Archived Messages from April 9, 1999 to April 22, 1999

Jon, CEO Thu Apr 22 05:05:43 PDT 1999

Jack and Jerry Lee — if you wish very strongly to delete any additions, do it. However, since this is just the first draft, people should not worry with false starts. Agsousa, for instance, has already shifted the predominant verbal tense: instead of the present he is using the past now. Well, more work for me.....

I have noticed that some people have not yet contributed a little vignette. My boss is thinking of something, though he is not good at that. I will apologize for the humbleness of his contribution, though. Cheer up, Americo!

Shouldn't you send a happy birthday card to Steve Perry? He did not tell anybody but his anniversary was just two days ago, on the 20th. Only Rach and Peco remembered that. Shame on you!

Jack Beslanwitch Thu Apr 22 04:05:39 PDT 1999

Jerry: Just noticed your post. I will make the editorial correction on Shadows sometime tomorrow. Take care.

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Apr 21 17:47:37 PDT 1999

I also am praying and sending healing energies to all those effected in Denver. My initial action was anger and there is still a bit of that, but mostly it is sadness now. I wonder sometimes. In growing up in Laure, Montana, I grew up in a culture that was packed with guns. Every kid knew how to shoot. I was perhaps the exception. I never liked guns. However, mostly these were hunting rifles and there was an emphasis on gun safety classes for every youth who wanted to hunt. This lent itself to the cliche of the gun rack in every pickup truck. However, the culture was such that the uniquitous presence of guns did not carry over to their being viewed as a mechanism for exercising our will against bullies or otherwise employing them against others. I would no more have thought of grabbing my father's shotgun than anyone else would. So, the issue of the angry young youth using a gun is a question of cultural changes rather than the actual presence of guns. Now there is a different perceptions of guns than when I was growing up. This, again, is not an apology for guns. I reitterate, I despise guns and would not have one in my house or my environment if someone gave me one. Yet, I am not sure how things have changed from when I was growing up surrounded by guns and the way they are now.

Allein Wed Apr 21 17:40:54 PDT 1999

I also feel just terrible about the shootings in Colorado. These were people who obviously had psychological problems that unfortunately went unnoticed until they snapped. Of course, the Hitler thing - I don't know. I hate Hitler just as much as the next person, so, it makes it all the worse knowing that they liked him. This makes me realize that it could happen anywhere at any time - even in my school. Very scary.

Casey - hopefully I'll talk to you tonight. I'm free.

Well, we have some company over for dinner, so I have to get off.
Bai bai,

Americo Wed Apr 21 17:03:26 PDT 1999

I would like to join you in your sorrow for the tragedy in Denver. Perhaps this is not the most convenient occasion, but my question is innocent and well intentioned : are you sure that everything is all right in American schools? This is the second time I ask this. As a teacher by profession, I am really worried about everything that concerns young students. My deepest regrets.

Another thing : Eddie has kindly accepted to be co-editor (with Lena, Jon, and me) of "Shadows in a Dream".

Jerry Lee : do not worry about your false start. Go on writing as if you had not published anything there yet. We'll do the editing only when the first version of the book will be finished.

Jerry Lee Wed Apr 21 15:35:04 PDT 1999


Jerry E., I just realized what I had done in writing a dream scene in 'Shadows'. When I wrote it, the first page of the story was broken, and your addition was not there to read. If I had known that you had done a similar thing earlier, I certainly would not have done it. I'm sorry.

Jack or Agsousa, Please delete my additions to 'Shadows'. I meant only to tie 2 of the characters together in a similar history, meeting by chance in the lobby of the Chelsea.

All, The tragic scene played out in Littleton yesterday made the whole world weep. I dated a girl who went to that school when I was in 11th grade in Englewood, Co. All I could think of was what a nice place that area used to be, and how the incidious tide of hate has infused itself even there.
As far as gun control, we need no new laws, just ENFORCE the CURRENT ones.
The real problem with guns (aside from their huge numbers) is that a weapon like that can change a weak little kid into someone physically capable of killing others that he would have no chance of killing without it.
A 90 pound kid with a rock may have killed a giant with God's help, but these days, he is pretty impotent. The same kid with a shotgun can kill any number of people as easily as pulling a trigger.
People say 'guns don't kill people...' Yes they do, when they give a hateful child more courage than he should be allowed.
These boys were cowards who had the means to accomplish something that they could not have otherwise done without guns. (Or without detailed bomb-building instructions from the internet.)
Guns are a part of life in America, we can't change that. But we can recognise the consequences of not having proper enforcement of gun laws.

Jerry Lee

Eddie French Wed Apr 21 14:15:51 PDT 1999

My thoughts go to the families in Denver. I understand the difficulties involved in decomissioning American arms. But it has to be up to the owners to keep all arms under direct and strict control. I also know that this is easy to say and never really accomplished. I heard one American saying on CNN that he would open fire on anyone who tried to take his guns away from him. What chance has the gun legislation got against that sort of attitude?

Hope everybody is doing well and pushing out the work.

r.c. Wed Apr 21 13:12:11 PDT 1999

I write because I have no choice. The words over take me and beg to be spilled onto the white blank sheet before me. These words will not rest or leave me alone till they have expressed themselves with every ounce of my soul. Unfortunately, these words have not overtaken me in quite some while and I am here in hope to have my thoughts and emotions pirated by the needed words to put myself on paper once again.

Howard Wed Apr 21 13:00:34 PDT 1999

The vignettes have *all* been good, folks! They certainly have!
Michele -- I'm working on one from your list now.

Jerry -- If you sell your gun collection how can you be sure that the person you sell it (them) to will care for them as responsibly as you do? Better to keep it safely under your control than to let it be scattered where it can be used for harm.

Lena -- Your question reminds me of an exchange I heard a long time ago:
"God, where were you when they killed my child?"
"The same place I was when they killed mine."

It's strange how many child psychologists come out of the woodwork at a time like this. I wonder how many of them spend as much time with troubled kids as they do giving their opinions on violence in the schools?


Michele Wed Apr 21 12:24:21 PDT 1999

Is it me or is this page taking AGES to download ????



Wish I had your teacher's confidence in learning languages...


Loved the raindrop story... grins


And your tree story was also good...

On the subject of the high school shootings... How is it we have one such incident here (Dunblane) and everyone goes crazy changing our gun laws (and guns are still pretty uncommon over here) and yet America has these incidents on a regular basis practically, and yet your gun laws remain the same ? This is not criticism - it's a genuine question....

I find it puzzling....

Anyways I have 2 Book catalogues to read big mistake - I am too broke to buy books - but I can drool, can't I ? And some reading for college to do - so I'll leave you there...


I cannot live without books.
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, 1815.

(I with you there mister !!!)

Cassandra Wed Apr 21 11:13:13 PDT 1999

Hi all,

Unfortunately, this is the first that I have heard of these killings. I have no TV in my room, nor a newspaper. Disheartening yes, unexpected, no. No matter how strong the control placed on guns, they will continue getting to the children in this country, just as drugs do. (Perhaps by way ot Jerry's lawn sale of firearms... j/k)

Yes, humanity is filled with hate, as it is filled with love. It's filled with greed, as it is filled with generosity. It's filled with double-natures, strange enigmatic co-existances. And, that, is what makes humanity interesting. The guilt, and sorrow felt after losses such as this hits hard...

Perhaps we should take a few minutes out of our "busy" schedules, to reach out to children. And by doing that, know that at least one will not lift a weapon toward another. It's easy to blame the guns, they aren't a reflection of what's to come, and they can't talk back.

Literary smiterary, you don't have to be an English major to write. Discussion of life can spark as much interest, and inspiration as literary jargon.

ta ta


Lena Wed Apr 21 10:41:05 PDT 1999

That is all we have talked about today, the killings in Colorado. It is scary. A friend of mine's stepbrother attended that school for a while, graduated from that school... I now have a connection to the killings... makes it more than news and made me think.

God, where were you when this one happened?

I re-read the badly written story I wrote for my creative writing class, and decided it wasn't that bad. I am not very proud of it, but I can live with it. It just bothers me that whatever I dislike, my teachers like.

Psychological time can best be shown in stream-of-consciousness writing. Flashbacks, random thoughts, musings - all are tools of creating the world according the character. Writing a novel in chronological time is creating the character according to the world.

