal, well unless I can find something to stay up for.

Found a story that I like. Once again not Science Fiction, but its going places. Its got a start and an end, now I just need to make the middle. Its one of those things where I wake up in the middle of the night and grab the notepad I now keep beside my bed and start writing down notes.

Don't know if I'll drop anyting into the areas, I seem to have taken a ticket on the shy train as far as writing goes. I am sure I'll pull out of it. I just need to give myself a kick in the pants, well and feel that I have something semi acceptable to offer.

Hum quite a little blabber I have going on here. I better go and cook some din for the kiddies before they turn into wild animals.

Take care all


Jack Beslanwitch Wed Jan 6 15:09:37 PST 1999

Corrected: The URL above should take you to the correct location. And no problem on the typo. It is not as if I have never made one myself. Stuttering fingers are always a potential for any user of a keyboard. Take care everyone.

Eddie French Wed Jan 6 12:32:09 PST 1999

I take full responsibility for that one (Jacks'ICQ#)
Just take out one of the [7's] in the number listed (It's not double seven)
Sorry about that.
Jack, can you correct that please.

S.K.S. Perry Wed Jan 6 12:21:06 PST 1999

S.N. Arly, favourite eh? That's like asking me which of my kids I like best. I liked Jui Jitsui because it's a good all round martial art. By that I mean it involves a wide range of techniques, including kicks, punches, blocks, grappling techniques, throws, ground work, chokes, submission holds..well, you get the point. I tended to lean towards styles which were combative, as opposed to martial arts which were more sport oriented. For that reason I always liked Wing Chun as it was developed as a self-defence for women and is a real no-nonsense killer of a martial art that relies on technique rather than strength or size. Besides, the chinese martial arts are so pretty to look at, so fluid and circular.

I have to admire anyone who's handicapped and working in the martial arts, though for an instructor it can be intimidating. I remember I had a women in one of my classes who I'd been teaching for a few months suddenly tell me her breakfalls probably seemed awkward because she had a metal rod in her back. I almost had heart failure!! Needless to say, I kept her away from breakfalls and throwing techniques after that.

Be Well, Live Well.

S.N.Arly Wed Jan 6 11:52:55 PST 1999

Lena - Unfortunately there were no dojos in my town when I was a wee snot and my parents weren't into driving all over the planet for my amusement.

I've been studying Shorin Ryu Karate since summer of 1994. I hope to achieve first dan in the year 2000, having reached 3rd kyu this past summer. I'm also an assistant instructor for a Women's Self Defense class taught by my sensei and I'm teaching a group of blue belts in our regular class. Love it!

Charles - May your patience be rewarded.

SKS - Holy cows! So which has been your favorite? I've been a little hesitant to try a new style becasue not all are suitable for the handicapped. And not all instructors are understanding (what do you mean you won't do a front breakfall from standing!?). I have given some thought to Kung Fu, as Shorin Ryu is a descendent of Shaolin Kung Fu. Just haven't gotten there yet. I'd also be interested in Shuri Te, which is a near relative.

As you can see, I am always happy to talk martial arts, too.

If Sensei suggests a trip to Okinawa, I just may have to drop myself into the big black hole of debt. Oh well.

As I'm supposed to be working, gotta scram. Later all.


toby b Wed Jan 6 11:12:16 PST 1999

Good to see some old faces. I remember Ben and Charles from back when I first found the notebook. That was while ago, in sometime my freshman year. Has it been well over two years already??? Wow.

Thomas Wed Jan 6 07:09:51 PST 1999

Good grief! With all the black belts out there I am beginning to feel I must have missed something. The last black belt I got into was twenty pounds ago; that one hangs in my closet waiting for me to lighten up on the carbohydrates, which I have done since Jan. first.
I suppose martial arts, and the practice of going with the flow that it fosters, is likely great training ground for aspiring to be a published writer. Patience, patience, patience, and a little rolling with the "slings and arrows" -- apologies to The Bard.


Good luck. I too am hoping to find an agent for a nonfiction book I recently completed.


I went to ICQ to add to my account the id numbers that are on our chat board list. I had trouble with yours. ICQ says you are not registered under the information I am inputting, which I am taking right off the list Eddie provided. What gives?

Wait a minute. There is so much on the notebook I forgot who wrote what about which. I think it was Lena talking about stringing short stories together into a book. I have seen it done many ways: some have a common theme running through them, some are a kind of series, some have a common character through them, some are random stories, and on and on. The point is: it can be done and it can be done however you and the publisher agree it needs to be. You have a better shot at random stringing when you are an already known writer. Agents and editors are usually of a mindset that a known writer has a built-in audience, which is THE most important factor, whether or not the writer has anything to say.

As for insomnia, I read a trend. With a few exceptions, it seems we have a collective sleep disorder. Now there is a reason for an ICQ Round Robin if I ever heard one.

S.K.S. Perry Wed Jan 6 06:35:04 PST 1999

Hi all,

Lena, have you read any of the Thieve's World series. They're anthologies written by different authors but taking place on the same world, so each story is unique. Not only that, but the authors are encouraged to use characters and settings from other stories in the anthologies, as long as they don't do anything drastic to the originating author's character without permission. It's an interesting concept, and works very well, especially in later books where the writers became more familiar with each others characters and storylines and used them more and more frequently in their own work.

For you martial artist out there, I hold black belts of various degrees in Judo, Jui Jitsiu, Ninjitsu, Bujitisu, Karata (Shuko Kai) and Kung Fu (Wing Chun). I've also studied Aikado, Hopkido, Kickboxing and Kempo. I'd love to talk to anyone who's interested.

Be Well, Live Well.

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Jan 6 01:11:52 PST 1999

       Charles :-) :Glad to see your comments. Do not be a stranger. Tried to place an order for Missiles on Amazon and it got killed. Hope your comments means that it is again a possibility again.

Charles Samuel Tue Jan 5 22:48:10 PST 1999

Jack, Ben and Philip too!!

What a treat. Sorry for budding in like this. I haven't been around for ages... but when you haven't seen old friends for this long.

Ben: You do sound like you've changed. May you be blessed with success. Regards to the family.

Philip: I miss your insights. Great to see you.

Jack: Can't believe this place is going so strong. It really has a life of its own. A real organism. Congratulations on the great service you're doing for so many people.

Everybody else: Hi.

I, my wife and kids moved to Toronto in August. We were asked to take on an important community position and couldn't refuse. So we're here for a few years. We all miss Jerusalem terribly. This snow storm that hit was a thrill for the kids. The first in their lives. It was a fun for us too, however I think I've had enough scraping the car windshield with my VISA card for the year.

As you can imagine, I haven't had much time for writing with getting children settled into new schools and me working two daytime community jobs.

Looks like there are some serious omens out there for me to finish up my works in progress. Coincidentally, yesterday I was contacted by a teacher at a local Toronto school and asked to speak to his class about my book MISSILES, MASKS AND MIRACLES (an account of the Gulf War in Israel that was only published in Israel!) Within an hour I received another phone call from my publisher in Baltimore saying he's ready to bring out the book in North America. He's only about two years late in getting the book to market (according to the contract), but perhaps he thinks Saddam still has a few scuds up his sleeve.

The moral of this story is: Patience, patience, patience.

Sorry for rambling. It's late and I must go to sleep in spite of the insomnia that everyone is talking about.

Warm regards to all,


Ben Woestenburg library Tue Jan 5 20:33:38 PST 1999

Hello to all who don't know me, and to those who do!

Jack, it's been an awful long time since I've had the time to get over here to the library, but I have been busy. I sent a great query letter out to an agent yesterday, gave him a chapter by chapter synopsis and the first four chapters of my novel. I came here to study the Writer's Market, pick where I wanted to send it and to whom. I did all the right stuff. Considering I never sent the book out before or went about it in the right way, I think I'm on the right track. I hope to hear from him in a couple of weeks. But he specializes in historical fiction and that's what I need. I don't want to get my hopes up, but I do feel confident about it. Of course, reading through the ms. which I haven't looked at for almost eight or nine months, brought a lot of little things to light. I can now understand why they say, "put it away for a while and then go back to it." I love the story, but then, I always have.

I think I've matured over the past year as a writer. I've been isolated and cast adrift, forced to get on with it or sink to the bottom and be forgotten. I still haven't gotten a haircut either. I've lost weight because I stopped eating wrecklessly. "Always leave the table hungry", is my new motto. I still hang out with my buddy Kim, and we still like to drink Coronas -with lime of course (and who doesn't?)-- but even that has slowed down. I devote all of my spare time to my writing. My children are encouraging me, and my wife has agreed that I can go through my last revision on the novel before the agent responds one way or the other. I'm not afraid of rejection from him either. I half expect it (though I won't tell anyone else that) which is why I made a list of agents in addition to the first one. I considered sending it out to the slush pile of major publishing houses, but so many of them keep saying they will not accept unsolicited mss. that it just isn't worth the effort. It's better to go this way -- for me at least -- because when I do sell it, I'll be able to go on with the business of writing and let the agent take care of all the other stuff. I don't expect to be a best selling writer. I gave up on those dreams in my twenties. I just want to get published, and when THE ROMAN TRILOGY comes out after twelfe years of writing -- no 13! now (Wesley was born when I started it and it's his birthday on Friday)I will have finally succeeded. I don't hold the dreams of becoming the self supporting man Phillip is in the land of Oz (OK I do, but I know not to give up my day job either), but I must say I feel better about myself for it.

