Archived Messages from February 26, 1999 to March 4, 1999

Jai Thu Mar 4 19:42:06 PST 1999


Allien - No problems, I was buisy as well, another day.

Others, regarding Carolines post. Try this link instead.


Allein Thu Mar 4 18:58:24 PST 1999

Jai - Sorry I wasn't back on for a chat at four, but a friend I hardly ever see came over unexpectedly at around three thirty. So, perhaps we'll get a chance to chat some other time. :) Sorry again.

I'm sad again - I haven't gotten any e-mail in my new hotmail address. :( I'm waiting for an e-mail from a friend of mine.

Bai bai,

S.N.Arly Thu Mar 4 18:56:49 PST 1999

Lena- I knew you'd acknowledge me one day (as your long lost twin, that is)!

Caroline - Thanks for sharing! I've been to a similar type place for mainstream lit, shorts, but SF is really my bag. I'll go check it now.

"It's all been done before."

Caroline Heske Thu Mar 4 18:19:22 PST 1999

Yes, you're right, that's not my URL. But in case you didn't know (and I've probably missed the post where someone's already pointed this out), Delrey books (who are a big fantasy/scifi publishing company in the US) are accepting fantasy/scifi submissions - WITH AN EYE TO FINDING NEW AUTHORS. They put you chapters, partial chapters, or short stories up on a web site, and add them to a list which anyone can review. If you get good reviews, the chances are the editors will look at your work. I've already put up one of my Erannon chapters. You maintain complete copyright etc. etc.

So this may amount to nothing - but it's worth a try. The above link will take you to their site, you then click on 'writer's workshop'.

Thomas Thu Mar 4 17:34:33 PST 1999



Its aroma is like a walk through the raspberry patch on a warm July evening -- part greenery, part fruit. Its color is both the depth of velvet and the clarity of glass. Its body is as rich and viscous as the sap of spring. Its taste, ah, its incomparable taste; it is as enriching as mother's milk yet as rich as dark chocolate, as bright as tart lemons yet as intoxicating as ripened fruit, as clean as a mountain stream yet as dusty as the desert sand. And its effect is no less than the fire that rages inside youth and the sense of accomplishment that only comes with old age. It is a wine to drink now and a wine to keep for all time.

Mac OS 8.5, which I loaded a week ago, is not what it's cracked up to be; but then, which computer software or system is?


I am convinced that the transference of the notebook has truly messed up my computer. Each time I use it, and it happens only with the notebook, something weird takes place in my computer.

Allein Thu Mar 4 14:41:34 PST 1999

Agsousa - what is this novel - I appearently missed something BIG on this notebook, but yeah, as soon as we have plot, characters (descriptions would be nice) I can work on a cover. I'll see if I can find a friend with a scanner, but I'm not sure. If not, I can send it to you along with the Japanese.

Hootie - Tomorrow, I will go to school (boo!) and take a test sixth period (boo-sss!), but at least three of my friends are getting me presents (YAY!). But, to celebrate, my family and I are going out to dinner (it's a really nice all-you-can-eat place). Then two of my friends are coming over to hang out, eat cake, etc. I'm going to see a movie with one of them this weekend too. I'm not sure when I'll open presents. It really depends on when my mom gets home. If she gets home late (this means five or later), we'll go to dinner immediately because this restaurant gets packed on Friday nights.
And, I wish I could invite all you guys (you're all so nice), but I can't - obviously, because most of you wouldn't be able to get here.

So, I will come back later - 3:30 or so to see if anyone is in chat.
Bai bai,

"Decaffeinated coffee? Just Say No."
- Unknown

agsousa Thu Mar 4 13:44:40 PST 1999

Hootie, Michele, Arly..... No blahblah now, please. DO NOT PROCRASTINATE! No excuses accepted. That book has to be in my pocket, pardon, in my computer — and in yours — before, well, soon. And Hootie, there is still a lot to be earned and much work to be done. A l´oeuvre, mes amis!

agsousa Thu Mar 4 13:33:18 PST 1999


Perry, will you kindly get in touch with Lena, ask her the plot and as quickly as you can concoct an outline of the story for us? Could we have it for Monday by18:00 GMT? I'd like everybody to be busy on the novel Monday evening (at the latest). I expect the book to have covers It will be a paperback edition: Allein, make the covers for us, will you, and start, well, on Saturday, after you recover from the emotions of the eve, get that scanner quickly. I have an electricity and an ISP bill to pay before the 20th.

Uf! Don't tell me I'm a lazybones. I really deserve a drink now. Thomas: give us a description of your best wine: color, bouquet, aroma, the lot. I want to be veeery thirsty after reading that description.

There are many people here who are going to work very very hard on SHADOWS IN A DREAM. Not even Howard will be dispensed. So get well soon: you'll have to read the book, the complete book — the hardest of the jobs. And criticize it. Someone will have to get a publisher: no agents, no intermediaries — let us save our precious money. Not that I worry with this little detail.

See you as soon as I can. Happy birthday again, Allein.

PS. Lena, the continuation is perfect. But we need the plot. Please!

Michele Thu Mar 4 13:06:16 PST 1999

Hey !

Just been out in the rain (out of duty not preference I might add !) - boy is it raining ? Cats and dogs (sorry Jon) and tigers and wolves too !

Ugh I hate getting that wet and I've been that wet every day this week ! Shudders.

Anyway what was I going to say ? Oh yes - emotion and writing - personally I wouldn't have decided to write this ol' biog. of Sassoon if it hadn't been for emotion - the emotions of admiration, fascination, championship, etc. - and I wouldn't be still researching 4 and a half years later if it wasn't for the strong emotions that man's writing still didn't arouse such emotion in me...

So there you go - as a non-fiction writer, emotion has driven me - not that I haven't always been a writer of some sort but this is the first time I've had a definite intention to be published... in the days when I wrote poetry (I was young and foolish then - now I'm old and foolish I know better !) it was emotion that prompted me to put pen to paper... and loneliness I might add - funny my most prolific poetry phase (how's that for alliteration ?!) was when I was in my early teens and had no one in whom I could confide...

Anyway I am going to read the paper and check the rest of the world is still out there - even though I'm talking to it... oh no, I forgot - you're all shadows in a dream...

That's one heck of a dream ! :-)

BFN, Michele

He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.
-- Chinese Proverb

Lena Thu Mar 4 12:16:15 PST 1999

Agsousa - I need some time to come up with a plot, but in the meantime I have a continuation of The Novel...

"At first I liked to think of them as characters in a book of fiction. But then I realized they were rather like shadows in a dream. Faceless, wavering outlines composed of ideas and words, never resolving to form a complete picture, but clinging to their tenacious existence in my mind. Have you ever danced with a shadow?"

(this would be my attempt to write a "real" story, Agsousa, although -as you so kindly pointed out before- all the genres are truly only one so how do you distinguish "real" writing as opposed to "fake" writing?)

Hootie - Most poems are written to please the ear (unless it is a poem that is supposed to form an image, or somesuch) but I have a silly teacher who believes that if you put a poem into a "pretty" font, it instantly becomes a better poem. I feel that a poem does not change by putting a border around it, but if that is my grade I am not going to argue.

Shakespeare in Love was a wonderful movie, and I agree with Thomas... catching the nuances and in-jokes is most of the fun, although it is a lovely story. Definitely recommended.

SN Arly - Your comments on writing as a profession are well-put and I agree with them completely. I knew having a long-lost twin would come in handy someday!

There were so many posts since yesterday, I am sure I had more to respond to but I cannot remember. Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most...

Thomas Thu Mar 4 12:03:57 PST 1999

Talk about procrastination! Here it is, a day I am unable to even open the front door for the pile of blown snow in its path, all this time, no phone calls, nobody stirring out there, and I am not writing. Instead, I am reading posts on the Internet and dabbling in Java Chat with no one there.


You too! This is one big storm. Ah, March. Remember the blizzard of 1993? March. It is that first and second week lion that gets us every time. Around here, however, the lamb seems always late, ambling in sometime in May.

Agsousa, you own a cruel month, and I guess by your last post you do too Steve.

Me, I was born in the month of soft shell crabs and beach days, and would give my cabin fever gladly for a few days of it right now.

Hootie Thu Mar 4 11:52:37 PST 1999

It snowed out here in Utah, too, but it's been so warm recently that it didn't even stick. This is not necessarily a good thing, although it makes the commute easier. But it's been a generally warm and dry winter, and the ski resorts are not happy about it.

Michelle--Yes, I was talking about poetry needing pretty fonts and borders. There is a subset of poetry that does play with the positioning of the words on the page (think e.e. cummings), but I think in general, poetry should be made to please the ear. Of course, I'm not a very good poet, either.

Agsousa--You mean I've done my part, earned my money, and that's it? Wow, this writing business is easier than I thought!

Jon--You are an inspiration to us all. If a non-human such as yourself has so much wit and wisdom, then maybe there is hope for editors, too.

Allein--Are you doing anything special tomorrow to celebrate? Can we come?

Dang it, I had some great quotes, and I lost them.

Thomas Thu Mar 4 11:51:50 PST 1999


Semantics, semantics. To me, emoting is the first step toward being a writer; it seems it would be difficult to write much of value without emotion for the subject. The second step is to write it down -- the emotion -- with clarity and with a particular sense of direction, and it is hard to harness emotion in a puposeful direction. The third step is to try to sell the damned thing.

So, I suppose, if you take my made-up definition, I was indeed wrong to say simply emoting, but I do not know what to call step number 2, except really difficult.

The problem with sarcasm is that it is unproductive, and often leads to misunderstandings, as you can see -- unless you can fit sarcasm nicely into a fictional character's mouth.

S.N.Arly Thu Mar 4 11:26:25 PST 1999

Caroline - All experiences are merely fodder for the writer! Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

Agsousa/Amrigo - I'm afraid I'm not too good on collaborative projects. Although the warped part of my personality is currently conjuring up it's own possibilities of love stories with much blood.

My compliments to Jon's ability to type.

Thomas - Accusation? What accusation? Where? I was responding to what seemed a rather pointed post to those of us who apparently don't know anything about the writing life you lead. I was a journalism major. I've been there. I chose to leave it. My intent, however was to make it clear that while you may not appreciate hearing about those of us who write because we love to; those of us who've chosen that path get awfully tired of being told that we MUST write every day or in a certain way. The gate swings in both directions, see?

I continue to object to your application of the word emoting to people like me. When I'm doing what I do, words show up on the screen and I was always told that that's writing. I used to do it wiht pen and paper. And that seemed even more like "writing" as defined by Webster. When I get angry, or hurt, or happy, words don't suddenly pop up out of my head or appear on paper as I walk by (now that'd be a trick). And while I write because I love to, emotion isn't the key or the trigger, and very often isn't invloved. I don't write well when I'm feeling strongly about something.

Oh, and sarcasm is my way. In this, Agsousa has me pegged right on the mark. One of the four words that described me was jaded, remember? I didn't list it because it sounded cool.

SKS - Oh dogs, don't send that weather here! I'm supposed to go out of town for the weekend, and I'm REALLY looking forward to it!

I don't mind humanity, it's the people I can't stand.

Michele Thu Mar 4 11:20:47 PST 1999

Hi all

Agsousa - you want me to provide poetry ? You'll never sell the book... I will willing recite it to you all whilst you work though - well in your breaks might be more practicable. Music I can do - so long as you don't want me to play it personally - otherwise it's fingers in your ears time ! I will gladly stick a CD in the slot though and play you my current favourite album - called "Forest and Vale and High Blue Hill" poems about Gloucestershire set to music by a local songwriter/composer....

Xavier - hello, and thanks for the comment - your comment about procrastination made me laugh - something I needed to do as I am having a real Blues week so far - if it can go wrong, it has - ugh, I hate that !

Jai - I'm sorry I didn't remember to thank you for that beautifully poetic description of your sadness at my departure... I think that's the most poetic thing anyone ever said to me...

Anyway I've had a fairly useful day at college for which I am grateful... I went to see a tutor about an essay he had marked which I re-wrote in a more academic style for him - he was most impressed I had made the effort, and that I was trying to iron the wrinkles out of my writing style now - rather than waiting until next year as most will do (if they try at all)....

Ah well - I'll leave you all in peace and answer my email...

BFN, Michele

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.
-- Voltaire

agsousa Thu Mar 4 10:32:47 PST 1999

Dear fellow writers,

I've just installed system 8.5 in my smash in the hope I could be given permission to enter the Java Chat Room, but nothing. Just the invitation. I must find out the secret.

Lena, would you care writing the plot for our novel, please. Just think something following the inspiration of the title.
Which is, ladies and gentleman:


And now that I've given the idea, the opening and the title, it's definitively 10 % — no less (I have to give something to Jon out of my share).

Hootie — the ending seems all right. But we will see. Tree pence for you already.

Jack, you also must work a little from time to time, you know. Take care of the psychological details of this great project.

Allein: I rely on you for the everyday life bit. Things like café latte do nicely.

Arly: please take charge of the sarcastic bits. I'll give you a hand on that, of course.

Rhoda: spelling and grammar (at least)

Thomas: bring us the wine, will you?

Michele. Poetry, please. And a bit of music as well.

Jai: landscapes. Pour a bit of the transcendent and philosophical on it.

Well, let the others not breathe with relief. I have assignments for everybody. But now I must go. I am sorry for the repetition of this morning posts. It was the computer, not Jon or me. I hope I'll come back in two hours and a half. I want to see work done.
What's my job, after all? I'm a teacher, of course. Don't ask me of what. I'd be embarrassed. I really have to go now.

S.K.S. Perry Thu Mar 4 09:16:17 PST 1999

Hey all,

I'm home today--an unexpected reprieve from the tedium of work due to the storm. We're under white out conditions and the major hiways have been closed. They say it should die down around 2:00pm, so I can get out and shovel. Lucky me. For now it's just the wife and I, trapped in our little home all eh?

