Archived Messages from April 2, 1999 to April 9, 1999


Lena Fri Apr 9 17:55:31 PDT 1999

I do not like it when the POV changes in the middle of a paragraph. Even jumping from one paragraph to the next can be tricky, if not done well. It disrupts the reader, disrupts the rhythm, and is often confusing at first glance.

That said, I am not an anti-multi-POV-ist. Using POV is a tool for writing, but (like any tool) it needs to be used correctly and efficiently, so the reader does not consciously note that it exists. If a reader has to stop and wonder whose thought that was and who is thinking this, save us the trouble and stop switching the POV, or at least make it understandable!

Avatar - Enough background so the reader knows where they are. Generally, a lot more background is needed... and if not needed, at least wanted... for novels.

Hootie - I am being completely and utterly sarcastic when I say that I just love describing a fantasy/sci-fi world. Trying to create a world without sitting the reader down and lecturing them about the various religious, philosophic, cultural, and political aspects... by showing instead of telling... drives me CRAZY! There are not many authors I have read who have completely mastered the trick. Not even The Man himself, Tolkien, was able to do this. His style was to sit you down and blatantly tell you about his world until it begins to grow on you and become real. Robert Jordan does a better job, but his world does not really come alive until a couple of books into the series. Let me see... Robin Hobb does a decent job, as does Orson Scott Card. The best example of "immersion" I have ever read is probably Anne McCaffrey's "Dragonflight."

"Dragonflight" was originally a novella, a fantasy short story that won the Nebula Award, an award that mostly concerns itself with sci-fi. She expanded her novella into a novel, the first in her Pern series. For her later Pern novels she returned to a more didactic style of world-building, but "Dragonflight" was wonderful. "Dragonflight" was the first 'adult' book I ever read. I bought it at the supermarket, and read it before the day was out, not understanding much but glued to the plotline and characters. Would Lessa and F'lar unite Pern under the Benden Weyr? Would they be able to defeat the Thread? Would they finally admit that, hey, they kinda liked one another? I raced through the book, and when I was finished I happily discovered the glossary in the back. So I read the book again, understanding a lot more. After that I read the book a third time, this time with a dictionary by my side so I could look up unfamiliar words. I remember looking up the word "damnable" - I didn't know what it meant!

What I think I'm trying to say with all my babbling... well, hell if I know at this point. I'm afraid my rambling got a little off target. Where was I...?

Um. Yeah. Jack, feel better soon. I don't suppose this would be a good time to quote that old saying, "What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger"? I suppose not... well, I should be glad you are bed-ridden and not able to beat me off with a stick for even suggesting such a thing!

Seriously, though, best wishes and FEEL BETTER SOON!!!

To the "Where have all the flowers gone" crowd, I know the song going like this: flowers picked by young girls, young girls married young men, young men gone to graveyards, graveyards to flowers. This is the way I learned it... did I get it right?

I came by and read the posts this morning, and they inspired me so much that I printed off my own story and worked on it. I am a horror at editing, but I managed to ruthless cut a few parts that were complete nonsense, tighten up a few of my better sections, and do some thinking about the plot and characters. We have to write a short story for my creative writing class, and I was thinking about writing the second chapter of my novel as the short story. The trick would be to have a self-contained story within my larger plot. This way I'll get more work done on my novel, and have my assignment done for Writer's Workshop. I'm hoping it will work out well enough. Any suggestions, or is this a really bad idea to have a self-contained chapter in a larger novel?

Hope everybody has a wonderful weekend. I will be doing taxes this weekend, my first time. Wish me luck!

"We've got the dreamer's disease..."

Cassandra Fri Apr 9 15:58:23 PDT 1999

Hi all,

Jumping in on the topic of multi-POV stories. I've never seemed to have a problem with that. As long as the writing is clear, and you can tell who is doing the thinking, or who's POV you're seeing things from I think it can only work to make a plot line more interesting.

I mean, if the storyline demands it, who's to argue. Sometimes I have no little to no control over who's thinking. My characters tend to speak for themselves, and Loudly at that!

I don't tend to write short stories. Whenever I write them, they end up exploding into novellas, or novels.

I guess I should be careful if I submit something to be published...

I've got some time off of working tonight. Perhaps I'll work on a few of the projects that I have going. Shadows will be high up there on my priorities list. :)

Time to work on some writing.

Ta ta


"What part of No don't you understand. Is it the NNNnn, or the OOOooo part?" - me

Jerry Lee Fri Apr 9 15:39:39 PDT 1999

Yo All,

On the subject of miltiple POVs...
It seems like more than one point of view is absolutely necessary in some applications, ie., when two or more people who are unknown to each other need their stories told in as much detail as possible, and whose stories will later mingle. In a character-driven story, we need to hear the inside of our peoples heads so as to know them more intimately.
When the stories begin to come together, it becomes necessary to change between characters more frequently. Just be careful to give each point of view it's own chapter.
It's easier for the reader to switch between characters this way, and you can show intimately known characters from the perspective of an intimately known character, which adds depth.

Of course, that's just my opinion.

Forgive me for the accusation. I do not raise dispersions on anyone as a matter of course and I'm sorry if I have done so now.

"Can't we all just get along?" Rodney King.

Eddie French Fri Apr 9 15:05:25 PDT 1999

Get well soon.
I have my station fully set up so I have more or less caught up on what's happening lately. Some new faces (names) around of late. Nice to meet you all.
It seems to me that the chat room suffered a little in my absence, or is that just a bit of self justification? (I have to be useful for something!)
I thought that you already knew that I am a bass player and vocalist, (Also second harmony) but then again perhaps I neglected to mention it! I was in a band up until a few years ago (I ran it actually) We had some local radio airtime and won a competition once. In the end we went with the money (Cabaret) and faded into the circuit before calling it a day. Ahh well.....
I've just finished reading Shadows. It seems to me that there is a major conflict of plot which developed very early on in the project. Agsousa will upset one or two with the first edit. This is unfortunate but absolutely necessary for the good of the project. (Then again, one faction already seems to be on the retreat so maybe it will all turn out rosey.) I am undecided as to which way I shall jump if I contribute... though I shall probably go with the flow. (Sigh....)
Some time ago I happened across a novel which was written exclusively for the WWW. It was a multiple pov novel in the literal sense of the word. The story was actualy written from four or five (I forget the exact number) seperate points of view. In each POV the starting POV was maintained.
I know that this has been done succesfully in films, especialy disaster movies, but it was the first time that I had actually seen it in print. It was obviously an internet experiment but it underlines a point that Steve made about the way that writing styles are constantly changing. Given a new media, someone will try something radical. Publishers are always the last to embrace change. They are formula driven and seduced into inertia by the sterile dance of the balance sheet. Always remember that most of the people who read your submissions are no more than jobsworths who would run a mile from a new idea.

Avatar Fri Apr 9 13:03:59 PDT 1999

Hope you feel better Jack! Have you tried chicken soup yet?

If you archive the blasted thing then what do we do if we want to rewrite some of it? (not that I want to, I mean you know....)

Agsousa- Thanks for the encouragement. Sometimes it gets lonely on the other side of the fence.

Okay, teensy little problem of mine. How much background is needed for you to have a good novel? Short story? I'm getting frustrated!

- Avatar

Rhoda Fri Apr 9 12:37:47 PDT 1999

I think the question of whether or not to do multiple POV's depends upon the scope of the story. If the story mainly belongs to one character, than he/she should tell that story either in first person or in third person. If the story is big in scope then multiple points of view are desirable.

I think people freak out on POV too much, and I think that is a more recent thing because you see mulitple points of views in older books all the time. Another controversial matter is the omnipresent point of view. In modern romance novel circles, using this point of view is a high crime and can land a writer in a lifetime prison of obsecurity for even thinking of using it.

No POV device bothers me as long as it is done carefully and in an orderly manner. However, in order to sell a book, a writer must be sensitive to the whims and desires of the editors of the house he is marketing to. It sounds to me sort of backwards that writers have to write to please the editors rather than the readers, but alas this is the world we live in.

I have found that in my writing I don't need as many points of views as I often think I do. I think good writing and experience will weed out the points of views of characters that don't have a high stake in the action. I think we should be careful telling the story through the eyes of minor characters.

Happy writing!


"The artist in ancient times inspired, entertained, educated his fellow citizens. Modern artists have an additional
responsibility - to encourage others to be artists. Why? Because technology is going to destroy the human soul
unless we realize that each of us must in some way be a creator as well as a spectator or consumer .... Make your
own music, write your own books, if you would keep your soul." Pete Seeger

S.K.S. Perry Fri Apr 9 12:10:09 PDT 1999

Hey all,

Thomas, I'm sure my wife thinks in four dimensions. Often she'll start up in the middle of a conversation we had weeks ago, and she expects me to click right in on the theme. I'm still waiting for her to jump into something we were talking about two weeks from now though. Now that would be useful.


I agree that shifting POV's can be the lazy writer's way out of the show-don't-tell rule when writing short stories, but it can also be effective in concise writing. Why spend a page and a half (or even an unnecessary paraghraph) to show something when a simple and quick POV shift will do the same thing.

It's not like I'm constantly switching POV in a short story. I think I did it once in a story of 6000 words, and the publisher told me it was confusing. Give me a break.

Be Well, Live Well.

Hootie Fri Apr 9 11:58:20 PDT 1999

Jack—I hope you feel better soon. And I think the archiving idea is great, especially if Shadows gets as long as Agsousa wants it to.

And now, I’ll jump in on the POV debate—I think that in a novel, like SNArly said, multi POV is a nice thing, especially for a long, intricate novel. It gives you a chance to see things from another perspective, and maybe focus on something that a different character would not.

I think the problem with multi POV in a shorter work goes along with the idea of show, don’t tell. If Mike’s new boss is a jerk, we’ll know that from just the way he responds: “That’s Mr. Smithers.” We don’t need to see in his thoughts to guess that he’s a power-tripping idiot (think of all your military superiors).

Here’s the other thing: if you’ve spent the first page describing the situation from Mike’s POV, then you switch to Josh’s for just that one paragraph, what have you accomplished? You just spent valuable words to tell us what we already knew from Mike, and the shorter the work, the more precious each word becomes. Also, you have to make sure that you really keep the thoughts hidden. In other words, Josh shouldn’t know what Mike is thinking, and vice versa, unless it’s painfully obvious. And if it’s so obvious, why do we need the character’s thoughts?

Of course, there is a reason to break this, and a good one: if what is happening behind a person’s eyes is completely at odds with what they do, then use the multi POV. That makes it a truly omniscient voice. Again the danger is to keep those thoughts hidden from other characters (unless you’re writing about a telepath), so that Mike doesn’t know that Josh is actually concerned about his new position, since he didn’t really get it by shafting his teammates like everyone thinks.

The underlying issue here is what level of literature do you want to write? If you’re writing for children, then you have to show AND tell more. Children tend to want things spelled out more clearly. If you’re writing for Agsousa, then the more obscure and oblique the writing, the better. For the F/SF audience, there is the added challenge of describing a foreign world or place without being pedantic (like I am doing right now).

What do you think? I know it’s more than two cents; you may have gotten a whole nickel from me.

P.S. Happy belated birthday, Lena. It sounds like you have the right attitude to make it a great year in your life.

The ending can never truly be written.

Rachel Fri Apr 9 11:30:51 PDT 1999

Hi all

Jack - Take care of yourself! I hope you feel better soon. Flu and Cold season just stinks this year.

Have you talked to Fran anymore about writing in Shadows? I bet she's a great writer. You can tell her I said that. (big smile)

Get well Jack


Jack Beslanwitch Fri Apr 9 11:16:29 PDT 1999

By Archive I mean keep a link back to the earlier pieces on the active page. So, it will be there to reference back to. Also, if Agsousa does an edit, then I can place that up as well for comment. Please let me know if I am all wet on this. I still feel like my head is stuffed with cotton made out of concrete :-)

Jack Beslanwitch Fri Apr 9 11:14:15 PDT 1999

     Cough...Cough...Hack...Well you get the idea. I have been flat on my back for a couple of days with post con plague. 101.2 fever and all around just let me die. At any rate, I think I am finally starting to be on the mend.

     On Shadows. I am delighted to hear that Agsousa considers Shadow an ongoing project. I render a suggestion that at appropriate breakoff points, such as when we all begin arriving or whatever, I archive the earlier version of shadows. At that point, Agsousa, you can take a stab at editing the work up to that point. I still am a bit sick so these thoughts may not be flying as well as they might, but we can work out the details. I am going to have some more Orange Juice and collapse back into bed. Check you all later.

Thomas Fri Apr 9 10:33:55 PDT 1999


You better get all those POV's out of your shorts -- they can chafe.

Seriously, I am with you, SKS and even Will on this one. In fact, instead of firing at Will I will go so far as to say: confuse readers; perhaps it will make them think.

I prefer writing that is tight yet it also mimics life at the same time. It is no easy task to do same, but part of the task is accomplished through POV dialogue. As all of us -- except English teachers -- know, not all dialogue and not all thought is linear or in one particular dimension.

Some accuse me of thinking in three dimension, with my thoughts bouncing off the ceilings and people's shoulders. Just once I would like my thoughts to penetrate their heads.

Having said all that, it is a good idea not to confuse too much through POV, if you want to sell your story.


Pete Seeger -- why didn't I know that, I should have. Great folk song writer, operative word is writer!

S.N.Arly Fri Apr 9 10:17:34 PDT 1999

Sqrl - What would an English teacher know about writing? OK. SOme do, but not all of them.

Jerry - If you like the idea, keep at it. Not everyone will see the TV thing and by the time yours is in print those who saw it will have forgotten all about it.

Americo/Agusousa - I believe I've seen a book somewhere called the history of underwear... or was it undergarments? Hmmm. You could probably find out in there.

SKS - Liked the Will bit. We use that around the house sometimes.

I am a big fan of multi-POV especially in novels. It's a tough habit to break for shorts where it CAN be a bit more confusing. I still use multiple POVs in some of my shorts, though. I've always felt that if it's done well, it's fine. I always thought of it as third person omnicient (although you can do it as first person but I don't like it).


Rhoda Fri Apr 9 09:19:41 PDT 1999

"Where Have All the Flowers Gone" is a Pete Seeger tune. He also wrote "Turn, Turn,Turn," and "Kisses Sweeter than Wine." Since I like this music so much, could we please sing it during our jam session? I can see it now--a roaring fire in the fireplace, SKS with his accoustic guitar, the lights dim, and all of us circled around singing these precious, old fold songs. Well, maybe that isn't everyone's idea of a great evening. I'll leave the jam thing to SKS. But couldn't we do just one?


S.K.S. Perry Fri Apr 9 08:16:10 PDT 1999

Hey all,

Ok people, let's discuss writing. I have trouble with all the brew-ha-ha over POV shifts. I know what they are, I just don't see the problem. For example:

Mike glanced up from his work as Josh entered the room. "Hey, Josh," he mumbled, trying hard not to let his utter contempt for his supervisor show. The man's a moral leper, he thought to himself. Everyone knew Josh had made floor manager by shafting his old teammates.

"That's Mr. Smithers," Josh corrected. He knew he had to set the ground rules right off or his people would walk all over him. Keep them in their place - that's what his dad always told him.

If I'm not mistaken, the POV shifts from Mike, in the first paragraph, to Josh in the second. Apparently this is a big no no. It's "confuses" the reader. Well, duh! As far as I'm concerned, as long as it's made easily apparent who is thinking what, where's the problem? In my opinion, it's not any different than following different characters when the speak.

To me, the whole beauty behind the written medium as opposed to television or movies is that we are able to more easily delve into the characters thoughts, emotions and POV. It seems to me, the trouble stems not from a POV shift's ability to confuse the reader, but from people locked into a certain way of doing things. Remember the old days, when you wouldn't dream of starting a sentence with "and" or "but." Writing styles have changed considerably over the years. Read some of the old Sci Fi classics like War of the Worlds or Brave New World. The writing seems almost clinical and sterile by today's standards - more like a scientific paper than prose.

It has become more and more permissible to ignore certain rules of grammar in the interests of style or effect. Why should POV be any different?

OK, wait one while I buckle down this last bit of body armor. All set. You may fire at will. (BTW, who is the Will guy anyway, and why is everyone always shooting at him?)

Be Well, Live Well.

Thomas Fri Apr 9 06:45:05 PDT 1999


The last beautiful generation -- hmm. Which was the first?


Recently I sent a query to a magazine, with clips. What I got back was a form letter giving me author's guidelines, which told me to send a query with clips.

A week later I get a form letter response from a literary agent declining to represent my book, and the letter included a glaring mis-spelt word. (Imagine how many writers got that one!)

My point: I am beginning to believe that unsolicited stuff is not being read.

The writer's market, at least in the US, seems to have reached the point of oversupply. Couple that with bottom-line needs at magazines and book publishers (now mostly all conglomerates) and chances for being discovered diminish greatly.

It seems, while die-hard perseverance is still a must, knwoing someone who can help is fast trumping it. Imagine doing in the US what Agsousa says he did in Portugal to get his first book published: walk right into the publisher's office. But then, maybe it will have to come to that!

I still think we ought to collaborate and produce a book of rejection letters. Now that would be funny.