Oh my Gosh! I just asked the lady beside me what the time was and she said 8:30! I have to go home and put in two hours on the computer and get ready for 4:00 a.m. I have to tuck the kids into bed and get ready for myself. I just wanted to say hi and hope you had a great new years. Thank God we had a white Christmas. You gotta love it out here: snow on Christmas eve and pretty well gone by Boxing day. A perfect Christmas. Makes we wonder why I would ever want to leave this place. No wonder we call it La-La Land. It snows too much back east. If you can't live in the Bahamas, you might as well go to the next best place, Vancouver!

Se ya in a couple of months.


Allein Tue Jan 5 20:00:40 PST 1999

No insommnia here. I can get to sleep fine - but I am a night owl. Which is bad because I have to get up at six thirty to go to school.

I like the new colorful buttons too.

I'm in such a good mood. I finally found someone who can get me all the foreign Disney soundtracks I'll ever need or want. :)

Well, that's all for now. bye bye.

Goodweed of the North Tue Jan 5 20:00:17 PST 1999

Lena; Two series which embrace a collage of seprate stories tied to gether only by the worlds on which the stories take place are: any of the "Darkover" novels (excellent, even exceptional reading) by Marion Zimmer Bradley, and the "Xanth" novels by Piers Anthony. Each takes stories with entirely different characters, diferent time periods, and even in some cases, diferent genre's. It can be a wonderful way to write. There must be some kind of comman thread however, to make it work. Good luck. Give it a try.

On imsomnia, I can only say that for me (on those once or twice a decade times that I don't fall asleep five minutes or less after my head hits the pillow (blessed to be able ot quickly fall asleep)) I use a form of self-hypnosis or total body relaxation methods.

For you matial artists out there, does Judo and Kuk Sul Wan count? I have training in both.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

Lena Tue Jan 5 18:21:23 PST 1999

Hullo all,

Short vs. long? Hmm. I hate to give the standard answer, but in this case I think "the story determines the length" is quite accurate. Some plots beg to be expanded upon, while some ideas are good for only the quick bang of a short story. Here's something I've often wondered: What would result if I took all the short stories I have already written and tried to tie them together into a novel/series? Bearing in mind that most of my stories are fantasy, so fitting them together into a world is feasible, could my unrelated stories possibly work together? Just a fancy of mine.

Eddie: If you haven't already read them, I recommend you check out the Otherland series by Tad Williams. It deals with the future of the Internet in quite an interesting way, with some excellent insights and a great plotline to boot. It's one of those looong series, though, with big books. The first book is called 'Otherland: City of Golden Shadow.' If you have some free time you might want to look into it, especially with your ideas of the government controlled Internet and what freedom on the Internet truly is.

No insomnia here. I truly value my sleep. Isn't it a responsibility of teens to sleep in until noon or later if possible? I take that responsibility very seriously. :-)

SN Arly: *DOJO!?!* Oh dear. I assume this means you are in a karate class of some sort, and, well, this is almost beginning to scare me. I have taken karate since I was in first grade (I thought ballet was "too boring") and am now a first degree black belt in Tang Su Do (did I spell that right?) and am currently practicing Tae Kwan Do (I hate spelling these things!). You are now entering... the Twilight Zone... this is too cool!

Today was the first day of school since Christmas vacation, because we had a snow day yesterday, and it's now back in the groove of being exactly what the teachers want you to be. If school isn't a breeding ground for conformity, I don't know what is.

On that encouraging thought,

Toby Buckell Tue Jan 5 16:59:38 PST 1999

Yes! Insomnia is one of my biggest battles, unless I'm absolutely exhausted it usually takes me a few hours to fall asleep. Melatonin over the counter helps somewhat, and I do have to have a fan running as white noise, but even then...I absolutely don't fall asleep unless I'm exhausted. It's a real pain in the ... and has been the source of much amusement to friends who joke all the time about the hours I keep. I honestly can't help it. The only way for me to take on a regular schedule is to get a physical type laborer job that recquires getting up at eight, and only then will I usually fall asleep by midnight, if only because I'm so exhausted.

In order to combat insomnia I usually stay up all night either writing or reading. I used to stay up all night watching TV, but I no longer allow that.

How's winter for the rest of you? We have lots of snow here in Ohio, and a couple inches of ice everywhere, including the roads. I actually slip when I cross the roads on the way to class. It is so cold I ache, and the only reason I'm outside a lot is because none of my computers are working right now and I'm living in the computer lab. Ah well, maybe the skiing later on in the winter will be cool.


Jack Beslanwitch Tue Jan 5 16:14:35 PST 1999

     Then there are those of us who, when left to our own devices immediately drop into falling asleep around 5 to 7 in the morning and sleep until noon or 1. No insomnia :-). Of course, you have to be able to get away with that bit of noctural meandering, but that seems to be my ideal sleep pattern from when I was in my teens. Maybe I am a vampire and just did not know it ;-).

     Seriously, when I do find a need to sleep early than that, my own recommendation is melatonin and a dark room. It is a natural brain chemical that is available over the counter and is actually the chemical your bodies is supposed to produce when it is dark that makes you sleepy, while like produces seratonin which wakes you up. This works for some and not for others. It does work for me. It also helps those suffering from jet lag to make the adjustment to a different time zone. I certainly plan to use it when Fran and I fly off to Australia next August.

S.N.Arly Tue Jan 5 14:47:58 PST 1999

SKS - WHITE NOISE! Oh dogs how I love it. All winter it's the humidifyer and all summer I get the fan. I also have to keep my sleeping schedule. A late night here or there might be OK, but too many in a row and I am so very screwed.

Avatar Tue Jan 5 13:01:55 PST 1999

Wines may work very well for 'you' guys, but when you're under the age limit it's a little bit difficult. I'd curl up with a good book, but most of the time I had already done that during daylight hours and my vision is not perfect. Added to that is the additional problem of migraine headaches due to eye strain.

Hah! I don't care if I get one anyway. I probably should, but when you've lived with 'em as long as I have, you get used to it. And then you don't care any more. [;~)]

That doesn't mean I'm not careful, however.

I agree with you there. A book is much more fun to read when it takes a while. Short books are fun too, though. How do you think we as a culture started becoming interested in short stories?

Go for it! That kind of story would be rather interesting to read. Would make a good round robin too!(hint, hint)

S.K.S. Perry Tue Jan 5 12:30:10 PST 1999


I am a true insomniac. I have been every since I can remember. There are lots of ways to try and cure insomnia: meditation, deep breathing, warm milk (yuck!!) making sure you don't do any exercise for a few hours prior to going to sleep, cutting down on caffine--including colas and chocolate, and getting used to the idea that bed is a place to sleep, not watch TV or read (that other thing is an exception.) If that fails, there are over the counter sleep aids. You might also try a white noise device, like keeping a fan running, to help get rid of distractions which might be keeping you awake.

I lived on 2-3 hours of sleep a night until I turned 30, then I stopped sleeping completely. None of the above worked for me, including prescription drugs. Finally, a doctor prescribed an anti-depressent (trazadone). One of it's side effects is to "slow down" or calm your mind and allow you to relax so you can sleep. You don't know what a godsend it was to be able to fall asleep within a half hour of going to bed and getting a full six hours (still the best I can accomplish.)

Good Luck with your problem.

Be Well, Live Well.

Thomas Tue Jan 5 12:19:27 PST 1999

I am getting into a routine of visiting the notebook once in the morning and once in the afternoon, and I still find it hard to keep up with all the notes. I can't imagine what it will be like next week when I return from a trip to New York City for a few days to sign up for some freelance writing work.


What's a Tom and Jerry? Isn't it the name of a cartoon. Sliding into drug and alcohol abuse likely is out of my domain. Being a child of the sixties, I could say, with boredom: been there, done that.

As for insomnia, I suppose writers are prime suspects for the sleepless bug to strike. There are times when I wish I could stop this mind of mine. I don't often have trouble falling asleep. But I often wake up within two or three hours (between 1 and 3 in the a.m.) as awake as I am after a bracing shower. Sometimes I write during those hours, sometimes I read. Sometimes I do both. If I truly need a tranquilizer, and don't feel like having a glass of wine, there is always Hemingway -- somehow I could never stay awake reading that fellow.


Do you happen to have any URL's at your command? I would like to see what others do to sell books. The web site I had was linked to other book-oriented sites and to specific groups, like those interested in the Bloomsbury period of Virginia Woolf, or books about opera and wine and food, all of which my wife and I have an interest.

If I self-publish my book I intend to link my site to history and food oriented sites, and of course to the online book sellers. But you know, amazon and b&n don't promote books other than the ones that have already received promo from best seller lists or reviews. The first thing an author needs to do, I suppose, is to get the book to influential reviewers, internet selling or not.

I am not convinced yet that e-book is the way to go. I have discovered that there are many people who desire the feel of a good book in their hands, one that has been bound in a cover of some sort and can be placed on a shelf, dog-eared pages and all, for future reading or reference. Downloaded laser copies just do not fit that bill.

