Archived Messages from March 10, 1999 to March 15, 1999

Jack Beslanwitch Mon Mar 15 20:44:17 PST 1999

Alleine and Rhoda: Sorry about chasing you off the chat. However, we were having nothing but trouble trying to have a committee meeting of Westercon 52 on an Excite chat room so I suggested we move over here. I may block out a couple of hours per week for those purposes and will post it on the page if we do it that way. Although Bob is always looking for new suckers, er, volunteers, to help with the conventioin. Take care everyone.

Allein Mon Mar 15 20:11:39 PST 1999

Lena - you forgot to describe what you think I'm like. I feel wounded. :(

Lemmie see - not much going on here. I'll come back when I have something to say.
Bai bai,

W. Olivia Mon Mar 15 18:39:21 PST 1999

Hi all!

Just started reading "Angela's Ashes" My best friend figured I should give it a try. So far so good.

Despite having absolutely no creative energy yesterday I sat down and almost finished a short story. It's probably the most bizarre piece of dark fantasy I've ever done. My stuff is getting weirder and weirder. I can't even begin to think of where I'll try to market this thing...

Started the cover letters for my submission of "Chovihani" which a few of you may have read on the Workbook. Wish me luck. I think I've tweaked the thing as much as possible.

Anyway, good writing all!

"I feel stupid and contagious/here we are now/ entertain us" Nirvana
Michele: Hurray! Sometimes the good guys finish first.

agsousa Mon Mar 15 18:29:38 PST 1999

I blushed with your description of me. Remarkable, except that my eyes are not black and not large. They are small and, what colour, let me see, greenish, I suppose. I am not graceful and elegant, either. I am small and pale. Of course, as a tango teacher I am tall and elegant: you mixed the dream and the reality, but you have made a good portrait. Congratulations.

And you? Your voice sounds to me the one of George Eliot rather than the one of Jane Austen. You seem too earnest to your age. I can't see you physically. By the way: your description of the other people also seems adequate to me.

So, you have already a lot of characters for our novel...

S.N.Arly Mon Mar 15 18:18:43 PST 1999

Litter - Perhaps because we thrive on life. It is food for all our writings, whether we write fiction, SF, or what not. It is the stimulus that keeps us going. Just a guess. Hope your baby dragon arrives swiftly, and safely.

Lena you can check out Dragonsys or Dragon Systems to check out Dragon Systems. I first saw their software back in 95, I think. But it was way out of reach. It's funny, because in 91 I took a linguistics class and my prof said, voice recognition. Never happen. Voices are too varied from person to person. It's so nice to see that he was wrong and we've found a way around that.

I looked in the mirror tonight and saw you.

"So you tell yourself, what you want to hear.
‘Cause you've got to believe, this will be my year."
- Semisonic

agsousa Mon Mar 15 17:55:25 PST 1999

"Exercise in the Future" is the title of my first novel. Written mostly in the future tense, it marked my farewell to the French "nouveau roman", of which I had been an admirer (you know, Allain Robbe-Grillet, Michel Butor, Sarraute, etc.). I had decided that I was fed up with experimentalism and told a kind of a love story. The only concession to elitist writing was the use of a tense that rarely works in fiction. I made it work by imagining a story in the head of a single character: a lecturer who comes home, after two years away from her wife, to find her absent from a home which he could hardly recognize. I tried not to use flashbacks or remembrances or anything: just a dry (but poetic) description of the new decoration. But as the night goes by the protagonist feels the pangs of passion, remorse and all the psychological elements that make one kneel and kiss the floor where the woman we loved has once trodden. When it dawns after this Wahlpurgisnacht, a phone call informs our hero that the lady had died on that same night — electrocuted by contact with a bad electric typewriter. No problem but tears on my face of frustrated writer, though: all I told had just been mere thoughts in the head of a fugitive. Carlos — the name of the lecturer — was at last prepared to really come back to the arms of his loving wife. Happy ending, I suppose.

More about published novels some other time. On second thoughts, non-published projects sound more inspiring to me. But there is the problem of plagiarism. Please don’t let anybody steal the two projects I spoke about on the 10th March. They are still under construction.

Michele, thanks for the correction. Stoppard, indeed. Stoppard and another chap wrote the screenplay of an interesting film: Shakespeare in Love. It is one of the few examples of a pseudobiography inspired by the work of the biographed (?) character, in this case Shakespeare seen through Romeo and Juliet with the sonnets as hors d’oeuvres for some of the dialogues. Clever, but… I liked the actress, Gwineth something. Very good! (Not so good as Fernanda Montenegro in the Brazilian film I mentioned earlier, though; let us give this lady the Writers’ Notebook Oscar for this year.)

Lena Mon Mar 15 17:02:05 PST 1999

Snarly - I am very interested in speech software. I hope to perhaps work on language software in the future, as it is a field that combines my two loves - language and computers. What more could a girl want?

Agsousa - Nope, no Jane Austen hiding under my couch. Sorry, I suppose you'll just have to settle for a Lena instead.

Litter - It does seem that whenever you make a date with your muse, they like to cancel on you. Ah, the fickleness of a muse...

Avatar - I am having trouble getting into my e-mail, so it probably isn't you. Tell ya what, whenever I get in to my e-mail, I'll e-mail you... deal?

Just for fun, I am going to try a bit of an experiment. I was pondering this on the ride home from school. I have a mental picture of many of the people on this site, even though I (obviously) have no clue what anyone actually looks like. So I am going to type up my impressions of the various people of the Notebook. If I do not include you in this list please do not feel ignored, I have not forgotten you, I just do not have a good picture of everybody. So, tell me how close I am... or how far off!

SKS: A man of medium height, with dark eyes and hair. He has a wiry build, but one of strength rather than scrawniness. He has a habit of staring at others intently, with a ghost of smile lurking on his lips, and can easily blend into the background. A man of intelligent observations and sarcastic wit, excellent dinner conversation.
Rhoda: A woman in her late thirties, with shoulder-length brown hair. She has intelligent brown eyes, an intelligence that is sometimes overlooked until you know her well. She wears a minimum of makeup, and has an easy relationship with her children. Quick to laugh.
Agsousa: A lithe man, of quick movements and a quiet laughter. He has the hands of an artist, graceful and elegant, and often speaks with hand movements. He has a tanned face with large, dark eyes that smoothly reflect the light, and an unobtrusive wit.
Thomas: A tall solid man with a strong presence. His graying hair is unnoticeable next his young and exuberant spirit. A man who entertains guests easily with jokes and an opinion on every subject. A father figure, a man who has seen much of life but still enjoys the moment.
Snarly: My long-lost twin, you look exactly like me! Duh.
Michelle: A young woman with dusty blonde hair, long and straight. She is sensible but still enjoys a bit of craziness in her life. Her movements are careful and measure, but done with the graceful ease of youth. Intelligent and hardworking, with an eye towards the future.

Sigh. I have more descriptions to write out, but this is taking longer than I expected and I have calc homework. To be continued...

"I wonder what the king is doing tonight?"

agsousa Mon Mar 15 16:48:35 PST 1999

Jack :
Thanks for opening (tomorrow) a page for SHADOWS IN A DREAM. I like graffiti (singular: graffito) and enjoyed ACME's Malapropisms. I think I'll contribute some myself. It's a nice site to go to while one is waiting for answers to one's posts here.

This is the first time I talk to you. I wish it's the beginning of a good friendship, such as I have with Thomas, Perry, Allein, Lena, Hooti, Rhoda, EtcEtcEtc.... I'm aware of the other two Round Robins (sorry if there are more, I saw only two): THEM BONES and DARKNESS DESCENDS. I have downloaded them and I'm going to read them offline. They do not seem to be my line of writing but I am an omnivorous reader and I'll certainly appreciate them. And what's the meaning of *them* in the first title? A corruption of *their* ? The title sounds good, even if I don't undertand it. (I never understood *Toys 're us* = we are toys? toys for us?) Sorry for this blatant ignorance.

Glad to know that the plagiarizer ran away with your text... well, if he ran away I'm not glad, but you know what I mean.
Look, if you need my old boxing glove, it has a hole in the right fist but it's still good against plagiarizers. :) :)

ALL: Is there a Jane Austen among you? I would like to correspond with her. Please, Jane Austen, write to me! Well, in case there's no Jane Austen around, Meg Ryan will also do nicely.

Now I'm going to write something about some novels I published when I was a writer (I'm still a writer, but on a sabbatical.) Stay tuned and come back in half an hour or so.

Litter Mon Mar 15 14:19:01 PST 1999

Hi All,

Michele - looks like you got a result, let's hope it stays that way. That is the one thing I am nervous about on the 'net - plagiarism.

Rhoda - I have to agree about Carlsbad - it is an awesome place, I was there 4 years ago and like you I took the long way down. I got the lift back up though. Makes a good setting for those into fantasy and gives a great 'feel' for those looking to use an underground cavern as a setting.

SNArly - Glad you and the Dragon are getting on. My baby Dragon still hasn't arrived yet - More shocking service from AOL!!!

A Question for you all to consider.

How come, on those rare occassions when you get the time and the peace and space to write, they are the very occassions you feel like a single grain rattling about in a silo and have no real enthusiasm? Yet when everything is busy all around you are cursing because you are inspired and don't have the time to do anything? I've always wondered that.

Peace and enlightenment,


"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work... I want to achieve it by not dying." Woody Allen (attributed)

S.N.Arly Mon Mar 15 13:51:23 PST 1999

OK, here's the website I was mentioning earlier The copyright Website.

Other copyright sites of interest include US Copyright Office Homepage and Cornell Law School which has the actual legalese of laws right there of you to slog through.

Glad to hear of the error message Michele. You may want to periodically check back, though.


Mon Mar 15 13:42:27 PST 1999

Casey Mon Mar 15 13:18:00 PST 1999

Hi all

Let's all give a big YIPPIE for Michele, and breathe a nice big sigh of relief :D

Well, my day has been pretty good so far. Aside from being desperately in need of money. I have to run to the ATM machiene in a little while, get dinner, go pay for the NYC art dept trip.

So I've got more things to do and even less time to do them in...

I'll check in later tonight

Ta Ta


"A day without sunshine is like, night"

Avatar gryphon5flame Mon Mar 15 13:03:43 PST 1999

Plagarism? I hate Plagarism!

you go girl!