Pen and I (Pen is my wife, short for Penelope) thought Shakespeare in Love was great--definately something to add to our video collection when it's available. Speaking of which, Ever After came out for sale on video a couple of days ago. Pen made me stop on the way home from work to pick it up. Today sounds like a great day to watch it. We saw it once in the theatre already and really enjoyed it.

Agsousa, my birthday correseponds exactly (well, except for the year) with that of the Austrian you mentioned. April 20.

Allein, I'll wait until tomorrow to wish you happy birthday!

Be Well, Live Well.

Xavier Thu Mar 4 08:16:09 PST 1999

Hello again fellow writers!

Well, I just went to the chat room to see if anyone was around, and i had a nice conversation with a chap named Xavier. He seems like a nice enough fellow, but I am alittle worried about his mental stability. He seems to talk to himself alot, and has a rather morbid side. I think he can read minds too, he always knew what i was going to say! Weird!

Anyhoo, i left class early to read the new posts, all 2 of them, and was inspired by the lack of action to write this non- sense. I hope someone will respond soon, but if not (sob!) its ok, really.

'...for in that sleep of death, what dreams may come?'

Thomas Thu Mar 4 07:18:20 PST 1999


Here in the Finger Lakes we are also snow bound today. It is a nasty one; the usual March madness.


I suspect the reason you find nonfiction easier to write speaks to the old saying: write what you know (or have researched). To me, the line between nonfiction and fiction isn't so thick, it takes good writing to make either do the job intended. Most fiction stems from nonfiction, from life experiences and all that.

All I was trying to do with my diatribe was to help you understand that there is a profession called writing, and it is not the same as writing for pleasure, although it is always a pleasure to write, professional or not.

I loved Shakepeare in Love; lots of clever nuances that call for some knowledge of Shakespeare to make them truly funny.


If the Austrian you refer to is the one I think it is, I tremble in my boots. I, too, believe in all the attributes given me by the stars, all the good ones that is. The nasty stuff is mere rubbish.


Your accusation is off the mark. I refrain from opining on the writing life unless provoked, and I was provoked by what struck me as saccharine remarks about writing.

Many years ago I took the risk and quit my day job to become a professional writer. That is when I learned what the writing life truly is.

Keep emoting, if you will, and defend the practice, when you can, with clear reasoning, refusing to sink to sarcasm.

Allein Thu Mar 4 06:56:55 PST 1999

Agsousa - I will try. But the only way for me to do it would be to send them to you snail mail or write them up and scan them (which, I don't have a scanner).

To all - thanks for the birthday wishes, however, my birthday isn't until tomorrow - but it's the thought that counts. :)

Bai bai,

W. Olivia Race Thu Mar 4 05:45:41 PST 1999

Hi all. I am snowbound. Rochester is in the middle of a weather emergency but at least the phone lines work. I am stuck in the house with an antsy 9 year old and my hubby. In a minute I will chase them both out of the cubby-hole which is my office and start writing since I have a whole day in which to reflect....

Procrastination: it is my life. It is why it took me 20 years to finally start writing again. It is why I have at least 3 short stories as yet unfinished. It is why I am never going to get my novel finished. Ok, enough self battery for now. I will overcome this flaw called a while, just give me some time.

Hootie: got your e-mail. Will send a couple of chapters of "Bad Mojo" to you directly.

Allien: Happy b-day. I remember (barely) being as young as you. Enjoy!

To everyone else, hello and good writing!

Xavier Thu Mar 4 05:45:39 PST 1999

Hello, I must be going...

I love that song from animal crackers! Well, it's been a while since i've posted, so I figured it was about time. Like many on htis board, i often have a hard time forcing myself to write when the inspiration is not strong. I do not see writing as work for me, as if often flows freely from my fingers when the desire is there. When its not, like now, i simply put aside what i'm doing and await the urge to return. It eventualy does, but not always in relation to what i was working on, or anything I've done so far. Usually, its a totally new story, and thus i have many unfinished outlines and novels. I never tried to force myself to write, but after reading your posts, I wonder if i should. I've never submitted work to anywhere before, at least not fiction. I am published monthly in a small publication about on of my hobbies- antique comic books. Perhaps i will post something here, in the workbook, to get a critique from more learned poeple before facing an editor!

Unto Michelle, I would like to say welcome back. try not allow others to chase you from your interests in life. I'm glad you saw the light.

Lastly, I would like to make an important comment about procrastination (who the hell made a word meaning 'lazy' 15 letters?), but i'm tired now, and it will have to wait.


Agsousa Thu Mar 4 04:41:13 PST 1999

Someone seems to have been fishing in my computer. Why is Jon hidden under the bed? Strange. I hope he's not told my friends I'm writing the book on the Cybernetman. I want genuine reactions. Smile, will you? And now, some answers to some of my friends.

Thomas — I am Aries, like Karajan (or Bernstein?). I know that a notorious Austrian was also Aries, it was not my fault. As an Aries, I am generous, irritable and veeery sweet. Not that I believe in Horrorscopes but I have all the qualities of that sign and none of its defects. For instance, I am generous. Okay, ALL, take 5% out of the royalties of our already remarkable novel. Well, 3%. By the way, the book can't be a sci.f., historical, fantasy or anything else novel. Just a *real* novel. A notebook novel. How about a detective thriller? Plenty of blood, please.

Hootie — I asked for Michele. I hope you'll also ask for me when I go. Okay, don't ask. I'll never go anyway.

Allein — No, no, no English letters. It has to be in real Japanese characters. I once loved a Japanese girl called Junko Kimura. Could you please write at least those letters for me please? (I'm a gentleman myself, but don't tell it to anybody).

On the novel. Let us make it a love story. With much blood.

Jon Thu Mar 4 03:43:30 PST 1999

Give up. Too many hiccups for me.
If somebody finds the sentence please email it to him. No, please don't. Oh, please, don't. Thu Mar 4 03:40:23 PST 1999

Let me try his other address and see if the message shows up. My pissye always shows off. Miao.

Jon Thu Mar 4 03:33:41 PST 1999

I think this page is suffering from virtual hiccups. I'ma gonna fishing myself. Bye.

Jon Thu Mar 4 03:29:19 PST 1999


I'm JON, the cat. Using my neighbor's smash, of course. I have a pissye but it's cheaper this way. Save on power, you know. Just drop in on you to say my neighbor's gonna fishing. He's writing a thesis on the Cybernetic Soul. He was mad yesterday. An angry young man, that bloke. Portuguese, you see. Celtic blood in his veins, too. Imagine, Jon, he said, twenty-odd writers and need more than an hour to write a novel. What a bunch. Go and fetch the bloody sentence for me, will you, I'll write the book alone. With one and a half finger. The half just for holding the pants. Well, I said, you'll keep all the money. Ya, he laughed. One hundred percent, now. Just for the two of us, I said. He looked at me in a funny way. Okay, he said. Just go and fetch the sentence.

So I'm here to fetch the sentence. Where is it? It's gone! Oh, dear! I'm afraid he won't give me any sardines for lunch.


JON Thu Mar 4 03:24:11 PST 1999


I'm JON, the cat. Using my neighbor's smash, of course. I have a pissye but it's cheaper this way. Save on power, you know. Just drop in on you to say my neighbor's gonna fishing. He's writing a thesis on the Cybernetic Soul. He was mad yesterday. An angry young man, that bloke. Portuguese, you see. Celtic blood in his veins, too. Imagine, Jon, he said, twenty-odd writers and need more than an hour to write a novel. What a bunch. Go and fetch the bloody sentence for me, will you, I'll write the book alone. With one and a half finger. The half just for holding the pants. Well, I said, you'll keep all the money. Ya, he laughed. One hundred percent, now. Just for the two of us, I said. He looked at me in a funny way. Okay, he said. Just go and fetch the sentence.

So I'm here to fetch the sentence. Where is it? It's gone! Oh, dear! I'm afraid he won't give me any sardines now.


Michele Wed Mar 3 23:55:12 PST 1999

Hehehe !! Agsousa - I bet you didn't expect that - an ending when "we've only just begun"... ! Much amusement.

Rhoda - sorry but I do need a few cents myself to live on - well mostly to buy books for college !

Hootie - that's a really interesting question about poetry needing to be visually stimulating... does it need to be ? I personally don't think so - not if, by visually stimulating, you mean have pretty fonts and borders as Lena mentioned earlier...

Lena - tell me what you think of SiL - I want to see it but don't have the time - too many essays to read for ! One of my college friends went on Tuesday - she said it was good...

Oh well - time to go get some breakfast and then it's off to college with me...

Allein - sorry - belated birthday greetings - coincidentally it was my brother's birthday yesterday - he was 21 - he's not a gentleman... !

BFN, Michele

The best way to predict the future is to invent it.
-- Alan Kay

Casey Wed Mar 3 19:17:20 PST 1999

Hi everyone,

Well, it's been a good week so far. Had a short story of mine start folding out into a novel. I think I'm going to start working on it from time to time, and hopefully resurrect the other novel that I started.

I haven't had the time to post anything lately, but I'll get back ASAP, if only to check in on everyone.

Ta- ta


Ashling Wed Mar 3 18:28:15 PST 1999

Hello everybody! I'm dealing with procrastination THIS week by only allowing myself to post on message boards after I finish my self-appointed quota for the day. I'm more productive and serene by writing earlier than my usual 3am Muse waltzes. Duh!

LITTER --- I emailed you about religious markets in USA.

Hope to post later tonight ... Many interesting comments made lately. Okay, okay, I cheated a bit this time, but this isn't a real post, just a little Post-It Note.

... "The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment." -- Dorothy Nevill

Take care,

Howard Wed Mar 3 17:59:54 PST 1999

Thomas -- When the page come up, click on the Issue 6 cover, then find Annie and click
on it there. If you can’t get to it I’ll send you a copy.

Allein -- Happy Birthday! I refuse to hold the door for you just because you’re a lady. I
do it because I’m a gentleman. Dunno who said that first, but I adopted it right off. Thing
is, there are some things a man is *supposed* to do for a woman. Like honor, respect, and
a few other dinosaur-type things like that. If you have a problem dealing with that, call it a
part of *my* truth.

Hootie -- Strange you should quote Cyril Conolly. I just started reading his biography. A
very interesting chap. (Somehow ‘chap’ fits better than guy or fellow. Funny how words
are that way)

Lena -- That back fence idea sounds great! But I’ve been told the face ain’t all *that*

Trifocals? You’ll know when you need them. Bifocals were bad enough, especially when I
was wearing soft contact lenses. One lens for distance, the other for close. Sounds
unworkable, but I got used to it on the drive home. May go back to that configuration

Gotta go write something serious now. My wife and I just got back from the nursing
home. Her mom is there, waiting quietly and peacefully for someone to call her name.
She smiles a lot, these days.

Hootie Wed Mar 3 17:46:05 PST 1999

Agsousa--Here's the next part of the Super Novel:

"But when I forced them all to assist me in my endeavours, I discovered the truth: they had sold their artistic integrity for a share of the profits."

The End

Rhoda Wed Mar 3 17:35:38 PST 1999


Happy Birthday! We'll have to have Thomas bake you a chocolate cake.

On procrastination:

I don't do it nearly as much as I used to. I did it all the time in graduate school. It was not that I never studied until the last minute, I just wasn't a good self-motivator and I never managed my time well. As I have gotten older I do not take stress too well. Now that I am a married woman and a mother, I realize that my stress adversely effects the rest of my family. When I go to pieces, the whole family goes that direction with me. So I try to pace myself with my writing, and usually it works.


I have decided to devote my share to the purchase of a villa in the south of France. I have been waiting patiently for Hayden to build a condo, but he has procrastinated. I don't think we can rely on Michele's two cents worth because villas are very expensive. Only the advance and royalties from the Notebook's masterpiece can accomplish the acquisition of a home overlooking the sea.


Sounds like an exciting job. I hope it works out well for you.


I'll send you the chapters.


Glad to see you back.

On writing for pleasure versus writing for work:

I suppose this is an individual thing. We all have different goals for our art. If you are to make a living at writing, then it will require a lot of work even when you don't feel like it. My author friend from Farmington became a recluse when she had a deadline to meet. She missed sleep, skimped on meals, and allowed the rest of her life to fall into disarray, but she met her deadlines. Jodi Thomas told our artistic network group in Pampa that four hours a day writing will eventually make you a best seller. I'm not sure I agree with that, but I think there is some merit to the idea. Every professional writer I know works sometimes when they hate the very sight of what they are doing. By and large, they love what they do, but the euphoria isn't always there.

I get worried when I haven't written for awhile. Often I don't want to write until I've done it awhile. When I do return from a long absense, the first couple day's work is sheer crap. About the third day I seem to get into the swing of it. When I look at the page or the screen and see I've produced something fit to be read, my enthusiam and joy returns. If I wrote only when I felt like it, I would never have finished anything.

This is not to say that Lena has the wrong idea. Everyone is different.


The Christian fiction market is a growing, emerging market here in the United States. It is one of the few that is actually expanding. Off hand I can think of Moody Press, Bethany House, Tyndale, and Multnomah Publishers. I don't know if any of these guys have sites on the Internet with guidelines and such, but next time I go surfing I'll check for you.


I am so glad to see you back. I'm glad that you are doing better. Sounds like you still have a ways to go. Hang in there.

This post is long, so I had better stop now.

Happy Writing,


agsousa Wed Mar 3 17:18:52 PST 1999

Today and today and today keeps in a petty pace from yesterday to yesterday. No one continued the novel and now my price is 99.9% And I'm going to bed. Ciao, everybody!

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Mar 3 17:05:35 PST 1999

Allein: I'll try to look in on you on the chat if I get a chance.