Thomas - You have a very wise view of the world.


"Violence is part of the times,"
- Mr. Lovell, my history teacher

Jon Wed Apr 21 10:13:28 PDT 1999

This place starts being well frequented : God, Beelzebub, the Pope, S. N. Arly, Agsousa ………I like interesting people around. How about Mephistopheles (sp)? He is the literary one (see Goethe's "Faust" and Marlow's "Doctor Faustus").

You new people, if you are unable to discuss chronological and psychological time in literature you are not wellcome. Unless you write a little Vignette for us. No excuses based on social status, being the divine, the anti-divine or whatever. Either you speak about literature ( and this means you know something of that stuff) or Out!

Beelzebub Wed Apr 21 09:12:41 PDT 1999

I write on behalf of my master who wishes to inform you all that he does not cause war. Only humans do that. Your nature is destined to be your own undoing. May as well enjoy the ride.

Thomas Wed Apr 21 08:44:50 PDT 1999


Windmills indeed. Now that you have validated my contention, I can easily write my way into the pantheon of literature -- for windmills are all around me.

Do not hate, not even those who make war -- seek to influence them. Hate and demonizing feeds warmakers. Wed Apr 21 07:41:14 PDT 1999

Just a little note to tell you that I got some e-mail and that I think that this notebook should be complemented (?) with personol intercourse — not sexual intercourse, just epistolary intercourse. Well.

So, let us write e-mails to one another and see what happens. I am intent on making this site the best in America. For that I have to struggle against some wrong ideas about what a writer is. A writer is a human being whose main feature is to fight against windmills (Don Quijote is the best example). A writer is not a bloke who writes essays day and night and only breathes literature. A writer breathes life. A writer — that's me.
So, love me.
And stop that bloody war, please.

GOD - thanks for coming. Behave yourself, will you? (Watch out Americo, he is also god …… a lesser one, but not afraid of you)

Would religious people go to the mass? There are no religious people in the world while this war goes on. I hate you all.

And I am serious.

Thomas Wed Apr 21 06:11:53 PDT 1999


Guns are not the problem -- merely the symptom, although controlling them is a good idea.

The kids were celebrating Hitler's birthday! I suspect HATE is the culprit, from bastards who teach it and profess it with their lies about the world. The demagogic "movement" leaders are the problem, those who prey on empty young vessels needing to be filled with purpose.

Be angry about it, and then write something to express and direct the anger. Who knows, what you write might just change someone's thick head into a learning recepticle -- there is always that chance.

I believe writers have the power, if not to change people, to at least make them stop for a while and to think. Enough of that and the ignorant entertain the possibility of becoming the informed.

Americo Wed Apr 21 04:00:08 PDT 1999

"It's strange! I only lived two years in this house, yet I seem to have lived my whole life here." (Eça de Queiroz)
This is the best example you can find of chronological vs. psychologial time — a good topic for your discussion of aspects of the novel.
On the 26th April it will be three months I made my apparition in this place. You must give a party!
Interaction is the name of the game. If your characters in Shadows do not interact, there will be no novel. People seem afraid of the Chelsea.
If you do not talk to one another people will go.

And this is the Pope's letter and my reply, Allein. It's obvious he was not understanding "Alexander's Betrothal" very well :

Subject: Re: novel critique

Dear Pope,
Glad you know how to read and are lurking into the best writers' site in the world. Could you please stop the war for me? Many kisses.


From: (Pope John Paul II)
Subject: novel critique
Date: 20 de abr de 1999 às 17:22

Make the doorbell ringing, which stops the character from commiting suicide, more exciting. The character is contemplating suicide, and the doorbell suddenly rings, period end of sentence?? No, the doorbell rings, startling the character into nearly dropping the electric razor into the bathtub. Make the near irony of him dying by accident when everyone else will believe it to be a suicide more prevelant. Also, make the character more nervous when he opens the door. Suicide is a nerve wracking, frightening thing, contemplating it, even in a bitter sarcastic, half-hearted way, should leave one jumpy and irritated.

Jerry Ericsson Tue Apr 20 21:27:04 PDT 1999

Sorry for the absence, not that I have been busy or anything like that, I tried to write something about Viet Nam, but it simply wouldn't come out right - there is a lot of anger there and I guess some day I will have to deal with it - at any rate, I gave up on that idea for awile anyway, will get back to working on my next post to Shadows.

I am horrafied at what happened in Litteltown Col. today - you know back in 1989, I flew to Wash. DC to lobby Congress NOT to pass a ban on semi-automatic rifles. In 1986 I became a liscensed gunsmith, after taking a correspondence course, and working with a local smith part time. (this as a hobby as I was still then with the PD) I ahve been PRO gun for well over fifteen years but after today, I say ENOUGH - it isn't the guns, I know that, I guess we could blame the PC as much as the firearms, as playing the games on these infernal machines is simply violence at its essance, look at the old favorite Wolf 3d that started the violence on the PC and Doom then Quake, all make killing so simple that if you grow up playing them then killing seems a game - should we ban the PC, no. Should we ban the gun? No, but should we regulate them - Hell yes, and lets try to find a way to keep the guns from the hands of the kids that will kill. As I listen to what has happened on the idiot box, they are saying the death toll is at least 25 - wounded at least 20 - the kids were celebrating Hitlers Birthday (Which they say is today). I know that guns don't kill people, people do - in fact I used to have that bumper sticker on my truck, but no more - Today I tore up my membership card to the NRA - Today, I scraped the NRA sticker from the back window of my pickup. Tomorow I will put my gun collection up for sale. I only pray that the killing in our schools will end and I know that anything I do, and anything I say will not help in any way, but it might just make me feel better, maybe just a little.

Excuse my anger, but this is just too much, because we have a poor connection with the ABC network up here, the Cable co. pipes in Chanel 7 from Denver, and I have been watching the horror in Littletown for the last three hours - interviews with the kids, interviews with the police - interviews with parents. Maybe I should also get rid of the TV then, at least I would only have to read about it in the papers.

God Tue Apr 20 19:42:23 PDT 1999

Who says I do not read the Notebook? All ideas are taken into consideration, all accounts processed and updated. It keeps me busy, Heaven can be so angelically dull at times. Great place, though. There is nothing more comfortable than bed made of clouds, or the sweet sound of harps, like water trickling over small, gentle bells.

Allein Tue Apr 20 19:15:08 PDT 1999

Rachel - I got your e-mail. :) And no, I wouldn't kill you. You're too cute AND too nice. :)

Agsousa - I sent you an e-mail. :)

Bai bai,
Allein Tue Apr 20 18:53:08 PDT 1999

Where is Eddie, where is he?
People, how about a little literary topic for a change?
Lena … you are the one with ideas. Feminine and masculine literature? Only me was interested. New literature and old hat? No American can understand that. Formulae writing and creative writing? Idem. Why not literature and cinema? I suspect you writers do not consider cinema as a great art. I must be wrong, of course.
Well, Thomas, don't tell me I haven't tried...
Good night. (No one to love today. No one to send secret messages — tears tears tears and... Cheers everybody!

Fernando Pessoa Tue Apr 20 17:49:32 PDT 1999

To die is just to cease being seen.

Rhoda Tue Apr 20 17:48:34 PDT 1999


Here goes. I took a subject from your selection of words.


Tree heard the sounds of heavy equipment coming up the driveway of the old log house that stood underneath its green canopy. Tree had heard these sounds before over the past few decades. Many of Tree's best friends had been mowed over by bulldozers. But this tree's age worked to its advantage, for many people were reluctant to cut down or mow over a four hundred year old oak. In a matter of hours the old log house was torn down. Feeling an overwhelming wave of loneliness, tree wept.