Jerry Lee,

Regarding your story idea that is now on the tube: goes to show how few ideas are new. In writing, it isn't the idea that counts; it is the execution. Try altering your perspective on Noah's story. Look up the epic poem of Gilgamesh (Babylon). There is a story within the poem that tells of a Noah-like Mesopotamian. Maybe it will give you a new slant on your idea.

Didn't forget the monger thing: I have no idea who misinterpreted you (it certainly wasn't I) and I have no idea why you referred to the war monger thing. Like you who gets passionate over the Navy, I become passionate when I feel accused of name calling, which I never do to make a point.
I leave name calling to the politicians, demagogues and nationalists; they excel at it.

Dr. Kawinkiedinks Fri Apr 9 01:51:12 PDT 1999

I thought that if the background of this place was not grainy, writers would not make so many mistakes. Look at the message below: eartquakes, weare...Unbelievable! And then some people speak of misunderstandings. You think you write Rome and you write Constantinople. You write what and people read war.
Have I made any errors mesylf?

Little Kawinkiedinksson got drunk yesterday. My father thought it very funny. Well, Manchester United had had a draw against those awful Italians. It was a case for celebration. I also drank a little. We all slept on the floor below the dining table. We were all so happy that little Kawinkiedinksson was home!

Americo Fri Apr 9 01:38:42 PDT 1999

Hello, everybody!

I'm on my way to a well-deserved weekend. You were my Easter holidays. But now, back to normal. No internet on saturdays and sundays. One needs rest from all these fights. And I have also my own writing projects, don't you know? Tell me everything about Pompeii and eartquakes. Did Roman women weare underware? I'm especially curious about bras.

Lidia, Cassandra, Xavier, Avatar — talk to one another. You are the present.

Allein — come soon and give a little of your beauty to all the ugly guys.

Lena — You are the boss now.

Thomas — We are the last beautiful generation. Let us sing a merry song.

Well, freedom of the press and make love not war!

Howard Thu Apr 8 22:44:27 PDT 1999

Awwwww shucks! Another rejection! Not too constructive, either. All it said was "Thanks for the submission, Howard, but I can't use it." (It was the Superbowl piece, Steve, I guess it wasn't as funny as we thought.)
Oh well, I still have one out for review -- would you believe to "Children's Digest" magazine! Gotta score *somewhere*.

Cassandra Thu Apr 8 20:02:35 PDT 1999

Hi all

I'm sorry hon (scratching ya behind the ear with my nice long nails), I was on my way out the door... forgot to put my name on it.

I've always felt that I was just considered 'one of the guys' especially in Highschool. I wasn't horribly affectionate, and my feminity came through my strength (which I think confused and bewildered those 14-18yr old men who grew up on 'Me Tarzan, you Jane' things). I had fun at the prom just dancing with my friends. Odds are if I had brought a date, I would've been forced to sit longer. I would much rather DANCE! :)

Jerry, Thomas-
Calm down... it's obvious that things have gotten out of hand. Let's end these misunderstandings, and get back to writing. Please?
PS Smile :)

I finished the back to my chair today. Now I have to attach the legs, and possibly figure out a way to hinge them so that the chair can fold up... hmmm. I also have a large(life sized) self portrait on my wall. Kind of daunting having an eyeless version of yourself sitting in the middle of the wall... little scary actually.

*yawn* It's only 11, and I'm already being dogged by sleepiness... I think I'm going to wander the web and do a little work on the webpage, I wonder what drawings of mine are on the computer? I can't wait to get back home to my scanner.

I must depart now...

Ta ta

"Don't be afraid to be weak. Don't be too proud too be strong. Just look into your heart my friend, that will be the return to you self, the return to innocence."- Enigma

Jerry Lee Thu Apr 8 19:05:13 PDT 1999

I'ts good to know I'm not alone.

I never said you had called me a war monger...Did you get the point about me being mininterpreted?

Dang, how does a guy win?


Thomas Thu Apr 8 17:58:10 PDT 1999

Jerry Lee,

I never called you a war monger. I never even referred to you as a military person. I do not appreciate accusations.

Read the posts again, and get off the offensive.

Rachel Thu Apr 8 17:57:15 PDT 1999

Hi all

Jerry-Lee - I know exactly what you mean about your stories getting out there. Its as if somebody snuck into your mind and picked your brain.

Take care all


Jon Thu Apr 8 17:50:47 PDT 1999

Hey, boss, Cassandra and Avatar have just published something more the moment you were shouting your post!

Miss Cassandra, will you please write your name in the right place when you publish some thing new? Now, don't go back — this time you are forgiven, and the book already has 178K.

I also read all the stuff. And Pussy and ... well, crying again - I must be sick.

AGsousa Thu Apr 8 17:41:35 PDT 1999

Avatar — Shadows will never finish as long as there are people here like you. Or better, it will last but we'll certainly begin another project. The best way to learn how to write is practicing not just talking, though talking is also good. E-mail me if the notebook gets too boring — it tends so, when I and my friends go away.
I adored a "letter" you sent me once. Sometimes we have this impression that no one is paying attentios to us, but it is a wrong impression. I read you with pleasure : you make me smile, think and also laugh, which is the best proof of love one gets. I of course read your addition to Shadows and I think I understood it, though your explanation here helped. May I kiss you? Okay, big kiss. Hot, as we like. Send to the blazes anyone who gets scandalized with whatever you do, write or say. And to hell anyone who discourages you or, even inadvertently, runs that risk.

Xavier — the above is also for you (except the kiss, if you don't mind). I liked your piece for Shadows. Send 50 more of them and I will shout here that those who really like literature thank you. 50 times. (Jack has a big back-up drive, I hope!) I was so glad when you said that Shadows had helped you a little! That's the purpose of this place, otherwise I would not be here a minute.

And to all the young writers (and those who have a young mind) : whatever you publish in Shadows will be read and several times. I copy the material to my wordprocessor, ask the spelling and grammar thing to do some cleaning, get a big glass of water because of my cholesterol (otherwise it would be the most poisenous whiskie I could lay my hands on, ye holy people!) and read, and laugh, and frown and suffer — because not all of the texts will fit the theme. Read the theme, people. Shadows in a Dream is a "fantastic" novel (from fantasy). Fancy and imagination are required. Reality is also good, of course. Reality is the most "fantastic" thing there is.

And Lena also reads everything (that is, when she is not playing golf or fishing or filleting). There are many people reading your stuff here, my beautiful girls and boys. Okay, I kiss the boys too. Am I not weird?

And make love, not war. (I wish I had invented this phrase. It is so new again!)

Thomas Thu Apr 8 17:38:29 PDT 1999

SN and Michele,

Let's put this to rest: Blowing in the Wind is a Bob Dylan song that PP and M recorded. Where Have All the Flowers Gone is PP and M (I don't know who wrote it).

I believe Rhoda referred to Where Have All the Flowers Gone.

SN I am glad you agree about the "war" thing. This ain't the place.


Me hate contests. Me also don't think you should doubt yourself. Methinks you might consider what SKS says, critiques are opinions -- opinions come cheap, and they are all over the map.

Wish there were an answer for writers; some make it, some do not; few know why. What the world needs is the answer to this writer's prayer: "please let someone else (preferably a publisher) see what I see." The only way the prayer can be answered is by letting as many potential buyers as you can see your story.

Incidentally, Lydia's concept of plot driven and character driven sounds about right, but you know, I never think of that stuff when I write. To me, that is formula.

I like to write what comes to me, and then later figure out if I have a plot or some characters; if not, I call it a poem or an essay or anything but a novel.


Your autobiography does not surprise me.

Jerry Lee Thu Apr 8 17:31:18 PDT 1999

Lena, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I vaguely remember seventeen, the year the Eagles broke up.

Thomas, I'm not a war monger, really. It's easy to get caught up in a subject and hard to break out while you're still being misinterpreted.

Discussion topic?...Am I the only one who has been hot and heavy into a project only to see some bit of fluff of a made-for-TV movie cover the very subject you were doing?

For the past 6 months, I've been working on a great story that I thought was original in it's telling, if not in it's subject matter. The story of Noah's ark, but telling of his Dickensian childhood and some other pretty interesting events in his 650 year life (all fiction of course).
Now here it is on the tube.

This happened to me once before when the movie 'Under Siege' came out with Steven Segal.
Am I psycic, or does this happen all the time?

Should I finish the story, or just throw my hands up and quit?

"There are no more letters".....Pat Sajak

Sqrl Thu Apr 8 16:08:50 PDT 1999

Happy Birthday Lena! (sorry I'm a weeeeee bit behind on things)

It's that hectic life of a History Secondary Ed Major(double majors are the pits! try to avoid doing a double major when you get to college! it's a drain on your existence)

17! WOW! don't remember much of that year...don't remember much about yesterday (but that's besides the point)


(please excues my spelling...I'm slightly agravated) Yesterday my English teacher basicly told me (yet once again) that i stink at writing and that I have little to no future in it! gotta love that NUN! ::grumbles under breath::

Avatar Thu Apr 8 15:47:16 PDT 1999

I'm not making much of an impression here anymore, am I?

Agsousa- Is the Shadows project going to end when we get there? It shouldn't.

Rhoda- take my advice. The worst person you could put on critiquing your novel would be yourself. Honestly. I have given up much of my well-earned free time when I give in to that little voice that says 'it's not good enough'
When you hear that, stop, look both ways, then kick it in the arse (prdn m' lnguage)
Questioning the worth of your novel will only get you dug into a deeper hole. I am very proud of the way you got down to it and dug into your creative abilities to craft this. Not everyone can do as you have done, believe me I know. Many writers give up in despair long before they even put the pen to the paper as the saying goes. You should be so proud of yourself for even getting far enough to ask if it is better to have character-driven plot or not.
Your novel will speak for itself, whether you want it to or not. There's nothing you can do about it. It's time to release the hand of the child and let it stand on it's own two feet. I doubt that if it has lasted this long over this much critiquing and still turned out like this, that it needs any more POV or however you're driving changes.
And it really doesn't look crappy at all. It's just that as the gleam of excitement fades over time, reality sinks in and things start looking dull and gray. Putting it aside for a while, or finding something exciting in it again, will probably solve that problem.

One last note - I don't think this is a project you should put down. How could it have lasted this long if not for love?

If I have offended anybody's sense of moral or rightness in writing, I apologize. But it's my opinion(even if it stinks) and that's that. Unless I typed it wrong,
of course;)

I shall now fade back into the drab world of existance from whence I have come. And thence back here when the spark of life emitting from this place again draws my dull eyes.
We shall meet again. Soon.

(What happened to all the quotes? Those were fun!)

-Reality shows itself in three ways:
First in living,
Second in dying,
Third from a fresher viewpoint


S.N.Arly Thu Apr 8 14:21:11 PDT 1999

SKS - Yes I'd heard he is "the next Jackie Chan." Jackie slow?! Wow. Hope to get the martial arts page up this month. The arms have slowed down my progress greatly and I'm not using Dragon for that!

Rachel - It's so nice to have people anticipating my stuff! I'm in Shorin Ryu, and Thursdays are my teaching nights. Women's self defense then we take the blue belts training for green. We're going to work on throws and breakfalls tonight. I love throws!

Agsousa - I'm neither surprised nor unsurprised, indifferent might be better wording. While I had initially intended on contributing, my disability has made that impossible, especially if I want to get some of my own stuff done. I happen to disagree with your POV. The only duty a writer has is to write. We are not a special segment of the population destined for greatness and divine wisdom. We are not obligated to discuss anything. On the upshot, however, I owe you nothing. And if you think I don't care about newcomers maybe you should check with a few of the folks here who came after me.

Michele - Yes it's flowers, young men, young girls, then a reprise to flowers, if I remember my old guitar days. I should look. I might actually have the sheet music to that somewhere, and it would tell us if it is Dylan. It'd be cool, as I am also a Dylan fan, but it would be a surprise.

Rhoda - It's time to give up on a project when you don't love it anymore. I sometimes like to put things away for a while to gain perspective, but most will never be totally given up on because there is always hope. I've taken some really terrible stuff and rewritten it into something spectacular

I'm not sure what to think of contests. They sort of seem like a rip to me. The winners I've seen from some have not impressed me either. Can't comment on the other two subjects. My fingers are numb. I'll try to get back to them tomorrow.


S.K.S. Perry Thu Apr 8 14:14:10 PDT 1999

Hey all,

Rhoda, Please don't let these two critiques discourage you. Remember, I've read Valerie's Song, and even though it is not a genere I usually indulge in, I thought it was very entertaining, and my wife did too. Besides, Valerie's Song is both character driven and plot driven. I know that sounds like a contradiction, but your novel deals with Valerie on a very personal basis. It tells us who she is and what she wants, and what she had to go through to get there. This indepth character that you've created is set against a fairly convuluted and engaging plot. Either was enough to compel this reader to continue reading.

I've had a number of people in another writers group go over some of my work. Some of these people are profesional writers and editors. The interesting thing is, when I compare the critques, I find that often they have conflicting views as to what I've done. Some loved the characters but thought it lacked realism, while others expressed exactly the opposite.

Critiques are nice, but remember, they are just opinions. Every one has one, and even the pros often don't agree. Have faith in your work, and that sooner or later you will find a publisher who shares your opinion. I do.

Be Well, Live Well.

Lydia Sweet Thu Apr 8 13:54:22 PDT 1999


I get confused by the idea of whether a story is plot or character driven. I suppose you would consider "Armageddon" a plot driven story and "Something About Mary" character driven. Neither has a bad or good. Both were enjoyable, but writing comes to the creator in different forms. My characters develop before I complete the plot and are very much character driven.

Someone, tell me if I am wrong in my understanding. A plot driven story is one that surrounds an incident or occurance and a character driven story is one that follows the characters actions.

Also, Rhoda, the agent whose book I am reading explained the need for conflict in this way (but not these words). Conflict keeps the reader interested, makes him want to know what will happen next and generally want something exciting or suspenseful to keep his interest; and a reason to cheer the hero forward or gasp at his failure.

Think of a book you stayed up all night to finish. You couldn't put it down because the tension or suspense kept you wanting more.

Hope I didn't get that to muddled.

Lydia Thu Apr 8 13:34:52 PDT 1999

Michele — I know that you have a tendency to see inexistent digs anywhere. Please try not to "chercher le midi a catorze heures" (look for noon at 14 hours). We have too many collaborators for "Shadows in a Dream" already. Our problem is now to avoid useless repetitive material and not the contrary.

This reminds me that it is time for the collaborators that *really* want to go to the Chelsea to pack and take the plane. We'd better finish this book as soon as we can. It is disturbing some people.

Dr. Kawinkiedinks Thu Apr 8 13:23:35 PDT 1999

Someone has made an important contribution to the history of spelling. Eton has not an "a" indeed. My name has an s, though.

Michele tops, right?

Dr. Kawinkiedinks Thu Apr 8 13:21:30 PDT 1999

Someone has made an important contribution to the history of spelling. Eton has not an "a" indeed. My name has, though.

Michele tops, right?

Rhoda Thu Apr 8 13:08:38 PDT 1999


Happy Birthday to You!


I agree with you. I too would like to see more writing topics discussed here, though I really am enjoying Shadows in a Dream.

Speaking of writing topics, I just got my contest entry back. This is the first time I have entered a contest that wasn't sponsored by Southwest Writer's Workshop. The judging with this one was quite different and I am wondering what to make of it all. Needless to say, I didn't win or was even a finalist. I don't want to tell anyone where I ranked because I am a little embarrassed about it.

My head is positively spinning with questions. Is VALERIE'S SONG worth one more rewrite? When is the time to give up on a project? What is the importance of internal conflict in a novel? Is character-driven really better than plot driven? How can a novel look so good to the author and then after two critiques look so deficient?

These were not bad critiques. I could see that they were well thought out, and both raised valid concerns. I suppose I had better take some time to let the cob-webs clear from my head. I hope I can properly incorporate the good advice.

As far as possible topics, I'd like to consider a.) the validity of contests and hear of people's experiences with them. b.) The finer points of internal conflict with the main characters. c.) ways to properly establish setting.

Out of these things previously mentioned, I think we could generate a good discussion. I would like to sit back and read these posts as they come. I am once again reminded how very little I know about writing, and I am truely wanting to learn.

Happy writing,


Avatar gryphon5flame Thu Apr 8 13:04:24 PDT 1999

or belated birthday ;)
I haven't made 17 yet
so hope it's a good year for you

Agsousa- I got something in! So if any of you out there are thinking it is the strange thoughts of a psycho lady who just happened to jump onto the site, sorry.

Oh, yes, by the way. Answering a few mental queries, yes I am female and no I didn't mention it before because I tend to forget that Avatar isn't exactly a feminine web-name.

Hello to Kawinkiedink(I hope I spelled that right)I am the resident inner-outer. Which means I am in and out of this workbook at odd moments and it's really hard for me to keep up. Still, I am happy to consider myself one of the crew (if nobody minds?) and extend a warm hand of welcome, even if it is a bit late. I'm hoping to stay at least up to date on the workbook project.

If all I have to give is love,
then giving it freely shall I be



Michele Thu Apr 8 11:42:11 PDT 1999



I only admit to having good ideas ! grins


Was that a dig at me not contributing... ? Sorry but...


Phew !