Lena- I clicked on the button for e-mailing you, but somehow it did not work. I scratched my head a couple of times and then considered the fact that it might have to be done manually from my own e-mail site (gasp!). I'm on book two actually.
I was first attracted to the book because it smelled like some other good books I have read (smelling the glue on the bindings has always been a way for me to automatically like or dislike-though that may also be why I've never picked up any books that have a certain smell on the bindings that makes me want to spew my guts out). Maybe it's just 'cause I have a trained sense of smell in that area. I stick my nose down in the pages too so, that may be it.
For those of you who are shaking their heads it's actually a pretty good way of categorizing books (i.e. someone's liver-seeya, glue with an extra helping of paper-maybe, musky scent-definitely). Wheel of Time and co. are actually out of the last category. Maybe I'm a book sniffer?

Agsousa- Am I spelling your name right? The Shadows in a Dream Round Robin is a good idea. Just remind yourself and everyone else that there are two others in there too, and not to concentrate fully on this great project (although I am sorely tempted!);)

Hootie- How many WofT books have you read? You tried Terry Goodkind yet?

Mayonnaise! I want Mustard!
Calvin and Hobbes

(P.S.- don't ask. I couldn't think of a better quote on the spur of the moment)

Michele Mon Mar 15 13:00:16 PST 1999


Yes ! It doesn't happen everywhere - mostly in rural areas such as I live in - and it may not last once the current chap gets to retirement age (or worse, dies) but for the time being it's possible to get the milk delivered here...

I didn't know that about oleo and the French - interesting...


Jack Beslanwitch Mon Mar 15 12:46:43 PST 1999

       Hello everyone: Couple of things to let everyone know. First, I got Agsousa's round robin proposal and looks wonderful. I will get it up sometime tomorrow when I have a couple of nanoseconds to rub together. I have a deadline for midnight tonight that I am playing hookie to have fun here.

       Also, above you will see a URL for a web site called Malapropisms Check it out and have fun. I had a couple of chuckles over it. Take care.

Howard Mon Mar 15 12:24:42 PST 1999

Michele > to the sound of milk being delivered ?!?!?
Boy does *that* bring back memories! On cold mornings it used to freeze, and the cream would push up out of the top of the bottle, with the paper seal stuck right on top of it.
The iceman used to come every other day too, and deliver blocks of ice for our icebox. We'd sit on the back porch and wait for him on hot days, and he'd chip off some pieces of ice for us to cool off with.
Then we got an electric refrigerator that had a meter and a quarter slot on the back of it. That's how it got paid for -- at the rate of a quarter a day, I think.
We couldn't get butter because of the rationing (WWII) but we got oleomargarine. I remember it was Nucoa, and it was illegal to sell it colored, so they enclosed a little dye capsule in the package. It used to be my job to mix it so that it turned nice and yellow. I've hated oleo ever since!
BTW -- did you know that oleo was first invented and used by the French, during the Napoleonic wars? They wanted a substitute for butter. They got oleo. YUK!
All the above (except for the Napoleonic wars) took place on Pleasant Avenue, just down the street from Annie's house.

Michele Mon Mar 15 11:01:29 PST 1999

Loud Cheers and big THANK YOU to everyone who sent emails to the plaigariser - the web page has vanished into the ether - I just went to check and got back.

File Not Found
The requested URL /sasoon.html was not found on this server.

I have never been glad of a 404 Error before !

I appreciate everyone's support on this - and having learnt the hard way would endorse SNArly's comment about copyright notices - my web site is now plastered with them...

I have had an incredibly long day - having been woken at 4.30 am to the sound of milk being delivered sigh ! and having had my usual killer Monday morning, I am completely zonked.... However the linguistics lecture this morning was interesting - it was actually given by a psychology lecturer and was on "Language and Thought" - which comes first ? Very interesting stuff...

BTW Agsousa - the playwright's name (for Shakespeare in Love is Tom Stoppard - not Peppard...

Anyway I must away and do some reading - if I don't fall asleep first, so I'll pootle off...

Once again - thanks to all for their support on the plaigarism issue...


It is appallingly obvious that our technology exceeds our humanity.
-- Albert Einstein

S.N.Arly Mon Mar 15 10:10:48 PST 1999

Rhoda - Make sure you have a copyright notice somewhere on the page, and if you're really concerned, you can register your copyright with the Library of Congress. Registration is not required for you to hold a copyright, it just makes things easier if you do end up in litigation.

Your website itself should also have a copyright notice slapped on it somewhere too. While some people think this is paranoid (I've had other writers yell at me for including my copyright notice on my stories), it seems only like common sense to me. If you have no notice, it's really, really hard (read nealry impossible) to get copyright protection once someone has stolen your stuff.

For those who are interested in copyright, there is a really great website called the Copyright Website, I believe. As I'm at work, I don't have the URL handy, but there is a link on the writing page of my website. I'll also try to post the URL later when I'm at home.

Lena - Dragon NaturallySpeaking is a totally awesome voice recognition program, which I have wanted ofr years and now own. Dragon's been making voice recognition software for quite a while, but until recently it was extremely expensive (last I had checked it was around $800). You can now get it for under $150 (and even less depending on the version you want). Right now Dragon is top of the line, and they probably should be for all their years of work.

While I think it's going to take a while to get used to composing and editing by voice, it's what I have to do when my tendinitis is bad (I haven't worked on a single story since December and I was about to go postal). When you're desperate, you'll do nearly anything. And there's nothing worse than knowing exactly what you want to do but being unable to do it.

"men without gods and gods without men,
and a spirit of which none of them can transcend"
-Soul Asylum

agsousa Mon Mar 15 09:18:21 PST 1999

Hello, everybody!

On behalf of several families I have just e-mailed Jack asking him to open up a page for SHADOWS IN A DREAM in the Round Robin section. There you have the theme and the first paragraph of this great novel. The rules are the usual and can be read in the Round Robin general introduction. I felt the project needed a little more momentum here in the Notebook, but we'de better begin and see what happens later. Please notice that some postings of once, present and future Notebook seem to me tremendous good stuff, and may well go to the novel if this editor thinks appropriate. Happy writing!

I spent the week-end listening to Beethoven and almost died of pleasure and exhaustion. One of the highest moments was Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Riccardo Mutti with Claudio Arrau playing the piano in Concert no 4. I thought: we Europeans have the genius, they have the money, but then I forgot that Philadelphia is still in the USA and Bernstein was American and Gershwin is one of my favourites. So I ran to the cinema to see something European. There was *Shakespeare in Love*, which I had seen last week, lots and lots of rubbish and "You have got E-mail". I saw this one — and now I am in love with Meg Ryan — another American! Just my luck! Incidentally, the best film of the year is a Brazilian movie with a great old actress whose name I can't remember now (bad memory for actors, except Meg Ryan), but Soldier Ryan will get all the prizes... American injustice! Also, our friend Tom Peppard wrote a nice screenplay for the Shakespeare thing. He has my kind of talent, one made of culture, wit and cleverness, but lacking in life experience.

As you see, I am back to business — and so is Jon, I hope. He asked me to thank all those who wrote nice things to him. I think he is feeling very proud of so much attention and am thinking of doing something nasty to enrage that much spoiled cat. Well, let me post this before my ISP disconnects me.

P.S. I thought I would like to correspond to Jane Austen. Do you know if she is around? Who would you like to correspond to?

Lena Mon Mar 15 07:17:51 PST 1999

Thomas – Good idea, I will send an e-mail myself as soon as I can (hopefully later today).

Rhoda – I agree, New Mexico is a beautiful state. I lived for four years at the base of the Oregon Mountains, and used to roam through the desert for hours on end. I had forts and sand dunes to climb and trails to explore... I never was one for playing with Barbies (sorry, Allein!) And Carlsbad Caverns is definitely amazing.

Snarly & Litter – What is this Dragon thing you are talking about? From your discussions I think it is a computer program, but I am not sure. Enlighten me, please?

“Hear the voices in my head, I swear to God it sounds like they’re snoring”

Thomas Mon Mar 15 06:31:54 PST 1999

Hey all,

This is a copy of an email I sent to the people who plagiarised Michele's Sasoon bio. Perhaps if they received many emails it would help wake them up.


I read your bio of Sasoon and find it disturbing, not for the bio but for the fact that I read an almost exact version elsewhere many months back.

As a writer, I of course find plagiarism reprehensible. As a novice, you may not be aware that taking someone else's work and putting it up on a Web site is plagiarism, and is legally actionable.

If this is how you got the information you really ought to remove it from your site.

Rhoda Sun Mar 14 23:30:36 PST 1999

What a great trip! Carlsbad Cavarens was a worthwhile attraction, and I would encourage anyone to visit that part of New Mexico. We also saw Sitting Bull Falls. My legs still hurt from yesterday when we decended into the cave through the natural entrance, some 750 feet I think. I didn't like that part of the trip because I hate heights. I was on edge the whole way down. But the cave entrance looks impressive and everyone should see it once. It took us two days to properly explore the cave. It was stunning.

I should be tired now that it is about 1:30 in the morning, but since I couldn't wind down from the Diet Coke I consumed on the drive home, I worked on my web-page. It is now nicely updated, and I encourage everyone to have a look at it. After Michele's experience, I am a little nervous about posting two exerts of my book there. Perhaps I should take them off. Any suggestions? Before I do decide to pull them, please take a look. Any comments and suggestions would be appreciated. The links to the scenes can be found via my Writing Links page. I also have a link on the opening page.

Several weeks ago, I also added a library section. It might be new to some of you. I have some info and commentary about modern romance books, regency books, and a page on poetry. I also have some good links to author home pages.

Two of my kids are sick with the flu. Fortunately we got them home before they got too terribly sick.

Well I had better get some sleep.


I would definitely threaten to sue this turkey who plagerized your web-page. Hopefully you do know a good lawyer. I think once you convince this person that you mean business, he or she will take off the material.

Happy Writing!


Michele Sun Mar 14 23:11:49 PST 1999

Hi !


I'm in the UK actually...

Casey & Lena

Well we're all agreed it's a straight copy... now we wait to see the outcome of the email I sent... so far, nothing...


Apparently spring is here - we've had nice weather for 2 days and more is forecast - that qualifies as spring round here - after all England is famous for it's miserable weather...