S.N.Arly Tue Jan 5 11:28:47 PST 1999

Lena - The closest community college (which is also where my dojo is) doesn't teach anything exotic. They barely teach German, French and sign language. I'd love to learn sign language, but I can't. I'm thinking of taking up Hmong, since there are places for that near enough to my home, and my co-workers could practice with me.

Avatar - Insomnia. Teacher. Mother. Secret lover... oh, wait. That's the TV.

Get used to it. Don't get upset by it. Just try to relax, or you'll make yourself sick. I have initial and intermittant insomina and I get occasional bouts where I don't get any useful sleep for days. Try to keep your resistance up by eating well and taking care of yourself. Work on what you can during the day.

If you actually have to go to work or school, like most of us, reading and or writing are not necessarilly good ideas, as they may well encourage the insomnia. Both of these only wake me further or make it harder for me to sleep. In fact I've found that I HAVE to put away a story a good hour before bed or I'll spend all night plotting it out.

Thomas & Eddie - Wine? Ish. Never developed a taste for it. Now a nice hot Tom and Jerry or something along those lines... and so we see how the writer falls into that pit of alcohol and drug use.


Rachel Tue Jan 5 10:33:37 PST 1999

Hi all

Wow, this place is different every time I drop in. I have been working on some new stories and have even embarked on a couple of childrens stories for my own kiddies.

My computer had some sort of memory chip failure over the past few weeks and I had to wait a time for a service person to come out, and now my computer has a memory and a bunch of reconfigures chips whatever that means. All I know is that my modem can communicate again and that thrills me to bits (ha, ha, ha)


Write more when I have something constructive to add to the discussions. Hum, that could be like, well never.

Take care all

Rhoda Tue Jan 5 09:16:10 PST 1999


I think selling books on the Internet is a good concept whose time has not yet come. A friend of mine tried this about a year and a half ago. All of her writer friends--yours truely included--gave her our unsold manuscripts to sell over the Internet. I sold four of mine,and that was more than anyone else sold. Three of the copies were from friends and acquaintences. She gave up on e-books and now uses her web-site for sponsoring a contest, building writer's web pages and passing on marketing information.

I did go to a site a few days ago where they had an article on an experienced writer who couldn't publish her regency novel because the editors believed that today's romance reader would never tolerate a hero from a "common" background. This writer is now self publishing and will be able to market her book through I intend to buy a copy. There are many reader sites out there that offer reviews and writeups on books. When there is a good book about, word does get around if the author is willing to work hard to see that it does. Where a reader might hesitate buying my book from my friend's web site, she might feel much better buying a highly touted book from Incidently, I have bought most of my books through the Internet in the past year. When I hear of a good one, I don't waste my time hunting through my local book-stores to get it. If it is on Amazon's site or at Barnes and Noble, it is readily available to me.

As far as books off the disk or downloaded from the Internet is concerned, I believe it will take some technical fine-tuning before that works out. Thomas, you should visit sites that sell self-published books on the Internet and ask yourself at each one whether this site would sell you a book. I've been to some, and I haven't been impressed with any of them. If you really believe in your book, self publish it yourself and work the next several years promoting it and marketing it both on the Internet and in more traditional ways.


I think you know the ways of government. I think the most immediate danger governments pose is stealing a piece of the financial action. The political hacks in Washington look at the Internet, see the vast numbers of people using it and feel that it is their God-given duty to levy a tax on every e-mail or on every ISP account. I can see it now. One of them will go before Congress and decry the fact that poor people cannot afford access to the Internet. The Internet is a rich man's tool. These rich people must pay more so everyone can join the party. I don't know how the sales pitch for new taxes works in Britain, but that is how it works here. In about ten years none of us will be on-line nearly as much as we are now because it will cost us more, for this government is always looking for ways to buy votes with other people's money.

Happy Writing!


S.K.S. Perry Tue Jan 5 07:27:29 PST 1999

Hey all,

Eddie, there's one big difference between the internet and the pirate radio stations of the 60's--millions of people are on the internet, I'm sure there were nowhere near that many people who had pirate radio stations. In order to make comercialism on the internet viable and profitable, it needs the mass consumer audience it now has, and it has that audience because it is a forum for free thinking, free speech, and creative ideas. Do away with that forum and you do away with most of the appeal of the internet, and thus the mass market that buisiness is looking for in the first place. I have better things to do on my computer than just shop or listen to gov't sponsored programs--it that's all there was I can get better on television, and cheaper too.

Of course, I could be wrong...

Be Well, Live Well.

Thomas Tue Jan 5 06:24:55 PST 1999


I assume you are talking about Late Harvest dessert wines. Some marvelous stuff. We produce great examples of it here in New York's Finger Lakes region, the second home of the German Riesling grape. Of course, there certainly ain't nothing so good as a fine port or Madeira when you can't sleep -- a glass of either matches a suspense thriller, a cookbook or the newspapers.

Re: Internet. You do have a copyright on that story!!!
I believe the Internet will go the way of television: lots of promise, lots of early innovative movement toward creativity, lots of advertising and sales potential and then, all advertising and sales.
With the last in mind, I think self-publishing and selling books (e-books?) on the Internet is a viable concept. If I ever get enough money together to do it, I shall explore the possibility for my book, which is a combination history/cookbook, if you can imagine that.
I hold on to the belief that, although many (especially in America) seem to tout their ignorance, they do respond to being taught something. When I operated my small winery I marvelled at how I could hold an audience in my tasting room with information about the history of the product.
So I am betting that, yes, the flow of free information will be checked by governments, but only because they will be protecting corporate revenues, the revenues of the five remaining corporations in the world by the year 2020. But I think, just like late-night television, the government will allow some crazies like me to survive with outlandish ideas and advertising of them.
Incidentally, one reason I like this notebook is that we buck the trend, we thrive not on our ignorance but on our inquisitiveness -- or is that inquisition?


It might work if that isn't the air-cooled Porsche. Otherwise the air will go in one end and out the other, but the sound it makes might give you the feel of the road.
I wonder what the symbolic meaning of Fiat is -- he says with particularly fond memories of a lemon he once owned called an X19.

Frieda Tue Jan 5 01:48:44 PST 1999

You can get icq at

Caroline Heske Mon Jan 4 23:24:42 PST 1999

Yes, the buttons ARE fun (much better than the santa or the balloons thingy)...

Can someone please explain to me - like I'm an idiot - where to get ICQ from. Please?

Lena - I suppose you could turn that into a general topic: can any story become too long? I think it depends what kind of story - Jordan could easily have a great 13 book series, but I'm afraid he seems to be wasting a lot of space with extraneous characters and soap opera. But he couldn't stretch it out too long, cause the point of WoT is the last battle, and he's got to get to it. He's only got one focus, so he can't really stretch it beyond that. However, I think if you're writing a story with many foci, introducing new points and finishing old ones, then you can keep it going as long as you like.

But me personally, I have to say I usually prefer long stories. If a book's short, then you just get yourself absorbed in it and it ends - it's very unsatisfying. I know, I keep being told quality over quantity... in a perfect world we'd get both!

Toby Mon Jan 4 21:09:11 PST 1999

Oh look at the pretty buttons...Jack lurks amongst us, evident in the occasional appearance changes ;)

Eddie French Mon Jan 4 21:01:27 PST 1999

I like that bit about the wine. When I get the insomnia bug I rarely have to do any more than pick up and read my current series of fictional escapism. (at the moment I am on Steven Donaldsons' 'Gap' series for the third time)
Failing that, I like to take a couple of nice glasses of late grape wine and stay up late.
(I love September grapes...You can taste the mould - and the Earth - in the glass)
I have actually written some really good stuff under the influence of this mild halucegenic substance. (mind you ....the re-writes are unbearable)

Using the internet as a sales tool!

Oh what a complicated subject!!
You have just opened my personal can of worms Thomas!! asked the question!
Here it is as I see it.

The Internet has suddenly become the most direct and innovative way in which like mided people can communicate and pass global ideas to each other free of any form of governmental or political censurship.
Local marketing initatives abound and a small number of forward thinking entrepeneurs make small fortunes by getting in there first and raking in the benefits.

International corporations, especially media conglomerates, finaly realise the worldwide marketing potential of this groundbreaking media opportunity and snap up the majority of available bandwith for commercial purposes.
The Internet as we know it today is relegated to 'fringe group activity' which is actively discouraged by International corporations and National Institutions alike. There follows a worlwide discrediting campaign which alienates all free minded 'Hackers' to the realms of the criminal classes.
By this time people just like you and me are considered to be 'Pirates of the airways'.

(If you don't think this could happen then just think of the 'Pirate radio Stations' of the 60's. How many of those free thinking braodcasting stations are left to enlighten the listening masses?.
We had one in the 60's which broadcast from a ship off the coast of the Uk. (Radio Caroline) It mysteriously sank in the North Sea. After a few months one or two of the popular DJ's who worked on this ship became popular personalities on 'BBC Radio 1'. The Government run popular radio station.)

Unauthorized traffic on the 'Internet' is ruthlessly hunted down and erradicated. The use of digital agents.... (Autonomous micro programs capable of evolutionary development) proliferates until the www becomes a minefield of deadly traps.

Sorry Thomas... I think I am going to use this for my next novel.
But you get the idea.. eh?
What do you all think?
Where will this all lead?