Tree heaved a sigh. Four hundred years of lightning, bugs, locusts, man's activity, and constant change were taking its toll. Being ancient was lonely, for there wasn't a single bird, tree, bush, blade of grass or structure that had been here when tree was a sapling. In those days, Indians had padded through the trails, shooting occasionally at the deer that had once populated this spot when it was a forest. Next the land around Tree had been cleared and great fields had spread out before him. Now within Tree's shadow lay a country road. In the past couple of years new houses sprung up before Tree, and in the distance stood a sprawling mass of concrete and brick with hundreds of cars surrounding it every day. Tree looked sadly down at the wreck of lumber and nails underneath it. For the first time in his long, eventful life, he was envious. Tue Apr 20 17:29:20 PDT 1999

I have answered the Pope. His e-mail was just a little observation on "Alexander's Betrothal", which I posted some time ago in the Novel room of our big mansion and forgot to advertise. I suspect it was not the Pope, but just one of you. Who? Anyway, the address on the e-mail was You can try yourself, Allein. And by the way, why didn't you ever sent me an e-mail? We are great friends, aren't we? And Shadows is waiting for more prose of you. You can't leave yourself alone in an airplane these days.

NATO doesn't even know how to read, Arly. But God does not read this page either and, however, I ask him here to stop that bloody war!

Rachel Tue Apr 20 17:27:40 PDT 1999

Hey Allein - I have now sent you an e-mail. If you don't get it let me know. It is big and more or less says nothing. (laughter) You asked for it!

Kill me?! I should hope your kidding. I am way to cute and adorable to kill. (big grin)

Take care you and have some fun


Cassandra Tue Apr 20 17:13:28 PDT 1999

Howard's vignette-

A pebble

Tossed, just as she had been, from a warm and supportive grip, the small stone skidded across the water. Could it's speed and momentum prevent it's inevitable sinking? Could her own intelligence and willpower spirit her across as hopeless a challenge? They told her yes. But Jen believed otherwise.

A pebble such as herself cross the mile-wide lake that was her life? She snickered deeply letting cynicism take control of her breast. Watching the jumps get smaller and smaller, the kinetic energy draining out of the pebble, bit by bit, Jen smiled. No one gets out of life alive, the thought echoed through her misguided mind. Why even try?

Besides, she muttered under her breath, was death anything more than the bottom of a lake. Was its invisibility enough to make her fear what was unknown? The surface of life obscured deep, tranquil death by reflecting only what it saw above it. To walk through the gates, like fallen pebbles did, seemed the only true challenge.

Were there others like her? Others that wondered if by letting go of the surface, that they could exist between the dormant recesses of death, and the superficial reflection of life?
Did others roam the streets of New Orleans in search for another type of existence?

Perhaps there were, she thought mildly, as she readjusted her sunglasses, and turned away from the pier. Perhaps there were.

Ta ta

Allein Tue Apr 20 17:12:20 PDT 1999

Rachel - maybe you sent a reply but I haven't gotten it for some reason God only knows. If so, try again and if I still don't get it, you can send it to my AOL address.
Why I killed Heather. I just felt like it - I needed something to do. So watch out, sometime, I'll need something to do again and who knows - next time, it could be YOU!! :) Just kidding (obviously). I don't kill people who aren't me (or one of the voices in my head - shut up in there!!)

Bai bai,

Rachel Tue Apr 20 16:47:03 PDT 1999

Allein - Hi you again. Sorry about the spelling on your name in the last post.

Gezz, why'd yah do that to Heather? I heard she was a pretty decent sort of gal.

Take care you


Rachel Tue Apr 20 16:43:48 PDT 1999

Hey all

Hi Allien - I thought I answered your e-mail, but I'll go in and check on that.

Take care all


Allein Tue Apr 20 16:02:13 PDT 1999

Casey - I hope we can talk on IM tonight. If not, it's okay. You rest up and feel better.

Agsousa - Heather's dead - I killed her. Allein, however, lives. A letter from the Pope? How cool. Could you maybe post it here so we can read it?

Rachel - have you answered my e-mail? As of this morning there was no e-mail, but in a few minutes...maybe I'll find something.

Well, bai bai everybody,

"Modesty is definately not quoting yourself."
- Suzanne Boutet (after quoting herself)

Thomas Tue Apr 20 12:34:47 PDT 1999

That is Esperanto.

Thomas Tue Apr 20 12:32:59 PDT 1999


What's the story on Espranto, the 19th century attempt to create a universal language?

Raindrop vignette:

Alone, the moist bugger is relatively harmless. Put him in with his own kind and he can literally move the earth. Last week I watched a raindrop hit my window. He died instantly. Right after him came another; he also died. But then, in rapid succession came more and more raindrops, and the ones that hit my window died, but the ones that landed in the lake four miles away lived.
The raindrops in the lake must have copulated because within minutes they had displaced the always calm waters of the lake, and they overran its shores.
I read this morning that fourteen homes and six people were washed away near the shore of the lake before it resumed its calm repose. And as I read, over my second cup of coffee, I heard a ping at the window. I went to see what it was.
A raindrop sat pressed against the glass, and I could swear it carried a placard with my name on it.

S.N.Arly Tue Apr 20 12:26:22 PDT 1999

Agsousa - What about those of us who want to get published so we can make enough money to quit the day job and just write full-time? I don't need to be rich or famous, admired or loved. I just want to be free to write.

Hate to tell you, but I don't think NATO checks out this board too often.

Lena - Give it more than a few days rest and come back to it. I often hate what I've written immediately after it's done. I did that for a creative writing class in college. Hated my final project. But after two weeks of not thinking about it I realized that it wasn't so bad after all. Needed work, yes. But was not the drivel I'd thought.

Congratsy you academian you.

Michele - I had a LX teacher from Latvia. He was great. And he always had all sorts of neat things to say in multiple languages. He didn't believe that you can't learn a language as an adult. He was in his 70s and working on his 14th.

Now I need to write two 200 word bits. Maybe I can get them both up at the same time.

Casey - Rest up. Feel better soon.


A lie to say, "O my forest has trees that block the sun
and when I cut them down I don't answer to anyone."
No,no never will he believe that his greed is a blinding ray
no devil or redeemer can cheat him. He'll take his gold where he's lying cold.
- 10,000 Maniacs Tue Apr 20 10:20:39 PDT 1999

I got 3 e-mails! And one from Pope John II. We are becoming famous... If you keep on adding in to Shadows, rich&famous will be the next step.
(I am serious about the Pope's letter, believe or not. Sound advice on suicide. Long live our old John II! I may answer him, of course.)
And, first thing now, an enthusiastic e-mail to Thomas, our guru, the only real professional on the premises. People, eat garlic!!! And buy Thomas's book.

NATO....etc. Well, I must control my irritation, mustn't I? Or perhaps not. It's God son's wrath — good wrath. NATO.... (4LetterwordagainstWar4).

Cassandra Tue Apr 20 10:07:51 PDT 1999

messed up the webpage... sowry

Cassandra Tue Apr 20 09:56:25 PDT 1999

Hello (weak smile)

I'm feeling a little better today. Probably because I slept til noon, then went to health services here on campus. They think that the symptoms point to flu. (Yippie!) So they have me on your general Tylenol.. 4 hours.. Advil... 4 hours .. Tylenol Diet.

I have to keep an eye on myself though. Our health services here isn't exactly the most keen, or the best trained staff of nurses (and 1 visiting doctor).

They told me to get some rest and get fluids, so odds are, I'll be hanging around online for a good chunk of the day. (Not on IM father can find me there...) Maybe I'll play around with my webpage. Perhaps I'll play email tag with some friends of mine. (I have to find out which one of the idiots called me at 5am and wouldn't let me get off of the phone.)

I'll write more for Shadows if the mood hits me. Perhaps I'll read more of Allein's story. (lol...Kyle probably would go get me soup, but as for transfering mono to him, he and his gf worked things out. So, I wouldn't do that.)

Hope you're all doing well...
Ta ta


Rachel Tue Apr 20 08:09:22 PDT 1999

Hi All

Hey SKS! - Just in case my e-mail got swallowed by the cyber monster that seems to make his home near my computer I'm going to say it again.


Take care all


Michele Tue Apr 20 07:56:21 PDT 1999

Hi gang !


- and anyone else who's interested - web site address at the top there...


Good !

Vignettes Part 2

A feather
A pen
A paperclip
A glass
A fish hook
A tree
A flower
A raindrop
A snowflake
An electron



You have a habit of asking the darnedest questions ! However... Linguistics is the study of languages - their development, history and use, how people learn or fail to learn and the effect languages have on peoples as a group.

Sorry that was more than 10 words - nearly 30 - but I
always go over my word limits - ask my tutors ! :-)


My linguistics teacher is actually Scottish ! And he doesn't know that much Mandarin - enough to confuse all of us though ! Everyone says that English is hard to learn as a foreign language... can't see it myself (!) Actually I should think it's just about the hardest language in the world to learn...