I am now going off to my killer Monday morning - 2 * two-hour classes back-to-back, non-stop, not even a comfort break... (I usually do a mad dash down the stairs to the ground floor and then dash slightly less frantically back up (I'm two floors up - it's the only fresh air and exercise I get until lunch at 1.15 pm...)

I feel tired just thinking about it...


Allein Sun Mar 14 20:51:56 PST 1999

Hiya all!! Glad two of you liked my story. It inspired me, actually, to draw a picture of Allein in cowgirl getup (since, he doesn't like to dress like a boy).

Well, my youth group made almost 50 baskets for the kids. I hope they like them.

I'm spending my Easter in Florida. I go in three weeks - I'm getting very excited about it. I hope to get a tan, but I'll probably end up burning.

Well, just thought I'd stop by.
Bai bai,

"Remember - there are no stupid questions, just stupid people."
- Unknown

howard Sun Mar 14 19:25:38 PST 1999

For those who have never heard of it, Painted Rock, at
is another very good writers' site. They have a free online newsletter, and the current (3/15) issue has an interview with an Avon Books editor, who goes into great detail about what makes up a "good submission."
All in all, it's well worth taking a look at. Just don't anyone leave here! :-)

S.N.Arly Sun Mar 14 18:13:02 PST 1999

Allein - My sister's gerbil had a stroke, but then proceeded to outlive the normal life-expectancy of pet gerbils by three years!

W. Olivia - I strongly reccomend a writer's group. The one I'm in is small, but it helps a lot. We critique each other's stories, share knowledge about markets and writing in general, and hold general bitch sessions for all those little thing that drive us nuts (like stupid form rejections).

Michele - That would be a copyright infringement. I'd recommend you e-mail them and tell them that if they don't remove it from their site immediately you will sue their sorry ass. Then you could send me to rip out their heart. What country are you located in again? I'm most familiar with US copyright law, so...

Howard - Yah, I was surprised when I first ran across cat scratch syndrome, as the medical folks here like to call it. I have a friend who is a huge Ted Neugent fan (don't ask me why, it's scary enough as is) and he often plays Cat Scratch Fever, a really wretched metal trash song from the early 80s I believe.

Litter - My dragon lives in the basement (dungeon) on my big killer computer (Ubermoo) and it totally rocks my world! It will definitely take some getting used to, but I'm desperate enough to adapt. I haven't been able to write for... geeze, it's probably been since December, and now I'm 6 pages into a wonderful contemporary fantasy where I kill myself off. Twice. I'm so happy! Give Dragon time to get used to your voice. I think the scaled (ha, ha pun intended) down version doesn't have as quick a learning curve, but if it's related to it's big sister, then it should be of some use. I am wondering if my mom-in-law didn't give it enough time.

Next on my list of wants is a beautiful chair and keyboard ensemble. It's gonna be a $700 proposition, so it may not join the family for a loooong time. Bummer. Anyone who is interested in this piece of ergo-hand friendly craftmanship can go to Interfaces by Cramer

"You can not go against nature, because if you do
go against nature is part of nature too."
-Love and Rockets

Litter Sun Mar 14 16:59:32 PST 1999

Hi Y'all

Howard - Good news about your Grand-daughter. But then I knew it would be ;o)

SNArly - Keep us updated with your progress with the Dragon - btw that was a good price. I heard about Egghead when in the US in November but they do not take UK Visa for some unknown reason. At least they didn't in January, last time I checked - too much hastle exporting things probably??? May get onto some friends to buy for me... I'll see how Dragon Junior goes first.

Y'all be good now.


"With a hey and a ho and a hey nonino" Shakespeare

Casey Sun Mar 14 14:34:21 PST 1999

Hi all :)

Allein - Sorry about the PIKACHU misspell. I would never think of dishonoring the greatest of all Pokemon.

Michele - People can be so inconsiderate sometimes. It's good that you have hardcopies though, best to keep them around just in case. I hope you get your justice.

How am I doing? Well, how nice of you to ask. I went out to get fabric for my chair yesterday, so I'm feeling very productive. I also sewed up a few of holes, and patched up my comforter. I've had the darned thing for years, so I'm trying to salvage it.

I went home yesterday to do laundry, and visit the kitties. And woke up this morning to find an bunny-fur soft cat demanding to have her stomach rubbed. To be a Cat!!

I've been working on a short story this morning. And I made up a really quick story for a friend of mine who just happened to be bored, and in need of a smile. I'm feeling very productive this weekend. So, I'm allowing myself to go out for coffee with a friend of mine. :)

I must depart now... have to get back to writing

Ta Ta everyone. Wonderful writing, and vindication for all


"A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory" - Anon.

Lena Sun Mar 14 13:57:16 PST 1999

Hullo all, I've had computer trouble and unable to get online for a few days. Fortunately, life on the notebook is slow at the moment...

Michelle - Hope everything works out.

I read, of all things, a Star Trek book that was very interesting on the subject of masks. It was called, well, uh, "Masks." Yes, yes, very original title, but a darn good book for a syndicated series. The entire concept was based on the idea of a civilization based on masks as indicators of social status. Everyone must wear a mask (seeing a person without their mask is the equivalent of being naked, quite scandalous) and the mask you wear proclaims who you are. The catch is, you can challenge others for the right to wear a mask, so quite literally you could be a peddler one day and the next, a king, all based on the mask you wear. Much better than your average ST:TNG book.

Allein - I laughed at your small story, with Rean and Allein... it found my funny bone and wacked it really hard with a rubber mallet. I'm giggling just thinking about it, right now.

Avatar, Hootie - I am a WoTer to the core, but I try to constrain myself on this page as I'm sure most people don't want to hear my ranting and raving... e-mail me, and we'll talk.

"We'll have your people talk to my people..." "Um, sorry, but we don't HAVE any people!"

I have spent this weekend tearing my story down and ripping it into little pieces. At first it was fun, because I saw a lot that I wanted to change, but now my poor story is lying in bits, scattered across my computer. All I wanted to do was rewrite the beginning... I don't HAVE a beginning anymore! I don't know what to do. I am painfully trying to rebuild what I so blithely destroyed, and I think my revised edition will turn out better than the first. However, my pride and joy is now torn to shreds, and all because of me. I just don't know what came over me!

Violence is not the answer...
-Lena (I just need to keep repeating that!)

W.Olivia Sun Mar 14 13:23:56 PST 1999

Michele- I did manage to get to the site in question; yeah, I'd say word for word it's plagarism, and pretty blatant. Let us know how the whole thing turns out...

I am all alone in the house (for once) and not feeling creative in the least so I guess I'll go do laundry now

Michele Sun Mar 14 10:21:19 PST 1999


made me smile anyway... glad to see I'm not entirely alone here ! :-)


Still no word on that plaigeriser... will let you know if I hear...


Allein Sun Mar 14 09:46:21 PST 1999

Allein looked up at the dirt road; a tumbleweed blew by.
"I reckon I'm alone in this here town," he said to himself.
"You reckon wrong," a voice said.
Allein turned his head and looked at the stranger. "Who the hell are you?"
A gold star sparkled on the stranger's vest. "I'm Rean, sheriff of this here town and I reckon that you'd better get out."
Allein drew his gun. "Not a chance."
Rean walked up to him and took the gun. "Ya know, you're kinda cute."
Allein smiled. "Really?"
Okay, maybe that's taking this alone thing a bit too far, but hey, it makes for some good reading. I haven't been doing too much lately. I had a rather relaxing day yesterday. I was finally able to write back to my pen pals. Today, it's church and I'm staying after with my youth group to make Easter baskets to send to foster kids. I bought a cute, fuzzy little chick and bunny. I hope my kid likes it.

Well, I'll leave my two cents here.
Bai bai,

"'Don't leave me, just leave me alone.' Not until you understand this will you understand women." - Krisann Butcher

Michele Sun Mar 14 08:42:23 PST 1999

Where is everyone today ?

looks lost in hiding....


Michele Sun Mar 14 00:09:08 PST 1999


Thomas and Howard - I just wish it didn't exist ! The web address is Sasoon and my web address is at the top, if you'd like to go check...

I printed the ***** thing off and a copy of my biog. and it's word for word - all this person has done is leave bits of my work out... However, there are also Sassoon biogs. by me on two other sites - University of Kansas and Spartacus SchoolNet - so I can prove mine was the original - there are slight differences between them because I've extended the one on my web site... I have a hard copy of the one that was on my web site from last August before I did a major overhaul of my site, and extended the biog. I may even have (somewhere) the original hand written one I wrote for the Uni. of Kansas...

Anyway I am going to go eat some breakfast and calm back down again...


Jack Beslanwitch Sat Mar 13 22:24:15 PST 1999

p.s. One other short story that a friend of my, Mal, did some years back when someone did not just steal art work off a web site, but linked directly to art work and refused to remove the link. My friend changed that particular graphic to one of himself in the nude with a wide sign centered over his private parts pointing out the error of this web designers ways. As luck would have it, if I remember back, the web designer was either on vacation or did not check his page for a while. By the time he did so he had a great deal of egg on his face.

Jack Beslanwitch Sat Mar 13 22:21:18 PST 1999

     Michele: I did get to the page and it is definitely a straight order plagiarism, word for word. The interesting part is that the URL is UK located as are you. By backtracking to the previous domain I came up with a website that calls Ladies On Line with the following email address .

     This email address should be the first place to start. Ask politely and then start getting tougher and solicit the rest of us to bring pressure to bear if that does not work. Good luck with this.

     Just for your own edification. I once got an email from someone who had stolen an entire web page and posted it on his own, changing copyright notices and email and then asked me why my local links did not work on the page he has stolen from me. After pointing out the error of his ways, this relatively clueless web page designer (this was from like 1995) admitted to his error and removed the page. You should be so lucky that it was someone who was clueless and ignorant and just did something stupid. I, however, think otherwise. Let us know if you get any response.

Marv Sat Mar 13 15:12:49 PST 1999

Well, I'm back. Now that midterms are over I have time to write and I have been every chance I get. This is good.

The weather here has been terrible, I was woken up this morning by thunder and I had to walk through 40 minutes of pouring rain to return something to Blockbuster. So I'm whining, get over it.

From the looks of things the book will be done before the start of next school year. Does anyone by any chance read David Brin? I'm reading The Uplift War now and it's the first book in quite a while to really impress me.

Oh well. I'll write more later, but my life is pretty boring in general.