Hayden Mon Jan 4 18:46:18 PST 1999

Merry whatever is left. I have twenty-five days or so left...and working like a dump truck.


Long story cut short:

The porsche was just something I threw in one day at the notebook because I had been spending some time chatting with friends (non-writers) on another site, and they are quite visual in how they converse. Not just the emotives they use :-) and all those sorts of things, but also in the sense of playing about with supposed actions, such as LOL (laughing out loud) and FOALLOL (falling of a log, laughing out loud). From there we progressed to (supposedly) driving around the internet on go-karts, and scaring the surfers. So I still had that chat in mind when I went to the Writers Notebook. When I dropped the Porsche into the chat, quite a few writers took off with the idea, especially that devil-may-care driver Michelle.

Philip, nice to see you here again.

Cheers to all,
Oh, by the way, my wife ACTUALLY bought me a Porsche for Xmas. 1 /16th scale though. I wonder if blowing into the tail pipe would make it bigger...

Thomas Mon Jan 4 16:49:16 PST 1999

Anyone interested in a discussion I had with an agent today read on.
He was listed as an agent who desires that those with nonfiction books to sell telephone instead of sending in a proposal and sample chapters. I telephoned. He asked me a series of questions about the book. Then he asked, "What are you prepared to do to promote the book?" I responded, "Whatever it takes."
The point of his question is that a publisher often does not put money into promoting an unknown, even after the publisher has printed the book. The agent was seeking to find out if I had any special connections that would help me move the book. I mentioned the Internet as one possibility and he let out a sigh of contempt. I think I lost him.
What do you all feel about the Internet as a sales tool for writers?


The best thing to do when you have partial or full insomnia, I guess, is to write a novel in three days, but it would be even better if it were a good novel.
What I do for insomnia: read, write, think and then write some more. The next day, I go back and rewrite the babble of a sleepless writer with a sleepful desire. Oh, I forgot, at the risk of starting a whole new round of allergic reactions, I sometimes have a glass of wine, which often puts a halt to the reading, writing and thinking and sets me in the right frame of body and mind for sleeping so that the next day I can be fully awake and prepared for writing.

Rhoda Mon Jan 4 13:26:01 PST 1999


You give us so much credit for being so deep and intellectual. Michele and Hayden came up with the Porche thing, so I feel that one of them can explain it the best. You could also check the archives. I think this talk began just about a year ago. Hope this helps.

Happy Writing!


Avatar Mon Jan 4 13:01:15 PST 1999

Thanks for the tips, oh great Muses of the ages.
By the by, has anyone heard of an author by the name of Sheila Gilluly? Her books are great but no one I know has ever heard of her.

What do you guys do for partial-and full Insomnia?

I found a good contest in the Writer's Market. Get this: it's called Anvil Press International 3-Day Novel Writing Contest. To get info, write to Anvil Press, 204-A 175 E. Broadway, Vancouver, British Columbia V5T 1W2 Canada. Their website is listed above.
What you are supposed to do is write a book in three days (Labor Day Weekend). If anyone wants to have a go at it, you're either crazy, or you don't want to sleep much.

Just kidding!

Lena Mon Jan 4 12:45:17 PST 1999

Um, a question to the older and more experience Notebook people. Do you think it would be possible to get a back-story on the Porsche? I keep reading about it and wondering what it all means... Some complex meta-physical psychological interpretation of writing? A third-generational view on the death of the printed word? Throw me a bone here, anything!

Michelle and Rhoda: I believe Latin is useful, but I also believe it is pretty much a 'dead' language. There is a difference. I totally agree that knowing word roots is useful, that Latin helps you to learn the other romance languages, and the Latin is widely used in medicine, biology, etc. But how many people do you know who can actually speak Latin? I read a newspaper article last year on a Latin conference that was held, and the newspaper had a statistic of how many Latin speakers there were in the world. I'm not sure of the accuracy of this statistic, but the number was only in the thousands. However, I really want to learn Latin, for whatever reason. Call it a crazy urge, but I just do.

SN Arly: Is there a community college around where you live? You say it is hard to find a teacher for Latin, but that's what the profs at the college are there for. Perhaps you could sign up for evening classes.

Caroline: I totally agree, the eighth book is not very good. Robert Jordan usually does a great job writing the characters, but he's losing sight of the original characters in all the petty arguments and scheming. Nynaeve and Suian especially, who started out as strong female characters and are now reduced to staring dreamy-eyed at the guy they have a crush on. Rand is being real jerk, I barely make it through the sections on him without giving the book up in disgust. Do you think it is possibly for a series to become too long?

Carpe diem (the only Latin I know at the moment!),

Thomas Mon Jan 4 11:55:25 PST 1999


Every new writing piece is a beginning, which means to me a writer, published or not, is always in some way a beginner -- it's that fresh approach, that different way of looking at or treating a subject. So, in the end, we are all beginners; my little play on words was at work.
Yes, the linguists decide which language is dead and which is alive based on its use, and yes fewer and fewer teachers are out there to "learn us" Latin, but without knowing the roots of many of the words we use in our modern-day language we run the risk of saying it wrong in our writing, a risk I readily admit to having run many times. That is why I think Latin ain't dead yet. It still influences modern-day definitions of words. And, as Rhoda pointed out, the sciences -- particularly medicine and botany -- are filled with Latin, mainly because it was the Romans whose scientific documentation were the most extensive of the ancients.
Of course, a good deal of Latin is derived from ancient Greek.


No tongue was in my cheek. I simply wondered what having a web page does for an individual. You have answered the question succinctly. I just might look for the time to get me a web site too.
I have been thinking seriously about self-publishing my recent book, and if I do I intend to try selling it on the web. Having run an online book search service for out of print books gave me a feel for how to sell a book on the web. And I have kept my registered domain -- -- active so that I can put a site up when the time comes.


Thanks for the ICQ info.

S.N.Arly Mon Jan 4 11:29:58 PST 1999

Thomas - I don't think of myself as a beginning writer, although you do have a good point about it being an endless journey & with continued growth. However, too many nonwriters think "beginning writer" means you've just started, which naturally means you can't be any good. I'll point out now (before someone tells me this isn't true) that I don't agree with this df, but it's a common misconception.

SKS - It depends on what I'm writing. Many of my shorts go through draft pases, though I have two out right now that had only minor changes. Like Lena, my drafts are in constant flux, but with both the short stuff and the novels, I'll hit a point where I NEED to see a hard copy. I find a lot more mistakes that way. I usually do one major edit on that copy, along with all the other stuff that happpens in the computer.

Caith - Linear? *GAG*

On languages being dead - I think it's the linguists who decide this, and if I remember correctly from that Lx class in college, they generally consider a language dead if it is not a widely used language in any country/province or state (and I believe we're talking geographical here), and by widely used they sort of mean most of the population speaking it (which is how latin can get away with being dead despite its religious use). A varient of a language is a dialect, but a shoot off is another language entirely. All in all, it doesn't much matter. It just means the dead ones are tougher to learn. Where do you find a teacher?


Michele Mon Jan 4 08:50:04 PST 1999

Jack - the buttons are gorgeous (blue's my favourite colour so I would say that ! No seriously I like them !)

Rhoda - you are so right about Latin not being dead - thanks for backing me on that one !

Colleen - you're more than welcome ! And no Hayden didn't sell the Porsche - I have it - I consider this is only fair since I paid for it ! :-)

Philip - welcome back friend !

Thomas - assuming that's not a trick question - the benefit of having a web site - apart from showcasing my writing (as I am currently still in the research stage of my book) - is that one comes into contact with so many interesting and friendly people. I have a contact list of about 65 people - 95% of them are people who have emailed me on reading my web site - I have invitations to visit or speak in various bits of the States - books & videos coming from correspondents in the US and Australia (respectively). I might as well ask you what the benefit of coming to this site is . . . ? Hope that answers the question satisfactorily !


Eddie French Mon Jan 4 08:26:23 PST 1999

Just a few essential tips to all new ICQ users
(No I don't work for ICQ. I have just found it to be immensely useful over the past year or so)

First of all, Check out all of the utilities as soon as you install it. If you don't you may find yourself with a piece of kit which is working only at about 25% capacity. Play around with it. You can't do any harm.

Make sure that you include all of the members listed on the notebook chat page on your contact list. (It may be wise to make sure that you specify 'Authorisation Required' for members to be added. This just means that anyone requesting inclusion on your contact list has to include a message to you identifying themselves before you allow them entry.

Check out the address book too. It has a nice facility to create groups so that you can send a message to multiple members in one hit.

Problems with chat:
The chat function in ICQ has TWO modes. One is for one on one chat, in which you highlight a particular member (If they are showing as 'On Line') and request 'Chat'. The program will then send a request to the other person, who will either accept or decline the request.

The second mode is for 'Group Chat'. One member has to initiate the chat by making Himself/herself 'Available for random chat'. Other users use the 'Join Session' button (As opposed to the 'Chat' button which comes up in the chat dialogue box.

When in Chat I suggest that all users make sure that the display is switched to IRC Style. This style provides the user with a slot at the bottom of the screen where text can be placed and held until the 'Enter' key is pressed. (If this slot is not visible on full screen mode then use the middle button on the window sizer to make it smaller then maximise your screen again using the same button) Play around with it and you will soon become familiar with the whole thing. IRC Style also prevents other 'chatters' from seeing those embarrassing little typos which are glaringly obvious in real time type in mode!