I've written about a third of the essay for this topic, but I have had to stop because I have a major headache, and headaches are not conducive to concentration !

So I am going to lie down for a bit and hope it goes away again...

Talk to you later, maybe...

Michele Tue Apr 20 07:40:16 PDT 1999

No e-mail this morning. (Tears)
I have been thinking about the concept of vignettes. Vignettes are the essence of literature.
Howard, you do not mind if we choose our own topics, do you? You see, only what I choose inspires me. Only what I live. Only what I love. Only what I hate, etc. And, please do not object if we find a good vignette in our own favorite writers (poets are wonderful at that) and publish it here. Vignettes : the greatest concept in the Notebook together with "Shadows" and... the secrets of teenagerhood. Why are gitls so shy about revealing their secrets? I once told a niece of mine that I wanted to write about a girl's secrets. Wouuld she please tell what her secrets were? She answered: why don't you write about a boy's secrets? And I concluded that a girl has no secrets at all.
The stuff of literature is mundanities transformed by a writer's genious, Thomas. My favorite topic in the restaurant I have lunch almost everyday is soccer. I really love soccer, and jokes, and trivialities and ... banalities, trivialities — daily life : the core of fiction.

And, NATO, will you please stop the bloody war! Show a little intelligence, for a change, rather than bombing.

Avatar Tue Apr 20 07:08:36 PDT 1999


First I'd like to say we lost. Jazz contests are about as bad as regular band contests. We didn't even make it to the finals. Sigh.
On a brighter note, we did have fun. And we were wearing t-shirts and jeans while the other bands were wearing tuxedoes and ties. Isn't jazz supposed to be casual?
On the subject of Homer simpson, we got to watch a concert by this singing quartet named Just 4 Kicks. The HS part was that one of them was Homer's singing voice on television.

c'est la viet

(tell me if I spelled that right)

So, what's up?

I'm gonna post in Shadows sometime today. Actually you guys probably just need to get some new ideas or a few other people need to write in it and get the juices flowin' again.


When I was seventeen....
-Homer Simpson


pnokio Tue Apr 20 04:15:15 PDT 1999

Hello Everyone,
You might not want to be in England now that April's here. It pretty miserable and pretty cold. That's what it is.


I think that sometimes happens. When you write something just to write something - I don't know how to say it, but you can kind of slip past a lot of things that might otherwise get in the way. I've done it many times, probably more times than not, essay titles being in general so boring; and once I twisted an essay completely inside out because I didn't like the subject - and among other things my lovely teacher afterwards said I could have his cottage in Devon while he was away with his family for the summer, if I wanted peace and quiet to write stuff. What's true is that I never could stand peace and quiet. Not too much of it anyway. And anyway I was too caught up in life. But I still have the essay and you're welcome to read it if you want. It's very South London I think. Anyway, why not post yours here? I think you've got us all interested and we'd all like to see.....

I'll post mine if you'll post yours.....


I am very simple, as you know, and I would like to learn something more about linguistics. Could you tell me in one short simple sentence?
About ten or eleven words?
What linguistics is all about?


I'll see if I can come up with something on your list. I'll go for 'dialogue only', since I often keep away from it. And thanks for thinking about the Ray Bradbury poem. Still look now and then if you can, and I'll post another search plea-sometime, just in case someone else comes in who doesn't know how desperate I am to have that piece. Maybe it's never been published in England. We tend to get a bit behind you know.


Xavier Mon Apr 19 22:23:12 PDT 1999


Well, I just posted again on 'Shadows', and it is a bit legnthy. I hope I'm not posting too much at once, as I really would like for people to read and critque it.

I already have written my next installment, and it's a bit sad, really.

Not much action around here tonight, I must say.

Figures, i get access all night, no one around.
Get no access, 67 new posts the next day!

My luck.


Kristina Mon Apr 19 20:12:52 PDT 1999

Well, I just wasted my Navy workout on fast food from Jack-in-the-box. Decided to catch up on posts. Even though I really have to fight for writing time I am determined to keep up with this page...2 yrs 9 months till I can write full time.

Michelle- wish I could have been there for your class to hear the Mandarin! Is your teacher chinese or is Mandarin his second language as it is for me? As difficult as it was for me to learn Mandarin, I have to admit I think it is more difficult for chinese people to learn English. The 9 or so native speakers who taught me seemed to agree...

Casey- take care of yourself! Hope you are feeling a little better!

Anger is like a chariot careering wildly. He who curbs his anger is the true charioteer. Others merely hold the reins.
-Buddha Mon Apr 19 18:41:24 PDT 1999

The second mysterious entry form disappeared. It was probably a dream. This reminds me that I left Pussy inside the microwaves oven. Switched on of course. She is not a nazi anymore. I'll tell you the story some other time. She is now a good catholic like me (perhaps a lttle better). Shall I not go to heaven, Heather? Well, thinking with both sides of the brain and all that... Actually, according to the theories of Antonio Damasio (see "The Error of Descartes"), we don't think only with the brain but with the whole body.

Who is Heather, anyway?

Good night people. I still have a couple of e-mails to write. Busy job, a writer. The time is now 02:43 (GMT) I never go to bed before 3 am. Some people say I am a monster. But I am an angel.

Allein Mon Apr 19 18:20:01 PDT 1999

Eddie - Doh! I love the Simpsons - though, Bart is fave. Actually, in my opinion, he's tamed down since the show first began. Anyway, I never figured you to be a Simpsons fan. You seem so serious - but I guess I learn new things about the people on the notebook every day.

Casey - Fine, be that way. I'll just sit here tonight and twiddle my thumbs. (sniff) I was (sniff) planning on doing that anyway. (sniff) JUST KIDDING. You get better soon, I hate to hear about my friends being sick. And with the kissing disease (yes, we still call it that). Stay in bed, drink plenty of fluids (actually, that might not be such a good idea). Have Kyle bring you some chicken soup (hint, hint!). And last but not least, don't give it to anyone - hmm, then if it is mono, maybe Kyle shouldn't come over. Hope you feel better real soon. (((BIG HUG))) PS: Sorry for all the jokes, I just thought maybe they would lighten your mood.

I'm happy, I just got an A on my history test. :) The second highest grade in the class.

Well, I'm off to save the whales, or clean up the enviornment or maybe just watch some TV. Oh well, I'll figure it out when I get there. Where am I going? I'm so confused.
Bai bai,

Xavier Mon Apr 19 18:19:02 PDT 1999

Hello again!

Well, it's been a half hour, and I could'nt stay away.

Thank you lena for correcting me, my spelling is very bad at times.

unto Casey: I am glad that you enjoy my writing, and I would be more than happy to show you more. I'm also posting on Shadows later, if your lurking. I hope you feel better, both physicaly and mentally. Your a good person, and I hate to think that the foul, Albany man- apes have gotten you down so. If you need an ear, e- mail me tonight at my dads address:
Perhaps i can offer some insight into the foul beings.

Unto Michele: I would like to visit your web page, if I may.
Could you please foward me the address here (see above), or too my old address after tommorow. Thanks sugah!

Well, thats it for the next 30 minuits, see you soon!


Lena Mon Apr 19 17:21:31 PDT 1999

Oops, I messed up my e-mail address on the last post!

This is nothing more than an excuse to stay on the Notebook... sigh. I'm going, I'm going! Yesch!

Lena feylena Mon Apr 19 17:19:14 PDT 1999

Hey, Xavier, it's chagrin, not shegrin! Hope you have fun on the night rounds - I would stay and keep you company, but duty calls. Sometimes I wish it would just shut up...

Good night to the Notebook,

Lena Mon Apr 19 17:15:09 PDT 1999

Americo - Authorization from Lena granted.

A bit of an extended ramble here...

I turned in a short story to my English teacher, and she loved it. This is the worst story I have written in a long, long time. It was awful. I was embarrassed to even turn it in - what right has she to like it? It was written the night before when I was verra tired and trying desperately to contrive a plot, finish the story quickly, and yet write a full five pages. I handed it in today, making sure my teacher noticed the big words at the top of my paper which read "ROUGH DRAFT." She came over to talk to be later, and asked me if I had ever considered writing as a career. Excuse me? No, I had not, but I... Oh, you really should! There's good money to be made in writing, you know! The thought of laughing crossed my mind at that point, but instead I restrained myself and politely smiled. Yup, good money - everybody here got that? Good.