That's the first verse - the one about soldiers is the second or third verse... And it may have been sung by Peter, Paul and Mary, but I believe it was written by Dylan...


Happy Birthday again... I remember 17 - glad that I am not 17 now ! grins


Just a small note - Eton doesn't have an a in it, which you ought to know if your son is at school there...

I have seen the playing fields of Eton, where all those wars are supposedly won... they look like all the other playing fields I've ever seen...

Sigh I have another week of vacation left - and another essay to write - on the sociolinguistic history of any 2 countries I chose... No, I don't want nominations, thanks... I picked Norway and Russia because Norway has two official languages and Russia because I know a little about Russia anyway...

Anyway, I am going to go and read an interesting book on sociolinguistics... talk to you all later...


What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.
-- Samuel Johnson Johnsonian Miscellanies (1897)

Lydia Sweet Thu Apr 8 10:11:21 PDT 1999


I have started writing my contribution to "Shadows". I, like Hootie, have come up with a rather sinister twist and you may or may not like my contribution. I hope to submit sometime next week, as the post-poned oral surgery will take place tomorrow.

I thought that, although this is a writer's forum, we could discuss most anything that is on our minds. It generally is an outlet and a sounding board for subjects or themes that show up in our writing.

Happy Birthday Lena. And any other member whose BD has slipped past me.


Dr. Kawinkiedinks Thu Apr 8 09:23:59 PDT 1999

I wonder if "to smash somebody into smithereens" is a war expression. Better use it not in this peaceful place.

Agsousa Thu Apr 8 09:20:33 PDT 1999

S. N. Arly — you would be surprised to know that only you and Michele and the accidental posters are not contributing to "Shadows in a Dream". Eddie has not contributed yet either, but he has just arrived after a hospital surgery to his piss-ye. Just talk about literature is mere blah-blah. Practice is what really matters. I have done my best to make people discuss other subjects besides the novel. But do not try to scare people away from talking about what they like. A writer has the freedom (and sometimes the duty) to discuss everything. Incidentally, you still owe me an apology for having being extremely rude to me — and that when I was just a newborn baby to the notebook. Don't pretend now to care about newcomers.

Cassandra Thu Apr 8 08:46:56 PDT 1999


I had a slightly rough 17th year. I hope yours is leaps and bounds better! *hugs* Best Wishes.

Gotta Run to Drawing class now

Ta ta


"Normal is boring." - me

Rachel Thu Apr 8 08:25:40 PDT 1999


17 WOW. I loved 17 it was a very interesting year. Hope yah have fun!

S.N.Arly - Thanks you. (big smile) I feel very much like I am going to be sick, but I really think its time to take the plunge.

I also am waiting on your martial arts site. C'mon, c'mon, c'mon! (big grin) Aren't you into Gojo of some form? I still love my Karate. Poor SKS could tell you all about it. I think he's gotten the blow by blow on every punch, kick, block and match I've taken part in.

SKS (aka Yoda) Help meeeeeee!!!!!!!!! I am so computer illiterate it is shamefull. I keep saying I'll read the manual, but I just don't I am very lazy.

Take care all


S.K.S. Perry Thu Apr 8 08:00:09 PDT 1999

S.N. Arly,

I think it's spelled Jet Li. Check out Lethal Weapon 4 just to see him in action. His style is very similar to Jackie Chan's (I'm a fan of his too!) but Jet makes Jackie look positively slow. By the way, have you got your martial arts page up on your website yet? I read your column in the ShallowEnd. If Dragon Naturally Speaking works that well, I'm going to have to check it out.

Be Well, Live Well.

Lena Thu Apr 8 07:55:58 PDT 1999

SKS - I'm going to see the Matrix, either tomorrow or on Sunday, with a friend of mine. It looks like a really good movie.

Mr. & Dr. Kawinkiedink(s) - I am covering my ears and humming as loudly as I can. HUMHUMHUMHUM... huh? What? Did somebody say something?

Oh, yes... Thank you for the birthday wishes. I woke up this morning to my sisters giggling and trying to arrange themselves into a chorus, and then happily bombarding me with a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday To You." Unfortunately, rousing renditions are not my favorite thing after I have just woken up - it was cute, though. I have three sisters, all younger... although one of them is taller than I am.

I am not going fishing today. I wanted to, but our boat decided to sputter and die on us, so...

Casey - Yes, being miserable does build character! Or something like that... it is my favorite thing to chant to myself when I feel completely miserable. Makes me feel like all my suffering has a purpose. :-)

Thomas - I am the perfect a-typical teenager. I am usually completely oblivious to the world around me, have no real interest in guys (well, most of the time... smirk), I actually --gasp!-- read, I do not think school is a complete waste of time, and, well, I golf. I do not care about fashion, clothing, makeup, or the "who-is-dating-whom" gossip. Perhaps I am missing a few of the joys of teenage-hood, but I have given it a try, and I find I like the life I am living. I am not popular, but I have a few very close friends and many that I just like to hang out with. It suits me. And, of course, I have all of you.

Have a nice day,

S.K.S. Perry Thu Apr 8 07:52:32 PDT 1999

Hey all,

Casey, a friend of mine in high school always seemed to date the smartest, prettiest girls (and no guys, one attribute does not contradict the other). He wasn't much to look at himself, (good looking, but not great looking) and when I asked him how he mangaged it, he told me if he were going to be rejected, it might as well be by someone smart and gorgeous. Being rejected by girls he thought easily attainable (and by that I he meant not someone he considered out of his league) was painful. But being rejected by someone he figured he didn't have a hope in hell of dating, he could handle. What amazed him was the number of times these "elite" girls actually said yes.

Of course, it's absolutely acceptable for a woman to ask out someone she's interested in. You have no excuse for not going to the prom with someone if that's what you wanted :)

Goodweed, I haven't forgotten about you. I'm working on the chapter you sent me for review. I've got my copies of Elements of Style, Elements of Editing, and Bare Essentials out and hopefully will have it finished and back to you soon. Thanks again for your suggestions on Wet Ware.

Be Well, Live Well.

S.N.Arly Thu Apr 8 07:42:47 PDT 1999

Just as we have been Bill/Monica free, I propose that we make this a NATO/Kosovo/Yugoslavia/Whateverthehellyouwannacallit Free Zone. Yes, I know, not talking about it doesn't make it go away, but just because it's there doesn't mean we HAVE to talk about it either. And yes, I know it seems to be a valid writing topic (war), but if what you're discussing here has nothing to do with writing, hey it belongs somewhere else!

I'd really, really like to see us get back to some discussion about writing, and I've tried several times to redirect the conversation that way. It might even be nice to talk about something other than Shadows. While fun and exciting, not everyone is participating. Those who might not have time to contribute (or even read it daily) probably feel like they're listening in on someone else's conversation. Not a good way to recruit new writers or keep those we've got.

Cain - I've got some very useful links to American copyright websites on my webpage (see top of this post for link). In the future you may want to join the workbook section, which is where we usually post works for critique and suggestion.

Rhoda/Michele - The song is "Where have all the flowers gone," I've always heard it done by Peter, Paul, and Mary.

Rachel - YEA! We're all behind you. Especially those of us who were here when you first showed up, timidly insisting that the very thought of other people reading your stuff made you want to be sick. Send it Send it! Later this may all seem very anticlimactic, but it's an important step. And in time you'll even get used to the waiting and the rejections as you search for just the right place to accept it. Perserverence! It is one of the many keys to the world of writing (anyone got the master key? I'd like to be able to use just one to get me thorugh all the doors.).

Lena - Twas your birthday and I didn't know it? What kind of twin am I?
Hippo birdie two ewe. Hippo birdie two ewe. Hippo birdie deer ewe. Hippo birdie two ewe. Hope it was great.

SKS - Is that how his name is spelled? Jet Li? I've been looking for him for a bit. I've heard he's phenomenal.

Caroline - Only three that end in gry? I'm going to have to think about that one. Only three? You're sure? Granted I can't think of one just now, but...


Dr. Kawinkiedinks Thu Apr 8 05:26:47 PDT 1999

Did my father say skirts?
He must be in one of his devilish days...
I only care about words and punctuation. A comma makes me dream. I am a linguist.

Mr. Kawinkiedink Thu Apr 8 05:23:39 PDT 1999

Someone said here that he only cared about the mind. The mind can be a bit dirty. Be more careful next time — little Kawinkiedinksson is coming home tonight. For him just the soul in its entire purity. I hope Miss Cassandra does not wear mini-skirts. I would not tolerate that. Skirts till the feet, girls.

S.K.S. Perry Thu Apr 8 05:08:48 PDT 1999

Oh yeah, H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y L E N A ! !

S.K.S. Perry Thu Apr 8 05:05:55 PDT 1999

Caroline, the only other word I can think of that ends with "gry" is "aggry," meaning a type of prehistoric bead.

Be Well, Live Well.

Caroline Heske Wed Apr 7 22:45:08 PDT 1999

Happy Birthday Lena! (I'm atrocious at remembering birthdays, even when someone writes 'happy birthday' in bright colours. Happy Birthday too to anyone's I've missed here - possibly Allein's (sorry Allein if I did)). It's my mum's birthday today.

Gosh, I haven't been here for a while - what with easter and that damn mailing list taking up my time - and there seem to be lots of new people. Hello to you all.

I've just moved into my new flat, which is a ten-minute walk from uni (<-really good thing), and the place looks like a bizarre art gallery, cause both me and my flat-mate paint (though I'm not sure about the giant Bavarian landscape we have hanging in the kitchen!), and Rosa does sculptures too... big ones! We probably have more art than space.

SKS - the Matrix... it gets released in Aust. today. I've heard lots of good things about it - but I still have my doubts about Keanu. Though I did go and see Payback (pathetic), Lolita (excellent - they're still trying to ban it here), and Bulworth (v.good).

Writers block at the moment - not in the psychological sense, but in the physical not-enough-time sense. The need-to-finish-essay-by-monday sense... I've changed topics now, which is a relief. It's very difficult to write about the breakdown of the confucian ideal of the family in nationalist China with the collapse of the state when there's no information on the topic and the state didn't really collapse. IMHO.

I started reading The God of Small Things, but that was superseded by an Uplift book, and now that's been shunted aside by Vanity Fair (which is VERY good), and I shouldn't be reading it or writing to you about reading it because I don't have the time. (I love the way the English language is so open to contradictions...)

QUESTION - there are three words that end in 'gry'. The first two are 'angry' and 'hungry'... What's the third?

I have an itch to talk about something writerish... a completely new topic. Ideas, anyone?

Sqrl Wed Apr 7 21:28:51 PDT 1999

Hi! I'm posting again! Just wanted to let you all know I'm still here! pulse still working! (I think)

I'm diligently working on is giving me a hard time about posting...have to rewrite the entire thing in order to post cut and paste method here! *ug*

Casey! Checked out your site! MEOW!

I would post some's getting late/early...need sleep!

"The only thing that can be said about my obscure behavior, is caused by that of the restlessness from night, which has overpowered me...I have come forth from a hibernation, passionately reffered to as 'research'...reality evades me as I search for the unknown...taking on impossible missions that only I can finish...time is the enemy...while I take refuge amongst the sanctity of the nothingness of the unknown." ~me~

Cassandra Wed Apr 7 21:04:40 PDT 1999


Well, since you can't see me right now I'll inform you, I'm blushing. I didn't catch up on the posts til now... Thanks for the compliments. You guys are sweethearts! :)

The dateless prom thing was no choice of mine. I was shy, and the guys in my school must have been intimidated (that's the only excuse I can think of!) Well, their loss I guess. I'm a helluva dancer as well. ;)

Thank you so much, smiling always makes things feel a little better. :)

I doubt that I could take traffic away from our lovely notebook here. Maybe knowing that cute girls visit it will bring more people in? ;) hehe
People used to tell my father that he looked like Dustin Hoffman when he was younger. Maybe you've got that resemblance too.

I referr all my writer friends here though... Perhaps my mother will join in on the fun sometimes. She writes poetry, and the occasional short story.

I have a gigantic self portrait hanging on my wall which I should be working on right now. The pictures that my teacher took for it were amazing, makes me wish that I my scanner here at college. I guess I'll just have to post them on my page when I get home...

I've only got 3 or so weeks of school left!! Yippie! Then I'll be working, writing, and tweaking the webpage. :D

well, back to work.
ta ta


"Being miserable builds character." - Calvin's dad in Bill Waterson's Calvin and Hobbes.

S.K.S. Perry Wed Apr 7 19:30:09 PDT 1999

Hey all,

I just saw the movie "Matrix." If you're a Sci Fi buff you have to see this one. A neat concept and great effects. It's one of those movies that makes you go "Oh, wow!" There were also trailers for Star Wars, The 13 Warrior - a cool sword and sorcery type fantasy with Antonio Banderas, and The Black Mask (a martial arts movie starring Jet Li - he's incredible. He's the guy who kicked Mel Gibson's butt in Lethal Weapon.)

I don't know what any of this has to do with writing, but at least I'm off the subject of War :)

Be Well, Live Well.

Thomas Wed Apr 7 14:29:13 PDT 1999


Seventeen -- so long ago. Wish I could remember it well, but I am afraid I was not like you.

At seventeen, you are atuned to your surroundings and you are in love with words (who knows, maybe you are in love with a boy too). You have such a future before you, and I can tell you will make good use of it.


Assuming you located a potential market -- just send the story. Let the chips fall where they may, and if in the unlikely event you get a rejection, well, you know who to tell...

SKS, Jerry,

C'mon guys, let's get off war. There are Web sites dedicated to the war in Serbia, or any war, for us to rant and opine. Let's do writing!!!

Listen SKS, I will gladly (well, not gladly) get off the piano bench to sing. I never could do both, simultaneously.


Good idea about people emailing for information on WWI.

Oscar Peterson indeed. Great jazz. He's Canadian, you know. I think he is retired now. I saw him once in New York when I frequented jazz joints in the sixties.

Saw so many greats like Thelonius Monk, Earl Hines, John Coltrane, Red Garland, Herbie Hancock, Dave Brubeck -- oh, I loved New York and the Village Vanguard jazz club.

I used to sit nursing a drink and writing my impressions of their impressions, and then I would go home and make poems out of my scribbles in the dark.

Dr Kawinkiedink Wed Apr 7 14:28:18 PDT 1999

"Birday or birdday"?
I don't know this one. Sounds nice, though. Wed Apr 7 14:10:23 PDT 1999

Just two lil messages.

LENA — HAPPY BIRDAY!!! I thought you'd be Aries like me. We are the best. You'll be in my dearest thoughts tomorrow (you are always in my dearest thoughts). I wish I could hear your song "Shadows in a Dream".

Cassandra — I usually only pay attention to the mind. But I can make an exception to you. Put your URL together with your name here and the notebook will have no customers. And your father looks very much like me (in the face only).

Rachel Wed Apr 7 13:28:41 PDT 1999

Hi all

Michele - All is well. I found the story. I don't think I'm ready for it to end up in a stack of monthly reports. Hey but thanks for the words.

Agsousa - I think Shadows will be just great. I love all the characters. It is such a mixmash of types. Its wonderful. In real life you never end up with a group of peopel that are all the same. Well unless your me and then there are those who would say that the life I lead is far from real (grin)

All - Well I have to go and stare at the story that I'm sending off again. You know try to psych myself up. After all the worst that can happen is rejection.

Take care all


Michele Wed Apr 7 13:04:42 PDT 1999

Drat ! That yellow came out a bit pale - that second word is "Birthday" (unsurprisingly !)


Michele Wed Apr 7 13:03:43 PDT 1999




(for tomorrow)

From Michele !

Michele Wed Apr 7 12:59:47 PDT 1999



I didn't know I was in this story... However, why not ? As you say - it is fiction, so what matters it, that I can't play a musical instrument to save my life ? grins


You never know - Dan's boss might like your story ! You could have a potential buyer there... grins ! Be optimistic rather than pessimistic (this from a cynical pessimist !)


A man may write at any time, if he will set himself doggedly to it.
-- Samuel Johnson (1750)

Lena Wed Apr 7 11:42:37 PDT 1999


Americo - My song is already put to music.

My dad and I constantly argue military issues, because he is the gung-ho honorable military man, and I see the death and chaos war causes. We both have good points. War can be looked at from many different angles, because it contains so much good and so much evil. I have used many of our discussions (aka arguments) as a basis for the novel I am writing.

Mr. Kawinkiedink - I will put my hands over my ears and hum loudly. Have no fear for my innocent ears.

I ache all over. My golf coach had us driving balls for an hour, and then we had to play our standard nine holes. Golf is not a hard sport, but it does add up. My shoulders hurt. I think I will go hide in my room for a while and take a nap.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I will then be caught up to Allein - I am turning 17. I am going fishing all day with my dad and my sister, not much of a celebration, but all I want is some peace and quiet.

"I once loved a woman, a child I'm told,
I gave her my heart but she wanted my soul."

Xavier Wed Apr 7 11:35:46 PDT 1999

Well, it seems that I accedently posted twice on 'Shadows'.
I don't know how that happened, but hopefully Jon the Gato can recitify the situation for me. With all the money he makes editing the superb writing in 'Shadows', he should not complain too loudly.