Everyone else: I am exhausted and a little swamped. However, as soon as I can make time I will be setting things up on I just worked out how to do the password protection there. Next step is working through setting up the script there. When that happens, I may well have everything moved to the new web host. The server seems fast and may work better for everyone. I will keep you posted. Also, I will archive different portions of the Workbook, start the long awaited Workbook Discussion List where a more focused set of discussions can be set up with threads and sub threads. I think I am beginning to babble. Take care everyone.

Allein Wed Mar 3 17:00:58 PST 1999

Tried to leave message earlier but it did not show up. Anyway, just wanted to tell all that if you want to chat with me I can be online anytime between 3:30 pm and 9:00 pm PST, except between 7:00 and 7:30 because that's when my parents are online, so if anyone wants to chat, contact me.

Bai bai.

Wed Mar 3 16:57:49 PST 1999

Allein Wed Mar 3 16:56:28 PST 1999

Hi all. Glad we can have one on one chats. If anyone wants to chat with me, I'm usually online weekdays between 3:30 and 4:00 PST. But I can usually be on anytime between 3:30 and nine at night. Unless my brother ties up the computer playing his games. I didn't get any writing in today. :(

Oh well,
Bai bai,

Litter Wed Mar 3 16:00:59 PST 1999

Hi All,

Well, another day another rejection. At least in the UK they tend to be polite – not that it helps. Still they liked my writing style and humour… Yeah – that helps!!!

Jai – thanks for the crit. Much appreciated.

Howard – glad to see you back in the realm of the living but dysfunctional ;o) Congrats on the story. I guess I’m gonna have to get out of my sulk now and get on with the next project? I’ll also have to have a look at the story as well…

SKS – thanks for the chat!
I went into the Java Chatroom and someone was there. Yeehaa!

Allein – guess the above solves one problem for you – yes you can chat one on one. 17 in a few hours huh? Well – downhill all the way from there… No, wait, that’s 40, or is it 50 – memory starts going with age you know. Happy Birthday!

All – Are there any Christian Publishers of book length fiction in the US that anyone knows of? I have been searching sites and it’s a tiring business, especially when us poor cousins in the UK have to pay phone charges by the minute…

Be good now,


It was a butterfly with a personality problem that was responsible for Global Warming.

Caroline Heske Wed Mar 3 15:55:40 PST 1999

Hi Everyone! Gee, i haven't dropped in this place in... hmm... maybe a week - and already I know I can't possibly catch up on everything I've missed.

re. Writing when you feel like it. I understand the pressure of working to deadlines, and I'm not good at doing it with creative writing. Like Lena, I write when I want to write cause I love to. That's why I don't see myself as a professional writer, and getting published isn't on the foreseeable agenda. If you can do that (work to deadlines I mean) then I admire you... but I don't see writing as a career, I see it as a... not quite a hobby. More like meditation. That said, I've found that with every year the passes, I am better able to make myself sit down and write without resenting it, or feeling uncomfortable, or saying crap simply to put the words down. I don't have set quotas, but I do sit myself down now and make myself write (even if it's only a sentence) whether I feel like it or not.

(well, it was exciting for me). I've probably got a job (I use the term loosely, it may not be paid) assisting a barrister at the Supreme Court of Victoria, who's a criminal defence lawyer. There are 3 cases coming up, one's incest, another's road rage, and the other's homicide. Well, it should be interesting to see this stuff first hand. I've never got into crime fiction, so I suppose I don't even have a misconception of what I'm in for.

agsousa Wed Mar 3 15:30:03 PST 1999

Now, here goes the beginning of the novel:

"At first I liked to think of them as characters in a book of fiction. But then I realised they were rather like shadows in a dream."

And having done my part, I retire to my lodgings. I'm reading Jon's treatise "Sense, Sensibility and Sensitivity in the So-Called Human Being". Good stuff!

PS. Since I started the novel, I want 50 %. In Euros. Take it or leave it. If you don't accept my beginning it will be 75 %.

Jai Wed Mar 3 15:28:16 PST 1999

Greetings friends and writers,

Michele, a warm sunny welcome back. The quiet saddness that fell over me like snow, resting on the branches of an old winter oak is no more.

I do so find that the little box is not too inspiring. It may be that my monitor is to large for such a small textbox. Today I use a blank editor page, the wonders of cut and paste.

That little box reminds me of my cat's litter. The softly glowing whiteness of an electronic page is much perfered.

Thomas, I to found the Underworld mag to be slightly counter intuitive. You need to click on the picture near the text that describes the stories in the new issue ( that's after you have found the new issue )


Lydia Sweet Wed Mar 3 14:42:22 PST 1999

Just to tell all I cannot read the Workbook. Every time I try to scroll it locks up my computer.

Rhoda I would love to read your chapters. If you want, you can drop them to my E-Mail.

Anyone who would like me to read what they have posted can do the same and I WILL respond.



Hootie Wed Mar 3 13:55:22 PST 1999

Julie and Lydia--I'm taking a break from work right now, too. Let's keep this quiet, or we might give writers a bad reputation. And Julie, if you have a really masochistic streak (and a lot of time to download and read), then go back through the archives for a few months. That will certainly get you up to speed, although it may also scare you away.

Lena--I do feel like I live a secret, almost shameful, life. People have always downplayed or scoffed at my aspirations, and so I stopped letting them see my work, and never committed to when I would be a "Writer", or when I would even complete anything. Another form of discrimination? Perhaps. But where I grew up (Dallas, TX), writing was considered one of those things that those strange long haired people did, usually in New York. Most of them were communists, too (New York Communists were as close as you could get to actually being Satan without going to hell). But I have since learned that everyone has a story to tell, and what sets us apart is our willingness to struggle with the written word in order to tell them.

One other thing... if poetry is about language, and how to use words to their fullest potential, then why do they have to be visually pleasing?

Julie Wed Mar 3 13:05:46 PST 1999

Thank you all so much for your responses! I think I'll give up on that magazine and start sending to others. I have enjoyed reading everyone's thoughts, although having come in late it's been tough to follow some! I wish I had access at home, but unfortunately I have to sneak in during lunch break at work. I will be back. Thanks again for the advice and encouragement.

Lydia Sweet Wed Mar 3 12:38:25 PST 1999

Hi all,

If procrastination didn't exist, would there be anything left to do? I am procrastinating as we speak. Not from writing, but from work. (Sighhhh)

I'm glad everyone is back and happy.

Howard, speedy recovery.

I guess I'm from the old school becuase I still enjoy having a door opened for me or a chair held for me. I appreciate when a gentleman asks if I mind his cigar or pipe. Small things really, but I still enjoy them.

On the supernovel, count me in for the medieval period. I researched a portion of history that for some odd reason they forgot to write down the detail. One good thing about that is I get to make up a lot of them myself.


Aim at nothing, and you will hit it every time. (don't know)

Lena Wed Mar 3 12:38:09 PST 1999


Allein - I realize you do not want to beat the subject to death, but I have to put my two cents in. (sorry!) In my younger sister's seventh grade class, they are practicing chivalry. The boys are supposed to seat the girls and escort them out of class, and all are supposed to be on their best manners. It is just the cutest thing you will ever see. I feel 'chivalry' is a wonderful concept, a fancy word that essentially means manners. Just relax, be secure in your place in the world, and enjoy the fact that somebody likes you well enough to want to open the door for you.

Thomas - I realize you have to write for a living, something I could never do. I would have a hard time finding my creativity when I am aware that this is where my next meal is coming from (my creativity likes to play hide and seek at times, no matter how I try to lure it out. Sometimes chocolate chip cookies don't even work!). I would never make it as a professional writer, but that does not mean I am any less serious about what I do write.

However, I have little trouble with non-fiction writing for a deadline. Writing essays and reports is very easy for me. Even though I find non-fiction "easier" to write, I find fiction ultimately more satisfying and interesting.

Hootie - Liked the phrase, "passionate and intense, an affair of youth." I feel like quite the scandalous individual... it's kinda fun. Who would have guessed? Mild mannered student by day... a (gasp) WRITER by night!

Howard - Hope you're feeling better. Perhaps when I am older I could move next door to you, we could build a wooden fence between out backyards, and you could advise me on Life while never showing your entire face. I certainly need the help at times, so it would be a win-win situation. How does that sound?

Michelle - Ah ha! Found ya!

Agsousa - I suppose I could contribute some bad poetry to our novel, I am certainly not distinguishable by anything else here.

I am going to see "Shakespeare in Love" tonight. I have heard it is a good movie, but I will give you the official results tomorrow. For now, I need to type up some more of that bad poetry for my teacher, who is obsessed with pretty fonts and borders. I feel so silly making my poems look "pretty," but if it gets me an A, I will not complain too loudly (or at least not where she can hear me!)

"War does not determine who is right, just who is left."

Michele Wed Mar 3 12:15:27 PST 1999

My thanks for the welcomes - esp. to Allein for the hugs...

Back - with a vengeance ! :-)


The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.
-- Niels Bohr

Allein Wed Mar 3 12:00:43 PST 1999

Okay, okay, I get the idea.

SKS, Hootie, SN Arly - Perhaps you all are right. I'll just leave it at that instead of going into an in depth discussion.

Michele - YOU'RE BACK!! YAY!! Many hugs to you.

Bai bai,

"Condition people to expect nothing and the least little thing gets them all excited." - Jane Lane.

S.N.Arly Wed Mar 3 11:47:17 PST 1999

Oops. Fergot.
Allein - The being nice thing can go both ways. And it can be tough to find people like that, so don't discourage it. To keep it from being a weak sex stereotype thing, you could just try to return the favor now and again. Ha ha! My turn to hold the door. And so on.


S.N.Arly Wed Mar 3 11:45:09 PST 1999

Lena - I ascribe to the same writing technique as you. When I force myself, it often comes out sounding that way (ick to the nth degree). For me, real discipline only has to show up when I'm working on something difficult (to me personally) that I'd rather ignore, or when I'm letting myself get too busy to get any real writing done.

I think the "you must write everyday" attitude is a misinterpretation of the fact that writing well does take practice and it can get rusty with disuse.

Unlike Allein, I do like a little pressure now and again, and can find deadlines to be quite stimulating. But only to a point.

Thomas - Likewise for those of us who chose not to make it our profession. I get tired of the reverse. And no, I'm not emoting. I'm writing.

Howard - Glad to hear you're doing better.

Agsousa/Amerigo - Feel free to use smash-and-toss as you like.

When were these universal marbles issued, and how come I didn't get any?

Michele - Welcome back.

SKS - I'm still working out the martial arts page. Hopefuly my physical therapist will be able to put me back together sooner rather than later so I can finish up some stuff.

perpetually fae

Michele Wed Mar 3 11:04:16 PST 1999

SKS - so you found my secret out ?! Well done ! :-0

Hootie - well I do have 3 days to make up for, do I not ? And no Agsousa doesn't get his full-cut - that goes to the proof-reader for getting through the prose of such an ornary bunch ! :-)


We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
-- T. S. Eliot

S.K.S. Perry Wed Mar 3 10:46:44 PST 1999

Hey all,

Allein, Maybe your date was just being pragmatic. If there was something nasty on the other side of that door, then you'd get hit first and he'd have time for fight or flight.

Michele, Welcome back. I knew you couldn't stay away. We may be an ornary bunch, but we're the best game in town. And trifocals? How many eyes do you and Howard have anyway? Is there something we should know? The truth is out there.

Be Well, Live Well.

Hootie Wed Mar 3 09:33:23 PST 1999

Dang, Michelle, that was more than your normal two cents. I'll bet it was at least a nickel. And if you proofread, does that mean the we have to give Agsousa his full percentage?

Allein--if there are so few gentlemen left in your part of the world, don't you think you should encourage the few that are left? Treat the attention, etc., as a compliment, which is what true gentlemen mean when they act chivalrous. At least, that's what I think; I've never been the best gentleman. And I hope your school doesn't wash away ;-)

Michele Wed Mar 3 09:15:25 PST 1999


Agsousa and I talked, and have (I believe) sorted out our misunderstanding so you guys and girls are going to have to put up with me after all - now don't all run away at once ! :-) Seriously - thanks to everyone who emailed me to say "Stay" - I didn't think I'd be missed if I went - I know better now...

See Hootie - no bait required... And I did wonder whether Agsousa was talking to me or you... but it's too late for my marbles - I lost them ages ago - my kid brother had them... ! (He's 21 today so I suppose I shouldn't call him a kid any more !)

Howard - glad to know you're well enough to contribute - I wear those trifocal specs too - can be a pain if they get the reading lens to high as happened with my newest pair - one migraine later they went back for adjustment but now they're fine... !

I am happy to contribute some non-fiction asides on WW1 to this supernovel - if it's considered sensible... perhaps I could proofread it instead... ?

Had a frustrating morning at college this morning with a vanishing tutor... however tomorrow's another day...

Now tell me you're sorry I came back !!!


For all you people discussing the muse:

Genius is one percent inspiration, and ninety-nine percent perspiration.
-- Thomas Alva Edison

Allein Wed Mar 3 07:18:01 PST 1999

I'm so happy - because of minor flooding, there's no school today. :) I think I'll work on my story today.

Agsousa - perhaps there is a way of getting some Japanese to you in Romanji, which is writing out how to say the words, but with the English letters. Since, to read Japanese you'd have to know all three of their alphabets and I don't even know that yet.
In answer to the kissing hand question - no. I don't know if there's something wrong with me or what, but I can't stand it when guys treat girls overly nice. Like when I went to the dance on Saturday, my date insisted on opening the door for me - I know he meant well, but I can open a door. Although it's always nice of them, since there aren't very many gentlemen left (at least not where I live).

Well, sayonara,

S.K.S. Perry Wed Mar 3 06:38:10 PST 1999

Hey all,

Thomas, I'm glad you didn't take your marbles and go home, and I envy you. I lost all my marbles a long time ago.

Howard, great to see you on-line again. I'm sure you'll be back in tip top form in no time. I checked out Annie at Underworld and it looks great. (Of course I'd already read it before!)