Let's try to get all of this tech chat out of the way quickly so that we can return to the real purpose of the notebook: Writing about writing.
By that I don't mean that I wont post any more help here. I just mean that if all who elect to use these facilites try hard to get their heads around the new program then we will end up with a useful tool which becomes second nature in use and enriches our online experiences.

If anyone has any particular difficulties setting up then please email me rather than post the probs here. I will be pleased to help.

Forgive me for the overlong post on matters not related to our primary reason for being here.

Eddie French Mon Jan 4 06:35:28 PST 1999

Yes I did know that you have not included Magika on your page. That's why I said that I could just picture the scene.
The style of your artwork although not original, is very well done.
Keep at it.

Caroline Heske Mon Jan 4 02:17:58 PST 1999

Lena - Yes, I've seen that sight - it's fantastic! Particularly the one of Mat and the Gholam... however, I thought the 8th book is pretty poor. Half the characters seemed to have degenerated into stereotypes.

Have to rush, my sister's DYING to use the email (well, actually she's killing me, which is fairly painful, so I'll now put myself out of my misery)

Allein Sun Jan 3 21:56:08 PST 1999

Hey all!! I was finally successful in downloading ICQ. My ICQ # is 27380470. Now I just have to figure out how to work the thing.

Eddie - I don't think I have a picture of Magiki on my webpage. Did I include a description of her? But anyway, glad you liked my page. :)

Bye bye,

Rhoda Sun Jan 3 21:27:26 PST 1999


I like the colored buttons on the notebook.

I haven't made any New Years resolutions, but I do have goals for 1999. First and foremost, I would like to be more consistent with my writing. I would like to write a few pages a day for an hour or two and spend the rest of the time taking care of my kids. I feel that this last year I occassionally neglected them. Of course I would like to see VALERIE'S SONG in print, but not at the expense of those I love best. Sometimes I get so driven that I can't sleep at night and that during the day all I do is work on my writing.

I had the privledge of taking three years of Latin in high school. It was my favorite subject. Translating, congugating verbs and declining nouns was like a wonderful puzzle. I also benefitted by learning in the process about Roman culture and history. In the study of this civilization one can see so much of our own. When I took French a few years later in college, I excelled in the vocabulary and writing aspect because of the Latin I took. Latin is indeed NOT dead. It has nearly evolved over the years as a living language would do. A form of English was around over a thousand years ago, and I would venture to guess that it is indeed more foreign and unrecognizable to modern Brits and Americans than Latin is to modern Spanish or Italian speaking peoples. The Catholics still sing masses in Latin which composers over the past few hundred years have written. 60% of all English vocabulary is of Latin origin. Legal terms are primarily Latin as well as Medical. All the medical lingo for anatomy as well as all scientific terms for catagorizing life forms (i.e. genus, species, phylum, etc.) are Latin.


I would love to have another international chat. Since my schedule is fairly flexable, name the time and I will try to be on.

Speaking of languages, I want to learn Spanish. For nineteen years I have lived in the Southwest and heard the stuff spoken all around me. I wish I had learned it in high school. If you really want to understand a culture (and I definitely think the Latin culture is one Americans should understand) learn the language. As an American I feel cheated in that the public school system I attended did not encourage bilingualism. The foreign language classes at my high school were always under critisism and attack by the school administration (that was back in the seventies when the educational establishment went out of its way to dumb-down everything in the name of saving money and creating equality). I envy people who can speak both Spanish and English or both English and French.

Well, now I have to go to bed and anticipate waking up early in the morning again to get my kids off to school. It was nice being able to sleep in this past week, but alas, those times are over.

Happy writing!


Deb Sun Jan 3 20:13:23 PST 1999

Just wanted to invite everyone to participate in interactive
speculative romantic fiction online.


Visit my homepage at
Visit Paranormal Romance Round Robins at

Join the Paranormal Romance Email List!

Thomas Sun Jan 3 17:37:21 PST 1999

Hey all, just saw a Sixty Minutes segment done on Sun Microsystems and its CEO's fight against Microsoft. The story will likely make good literature in the year 3,000, but right now it is like watching teenagers in a food fight at the electronic cafeteria. Yet, I am rooting for one of them...


Great to hear of your Carver discovery -- a truly fine short story writer was he. He wrote for the New Yorker as well, and he lived in NY for a time. He was edited by Alfred Kazin, one of the absolute best literary editors of the century.


Looked up your site -- nice, and an interesting bio.
I do not have a web page, except for the one I had in order to sell a book search business I used to operate; never thought of having one for myself. What is the benefit of having a web page?


I did download the Mac version of ICQ. But I did not tie my name to the id # and now I cannot for the life of me find in any of the information how to go back and fix the situation. I suppose the best way would be to sign up again. As for the color background, still do not see how I can create a color of my own. There is no icon anywhere at the top of my screen to tell me to do so.
Rhoda and I managed a conversation a couple of days ago.
Anyway, I will reload ICQ and send you my new id #.

Jack Beslanwitch Sun Jan 3 17:35:09 PST 1999

Phillip: Nice to see you back. Look forward to seeing back here on occasion and even more so seeing you in person nice September. On that score I was wondering if anybody else among the Notebookers were going to be attending the World Science Fiction Convention in Melbourne. If there are enough of us we might definitely set up for a face to face meet.

Eddie: Thanks for the work you have done on the ICQ Chat page. I have taken and ran with it, modified some of the backgrounds, added a form that sends the ICQ info back to you as true listmaster. Send the updates my way and I will post them.

Everyone else: I am still not sure I like the buttons I set up. However, the button topics are going to stay the same. Weekly Topic has been dropped as a button and replaced with Notebook Chat. On that score please keep me posted on the timing of the chats and I will post them on the cat page as well.

Philip Sun Jan 3 16:31:00 PST 1999

Hello All,

My best to everyone for the new year, I hope you had a merry holiday season.

Of course it's hot at this time of the year down here in OZ but as I lived for many years in north Amercia I miss the sight of white cityscapes at this time. This seasonal memory drove me to seek out an American writer whom I've not read ... I came up with Raymond Carver. I believe he lived up your way Jack. Lots of writers live or have lived up in that Pacific north-west pocket haven't they?

I found Carver's crisp sketches compelling and was surprised when I half finished his book, SHORT CUTS, in one before-sleep sitting. Red eyes at work the next day.

I believe you like him or hate him - I like.

Back soon - PHILIP

Colleen Sun Jan 3 16:29:20 PST 1999

Hi Everyone,
Michele, thank you for your emails and for not forgetting me. I am sorry to have been absent from here for so long, but I am swamped, writing grants, Christmas, birthdays and in the beginning of an international adoption! Life is great, hope all of you are well and Jack, I loved the Prince of Egypt too. My favorite part was the relationship between Ramsis and Moses. What great work. Take care all. Did Hayden sell his porsche?
Bye for now, Colleen

Howard Sun Jan 3 16:23:54 PST 1999

The website listed above is for The Rock -- another pretty good writer's web site. They just announced their
"BOOK IN A WEEK CHALLENGE" -- a contest to see how many rough draft pages one can write in a week. Looks like fun!
Check it out at their website.
Resolutions? to write write write! To get something published for real $.
Haven't seen Price of Egypt yet, but it's on my short list. I just caught up with Armageddon, so have a few to go. I have it on very good authority that PoE is based on a true story! :-)
Steve (SKS) your story looks great in Underworld! It's an honor to be there with ya!

Eddie French Sun Jan 3 14:42:02 PST 1999

Finaly finished the ICQ contact pages. (you out there Jack?)
I thought the best way try it was to put it up first on one of my sites. So, if you would like to go to:

Then follow the link to the ICQ notebook page, you will get the idea.
Jack, you are welcome to copy all and put it up on your own server if you wish. Feel free to mend the 'Corporate Image'and blend it with etc. (Though I did have a bit of go at being 'In Tune' with you.)

I think that the problem may lie in your use of the Mac. Did you check if had a mac version of the program or did you just rush in to get it in time for the International Chat?
You could try re-installing the program now at a more leisurely pace. If this doesn't work then there is a good help section at the download site. I'm sure that you will get to grips with it. Feel free to email me with specific questions.

Welcome to the Notebook.


Caith Sun Jan 3 12:26:23 PST 1999

SksPerry: I usually write in one draft, but edit that draft as I write. This is a thing that drives teachers nuts, because they insist that everyone follows an extremely linear process! I do not. Neither does Lena.

Arly: Yea, verily. Chlorine bleach! =D

Michele Sun Jan 3 12:12:00 PST 1999

Now let's get one thing straight here - there's no call for saying Gaelic is a dead language - just ask the Gaels if you don't believe me. And just because no-one speaks Latin on a daily basis doesn't mean it's dead. I DON'T want to hear ANY MORE about DEAD languages !! All languages have their uses !

Sorry - I'll get off my soap box now - I was getting a headache away not having my feet on the ground !!

Thomas - yes I knew that about the Garlic !

I'm going now to wipe the froth off my mouth - oh adn on the subject of drafts (as someone who drafts essays for college I can comment on this one) - I only write 2 - a first draft and a final draft - most of the writing & editing goes on in my head before I commit it to paper.