Howard Sat Mar 13 14:37:20 PST 1999

Would you believe that my 6 year-old granddaughter just spent an hour in surgery to drain a lymph node abcess on the side of her neck. The cause? CAT-SCRATCH FEVER! Her older sister recently underwent the same type of thing, and now they're seriously considering a feline-free existence!
We're just thankful she's going to be okay.
Michele -- I couldn't get to the culprit site, either. Not sure what your rights (or your recourse) would be in this case. Internet copyright enforcement is still a hot topic, I guess, and one that will not soon be resolved.


Thomas Sat Mar 13 14:00:06 PST 1999


Tried to get to the web site you posted but kept getting a message from Netscape saying it does not exist.

In any event, if there is an email address on the site, perhaps you could send an email explaining that your material is copyrighted, and that they had best remove it from their web site. Might work. Of course a crook is a crook, and no guarantee it will work.

Michele Sat Mar 13 10:37:57 PST 1999

Look at that ! I am so angry I can't even get my HTML code right !!!!!!!!


Michele Sat Mar 13 10:36:17 PST 1999

Sorry that first bit of HTML should have given you this :

Check that above with my web page (as above)


Michele Sat Mar 13 10:32:48 PST 1999

OK Important question...

What do I do about someone stealing the text from my web site and passing it off as their own work ?

Check this out :

and tell me if it doesn't look decidedly like this :

To the extent that entire paragraphs are the same...

I am Furiously angry...


W. Olivia Race Fri Mar 12 22:23:48 PST 1999

Hi all. Once again a quick one as it's about 1am and I just spend twenty minutes driving from my best buddies house. We had our usual writers group thing and swapped stories. We are thinking of organizing our own writer's group since we know a few people who would be interested.

Lena: I too love masks. My boss gave me these really great masks from Italy and Mexico. I also collected a few from New Orleans on my honeymoon 12 years ago. I get my hair cut at this place called La Masquerade and their theme is mask. They have some truly beautiful ones on display throughout the salon. The masks I own are on display in my office for inspiration.

Anyway, I am beat so I gotta go.

Good writing all!

"Brevity is the soul of wit." William Shakespeare

Allein Fri Mar 12 18:49:34 PST 1999

Sorry, that message for Thomas was really for SN Arly. My bad. :)

Bai bai,

Allein Fri Mar 12 18:47:57 PST 1999

Casey - your cat, Poon (Poohbear, PIKACHU - sorry, I'm a fan and one of my obligations as a fan is to correct the spelling of the cute, little, yellow, fat, rolly polly ball of fluffy, electric, jellybeany goodness' name when spelled wrong :) sounds like it's a pretty cat. :)

Thomas - Yes, gerbils sometimes die horrible deaths. My last gerbil got paralyzed towards the end of it's life. It couldn't get water or food or even clean itself. So, I had to put it out of it's misery. My brother's gerbil got trapped in a tiny space between a tube and the cage and either was squished or couldn't breathe since it couldn't get out. My white gerbil died of old age. The two I have now seem healthy except that one is significantly fatter than the other since it's too lazy to use the wheel - the other can't get enough of the wheel. Their names are Coffee and Prozac (yep, Rean's gerbils were named after mine). :)

Well, gotta go.
Bai bai,

"If toast always lands butter-side down, and cats always land on their feet, what happen if you strap toast on the back of a cat and drop it?"
- Steven Wright

"CATS: Women love cats. Men say they love cats, but when women aren't looking, men kick cats."
- Matt Groening

"Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this."
- Unknown

"People that hate cats, will come back as mice in their next life."
- Faith Resnick

"Dogs believe they are human. Cats believe they are God."
- Unknown

S.N.Arly Fri Mar 12 18:24:42 PST 1999

Litter - I just picked up Dragon Naturally Speaking Version 3. However, if you go to the Egghead website you can find version 2 for around $50.

Just got home from PT and not allowed to stay online.


Casey Fri Mar 12 17:36:40 PST 1999

forgot to leave a quote... here you go :)

"The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese." - Anon.

Litter Fri Mar 12 16:44:17 PST 1999

Hi Peeps,

If anyone has asked me anything pre –SNArley’s comments about Dragon Naturally Speaking, sorry I haven’t answered – choose a an answer from below:
Yes, No, Perhaps, Black, Yesterday, A village 3 miles outside Kirkcaldy, Fluff.

SNArley If Point and speak throws up surprising words maybe I should just go with what it gives me – make a posey type statement and get all the literati excited – my writing could take on a whole new direction? I’ll give it a go anyway, it didn’t cost much.

Jack, Thomas, Rhoda and Ashling – enjoyed the chat. And Ashling – I didn’t think you were a man! ;o)

Hopes of an Agent in New York get closer… Will I be disappointed? Will I be accepted with open arms and have bucket-loads of money thrust into my pockets as I sign contracts and smoke Cuban cigars? Do you care???

Dear dear – the hurrier I do the behinder I get!


“I find it harder and harder every day to live up to my blue china.” Oscar Wilde

Hootie Fri Mar 12 15:06:41 PST 1999

Welcome to all the new voices, and we hope to hear a lot from you.

Cat’s are often associated with artists. Hemingway had a bunch that had six toes on their hind paws. We have four myself (cats not toes), which is one more than we really want. But giving away a cat is like giving away the plague.

SKS—I have a 19 pound cat, but he’s a big scaredy cat. It’s our littlest one who has the attitude.

Avatar—The only way know to break the Wheel of Time habit is to read all that are out, and then wait a year for the next to be published. After you read that one, you’ll realize that you have to wait another year to find out what happens next, and that’s what cooled my ardor for the series. If he ever finishes it, I might go back and read the whole thing from start to finish. If I can find a spare year.

Michele—There was a memorial on the navy base I used to be stationed at. It was for the men of the USS Stark, which was hit by two Iranian missiles about ten years ago. Reading the names was difficult; I didn’t know any of them, but I knew men who had been on board. War is not so glamorous when you’re only separated from it by a single person.

W. Olivia—I got your e-mail, and I’ll answer you soon.

Ashling—Still waiting for an e-mail from you.

"A boy doesn't have to go to war to be a hero; he can say he doesn't like pie when there isn't enough to go around."
—Ed Howe

Casey Fri Mar 12 14:17:05 PST 1999

Whew... Hi everyone

I haven't checked up on the messages to 2 days, and I have 0 time to fully catch up. I'm going to make my best attempt though... just don't expect too too much

I see Jack's lil slip up created a tangent into the subject of cats. :) Typos can be rather interesting sometimes... Anyways, I've got 2 siamese cats at home, who I miss very much while I'm here at school. Yes, they are as voiceful as people say they are. It's charming though, almost like they're trying to carry on a conversation with you.

We've got Poon (or Poobear, Peekacho, etc, etc) who's a seal point(dark brown ears, face feet and tail) siamese female. They say that female siamese cats are supposed to be very aloof and unaffectionate, but Poon is quite the opposite. You could just scoop her up off the ground, hold her upside down, and she'd have no problem with it. She's got these horribly crossed deep blue eyes, and is known to run headlong into walls, and even furniture. Not the smartest of animals... if you get my drift.

And then we've got Rama Tabodie (or Old man, Beedo, etc, etc) who's a blue point(blue grey on ears and such) siamese male. He's affectionate too, but a little more cranky. He was hit by a car in his younger years, and had to have the bones in his shattered left hip wired back together, so he limps with that leg. The voice on him though... so loud he hurts my ears sometimes!

But we've got weird pets in my house, guess it's the enviroment :) hehehe

'Later gators, gotta get food


Avatar gryphon5flame Fri Mar 12 13:01:26 PST 1999

I'm Baaaack!
Anyone miss me?
Probably not;)
Hello to all those new. I can't quite say welcome, 'cause I've not been much of a resident here lately(I have to use the school's computer and guess who dropped a ton of work on us for the past two weeks). All that time pining over the company of my compadres here and eagerness to see the new chat room (though I don't think it will work on these computers-next stop, Library!)

Sigh. The agony of not having the internet at home is somethin' fierce, I can tell you.

I can cheerfully tell everyone here that I have not written one sentence on the subject of fiction for the past two weeks. All I've been doing is the background for my novel. I know it's usually smart to wait to write it until you have a reasonable idea of where it's been and where you want it to go, but can anyone think of a way to speed it up?

Greetings to Jon the Cat. I heard you were sick. I'll send you the fiesty hairball that's been pestering Annabelle (11 yr old tortoise-shell American short-haired cat) again. He'll cheer you up, I guarantee (while at the same time following you around and chewing everything that moves, including your tail). For once I'll say- That Darn Cat!

What's this I hear about Agsousa's writing project?

Anyone else excited about the prospect of spring break?

I'll get off now before my absent teacher returns and throws a fit. (giggle)

That's it!
I have just come up with a cure for writer's cramp!
Writer's block
-Garfield, comic by Jim Davis

P.S. Anyone else read Robert Jordan's wheel of time series?
If you have, how do you unhook yourself long enough to live?

shadoe Fri Mar 12 11:32:16 PST 1999

Hello everyone, I just stumbled into this, and it looks terribly intresting.

As for the Cat thread, I had a half bobcat who loved to lay on top of my computer desk and swipe at my hands while I typed, I miss that. He's been dead six months now, and he was a lover of everyone. Nothing but a terrible lapcat.

I look forward to joining the group, and the conversations here.

S.N.Arly Fri Mar 12 10:39:45 PST 1999

Allein - I had many gerbils in my younger days. Great pets and I was terribly fond of them. Though mine mostly died horrible deaths. Such is the life of a rodent.

Lena - My sister has a very nice mask collection. While I find them a little creepy (those empty eye sockets are great for giving me horrific story ideas) they are also somewhat intriguing. Incidentally, I LOVED THAT QUOTE! I have a coworker who I seem to like less and less each time she opens her mouth.

SKS - Cats invariably flock to the person who least likes them or the person with the worst allergies to them. Very contrary creatures.

Voice recognition software here I come! To those who were wondering, I've checked with my OT friend and my PT and they both said Dragon Naturally Speaking all the way. So tonight I will spend money!

My projects: I have six shorts on my plate right now, as I haven't been able to write anything in the past 6 weeks or so. Even this is more typing than I'm up for. So right now, as my above statement indicates, I'm working on adapting my work space, equipment, and my writing technique to my disability. Again. Gotta do this every few years as technology improves. I think Dragon will be great, though I know it will be a pain in the butt to get used to. I only get this extreme when I'm desperate, and look at me. I'm definitely desperate. I expect all editing to be done via KB still. In addition to Dragon, my brother is designing me a foot mouse. We'll see how it goes. I've got prehensile toes, so...