Rhoda, I received the next five chapters of your novel just fine. I'll let you know when I'm ready for more.

Be Well, Live Well.

Hootie Wed Mar 3 06:02:10 PST 1999

Lena—I think that it is wonderful how you love to write. We all do, but we all have a different relationship with our muse. Yours is passionate and intense, an affair of youth. Others of us have been with our muse for longer, and have reached a stage where the ardor and fervor that we first felt happens less frequently, but the love is stronger than ever.

Agsousa—Yes, any book that we all wrote would be unique. A contemporary novel that covers a time period from the superstitious Dark Ages to the metallic future, with plenty of love interests and social commentary, a zeal for good food and good wine, a healthy dose of magic, and several narrative non-fiction asides about a WWI poet. Perhaps this is the future of the novel. By the way, were you asking after me or Michelle? I know that she is out there, lurking, but what kind of bait we might have to put out to entice her back into the circle, I’m not sure.

To all—I want to read everything that’s been posted recently in the Workbook, I really do. But it will have to wait until the weekend, I’m afraid.

"Literature is the art of writing something that will be read twice."
—Cyril Connolly

Thomas Wed Mar 3 05:59:05 PST 1999

Hey all,

Suppose my last couple of posts have shown signs of irritability. Well, that is how I felt then. The story I wrote yesterday truly put me in a state, one lacking my usual magnanimity. Yet I stand by what I said, whatever it was.


Boxer shorts! You lost me, but that ain't difficult to do.
I tried Underworld Mag. Aside from it taking too much time to load (all that music and stuff) I could not figure out how to call up Annie. What am I stupid?


I suppose death does not hold a candle to life in any month, but some months certainly make it seem welcome. For instance, it not only snowed yesterday, it rained, hailed and then the sun came out to melt everything so that the ground would be ready for this mornings snow and ice. Funny thing, all the burials I have ever attended seem to have taken place in late February or early March -- curious coincidence.

Are you a pisces? I was once married to a pisces. She said we were soul mates (I am a cancer). We divorced after I found out how many soul mates she actually had...all male, too; imagine that. Now, if I believed in "horror" scopes, that marriage certainly was one.


My triple play didn't really bother me, but I am sure the rest of the group got bored with the recurring ramblings.

And so, no more procastinating. I must think of things to write for Agsousa's novel and for my bread.

agsousa Wed Mar 3 03:28:51 PST 1999

Hello, everybody! Good morning to you all, friends and foes!

I had a dream. That we were here writing together a very interesting book, and that it would get published and we'd become all rich and famous. Start thinking of a good title for our best-seller (I can't do everything alone, can I?). Each of us will receive equal share but, though I am one of the most assiduous collaborators, I will be discounted 10% because someone will have to correct my mistakes.

Allein: It's only some thirty-odd hours before you are seventeen! I'm nine hours ahead of you (only in time), therefore I will be the first to greet you for the occasion. How lucky of me! By the way, since you will soon be eine (junge) Frau, shall I have to kiss your hand or something? And you must get a way of writing us in Japanese as well. We are here to learn and love.

Attention! Attention!
Jon-the-cat told me he's started writing a book on "Sense, Sensibility and Sensitivity in the Cybernetic Human Being". I can't wait to read his work.

Michael: what are you waiting for to bring back your marbles and resume playing with us? I won't ask you again, you know...

Well, I must go now. Have a nice day!

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Mar 3 00:44:07 PST 1999

       Thomas: I corrected your case of virtual hiccups and pared things down to one copy.

       Allien: I also corrected the bit of HTML and made it italics

       I am hoping to start experimenting with the Notebook Script on the new Web2010 server sometime this coming week. If it turns out doable, I am looking forward to having Notebook, Workbook and everything else in one location. We'll have to see how this works out. Talk with you soon.

Rachel Tue Mar 2 21:47:24 PST 1999

Hi all

Just a note to say I can't stay long. I would hate to be caught procrastinating.

Have gotten back into one of my stories and it feels pretty good. I think it is working out much better this time.

Take care all


Jai Tue Mar 2 21:12:00 PST 1999


Wow Howard - that REALLY happened to you? That's scary stuff, a good horror and I would definatly preffer to think it was all made up thank you very much :)

agsousa - Thanks for appreciating my writing, I liked your story as well. Very touching 'cause it is real. I give what I can, you'll just have to be patient, the mood will strike again, I promise.


Allein Tue Mar 2 19:58:46 PST 1999

Agsousa - Das ist richtig. Aber, ich kann Japanish schreiben. Aber, nur ein bißchen. Und, wenn auch ich kann Japanish schreiben und lesen, ich kann nicht immer verstehen. Und Japanish auf dem Computer ist zu Japanish unterschiedlich, wenn es auf Papier geschrieben wird.

Bai bai.

Howard Tue Mar 2 19:28:55 PST 1999

Agsousa -- "Neighborette" is coined and registered -- it's what Wilson (I wanna be Wilson when I grow up) calls Jill.
Thomas -- I got my being wrapped in the endeavor once -- I'll never wear boxers again! :-)
I'm baaack -- feeling much better, but not top-of-form yet. Still can't bend my neck enough to see the keyboard through the good part of these trifocals, but I'm working on it. Also just had another short story published in Underworld Magazine. Check the url above and look for one called Annie-Down-the-Street. She was my first "real love" -- made me the dark person that I am today. That was one of those "wake up in the middle of the night and write this, sucker" kind of stories that came from somewhere deep. One sitting, straight from memory, and soaking wet afterwards.

agsousa Tue Mar 2 18:59:08 PST 1999

Lena, you said: "Opinions are free and mistakes are easy". I second your motion and I am going to think of a little text to comment on it. In a friendly — though perhaps humourous, I don't know yet— way. As for what you and your friend felt, I think it's because the story is true.

S. N. Arly: I hope you will change your opinion of me when you know me better. For the moment please feel free to think whatever you feel fair. In the meantime, can I, please, use your wonderful word "smash-an-toss"? I honestly liked it.

Thomas: I saw today on the tely some pictures of suffering in Africa. What's a little bit of snow and cold compared to death, starvation and complete human misery? Here it's sunshine almost every day, but I understand you. How about a nice glass of Nieport to cheer up? (As you see I didn't forget your favourite brand).

Allein: Of course, you had to have procrastination somewhere in yourself. Middle name, did you say? As if I could believe... And... aber sie konnen nicht Japanish shreiben.... )(&k() : Ich habe gemacht das ohne Hande. Wieso? Das werde ich niemals ihnen sagen. NIEMALS!!! (Sorry, no Umlaut).

Jai: Could we have more of that, please?

Allein Tue Mar 2 17:55:55 PST 1999

Jack - I was just wondering. Can we use the Java chat for private chats between just two or three people in the writer's notebook or would you prefer that it be a group thing?

Bai bai

Thomas Tue Mar 2 17:29:14 PST 1999

To all who write because they love to: Terrific. Don't stop writing. But do stop telling us who have deadlines and who earn a living from writing that we should lay back and write when we feel like doing so.

It is not merely a way to self express, writing is also a profession. And if you think it is anything less, you are not writing you are emoting.

Now, there you go. You made me sound like Agsousa.

Jai Tue Mar 2 16:16:48 PST 1999

Fellow writers,

Procrastination, when I was describing myself I chose listlessness as one of my words. This is my own version of procrastination. I find that through the voyage of life I, at times, become lost. The night's stars no longer guid me foward it is at these points when my writing vanishes like so much fresh water spilled into the sea. It is after all the wind that sweeps me forth towards my destination.

But even in these listless periods I write, like now. After all the wind has it's own mind and is far from me to control. So the writing doesn't vanish so much as become unfocused, spilling from my soul in screaming gusts. Directionless but somehow clean and startling.

Procrastination is for me a terribly hard thing to describe. I think I may have scratched the surface, though perhaps not.


Allein Tue Mar 2 16:00:36 PST 1999

Yes, it's me again.

SN arly - didn't see your comment. I love foreign language week too, but, it seems odd to me that it falls on the same week that we choose classes for next year.

Agsousa - didn't answer the first part of what you said.
Der Übersetzer übersetzte das französische und den Portugiesen, aber ich spreche Deutsch, also konnte ich, den deutschen Kommentar zu schreiben. Aber ich benutzte ein Verzeichnis für einige Wörter.

Bai bai,

Allein Tue Mar 2 15:51:25 PST 1999

Agsousa - I meant to leave you a message in German but I guess I forgot to paste it.
Danke für Ihren wundervollen Kommentar. Aber, nun da ich siebzehn (am Freitag) bin, denke ich an mich jetzt als Frau nicht ein Kind. Aber ich bin noch eine junge Frau.

Hope that showed up, if not, I'll e-mail you.

Allein Tue Mar 2 15:47:40 PST 1999

Procrastination - why, that's my middle name!!

I write because I LOVE it. In fact if I HAVE to write something it usually turns out bad because I'm pressured - same if I have to draw something. I like to write when I feel like it and that's when I do my best work.

Agsousa - blowing dust off of German dictionarycoughing) Danke fr den netten Kommentar. Ich nicht wirklich denke an mich als Kind zwar. Nun da binsiebzehn (am Freitag)das Frau denke. Oderveilleicht nicht.

Auf Wiedersehen alles!!

"Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday." -Don Marquis

Litter Tue Mar 2 15:22:52 PST 1999

Hi All,

SNArly - ta, I shall await your report :o)

Ok, I've broken the habit of almost a very small part of a lifetime. I posted something on the Short Story workbook. Let me know what you think? 'Tis called 'Indignity'.

Procrastination - Nope never do that, but more later when I think of what to say on the subject.

You all be good now.


The spider with one leg spins a poor web...

S.K.S. Perry Tue Mar 2 15:06:10 PST 1999


You're absolutely right. You should write because you love to, not because you have to. Often I do not write for long periods of time because there are other things I'd rather be doing. I enjoy cuddling with my wife, watching TV, and playing in the band.

But I do love to write. Usually my downtime is a result of not noing exactly where to go next. The truth of the matter is, I've never overcome this problem by simply "taking time off." After a while, I sit down and force myself to come up with a solution. Once that's over with, guess what? I love to write again.

For some of us the ambition is to make writing a career. If that's the case, you can't take a couple of weeks off or a month to just lay low for a while. You wouldn't go to you're boss at the bank and say, "I'm not sure how to handle this problem with Mr. Jone's account. I think I'll just take a couple of weeks and mull it over. See you then."

If you want to make writing a career, it must be a love and a discipline.

Be Well, Live Well.

Thomas Tue Mar 2 14:57:55 PST 1999


Yes, yes, yes, you should write because you love it. Yet I must tell you this: when you invest so much of yourself for so long in an art -- writing is both an art and a craft -- your being could easily get wrapped in the endeavor. And when you are what you do, what you do invariably becomes who you are -- you sometimes hate it, love it, cherish it, want to run from it, need it, can't stand to have it and all the feelings that who you are engenders.

It would be pleasantly wonderful to write as a passtime, with no need to pay the mortgage. But for some, it just doesn't work that way. Cherish the freedom you have to write when and if you want to, but be aware that a habit can easily become a cloak.

As for suicide, I am forver taken by the power of something that happened in my life 35 years ago still haunts me.


You likely have never been in the Northeastern United States or Canada in March. Only then will you know what SKS and I feel.

Lena Tue Mar 2 14:10:25 PST 1999

I have been lurking for a few days, waiting for something to spark my interest (or my ire) and generally lounging about in the Real World (it's one of my strange hobbies) 'til something caught my eye. Here it is, the opinion I have on writing that everyone seems to disagree with. Have fun.

I do not believe that sitting down and forcing yourself to write is the best way to write. I write because I like to, not because I haven't meet my daily quota of five pages or somesuch nonsense. I am a consummate procrastinator when it comes to things I dislike (homework comes to mind) but I write because I want to. I feel that if I forced myself to write it would become just another chore I have to do during the day, not an escape and way to express myself.

I write nearly every single day without needing to discipline myself, because I WANT to. Somedays I do not write. Someweeks I do not write. Who can say? There is more to life than writing, and you have to live life before you can write about it.

Agsousa - You present us with interesting, opinionated, and debatable topics, and then feel bad because some of us disagree with you or misinterpret what is said? Opinions are free and mistakes are easy.

By the way, I sent your sea-gull story to my friend, and she loved it. We were discussing it on the way home from school today, and we both got this frustrated look on our faces because we cannot pinpoint why it is your story speaks so well to us. Probably because we (my friend and I) are both unpublished dreamers.

Jack - Notebook is taking an awfully long time to load.

Rhoda - I will check out your story as soon as possible. I really loved the summary for the novel you had on your webpage, so I hope I like the story just as much.

Thomas - We had a suicide at our school a few days ago. It was some freshman - I didn't know him, but the concept is sobering. Last year we had a suicide and several suicide attempts, and our school abruptly became the focus of the media attention. We even made the national news as the "apparently normal all-american school plagued with suicide."

Mmm, after this depressing and sober post I have just written, I need to laugh. Ha. Hah.

"Mainly, a poem is an artistic expression of the imagination that takes place in language." - Jeff Mock

agsousa Tue Mar 2 13:21:15 PST 1999

Oops, *Jon-the-cat*, sorry, Jon.

agsousa Tue Mar 2 13:02:21 PST 1999

Procrastination is the grandmother of maturation and the greatgranddaughter of laziness. What's the relation between maturation and laziness? (I'm rather bad at this guesswork.)

Look everybody, the Novel Room is so full that, if you do not rush to read all the material there, you'll miss something really important soon. I myself am going to read Rhoda's Song tonight.

Thomas, I was born in March. There are still some beautiful days left on this longest and cruellest of months. March is the father of Spring.

Come to think of that, who is the mother of Jon-the-dog? (I'd better not ask him that. Neighborette reasons, you know. Neighborette? New word, I guess.

Well, I'm postponing this post.