Of course, I could always introduce him to my friends pit- bull, his name is Lucifer. A pleasant k-9, to say the least.

ok, enough from me. Give me a computer and I can't control myself.


Rachel Wed Apr 7 11:30:11 PDT 1999

Hi all

OH MY GAWD!!!!!!!! I am freaking out. I feel like I am going to be sick. My story is gone! I left it on the computer desk as I always do, but Dan did his reports last night and now the reports and my story are gone!

To me this means that in all likely hood my husbands employer is probably sitting back and looking at my story and wondering what exactly it has to do with file numberXYZ.

I can only hope that Dan took it to read for himself, and that it hasn't ended up on the desk of somebody I don't really know.

Sorry for the rant, but I just had to spill this someplace.

Take care all

Rachel Wed Apr 7 10:09:13 PDT 1999

Lena : the poem for "Shadows" is splendid. Now we need to put it into music. How about starting the movie? I am trying to get an opportunity to e-mail you. Our novel will be great, believe me.

Will it not be, Rachel?

Xavier Wed Apr 7 10:07:00 PDT 1999

Wow, I feel better!
People are posting again, and the drought is over!

By the way, It was me who mentioned their being two Chelsey hotels, but one is actually the Chelsey Inn. Its' on 17th st. Also, 23rd st. is not a rough area, especually for N.Y.C. At 4am its gets a little dark, but in daylight/ evening it's not bad at all. Its mostly well lit and a big street. The traffic never stops on 23rd. So fear not young ladys, unless you run into a gun nut or psychotic dopefiend in your travels. But what are the odds of meeting such people in N.Y.?

Well, That's my two cents. I have no publishable opinion right now on the war topic, but I do concur- I would much rather make love!

Back to Albany for me now- woooweee!

Ps Unto Casey: Judging from your picture (very nice), I find it hard to envision you resembling anything but a nice, pretty girl.


S.K.S. Perry Wed Apr 7 10:00:33 PDT 1999

Hey all,

Michele, if you love saxophone so much, how about being our sax player? This is fiction, after all.

Be Well, Live Well.

Michele Wed Apr 7 09:02:08 PDT 1999


Hmm... I am not going to post an essay on the origins of WW1 here - if anyone really wants one, they can email me and I'll send something...


You mentioned saxophone - I love sax music - so don't you bring no sax players near me boy, because I will drool !

I always wanted to learn to play piano myself... but you've enough piano players on Shadows already... I'm actually sitting here listening Oscar Peterson play... and Wow ! (thanks Pnokio !)

I will talk to you all later...


The first casualty when war comes is truth.
-- Hiram Johnson Speech, U. S. Senate (1917)

Rachel Wed Apr 7 08:49:03 PDT 1999

Hi all

Wow! Am I ever freaked out. I have decided to submit a story. Yup, had to do it sooner or later.

I have all the guidelines. I have a truck load of good advice. An excellent edit. Now all I need is guts.

I'll do it. I really will and then when I get the response. I will frame it. I hate to sound negative, but I am expecting to soon join those of you with rejection letters.

I just think of all the people out there who write and I sit back and sigh. Sure my writing is interesting enough for me, but will it be interesting for anyone else. Yup all that self doubt, self defeating, self talk.

Take care all


Jerry Ericsson Wed Apr 7 08:41:38 PDT 1999

Hello again,

Just a note, there were mountains in Viet Nam, and the war in Viet Nam was a gorilla war.

At any rate as has been said before, war does make for great stories, and good reading for young minds. The only problem is that war is glorified in most stories and the older movies, making it somehow allright. Yes I said we should move ground troops into Kosovo, but not because I think war is a good thing. The only reason to move them in is to get this thing over with. We could sit back and bomb Serbia for ever, and they will never surrender. Bombing a country only makes them bond togather against a common enemy. I realy don't think we should have started the whole thing, but since we are there, then lets get it on and get it over with.

S.K.S. Perry Wed Apr 7 07:53:42 PDT 1999

Hey all,

I'm working on the Jam session thing for Shadows, and so far I have Thomas, Lena and Rhoda who play piano, and myself on drums, as well as a few (Rachel, Rhoda) who sing. Is there anyone out there who plays guitar, or base, or saxophone, or would mind if their characters knew how? Please let me know ASAP.

As for the war thing, I've been to Kuwait, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Grenada (sorry Toby.) I don't always know why we were sent there, I only know why I was there. Someone was picking on someone else who couldn't defend themself. I'm not niave enought to believe that that is the reason they sent me, but that was why I choose to go. I would do the same for you, if you were being mugged in an alley. Possibly (probably) there were times when I was misled. I agree with Thomas. I hate war. But I also hate standing by and letting others die. I know our countries can be hypocritcal when they choose who to defend, and whose cries for help to ignore. No one said anything when China invaded Tibet. Still, I feel it is better to help where you can, rather than not help at all if you can't help everyone. Let's face reality - we are not prepared to take on China from a military standpoint.

As for the use of ground forces, whether ground forces are neccessary or not to end this war is not the issue.
The issue is that we are having a hard enough time coping with the fact that a few pilots have been captured. Bombing from afar is relatively safe as far as combat goes. Imagine the difficulty there would be in trying to rally support for a military action where thousands of our people could lose their lives in a single day. Whether we need them is not important, it's whether we would allow them that is.

Casey, I visited your website. Your off to a good start. (And I can't believe you went to the prom alone - unless it was your choice.

Be Well, Live Well.

Thomas Wed Apr 7 07:12:26 PDT 1999

Lena, Howard Mr. K, and others,

Perhaps you will remember how upset Rhoda once got with certain views on religion, mine included, and she threatened to never post on the Notebook again because we did not agree with her and we offended her sensibilities.

Perhaps you will also notice how certain subjects are too personal for people to discuss rationally, let alone approach them on an impersonal computer site.

I am anti-war, even while in the Air Force I was against the war in Vietnam. I am against killing of any kind -- can't even sleep after I run over a field mouse with my tractor (would certainly rather make love). I also dislike nationalism; it is often used as a tool to stir up lives that are otherwise miserable and need a purpose -- the purpose often becomes hatred, and then it leads to atrocities.

So, now you have my opinion, but I submit, it says nothing about you or me in the context of writing. I would rather we talk about war, religion or anything else of such personal passions in the context of literature and not in the context of opinion. We all have opinions, but few of us have sold books, and that is what I should like for all of us on this site.


Re: Chelsea, I referred to an earlier post. Someone said there are two listed in the phone book: one on 17th and one on 23rd Street. I meant to say that the one on 17th must be spelled differently than the real Chelsea on 23rd.

Cassandra Wed Apr 7 07:06:25 PDT 1999

Good morning notebookers,

I'm in my English class at the moment, and find myself (once again) bored out of my MIND!! There's nothing to do in this class but explain the literature to my groupmates, wait for the rest of the groups to stop deliberating.

The snoz is feeling better now, Thank you. I just can't wrinkle my nose at people without hurting myself. (Yawn) Ow! There's a nice dark scab almost exactly between my eyes. I look like a boxer, or a hockey player.
If I knew you were wandering around on here, I would've posted my new stuff for Shadows.

I'll have to do some serious working this week. I have to finish my chair by next week. I have a new Color Theory project involving pointilism (groan) due next week as well. Finals week is steadily approaching. (Yikes!)

I would much rather be writing, and putting together my webpage... Unfortunately it's going to be about 3 weeks until I'm allowed that freedom.

I have to go BS my way through a literature discussion. Good day too you all.

Ta ta


"Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night." - Dylan Thomas

Mr. Kawinkiedink Wed Apr 7 04:10:43 PDT 1999

The father, not the son, the grandson or any other member of this large family. Some say we are gremlins, but we are not gremlims. Worse than that: educated middle-class Westerners.

Someone said "Make love" in this forum. I am offended. We Christians never make love. War is all right.

Little Kawinkiedinksson (double ss) is at Eaton, a boarding school in England. I'd hate if he saw this phrase "make love". Please delete it. He comes home for the weekend and uses the computer for his war games.

I thought you could discuss "Star Wars", you being intellectuals and all that.

Be more considerate next time. There are children in this world.

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Apr 7 02:35:14 PDT 1999

True to form, I think I am coming down with some kind of bug. So, I will keep this moderately short.

Philip: Glad to see you drop off here. Know you are busy. Fran and I just went to apply for our passports today. Now all we have to do is figure out how to get the Australian Visas. I guess that is the next order of business.

On War: Like religion, sex, violence and so many other hot button issues, war by necessity sweeps up a whole host of elements of the human condition in such a way to make it a central theme in fiction of all sorts. Add to that the timing of most soldier's experience of it, young just after a grueling mind conditioning experience in boot camp, it holds an important place in many people's lives. Many primary issues of terror, mortality, pride, heroism, villainy, cowardice and a whole range of other emotions and experiences all roled together in a grand tapestry that lends itself quite nicely to the writer's ammunition for plotting. By its very nature, war is through and through a case study in contradictions and as such perfect for our needs. Start with the simple prayers of both sides to blow the other guy to hell and gone. Makes one stop and consider about our expectations of God and her/his expectations of us. Dealt with as a tool for we as writers, I do not see war as being an off limit subject. But I suspect the current altercations in the Balkans will have to be taken off line. We all have strong feelings one way or the other. Myself included. I will not relate those feelings here except to say that I hope the need for war can end soon and healing can begin. Take care everyone. I will be adding to Shadows in the next couple of days between coughs.

Kristina Wed Apr 7 00:36:21 PDT 1999

P.S. Just caught up on Shadows and loved the new posts...will try to put up my next addition within two days. Unfortunately I go back to work tomorrow...

Kristina Wed Apr 7 00:07:50 PDT 1999

Well, I know everyone is probably tired of the war talk, but being in the military I can't help but throw in my own two cents as well. I agree with Howard that refusing to discuss something will not make it go away, and war is definately worth talking about. War will never be eliminated if it is ignored.

S.K.S. Perry and Goodweed- I found both of your comments extremely interesting. You don't have to feel "bad" for saying that there are a lot of unintelligent people in leadership positions. It's simply a fact. Promotion in the military is practically automatic. Enlisted people are moved up in rank primarily by test scores and a point system...there is no personality test, and no test of leadership skills. Ideally it is different when you reach a certain point for rank, or if you are an officer, but that's another story...Some people just don't know how to act responsibly once they are given some power. And once a person is given power it's pretty difficult to take it away.
Anyway...there is really just one thing I want to say. I can't discuss what exactly my job is in the Navy, but I can say that no matter how tragic the outcome may be when our military takes action (I'm speaking from my knowledge of the U.S. military anyway), we really don't need to spend too much time agonizing over whether our military "did something wrong". I say this because I know for a fact that the people who make decisons when it comes to war really are seeing "the big picture", and are doing what they can see our country or the world needs. I also feel I can safely say that although sometimes war is waged for reasons that aren't very noble, at other times our leaders need to take action, and simply cannot give their "reasons" to the common public on the 9:00 news for security reasons. When I am out of the military I will be grateful for the things I will no longer have to worry about as a civilian. It is not the common citizen's job to worry about the intricate details of war...
if it was half of our nation would probably be depressed 99% of the time. The best thing I feel anyone can do, is do their best to see that good and honest men are elected to hold positions of authority. If we demand high moral standards from our leaders, we can then sleep easily at night, knowing that they will take the information given to them by our intelligence community, and make the decisions that will spare the lives of as many people as possible, as we strive for world-wide peace.

Rhoda-I don't think you need to apologize for expressing your opinions on war...there is nothing wrong with having an opinion on war based on the information the media DOES give us.

Anyway, I can't wait until I am out of the military and can be seen as "myself" again, instead of my "rank".

Toby-I will feel joy the day I get my FIRST rejection letter! Thanks to your posts I can say it definately is not something I will fear once I start submitting work...I think I will also see it in a humorous light, and keep track of how many I can aquire, as I strive to become published.

And before I say goodnight...A question...Are there solid plans to have a spot in the workbook to post non-fiction?
Just wondering since that is actually where my real writing preference falls... Goodnight! Kristina

Xavier Tue Apr 6 23:38:59 PDT 1999

Well, here I am, aimlessly milling about the notebok, and no one is around! It's very upsetting to finally have access to a computer all night, and no one posting.

I did manage to add to shadows, however, and I feel beter. I've not been this excited about writing in a long time. Adding to shadows makes me feel good that some one will actually read (hopefully) what I wrote. Most of my writing ends up in the drawer, never seeing light again.

Still, the night is long, and I am looking for any signs of life out there. Life is too short to spend it alone.

Xavier :(

toby b Tue Apr 6 22:39:06 PDT 1999

Phillip, great to see you man!

As for the war, there are some exchange students at the college I know from Kosovo, I'm interested to see what they have to say. I myself grew up in Grenada when it was 'peaceably' invaded by America in the early 80's, so I tend to have some interesting perceptions of war. But I tend not to share them with people, I keep them inside for spicing up fiction and characters.

Rejections; any serious writer has to face a glut of rejections before coming anyone. I've spent the past few days updating my Access database with every single rejection I've ever received. Some pretty heady stuff. The submission log shows 113 rejections from February of '96 to today. I break the years down by my academic periods, so I have my Freshman year(96-97)/Sophomore Year(97-98)/Junior Year of college (98-99). I've had since October 98 till now some 60 rejections, showing that I'm keeping steady at 10 a month. Most of the authors I admire and that have serious careers often logged between 200-500 rejections before rocketing, so if one is serious persistance and hard work is always the key. Stan Schmidt told me once that Kevin Anderson started submitting when he was in high just as I did, so the number of rejections don't bother me. I'm hoping to log over 120 rejections for '99-'00.

And of course, the sales I make along the way always brighten the path. :)

Philip Tue Apr 6 21:50:32 PDT 1999


Good to see this place still flourishing with new writers Jack.

See you in Sydney soon.


Xavier Tue Apr 6 21:26:01 PDT 1999

Hello everyone!

I e-mailed Jack from my dads, and he was kind enough to relay the site for the work book for me. Thanks jack.
Unto Agsousa I would like to say thanks for caring, and liking my charicter anyway. He is fictional, but many of my lsot and fallen friends who he emulates were not., and when they died I could not simply re- write the script.
They are gone forever.

I will be making another installment in the workbook tonight, and don't worry it will all tie in nicely.

Unto cassie (may i call you that?) I hope your nose feels better, a lump on the schnoz can be a painfull one.

well, I am off to write more grim tales of the downtroden.

"Death is not funny,
you do not come back and visit
you only take a player out of the game.
Death is a fact of life."
- Anti- suicide slogan from my youth


Xavier Tue Apr 6 21:19:05 PDT 1999

Hello everyone!

Cassandra Tue Apr 6 21:00:12 PDT 1999

I'm half asleep
There's the URL...

Cassandra Tue Apr 6 20:57:07 PDT 1999

Hi all

Well, looks like the war has boiled over into our Notebook. I, being only a college student, and not versed in such areas will only pose on question brought up by my father. (He is currently seeking the answer, and trying to get the newspeople, or some sort of media mogul to ask it as well).

In the report of the capture of the three US soldiers which have been captured, there is no report of return fire. None whatsoever. My father (a vetran from Korea) believes that these men, who were in a war zone, were not give ammunition. When he was stationed in Korea he claims that they furnished the soldiers guarding areas little or no ammunition. If this is in anyway true of our "Peacekeeping" troops in Yugoslavia... then I pray for their souls. Why doesn't our government allow our soldiers to defend

Ok, off of that topic... After being maliciously attacked by a picture frame last night(fell off of my friend's shelf and hit me right on the nose... left a cut that took over an hour and a half to clot), I was in no shape to operate the powertools in my 3D class this morning. I slept, and then woke up with a pounding headache. So I didn't go to drawing either.

I wandered around... and started setting up my own website. I really should've typed up my Shadows instalment, but I got sidetracked. Sorry. I posted the URL at the top, but it is far from a finished product. There are a few pictures of me up there in case anyone's interested.

I should do some work, and then sleep... I promise I'll have more submitted to Shadows tommorrow night!

ta ta


Howard Tue Apr 6 20:52:59 PDT 1999

Sadly, refusal to discuss war will not make it go away -- especially, it seems, in that little corner of the world. This century began with war in the Balkans, and an assassination of an archduke by a Serbian zealot, and it seems that it will end with war in the Balkans as well. World wars I, II, and quite possibly III began there, and can anyone tell who was the last man(iac) to order an invasion of Jugoslavia?
But as already mentioned, some of the greatest writings of this century have revolved around the horrors of war. I remember "Beach Red" and "The Thin Red Line." I think these and others like them were not written to glorify, but to expose the hopelessness of war, and to point out the fact that there are no winners, only the living and the dead.
True, there was once a certain "honor" in the way one waged war -- there was a certain code of "ethics" that governed conduct on the battlefield. But I think that air of "romance" associated with men like Teddy Roosevelt, von Richthofen, Alvin York, and Colin Kelly has dissipated in the stinking winds of modern warfare. These, and others like them fought and killed one another face to face. It was intensely personal. Now it's impersonal -- done at vast distances to faceless and nameless people known only as "the enemy." And too many of those faceless and nameless people do resemble the six million -- innocents whose only crime was living.
John McCutcheon said it so well in his song "Christmas In The Trenches" -- "On each side of the rifle we're the same." I don't think we can say that any more.