"It's all been done before."
-Barenaked Ladies

Michele Fri Mar 12 09:22:28 PST 1999

Hi gang !

I am shattered ! And glad that it's Friday... I have spent today doing more project work - mostly sitting in the reference section of Cheltenham's public library looking up names from the WW1 memorial I am researching - heartbreaking stuff seeing how young most of them were... I nearly cried a couple of times... sniff

I have a huge heap of reading to do over the weekend and then I can make a start on writing up this memorials project... I also have to go and do some research next week for my local history project... no doubt that will be another dusty, musty time spent poring over old records in the archives office... Remind me again - why am I doing history ? :-)

They had a careers fair in college today - I wandered by and stopped to look at the postgrad. studies section - and got nabbed by someone, who was a little disappointed to discover I still have 2 years before I qualify for postgrad. study...

Anyways I ought to go and see what's in the fridge, freezer or cupboard that I can eat for dinner...

Rhoda : Glad you're still with us...

Thomas : Still reading the work you sent me - will try to finish it tonight and let you know what I think - but so far, so good....


Note this before my notes;

There's not a note of mine that's worth the noting.
-- William Shakespeare.

Rachel Fri Mar 12 09:17:18 PST 1999

CATS!!!!!!!! - I told you all about the cat that visits my yard, made his home on my front step and in my gardens and walked me to the mailbox.

Well the moment I begin to have a glimmer of fondness for this beast he up and leaves. WHAT A CAT!

Hey Lydia - Decided to think about that romance thing. See if I can't take a deep breath and write something. (big wink) I am already blushing.

Now I am stuck in it. As I refuse to waver from the two story rule. I guess that means I will just have to finnish up.

After all how bad could it be? (gulp)

I kind of wonder if I am going to double post this note. I hit publish message and then it was gone, but then the message came back. Ah well it gave me a chance to add on to it.

Take care all


Rachel Fri Mar 12 09:02:25 PST 1999

CATS!!!!!!!! - I told you all about the cat that visits my yard, made his home on my front step and in my gardens and walked me to the mailbox.

Well the moment I begin to have a glimmer of fondness for this beast he up and leaves. WHAT A CAT!

Take care all


S.K.S. Perry Fri Mar 12 08:34:41 PST 1999

Hey all,

I don't know if cats are from outer space or not, but if they are then they have my blessing to return! Sure, kittens are cute and all, but then they grow up to be these aloof, nasty creatures called cats. If I wanted something that messed my place up, always tried hogging the best seat in the house, makes me prepare its food and then is ultra finicky about what it eats, and then shows me a total lack of respect...I'd have more kids.

When I first met a friend of mine (James) everyone warned me about his cat, Max. Max was one of those thirty pound cats with the temperment of a jilted drag queen. "Whatever you do, don't try and pet him--he'll take your arm off," they'd say.

The first time I went to James' place, we were all sitting around in his living room (six cat lovers and me.)Suddenly the Pepsi in my glass started to ripple--you know, like that puddle in Jurassic Park? I would have layed money on that T-Rex coming down the stairs, but it was just Max. I swear the light dimmed in the room and an eerie fog rolled in under the doors as the temperature dropped several degrees. And what does Max do? He marches straight over to me, jumps up on my lap, and purrs contentedly while everyone else stares in shock.

Now you tell me that's not evil.

Be Well, Live Well.

Thomas Fri Mar 12 06:08:56 PST 1999

Sorry about the double postings, but I am still trying to figure out what has gone wrong between this Notebook and my computer.

Thomas Fri Mar 12 06:06:44 PST 1999


Ancient Egyptians certainly believed cats were from somewhere mystical; maybe they had it right. My Flash definitely has an affinity with the digital world. As soon my modem makes the connecting sound, she comes running to the computer, from wherever she is in the house -- of course, she does the same thing as soon as I THINK about opening a can of sardines.


Speaking of cats, masks and cats are equally mystical.

I understand your mask fascination. Last April, while in Italy, I visited Venice. The city is beautiful, if not greedy, but the many masks shops it houses are mesmerizing. My wife could not believe that this anti-shopper wanted to spend time to look in every mask shop we passed.
When I look at a mask, at the intricate details of a good one, I try to imagine its former life and what its creator was thinking.

Welcome to all the newcomers. And to those Romance writers I say: writing is a romance language.

Thomas Fri Mar 12 06:06:24 PST 1999


Ancient Egyptians certainly believed cats were from somewhere mystical; maybe they had it right. My Flash definitely has an affinity with the digital world. As soon my modem makes the connecting sound, she comes running to the computer, from wherever she is in the house -- of course, she does the same thing as soon as I THINK about opening a can of sardines.


Speaking of cats, masks and cats are equally mystical.

I understand your mask fascination. Last April, while in Italy, I visited Venice. The city is beautiful, if not greedy, but the many masks shops it houses are mesmerizing. My wife could not believe that this anti-shopper wanted to spend time to look in every mask shop we passed.
When I look at a mask, at the intricate details of a good one, I try to imagine its former life and what its creator was thinking.

Welcome to all the newcomers. And to those Romance writers I say: writing is a romance language.

Howard Fri Mar 12 04:17:35 PST 1999

Hi all! Welcome to all you new folks -- Greeneyedlady, et al. I hope you enjoy joining us!
I got to chat with SKS and Allein for a bit yesterday, and it was fun! Today might be a bit busy for that -- am babysitting 4 of my grandchildren, and they vie for computer time when they're here. Gotta hurry and get that machine done for them.
Steve (SKS) encouraged me yesterday to submit a piece I had sent him, so I did, and am getting another ready to send out this afternoon. The first went to a humour mag, and the second is going to Children's Digest. Gotta be diverse.
Cats? DOes anyone realise that they're really from outer space? They were never intended for this planet, but were dropped here by intergalactic wanderers who finally overthrew the feline yoke, and marooned the species here.
I wrote an essay about it once.

Fri Mar 12 01:21:15 PST 1999

Hahaha.......I never seen so many comments on a cat before. Sure wish I'd come in when it all happened so I'd know what it was all about.

Lena...thank you for the welcome...

Lydia...Yes, we are a rare forum amongst giants huh?

Rhoda...I would very much like to get to know you as well.

I've read all your comments about yourselves and to each other...what a lot of love flowing here....It's really coool

Thanks again for the welcome...See you

Thu Mar 11 21:48:16 PST 1999

W. Olivia Thu Mar 11 18:51:35 PST 1999

Hi all! I am feeling really tired tonight so this is gonna be a quick one.

Jack: It could have been worse. You could have said you were "roasting a cat" instead of "hosting a cat". I took a while to figure your post out but I figured that my own cat, Tia Maria was quite safe :)

Thomas: got the quote from one of my numerous quote books, let see, "21st Century Dictionary of Quotations". I often just pick up a book of quote and read it. Makes the creative juices flow for some odd reason.

Still figuring out the chat thing. Sorry I missed it yesterday.

Jack: BTW, thanks for posting my short story for me. I've gotten lots of positive response so far. I'm cleaning it up for submission. Wish me luck.

Thats all from me tonight folks.

Good Writing all!

" I am here to live out loud." Emile Zola

Lena Thu Mar 11 16:17:09 PST 1999

My mother brought home a Mardi Gras mask for me today. It is beautiful... black peacock feathers float down around a cloth mask, all dyed black. Small glistening jewels, white like diamonds, are a sharp contrast to the stately elegance of the black, and feathers fall gracefully around the crystal rod that is used to hold the mask up to the face... I have a strange fascination with masks. There is something magical about them, the idea of being able to mask who you are and to be someone else for a time, and they are often beautiful. The next time you see a mask, perhaps one hung on a wall or lying in a trunk, look at it carefully, gaze into the eyes. A mask is a solitaire, elegant thing.

Mmm. I need to shake myself out of this mood... brooding does no one any good. I stayed home sick today from school and am going C-R-A-Z-Y for lack of anything to do. Don't worry - just a vague feeling of feeling bad. (hmm...) I wanted to get some writing done, but I could not pick the story up from where I had left it, the prophetic and deep sentence: "It would do."

Agsousa - Don't you dare cancel "Shadows in a Dream!" It is a lovely idea. God made the world in six days, but I have this funny feeling none of us can quite measure up to that. I have been thinking on my character, but she is not a definite yet. Patience, Agsousa...

Rhoda - I went to Carlsbad Caverns once, when I was too young to truly remember anything. I remember the Rock of Ages, though... neat stuff. We used to live in New Mexico, at White Sands Missile Range, and so it was a day trip for us.

Jack - Fruedian slip, indeed! I myself have no particular dislike no liking of cats, but they do have a certain charm.

My Project - My major story is too complicated to sum up neatly, involving a nice bloody war, an estrangement between a daughter and father, the love between a recently-widowed Queen and a soldier, a country's fight for independence, and the idea that morals are the servant of politics. It is not entirely daring or unusual, but it is an interesting story and I happen to be very proud of it. It is the first novel I feel I might actually want to try and get published, whenever I finish it (which will probably be a long time).

Greeneyedlady - Hullo and welcome!

" Light travels faster than sound, that is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak,"

Allein Thu Mar 11 13:07:40 PST 1999

I'd love to give Jon a home, but I'm allergic to cats. :( I love them though. I have two fat gerbils that I'm sure my mother would love him to eat and, then, she'd kick him out, because she hates cats and so does my father. :( I'm the only cat lover in my family.

Well, not much going on here, I'm gonna check out the chat room.
Bai bai,

Lydia Sweet Thu Mar 11 11:53:52 PST 1999

Hi all,

Greeneyedlady - Welcome. I, too, am a romance writer as well as Rhoda. We are rare in this forum, but not unwelcome.

Jack - We will be getting new computers here at work soon, with bigger memory. I hope that will solve my problem of not being able to read the WorkBook. I want to contribute by reading the postings there, but my computer is not willing to cooperate at this time.