Thomas Tue Mar 2 12:59:08 PST 1999

Each time I tried to post I got nothing...but then I find I got something afterall, three times.

I believe the words flying around on the notebook lately are counter-productive. Let's cool it.

Oh, and Julie. I misunderstood. Being neither reader nor writer of the genre, I thought you meant the name of your story was Cemetery Dance. SN's post straightened that one out for me.

Now, where are my marbles. I want to go home.

S.N.Arly Tue Mar 2 11:39:45 PST 1999

Agsousa/Amerigo - Little tough for me to be paternalistic. And when you're operating ESL you can expect to be misinterpreted. Speaking of which, maybe you need to go back and read my post to Michele. Regardless, I don't need you to be "patient and civilized" with me. Frankly I find you an elitist snob with an extremely rude affect.

Allein - I used to love foreign language week. Too bad the real world doesn't celebrate it too.

Litter - Will do. One of the docs I work with has Dragon and loves it. I'll be checking with an OT friend of mine to see which program is currently the best, and I can't wait to get it.

Rhoda - Cool. That would be neat, eh? I know someone who lives in one of F. Scott Fitzgerald's old haunts in downtown St. Paul. What a trip! I will make every effort to look at those two chapters when I get home this evening.

Julie - Cemetery Dance has an absolutely abomidable response time. If I remember rightly from my list at home, it can take almost two years to hear back from them (and I've never found it to be that great a mag). If it's been over a year I usually assume it's lost and send it elsewhere. This time, try to aim for some markets with more reasonable response times. You can visit the Black Hole for a list of response times (I don't have the time to look up the URL, but I have a link on my web page in the writing area if you're inclined to go there). I've found it to be pretty accurate, especially if you're mailing from within the US.

Although you probably know this, I'm going to mention it anyway just in case; it's a really good idea to research as much as you can about a publisher before you send to them. If you can get a copy of the mag, all the better. There are many speculative fiction mags out there, but you may find only a handful of them will print the kind of story you are trying to sell. Some are also extremely anal about length, and content. But keep trying. It can take an undogly amount of time and effort(I have 9 rejects on one of my favorite stories right now).

Good luck.

On procrastination - I guess this doesn't seem to be much of a problem for me. I'll occasionally get sucked into a few games of freecell or a chat (when Netscape was obliging me), but I eagerly look forward to writing time. If I'm working on a particularly troublesome story I may decide to clean off my desk (dog help us!), most of which is never visible.

"...haben Luftballon gefunden, denk an Dich und lassen fliegen."

Thomas Tue Mar 2 10:33:37 PST 1999


The notebook is truly a great vehicle for procrastination, and I am guilty as charged. As you know, I intended to stay away, but here I am with two deadlines sitting in my Microsoft Word.

Last night I got nostalgic and played my 1956 Wurlitzer jukebox. When "There's A Moon Out Tonight" came on it inspired me to write short story about my first teenage girlfriend. That was our song. She committed suicide at 18.
I am drained and I haven't gotten half way through the story.

Thinking of her suicide makes me realize how petty so many everyday happenings really and truly are, like misunderstandings, misinterpretations, FLAMING, easily damaged feelings, taking up one's marbles and quitting the game, and all that stuff.

Like you, two weeks in a warm place with nothing to do is my idea of how to spend March. You know the poem, "April is the cruelest month..." Wrong. It is definitely March, and the longest month too.


You certainly waited longer than I would have. The only thing you can do is drop the matter and move on to another publication. And you won't get ms back unless the postage on your SASE covers the complete mailing.

I assume your "Cemetary" Dance is either a made up word or a typographical error, as "cemetery" is spelled with an e. If you indeed sent the title with an incorrect spelling you will never hear from them.

Rhoda Tue Mar 2 09:18:06 PST 1999


Welcome to the Notebook.

Forget Cemetary Dance. They could have gone defunct. Many magazines do. It could just be that their editorial department is in terrible disarray. Whatever the case, they are not a viable option for you. Sometimes you have to give up for lost the money you spent for postage. Send your story to another magazine and with a good conscience. Whenever two months or so goes by and you haven't heard anything, then send it to someone else.

Unfortunately there are a lot of fly by nights in this industry, and a lot of rude, inconsiderate people. Sometimes you run into these individuals, but you must take that chance in order to find a good home for your work. I don't think your experience happens the majority of times, but it is not uncommon. I write and submit to many people, and about 2 percent of them I never hear from.

I'm glad that you posted. I hope you come back often.



jULIE Tue Mar 2 09:04:01 PST 1999

I've never tried this before, but I'm desperately seeking information and I don't know where to begin. I have been submitting the occasional short story to several magazines, in the hopes of one day being able to call myself 'a writer'. (So far my efforts have been to no avail) The latest creation I sent to a magazine called Cemetary Dance. It was mailed to them on Feb. 28, 1998, with a SASE, and I have yet to hear anything. I have not recieved the manuscript back either, which is odd. On Jan. 5, 1999, feeling as though I had been patient enough, I sent the editor a letter, politely asking him to kindly let me know if they had ever recieved my story, so I could then know whether or not it had been a casualty of the US postal service. It is now March 2, and I have not recieved a response from that. What do I do now? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

S.K.S. Perry Tue Mar 2 07:58:11 PST 1999

Hey all,

In case you were wondering, and even if you weren't, Naejin is the title of my book. It's a word I made up, and it stands for an elite, bio-enginered warrior, who would have the same sort of status as say a knight or samurai. When I was looking for an email adress, I used naejin, but as hotmail already had someone using naejin, I had to add the random number 16. (I found that strange--as I said, I made the word up, and a Web Search found no other instances of the word either.)

Procrastination. I am a Master. I haven't written anything on my stories in at least a month now. I tell myself it's because I'm not inspired at the moment, but that's a pretty lousy excuse. I'm sure if I just sat down and got at it something would come. The same goes for my query letter. Sure, I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to writing one. But I could find out. Instead, I read and edit other's work, I watch TV, or just laze around the house and cuddle with my wife. I go to the gym a lot, I play in my band, I teach martial arts, sometimes I even think about plotting the stories I'm working on. I do everything but write them.

Is procrastination simply a lack or motivation, drive and desire. Maybe so. I know I'm one of those people that winter and cabin fever really throw into a funk. Late Feb and March are the worst. I don't seem to have much energy to do anything, even the things I love. The fact that I really have nothing to show for all my writing yet doesn't help much either. I've got a book that I finished a couple of years ago that I'm sure no publisher has ever read despite my best efforts, and several short stories that the mail and I play boomerang with (I send them out, they come right back.) What I really need right now is a nice warm tropical beach and about two weeks to just lay there soaking up the sun and surf. I need a major recharging. But I'm not going to get it, so maybe I should just get off my butt and get back to work. So much for procrastination.

Be Well, Live Well.

Hootie Tue Mar 2 05:48:24 PST 1999

On procrastination—it’s a constant plague. I spend time that I could be writing reading the Notebook. Or I have to watch just one TV show. Or my wife is watching TV and I get distracted by her laughter. Or there are dishes to clean, and cat litter to change, and I own an old VW bus that constantly needs work. In fact, if it weren’t for my stubborn need to write, I might never get a word down.

I think that the dichotomy may be between our need to tell a story and our fear of shouting from the mountain top, as Agsousa explained to Jon the cat. If we write honestly, then we are revealing our hearts to the world, and the world will treat it casually at best, and cruelly at worst. So we stall, trying to ignore the characters within us that demand release, and try to save ourselves the humiliation and frustration that comes after the story is written and offered to those who will take the time to read it.

Another reason that procrastination is common among writers, I think, is because we fall into the misconception that writing is not really work. So we fool ourselves into thinking that we’ll work out a particularly troublesome plot snag while we go out for a run. But all we end up thinking about is how much our legs hurt, and we’re no better off. I’m not saying that we can’t have that serendipitous inspiration at an odd moment (it always happens to me while I’m driving, and can’t write), but at the same time, we would do well to remember that remember that writing is a lot of beating our head against the wall, punctuated by moments of giddy dancing. Or I could be wrong, and writing is just a matter of having a neighbor with an inquisitive cat. ;-)

There is only one difference between a madman and me. I am not mad.
—Salvador Dali

agsousa Tue Mar 2 04:59:54 PST 1999

Allein — War es nur der Ubersetzer, der die Ubersetzung gemacht hat? Ich denke du bist ein wirkliches Wunderkind! Naturlich, Ich war auch ein Wunderkind in meiner Zeit, alle Menchen sind Wunderkinder, wissen Sie? Aber du bist... wie es zu sagen... wunderbar. Du bist ein wunderbares Wunderkind.
And by the way, the guest book of your website is out of order again. I left there the most wunderbar comment. Oh, boy, pure genius! Don't ask me to email it, though. It evaporated!
And I believe in aliens. You yourself are an Allien. I'm just a lo-ne-ly cow-boy-o-boy (what's the name of that funny BD chap who sings this. Oh, yes, exactly!)

Jack Beslanwitch Tue Mar 2 03:39:11 PST 1999

     I would like to make the recommendation that we tone down the discussion of chat rooms and ICQ chat and return to a discussion of writing and the writing life. Earlier I made mention of my own personal descriptive words. Although I included positive ones, at least for a writer, i.e., creativity and loving and stubborness, I also included my drawback, procrastination. Wherein does the perennial complaint of the proverbial procrastinator come to play in all our experiences as would be writers and successful writers. And how do we overcome it. If you are not aware of this by now, you should be. Success as a writer is as much a function of stubborn sticktoitofness as it has anything to do with tallent. I sometimes suspect that procrastination and perseverence are hand maidense of each others. What do others think? I wonder on a tangential point whether or not the dichotomy of art versus commerciality are sometime also shades of gray as well. For procrastination is not an opposite of perseverence; just another flavor of the same emotional state with much the same character flaws and admirable qualities. Take care everyone.

Marv Mon Mar 1 21:30:19 PST 1999

Hi everyone. Looks like after two months of off time I got the book started up again. I wrote the 8th chapter yesterday, so ya know I'm feeling pretty good. Or at least pretty good considering that it's mditerm week and I'm being held together by four hours of sleep and a little napping.

Oh well, not much longer anyway. Maybe one day in the distant future I will get published.

"Never do today what you can put off till tomorrow" - one of the few things I learned in elementary school

Jai Mon Mar 1 21:04:17 PST 1999

I can't say all I wish to say.

Tomorrow maybe? Aggg.

I slept through the chat, silly me, buisy buisy.


Rhoda Mon Mar 1 20:11:33 PST 1999

I posted the first two chapters of VALERIE'S SONG on the Novel Workshop. I have sent these chapters out to various agents. I would like to know if anyone can tell me if I have a suitable hook. Any comments at all would be appreciated.


Allein Mon Mar 1 19:29:34 PST 1999

Agsousa: Je sais que j'ai raison. Le traducteur n'échoue pas. Si j'utilise ce traducteur, je puis parler n'importe quel langage qu'il a.
Eu posso mesmo falar o português. Este tradutor é muito interessante.

Bai bai,

Rhoda Mon Mar 1 18:52:36 PST 1999

Is anyone here familiar with Hank the Cow Dog books? The author, John Erickson used to live here in Perryton. I just made an offer on his old house. I don't know what will come of this because we have offered on about ten houses in the past year. We had three offers accepted but had to back out due to the absense of window wells in the basement, structual damage on one, and excessive amounts of Radon on the other. I hope this one works out.


Thank you for your chapters. I could open them just fine. Now I know where the name Naejin comes from. I'll get mine to you either this evening or first thing tomorrow morning.

My daughter is happy. Her basketball team won the Perryton Championship. It was an impressive thing to watch those girls play. They did great.

Well, I had better get back to the kids.

Happy writing!


agsousa Mon Mar 1 17:40:48 PST 1999

Oops, "you offered *them*".

This Notebook will one day
be studied in the universities of Calcutta
and Bombay.

agsousa Mon Mar 1 17:31:32 PST 1999

"What are the qualities one needs to be a writer?" Jon, my neighbor's cat asked.
"Well, Jon, there are times when one doesn't feel like being anything at all, " I said. "But, if I well remember, courage, persistence and patience seem indispensable to me."
"Can you imagine how difficult it is to express our most intimate feelings, thoughts and ideas? And then to go to the top of a mountain and shout them to the crowd? Alone and without umbrella. And it is raining cats and dogs, stones and thunder, even the rock of the moon can fall upon your head. But you don't mind.
"Between one book and the next, the success and the failure, falls the shadow. But you have to go on.
"Do you think that the critics are going to understand everything you wrote? They'll take note of your mistakes but won't easily see your virtues. And some readers will hate your books because of something you said on the TV or in an interview, or simply because they didn't like the color of your socks — and they'll forget the beautiful pages you offered him. Patience is indispensable, and modesty, and persistence, determination and courage. O, yes, sir! Not three or four, but an umpteen number of qualities. I'll make the complete list some other time, Jon.
I do not speak French either, Allein, mais je crois que tu as raison.

Litter Mon Mar 1 17:03:24 PST 1999

Hi All,

One of these days I’m actually going to read what is in the workbook. Somehow I just seem to run out of time…

SNArly – I had a look at the Celtic Site (I’d actually had the URL but hadn’t got round to looking at it – looks like a good resource. Ta! If you get Dragon Naturally Speaking let us have a report on it – I could use something like that but the range is pretty wide in the UK and I want to get the best for the job.

“When my horse is running good, I don’t stop to give it sugar.” William Faulkner


Allein Mon Mar 1 17:02:55 PST 1999

I'm happy today and I'm not sure why. Maybe it was that double shot Irish Creame latte I had this morning or maybe it was the liter Dr. Pepper and candy I had at lunch - caffeine and sugar - sweet, but happifying. Wait a minute, happifying isn't even a word. Oh well, it's an Alleinish word. Although, what I had is nothing compared to what my friend Mike did once - he had a triple shot latte and then an entire bag of pixie sticks - for those of you who don't know, pixie sticks are just pure flavored sugar. He was shaking all morning. Anyway, I am in a good mood and probably will be all week - we're doing interesting things in my classes and my birthday is on Friday - I can't wait to see all the stuff I get. :)

Agsousa - I had to look up the French 'cause I don't speak French. But anyway, the translation I got was 'with the help'. Is this correct and help with what? I do speak German and Japanese (a little).