I even re-read that paper afterward, to make sure I had not written a masterpiece in my sleep, and it was even worse then I remembered. Characters talk for the first three pages of inconsequentials ("oh, I see the linen sheets are clean!") and the last two pages are my attempt at plot, with two deaths, a cheesy moral dilemma, and a sword fight gibbered together at the very end. I even introduce a major character on the second-to-last page! And please do not try to tell me that perhaps the story was better than I thought - I have written stuff I am proud of, and this was not it. I entertained a delightful little fantasy after she gave my story back to me of sending it through a paper shredder, but I was stopped by the unfortunately lack of a paper shredder nearby.

Why is it that everything that I have written that I hate, my teachers love? I wrote a paper last year, comparing my great-grandmother to a bowl of peaches of cream. Don't ask what I was on when I came up with THAT brilliant idea. It is such BS - I spun off these weird metaphors, included my teacher in the story, and basically blithered for three pages. It was another one of those papers written in the dead of the night, the day before.

She loved it. I am still trying to figure this one out. My peaches n' cream paper is now the model paper for that assignment - she kept a copy to show other classes as an example paper for that assignment. Did I miss something here?

The only moral I can glean is that I should write only when I am dead to the world for all intents and purposes, blither off the worst crap I can think up, and not about such sensibilities as plot, theme, characters, and good taste.

Ah, wonderful school system. You have taught me so much!

Oh, and for those who know about such things, I was notified today that I am National Merit Commended Scholar (I think that's the title), with a chance to become a National Merit Semi-Finalist, and perhaps even a Finalist! I am very excited - I have an idiotically proud smile as I type this right now.

Xavier Mon Apr 19 16:46:10 PDT 1999

Hello... Hello!

I'm at my fathers again, and I could'nt resist jumping on the computer to join in the fun at me favorite place. Actually, this is the only board of any kind that I post on or visit frequently.
I will probably be lurking around all night, so I hope to catch some of your fresh posts. I'd like to chat if someone was around, but I'm afraid I'm not too experenced at it.
I'm don't have an IRC, but I have Java I think.

Unto Mr. French: Thanks for commenting on my little peice, it means alot to a new, seldom read by human eyes writer like me. I'm still not sure how learned eyes perceive my writing, but your comments encouraged me. :)

Well, thats it for now, soon I'll post my new bit on 'Shadows', much to everyones shegrin.

See you in a bit.

Xavier Mon Apr 19 16:46:07 PDT 1999

Am I dreaming or there is a second, mysterious entry form below? It could be used to write Vignettes in. Perhaps the explanation is in the posts I have not read yet.

Eddie — prepare yourself for great deeds. I am just waiting authorization from Lena to offer you the best job you have ever dreamed! I bet you can't resist. 50 pence!Okay, make it 1 pound.

See you later aligator.

Cassandra Mon Apr 19 16:37:12 PDT 1999

Alive, but not really well...

I'm getting sick, and I can tell it's not going to be pretty. I am thouroughly exhausted, and want to sleep more than anything right now. I kept nearly blacking out whenever I tried to walk today.

My friends think that it might be mono. But I am really begining to fear that it's the onset of depression. It runs in my family, you know.

Anyways, despite all the good I can see in the world right now, I am still depressed...
I'm going to see if one of my friends can tell me if I'm running a fever, and then going to sleep.

Allein- I won't be on Instant Messager tonight.

SKS- You are a wonderful writer, who's work always tends to put a wry smile on my face and an irony, and wit inspired laugh in my throat.

Xavier & SKS- We're birds of a feather, never trained but truthful in inspiration, observation, and communication so much so, that it overshadows the lack of "formal" training.

Xavier- I've enjoyed your writing as much (or possibly more) than you have mine. If you have anything, post it, or email it. I'll make time to read.

good night...


howard Mon Apr 19 16:02:21 PDT 1999

Michele -- Go for it! It looks like most everyone likes the idea. Can't wait to see your list!

Jerry Lee Mon Apr 19 15:39:55 PDT 1999

The priest seemed to spend most of his time inside the temple. Twice a day, though, he would carry a little bell on a piece of ribbon in clocwise circles around the white marble structure.

He had twelve minutes until the holy man returned. Looking around quickly, he jumped the wrought-iron fence and ran for the only entrance.

There was no door, no security of any kind and time was of the essence. Passing through the tiny chapel, he made his way into a dark room at the center of the small building.

His editor would give him a raise. He would be world famous. He might win the Pulitzer. This was his greatest hour! And the best part was that it would be a total surprise.

In the center of the room it stood. He reached out to remove the linen cover, hearing the tinkling of the priest in the distance when it happened.

A flash of light and a loud report pressed him into the back wall. At that moment, he knew he was not alone. Like him, there were concious human shadows lining the walls like paper. Some were as old as the Ark itself.

The priest rang his little bell and shook his head. "Tradition." he said to himself.

Eddie French Mon Apr 19 13:49:42 PDT 1999

Sure did miss your posts while you were away. (Was it just a few days?) Nice to see you back. I tried the microwave thing but it kept crashing. (Must have had a microsoft OS)
You sound great, That break did you good.
Stop lurking and get in here!!!
I think maybe that you are only real part time!
You a Simpsons fan too? Homer is my number 1 hero!
Loved the bell. I thought you said you were new at this?
Vignettes: Can't resist them. The more words you put up, the more I shall write. I may not post them all but I will try to do every one.
Must go do some writing.

Michele Mon Apr 19 11:07:21 PDT 1999

Well here I am, having survived "killer Monday" - although I did wonder if my linguistics teacher had gone completely mad over the Easter vacation, when he came in this morning, and after a brief blurb, proceeded to speak to us in a foreign language for 15 minutes - conveying to us by gesture that we were to repeat whatever he uttered ! Turned out he was speaking Mandarin and wanted to convey what it's like for a student learning English as a foreign language (which was the topic for the lecture)... so

Ni hao everyone ?

(which for the non-Mandarin speakers amongst you, is roughly translated to How are you ? !)

Glad you got back from the trip safely ! I liked the Samuel Beckett quotation. And I will indeed remember the phrase you offered ! Oh, and I am not that fussed about finding a guy - I've been single the last 12 years without hassle - I can easily manage another 12, 24, 36 or even 48 (if I live to be nearly 80 !)


I take your point but I am unconfident of my skills in writing on any of these topics !


I'd like to volunteer a new list of topics, if that's OK ?
Anyways I am sitting here listening to some classical music (just for a change !) and thinking that I ought to make a couple of additions to my web site so I will leave you here, with best wishes.


A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it.
-- William Styron, interview, Writers at Work : First Series, 1958 Mon Apr 19 10:41:43 PDT 1999

On the day my first book was published I walked through half Lisbon hoping to see some copies in the bookshops windows. When I saw the first copy I felt embarassed and shy. It was as if I was exposed naked in the window...Then I recovered and was furious whenever I saw no copies in bookshops. I started developing a theory that if a bookshop did not keep my book that was because it was fascist or controled by the Yankees or in the hands of the Mafia or ...

A writer writes because he likes it (to put it simply) and publishes to get rich&famous or admired&loved. Of the last two I prefer the latter one. This is surprising, because as a person I am not excessively warm to manifestations of tenderness. When I was a boy I did not like people to touch me. Actually I thought adults were hypocritical with their kisses and hugs and all that. I prefer cats to dogs because cats are much more independent and do not bark to people to call attention to themselves.

Another thing: I was so glad that some people here talked to me that I took a pair of scissors and cut their messages to stick them in an album. Only later did I notice that I had made a lot of holes in the screen of my monitor. Now I can see the lungs and heart of this Sony thing. They are mostly black and not emerald green as I thought. (This answers to most messages addressed to me — I loved them all.)

And now a thought that has been haunting me: if NATO wanted to help the people from Kosovo why are they not helping them at all, not even with enough food and medicines and housing and... I am getting fed up with NATO and unready to tolerate for much longer this stupid war. It seems to be led by military minds and not by politicians, let alone human beings.