Agsousa - I definetly want to contribute to the collaborative work "Notebook", but I have been very busy at work and have not been able to read all that has been submitted. If you have the time and inclination, I would love to get of copy of what we have so far. My e-mail is listed above. I also love cats, but not in my house. Jon is welcome in my storeroom anytime. My storeroom is kind of a way station for cats. It's warm, dry and defensible. They come stay for awhile, I feed and water them, get attached and used to having them there, then they move on. (Sigh!) I suppose they want more cushy living arrangements.

All - just ran into SKS and Rachel in the Chat Room. Shared a little chit chat and got to know a little more about them. Neat.

I opened my notebook to write more of my story and drew a blank. Darn it! I'll get back to it before too long and work my way through.


May you be in heaven an hour before the Devil knows you are dead. (Irish blessing)

Jack Beslanwitch Thu Mar 11 11:09:12 PST 1999

S.N.Arly: Your best bet for posting either here or on the Workbook is to use a modicum of HTML. There are two tags that I can send you via email that I will explain in an email.

Jon: Welcome back. I am not sure you are very much like my arrogant little black hunter Sabbath, but he occsionally likes have his chin scratched. Consider it done. Of course, a good friend of mine seeing the elaborate bird feeding arrangement outside of our house observed accurately that we had a nice cat feeder.

Agsousa: Welcome back and I also second the motion for continuing your project, however you want to set it up.

Rhoda Thu Mar 11 09:12:02 PST 1999

What a night it was last night. I had a nice with Jack, Ashling, Litter and Thomas.


Thanks for asking about me. I haven't gone away. I just haven't had much to post about, though I assure you I am here about three times a day reading the comments.


Please don't cancel the project. It was off to such a promising start. Bear with us barbarians just a bit longer. Give us another chance. I love your ideas about Pompeii and I would like to know more about your project. Years ago I started an inspirational romance taking place in ancient Rome, but I never went anywhere with it. Someday, I will probably dust it off and see what I can do on it.


You are quite accomplished to have written so many novels. Since I write romance also, you are someone I would love to know. I hope you do drop in on the chats and that you post often.


I love cats. I would even open my house to you if you didn't live so far away. I have a cat Buttons whom you would get along with just fine. You both have a crusty nature. So, if you get tired of living around Agsousa, hop an oil tanker and come see me here in Texas. Now if you do come here, you will have to work for your room and board. You must allow my ten year old daughter to carry you around, dress you up, and treat you like a baby. She'll lock you in her room at night and will expect you to cuddle and purr. My four year old son will want to pull your tail and try to pull you in his wagon.


I am glad you are doing well. Prayer does work wonders.


I am soon to print your chapters and take them with me on my trip.

Well, I must be off for a long week-end of frolic and fun with my family at Carlsbad Caverns.

Happy Writing!


agsousa Thu Mar 11 08:33:39 PST 1999


Thanks for your two e-mails and the correction you made in the notebook concerning my beloved cat. Mistypes and mistakes — who does not make them? Writers should be used to them, as everybody should be prepared to accept writers' inalienable freedom to create characters and invent voices. I am glad to say that Jon, an extremely sensitive but understanding creature, accepts the apologies and is ready to come back as wise and funny as always. He slept with me tonight and only cried once. He sends you his greetings and asked me to tell you that you are one of the people here he sees not as a mere shadow in a dream but as a very real human being whom he has learned to love and respect. He also considers that your two cats, the black and the yellow, remind him of the dark and blond ladies of Shakespeare's sonnets, which for him represent the good and evil every creature nourishes in his/her bosom — and sends them his inexhaustible love.

Though we haven't talked much, I read your posts with attention and admiration. Your life experience, talent and character are sources of inspiration and sympathy for me. Do you know who I associate you with in my reflexions? Joseph Conrad, no less. If you have read this extraordinary writer, you know what that means. I hope we'll exchange points of view more often in the future.

Always equal to yourself! Jon is very grateful for your offer of hospitality and reciprocates: if you ever need a bit of sunshine, take a plane and you will be most welcome here.



S.N.Arly Thu Mar 11 07:47:48 PST 1999

Say Jack - I didn't notice this last night, but the format Street-Level took on in the workbook is... well not very reader friendly. Is there a better way for me to post this? I just took an ASCII text document copied and pasted. If there's a better way to do this, let me know and I'll do it right next time.

Again. Sorry to be such a pest.


greeneyedlady Thu Mar 11 07:44:02 PST 1999

I meant I am NOW seeking instead of I am NOT seeking... Pheww what a difference a word makes huh?

Greeneyedlady Thu Mar 11 07:38:46 PST 1999

This is so coool. It took a while but I am tickled to have found this place.
Jack, you sound like a really down to earth kinda guy and I like that alot.
I noticed you had a chat room and I am hoping to meet y'all there soon.
I thought I would introduce myself to you here first just in case I enter the chat and mainly eavesdrop while there. :o)

I am a professional artist turned wannabe writer, having found it much more creative. I have written 6 romantic suspense novels and am not seeking, as us all, a publisher/agent to place my work with.

If any of you would like to correspomd by email...I think that'd be great..
Dia dhaoibh a chairdes (God be with you friends).
Hope to see you all soon...

S.N.Arly Thu Mar 11 07:38:38 PST 1999

Maaaaaan. I had a really spleendid post that I sent last night and it's not here. I was sure I even got to see it up. This happen to anyone else? Well, let's see if I can recreate.

Jack - Typos. Been there. With tendinitis it's inevitable and you just learn to laugh. Some of my faves include: it's time for the big teat (test), his clam (calm) acceptance startled her. I also end up with doe snot (does not) all over my pages. My best from today was replacing the word things with thongs. Made the sentence mean something else entirely.

Howard - Glad to hear your PT is going well, and oyur recover is moving along smoothly.

I read your piece in the workbook and it made me wish I'd read more of the classics. It's never too late though, eh?

SKS - Gotcha. I did e-mail you back last night too, but my hands have been really bad so I'm moving at a snail's pace. Or slower. What moves slower than a snail? ME!

Ashling - All the one-liner intros I have in my repertoire are the old nasties from college and while they may make you seem a colorful personality, I don't know that they'll have quite the desired effect. I'll think about it and let you know if I come up with any good ones.

To all - I have posted Street-Level on the workbook for your review. I'm trying to brush it up for an April submission window and with 10 rejects on it, I'm sure there must be something I'm missing. I'm open to any suggestions with regarding it, so if you have a chance, let me know what you think. Thanks.

"...all night, in a cat fight, with the only one who can make me cry..."

Allein Thu Mar 11 07:02:08 PST 1999

Oh no, I missed out on the chat. Bummer. Well, I hope we can all chat again soon. Sometime.

And another depression - the story cancelled. Double bummer.

Well, at least I get out of school two hours early. :)
Bai bai,

Thomas Thu Mar 11 05:56:21 PST 1999


Where did you find the Billie Holiday quote? Lovely, especially when you know a little about her life.


You old cat killer, you. Methinks Agsousa has been thinning in skin lately, and that is not a good trait for this Notebook.


Tell Jon if he needs a home I have room; my standard poodle just ate one cat, so we need another -- preferably small and rubbery; Henry, the dog, doesn't chew well.

All, we had a nice cat, I mean chat, last night. I have some questions: Is Ashling a man or a woman? How many know which one of us is the Italian? How many know where Carlstadt is? When did Jack's airline tickets arrive? What time did Litter go to bed?
Tune into the Java Chat to find out.

We are experiencing one of those things called SNOW yet again. There is no excuse for living in the Norteastern US, save madness and a stock ownership in a cross country ski company (need them to get to the store).

Work beckons -- just added another newspaper to my wine and food writing stable -- deadline every Friday am. Oh, to be a writer and rich; will they ever converge?

Thomas Thu Mar 11 05:56:06 PST 1999


Where did you find the Billie Holiday quote? Lovely, especially when you know a little about her life.


You old cat killer, you. Methinks Agsousa has been thinning in skin lately, and that is not a good trait for this Notebook.


Tell Jon if he needs a home I have room; my standard poodle just ate one cat, so we need another -- preferably small and rubbery; Henry, the dog, doesn't chew well.

All, we had a nice cat, I mean chat, last night. I have some questions: Is Ashling a man or a woman? How many know which one of us is the Italian? How many know where Carlstadt is? When did Jack's airline tickets arrive? What time did Litter go to bed?
Tune into the Java Chat to find out.

We are experiencing one of those things called SNOW yet again. There is no excuse for living in the Norteastern US, save madness and a stock ownership in a cross country ski company (need them to get to the store).

Work beckons -- just added another newspaper to my wine and food writing stable -- deadline every Friday am. Oh, to be a writer and rich; will they ever converge?

Jack Beslanwitch Thu Mar 11 02:00:43 PST 1999

p.s. on my earlier post. I archived things back to yesterday. If you missed anything you will find it archived and posted. Well, I can tell that four hours sleep was not enough to face today. Take care everyone.

W. Olivia Wed Mar 10 20:01:54 PST 1999

Hi all!!! My energy level is back. I left work late today and decided to shirk my household duties (cooking and stuff) to wander the mall w/ my daughter. As I stood drooling over the newest and brightest computers (which I cannot yet afford) at Circuit City a very helpful clerk suggested I upgrade my memory rather than getting his PC's all wet with my tears of sorrow. A few hours later the deed was done and I didn't even screw it up. My PC is humming and moving at the speed of light (you go from 4MB to 40MB and you will see what I mean) I am very proud of myself and since my husband is asleep you guys get to "hear" me gloat.

Jack: I too am unable to see my new posts unless I re-load the page. Normally I only had to do this when in the Workbook. Am heartened to know I wasn't going crazy and others are experiencing the same.

Anyway, be well all and...good writing!

"I'm always making a comeback but nobody ever tells me where I've been." Billie Holliday

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Mar 10 19:47:24 PST 1999

            Let me say again. Sorry about that mistype. What I meant to say was I am now hosting a chat. Instead, my fingers wrote out I am not hosting a cat. When I blow it I really do blow it. Cats are quite welcome here. I have two walking around my feet. One black and arogant. The other yellow and hungry. And I was away from my computer. Talk about a miscommunication. It took me a while to read back through and figure out what I had done and why people were responding the way they were. Some days I cannot win with men, beast or computer :-( Rhoda, Ashling, Tomas, Litter and myself did have an interesting conversation. I hope this clarifies things.

Jon Homeless Wed Mar 10 18:12:19 PST 1999

I have electric fingers and laser eyes. I don't even need to type. My piercing sight is very well known by all kinds of darkness.