Howard Tue Apr 6 20:52:48 PDT 1999

Sadly, refusal to discuss war will not make it go away -- especially, it seems, in that little corner of the world. This century began with war in the Balkans, and an assassination of an archduke by a Serbian zealot, and it seems that it will end with war in the Balkans as well. World wars I, II, and quite possibly III began there, and can anyone tell who was the last man(iac) to order an invasion of Jugoslavia?
But as already mentioned, some of the greatest writings of this century have revolved around the horrors of war. I remember "Beach Red" and "The Thin Red Line." I think these and others like them were not written to glorify, but to expose the hopelessness of war, and to point out the fact that there are no winners, only the living and the dead.
True, there was once a certain "honor" in the way one waged war -- there was a certain code of "ethics" that governed conduct on the battlefield. But I think that air of "romance" associated with men like Teddy Roosevelt, von Richthofen, Alvin York, and Colin Kelly has dissipated in the stinking winds of modern warfare. These, and others like them fought and killed one another face to face. It was intensely personal. Now it's impersonal -- done at vast distances to faceless and nameless people known only as "the enemy." And too many of those faceless and nameless people do resemble the six million -- innocents whose only crime was living.
John McCutcheon said it so well in his song "Christmas In The Trenches" -- "On each side of the rifle we're the same." I don't think we can say that any more.

Dr. Kawinkiedinks Tue Apr 6 18:55:36 PDT 1999

The son, not the father, Mr. Kawinkiedink.

Bucks? Do writers say "bucks"?

"The land of the neck people?" That is acceptable. Hmm, I like it. Tue Apr 6 18:52:02 PDT 1999

The CHELSEA is on 23rd Street (no. 222). Please do not confound people, Thomas.

One of the books I liked as a teenager was a war novel : Hemingway's "A Farewell to Arms". I read almost everything by Erich Maria Remarque ("Time to Love and Time to Die" for instance). Perhaps we could write a round robin called "Life was Sweet in Vietnam". I don't like war literature any more, but "The Red Badge of Courage" is an impressive book for such a young author.

Jerry Ericsson : don't talk about ground troops. You should know better. I know that everybody is contemplating that silly idea, but you don't know what it is guerrila warfare in a mountainous country. The only solution for this conflict is not force. Force never solves any problem.

That reminds me that "For whom the Bell Tolls" is also a fine war novel. Lots of guerrila scenes on the mountains.

Rhoda — so you won a million bucks and want us to fire Jon? No way.

Eddie — Rhoda won a million bucks ("Shadows", March 26). She is rich.

Hei, hei : no mothers-in-law in the Chelsea, please.

Xavier : you almost make me cry. We can't give the URL here, it is confidential. If you e-mail me the addition I'll post if for you. I don't know about the others, but if you were your character (a dope fiend in NY) I would like you as well. Writers must love their characters and their character's models. Unless they hate them, which is all right as well.

Make Love, Not War.


I was trying to catch up on reading a couple of days postings and the first couple of postings were telling Rhoda to shut up about the war. I kept reading and noticed a lot of others talking about the same skirmish or others from history.

The more I read, the madder I got about people jumping on Rhoda. Chriticism (sp) is fine but it should be fair. If she is out of line, so is everyone else.

The remark about this being for Writers made me wonder about the thousands of books, some of them best sellers, written about wars. I find it hard to believe there won't be fiction and Non Fiction set in the current location.

I was really encouraged by the number of rejections you have received. It means you are working at your craft. One of the largest writer's groups around here has a contest every December. The winner is the writer with the largest number of written rejects from publishers or agents.

Sorry about blowing off steam.
Keep writing everyone.

Rhoda Tue Apr 6 18:11:13 PDT 1999


I agree with you. I think it best we not discuss the war. Actually I did not start the discussion, but I did carry it forward. For that I respectfully apolgize. As far as my ability to discuss it, I think I am as qualified as any other citizen. Incidently, I do not get my information through the television, for I do not have it. I get some information through the radio news,, and I make my own analysis through those sources and through my own common sense however flawed it may be. I am not anymore likely to follow along with the so-called experts anymore than many of your generation during the Viet Nam era. National leaders must always be held accountable even in times of war. However I may feel about it, I hope the objectives of the engagement are achieved and peace is achieved in Yugoslavia. I hope and pray that I am wrong to doubt the "experts." Enough said. I knew better than to go into it, but I got carried away.

I hope I didn't offend anyone, and I certainly don't wish to start any wars around here. I adore you all, and I didn't mean to raise anyone's blood-pressure. Please forgive me. Next time such a political discussion comes up, I will try to refrain.


I am rich only in fiction. Read "Shadows in a Dream" and you will find out how I acquired my fortune.

"The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour." Japanese proverb.

Good night, all,


Lena Tue Apr 6 17:55:51 PDT 1999

Americo - Vietnam was a messed-up, tangled war, and I hope that if it does come to sending in ground troops to Yugoslavia that the military will execute that maneuver with the same efficiency as the air strikes. Oh, and I have 42 cents to contribute to Jon's salary, and a few more leaves of catnip - make the offer and see if he stays on.

Thomas - I disagree about Rhoda's comments. They made an interesting point, and you dismissed it out of hand, basically telling her that her opinion does not count because she is not intimately informed of every matter pertaining to the situation. If she made an error, why don't you just tell her what the error is instead of telling her to keep off the subject of war altogether? Share some knowledge, because we are all entitled to an opinion and need to know enough to make our opinion a wise one.

Ed - Heck yeah. Filleting.

Rhoda - Sure, we can fight for the piano - or we could just play duets. :-)

Here are the complete words to my song for Shadows (subject to change) -

"Shadows in a Dream"

Have you ever danced with a shadow?
Do you laugh when the world goes awry?
Can you live for to love
what life is made of?
Will you miss the new moon when you die?

Have you ever talked to a shadow?
Do you hold a severed hand in your own?
Can you truthfully say
that you lived for today?
Will you treasure all whom you have known?

Have you ever dreamed of a shadow?
Do you blindly see what you can save?
Can you watch the night sky
with no tears in your eyes?
Will you light a candle to keep watch o'er the grave?

-- Bright stars of hope, keeping guard against the dark... this is respectfully dedicated to Jennifer Thomas, in the memory of a twilight vigil.

Okay, okay, I admit I wrote it for an entirely different purpose than for Shadows in a Dream (witness the dedication), but, strangely enough, it works. It's all symbolism, anyway - make of it what you will. I want to work on the last verse, however... it doesn't quite sound right.

And please, please, read the new additions to Shadows and contribute to this growing novel.


"Humanity i love you because
when you're hard up you pawn your
intelligence to buy a drink." - e.e. cummings

Thomas Tue Apr 6 15:22:44 PDT 1999

The Chelsea on 17th Street. Must be a different spelling for a different hotel.


May I humbly suggest that, like religion, you stay off the topic of war! The comments you made could start their own little war, and we do not want that on the Notebook.

To make and to respond to such comments about war policy, one must not only know history but one must be familiar with the sordid intricacies of strategic alliances, and not what television or radio news and talk shows report to us.

Perhaps Michele, with her research and knowledge about WWI, could enlighten anyone interested as to how and where that war was sparked. The curious thing is that Hitler chose the same region to make his first foray into aggression.


Love your leadership study story. Speaks volumes. Seems to me like something to write about.


Land of the necks -- I missed something. You do have a way of confusing this normally straight-laced, down to earth, lack of humor guy.

Hope your new house is cheaper to operate than mine.

Eddie french Tue Apr 6 14:12:28 PDT 1999

That's the sound of my back getting back to normal!
Honestly, I really hate moving house!!!
I've got the machine onto a small table but I have only a stool to sit on and the keyboard is on my knee.
I have found an alcove to build a workstation in so I'll probably get on with it soon.
Shadows?? is this a new colaberation?
I have'nt written a thing since my last posting to the workshops....and I was going like a steam train too! I'll get back into it just as soon as I get my comfy chair in position.
Don't wanna talk about no war roun' here. Boy it just breaks my heart to see those people thrown to the darkside of (life?) like that. And here's me moaning about moving to a nice new house with carpets..and electricity...and central heating...and food in the cupboard. I thought that the internet would prevent that sort of stuff from ever happening again. I said that if we'd had the internet and all that goes with it back in 1939 then there would be 6 million more jewish people in the world right now. Boy was I wrong!
Information about what is going on is supposed to help prevent these terrible things from occuring isn't it?
Perhaps it is!
Perhaps we are preventing another Holocaust! Who knows.
No I'm not talking about war, I'm talking about people who share this planet with us and are entitled at least to a quiet and undisturbed existence.
Sorry for rambling but I may stop now and go fix a cup of coffee on my nice polished worktop which has been boiled using a nice shiny chrome kettle powered by conveniently provided electricity. Sheeesh!!
Other stuff then.
Sorry I was not there for you, but I'm sure these good people helped you a lot.
Welcome back to the land of the neck people.
No such bloody luck my friend, but here's hoping.
Keep up the good work.
Nice to see you posting regularly. Are you rich?
Thought about you often. Missed your cutting wit.
How is it down under?
Glad you are still here!
This stool is killing me so I'm Off.

Michele Tue Apr 6 13:30:15 PDT 1999


I am not going to comment on Kosovo... this is a Writers Notebook after all...

The Catcher in the Rye is a wonderful book and on the subject of books set in New York - what about Helene Hanff's Apple of My Eye - not fiction admittedly but still a good book - enough to make me want to visit "NY, NY, so good they named it twice"...

Anyway I've been absent the last couple of days because I've been slaving over a hot History assignment... it's now complete so I am free for a few days and then I shall begin the last of the 3 essays at the weekend... (what a way to spend Easter !)


Those weren't the lyrics we used to sing in school assembly... but near as makes no odds... Wasn't it Bob Dylan wrote Blowing in the Wind ? I always liked that song - seems more appropriate now that I am interested in WW1...

Any time to sleep...

G'night all

Oh to be in England,
Now that April's there.

--Robert Browning, Home Thoughts from Abroad

Jerry Ericsson Tue Apr 6 12:46:16 PDT 1999

Greetings all,

War, probably one of the ugliest actions ever to take place on this great green world. I know, I have seen it first hand in Viet Nam. I have been watching this thing in Kosovo since we invaded (yes NATO invaded Kosovo). While I did not agree with the President when we bombed Somolia and I didn't think we went far enough with Desert Storm, I do think it will be necessary for NATO to use ground troops now. We are fighting a man who if left to his own means would be as evil as Hiler. We must stop him even if we are forced to use and loose many of our brave troops.

Anyhow, I posted my latest chapter with Shadows. I sure is a long drive from South Dakota to New York.

Happy writing.


S.K.S. Perry Tue Apr 6 12:37:09 PDT 1999

Hey all,

You didn't really think I could stay out of the ongoing military debate did you?

Goodweed and Jerry, I think as members of the military, it doesn't matter whether you're Airforce, Navy, American Military or Canadian - we will always hear the same complaints about idiotic policies, poor leadership, and brain-dead superiors. I also think it's fair to say that you'll hear the same gripes from anyone in any large organization, military or otherwise. Unfortunately, the military command structure, rules, and regulations are set up in such a way as to amplify all these problems. Let's face it, any organization that strictly enforces the concept that someone is better, smarter, more deserving, and always right - simply because of their job position - has some serious issues to contend with.

It's my opinion that people who could not command the respect of their peers in the "real world" should not assume that holding rank in the military (whether as an enlisted service person, or officer) means that they are suddenly imbued with the qualities of leadership, intelligence and morality.

I was part of an interesting study done a couple of years ago. Twenty military personnel were thrown together and directed not to discuss their jobs, nor to disclose their rank to one another. This group was then assigned tasks (mostly of a military nature) and left to ourselves to complete them. After the first week, we were scored as to the effectiveness and ability to complete the tasks at hand. We were also asked to rank each member as to their leadership status. I'm proud to say I was chosen as the dominant leader of the group. (I was also voted one of the most well-liked, which I was informed is not the norm.) Our rankings were compared to that of the observers, and it was found that they matched nearly identically.

At the end of the first week, our uniforms went on. Surprise, guess who was the third lowest rank in the group. That's right, me. Of the ten officers in the group, only one was ranked in the top five for leadership. (He was a Major.)

The exercise was repeated (with different taskings.) It was amazing how my ideas and suggestions suddenly lost credibility. I was often brushed aside, or met with condescending remarks, and tasked with menial objectives. At the end of the second week, the group had dropped considerably in it's marks for effectiveness, we failed to complete several tasks, and moral was down (as scored by the group and the observers.) When we ranked each other as to leadership skills this time - well, let's just say I didn't make the top ten. What was really interesting to note was that our rankings, and that of the observers this time, were completely off-base. I was still chosen as one of the most well-liked, so it wasn't all bad.

We were told that the military would be looking into the results of this study, and would get back to us and let us know what they concluded. That was two and a half years ago, and I've never heard anything further about it.

Rhoda Tue Apr 6 12:14:48 PDT 1999

I posted another addition to Shadows.


I play piano and can strum chords on a guitar. I also play the recorder, but I am sadly out of practice. I would like to play the piano. Perhaps Lena and I can fight for the privledge. That might add some drama to the story. I didn't bring any musical instuments to New York, but since I am now rich, I can just go out and buy whatever I need.


I think a lot of this Yugoslavia thing is that NATO is trying to redefine itself now that the Cold War is over. NATO probably should be disbanded, but like any other respected and time-honored institution, it will not go away easily. I agree that the things things going on in Kosovo are horrible, but so are the things going on in Sudan and China. Why don't all respectable people of the world go over and fight China? They are a menace to Asia, and espacially Taiwan. They steal U.S. military secrets, give money illegally to US presidential canidates. They even threatened at one point to bomb Los Angeles if we interfered in Taiwan. They imprison their people and committ human rights violations all the time. Let's just show them! But then, how would we get our Nike shoes and buy our children's toys and raincoats while the hostilities insue? Is the United States prepared to be the world's policeman? Incidently, have our military efforts eliminated Saddam Hussein? I wonder if any of our foreign policy experts know what they are doing. Scary really.

Well, best to end here. I agree with Agsousa's earlier statement that we should stick to writing around here. There will be plenty of time at the Chelsea in New York to discuss politics.


Fire Jon.

"Where have all the young men gone?
Long time passing.
Where have all the young men gone?
Long time ago.
Where have all the young men gone?
Gone for soldiers every one.
When will they ever learn.
When will they ever learn."--old 60's anti war ditty.

Happy writing,


Xavier (for now) Tue Apr 6 10:43:10 PDT 1999

Hello again!

I still don't have the workbook's address and am feeling dejected. However, I tried to find out the physical layout and some info about the Chelsey hotel, and there are actually 2 of them. The first is on 17th St. and the other on 23rd. I need to know which one we are at so I can gather info. I have the phone #'s to both, if anyone wnats it.

Got the gateway working fine last night, and I wish I had one now. Maybe I'll build myself one like it.

Ps. Welcome Wilson Fisk A.K.A. The King Pin, it seems your in the right place (but Daredevil's not here!) Tue Apr 6 10:34:52 PDT 1999

Ground troups, Lena? Do we want another Vietnam? Or worse? Let us sit at a table and talk like Christians or muslims or human beings — only solution. The think is pretty ugly there. I wish we were already in the year 2002 (after the millennium).

Xavier - the URL of the novel is (oh, I'm afraid I can't tell: Jack's secret, I suppose. He will tell you, I'm sure.)

People : before you kill Goodweed for telling that Shadows is not the best project in the world, I must tell you he is right. To begin with, there are in the workhsop two other good projects, "Them Bones" and "Darkness Descends". Secondly, we have to work better and harder and we love freedom of the press and liberty of opinions. Thank you, Goodweed.

Jon asked me more money to continue as a secretary to the novel. What do you think of this, Lena? Shall we keep him or not? I still have 33 cents left.

Lena Tue Apr 6 09:15:00 PDT 1999

Cain - If you want feedback, there is a sister-site to the Notebook, called the Workbook, in which you can post short stories, poems, and excerpts from novels for review and critique. Ask Jack for a password and the addy. This way you will not have to worry about copyright violations, and can post your entire "My Life As A Fly" story for critique.

Also, I have found that it pays to be patient when posting on the Notebook. Even though it seems like a multitude of posts have gone up since your last visit, it has only been a few days. Respond to any subject that sparks your interest (or your ire), read the biographies if you want to know more about the people on the Notebook, and keep in touch. I will look forward to your next comments - you seem like a wonderful addition to the Notebook.

Goodweed - My sister, father, and uncle went fishing yesterday, and caught close to three dozen northern pike, and a couple of monster muskies. How's that for fishing?

Americo - Yes, "Innocents Abroad" by Mark Twain. I have never read it, but have heard it is one of his lesser works. Also, on Yugoslavia, I don't think that air strikes are going to do anything to help stop the killings - wonderful, let's go bomb empty police headquarters and deserted military bases, that'll really show them that they can't mess with NATO. I believe they have the wrong strategy, but not being well-versed in military matters, I could not tell you the right strategy. Ah well, at least I admit my semi-ignorance. However, I do believe that ground troops are a better idea than what we are doing now.

Toby - Yah, go rejections! I'm cheerin' you on.