In the meantime in East Timor terror is riding horses along the streets every minute. Why is NATO/ONU not there yet? Waiting for eveybody to be killed first?

Americo Mon Apr 19 08:08:33 PDT 1999

Hello, everybody!
Back to reality. I spent three days away from you and how time is so slow when I am not in touch with my American friends! I saw that I have some e-mail and lots of posts here in the Notebook to read. Shall I read them? Shall I ignore them? It depends on their contents. Love letters are always welcome.
I saw that Howard inaugurated Vignettes. Splendid idea. I may contribute some if I have the talent for that. Nabokov was a master on that stuff. So perhaps I'll read Lolita again to get inspiration.
Disgusted with his PC, which is unable to read files from other systems, Jon sold it and went to the shop to buy a Mac, which reads everything. But, on second thoughts, used the money to but a microwaves oven instead. He is disappointed, however, as the microwaves in not plug and play and does not run LINUX — the only possible system for independent people like us.
See you later, aligater!

Xavier Mon Apr 19 07:59:05 PDT 1999

A quick note:

SKS Perry: You are so like me it's scary. I am a 'natural' writer as well, with no formal education in creative writing. Unlike you; however, I do NOT have any writing friends, and 'Shadows' is the first time I' ve ever offered a writing sample to those who do. I wish I had friends who lived to write as I do. In any case, I think you posess considerable talent and enjoy reading your posts/ writing. I would like to read more.

The Bell:

Sitting on the end of the wind swept N.Y. pier, He hears the bell clanking in the wind. He comes here to feel free, and though he never really does, he usually feels the pain less.
But the bell.
He used to hear bells everyday, they marked his every movement.
In prison, everything is marked by bells.
He knows he should be over it by now, but even a year later, he still wakes up hearing bells in his head.
Julie tried to tell him to try to forget it, to try to heal the pain. She left him when his pain was greater than her love.
Its not her fault, really.
Its the bells.
He looks out over the water, and hears the bell clank behind him.
He can't help but think of the quote he always does at times like this:
"Only to the dead is the war truly over."
He's free now, life is open to him, he should be happy.

But the bells won't let him.

Howard Mon Apr 19 06:41:09 PDT 1999

Hi Pnokio! Welcome back!
Ray Bradbury is one of my favorite writers, and I remember reading a poem like that, but I don't remember where I saw it. For Bradbury fans there is a web page (listed above) that has extensive listings of his work. He has a new book coming out this year -- on creative writing, etc.
Re: the "challenge" -- How about someone else posting a list in a few days, and we all have another go at it? It might be fun to vary the rules a bit, like "description only" or "no dialog" (or "dialog only") etc etc. Don't slack off on "Shadows," but at times when we get stuck, an exercise like this can help with the focus part. Just keep it short and crisp.

Pnokio p.pjm.noakes@talk21 Mon Apr 19 02:44:33 PDT 1999

Hello Everyone,
I know I haven't been here very long, and so this is simply to say I've been away and I'm back.


Somewhere on a distant Notebook posting someone mentioned Bradbury, in connection with writing and writing being the way to becoming a writer. When I filled out the form for university entrance I was asked to say what I'd read by anyone I'd read that impressed me. It was easy with Bradbury. I was able to write: 'Ray Bradbury - everything'. But they didn't ask me one question on him. Pity. They pinned me against the wall with Sophia, the one in Tom Jones, and what she represented. Anyway it's irrelevant because I couldn't take the place - there were problems. But sometime ago there was a television documentary here about Ray Bradbury, shot at times in a basement full of toys and yellow Ticonderoga pencils and wonderful things, with his old drop-handlebarred bicycle hanging on the wall. He read one of his poems that evening, and what I'd like to ask is that if anyone out there has a copy of this poem would they mind emailing me with it? I searched all over but no luck. Here's what it's about. The narrator walks as a man past some kind of tree he once climbed as a boy, and as he walks by he remembers how one day he'd climbed to somewhere near the top, and in woodpecker's hole or something, had pushed a message inside. He can't remember what he'd written, and so he shins up the bole and finds the place again, digs out some bits and pieces, and finds the slip of paper crumpled inside. Full of curiosity to see what the boy had written he unravels it, and the message inside was, "Remember me".


Just to say I enjoyed reading The Perfect Day so much, the way you carried it off with such easy-going unapparent skill and made me really happy. People in England and all over talk about the voice of a writer, and this I know: one day I'll be sitting here wanting to say something in a certain way, listening in my head to see what might be coming, and then something'll arrive and it'll be you. And then I'll go ahead and try to express the mood your voice creates in that piece. Very special. I've never read anything quite like it.


As we're in front of many American friends I can't suggest the little English phrase you might carry around in your head for the times that on-line/off-line guy creeps into your thoughts. But you know the one I mean - just the two words. Look at it this way, it's still only April and you've got all summer. And anyway all girls are girlie. How can they be not? And if you're not girlie enough for Mister Whosis, just remember that punchy two-worder, and spit it out.
And remember it's April in England, that "Somer is i-comin in".


"There is nothing to express, nothing with which to express, nothing from which to express, no power to express, no desire to express, together with the obligation to express".
Samuel Beckett)))).



Allein Sun Apr 18 22:41:16 PDT 1999

Rachel - (((BIG HUG))) Miss me? Anyway, internet at school - at my school, you have to have parent permission to use the internet and you can't use it for e-mail and personal stuff during the school day. But it might be different there.

Get back to me on whether she'd like to see some pics or not.
Bai bai,

Rachel Sun Apr 18 22:01:14 PDT 1999

HI ALL!!!!!!! I"M BACK (merry laughter)

Howard, Howard, I want to play. I just need a little time to organize a thought. Hum, 200 words, even I should be able to make a start middle and end for that. (grin)

SKS - You be nice to yourself! I love your writing. Your editing saves me unmeasurable embarassment (yikes on the spelling) see I'd be a goner without you! (laughter)

Agsousa - Gezz buddy, did yah miss me (cheeky grin)

Allein - I'll drop you a note soon (smile) I'll talk to Carling. I think that she may be able to access the net from school. I'm not sure what the deal is with that. I haven't gone to school for well, hum, nevermind. (grin)

Jai - You are so sweet! Yah the story is real.

Eddie - Hi you! I don't think I've ever posted to you, but I always read your posts when they are here. I sent you an e-mail once about ICQ but I don't think you got it. I was at the time having quite the brawl with my computer. Anyway, thought I'd say hi.

Xavier - Feel free to interact with my character in Shadows, just don't kill her, that would not make me very happy.

Well I had lots of fun on my little vacation and I got a lovely starter tan, which is quite the event for me. It would seem that I am not going to be the underdone wonder this summer.

I got my next entry for Shadows done, but I'm not so sure about it. I think I may not go with it. Hum, hum, hum, what to do.

Jack - Hope you feel better soon. I have also been going round and round with the cold/flu thing. Uck! I am so done with all that sick, sick business, but apparently it is not quite done with me (grin)

I could go on and on and on, but I will spare you all

Take care all


Cassandra Sun Apr 18 19:17:49 PDT 1999

Hi all,

Well, I'm kind of stressing out right now. There are too many projects due, and I have no want or need to complete any of them. I'm just growing disheartened with my major. Everyone else here seems to have free time to hang out with their friends. We art majors have to spend around 90 hours a week working most times. I have some tough decisions to make over the summer.

Anyways, I'm on the phone with my mother right now. I miss her right now. She'll be back in New York next Monday. So, I'm really looking forward to it.

I should go work on things.
ta ta all


"Remember, No one gets out of life alive. So enjoy the time you have!"

Allein Sun Apr 18 18:54:19 PDT 1999

Eddie - I agree. :)


Jai Sun Apr 18 17:57:34 PDT 1999

Big hello all,

Eddie French - I'm still here, I think. Yes. At least I feel real.

Seriously, writing makes me happy but when I'm not happy I can't write, I often find myself in these places in life. Not really depression just liflessness and that is why I have been absent resently.

Will try and catchup, will try and write.....


Eddie French Sun Apr 18 14:47:50 PDT 1999

* The wise man can pick up a grain of sand and invision the entire universe. But the stupid man will just lay down on some seaweed and roll around until he's completely draped in it. Then he'll stand up and say, "Look at me, I'm a seaweed man!"