Anyway, I came just to say goodbye. I forgive everybody, though I always said to my neighbour not to trust Americans. Definitely, they hate cats.

I'll try to persuade agsousa to stay. He's my best friend and I like to see him happy. Now, in order not to hurt my saudade, he will not tell me any more about his horrible friends. I'm dead. Jack killed me!!!


Jon, an orphan in a land of repression and censorship.

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Mar 10 17:43:45 PST 1999

sorry about the cat part. Chat. Chat. Chat. Chat. Argggh, I hate fingers that stumble and mumble.

agsousa Wed Mar 10 16:21:33 PST 1999


The project "Shadows in a Dream" is cancelled.

And, Jack, what have you got against cats? I'm sure Jon is going to be very unhappy. Feeling segregated.

Goodweed of the North Wed Mar 10 16:21:22 PST 1999

Eddie; If you are out there still, I have tried emailing you my ICQ info three times now with no success. Each time, my email was returned as our server couldn't find your email address. I used both the ready-made form on the ICQ page from "" and your email address with no success. Please send me your address. Thank you.

To everyone else; Hi.

Agsousa; I think we have spoken little to each other. I hereby state, in front of everyone here, that I though I may not agree with everything you say, I have found your posts have taught me. I enjoy them.

Well, I've got writing to do so....

Seeeeya; Goodweed of the North

agsousa Wed Mar 10 16:08:31 PST 1999

My projects

1. Some four of five years ago I went to Italy and was so fascinated with Pompeii that I decided to write a novel. What moved me so much was to find it was a happy city. Even dead it is so pretty. It breathes as a beautiful woman smiling in her malicious sleep, waiting for me to wake her up and cuddle her. And there was this splendid statue of a very young slave girl carrying her vase on her shoulders. I thought I wanted to revive her in all its elements: houses, people, lizards and butterflies. The project has now some one hundred pages and is rotting in one of my back-up diskettes, waiting for me to get confident in my smash again and copy it to the right procrastinating place. I don’t want to write a historical novel. Just a contemporary novel with ancient Romans in it. And contemporary lizards and butterflies as well. A poetic book.

2. When a friend of mine died, I promised to write the book he can’t write any more. But he was so much better than I am! And he would never have such silly projects as this one. Moreover the theme of the book is too immaterial: a man hears one day his adoptive child (a little Negro) utter a sentence he doesn’t understand and tries the impossible to make him repeat and explain that sentence. The boy refuses, perhaps he doesn’t remember the sentence anymore. This book will be dedicated to my father, who lost the capacity to speak and perhaps to understand but who said a sentence to me whose meaning I ignore. I don’t think I’ll be able to write this novel, but it is a haunting project.

3. Now it’s your turn, fellow writers. I’ll tell you about other projects some other day

ALLEIN: "C'est le temps que tu as perdu pour ta rose qui fait ta rose si importante" (Saint Exupéry). That was the quotation of my birthday email. Sorry you did'n get it, I sent it, though. As for the novel: it's not in the right place yet, but just here, under your nose. If you want to add something to it hurry up, before it is finished. :) :)

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Mar 10 16:05:58 PST 1999

Agsousa: I concur that the Round Robin might be the better locations for this. Send me your ideas via email and I will try to work them in.

Also, I am not hosting a cat if anyone would like to join in.

Allein Wed Mar 10 15:19:55 PST 1999

Agsousa - nope, I don't think I got your e-mail. Is this story (Shadows in a Dream) in the round robin section - if so, perhaps I'll check it out and give it a whirl.

Well, I went to the chat room this morning and had a short (but nice) talk with S.K.S. Perry. :)

Well, not much more to say, so, I'm gonna go check out the chat room and my e-mail.
Bai bai,

agsousa Wed Mar 10 14:39:53 PST 1999

I had an idea. Given the physical limitations of this page, couldn't the writers/characters of "Shadows in a Dream" write some kind of fictional text, subordinated to the theme suggested somewhere on this page (under agsousa), and publish it in the Short-Story section? I would like to know how differently each of the collaborators react to the said theme — and perhaps make changes in the project so as to make it as suitable to each individual talent as possible.

In the meantime, please give some support to the book. So far only my dearest friends have answered affirmatively, in a way or another. How about the other friends? The rules of this game are the same as in the Round Robin, except that I'd like to give a more prominent role to the notebook itself, an important element in the novel, as Thomas has correctly seen.

By the way, Thomas and Perry, your "anonymous" texts are quite good. They will be integrated in the novel in the right place. Please write more of that in the same style. There are other texts which seem good stuff for the book. Some of you will be surprised to find out how talented you are for writing fiction.

When I have a certain amount of collected material I will publish it in an adequate place (perhaps in the Novel Room). Please notice that I take the liberty to edit your texts and make such alterations as the project demands. This business of editor is quite complicated and I'm going to need help.

What's behind this project? It's a way to make the notebook even more interesting (and useful) than it is now. On the other hand, who knows if we manage to write some coherent stuff? The notebook is helping me brush my English and think of some theoretical aspects of novel writing. But the best of all is this plunge into others' minds.

I'm going to post this "editorial" and write something about my other projects — those I intend to publish in Portugal. Stay tuned and come back to this page in an hour or so.

S.K.S. Perry Wed Mar 10 14:05:03 PST 1999

Hey all,

Michele, Yes I heard from Rhoda today. I spent about 45 minutes with her on Java Chat. She seems fine and says she's going on Vacation to Carlsbad (sp?) Caverns tomorrow.

I also chatted with Thomas and Allein. All in all, a fun day.

S.N.Arly, did you receive what I sent you on Street-level?

Welcome to all the new people here. I'm sure I'll get to know you all a lot better.

Be Well, Live Well.

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Mar 10 13:51:21 PST 1999

Just to remind folks. I will be on the Chat Room starting around 4 or as close thereof as I get back from taking Fran to work.

Michele Wed Mar 10 12:24:07 PST 1999

Hi all

I am feeling pleased as I've managed to get my fieldwork done without getting rained out today - so sketches and photos are in the bag (well in the folder and in the film processors actually !) And I managed to get a fair bit of research done for my WW1 Memorials project - phew ! A good day as far as college is concerned...

I confess that I often cut and paste any personal comments or other remarks I wish to comment on, from the Notebook into the response box and then answer them, as I can't remember everything that's been said either - but I do this offline (saves the phonebill ! I won't tell you how high it was last quarter - but it was high !

Anyway I have to go straighten out those sketches so that they're presentable... talk to you all later...

BTW - Anyone heard from Rhoda lately ?

Ashling - you surprised me - for some obscure reason I'd assumed that Ashling was a masculine name.... ! Oh well - live and learn ! :-)


When you read the history of the human family, it slowly comes to you that all the world's oceans once fell as tears.
-- Paul Lutus

Lena Wed Mar 10 12:12:40 PST 1999

Greetings and felicitations!

Howard - Hope everything is going well for you...

Charlene - Welcome and congratulations on your anniversary.

I didn't have a flashlight. I had a nightlight instead, and, for your information, it is VERY hard to read by a nightlight. I helped to ruin my eyes that way, but it was worth it.

I have two quotes today, and since I could not decide between them I am sharing both of them. The first is a quote from a movie I saw last night, called "A New Kind of Love," that I thought was funny:

"I'm an American! I have a right to be miserable anywhere in the world!"

And a poem by Walt Whitman:

"Women sit or move to and fro, some old, some young,
The young are beautiful - but the old are more beautiful than the young."

Have a nice day,

Howard Wed Mar 10 10:17:43 PST 1999

Hi all! Just back from physical therapy, and they're impressed with my progress! So is the doctor, but he's a believer in miracles too, and knows the power of prayer. (Thanks again for all who intervened on my behalf!)
Ashling: thanks for the kind words about that little bit of writing last week. And no, you're not the only one who read by flashlight under the covers! I used to do it every night! Listened to the old radio too -- The Shadow, Inner Sanctum, Gangbusters, AmosNAndy, etc etc.
There's been so many references to reading as a prequisite to writing that I thought I'd post an essay on the workbook. I wrote it as my first paper in ENG110 (our first required writing class), and it's really the first thing I ever had published. It's accurate as far as I can remember (may have left out one or two), and I really think it's the main reason I can write anything at all now. Sorry if it's too long, but it does help point out the importance of reading.





S.N.Arly Wed Mar 10 08:33:29 PST 1999

Litter - Point and Speak is cheaper because it's not as good. My mom-in-law got it, tried it, laughed herself silly over what it typed, and promptly uninstalled it. I think it's got a much slower learning curve than the full-blown program.

Lena - all my computers have had names. My first PC was IT. When IT was stolen (waaaaaaah!), we got The Beast, also known as Moobeast. This summer we acquired Lapmoo and my spouse recently received a new PC from work that could eat all the others fror breakfast and still have room for doughnuts. Henceforth it shall be known as Uber Moo. And my whole family actually uses these names when referring to my computers.

Ashling - One liners? Geeze, all the ones I have are nasties from the old college days. I don't shmooze well, so I haven't acquired any appropriate for the writing world. Let me think and I'll get back to you if I come up with anything.


"A man with a briefcase can steal more money, than any man with a gun."
- Don Henley

agsousa Wed Mar 10 08:21:08 PST 1999

Lena put an interesting problem: how would our cybernetic friends all over the world know that one of us died over the weekend? It could have happened to me when I saw that the folders of my innumerable projects (I'm a procrastinator till the moment I'm in love — then I feel like showing something and I write a novel: six loves six (published) novels) — were empty. My heart stopped and I had to punch it with a closed fist to make it beat again. It's beating nicely now, thank you. I'm finding some back-ups in the most unexpected places.

Well, the answer to Lena's question is going to be left to the programmers of this forum. I'm busy with our novel. My passions don't last forever and therefore please hurry to help us. You don't have to do much, just writing with an eye on fiction whenever you feel like it. For instancee, if you wake up one morning feeling you are the greatest poet on earth, put yourself in that caracter's skin. We need characters. I have chosen mine (a tango teacher): It's up to you to invent your own character.

That's the way things work in literature. The best books are just fiction. To write about your girl-friend you have to invent another girl-friend, perhaps similar to the former but shaped with your creative eye. That's how God created Man: He looked at Himself and made Us. He didn't make a biographical novel, but a good work nonetheless. I'm proud (well, I'm not very proud but I am glad) that I am God's fiction of Himself in the humblest way.