New York Stories - How about "A Cricket In Times Square"?

SN Arly - I do have a goal to write as much as I can of my novel this summer. I am really happy now, because last night I managed to pound out a couple of pages of this neat surrealistic dream scene in my novel that I REALLY LIKE. Yes, yes, yes!

"Sometimes the only sane answer to an insane world is insanity."

Cain Tue Apr 6 06:54:53 PDT 1999

Sorry, just an E-mail amendment. My E-mail is given erroneously on the text above it is:

Cain Tue Apr 6 06:46:21 PDT 1999

It is definately inspiring to read the motivations, thoughts and ideas of other writers, and by the look of it there is a great deal of people who use this site.
I left a message hear once but it was soon swallowed up by the vast number of messages that are left everyday. I have a passion for writing as I'm sure most of you do, but have little idea of how to utilise it and make it lucrative, here is an extract from one of my stories:
"Almost immedeately he felt her numerous eyes searching for him as she sat in the centre of her web, and meticulously with frightening speed and accuracy, one of her many long, legs reached out to individually stroke each strand and locate the vibrations of her stuggling prey.
All or nothing he thought and began to struggle with every ounce of strength he could muster, trying desperately to tear the thick, silken cords that ensnared him.
His obvious thrashing gave his position away almost at once as the whole web audibly jingled and undulated against his efforts.
She lowered her abdomen against the web, made throbbing by the continued and vehement attempts to escape, the concluding manoeuvre of her location dance, and sped off in the direction of her helpless victim.
He had used up every last reserve of strength and still the web held him prisoner, fear had totally taken over and now fired every fibre in his being as he still tried in desperation to escape, wondering if at this rate his entire metabolic system wouldn't arrest before the web-owner even reached him.
'Ping' he felt one of the threads go, and swivelling his head which was now free, he looked back towards the centre of the web. A mistake, she was almost upon him. Terror seized his frame, he froze and felt all hope drain from him. She had spun every delicate thread of this web herself and traversed it like an eight legged tight rope walker with a speed and grace which he could only admire. The rythmic staccato 'tic', 'tic', 'tic' as her legs danced off each lanyard mesmerised him as he caught a glimpse of the six reflections of his terrified self in her black compassionless eyes. She was so close now the he could see the venom dripping from her fangs, and he quickly and quietly made peace with his God and consigned himself to his fate, even feeling a little privaliged to have his life taken by such a creature.
Then something very unexpected happened. Intervention from the macroscopic world. A large, clumsy, pink finger suddenly appeared and split the web between himself and the web-owner, tearing her intricate, silken construct with incredible ease and unimaginable power. It was one of the bigger creatures! Wether by accident or deliberation he did not know, but he lost sight of the web-owner in the fingers giant wake as it passed through the web taking him with it. One end of the sticky gossamer with which the web was made had become attatched to the finger and at the oter end he was still stuck fast, trailing through the air behind. He heard her hiss from her broken kingdom and in a last stitch attempt not to loose her quarry she leapt from what was left of her web, her legs outstretched ready to embrace him. She missed, te finger pulled him away on the end of the strand as it continued with its journey. He watched her fall until she completely dissapeared from view, took a deep breath and involuntarily went to the toilet......."
I hope you enjoyed reading it. The completed work is a short story of about 5000 or so words about the day in the life of a fly. Please, please, please somebody give me some feedback as all my sent E-mail and messages always seem to go unheeded and unanswered. Also could someone verify copyright procedure. I have the original of the story in a safety deposit box in a bank along with many other of my completed works, I was told this was adequate proof of the date and orignal authenticity but am unsure wether it covers everything. My E-mail address is at the top of the page, if anyone could take 5 minutes to respond and drop me a line I would be in your debt and perhaps share some inspirations.

Gloria Ladd Tue Apr 6 06:00:30 PDT 1999

Once I started a local writers "club" (more accurately, a definite "workshop",) I was truly amazed by the amount of talent in those who not only want to write, but those who feel they must!
I am among the "must" group, always in my most content (although it can also be the most frustrating) state of mind when I'm writing.
My computer now holds 5 of my books that are waiting for an opportunity to be available to the public.
I'll not give up!

Gloria Ladd

Agsousa Tue Apr 6 01:54:31 PDT 1999

I could not agree more, Goodweed.

Jon Tue Apr 6 01:53:03 PDT 1999

The Way of Larry Green

This is an unfinished list of our founding fathers. I had no patience to continue. $2000 a week is not enough for this job. It's sad to think that in a few months, perhaps weeks, surely one year at the most, most of us, including me and my dearest friends, will follow the way of Lerry Green. Life is short and there is no hope for anyone. Farewell!

Larry Green, M.A/Raymond K. Chung/cliff amsbury/Christopher Pommier/John Nolley/David M. Spaar/Peter Bilodeau/Corinne Hollister/Omar Kamel/Serena Liak/Dean W. Jones/im Varnado/Chong Sin, Lim/Just call me Ceridwyn/Nicke Martinez/Ron Hewitt/Wade Thomas Markham/Melissa Leubner/Gordon Davidescu/Jennifer Gross/Tobin Elliott/Christopher Wilde/Richard Shambrook/Bob Hanford/Elijah Chudnof/Jeff Page/Tony Padegimas/John Cashon/Kent Brewster/Taralyn R. Frasqueri Molina/Troy Baxter/Marc Beebe/ason Zinzilieta/Lauren Baumbauer/Tom Dell'Aringa/Allen Bell/Chad Luff/o Vandewall/Martin Simpson/Craig O. Jones/Susan Violante/Robret McQueen/Bob Helwig/Rob Eberwein/chrisandra sico/Rick Novy/Lisa Nickles/trudy/Mike Hendel/Kitty Dwyer/Tam Lin/Kitty Dwyer/Trish Mayfield/Michelle Smith/Patricia Mayfield/S Glantz/Sherrie D. Lord/Eric Dorn/Jeff Page/Don Bright/patricia mayfield/

Xavier Mon Apr 5 23:04:43 PDT 1999

Hello again!

Just figured I'd drop in and see if anyone posted. No one has (sob!) Anyhoo, I'm at my fathers untill tommorow and would really like to get to 'Shadows', so if jack or someone would be kind enough to e-mail me here at the above address with its location, I would appreciate it. I don't always have time for such writing, and I am loth to miss the oportunity. Thanks.
Unto jon the gato, i would like to apoligize for all the mis- spelling around here, especually by me. I'm sorry it upsets you so, but acceptance is a good virtue in this line of work.

See you in the funny papers!

Xavier Mon Apr 5 21:44:13 PDT 1999

Hello Ya'll

Well, I'm at my fathers house in Westchester, N.Y., and I just hooked up his new gateway2000 computer and free internet access. So here I am, all ready to make a new addition to 'Shadows', and i don't have the notebook address! Its stored on my school computer, and I can't likey reach it from here. That stinks. I've enjoyed reading and wanting to write for 'shadows', and it has spawned a new interest in writing for me. I feel alittle less than when comparing my work with the others, as I've never submitted work before, or been published anywhere.
For those of you who may be curious, I'm not a dope fiend in N.Y., but this is a charicter from one of my books, and I felt it a good chance to exorsize him.
Unto the Notebook: Happy birthday pal, though I've only known you for a short while, it seems like forever.


Goodweed of the North Mon Apr 5 20:47:40 PDT 1999

I enjoy writing in "Shadows...", but I find it a bit self indulgent. I enjoy much more the stories taking shape in the two other round robins. I invite all of you to share those stories as well. Please contribute. I feel great things could happen from all of the stories. We may learn to write better. What has been placed in "As darkness Descends" and in "Them Bones" is good reading. They need a bit of pollishing to get rid of the tyos and such, but good strong storylines are being built. Jump in. The waters great.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North Mon Apr 5 18:24:18 PDT 1999

Thomas: "Catcher in the Rye" indeed. I was daydreaming of rain. How's your book going? We are very much worried here with the war in Yuguslavia. Not a good topic for the notebook. The military... are the military. The day we can do without them, the world will be better. In the meantime, in the meantime. And if NATO think they can get the better of the Yuguslavians...well... Innocents abroad. (Isn't there a book with this title?) Poor Kozovars!

I was in Infantry. Nice guys, just a bit boring. I met a major who loved Maria Meneghini Callas more than his wife. He was also keen on fishing sharks. He would spend months waiting for a certain shark. He grew a passion for that shark. And one sunday morning he caught it. I was told he cried that day. Of sadness, not of joy. Man is a strange beast. The only creature who cries and laughs. They say hyenas also laugh, but that is not true. You can but love a man who catches sharks and adores Callas, the divine. There are nice chaps among the military. It's just their bloody job.

Thomas, Thomas, Thomas: wasn't our generation so funny? You had Vietnam, while we had, simultaneously and with similar enthusiasm, Guinea, Angola and Mozambique — all together. Guerrila warfare, how delightful. I was three or four days in Guinea—Bissau, just for a break from my desert Ilha do Sal. I almost died just because I had to breathe from time to time. Worse than Vietnam. Or at least the same. And we also had Napalm. I am glad I never hurt anyone. Some of my friends had to. In the dark, I hope. No, it was not in the dark. Some of them were killed. Once as now. This beast is immortal.

But we also had the Beatles, of course, and Melanie, and Bob Diilan, and... A very musical generation. We killed at the sound of the guitar.

Toby — Don't mind the rejections, please. I read a sentence by Novalis tonight: "Most men will not swimm before they are able to." It's certainly not appropriate to your case, but it's witty and I use it before Dr. Kawinkiedinks jumps off from his hideout inquiring about its meaning. A big hug to you, Toby!

Rachel: past 2 o'clock in the morning. I never sleep. It's not forbiden here (as yet).

Cassandra Mon Apr 5 17:21:15 PDT 1999

Hi all,

I am finally back at school, and on a computer that can handle my fast-paced breakneck typing speed. Yippie! So I can tell you all just what I've been up to.

Well, perhaps I should start at the begining, cause that's where my weekend started. Thursday I slept over a friend's house, and discussed writing, and collaborated on a few works in progress. It's good to have some supportive friends that are willing to proof-read for me. (Aside from my mother who's in Florida, and due back some time this, or next month. I miss that crazy chick, however annoying she may be.)

Friday I spent most of the day just sitting back and watching tv. I found the Discovery Channel again. They had this awesome special on kung fu. What a great source of info that channel can be some times! :)

Saturday, I basically slept through. I checked on Shadows to see what was new, but my father's old laptop computer is in no shape to download such large files.

Sunday, I slept more, and worked on writing a bit. It's refreshing to have some real, relaxing writing time for once. Instead of beating the dead horse that is my college schedule. I finished another page or so for Shadows (yes yes, I will post it as soon as I get a chance to type it!)

Monday, had an icky dentist appointment where the higenist kept poking my gums with sharp metal objects and then complained that they were bleeding. (As if that were my fault!!)

Well, that's my weekend in a nutshell. Now I have to get back to the wonderful work that I procrastinated on in order to make the rest of the weekend relaxing.

Gotta go harass a few friends, see how their weekends were...

ta ta my friends


"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our worst fear is that we are powerful beyond measure." Nelson Mandela

toby b Mon Apr 5 16:57:49 PDT 1999

Nice weekend. I spent the better part of it in Toledo, and now I'm back. Lots of rejections in the mail, 5 I think, making my rejection count for '99 30, a nice round number. If I average 10 per month I'll have quite a collection by the end of the year (roughly 120, right?). Rejection number 6 wasn't a rejection, I had a semi-pro sale, which was a nice way to start of the month. Lots of postings went up here, and I'm glad to see that the notebook underwent the anniversery party well enough. Belated felicitations.

Well, enough big words that I can't spell. I have not gotten any writing done this weekend, so I must get cracking. It would not do well to fall behind on my work. Love to chat, gotta run.

Cheers all.

Thomas Mon Apr 5 13:52:30 PDT 1999


That is "Catcher in the Rye", and much of the story takes place in New York City.

The Lost Weekend is a good one. Twelve Angry Men and The Last Angry Man are New York stories, the former is a courtroom drama that takes on racism; the latter is about a Brooklyn doctor who fights with progress. And then there is Last Exit to Brooklyn -- searing or, a great favorite, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn -- about Irish-American living in NEw York City.

One could go on.

How about Doctorow's Ragtime? Or maybe The Odd Couple? Does Neil Simon write literature? Mon Apr 5 13:27:20 PDT 1999

New York, New York!

The action of Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" happens in Long Island, supposed to be divided into West Egg (Gatsby and Nick live here) and East Egg (The Buckanans here live). There are some scenes in New York itself.
"Doesn't the boy in "Catcher in the Rain" go to New York as well? Can't remember well. I have an idea of Central Park being mentioned.

Catnip — Jon and Pussy want more, Lena. I didn't know the meaning. Thanks.

I hear there's a certain Kawinkindienks around. Any "gonnection" with Strawinskiedienks? Who is this person anyway? Welcome aboard and report to Lena, Jon (or even Pussy if you are desperate), please, in case you want to add to Shadows.

Thomas Mon Apr 5 10:10:01 PDT 1999


I am the one with the grievance against Jimmy Soul's "If You Wanna Be Happy..." which is why I mentioned it. SKS's wife loves the song, and we talked about how, when I sang in a group in New York with J. Soul, he ran off with the proceeds of one of our gigs. The next time he surfaced was with that hit record out of Detroit and then again with "Mathilda." Then, he nicely disappeared.

Cassandra -- Americo,

Gershwin would be fine, especially if it is something he collaborated on with Kurt Weill or Vernon Duke. Love the standards.


I suppose you reacted to a posting a couple of days ago between me and Jerry Lee. I really wasn't trying to slam the Navy with my quip to Jerry about time. It is difficult to be "cutesy" on the Internet.

My sentiments about the military are about the same as yours, however. In the Air Force it used to drive me to distraction to have to take orders from some of the globs of matter they called commanding officers.

Incidentally, just about all wars and conquests have to do with economics, which is the sad state of human affairs. All that stuff -- nationalism, borders, even religious fervor -- have some connection and basis in economics. "Thems that haven't want to take from thems that has."


New York in literature. That is a wide subject. There are so many. Perhaps you can pare your request a bit! There is a great autobiography by a now dead but used to be wonderful literary agent/editor, Alfred Kazin. He traces his roots growing up in New York City. Called "A Walker in the City" Superb writing.

S.N.Arly Mon Apr 5 09:58:55 PDT 1999

New York in lit, huh? Can't say I've run into it overmuch. Even in SF, which tends to turn all of North America into one gigantic city.

For those who are interrested, the new issue of ShallowEnd is up (hence the URL that isn't mine at the top).

In the last year or so I really got into setting writing goals, which I think was influenced by my writer's group and the need to actually accomplish something between meetings. However, I always set this insanely imossible goals. I wrote up April's goals last night. I look at the list and think, yah, that's really what I want to do. These are all very important things to me. Must accomplish them. Same thing everyth month.

Anyone else do this?


Lena Mon Apr 5 09:51:16 PDT 1999

oops, sorry about the repeat

Lena Mon Apr 5 09:50:37 PDT 1999

Off the top of my head, I can only think of one book set in Gnue York - "The Book of Night with Moon," the one about cats I just finished reading.

Thomas - I have a (female) friend who swears that she is going to play "If You Wanna Be Happy For the Rest of Your Life" as her wedding march, instead of the traditional "Hear Comes the Bride..." Although, as I recall, doesn't somebody on the Notebook have a grievance against the singer...?

Agsousa - If those are the requirements of being a housewife, I'm afraid I shall be happily single my entire life. Can't make coffee, not an exceptional cook, and definitely not a willing slave. Can anybody blame me?

Olivia - Sympathies for your loss.

G'day to all,

Mon Apr 5 09:50:35 PDT 1999

Lena Mon Apr 5 09:50:10 PDT 1999

Off the top of my head, I can only think of one book set in Gnue York - "The Book of Night with Moon," the one about cats I just finished reading.

Thomas - I have a (female) friend who swears that she is going to play "If You Wanna Be Happy For the Rest of Your Life" as her wedding march, instead of the traditional "Hear Comes the Bride..." Although, as I recall, doesn't somebody on the Notebook have a grievance against the singer...?

Agsousa - If those are the requirements of being a housewife, I'm afraid I shall be happily single my entire life. Can't make coffee, not an exceptional cook, and definitely not a willing slave. Can anybody blame me?

Olivia - Sympathies for your loss.

G'day to all,

Kawinkiedinks Mon Apr 5 08:55:13 PDT 1999

Rach tops no longer, wrong. Mon Apr 5 08:53:37 PDT 1999

Thomas : the question is not to know who were the writers born in New York but the the books whose actions takes place in that most beautiful and fascinating of cities. This is a question for everybody, in a notebook in need of literary topics, now that I am always talking about Shadows. Sorry for this.

Topic, people — New Iork in American/World literature: three minutes for the first answer or I'll send Pussy to you

Rachel Mon Apr 5 08:00:24 PDT 1999

Hi all

Well I plan to post another bit in shadows today and am going to figure out how to put it there from my file instead of typing it in myself.

My youngest son woak up yesterday with chicken pox and is now covered from head to toe. I am waiting for them to show up on my daughter and then on my two older sons.