Sounds just like Homer Simpson to me!!!!

toby buckell Sun Apr 18 14:34:43 PDT 1999

Hey all,

I was trying earlier to get back into reading the posts and putting in my own two cents when appropriate. But I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to keep up.

Just recently I got the notification that I'm accepted into Clarion East, so I'm getting on the e-mail list with all the other Clarion Easters (I already am friends with two of the others who applied and got in). I also got a re-write request on Friday which will be taking up most of my time and energy (it's my first re-write request. Kinda cool really, I hope they accept it).

I would love to still be a part of the notebook, but I'm afraid I can't manage the time :( . I will try to drop in every once in a while and say hi, but any regular participation is probably going to take away from my writing time, and like I may occasionally state, my productivity always comes first...

Best of luck all writing...

Tobias S. Buckell

Thomas Sun Apr 18 14:17:23 PDT 1999


It ain't difficult. Try it. Remember, I make my living writing non-fiction. I agree 100% with Howard.

The best non-fiction uses all the creative angles of fiction, only more creatively because you can't make believe.

I am sure my non-fiction succeeds because I am tuned into how to write fiction.

Allein Sun Apr 18 13:20:46 PDT 1999

Okay, here's the funnies:

* If you want to be the popular one at the party, here's a good thing to do: Go up to some people who are talking and laughing and say "well, technically, that's illegal." It might fit in with what somebody just said. And even if it doesn't, so what, I hate this stupid party.

* I think one way the police department could make a lot of money would be to hold a yard sale of murderer's weapons. Many people, for example, could probably use a cheap ice pick.

* The wise man can pick up a grain of sand and invision the entire universe. But the stupid man will just lay down on some seaweed and roll around until he's completely draped in it. Then he'll stand up and say, "Look at me, I'm a seaweed man!"

* I remember in college how I got a part time job as a cirus clown and the children would laugh at me. I vowed then and there I would get revenge.

* If you are ever robbing a bank and your pants suddenly fall down, I think it's okay to laugh and to let the hostages laugh too, because come on, life is funny.

* If you ever go flying back through time and you see somebody else flying forward into the future, it is probably best to avoid eye contact.

* I think a good gift for the president would be a chocolate revolver and since he's so busy, you'd probably have to run up to him real quick and hand it to him.

Well, that's it. I hope I've brightened up someone's day. If you didn't find this funny, go ahead and throw cyber fruit at me, but please, no hard candy.
Bai bai,

Allein Sun Apr 18 11:39:22 PDT 1999

Hiya all.
Just thought I'd tell you that Chapter 14 is up on my webpage, so if anyone here is reading my story, you can go check it out (unless you're one of the lucky people - and you know who you are - who got a copy through e-mail).

Casey - I'll be on tonight around nine (midnight your time) if that's OK. If not, tell me when you'll be on. And I promise not to keep you up until 2 AM this time.

Well, I'll be back with some humorous quotes later. Right now, I have to go.
Bye bye,

Lena Sun Apr 18 10:19:26 PDT 1999


The castle was crumbling, old and forgotten. Moss and fungus thickly covered the once-proud golden walls, flourishing in the humid air. Mist wove in and out of the stone walls, and large blocks of stone and statue lay haphazardly around the muddy courtyard. A thick smell of rot and decay hung in the moisture-laden air, coating the back of his throat in bile.

He cleared his throat, breathing through his nose to keep from tasting the stench of decay. "James?" he asked tentatively, his voice rebounding strangely in the deserted courtyard.


"Come over here for a second, I think I found something."

His partner walked over to where he stood, boots squelching sickly in the mud. "What is it? Anything valuable?"

On the ground by his foot was a thread of ribbon, brilliant red. It was worn by a young girl, clutching her doll in one hand, holding her mother's arm in the other. It was worn by a newly wed bride, the sun glistening in her golden hair. It was worn by a beggar girl, the only bit of finery she owned. The bit of scarlet stood out brightly from the grime, amazingly untouched, a testament to the passions of the past. He stooped over to pick up the ribbon, running his rough finger over the smooth length.

"Yes. Valuable." He looked up. "I changed my mind, James. Let's get out of this place."

S.N.Arly Sun Apr 18 10:17:28 PDT 1999

I'm actually trying to get a great deal of writing done today, as I did yesterday (I'm on a roll!), but somewhere in there I'll see if I can accede to Howard's Challenge. My goal is to use as many of those topics(?) or objects as possible. We'll see how it turns out.


Michele Sun Apr 18 00:33:02 PDT 1999


Hmm.... I guess I could do that... but I don't know if I could do it on any of the topics you've offered... I'll have a think !


Cassandra Sat Apr 17 21:19:32 PDT 1999

Hi all,

Just stopping in to check up on the posts, and tell everyone that I'm still alive and am doing quite well.

Allein- I'll be online tomorrow night. I'd like to hear more about your story. The incredible enthusiasm that you have for your story just lifts my spirits. :)

ta ta ya'll


Howard Sat Apr 17 18:49:11 PDT 1999

Michele -- A vignette does not have to be fiction per se. It can be a description of an incident, place, person, or thing. In fact it is more likely to be just that, and is definitely not out of place in a non-fiction work. One of the more interesting books I've got in my stack is titled "Writing Creative Non-fiction." The exercise is good practice for academic work too, and especially for those who think they cannot write fiction. It's harder, IMHO, to write interesting prose in a non-fiction piece, simply because we tend to make it so. This drill can be good practice in making even an academic essay more readable.

Eddie French Sat Apr 17 14:02:57 PDT 1999

Just a babies pram.

During the night hours it's so much harder to bear. I don't know when I last slept. I'll probably do it tonight. It doesn't seem like such a big thing anymore, just put all of the pills I've been so clever at collecting over the months into my mouth and wash them down with the fresh orange juice. A few minutes later I'll have rest. Yes...that's it, many are there....twenty six....twenty seven...that should do it....Ugh...bloody awful taste....where's that juice. Sleepy now....
Should have left me in the street....
Man's no good without legs...bloody hell, havn't even got an arse.....Couldn't wipe it with one arm anyway.....Ha!
Must be dreaming....
There's the pram...I can see it bouncing over the cobblestones, coming towards me now... Thought there was a baby in it.....poor baby...heading for the main road....must catch it....Shit that's not a baby ...Wires!.....Oh God!...I fell for it!.....
Darkness falls.

Michele Sat Apr 17 13:45:39 PDT 1999


Well I have now got to the point where I am ready to write my third and final essay for the holiday ! Fortunately it doesn't need to be in until April 26 so I have an extra week to do this one so I am giving myself a few hours and tomorrow off, and I will write the essay Tuesday... not Monday because that's my killer day with four hours of lectures non-stop, no caffeine break, no comfort break, just sit and listen and write notes... is it any wonder my brain feels like mush on a Monday lunchtime ?
It's very kind of you to say so - the daft thing is that he's an intelligent guy - except for this ! And like the guy you mention, this guy is no oil painting, yet he wants a woman who looks "girly"... sighs I'll never understand guys !


That's very clever... I am almost tempted to try this thing myself but this writer is better sticking to non-fiction... the few bits of fiction I still have hanging around (I tried my hand at writing short stories quite a few years ago) are not worth reading - I know, I re-read them recently !


I shall take a look at the new ICQ program some time soon...

I've promised to write 6 brief biographies of famous authors for the British Literature site tomorrow - my trouble is writing only 100 words... I had a go at Edward Thomas earlier and wrote over 300 words... and that was being brief !!!

Anyways I am tired so I think I'll push off now...



Oh for a book and a shady nook, either indoor or out.
-- John Wilson, London Bookseller

Howard Sat Apr 17 11:57:25 PDT 1999

No special rules, Snarly, just a vignette of (around) 200-250 words or less, based on one of the following subjects:
A discarded chewing gum wrapper.
A small, tinkling bell.
A pebble (any color).
A comb.
A ribbon.
A baby stroller (that's a pram in the UK,I think).
A piece of seaweed.
A straw.
We're looking to practice tight descriptive writing. If you can work dialog into it, that's fine too. So far the entries are excellent! But take a look at each one of them, and think how you might work with the same theme. And don't pass one up simply because someone else already did something with it -- you might create something entirely different, or invent another use for something we take for granted every day.