Speaking of foreign languages, guess who gets to draw the pictures on the poster for foreign language week. C'mon, guess. Me! Obviously, you all probably knew it was me already. Sorry, I'm talking crazy talk - I'm hyper as I've stated before up na.
Up na? Where did that come from? Anyway, there's a soccer game next Wednesday between all the language classes - those students who choose to participate can. So, I'm doing a soccer scene with people dressed in costumes native to different countries (Mexico, France, Japan and Germany). The guy who did the lettering on the poster was amazed with my artwork.

Well, anyway, I'll stop jabbering and get my caffine/sugar filled body into my room to work on my homework. Wait...What homework?! Yes!! No homework!!
Okay, well, bai bai,

"A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down...unless, of course, if you're diabetic."
- Mtv's Daria

agsousa Mon Mar 1 16:26:25 PST 1999

Why, instead of being paternalistic, don't you investigate the facts, or better, the words, S.N. Arly? Incidentally, you were the first to misinterpret me — and I was so patient and civilized with you! I suspect that no one here had to bear so many attacks against mere opinions as myself — and I resisted, alone and against everybody. Are those who give up easily those you cherish, people?

Allein, au secours!

S.K.S. Perry Mon Mar 1 12:06:22 PST 1999

Hey all,

I was just on the Java Chat with Rhoda and Lydia. It seemed to work just fine (exept the stupid military server I'm on logged me off) and it's a lot easier to use than ICQ. Hopefully I'll be talking to more of you soon!

Live Well, Be Well.

S.N.Arly Mon Mar 1 11:23:52 PST 1999

Wow, considering all the posts I had to wade through one would think I'd actually have something to add. But I don't.

Someday I'll get the Java re-enabled on my Netscape at home and I'll be able to participate in chats (it loaded poorly and doesn't give the option). Perhaps after I've either healed up or I've gotten Dragon Naturally speaking. Can't type fast enough for a chat.

Michele, I'll reiterate Hootie's plea. We've all been rubbed wrong from time to time, and soemtimes it feels callous or even intentional. Sometimes it is, but usually it's misinterpretation, translation trouble, or just a poorly thought out comment. Try to ignore it and move on.


"I was flying back from Lubbick, and I saw Jesus on the plane,
or maybe it was Elvis. They kind of look the same."

agsousa Mon Mar 1 10:58:29 PST 1999

O, weary traveller, do not weep
They are not dead — just fast

Lydia Sweet Mon Mar 1 06:49:50 PST 1999


Just tried the JAVA chat at the new location you gave and got the following response:

VolanoChat Server

Unauthorized Web Page

You have been denied access because the chat room on the previous Web page is not authorized to connect to this
VolanoChat server. Please report the error to the Webmaster of the previous page.

I hope this is an error and I can get a JAVA chat connections eventually.

Having fun, as usual.


Hootie Mon Mar 1 06:41:01 PST 1999

Just a quick post--Since I only have internet access at work right now, I can't spend my time in a chat room, no matter how it's set up. BUT... I will hopefully have my very own computer at home in the near future (two weeks, with luck), and then I join in all the fun.

Agsousa--Thanks for the e-mail. I'll send you a response in the next day or so.

Michelle--If I understand you correctly, my only comment is: DON'T GO! We need your two cent deposits, not to mention your perspective and your Einstein quotes.

S.K.S. Perry Mon Mar 1 05:52:48 PST 1999

Hey all,

Thomas, that thing about the Writer's Digest editors sounds so typical of the industry. I think it was you who said sometimes you'd like to find out where these people live. If you ever do, give me a call--we'll tag team them!

I just checked out the Java Chat and it works fine for me too. There was no one else there, however, and I spend enough time talking to myself, so I logged off. If anyone's available, I'll probably try to log onto the Chat today about 2:00 EST, which is five hours behind GMT. I think Thomas is right about ICQ chat. I was on this weekend, and though it was a blast, it's just too difficult getting everyone to know the intricacies of the system. People keep dropping in and out (and not of their own accord either, Thomas's post read like arabic for a while, and a multitude of other problems. Hopefully the Java Chat is the way to go.

Be Well, Live Well.

Thomas Mon Mar 1 05:39:00 PST 1999

Hey all, my first time trying the JAVA chat and I got in, and Jack was there, and we chatted for a few seconds.
It is a lot easier than ICQ, on which we spend more time trying to figure out how to chat rather than chatting.

Anyway, I suggested to Jack that later in the week, but not Saturday (too jammed on the Internet) I will initiate a JAVA chat -- if I can.

Sold my hemp wine article to three different markets, each one gets its own perspective on the story. That is what I like -- mileage.

Even when you know a market it can be fickle. Sent an essay to Writer's Digest about the writing life. An asst. editor sent it back suggesting changes. I changed and resubmitted. She sent it back saying it was right on, but that they have no room for it; try in four months. Four months later I resubmitted. This time the Managing Editor sent it back saying it is not suitable for their audience (which it is).

Americo Sun Feb 28 18:11:12 PST 1999

This is a very small world! I've just found something much nearer to me than I could ever imagined. But I won't tell you anything. It's a European secret!

TheJava Chat Room keeps presenting me with just a useless information (irrelevant to smash-an-toss) followed by a gray rectangle with nothing in it. Not even the word profile or something as obscure. Just nothing.

But I don't mind. I like the Notebook better than any chats.

Yours faithfully,

Americo Vespucii

Jack Beslanwitch Sun Feb 28 17:50:20 PST 1999

p.s. Also, it came to my attention that the form for the Workbook to sign up for a login and password was broken when I moved I have since updated the file and it now works.

Jack Beslanwitch Sun Feb 28 14:27:09 PST 1999

On the JAVA Chat, the name and profile is really just part of the software so that on a general open chat room people can know who they are talking to. The only requirement is to put in a name. The Profile is optional. That actually makes a certain amount of sense. Still, glad to see that it is working for others.

Thomas Sun Feb 28 13:59:56 PST 1999


Your tips to deal with publishers are both funny and true.
You are of course correct with your comments about literature and reading. In order to be a good writer, you must read a lot of good writing, and learn from it.

One of the reasons I write wine and food articles is of course because I love the subject, but I have another reason: it allows me at least to get something in return for my words and thoughts.

I figured a long time ago that to have a book published (or two or three or three hundred) would take time and persistence. Yet, to paraphrase the historian Barbara Tuchmann, it matters not what you write, as long as you write it well; she was not just a historian; she was a great writer. Some of the best writing I ever read was nonfiction, about food, written by MFK Fisher.

All writing, whatever the genre, communicates thoughts, feelings, ideas, experiences, et al. Some of us seek a certain depth in what we read, some of us seek a certain shallowness, some of us seek entertainment.

agsousa Sun Feb 28 12:18:16 PST 1999

Tricks to convince publishers:

1. To write a good book.
But what is a good book? I know when I read one but never when it is my own. Friends' opinions are always precarious. Your dearest aunt's opinion even less. I guess only publishers, critics and the public know that mystery. After all, it's the others that make your book's fortune. An author never knows.

2. To be friends with the publisher's daughter, wife and dog.
A very risky method. Hopeless in this part of the world.

3. To frequent literary circles.
Not if you have a wee bit of humour. Humour (let alone irony) is rarely understood by publishers. Actually by 95.73 % of the population of this planet. Only very intelligent people understand humour, which means that 99.64 % of those who frequent the literary circles will hate your guts.

4. To be a popular TV personality.
This makes best-sellers. However, the critics and the knowledgeable will laugh at your success, which therefore won't last long.

5. To be a politician.
I only know one that made it at the highest level: Winston Churchill - Nobel Prize for Literature. Deserved? I don't want to offend my English readers.

6. Not to be a politician.
Also wrong.

Well, I give up.

Rhoda Sun Feb 28 11:56:08 PST 1999


The JAVA chatroom works for me now. Oh Happy Day! I knew you would fix it.


Allein Sun Feb 28 11:41:09 PST 1999

Huh? Oh, I'm awake! I'm awake! Slept in, I was out until nearly one in the morning. My friends and I stayed at the dance until midnight. I had a great time. :)

I hope everyone had a good time at chat. I couldn't make it - partly because I don't know HOW to chat on ICQ - could someone PLEASE fill me in on this? Also, on the 'name' and 'profile' thingy on the JAVA chat - what do you do with that?

Well, I hope we have another chat fairly soon.
Bai bai.

agsousa Sun Feb 28 11:21:09 PST 1999

Hello, everybody! Wake up, will you?

I would like to know how many people cried with my *true* story about how difficult it was to publish my first book. There is still a lot to say about that but, if I can struggle with today's slowness of the Notebook — 5 minutes to load! — I'll try something more motivating to cheer you up (including my friend Michele, who sadly misinterpreted me, but I am used to it: all writers have to, part of the job, you know). How about tricks to convince publishers?

W. Olivia RAce Sun Feb 28 10:40:19 PST 1999

Hi all. I have been merely lurking for days now while transferring from C-serve to aol. For all those who wish to reach I can now officially be reached at the above e-mail address.

I missed out on the chat the other night *sob*. Although, with my occasionally incompetance w/ computers I doubt if I would have gotten through properly.

SKS: I read your post regarding your frustration in writing a synopsis. Don't give up. If I can do it, anyone can. The best reference I had was from "Writer's Digest" in their recent issue (February). It had an article on how to build a successful novel synopsis. I followed it almost to the letter for my novel and, once I got going it wasn't too bad. Imagine just telling someone in detail about your novel, chapter by chapter and run with it.

Hootie: Can't wait to read your addition to the Workbook!

Regarding literature: I read what grabs me and lets me lose myself in the prose. I loved reading Camus,Dickens,Orwell and Dostoevsky when I was in high school. Hemingway never thrilled me and Faulkner was not my cup of tea at all. I also have never gotten into Toni Morrison although I have given it a valient try on several occasions. I think it's important to read outside of the genre you write in. Every type of literature or genre gives me ideas and their is nothing stronger than an idea.

Anyway, today I promised myself that I would finish a short story I started so off I go.

Every one be well and...

Good writing

"Knowledge is recognition of something absent; it is a salutation, not an embrace." George Santayana

Michele Sun Feb 28 08:27:20 PST 1999

Oh well sorry Agsousa for being sensitive to something that is personal. There's only one way for me not to be offended by anything you write, and that's not to read it, so if I quit coming here you won't offend me and I won't infuriate you... OK ?

For the last time....


Rachel Sun Feb 28 07:35:21 PST 1999

Agsousa - I am touched by your recent posts.

I have been feeling sick to my stomach at the notion of even attempting to publish.

Maybe you were right and I do need a kick in the backside.

I guess it all comes down to the fact that I want others to like what I write as much as I do.

I have heard everyone talk about needing a thick skin and right when I think I might be getting one I know I am no better than a jelly fish. Yup got afew stingers but not a thick skin.

Two of my sons 10 and 7 and my daughter of 6 years have been writing up a storm. I am sure they will all be published before me. (sigh).

I think I have the writers blues or something. I write, but with a sort of heavy spirit. A sense of dread, knowing that when I am done I will have another story sitting there screaming for me to do something with it.

Its a little like sending the children to school for the first time. You want everyone to like them.

I feel the same about my stories. As for my novel I am a wreck. I am told its funny and touching but I just don't know.

Ah well feel free to give me a kick in the pants and I promise I won't issue any declerations of being boring and uninteresting.

Take care


agsousa Sun Feb 28 07:23:32 PST 1999

"You are never alone with schizophrenia" (a sentence inside inverted commas) is a famous graffiti I saw written in thousands of places in England — I know that it was in the 80's — and is included in Nigel Rees's "the Graffiti Pack". It has nothing personal and can't be a touchy subject to any one. I'm losing patience with people who misinterpret what I write.

Michele Sun Feb 28 01:33:41 PST 1999

Hi gang !

Jack - thanks for sorting the archive out. Checked the "Check This" link and it's OK...

Sorry that I missed the Chat last night - Rhoda : hope you didn't find me abrupt last night - a friend had come round in a bit of a state wanting a shoulder to cry on (I should install guttering !) and I was already just ending a chat somewhere else, so didn't have time for much finesse - sorry about that !

Who was it made a comment to me that I just read in the archive about being lonely with schizophrenia ? Please don't make jokes about it... that's a touchy subject with me... and I don't want to lose friends here.

I'm sitting here on a bright and sunny Sunday morning listening to an absolutely wonderful album of music - poems by Gloucestershire poets (Gloucestershire is where I live for those who don't know) set to music - fantastic stuff..... and I am wondering whether to do some research for my web site, some reading for tomorrow's poetry class, or just to sit here and savour the beauty of the morning until the rain clouds roll in and then do something useful....

Anyway I'll talk to you all later....


There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.

-- Albert Einstein

Jack Beslanwitch Sat Feb 27 21:45:59 PST 1999

BTW, I am forgetting who it was who was asking about anime resources in Western Washington some time back. But I just ran onto a link request for Anime Cafe in Tacoma. It touts itself as the first exclusively anime store in Western Washington. I do not know about that, but offer it for others pleasure.

agsousa Sat Feb 27 19:49:36 PST 1999

Lena, I posted my message and only afterwards saw yours. I don't mind at all. But please correct my errors first. I read more attentively what I wrote this afternoon and found some. You are writing very sweetly yourself. Thank you.