I have check over the two older boys files and have seen nothing to indicate that they have had chicken pox, so it is likely that before long I will have four very unhappy and itchy children.

My poor little squirts. Well at least we have lots of fun books to read. My kiddies just love to be read to. Its pretty strange. I guess lots of parents don't read to the kids after they can read for themselves. Mine still love it.

I read the new stuff to shadows and like it all very much. It is so fun to watch this story grow. I am excited to see what we all will write next.

Take care all


Kawinkiedinks Mon Apr 5 03:57:37 PDT 1999

Kawinkiedinks is a kawinkiedink, right?

Warning! If carelessly used, the notebook can be dangerous for your English!

Rach tops, right?

Americo Mon Apr 5 03:54:23 PDT 1999

Good morning, everybody!

There is new stuff in "Shadows in a Dream" (Goodweed, Squirrel and yours truly) — 150K of it already! — and the Novel section of this excellent site also deserves a visit. Rush along and admire!

Cassandra Sun Apr 4 21:03:42 PDT 1999

hi all,

Just stopping in on a break from writing my next addition to shadows.

Thomas- I'd be willing to sing in our little jam section. Agsousa seems to like Gershwin songs, and I'm a fan of them myself. The lyrics are pretty easy to remember. :)

I just made chocolate chip cookies. Yummy yummy. :d Licking off one of those milk mustashes. :)

Well, back to work.

ta ta


"He who laughs last, thinks slowest." - anon.

Goodweed of the north Sun Apr 4 20:04:56 PDT 1999

Sorry everyone. That last posting had no buisness on the Notebook. I'll not do that again.

Seeeeya; Goodweed of the North

Goodweed of the north Sun Apr 4 20:03:54 PDT 1999

The timepieces may have been created for the Navy (though I seem to recall reports of accurate calendars used by such peoples as the Celts, Aztechs, Mayans, Greeks, Romans, etc.) but time zones which made sense were created by and for the railroads.

I was a member of that military machine, that great canoe club, the U.S. Navy and placed aboard a bird farm. I had the distiction of serving aboard the only U.S. warship to disable a U.S.S.R. nuclear submarine. The only thing I detested about the military was the incredible lack of intelligence displayed by most persons in leadership positions. I can't say the same thing of the other military forces, but it seemed that the Navy ran well in spite of its leadership. Morale was generally low and with the exception of a very few, our Senior Chiefs and Chiefs seemed bent on purposely making life as miserable as possible. Hard work was often rewarded by punishment, as was laziness. It required self-motivation to attain any level of excellence.

Also, do some homework concerning the reasons we got into many conflicts. You will find economy more of a reason for our intervention than protection of freedom.

I must admit that I support a strong military and this country. I know there are great men and women serving in the armed forces. I worked with some of them during my ten years of enlistment. Just don't put blinders on. There is as much bad in the organization as there is good. I won't go into graphic details. I will say that the military is a necessary evil. I wish it wasn't in this world.

Seeeeya; Goodweed of the North

Squirrel Sun Apr 4 19:33:56 PDT 1999

Hello! Yes I am new to this bb. My nickname is Sqrlmunk (part Squirrel, part Chipmunk), most people refer to me as Sqrl (for short). I am from Upstate NY (YEY!), where I attend college. I am more of a poet than anything, and appologise for my mysteriousness. I didn't have much time to type the other day, plus I don't think of myself as a very good writer, especially when it comes to the task of writing pros! I am deligently working on writing more for the novel and have firgured out how to link it to the theme...just have to get it post ready, and I have gone through the proper chanels for this bb (it's not like I hacked in or something). Jack knows who I am! And for the record...I AM FELMALE! (don't worry, people make that mistake even AFTER they have met me in person....I have YET to figure that one out! you think, the long hair and the skirt would be a clue...but then again, I do know some guys with longer hair than me that wear skirts...)

Thanks for the info. and again I'm sorry for being so...(searching for good word)...weird (sounds fine),

Cassandra Sun Apr 4 15:33:35 PDT 1999

Greetings all,

Well, thanks to easter break, I've caught up on sleep and starting working on a new project. I know, I should probably finish the few that I have going already. But having something different to go back to when I get bored with the other projects is always a plus for me.

I have to get running, we're about to have dinner here. I just wanted to stop in and tell everyone that I'm still alive.

And yes, I am still working on Shadows. :)

ta ta


Americo Sun Apr 4 15:25:57 PDT 1999

Dear Art Smith,

I am on reception duty today. Welcome to our friendly group. Your publishing experience can certainly be useful here, where there are some youngsters who know nothing about it. Please try to fill in the entry form rightly: name on top, e-mail address below. Be sure you will be esteemed here.

Sorry for my English. I am Portuguese. This is an international site and houses some interesting characters, including speaking cats and other wonders.

Sun Apr 4 13:43:55 PDT 1999

April 6, 1999
Southampton, Pa.
Greetings, from an aged and decrepid writer/poet/reader. As todate five books are published, and I'm still poor. In fact, I have the only thing money can never purchase, it's called poverty.
Most would-be writers fail to realize that 50% of Americans cannot, or will not, read. The saddest thing is that many can't read, but sadder still is that while many can, but do not. I'm afraid the `tube' is our largest enemy.
I welcome all inquires concerning publication, and, never trust no one in this business. Oh yes, publishers can't read or write, only count profits or (god forbid) losses.
Art Smith

Thomas Sun Apr 4 11:35:20 PDT 1999


Since Lena got to the piano before me, and you are already on drums, I'll sing a few tunes and move off stage. Maybe I'll sing "If You Wanna Be Happy For the Rest Of Your Life..." In the Chelsea -- nah, better not!

Americo, Americo,

You are goading me, I know you are: New York not represented in literary matters! Many writers perhaps were not born in NY, but they certainly made it their artistic source. A few names: Faulkner, Wolfe, Mailer, Kerouack, Tennessee Williams, Walt Whitman, Capote (stretching it here), O'Neill, Arthur Miller, DeLillo and of course scores of others.

As for Venice, pretty city, but the Venetian's greedy attitude about money interrupts the city's appeal.

KAWINKIEDINK Sun Apr 4 11:32:19 PDT 1999

I am no-one and everyman. This is a name for everyone to post any word, phrase or sentence unliable to be understood by foreigners. The word kawinkiedink has been extracted from one of Allein's posts and means coincidence (not coencidence or whatever). Canadians are very good at inventing such wonderful neologisms — Rach tops! (I wonder what "Rach tops" means, but that is the idea. Subscribers should explain what the word, phrase or sentence mean — just for the sake of our alien readers.

Americo Sun Apr 4 04:43:33 PDT 1999

Small talk is nice but we have a duty towards the notebook and its faithful lurkers. Literary topics, please. I would like to know something about New York as the background for great literature. It does not seem a city so rich, in that respect, as Paris. I may be wrong, though.

Olivia — Sorry for your loss and family health troubles. We know what that means. Your friends are here for comfort whenever you need.

Lena — So you know everything about filleting fish. My donjuan likes good housewifes, you know? A good housewife must know all the secrets of cooking (and coffee making) and be a slave to her beloved husband. Jon tells me it is the other way round but he is not Latin. Latin lovers are the best, next to British. (What's a good lover, I wonder. Certainly not an Internet guy... no time for that sort of things — except Steve, of course.)

This reminds me that nobody answered Jon's request, on my behalf, about co-writing an e-mail love-story, or better, an Erziehungs Roman — the initiation of a character on all the facts of life and other things and its developments. Serious stuff but hot like hell. (The fearful souls should have in mind Kristin's graffito : "hell has no fury, like, totally.") He told me he did not expect any woman here to be daring enough for that kind of thing. Oh, well! Any beautiful published aunts willing?

Jon would like to be initiated in the mysteries of religion. Pussy sings (beautifully) in the choir of the church of her persuasion (whatever it is) and Jon is thinking of converting himself, just in case she accepts his courtship or kills himself. He is a heathen but I think he is a bit afraid of the beyonds. He would like to have some guides about which religion is best for his purpose (conquering Pussy), race (an African cat) and salvation (he has a soul, I hope). Another impossible subject for this sacred group? And some say they live in the land of the free...

Yes, Eddie, I am still alive and kicking. But now you understand why Lena has taken a video course on filleting fish...

Jack Beslanwitch Sun Apr 4 00:52:08 PST 1999

I have corrected the unclosed italicized HTML and archived back to the birthday announcement for the Notebook. Given I have been most of the time at the convention, I have not been able to catch up and realize that things had grown to almost a quarter meg. This has been corrected and things are back down to manageable levels. I am looking forward to having enough time to start adding to Shadows. Talk with you soon.

W. Olivia Sat Apr 3 19:08:37 PST 1999

Hi all; just catching up on what I've missed in the past week, which had been truly draining. My god-mother, who was is like a second mother to me is going through the advanced stages of dementia and her family and I are deciding what can be done for her that will still allow her to live as independantly as possible. So sad to see such a striking and vital person go through this.

Also, one of the bridesmaids from my wedding passed away suddenly. We had not been in contact in a very long time and I am angry at myself for this. Life passes so quickly and then people you cared about are gone in a flash.

So forgive me if I haven't been able to add to the Shadows project. Will try to read the lastes entries and add something to it ASAP.

Tomorrow waits for no one...
Slips by in seconds..
Lost forever

Taking pearls of wisdon we
throw them to the waves and watch them
disappear unheeded

Years allowed to pass
a spoken word and even...sigh...
a thought

You are goneforever
But a part of you remains:
the sound of your joyous
laughter inside my head...

For Kathy, 4/99

Lena Sat Apr 3 17:48:23 PST 1999

Jai - Amazingly enough, I already have a song written up about Shadows... I wrote it when we first began, when I was nothing more than intrigued with the question "Have you ever danced with a shadow?" I have been wondering how to share my song with the rest of the notebook, but I suppose you will just have to settle for the words; perhaps that is just as well, because the tune needs work. I can play it on the piano... still working out harmonies though.

SKS - I suppose that answers your question also... I play piano, and also clarinet. I sing too, if you want to call what I do singing. Ah well. I think an "impromptu" jam session sounds wonderful.

I wish I had an opinion on which city was the most beautiful. Someday, someday I will travel and see the world. Somebody mentioned goals in life? To see the world... that is one of mine.

EDDIE! Glad you could make your way back to us! Your wit and wisdom was missed... who else am I to make obscure references about towels to? (you know, you should never forget your towel... especially when visiting Milliways, otherwise know as the Restaurant at the End of the Universe…)

It was a gorgeous spring day today in Michigan... our crocus and daffodils are blooming, a light breeze was blowing, the sun was out - I know have a pink nose from being outside all day. I volunteered to help at an Easter Egg Hunt / Marshmallow Drop. For those of you who have never seen a marshmallow drop, that is where a helicopter flies overhead and drops lots and lots of marshmallows on all the kids. It is quite an amazing sight, and the kids loved it. I got to see several friends whom I have not seen for quite some time. 'Twas quite nice.

Oops, time warp. My dad just called me upstairs and made me watch a video on filleting fish. I can now fillet the northern pike, walleye, and lake trout. Yeah.

Jack - Notebook is taking an awfully long time to load

My aunt is now a published author. She has several short stories published in magazines, and even a longer story that might be made into a screen play. I am so envious - I did not even know she wrote!

Well, enough babbling. Good day to all,

Sat Apr 3 15:31:46 PST 1999

Americo Sat Apr 3 15:18:53 PST 1999

Steve: an impromptu Jam session? It seems a great idea. So, after the tea ceremony, let the musicians in this forum play till dawn. Non-music players (like me), well, I think I'll go out, looking for some action underground. BTW: why does everyone seem so much afraid of New York? Isn't it a romantic city like Venice? Well, we'll manage. And, Thomas, Venice is the most beautiful city in the world.

S.K.S. Perry Sat Apr 3 08:28:08 PST 1999

Hey all,

Welcome back Eddie, I must admit, I had the same hopes for you that Thomas did :)

A belated H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y to the Notebook. Lord knows I don't want it pissed at me!!!

Hello also to Jon, Pussy, and any other fictionial characters lurking out there. It's bad enough when the human members of the Notebook get into a snit - I'd hate to see what happens when the fictional ones do!!!

I know a number of us here play musical instruments, so I've decided in my infinite wisdom that we should hold an impromtu Jam session (sort of an ice breaker)at the Chelsea Hotel. Those of you who would like to participate, please let me know what instrument you play (or if you sing.) Don't worry about bringing along any instruments - I've got it all figured out.

Oh, and Lena, I assure you...I'm anything but dull :)

Be Well, Live Well. Sat Apr 3 07:15:46 PST 1999

Hootie — I have to apologize for Jon, this confounded cat. He's a real heathen, a genuine non-believer and, worst of all, he is in love. We must understand and forgive him. I am sure you explained to your wife that her killing is just virtual and not at all harmful to her health or beauty. Actually blood in fiction can be funny. One of my acquaintances, a film director, told me a significant story. He took his grandson, a 15 year-old brat, to see "Wild at Heart" — one of the shockiest movies he saw. He was horrified with such violence and complained about it to the little boy, who had enjoyed the film madly. Do you know what the child answered? "But, granddad, don't you see it's just a movie?" Apparently this new generation is more intelligent than we think when we see them at school. I hope your wife can understand the difference between reality and fiction and come with you to the CHELSEA in N.Y.C. Perhaps she can dance a waltz or, if that is too strong for her, some medieval dance with me.

To all the illustrious members of the notebook — Do you know what Jon did? He copied the addresses of the twenty most interesting people in this forum and wrote perfumed letters to Pussy, saying how much they admired her wit, her beauty, her... well, all the qualities he sees in that damned nazy bitch. That was the consequence of your not having greeted the bloody she-cat. To cap it all, he went to a book shop and bought "Mein Kampf". Geeze! How that book smells. Fortunately, Jon is sensitive to bad smells, and gave up reading the book on paragraph 3. But he wanted to offer me that masterpiece, and that worries me. Please be more kind next time.

I went fishing this morning, and caught a robalo. I hate seeing those adorable fishes wrestling and wriggling with their mouths bleeding, cruelly stuck in the sharp fish-hooks. I sometimes cry. But then I say I love you, I love you, I love you, unhook them and eat them with potatoes and tomatoes (or potatos and tomatos). That'll be my supper tonight

Thomas — I checked an encyclopedia about the size of London and N.Y. I did not come to any conclusion, there being great London and something-New-York... boring! Perhaps we should drop the topic. I won't touch "Unfinished Business": I hope that at least you, who know the meaning of tongue in cheek and humour, understand and know me well.

Michele Sat Apr 3 06:41:38 PST 1999



W E L C O M E B A C K....

Good to see you again...

I've got a few moments and then I must go and finish writing my essay (having done no work this morning as I was out)...

I've only been on the Notebook a little over a year, but I remember well that the atmosphere here seemed friendly and so I ventured a word or two... and half those names Rhoda mentioned are familiar and missed to me...

Oh well... I hope the party in NY is good... I must go and finish that essay...



"You're as old as you think you are - I think I'm 90" -
t-shirt slogan

Thomas Sat Apr 3 06:33:35 PST 1999

Welcome back Eddie. I fantasized that you had sold a book, made your fortune and decided to leave the plebian behind -- and I rooted for you too.


Most people think Manhattan is New York City. New York City is made up of five buroughs, and Manhattan is among the smallest of them. Brooklyn, the burough in which I grew up, is large enough in land and people to be the fourth or fifth largest city in America.

Did you know that the economy of New York City alone is larger than most countries on the globe? Frightening thought!

You are not at liberty to use Unfinished Business -- it remains unfinished; but it is growing into a novel (up to 7,000 words).

Jerry Lee,

One of the problems with the Internet, and the written word on it, is that you cannot see a person's tongue in cheek, which is where my tongue was when I made the comment.

I did Air Force time during the Vietnam War, remember that one? I know what our military did and does.

If you think my comment was provacative, wait till our old friend Eddie French starts posting again!!! Right Ed?


How come half the Notebook is in italic (posts that weren't italic yesterday) and the other half is not?

Jon Sat Apr 3 04:16:45 PST 1999

I got a job. I'm agsousa's secretary and critiquer to "Shadows in a Dream". You be careful with me. I hate misspellings! None of your additions has the quality of Thomas's "Unfinished Business" or Howard's "The Summer I Swam the Panama Canal". I reckon you can do better. I get $2000 a week for this job but I'll ask for a raise soon. I want to buy a house over the zoo and raise a family. So I am a professional now. E-mailing must be addressed to my boss. He said he likes e-mails since he saw Meg Ryan in a movie. So write to him. I only accept or send love letters (now I'm crying — it's not your fault).

Okay. Here's the list of collaborators as of the 2nd April, the notebook's birthday : Lena, Howard, Rhoda, Steve Perry, Goodweed, Hootie, Rachel, Jerry Ericsson, Thomas, Olivia, Allein, Tobias, Cassandra, Jack, Kristina, Jay, Avatar, Xavier, Sqrl and Agsousa.

This Sqrl is a mysterious person. The letters stand for Squirrel. (I love squirrels). He'd better introduce himself to my boss or to me (same address). Each collaborator is expected to write at least 10 times to be considered a writer. Unless he writes a 50k text covering all the main aspects of the novel. Each addition must have some adequate link to the theme of the novel, otherwise it will be deleted from my personal computer.