Lena Sun Jan 3 11:46:20 PST 1999

Felicitations! (this is Lena using big words here... be impressed!)

SN Arly: Gaelic would be interesting to learn. I recently finished reading a couple of books dealing with the Irish/Celtic/Scottish cultures, and I just about fell in love with the whole history. Even the accents, if that is possible to do while reading (it's just great when a character say "I dinna know!"). You want to learn Latin too? Hum... if I try to learn it this coming year, maybe you oughta too. After all, long-lost twins have to stick together! ;-)

On multiple drafts: I've really become addicted to writing with a computer. Often I'll go back and change certain parts while I'm still writing, so everything is constantly in flux. I've given up on printing out drafts for myself, although I occasionally print them up for others.

Any Wheel of Time readers out there? I don't know if there are, but if anybody has there is a really good website I'd like to recommend: The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan is some fabulous writing and is incredibly long... there are currently eight books, some 1000+ pages and the story is still going strong. This website has anime sketches of the main characters, and the artist does a very good job of capturing the characters. Definitely check it out if you've read any of the WoT books. And if you have, please don't tell me how the 8th book ends, 'cause I'm only half-way through it.

Caith: You made it!

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow,

S.K.S. Perry Sun Jan 3 11:27:13 PST 1999

Hi all,

Winter's here at last. It dumped about a foot and a half of wet, icy snow on us last night. I just spent a good hour and a half shovelling the drive. Pen and I are going to do a bit of shopping and catch Prince of Egypt.

About the mulitiple drafts. I'm starting to feel a bit strange here. Am I the only one who writes in basically one draft here. Except for a bit of minor editing, that's usually it for me. And I never print anything out until I figure I'm finished with it.

And Eddie, I know it's only January 3rd, but so far, so good. I've written at least a page a day, and believe me, sometimes it wasn't easy. Let's hope I can stick to it.

Welcome Caith!!

Be Well, Live Well.

Thomas Sun Jan 3 11:24:30 PST 1999

Wow! Looks like the board's been hopping while I was at my keyboard reworking the book I am trying to sell. Where to begin?


In the end, we are all beginners: writing should be, and likely is to us in this group, an endless learning experience. But you can't learn unless you do it. Just remember, the first rejection you receive is an affirmation that you have at least tried. Ultimately, someone will notice.
And boy do I second SNArley's alternative things to do when you are stymied. I play piano (not too well) oil paint (not too well either) to take my mind off of words for a while when I need a break. I am so mediocre at the other creative endeavors that they actually stimulate me to get back to writing, something I think I can do well enough so that I have managed to persuade a few editors to pay me.


Latin is not a dead language; its roots live on in our language and the romance languages, and in German (SN, since the Celts, the Etruscans and the Romans did some time together, Latin likely has some connections in Gaelic too). God, I wish I had been smart enough to study Latin instead of just French and Italian. As a writer, I find those root words do come in handy.


Re: Food and WWI. Did you know the British contracted for plenty of garlic to use as an anticeptic for the front line wounded in WWI? We can make the nonfiction round robin work. Will look up your site later today.


A writer like me, who lives in the cool Northeastern United States, suffers from two kinds of draft problems; welcome to the overdraft club, take a seat, if you can find one under those printouts and away from the window.

Welcome back. Yes, let's get another ICQ going. But can you help me with the problems I have with it?

Allein Sun Jan 3 11:09:20 PST 1999

On the subject of Latin - I'd love to learn it, but I'm busy with Japanese (and German). :)

Bye bye.

S.N.Arly Sun Jan 3 10:26:06 PST 1999

Iíve been busy the past couple of days. Amazing what happens when Iím away.

Avatar - Donít know how long youíve been lurking, but I know weíve touched on the good things about being writers from time to time, even beginning writers, since we all had to start somewhere. However since the "advantages" to being a writer differ from one to another and can tend to be very personal, we tend to focus on the stuff we can all relate to. The publishing side. I also think that in our effort to help, we do warn such beginners as we meet, that writing is not exactly easy. Once I would have said it is, but I was wrong. It does take a lot of hard work and compromise to improve, grow and become good at saying what you really want to. Itís not always a picnic to be a writer. It can be incredibly aggravating to have to go to your day job when youíve got a killer of an idea rotting in your brain.

I have been published. However, my only pro credits come from the newspaper and in my case that doesnít count. I have yet to make a sale to the market Iím really aiming for.

Lena - Since you were only telling the truth, how could we possibly make you a liar? : )

If you can keep up with other languages, do. I also enjoy this. Are you SURE weíre not twins? Iím still looking for someone to teach me Gaelic. I know. It too is a dead language, but I have a strong connection to Ireland and the Celts, and I also think it would be cool. My grandmother grew up in a town that spoke the Kingís English and Gaelic. Unfortunately she wouldnít own up to her Irish heritage and died when I was still in high school. Iíve also wanted to study Latin and Italian, but havenít found the time. If you can do these things, more power to you. Incidentally. I was told German was a dying language so why learn it. Didnít stop me.

Caith - The gene pool could use some chlorinating.

On writing slumps and blocks: we all get them. Just have faith in yourself that if youíve written before, you can do it again. It CAN be very depressing, Iíve been there. And if you can find a way to go around the wall, instead of running right into it, sometimes that helps. Find something else creative that you like to do. Or learn something new thatís creative. I do a lot of beadwork when Iím having trouble writing. Or I work on a different story, or skip ahead to a part of the current story that I can work on.

Caroline - Aaaah, multiple drafts. You are indeed a kindred spirit.


Eddie French Sun Jan 3 09:23:36 PST 1999

Hi all,
Yes...still here. I have been lurking a bit haven't I !
Actualy I have been very busy lately. I am subscribed to a couple of NG's similar to our own and It would be BAD of me to miss out on a crit or two around the place.
I have also been working on the new ICQ contact pages. I will have something ready very shortly. (It has, of course, to go to Jack first so be patient.)
If any of you have still not downloaded ICQ yet and would like get on the list then you should go to:

Just follow the prompts once you get there and then install the program. Once you have ICQ then just email me with your ICQ UIN (Your ID number) with a request to be included on the list and I will do the rest.

I have so many ! I suppose my dream for 99 is to become financialy independent. (Crass, and not original I know.....) I would dearly love to become a published 'Author' and get my independence that way.
So 'Avatar of the winds' don't feel intimidated because although we seem a dedicated bunch, we are not all successful writers. So come on in and see if you can get something from us while you give to the group.

If anybody would like to participate in another International Chat in the next week or two just say so here and I will try to set it up.

You made me feel so good with that bit about the many drafts of your story. I thought it was just me who gets into those sorts of messes. I change chapters and scenes about so much that I too end up casting doubts on galactic enthropy.

Wish I had a penny for every time I've said on new years eve that I WILL! write a page every day. Sorry to say that I gave up making new years resolutions long ago. I found that the guilt just compounded year by year.

Glad you finaly got to the cinema. I went to your page and had a look at your characters. Great! Yes, I can just see Magiki looking concerned at Rean. Well done

That's about it for now. Kyesha is doing fine and has not had any relapses but mum and dad got some extra leave so they don't go back to Germany for another ten days. I get to babysit Kyesha a bit more! (Got told off during our chat for spelling her name 'Kyisha') but I don't think she really cared. Here's a sobering thought for the new year....I now have three grandchildren (And I'm just 43)

Caroline Heske Sun Jan 3 04:19:08 PST 1999

Prince of Egypt was PG in America, was it? I'm pretty sure it's G in Australia (is that possible? I think so...) I enjoyed it, and though the visuals were fantastic, but the music was a bit disappointing.

I'm so overloaded!!!!!!!!

But I just finished Chapter 13, so that feels pretty good. I also spent a total of about 2 working days sorting through all the drafts I had lying round my room, collecting them, actually ordering them (mostly, they had page numbers, and mostly those numbers doubled up, had gaps, and generally were completely wrong). Gave the recycling people about a boot-load of paper (excess copies of drafts), and ended up with 16 completely different drafts before the previous one. Sheesh! (Does anyone else get that problem?)

Happy New Year (er... have I said that already)!

Just dropping in to say hi and prove that I'm still alive, though I suppose posting like this doesn't really prove it at all... I wonder, how do I prove to you all that I am alive? I could-

No! I shall stop! I shall not ramble!


Have a lovely day,

Michele Sun Jan 3 02:15:29 PST 1999

Hi !

There's nothing wrong with learning Latin - it's a nice logical language and speaking as someone who learnt it from age 11 to 16 and then went into Computing I'd say - Lena and Caith go for it !!

Thomas I'm a biographer - if you want to take a look at my web site (address above) you'll see what my project is. I don't know if it's possible to combine writing about food & wine with writing WW1 biographies but it could be entertaining to try !

Talk to you later guys & girls - I'm going to take my cold germs and work on my web site. Talk to you all later,

Michele *aichoo* ! (excuse me !)

Caith Sat Jan 2 16:26:32 PST 1999

that is to say, I have no e-mail addy of my own yet.