Going to bed, now.

agsousa Sat Feb 27 19:37:08 PST 1999

The problem of the leopard spots, Thomas, is that without a knowledge of Proust, Kafka, Joyce, Musil, Broch, to name just a few writers that helped make the transition from the "traditional" novel to the "contemporary" novel, one is not prepared to enter the world of literature today. To read those writers is so indispensable as it is for a Physician to have an idea of what contemporary Physics is about.

But I would not like to bother people with this any longer.

I'm glad that you like Camus and Nabokov. I should read Tony Morrisson!!! I never did. Stupid hole in my culture. I'll try to remedy it as soon as possible.

Lena Sat Feb 27 18:04:58 PST 1999

I wish I could chat, but I am not able to download any of the programs here at home. I will check out the options at school, however.

Agsousa - That was a beautiful story, of being rejected and published. I cannot express my feelings any better, but the sound of sea gulls crying has always been meaningful to me, sad and lonely. The next time I hear a seagull I shall think of you, Agsousa. I am sending what you have written to my best friend, if you do not mind, for I think she would also enjoy it, and perhaps learn something. She wants to be an author so badly, it aches my heart to think she might not succeed.

Well, last night I forced myself to sit down and write. I had not written anything for close to a week, and I NEEDED to, desperately. I wrote some of My Story, and worked on a poem...

"I wish I had an invisible box, painted blue and green,
With peepholes for doors, fairy dust on the floors, and a world no one has seen."

'Tis just a wee little poem, but I am having fun.

Then today I called my friend (the one I am sending your story to, Agsousa), who was gleeful because she had also broken out of her own writing slump. I was proud of her. Then we spent several hours discussing various aspects of the novel we are writing together, obscure bits of plot and wording. I have not felt so happy in a long, long time.

Wishing all a good night,

Jack Beslanwitch Sat Feb 27 17:30:07 PST 1999

      Re the problem with getting Access Denied on the JAVA Chat. I just reviewed the tech report message and the way the thing is set up is that you have to go directly to Using the IP address does not work. So, until gets posted on all databases around the world, this is a feature for the future. As to the ICQ chat. Tried it earlier today with Rhoda and others. This was my first exposure and it was interesting. I think I will be more happy when I figure out how to set it up for a IRC style look and feel. Someone mentioned that this was possible and I hope they email me with instructions. See, even I can get befuddled with technical questions :-)

      On Problems trying to post to the Notebook. Thomas, I suspect that your problem rested in times when the Notebook had grown to over 150k. Things should be better now. I think for the foreseeable future I will aI think I will be more happy when I figure out how to set it up for a IRC style look and feel. Someone mentioned that this was possible and I hope they email me with instructions. See, even I can get befuddled with technical questions :-)

      On Problems trying to post to the Notebook. Thomas, I suspect that your problem rested in times when the Notebook had grown to over 150k. Things should be better now. I think for the foreseeable future I will a figure out how to set it up for a IRC style look and feel. Someone mentioned that this was possible and I hope they email me with instructions. See, even I can get befuddled with technical questions :-)

      On Problems trying to post to the Notebook. Thomas, I suspect that your problem rested in times when the Notebook had grown to over 150k. Things should be better now. I think for the foreseeable future I will a I think I will be more happy when I figure out how to set it up for a IRC style look and feel. Someone mentioned that this was possible and I hope they email me with instructions. See, even I can get befuddled with technical questions :-)

      On Problems trying to post to the Notebook. Thomas, I suspect that your problem rested in times when the Notebook had grown to over 150k. Things should be better now. I think for the foreseeable future I will archive when things reach 100k as a matter of course even if traffic is heavy. This will make sure that those farther ways, have connection problems or other difficulties, will have a better chance at making things work.

      Oh, and Jumping up and down with joy I got my receipt for the Professional Writing Conference at Westercon 52. Am definitely looking forward to it.

Thomas Sat Feb 27 15:14:08 PST 1999

I have had nothing but trouble the past couple of days trying to post on the notebook, so what I just wrote I haven't the energy to re-write.


Get a copy of Jeff Herman's Writer's Guide to Editors, et al. Best book on the subject of queries.

I happen to be good at query letters. Many writers marvel at how many positive responses I get (to see the ms, not to buyt it). Even after the query gets the interest up, you aren't even close to success, unless you have a great book and lost of luck.


Your story of being published proves you are an ilteliigent and persistent man -- maybe a little crazy too. Who else but a writer would subject himself to such treatment? There are times when I want to find out where an editor lives and, well, you know what I mean.

Anyway, since no one has answered my two requests for when and where we are having the chat, I'm not too sure what to do. I shall check this Java thing out and then ICQ.

Sorry we could not get you on the chat.

Marv Sat Feb 27 14:57:21 PST 1999

Question: Has anyone read Colonization: Second Contact by Harry Turtledove? Can you tell me if it's any good? I'm a big fan of his and I'll probably wait till the paperback version (cause I'm cheap), but I don't know if I can wait that long.

Allein Sat Feb 27 13:37:42 PST 1999

Agsousa - At least you did get your book published. And anyway, I think a real man is one who will cry and express his feelings. Some men just like to act big and tough and it's those kind of men that you never really get to know. And if you ever decide to take revenge on seagulls again - try and get the one who left a little gift on our windsheild. :)

Bai bai,

Casey Sat Feb 27 13:28:57 PST 1999

Hi there everyone,

I've been up to my butt in work, so I've fallen behind on the discussion in here... takes a loooong time to try to read all the new posts.

As far as my writing goes, I've been working here and there on little short stories, things that just come to me out of the blue. It's not like I get a clear 'idea' and then plan to write about it. Characters just sort of start talking to me, or I start watching a story play out in my head. I never know quite where it's going to go sometimes, and other times I have only vague ideas. Makes it damn hard to finish them though, not knowing when the end is coming, or even sometimes where to end it. I just get all confused. Maybe I should start trying to do things differently, so that something actually ends up done and finished.

Does anyone else in here get this sort of problem?? Cause I'm starting to think that I'm just abnormal (don't get me wrong... weird can be a good thing)which might cause problems if I ever really work up the nerve to try to publish things.

I have to get back to my spring break lifestyle, eating, sleeping, reading, and watching tv. I should take some time to write today. Ooo, almost forgot, tonight's midnight bowling night :)

Got places to do and people to see...... wait a minute

Later all :)


"The world of reality has it's limits; the world of imagination is boundless." - Jean- Jacques Rousseau

agsousa Sat Feb 27 12:31:43 PST 1999

But one day, twenty years later, I finished my real first novel and decided to go...where to, Allein? To the same publisher that made me cut a poor figure in front of the sea-gulls. By then I already new other names besides that publisher. But I wanted to be published in the same house as the great Ferreira de Castro. I was received by a gentleman of my age. He browsed my manuscript silently while I was telling him how I had written the best book in years and I wanted it to be published in that very house. "Why do you want us to publish your book?" I told him that it was because his parents had been very unjust to me and had hurted me for ever. "Well, my father could be a bit impatient with young writers, sometimes. He is dead, poor darling, and so is my mother. I'll read your book myself and give you an answer in two or three months."

A week later, no more, it was nine o'clock pm GMT, 12 hours PST, I was eating my sandwich when my door bell rang. It was the publisher. In person and — can you imagine, very sweet and even a bit shy. "We would like to publish your book and, since I had some shopping to do nearby, I thought I'd drop in on you while I was passing. How'd you like the covers?" "Where's the contract?" I asked rudely. "We can give you only ten percent because...." "Never mind the money," I said with my usual generosity. "Ten per cent is OKay."

And that's how, for some time, I took revenge on all the sea-gulls that had once mocked me for not being a man, you know, one who never cries, that mythical beast

Michele Sat Feb 27 11:58:35 PST 1999

Thomas - thanks - it was Thoreau - I've looked it up since... !


Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. -- Albert Einstein

agsousa Sat Feb 27 11:07:28 PST 1999

Today I'm a bit sad. When I'm sad I remember one of the saddest days in my life. Not a transcendental, not a tragic one. Just the day I went to a desert beach and cried for hours, face turned down to the sand so that the sea-gulls wouldn't see me properly. It was the day when, after seven months of great hope, the publisher that had promised me the world sent my manuscript back, without a word. I understood immediately that he was not going to publish my great novel, though the confirmation came only one week later: they were sorry but the house had already manuscripts for at least three years — a situation which I later understood to be chronic for unknown chaps like me. How about the first promising reaction? Well, I had gone to Lisbon in person and I had seen the publisher. It was not a single one, it was a couple, man and wife. While I waited for them I met the great Ferreira de Castro, the author of "The Jungle" and one of the few Portuguese writers that could live only out of writing. He himself took the initiative of introducing me to the owners of the shop. The wife was being really charming and I was feeling very happy when suddenly her rather impatient husband (it was lunch time by now) looked at me and asked my age. "Almost eighteen, Sir" I said in the manly voice I used when I wanted to be allowed into a night club. "At your age you should be writing to provincial newspapers," he said as rudely as it sounds. I laughed heartily as my mother had taught me to laugh but understood that something was not going very well. "We're going to write to you in a week or two", said the lady hurriedly.

Well, Perry. She kept her promise. Except she forgot to send the contract for me to sign. It remained forgotten in a drawer for the next twenty years.

ray walsh Sat Feb 27 10:48:58 PST 1999

I've been asked to forward a message to you all from eddie
He has had ahard disc crash and will be of line for about two weeks

He asked me to tell you all to keep dreaming.



Rhoda Sat Feb 27 10:42:35 PST 1999


I got to the JAVA chat. I entered my name and profile, clicked the chat button and got the following response:

You have been denied access because the chat room on the previous Web page is not authorized to connect to
this VolanoChat server. Please report the error to the Webmaster of the previous page.

You are the honored Webmaster and I am reporting to you.

See some of you on the ICQ chat!


Allein Sat Feb 27 09:38:55 PST 1999

Well, the Java chat seems to be working.

Hmmm...seems nothing really to respond to. If the chat is today, I won't be able to join y'all. :(

Well, best wishes to all of you.
Bai bai.

"When I was a little kid we had a sand box. It was a quicksand box. I was an only child...eventually."
- Steven Wright

S.K.S. Perry Sat Feb 27 09:38:37 PST 1999

Hey all,

Agsousa, I finished writing my first (and so far only) book a little over two years ago. Being totally niave as to how to go about finding a publisher, and having the misfortune to live in the center of a black hole as far as the arts are concerned, I actually believed it when I read the words "Accepts unsolicited manuscripts." Of course, I also read all the little fine print telling me exactly how to format this manuscript, how I could only send it to one publisher at a time, and how I should wait at least eight months before bothering them about it if I hadn't heard back from them, as they really were very busy and easily annoyed.

After two years I'd managed to send my book to a whopping three publishers, received a polite form rejection each time, and still had no proof that anyone had even read my work. Of course those two years weren't totally wasted. I did a lot of research about the publishing industry (which is one of the things that brought me here to the Notebook, incidently) and found that I was probably correct in assuming my book had never been read. It had sat around in a slush pile until someone had got around to tearing it open for the SASE so they could disposes of those form rejection letters that must breed at publishing houses.

That's when the magic word "Query" first entered my volcabulary. Apparently I'm supposed to send these out first, then wait for a publisher to express interest in reading my novel. I was even told I could send these out to several publishers at once (which contradicts something I read in Writer's Market which says publishers want to know they have an exclusive first look) which would definately cut down on wasted effort.

That's when I found out that writing a query letter was more difficult then writing the book itself, as there were as many if not more convoluted rules to writing one. Not only that, but it may be required to follow up or accompany the query letter with the dreaded synopsis, another artform in itself.

By now I was totally dismayed and discouraged. I mean, I considered myself a SF&F novel and short story writer--I had no talent as a query or synopsis writer. Yet I would probably never sell my work, not matter how good, until I had mastered the art of the latter two--which I have yet to do.

So it's been six months now, and I haven't sent my book out to a single publisher, and I don't know when I will. I don't know how to write a proper query or synopsis, and all the information I read about them is conflicting. I still write my short stories, and send them out to the mags (I can only hope I'm doing it the right way) but as for my novel--who knows?

Be Well, Live Well.

agsousa Sat Feb 27 08:27:20 PST 1999

When I was a little boy, my mother used to read us aloud all books she could get her little hands on. She interrupted her reading all the time with breaks of laughter, perhaps more of happiness because she was doing the thing she liked best than because the books were funny. I would look at her and laugh as well for the sake of laughing. Laughing was more important than reading, but those two things became the same to me. So I became an avid reader. When I was 11, I was sent to a Catholic boarding school, like James Joyce and Eddie. The first two years were fine. I liked to play all kinds of games and was quite good at soccer. I also sang and, perhaps because I belonged to the school choir, teachers would give me good marks. Till I became 14. Well, I don't know about girls, but to be 14 is a very strange thing. You really change. My voice changed and I was kicked off from the choir. The marks also declined seriously. I had begun reading novels, all kinds of novels. To stop me from reading useless stuff, the school authorities gave me a job: I should be in charge of all didactic material, including of course the text books — but nothing except the prescribed books. I hated them. One day I was umpacking some new text books when a sun ray hit a piece of old newspaper. It spoke about a French writer that at the age of 18 had published a novel and had become rich and famous overnight. Well, I thought, this is the right job for me. So I started writing. I still had some years to beat the record of Françoise Sagan and could write in peace, if it weren't for that impatience that some of the most illustrious contributors to this page certainly know very well. You can't be patient when you are a teenager — a word which, in my experience, embraces all ages, from ten until you die. So, when I was 17, I finished my first big novel. How to publish it was now the problem and the subject of this message. I visited each house with the word publisher on the door. That was in Oporto. There were some publishing houses but no one would publish what they called "fiction". A nice old man looked at me over his thick glasses and said, look young man, why don't you try Lisbon, it doesn't seem but it's the capital of this country, that's where fiction writers and real publishers are, don't you know? So I sent my manuscript to a Lisbon publisher. I got a reply in a month or so. I had written a very interesting book but it needed some minor corrections, would I please do them for them. And together with my manuscript they sent me a novel: "What Makes Sammy Run". That night I read that book, whose action takes place in Hollywood, and I thought I had seen my future: Lisbon for starters, then Hollyood (just screenplays, you know, you write one at breakfast), then the world and finally eternity. I wrote my Lisbon publisher an enthusiastic letter telling about all my dreams and promising not only to correct but also to entirely remake my great novel. So I did it in a feverish hot summer. When I finally sent the entirely refurbished book to Lisbon and paradise, I fell ill and ill have I been till today. A very funny sort of illness, you feel restless and discontent whenever you aren't writing, and sometimes your temperature rises till 40 degrees centigrade, and you feel like vomiting and crying and shouting and killing something not really alive but at least kicking. And now I lost the urge to tell Perry and everybody in America that publishing, at least the first book, is a very difficult thing everywhere in the world and my message is not that any more, because I feel that writing is more important than publishing and to talk to friends is the most delicious thing in the world if only because it gives you the urge to write, to write, to write... I will probably come back to the topic "publishing" but not now after all. It took me 20 years to get my first book published and hundreds of letters and dozens of awful visits to publishers and I hate to remember that and, after six or seven books published, I'm afraid the next will never get a publisher. I'm not a very famous man in Portugal, but yesterday I spoke on the phone to a very successful woman writer, and told her about my constant fear of never being published again, and she told me that she has exactly the same fear, despite the fact that she sells very well, but who knows the future?