P.S. Ashling is right. It's impossible to answer personally to everybody who, directly or indirectly, addresses to us. I'm an attentive reader of everyone here but sometimes I don't say anything. Perhaps I'll use email more often in the future, if you don't mind (I hate intruding in private's lives). And that reminds me that I sent you, Allein, for your birthday, a post with a wonderful quotation of Saint Exupéry. I'm afraid you didn't get it. Or perhaps you did.

Our Novel is much bigger by now than you think. Please write the continuation. The last sentence was: "What's reality?" You don't have to answer that, of course. Just leave something motivating for someone else to continue.

And don't be shy to collaborate. Think of me, Rachel and others. You can't imagine how difficult it is for me to post my English!

Allein Wed Mar 10 07:10:40 PST 1999

Agsousa - Shadows in a Dream sounds like a cool idea for a story. :) I'd like to be a part of it.

I, too, would love to join in group chat. I'm usually free weekdays anytime between 3:30 and 9:00 PST. And I'm free on weekends almost anytime. So, if someone wants to set up a time to chat - that would be great. I go there a lot but only twice have there been other people there - once Jai was there and the other time S.K.S Perry was there (although, when I said 'hi' to him, he left) :(

Well, I gotta get to school.
Bai bai.

S.K.S. Perry Wed Mar 10 07:05:17 PST 1999

Hey all,

Thomas and others,

I've found that in order to see my posts after I've submitted them, I have to hit the "Reload" button in Netscape (I think that's "Refresh" in Explorer.) You're posts are making it to the Notebook, but you don't get the updated page (the one with your recent submission) when you click on "Return to Writer's Notebook."

I hope this helps.

Be Well, Live Well.

Thomas Wed Mar 10 06:57:33 PST 1999


It is not your computer. You have convinced me it is the Notebook. Ever since the change was made I have been unable to see my posts, go forward when I hit the forward button and strange crashes take place only when I am on the Notebook.

Oh yes, I placed the anonymous post as a beginning for the novel, but I truly am not prone to collaborative writing; I have a hard time following my own.

Hey all,

I have read many mentions of the Chat taking place, but have been unable to find a reference to when and at what time. Someone said Wednesday, which is bad for me, unless it is after 5:00 EST. I have checked Java Chat numerous times, and only once -- the first time -- did I find someone there. It was Jack in a half-dazed state from lack of sleep.

The other computer calls, the one that houses my latest story. Later all.

Hootie Wed Mar 10 05:43:39 PST 1999

Ashling—I’m afraid the Robert Benchley quote was just something I found that seemed appropriate, especially with all the quotes I put at the end of my postings. And no, I’m sure no one on this Notebook has ever, ever stayed up too late reading, only to try and explain to boss/teacher/spouse the next day why it was so important to finish the book. I would give you advice on your meet’n’greet, too, but I can’t stand them myself. My strategy would be to keep my mouth shut and my ears open.

I may be able to join the Great and Singular Chat soon. Word has it that my computer will be shipped later today, which means I could be on-line at home by the end of the week. Now if I can just avoid the crashes that seem to be plauging everyone... :-o

The characters of my current project are being stubborn and refusing to tell me who they are and what they want. I think it’s a power play... they want better contracts promising more page time and plots that have less conflicts that make them look bad. I’m worried that they may unionize soon, and then where will I be?

Once one learns to write a literate English sentence, the ability to sell a story is based on only one talent: the ability to give an editor what her readers want.
—Marion Zimmer Bradley

agsousa Wed Mar 10 05:30:34 PST 1999

I'm sorry. Here's the theme of SHADOWS IN A DREAM for the case you don't see it below...

Dream and reality, reality and illusion — the meanders of a cybernetic mind. This might very well be the theme of "Shadows in a Dream". Twenty-odd writers come from various parts of the world to meet somewhere in America. The tango teacher and each of the other characters are going to face one another, in an atmosphere of joy, tension and wonderment. Anything can happen in the three days of this unforgetable reunion. Nothing is more strange than the human soul, where evil and good, hate and love co-exist. How will this fantastic novel end?

Wed Mar 10 05:27:55 PST 1999

Yesterday a certain gif took 10 minutes to load and I couldn't refresh the page. Wed Mar 10 05:25:03 PST 1999

Dream and reality, reality and illusion — the meanders of a cybernetic mind. This might very well be the theme of "Shadows in a Dream". Twenty-odd writers come from various parts of the world to meet somewhere in America. The tango teacher and each of the other characters are going to face one another, in an atmosphere of joy, tension and wonderment. Anything can happen in the three days of this unforgetable reunion. Nothing is more strange than the human soul, where evil and good, hate and love co-exist. How will this fantastic novel end?

PS. I hate repeating messages, but the post are not showing up. This will be my last attempt. Is it my smash that is ill or the notebook that is tired and sleepy?

3rd attempt Wed Mar 10 05:18:29 PST 1999

Dream and reality, reality and illusion — the meanders of a cybernetic mind. This might very well be the theme of "Shadows in a Dream". Twenty-odd writers come from various parts of the world to meet somewhere in America. The tango teacher and each of the other characters are going to face one another, in an atmosphere of joy, tension and wonderment. Anything can happen in the three days of this unforgetable reunion. Nothing is more strange than the human soul, where evil and good, hate and love co-exist. How will this fantastic novel end?

agsousa Wed Mar 10 05:16:29 PST 1999

Dream and reality, reality and illusion — the meanders of a cybernetic mind. This might very well be the theme of "Shadows in a Dream". Twenty-odd writers come from various parts of the world to meet somewhere in America. The tango teacher and each of the other characters are going to face one another, in an atmosphere of joy, tension and wonderment. Anything can happen in the three days of this unforgetable reunion. Nothing is more strange than the human soul, where evil and good, hate and love co-exist. How will this fantastic novel end?

agsousa Wed Mar 10 05:11:02 PST 1999

Dream and reality, reality and illusion — the meanders of a cybernetic mind. This might very well be the theme of "Shadows in a Dream". Twenty-odd writers come from various parts of the world to meet somewhere in America. The tango teacher and each of the other characters are going to face one another, in an atmosphere of joy, tension and wonderment. Anything can happen in the three days of this unforgetable reunion. Nothing is more strange than the human soul, where evil and good, hate and love co-exist. How will this fantastic novel end?

P.S. Monday was International Woman's Day. Where were the gentlemen to greet the ladies in this forum? And... when is Man's Day? Well, this tango dancer, still trying to put together the scattered pieces of his system, sends you all his love, young and not so young girls.

Ashling Wed Mar 10 00:24:05 PST 1999

Hi y'all! LENA: Glad you're feeling better. Welcome new folks & prodigals -- JEFF, JERRY LEE, XAVIER & the rest! My deepest sympathies to all with computer crashes ... Sending flowers doesn't seem quite right ... Would CDs via snail mail be appropriate? I won't be home Wednesday, Thursday or Saturday night - so can't make the group Chat. Hi RHODA, I miss ya.

I have surrendered all hope of making individual comments to everyone -- It's too time consuming to scroll back again & again thru the messages & my once excellent memory is only mediocre nowadays. I've been either writing so long ABOUT writing that there's no time left to spend on writing my stories, or I forget a few people which can seem like I'm harboring some mysterious resentment against them. So most of my posts will be summarized messages from now on ... but I do enjoy & benefit from reading everyone's posts.

HOOTIE: Have I found a fellow fan of the Algonquin Club gang in you, or was the Robert Benchley quote just a random pick?

HOWARD: Your post from a few days ago displayed gorgeous writing ... No, I don't remember the topic, sorry.

LITTER: Heard of any plans to overthrow the government so Aussies can use the Internet for free? I'll gladly sign a petition or whatever. :^)

Regarding education vs. learning-by-doing writing -- Most of of us here have different styles, genres, and/or goals, plus varied levels of talent, and therefore employ different writing game plans. I was born with a bit of talent. I taught myself to write by devouring words (I don't guess anybody else here stayed up past midnight reading books under the covers with a flashlightin childhood, huh??) Plus, I wrote sporadically for 30 years.

My writing improved dramatically in the past 6 or 8 years -- with semi-formal education. The Lit. comp & critical analysis stuff was a necessary evil - required before I could take the writing courses that did help -- Detective Fiction (fun!)and Creative Writing taught by a recently published author. I have a little over a year of college - all I could afford.

I continue to hone my skills on my own. These books helped: MYSTERY & MANNERS - Flannery O'Connor/ BIRD BY BIRD - Anne Lamont/ ZEN in the ART of WRITING - Ray Bradbury/ WRITING FROM the HEART - Nancy Slonim Aronie/ IF YOU'RE WRITING, LET'S TALK - Joel Saltzman. They're all easy reads, casually written, especially the last two. One thing all these authors had in common was a sense of humor. I'm not much on doing the little writing exercises any more, the most important thing I gained was a sense of comaradrie - I'm not alone or crazy, just obsessed. Being published changed from a dream into a goal - one that I work toward every day. My confidence in my writing and myself grew.

Apologies to all that are now face down snoring on their keyboards - even if this doesn't help anyone else, it's helping me - feel free to wake up & skim on by. I'm going to the Writing Today Convention this Saturday at a local college. Pat Conroy (PRINCE OF TIDES) is the headliner, most of the others I know little or nothing about ... It matters not, I always gain useful bits from every author at these things & I met editors & publishers, some of which I'll send a query letter to later. Mainly I go for reasons I can't really articulate, but it makes me feel closer to achieving my goal of being a published writer (author).

This Thursday night (because I donated a few bucks to next year's conference), I'm invited to a "meet the authors" cocktail party. If it's like the last couple of years, there will be 50 to 75 authors, editors, publishers, educators & civilians (the headliners won't be there, they fly in at the last minute). I'll be the one drifting about aimlessly, clutching a glass of Pepsi & wondering where the above mentioned confidence ran off to. I "retired" from drinking a few years ago, so getting smashed is out of the question. My husband is working, my writing buddies have pressing engagements (finals week, etc.) & my dogs hate parties. If anyone has any suggestions for one-liner intros that might spark conversations lasting longer than 2 sentences - don't be shy -- share p-l-e-e-z-e.

For those who stayed awake long enough to listen ... many thanks, & Happy Writing to all.

Take care,


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