Caith not yet! Sat Jan 2 16:09:02 PST 1999

Greetings, all!
I am the aforesaid "friend of Lena's"! Having been told there was a bunch of intelligent, well-written, nice, wonderful people, I cyber-ran down here to meet you! Hullo!
I am one of those never-had-a-story-published persons, Avatar of the Winds. Hopefully, that is one of those things that will change!
My goals are much like Lena's... Latin, for one. Hey, let's all go out and learn a dying language; no pushing, no shoving! However, I learn it for the same reasons as she.
I'd also like to get out of this minor writing slump I'm in. It's beginning to bother me like nothing else!
Just a thing I'd like to mention before I make an exit. I saw a most amusing line in a chatroom today: "Gene Police: Hey, YOU! Out of the pool!" (=^D I had to laugh.

Nice meeting you!

Lena Sat Jan 2 15:24:59 PST 1999

Hullo to all,

Sorry I haven't been around, but I was on a goose-hunting trip in Texas. It was fun, but I am exhausted right now and I itch from when I made the bad choice of lying down next to an ant hill. Bloody ants! A word of advice: almost look before you lie. And no, the pun was not intended. ::smirk::

Oh, by way of introduction, a friend of mine just recently got online and I told her about this notebook... she should be around sometime to say hullo. She is the person I am co-writing my novel with, and a dear friend of mine. I told her what a bunch of intelligent, well-written, nice, wonderful people everyone here are, so you better not make me into a liar! ;-)

I haven't seen Prince of Egypt, but maybe sometime.

Dreams for the new year. Well, I would like to survive this year in school with decent grades - that's a big one. During the summer I would like to try to get a job in a quiet bookstore and devote a lot of time to reading and writing, and perhaps teach myself some different programming languages. I also hope to take a class in Latin from a community college sometime in the future... I think learning Latin would be fun. Sure, it's a dead language and will probably be completely useless, but why not? Latin will also give me a springboard for learning many of the romance languages. I have taken three years in Spanish, but am in no way close to fluent. Learning other languages is interesting, and I hope to actually go some traveling and visit other countries, so... As I mentioned before, I was supposed to go on a student-exchange to Spain this coming summer, but that did not work out. Sigh.

"If wishes were wings, sheep would fly"

Avatar of the Winds Sat Jan 2 12:57:52 PST 1999

On the subject of The Prince of Egypt here's a little tidbit I'd like to share. I was watching an MTV special on it a few weeks ago. Turns out the cool music from it was actually a joint effort by several different singers.
Namely a few Christian/pop artists like Wynona and a lot of country singers (I think Shania Twain was in it).
What the creative producers did was almost kidnap the singers and, under a vow of secrecy, show them the actual movie footage. They were then to create fantastic songs worth any number of awards and give them up afterward. A few of the singers (Michael W. Smith for instance) actually tried to get in on this covert operation and succeeded.
I don't know if this was the cool soundtrack you heard Jack or what, but it was one heck of a special to see, even if they only showed excerpts. I haven't seen the movie yet but I'm planning on it.

Actually, I believe the Pharoh's sister was the one who picked Moses up out of the river, so Rameses and Moses were probably raised as brothers.

On the subject of dreams, I hope to get published for the first time, though it might just be wistful thinking. I haven't heard anything good about beginning authors yet from you guys, you seem to be all experienced or successful so I'm kind of curious as to how many people out there have actually never been published before and can be counted (in the world's sense) as beginners.

Goodweed- I think maybe that people just need a little encouragement once in a while. Took me two years just to realize that I wanted to write, and I'm still suffering from the debilitating weakness called non-writers' block- the uncertainty and hesitation one gets before one realizes that the world isn't going to kill you if you write and send something out. But even they might take it a little far so keep it up!

Thomas Sat Jan 2 11:37:33 PST 1999

I did not know the movie had Moses and Ramses as brothers. I guess the real life situation wasn't dynamic enough for the producers.
Me being primarily a nonfinction writer too, perhaps you and I could start our own Round Robin. Maybe our individual take on historical events or some such madness. I mean, taking true stories and expanding on them is fiction too.
What is your nonfiction subject matter? Mine is wine and food, and their respective histories.

Michele Sat Jan 2 11:12:17 PST 1999


On the topic of Prince of Egypt - you do realise don't you that Moses and Ramases weren't really brothers - which might be why Jack doesn't remember their relationship being like that from the Bible !

I want to see PofE but am not sure my current study schedule permits the time. I went to see Star Trek : Insurrection today - WOW !! Now there are some REAL SFX !! As to the parting of the Red Sea in PofE - when I saw that on the trailer I had a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes ! Incredible !

Goodweed - the only round robins I know about are the ones sitting in my garden looking smug at getting nice leftovers from Christmas that the cat didn't get ! (Being a non-fiction writer puts me at a disadvantage from joining round robins - I wouldn't want to torture anyone with my feeble attempts at fiction !)


Goodweed of the North Sat Jan 2 09:02:17 PST 1999

Hey everyone; Hope the New year brings success to all of us. I do have a question though: WHAT'S UP WITH THE ROUND ROBIN? On the story, "Them Bones" there are a total of 8 submissions to the story, including Jack's. My silly name is on four of them. On "As Darkness Decends", there are 2 postings, the originating authors, and mine.

I thought this was supposed to be a collberative effort. I know there are some great voices in here. Let's see some of that talent. I want to see more writers, I want to see more writers, I want to see more writers (picture me walking back and forth in a narrow channel, 15 feet long and surrounded by 6 foot snow banks in -10'F. weather carrying a homemade sign).

Yes it really is that cold here. I'd say it's either a good time to be out snowmobiling, sledding, ice-fishing, or sitting in front of a computer pretending I know how to write (beats the heck out of shoveling, anyday).

Just wanted to drop in and smile cheerily at everyone. (:]> That little guy at the end of the last sentence is a smiley with a winter "chuke" on his pointy little head, You have to, of course, use a little imagination. heh heh heh.

Seeeeeeeya: Goodweed of the North

Thomas Sat Jan 2 07:24:00 PST 1999

Jack and Allein,
Re: Prince. I shall have to take a look-see after the lines die down.
Being ancient that I am, I remember sitting in the theater (that's what movie houses used to be) on Easter Sunday watching Charlton Heston part the Red Sea. The SFX looked strange even to the young boy I was at the time. (Having learned more about Heston these days, it seems to me his earlier roles -- Ten Commandments, Ben Hur -- have affected his later thinking.)
SFX isn't what I go to the movies to see; they are fun to watch once in a while, but after a hundred of them I suppose I am jaded. I am glad that Jack points out the handling of the relationships between Moses and Ramses and Moses and his wife. That is something to want to see and talk about.
Strange as it sometimes seems, the bible does tell some wonderful stories. In researching my book about garlic, wine and olive oil I came upon the Babylonian epic poem of Gilgamesh who recounts a great flood in Mesopotamia. I also discovered through other research that the now-desert region was prone to great floods throughout antiquity. Tying those two themes together, and discovering the origins of the grapevines used for wine, which is around Mount Ararat, I deduce that the real Noah was a Mesopotamian farmer who fled a great flood about 7,600 years ago. The bible simply recounts a known event, and puts its particular slant on it.
That is real storytelling.

S.K.S. Perry Sat Jan 2 07:14:10 PST 1999

Hey everyone,

I hope you all had a great New Years Eve. I sure did. My wife and I attended a gala party. The hall was done up like a cruise ship, and their was a sixteen piece orchestra. We danced all night to swing and jive music. Most of the people there were much older than we were, but we had a wonderful time.

As for my dreams for the new year, obviously getting published is the big one. Not just a few short stories either, but my book. That's the ultimate. I'd also love to be a lot more financially secure. I've always wanted to be able to one day buy a nice house, but in our present situation, we can't even save towards one. We're not hurting, but like most people nowadays, we're barely breaking even. And of course I'd love to travel. It would be nice to be able to head to some other part of the world and see the sights, and not have someone shooting at me for a change.

My New Years resolutions (and yes I make them, because I'm the kind of person who actually keeps them) is to write at least one page of something a day. If I really want to be a writer, I have to start taking it more seriously. The one bit of information about how to be a successful writer that I keep finding everywhere I turn--the one truly consistant piece of advice--is persistance.

Secondly, I'm going to watch what I eat. I keep myself in pretty good shape, but I really should be more picky about what I cram into myself, especially as I'm getting older and I'm sure it's going to catch up with me sooner or later.

And lastly, I'm determined to appreciate what I have more, especially my family. I may not be blessed with success or wealth, but I have the best family, wife and kids in the world, and we're all healthy and happy.

Many of you here have become like family also--always handy with advice, a joke when needed, or a kick in the pants when required, and I wish all of you the best and look forward to sharing the successes (and unfortunately, the failures) of the new year with you.

This year is already off to a great start. My story, "Need to Know", came out in Underworld magazine Jan 1, as well as Howards' "Aunt Aggie." What better way to start the year than with a story published in the same magazine as a friend?

Be Well, Live Well.

Jack Beslanwitch Fri Jan 1 21:43:33 PST 1999

Thomas: The thing that really stood out for me on Prince of Egypt other than the splendid graphics (the parting of the Red Sea is something to behold - beats the hell out of what Charleston Heston was able to accomplish ;-) - was the relationship between Moses and Ramses. The relationsip is complicated in a way that I never remembered from the Bible or any other movie outing for this story. The motivations and the ambivalence that both Ramses and Moses feel of the roles they are shoved into comes across as a truly impressive bit of writing and production. I also really liked what they did with Moses wife. Given the way they developed the character of Moses I could really see a person just like that. The Hebrew background music was nicely done as well. Hope this answers some of your questions.