Goodweed of the North Sat Feb 27 08:23:12 PST 1999

My Java Chat seems to work also. What time does the chat start (daylight savings time Eastern USA), and what am I supposed to put in under the headings "Name" and "Profile"?

I am not familiar with chatlines, though my kids use them frequently.

Agsousa. I have read much by many, including works such as "The Iceman Cometh", "The Death of a Salesman" and other depressing playwrites. I truly enjoyed "Catch 22" and most of Sakespere's works, especially "Much Ado About Nothing", and "A Midsummer Night's Dream". I am familiar with ancient works by Homer, and though not a writer, Leanardo DaVinci is one of my all time heroes.

I prefer well written SF simply because I am curious about the universe and how people react to situations not available here on Terra Firma. I Love science and the persuit of knowledge. It doesn't really matter to me weather its biology, or Astro-physics. I find it stimulating. Writing SF is challenging for me. I am much better with concepts than with social observation. I can place characters in imaginary settings more accurately than trying to write in the contemporary world. I have been to many places in the world and seen many things. I enjoyed them imensely. Yet, I am not a visual person. I can not see pictures of those places in my mind. I can describe through words or events my experiances. Likewise, I can not paint skulpt, or draw a subject from my head. I can fairly accurately duplicate something already created.

I am a technician by nature, not by choice. Though I have read everything from fairy tales to the false imprisonment of a lady placed in an insane assylum by her famly (Can't remember the title of the story, but it was one which helped expose the abuse inflicted on patients and the establishments ability to hold a patient basically forever if they chose, whether the patient needed to be there or not).

My mind is not closed to the works of any genre, maisntream work, or any art form. I simply choose which I prefer. I will continue to read outside of SF&F. I hate to admit it, but I have even read "Mack Bolan, the Destroyer". It's amazing what you will do to entertain yourself while at sea.

And with that out of the way,

Good writing to everyone.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

Avatar Sat Feb 27 08:13:40 PST 1999

Yawn. Long night.

I gave up on getting in a couple weeks ago because I got one of those messages that said 'Server file not found' or something like that so, I've been out of it.

Hello to Marv.

Jack- what's with the little window on the homepage?

Hootie-I'll be sure to check out you're novel

I've been everywhere and nowhere,
yet have always been home,
in my heart

Hootie Sat Feb 27 07:54:59 PST 1999

Okay guys (and gals), I posted the first two chapters of my book in the novel workshop, which will probably force Jack to archive. Agsousa, take a look, would you? I read yours (and enjoyed it) even though it's not what I would normally read. And BTW, you forgot John Steinbeck in your list of Nobel prize winners, who wrote the tales of King Arthur along with his *real* stuff. And an American won just a few years ago, too: Toni Morrison.

New error message for Windows: "Press any key to continue, press any other key to quit."

Thomas Sat Feb 27 05:58:10 PST 1999

Looks like there has been some trouble. I have not tried the Java thing yet. Are we having a chat on it or on ICQ, and when?


You can't change the leopard spots, you must accept that others read what they like, not you what you like. Like you, I do not read Sci-Fi -- seems all so similar to me. But then, the stuff I read would likely put the Fantasy crowd to sleep.

Golding is one of my favorites. I like MFK Fisher, Toni Morrison, Brillat Savarin, William Sayoran, Nabokov (used to sell his books when I worked for a publisher), Gertrude Stein, Camus and on and on...


The quiet desperation quote was either Raplh Waldo Emerson or Henry Thoreau, definitely not Mark Twain -- not funny enough for him.

Ashling Sat Feb 27 05:13:23 PST 1999

JACK --- Come on out, quit hiding under your bed. We like you, we really do. Besides, I have something positive to report: The Java Chat button works in Alabama. I typed "forwriters" in the Profile slot & it took me to a chat screen & asked me mysterious questions. Perhaps you can tell me how to answer them later on when the dust settles.

Take care,

agsousa Sat Feb 27 04:24:40 PST 1999

Jack: When I click on the Java Chat button, I get a nice gray page, looking as if it is waiting for something witty. When I go to the archives, I see that the files with the posts from February 12/19 and 19/26 have exactly the same messages. The posts from the 19th till the 26th are gone. In conclusion: everything seems to be all right except that, instead of archiving the latest posts, you archived *again* the posts from the 12th until the 19th, and forgot those from last week. Technically everything seems perfect and quick to me (I repeat), but I use a smash-an-tosh and live on the brightest part of Europe (well,the sunniest) and that may make a difference.

Rhoda — your thought about getting a new soul when learning a new language is very true. One even changes personality for a moment...

Ashling — I did not confuse autobiography with biography, Ashling. Thanks for your compliment about my humour.

ALL : Can you guess who won the latest Nobel Prize for Literature? José Saramago, a Portuguese. And who is on the Swedish most urgent list for the coming years? Lobo Antunes, another Portuguese. This is what Le Monde and other *foreign* newspapers say, but my guess goes for Agustina Bessa-Luís, another Portuguese from Oporto, the land of port wine. I don't know if everybody there knows what the Nobel Prize means (no offence, please, it's a genuine and sincere observation without malice — actually I'd like somebody to inform me about that): it's the same award that made Sinclair Lewis, Faulkner and Hemingway well-known all over the world. Doesn't that make you think? Incidentally, I'm not on the Nobel Prize list myself and never will be and couldn't care less (well, perhaps I could care a little...). But, please, besides Tolkien, Asimov and other wonderful writers, read also Saramago and other European writers. Who knows if some of you will find something really illuminating?

Where does this urge to convert the gentiles come from? I dont't know. Perhaps I would like to have somebody here to talk to about *real* literature (sorry for the *real*; until somebody gives me a better word than *mainstream*, I'll use *real* or *serious* for works like those of William Golding or Doris Lessing — this one a writer some of you would like, perhaps — in opposition to those of Asimov (big yawn!)

I know that there are on the Internet more adequate pages for me than this. But I don't want to make more friends and hate *navigating*. So please go and read Saramago, you lazy bones. He is translated in English, I'm sure. I promise to write a science fiction (or perhaps a detective story) in the future, but give me some time (I mean, months or years). I can't promise it will be published in America. That's is a challenge I can't accept, unfortunately.

This reminds me that I need to write something about how difficult it is to publish *anywhere* in the world. My friend Perry deserves it.

Michele Sat Feb 27 04:04:29 PST 1999

JACK !!!

The archive link that says it's for last week, etc. takes me to the week before..... *sob* I wanted to read the rest of yesterday's posts....


The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. --Mark Twain (I believe - but include me in there at the moment !)

Jack Beslanwitch Sat Feb 27 01:27:58 PST 1999

I sort of crashed and did not get back to things after I archived the Notebook to my hard drive. That has been corrected and the posts for the last weeks are now there. As for file not found, I suspect if you try going to that you will also get file not found. What this means is that the posting of the new IP Address for has not got posted to the databases in your part of the world. Try instead for the interim. I guess since Agsousa's area of the world got updated I was sure that everybody else's had as well. Oh, well. And just to let everyone know. At least for the foreseeable future, this is going to be the location for the Notebook. Until I can work out some of the details of doing CGI at the new location, this is going to be the case. Thanks to everyone that pointed out that I had moved too soon :-)

Rachel Sat Feb 27 00:04:09 PST 1999

Hey all

Ahsling - My son's name is Daniel and he is 7 years old. He writes these funny little sarcastic stories. They crack me up. The one that was published is fairly mellow for him. It was about a guy who turned into a hot dog, his name of course was Hot. There is a follow up story called cold and he is working on steam. You know a hot meets cold sort of thing. He is such a character. He has given me a hard time about getting published first. What a little monkey.

I am still sticking to the two stories but this is getting difficult. I am itching to wander from story to story. Ah, sigh I will try to behave.

Take care all


Marv Fri Feb 26 21:10:51 PST 1999

I got the same message when trying java chat. Umm, when is the chat tomorrow? I know it's probably been said a million times, but I missed it. Also, how do I participate?

Allein Fri Feb 26 21:04:46 PST 1999

Thank you

Allein Fri Feb 26 21:00:16 PST 1999

AAAAUGGGHHH!! I STILL can't get this stupid thing to post!! POST DARN YOU!!! POST!!!

Fri Feb 26 20:59:30 PST 1999

Fri Feb 26 20:58:38 PST 1999

Rhoda Fri Feb 26 20:58:11 PST 1999

I hope to be here for chat tomorrow. Don't anyone go to my webpage. I am working on it, and it is a wreck. When I get it looking respectable, I'll let you all know.

My husband had a wonderful idea today. I think it positively brillant. I have all these ideas for novels and no idea what I want to work on. He suggests that I write the first three chapters of everyone of them and see which one I can take off on. I'm going to try it. I've been working on a regency for the past couple of days. I've got about seven pages done. The words are not flying onto the screen. Writing this thing is like pulling teeth, but I want to do it. I think when I've written a decent first chapter, the work will come easier.


When I click the link for JAVA CHAT, I get a File Not found message.


I did not get your message. Feel free to use my e-mail address.

I spent my entire day shopping for MIDI files. I played them for my children tonight and they had a blast singing to them.

I dedicate this profound jewel of wisdom to my friend, Agsousa:

"Learn a new language and get a new soul." Czech proverb.


Allein Fri Feb 26 20:57:42 PST 1999

Howard - glad to see you back!! Hope your surgery went well and you feel better soon. :)

Jack - I also got the FILE NOT FOUND message when I went to Java chat. If anyone wants to chat with me, I'm usually online at around 3:30 or 4:00 every day.

Bai bai,

S.K.S. Perry Fri Feb 26 20:19:48 PST 1999


I don't know about anyone else, but I've lost everything on the Notebook after February 18, and when I go to Java Chat, I get URL not found on this server.

Be Well, Live Well.

Ashling Fri Feb 26 18:58:27 PST 1999

Hello everybody! I'm so glad it's Friday.

JACK --- I believe the Archive Monster suffered a psychotic episode ... Gobbling this week's posts, leaving last week's here. I was too sleepy to post last night, so not going to do a rant ... I am mildly curious --- did I miss out on some profound posts earlier today while I was at work???

RHODA --- Hi ya. I sent you a ICQ message yesterday. If you didn't get it, sing out & I'll email you.

EDDIE --- If you answered my ICQ question here, it got eaten, so please say again. I figured out how to get the "&Notebook Chat" on my ICQ list, but I think I still need to authorize you. ?? Thanks.

Ed, just reading about your writing output exhausted me.
: ) Don't mind me, I'm just jealous.

HOOTIE --- My time's an hour ahead of you. When you hit Notebook, I've been snoring for a couple of hours. Can't post from work, most of my "paid" job is done offline & my boss gets nosey if I get on the Internet. He actually expects me to complete the tasks he assigns me during the 4 hours in the afternoon that I'm there ... imagine that. One day, one day ... I shall be my own employer!

RACHEL --- Tell your son (what's his name?)CONGRATULATIONS!
from me.

CLYDE & JACK --- Shush. I want a second car in my family. My husband wants a bigger monitor (ours is 14 inches). So please keep your voices down. You're speaking of varieties he has not yet discovered. Shush, I beg you.

AGSOUSA --- LOL over your "Readers' Digest Condensed Version" of some of the personalities here. If you haven't submitted to humor markets before, give it a shot ... I think you'd do quite well.

Also, I believe you confused autobiography with biography. The word "auto" has its roots in Greek, meaning "self." If I write my life story, it is indeed called an autobiography.
If Rhoda writes my life story it is a biography.

HOWARD --- Welcome back!!! Hope you don't overdo the typing bit, so you can recover faster.

THOMAS --- I brought up Jonesin. I was a teenager in the Sixties. The terminology is kept alive in the vernacular of today's teens who ingest drugs not yet designed in the Flower Child area.

Happy Writing to all. Still plugging away on 2 pages of rewrites a day ... Writing every day puts me in such a great mood.

"The Beat Goes On." --- Sony & Cher

Take care,

Jack Beslanwitch Fri Feb 26 18:29:31 PST 1999

     I finally got a few minutes to pull away from the process of moving day for So, rather than attempting to figure out where to stop or start, I have archived right down to bare bones and give you a absolutely clean tabula rasa to write on to your hearts content. This should be a lot more friendly in terms of posting. Do remember that you may have to hit refresh when posting. And, feel free to use and set times for using the JAVA chat room I think this may be a more intuitive option for chats than ICQ, although ICQ is good too.

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