My boss gonna fishing this morning. But he will be here all the time over the weekend. He has had an idea: to write the new "Werther". You don't know what "Werther" is? Goethe's epistolary masterpiece. He would like to find in here the heroin (or heroins) to his absurdly educational and pungent love-story. An Erziehungs Roman. The Werther could also be a "Werther-Don Juan". He is not inviting anyone for this great personal project. Ladies will have to offer themselves as victims and co-authors and take full responsibily for what they say and hear. An e-mail novel! Success guaranteed. But it has to be spontaneous and genuine and eventually hot — he does not see anyone here with the necessary requirements. But who knows? The book will have to be good enough to be published in New York/London/Toronto/Melbourne (or Sydney). Perhaps Lisbon, as well. This is a personal project.

Well, his e-mail box is wide open. Total discretion — actually secretism is part of the novel's seduction. Sin is the most colourful thing in life and the writer's stuff par excellence. What is this site about? Gospel spreading? I am a convict pagan (except when I am blue) and have the right to my convictions. I am a writer, well, the secretary to a writer, and no-one dare to interfere with my freedom. I am a democrat (at least I was until I met Pussy) and will kill all fascists with Jerry Ericsson's best weapons, but I like a little discussion on the most daring subjects. I am a fire player. I am Jon, the unhappiest cat in the world (now I'm crying again but I won't tell you why).

I love you, Pussy. I really do. Ave!

Hootie Sat Apr 3 03:58:50 PST 1999

Dang, so much for my first attempt using code. Sorry, Jack, I only meant to italicize one word.

Hootie Fri Apr 2 23:07:43 PST 1999

H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y N O T E B O O K !!!!

Notebook--I have only known you a few months, but the more I get to know you, the better friend you are. May you have many more years with us.

Lena--I loved the S&G song. I haven't heard it in years, and I remember it giving me hope when I was younger. It hepled balance out their "Hazy Day of Winter".

Agsousa--I told my wife that you wanted me to kill her, and now she doesn't care for you much. She also said (having been raised in NYC), " He must have a penchant for death if he wants to reunite everybody in a dangerous area of New York." Oh, and you might want to tell Jon's friend that atitudes like that won't get the best reception. I'd pity her, except I think she doesn't understand the concept.

"Hell hath no fury, like, totally."
--My wife, Kristin

Jai Fri Apr 2 20:44:10 PST 1999

Happy Birthday notebook...

Welcome back Eddie, I know how you feel. The computer was the first thing I set up once I moved into my new place last fortnight ( two weeks for those Americans who don't know what a fortnight is ). It took me three days to catch up on the notebook and "Shadows..."

Am going to a music festival ( folk ) here in Canberra. So I can't spend much time writing this weekend but hopefully I'll get lots of idea. I heard this song last night that was ispired from a book. Now that is inspiring, I hope we all write a book that will inspire someone to write a song.

Keep up the good work all, I'll be seeing you in Chelsla ( is that right ) soon, perhaps on tuesday...


Kristina Fri Apr 2 18:25:28 PST 1999

Hi again! Well I just finished reading through the new posts...So much was posted that I had to skim, but I'll make a few comments.
As far as shadows goes I will try to catch up on the new posts and do some more writing. That's good that it does not have to be "dark"...I am perfectly aware that we are writing about characters, not "real people", but I disagree with the idea that "not to sin is boring". I have always been a religous person, but my life has been anything but boring. I grew up in an unreligous home, with a schizophrenic brother, a depressed mother, violence, and enough craziness around me to fill 10 books, but now I do have a family of my own where we probably say "I love you"
no less than 50 times a day and it is just as real as my old life. Reality is what you make it. In any case, I look forward to reading the new additions to shadows and seeing what I can do to add on!
Anyway, I am happy to be back from my trip...We went on a cruise where we saw hundreds of dolphins, no less than 10 whales, and many beautiful fish while snorkling. We also took a helocopter ride so we could enjoy the many beautiful waterfalls on Kauai. It was a nice break from my baby, and now we are broke but happy.
My plan is to try and get my house back in order tonight, then do as much writing as I can before I return to work in 4 days! Bye for now...and Happy Birthday Notebook!

Allein Fri Apr 2 17:30:48 PST 1999

Whew! Took a break from packing to post a message. I'll be gone until Friday of next week.

Well, I didn't go to my friend's memorial service - I couldn't get a ride. But I heard from someone who went that it was very beautiful. The paper cranes that my Japanese class made were hung outside the church. Paper cranes stand for peace, and it was our way of saying that wherever this boy is now, we hope he's found peace.

I also found out that a girl from my Japanese class is going to Florida too and I think we're on the same flight - isn't that a kawinkiedink (coincedence). I'm not kidding. Don't you shake your head at me - I saw that!!

Well, my mother is telling me to come back and do more packing so I've gotta go.

"Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear to be bright until you hear them speak." - Brian Williams Fri Apr 2 17:23:35 PST 1999

Hello, Eddie! Welcome back! Everyone's been missing you terribly.

I saw you in Europe when surfing on the Internet. I left a message on your page and on a site similar to yours. Then I had a crash and my bookmarks were wiped out. I lost you (and your projects) completely. No way to go back there unless someone gives me the URL(s). Did you see my message? Probably not, because your computer was out of order.

Well, go the round robin section and read "Shadows in a Dream". Everybody has been very busy here.


Eddie French Fri Apr 2 16:49:35 PST 1999

Yep...It's the prodigal.
Sitting on the carpet with the machine set up on the floor.
Just got back on line today.
I will catch up with the gossip and get right back into the fray real soon.
Missed you all madly.

????? Fri Apr 2 16:45:07 PST 1999

Lena Fri Apr 2 14:07:26 PST 1999

Just dropped by to say: Happy birthday, Notebook!

A good day to all,

Rhoda Fort Fri Apr 2 13:51:51 PST 1999

Happy Birthday, Notebook!!!!

My first time on the Notebook was Jul 20, 1997. With fear and trembling, I made my first post. The response was so warm and friendly, I couldn't stay away. I so remember Bill Whitney e-mailing me and telling me how welcome I was. Bill, if you are out there somewhere, God Bless You, and I miss you.

I so remember the old guard: Rosemary, Phillip McLauren, Kae Curry, Joan Rhodda, Britomart, Charles, Bill, Bob Hanford, and Ben. Goodweed was there and so was Toby B as well as Jack. Others came and went over time. I sure there are names I missed, but if anyone from the past reads this post, just know I still think of you and owe you a debt I can never repay.

I am getting tearful just writing about it. It seems I have been on the Notebook forever, but it has only been a little less than two years. I found out about this place from my friend Nicke Martinez who had just put up a site called E-pubs ( that is at if anyone is interested. It is great site and everyone should visit it. Back then Nicke was selling e-books. She contacted her friends from our writer's circle and we each donated one or more novels to her collection. Finding the link from her site, I buzzed over here to plug Nicke's site.

Since that day I have moved from New Mexico to Texas and where I don't see anyone from New Mexico anymore except Nicke, I have kept up with the Notebook and that has added some much needed continuity to my life.

Well enough to this, I am getting too emotional to go on. I love you all and I thank Jack for making this Notebook possible. I admire you, Jack, for all the work and patience over the years. There have been tense times on this Notebook where it might have all gone to pieces except for your discrestion and your diplomacy. Whenever the discussion got off on a bad tangent, you yanked us all to safety (case in point, your insistence that this be a Bill Clinton/Monica free zone).

I really must go.

Happy Writing, all and Happy Birthday, Notebook,

Rhoda Fri Apr 2 13:32:30 PST 1999

Jerry Lee — I had a look at the Navy and also the Greenwich sites. They tell us you are right. However, the day I was twenty, I thought I was in my twenties. Now I see that I was still in my teens and should have waited for 21 to be happy and old. There must be something wrong somewhere. Thanks for the topic, though.

Thomas — I still have some doubts that N.Y.C. is bigger than London. I don't know New York at all but all my friends (except you) that know the two metropoles tell me London is larger. Not in population (London has been losing inhabitants for a long time) but in area. I would like to be wrong for the first time in my life (kidding).

Pussy is scandalized. It's the first time in her life no-one pays attention to her. Jon told me she's in tears. She's a bloody nazi but pretty like hell. Poor Jon is going to suffer a lot with this love story. Don't say allo (let alone heil) to that stupid little cat. No one has the guts, anyway, everyone being so politically cautious, i.e., frightened these days. A writer can't be, though.

Are you aware of the terrible tragedy that's taking place in Jugoslavia? The Russians are not happy and the Chinese aren't either. NATO doesn't seem to be dealing very well with this affair. I wish the millenium is postponed to 2001.

Cassandra Fri Apr 2 10:07:22 PST 1999

Happy Birthday to you! Happy birthday to youuu! Happy Birtday Mr (Ms??) Notebook... Happy birthday to YOUUUUU!

:) What an incredibly mature 3 year old we have here. Of course our lil notebook isn't without it's temper fits, and forgetful moments. But aren't we all? hehe

My college has classes off today, and Monday. Yippie. I guess they're celebrating the Notebook's Birthday. How nice of them! So, now I'll get a chance to write over the weekend. (singing a little song... dancing around). And on top of that, I have very little work to do for classes. Oh, Happy DAY! :D

I must go... have to get a lil work done.
ta ta


"Smile, it's the second best thing you can do with your mouth!" - my buddy Stacie

Jerry Lee Fri Apr 2 09:55:08 PST 1999

War may not be the best thing in the world, but the best things in the world come from it.
Disagree if you like, but without the military machine in all it's facets, you would be speaking German or Japanese right now.
There are very few things that mean as much to me as the freedom that you and I enjoy in this country, and the rest of the free world, for that matter. And it is due to the brave men who died so that you and I can argue about it that I give thanks for every day.
To berate even slightly the military as a whole or any part of it sticks hard in my craw.

As far as using the Navy in particular as my sourse for proper timekeeping, keep in mind that even the first accurate timepieces were created for naval use. Without a Navy, you would'nt know what time it is, and you would'nt be allowed to complain about not knowing.


Thomas Fri Apr 2 08:58:15 PST 1999


The New York I refer to is the state, not the city. I am 300 miles from the city of my birth. I have not been to the city since February, and there were no crocus then.

My favorite city is New York (for the cultural mix and for the ethnic restaurants, not to mention the energy it gives off), Paris comes in second, if only because it is filled with the French, San Francisco is third -- oh, do I love that city.

I lived in Tehran for two years -- not a fun city. I love Verona -- but for its calm, not its energy. Trieste is a marvelous place, but I would not want to be there for too long -- too much bad history, and too close to the Balkans. There is a smal village in Italy, Asolo. It is not a city, it isn't even a village by American standards, but it is a calm, mellow, melancholy yet bright place. Browning lived there; Eleanora Duse lived there; and artists flocked there. But please do not tell anyone about it. The next time I visit there, I want it to be as it was.

More cities: London -- a tiny New York, but a good parallel; Chicago -- alive, cold and hot and perturbing; L.A.-- yuch!;
Florence, makes me think of art and time and being and, for some reason, Chianti; Athens, lost its cleanliness a long time ago -- too bad; Munich -- food, food, food, and do not forget the beer; Amsterdam, free-spirited in a controlled manner; Geneva, controlled; Lusanne, pretty and great clocks (I once lost my passport in Lusanne after a night of partying with a crowd of Swiss whom I had just met. When I returned to the restaurant the following day, the owner handed me my passport. One of the partygoers had found it in the men's room and turned it in. In Switzerland, you must turn it in.)

What is left? So many miles to go, so many desires, so many wants and just so many ways and means.

Agsousa Fri Apr 2 08:29:11 PST 1999

Great words, Howard. Thanks. I always rely on you for an intercourse of deep ideas in this forum. (I like a bit of small talk from time to time as well.)

Thomas, the blue moon concept and reality fascinate me. I am a moon lover. So there are crocus and daffodils in New YorK? How beautiful! Colour and scent over noise and pollution. I hate skyscrapers and the brutality of metropoles, but I suspect N.Y has something especial about it. My favourite city is Paris. My favourite place is home.

Jerry Ericsson : did you say, yesterday or the day before, that you had posted a new addition to Shadows? It did not show. Post again and refresh the page to see your posting. If it does not show DOWN, try again an hour later or so. The page is becoming a bit overloaded and it needs time to get refreshed.

By the way, TWENTY ONE writers have offered their contribution to Shadows in a fortnight. Isn't this wonderful? It shows how many of us are eager to share our talent. I am learning a lot with all of you, folks. Please be patient with my canvassing. It's for a good cause.

Allein Fri Apr 2 07:15:52 PST 1999

HAPPY BIRTHDAY NOTEBOOK!!! It seems like only yesterday you were born. And now my baby's all grown up and...and...

Well, anyway, that's enough of that. I'm leaving tomorrow. I'll post again here later though - I have to get to school.
Bai bai,

Pussy Fri Apr 2 07:03:44 PST 1999

Hello! I am Pussy, the prettiest kitten in my block. I was born here, in this seedy country of Portugal. But at Estoril, the poshiest thing in Europe. I am from Austrian descent, my greatgrandmother being second cousin to Eva Brown's favourity cat. That may explain my political ideas, which are not strong but colourful, and may offend the feelings of some of you, confounded democrats. One of your lot, a certain agsousa, hates my guts, but he is just a plebeian, and he has to be polite to me, my being a lady and so on. I am white as snow and have big blue eyes, my long, black, satin eyelids having caused the disgrace of many family men and their wives. I was Miss Estoril Beach last summer but that was the least of things. You see, I knew I would win the beauty contest without raising a paw. My voice sounds like silver when you touch it with your heart, and I was educated at Cambridge — the years they lost all the boat races to Oxford. So I speak English perfectly, though with my dear Margaret Thatcher's fairly artificial accent. She studied at Oxford, but she hates it (and so do I), that shabby University having refused her an honoris causa doctorship and all that. Well, I rarely write, but when I do I always wash my hands afterwards. So I am always clean and perfumed, and my nails shine as diamonds in the sky. The reason I decided to join you was to offer the gift of my grace to the Notebook in his third anniversary. I may not come here so often, as I am pretty busy answering the letters of my admirers. I would like to warn you on a certain Jon, an African. He is absolutely in love with me and keeps asking me to let him cut my fingernails. I let him do that just once, and I can say I am still a virgin. He being a coloured cat and an Internet fellow, I fear he will pretend to have had more than I generously granted him: a vague distant smile. Actually I was dreaming on the photo of my beloved, but unfortunately deceased, Adolf — the only man I could give my red lips to. See you sometime, old sports.

Rachel Fri Apr 2 06:59:44 PST 1999


All you can not hear me, but I am singing for the notebook. Have to admit I am glad that my family are all still asleep. Singing happy birthday to the notebook would look strange, even for me.

To all of you who embrace the Christian faith - Have a happy Easter.

Take care all


Thomas Fri Apr 2 06:51:53 PST 1999

Blue Moon, you saw me standing alone,
you knew just what I was there for,
someone I really could care for...

Yes, Rhoda, a blue moon is the second full in one month -- happens once in a blue moon!

And since we are singing: Buon compli anno a tu (sp) to the Notebook.


Can't go by the Navy -- they do what they do to make war. In war, time has no substance.

Come to think of it, in general, time has no substance. Calendars and clocks are imaginary partitions. The universe dodges every attempt to partition it.

One more question: why are the last hundred years before Christ's birth (dispute of when He was born notwithstanding) referred to as the first century when, in fact, it would have been the last century Before Christ?


You are absolutely correct about the Weeder's Digest!

Americo the beautiful (still thinking in song),

Dream on. Remember the words of Robert Browning: A man's reach should go beyond his grasp, or what is heaven for?

(Of course, you must discount the sexism and the hint at religion in Browning's sentiment so that the politically correct do not attack or bomb your clinic.)

Michele Fri Apr 2 05:50:35 PST 1999

H a p p y
B i r t h d a y
N O T E B O O K !

No time for me to party, sadly - I am two-thirds of the way through my essay on Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea and I want to get it finished today, if at all possible...


Welcome back ! Hope you had a good time...


I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
-- Galileo Galilei

Ashling Fri Apr 2 04:58:24 PST 1999

That ain't what I said. Anyway, HAPPY 3rd BIRTHDAY NOTEBOOK!


Ashling Fri Apr 2 04:55:51 PST 1999


Take care,

Jack Beslanwitch Fri Apr 2 01:56:50 PST 1999

      Just got back from the wilds of Norwsecon and wanted to wish the Notebook a rowsing (sp?) well, rowsing and wonderful Happy Third Birthday. As of 20 some minutes ago. The first post took place on Tuesday, April 2, 1996 01:24:47 PST and a truly unsual, lest I say weird, post it really was. But on those bemusing beginnings grew a rather diverse mix of writers who have come and gone and in many cases come back. I look forward to all the new faces and voices that will be dropping in here over the next three years and beyond. Also, I am happily engaged in the phenomena that Agsousa has supplied in the collaborative Notebook event taking place on the Workbook. The Train had some of this fascination for me, but this event takes on permutations and wonderful nuances that I can only wonder at where it will ultimately thread its way to completion. Take care everyone and will pop in here at the odd nanosecond and leave my thoughts and reflections.