Allein Fri Jan 1 16:51:53 PST 1999

Thomas - Actually, I was going to sit down the night before going to see the movie and read the story of Moses, but I got tied up in other things. So, I don't know.

Bye bye,

Thomas Fri Jan 1 14:05:58 PST 1999

Hello all. Back from a splendidly quiet New Year's Eve with two of our closest friends (from the radical days). A little dinner, a little wine, some catching up on old times, a great sevruga caviar and creme fresh omelette for breakfast (thanks to yours truly) and it was on the road for the three-hour trip home.
I was greeted home with about two inches of powdery snow.
Hope we all see fewer rejections (or at least more creative ones) and increased contentment in 1999.
Do not forget, you have 364 days to make sure you are insulated from Y2K!!!

Re: the cooing and raspberries; you sound like a true softy and a gentle soul.

Dacquiries aren't all that great anyway.

Allein and Jack,
Prince of Egypt: Really? Is it better than the bible?

Allein Fri Jan 1 12:22:30 PST 1999

Last night, I basically watched TV - going into the living room five minutes before midnight to join my parents. They had a wonderful fireworks display at the Space Needle that we saw on TV. Earlier, my parents had made strawberry dacquries - my brother and I had the ones with out alcohol, they were very good. We also had crackers, chips and dip. That was the extent of the new year's party. I also drew a picture a few of my characters celebrating New Years - Quachik (looking very depressed), Magiki staring with concern at Rean who is swaying around drunk w/ an empty glass in his hand (my brother gave me the idea for that because he was joking around about accidently getting one of the dacquries that had alcohol in it).

Well, I have made no dreams for the new year yet, but when I do, I will post some of them here.
Bye bye,

Jack Beslanwitch Fri Jan 1 03:18:16 PST 1999

     Just to let everyone know. I suddenly realized as I got back from my New Years Party that the Notebook had exceeded 117 k. So, I have archived back to my suggested topic about dreams for the New Year. If anyone else has a suggested topic, please feel free to fit it in. However, I am still interested in what dreams others might have for the coming year.

     Also, I thoroughly endorse Prince of Egypt. It was an excellent movie. Also, the trailer for Star Wars as well as the Star Wars rip off trailer for the new Austin Powers movie both played prior to the actual movie. Star Wars looks like it is going to be absolutely awesome. I cannot wait for May. Take care everyone.

Eddie French Thu Dec 31 22:43:18 PST 1998

Of course I really meant 23:50 to 00:05
Goodnight all

Eddie French Thu Dec 31 21:33:22 PST 1998

Oh yeah,
What a fantastic new year celebration.
Where did I spend the hour of 98-99 festivities?
At trafalgar square....? No
In Edinborough with the crowds? No
Certainly not in Times Square. Not likely
No... From 11:50 to 00:05 I was in the spare bedroom with my precious grandchild in my arms, cooing and rasberrying like you never have!. By god... the best new year I have ever experienced.
Peace and love to all

Jack Beslanwitch Thu Dec 31 21:03:12 PST 1998

This is to let everyone know that although I have not gotten the time to make the major redesign of both the Workbook, the Notebook and For Writers Only, I have gone ahead and made all the name changes and links to the new and moved everything to the new location. When I can get a chance to make the redesign I will. However, you might want to change your bookmarks and if you wish to nominate this site on the Writers Digest site for their award, please do so with the address. Also, as soon as I have the details for the ICQ chat I will post them on a separate page. Many thanks to Ed for putting together the details on this. Take care everyone. I am just about to head out to a New Years Eve party. Take care, have fun and drive carefully.

Rhoda Thu Dec 31 19:37:29 PST 1998


So glad you finally got to see Prince of Egypt. I hope to see it when it comes to town.


Thank you for the wonderful card.

I wish everyone here a wonderful and prosperous new year in 1999.

Happy writing, all,


Allein Thu Dec 31 14:56:30 PST 1998

I just saw Prince of Egypt - very good movie. If anyone is thinking of seeing it - go, I highly reccomend it. Although, the PG rating was put there for a reason - some of the things in the movie might scare small children. The effects were awesome.

Well, it's time to get prepared for my new year's eve alone. I was supposed to go to a party with my friend but he's grounded and, according to his mom, he's not going ANYWHERE for a while.

Later, all,

Litter Thu Dec 31 13:29:02 PST 1998

Just a quick not to wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year. May your rejections slips be few and your acceptances many.



Eddie French Thu Dec 31 13:06:07 PST 1998

Such a busy Notebook!
There is so much to answer and so much to say.
Needless to say, can't do it now.
Maybe tomorrow afternoon when everything settles down again.
Just for now though,
HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you and success in the coming year in ALL of your endeavours.

Michele Thu Dec 31 12:02:50 PST 1998

Just wanted to wish evryone a HAPPY new year and to hope that 1999 is all that you each desire. I only have one dream for 1999 - to pass the first year of my degree and make to September in one piece. Actually I lie - I have two dreams - the other one is to visit the Somme battlefields and walk where Sassoon walked and gain further inspiration for his biography.

Jack - I love the Sax. man at the top - any chance I can have a copy of the image minus the writing for my desktop ? Please ???



S.N.Arly Thu Dec 31 08:38:43 PST 1998

Thomas - Oh yah, I didn't mention the pay. Newspapers really make it worth your while to protitute yourself. NOT. I would have had a hell of a time paying off my student loan with the pay I was offered for a couple full time reporter positions. Can one REALLY live off that?

Rhoda - Farmington? What state? We've got a Farmington in MN and one of the main characters in a short I'm currently working on is from there.

Anne - We'll talk about anything, regardless of its relation to writing. Although the writing stuff really is the most interesting.

Ooooh. Dreams for '99. I have some of those. I don't make resolutions (cause I'm never really sure how that whole hting is supposed to work). So I set goals. And I have dreams.

I'm sure we all dream of publication, so I won't even go into that one. I want word perfect 8, and I hope to have all my work converted to WP by February (ambitious I am). I want to write 8 new shorts, maintain 10 shorts in circulation, add another 30 rejections to my collection, and go through a rewrite of my first novel. I also want to send out said novel adn start wracking up the rejects there as well. I want to take more trips with my laptop for scene/world and character building. I want to spend more time writing and less time procrastinating. I didn't do too well this fall.

So that's me and my plans for 99. Not sure how I'll do, but it's worth a try.

Happy New Year all! I've got today as another writing day and hope to have a short done before the pumpkin hour. That'll assure my goal for 98 (nothing like a deadline to spur you on!).


Thomas Thu Dec 31 06:47:15 PST 1998

I have to stop repeating myself!

Thomas Thu Dec 31 06:45:00 PST 1998

Funny you should mention dreams; I had a truly whopper of one night before last. Without all the details, suffice to say I was traveling with our president and had all I could do to keep up with his shenanigans. I woke up overly fatigued.
Anyway, the dream I have for 1999 is to be able not only to finish and get published my second book, but to be able to take the rejections, should they come, with less anger and frustration so that I can live just a little bit longer and maybe a little bit happier.
How have you fared in the wonderful winterland weather out west?

It was fun chatting with you on ICQ. One day I will get the hang of the software. You are likely correct that because I am using a Mac I might not find some of the functions to work the way they work for those of you indebted to Windows.
As for the agent and publisher discussion, as per my post above, oh well.

Thomas Thu Dec 31 06:44:51 PST 1998

Funny you should mention dreams; I had a truly whopper of one night before last. Without all the details, suffice to say I was traveling with our president and had all I could do to keep up with his shenanigans. I woke up overly fatigued.
Anyway, the dream I have for 1999 is to be able not only to finish and get published my second book, but to be able to take the rejections, should they come, with less anger and frustration so that I can live just a little bit longer and maybe a little bit happier.
How have you fared in the wonderful winterland weather out west?

It was fun chatting with you on ICQ. One day I will get the hang of the software. You are likely correct that because I am using a Mac I might not find some of the functions to work the way they work for those of you indebted to Windows.
As for the agent and publisher discussion, as per my post above, oh, well.

Jack Beslanwitch Thu Dec 31 01:14:31 PST 1998

       Thank you all. And I am one of the worst offenders of saying I am sorry when I mean to say I empathize. They sort of run interchangable in my head. Rather sloppy for a writer if I do say so myself. Couple of thoughts now that I have taken a day away and did my reading equivalent of comfort food, a new Mercedes Lackey. She is always good for getting my off in a world elsewhere.

       I wanted to propose that we talk about what are dreams are for the coming year. Not promises. Those are such slippier things to keep hold of. However, dreams are something that places the benchmark out there, but without quite the onus that a promise has. In the past year I have gotten very little writing done what with other responsibilities and having been terribly burnt out by getting essentially burned on a computer book contract. However, I want to dream a dream for this coming year that I will pick my Word Processor back up and do something more than an occasional software review or a snippet for a round robin. I want to dream that I will make the time to work on my cherished concept for a novel and get going with it.

       I guess what I am saying is that in reflecting why I seemed to dither more and accomplish less, I find I need to set myself some castles in the sky and learn if I really can fly :-)

Happy New Year everyone,

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