S.N.Arly Sat Apr 17 09:48:06 PDT 1999

So what are the rules to Howard's Challange again? Was it a story in 200 words or less?


Eddie French Sat Apr 17 08:17:27 PDT 1999

Just a quicky to answer some emails in one go.
Please bear with me as I rebuild my system after the crash.
Some of you will be getting strange messages from ICQ. Please re-add me and re-authorise my list etc.
sorry to be a pain.
Ps. ICQ has a new release which is infinately better than the previous version. I am testing it out now and it looks great. (loads of new features).

Thomas Sat Apr 17 07:16:40 PDT 1999

Sorry Howard. I was sure I erased the "hung up" and replaced it with "hangs", but these computers have minds of their own, just like combs.

Thomas Sat Apr 17 07:13:36 PDT 1999

The Comb

I might as well be toothless. I mean, this guy hasn't touched me in years.

Look at him. With each passing day he must lose at least an eighth of an inch -- poor fellow. But what about me? What do I do now? I have sat on this desk for almost a decade gathering dust. You can't even tell if I am a black comb or a gray one.

Sure, the old bugger gives me exercise once in a while; he picks me up every few months and fondles me. It is rather sad, I suppose. I can hear his thoughts of youth and barber shops, of days long past. But still, what about me?

Here he comes again, this time with the smell of liquor on his breath and rancor in his soul. What's got him going tonight?

Aw gee, not a phone call from his high school buddy again. The last time that happened he held me so tight I nearly passed out. It's a lucky thing I am pliable plastic or the twist he got me into then would surely have snapped me in two.

Well friend, I am in your hands now. What are you going to do to me this time? Hey, wait a minute. Not that. C'mon old timer, put me back on the desk. I won't complain. Let the dust come, fondle me every few months, think of me now and again...

Sure is dark in here. I wish the old man would notice that one of my teeth hung uphangs up on an old piece of writing paper. It's uncomfortable. Let me see. I think I can read what's on this paper.

Will you look at this drivel. And he calls himself a writer. It's no wonder the old skin head drinks. Maybe I'm better off this way. At least in here with the cover on I won't catch any dust, and since I am plastic I am sure to be around longer than that old crud.

Allein Fri Apr 16 18:22:55 PDT 1999

Cassandra - I'll be on tonight around 9:00 or 9:15 PST if you wanna chat.

Rachel - I miss talking to you and my e-mail box is empty.

Okay, here's my story.
"Hiya!" Mali exclaimed, jumping out from behind a bush.
Rags brushed a lock of hair out from infront of his eyes. "Oh, hi there."
"Lovely day, isn't it?"
Rags turned his head away from her and sneezed. "Not particularly. I happen to love flowers, except when my allergies act up."
"I have them too," Mali told him.
"But you also have medicine."
"Yes." She looked at him. His long, silver hair fell over his broad shoulders nearly down to his waist. He had a perfect physique. No wonder Patches was so protective.
"By the way," he said to her. "You look nice with your hair up."
Mali reached up and touched her hair which was up in a bun. "It's too hot when it's down."
"I know what you mean. The girls at least get leather strings to put their hair up with."
"Why not cut your hair?"
"No! Only slave boys have their hair short, once you are a man, you wear it long."
"But you're only seventeen."
"When you are sixteen, you're an adult."
"All right. You can at least put your hair up, right?"
"Tying it back isn't forbidden."
Mali reached into her pocket and pulled out a blue ribbon. "Will this do?" She asked. "I know a ribbon is kind of girly, but it will keep your hair back."
Rags took the ribbon. "I suppose it will." He tied his hair back in a low ponytail. "Much better."
Mali smiled, then heard her friend calling her. "I have to go."
She walked off.
The next day, she met up with Kachik, whose father owned Rags. Kachik took her hands. "I have something for you. I don't know where or who it came from but come on."
Mali followed Kachik up to her room and on the desk in a vase was a single flower from the bushes outside. And around the vase was a blue ribbon.
Kinda corny, I think, but it'll do.
Well, bai bai all,

Eddie French Fri Apr 16 17:21:12 PDT 1999

What if you were the first human being to to receive a message from e.t. life out there in the galaxy. What a buzz that would be. SETI is hoping that one of us will! They have set up a program that will allow your computer to search for life in its spare time. Check out: It's at the top too if you just click.
(That's what comes from living next to Jodrell Bank) I wonder if they have a notebook out there?
Howards challenge:
I thought Howard came up with a great one there. Well done Howard. I thought it would be a great exercise in minimalism and tried to get a complete story in as few words as I could manage. Quite a challenge. I hope everybody has a go, it's excellent practise.

Howard Fri Apr 16 16:32:33 PDT 1999

The vignettes look great so far! Keep 'em coming, and comment on them too!
Re: the DIFFERENCE -- With a wife and four daughters (and only one bathroom) I feel qualified to say that I don't know any more about the weaker(!?!?) sex than I did when I started. I do know that when I had wood to split and stack, Karin (#1 daughter) could swing my 16 lb splitting maul almost as well as I could. When the church roof needed replacing, Kristin and Andria (2&3) joined Karin and the rest of us and brushed tar and hauled shingles. And when I built the double chimney on our 2 story house, Beverly (#4) hooked the blocks to the chainfall and hoisted them up to me. And you didn't even want to try to turn a double play with any of them coming at you from first base. The last guy to try that is *still* limping (and Karin had to have her knee scoped) from the experience!
But all four of them taught Sunday School, and looked beautiful in their wedding gowns, and can cook almost as well as I can!
But I think women are more patient than men -- my wife has put up with me for over 32 years now!

Jack Beslanwitch Fri Apr 16 16:08:17 PDT 1999

I simply wish to thank Lena for sending me the missing portions of Shadows in a format I could use. It took a little fiddling to shoe horn everything into appropriate HTML format again, but it is now up as the archived version of Shadows on the Workbook and everyone can now peruse what has gone before so they can guage what they want to write in the future on Shadows.

Take care everyone.

Jerry Lee Fri Apr 16 15:26:25 PDT 1999

Yo All,

I think that editing on a written page is akin to sculpture; you peel away the things that don't quite fit, add the things that need adding and you have a finished product. A subjective finished product. You are the subject, so you get to say whether it's done or not. Being the talent that you are, I, and you should trust that subjectivity.

Vive la differance!...sorry, someone had to say it.
As to the difference, I'm somewhat of an authority on this subject as I live with three women.(not including Syd, the female cat).
The right/left brain thing is not theory. It is simple fact. Without sounding too much like a sexist pig, or a Dad, let me tell you that girls are and will always be treated differently, mostly due to their fathers who worry so much for them.
Smaller and physically weaker than *most* boys their own age, we must send them out into a world filled with teenage morons who are exactly like we were when we were that age. To me, that's scary.
But being human, these daughters are tougher and more resilient than we assume. They must make their way on wits rather than physical strength, thus, both sides of the brain being used. It seems as if men are only allowed half-use of their minds so that women will have the advantage in every situation.
But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

On a wholly different subject, I wish you smart people were here in Stevens Point, Wi. this weekend.
The world's largest trivia contest starts at 6:00 pm today and ends at midnight Sunday. There's going to be about 12,000 people playing this year. They ask 8 questions per hour for 54 hours, and we answer by phone. The whole thing is an annual hoot, not to mention a long drunk.
I know with you all here we could compete with the team that seems to win every year called 'Network'.
Strangely enough, they met on the internet and travel from all over the world every year to play in this thing....sound like an idea?

Anyway, take care.

Hootie Fri Apr 16 14:51:27 PDT 1999


The boy sat on the bench that ran around the gunwale, looking into the water and hoping to see a fish in the deep blue water, the bigger the better. A shark would be good. A few feet away, his grandfather drank a beer and cursed the barracuda who were making them stop and re-bait the lines again.

A patch of seaweed drifted into the boy’s view, and in curiosity, he used a nearby net to scoop it up. It smelled of salt and felt like sand, and the round knobs below the leaves looked like some alien life form. A tiny eye appeared from behind one of the translucent strands, making him yelp and drop the whole mass to the deck. Poking around with the net handle, he found the culprit: a tiny crab, barely the size of his thumbnail.

S.N.Arly Fri Apr 16 13:55:37 PDT 1999

W. Olivia - Happy belated birthday... or would that be belated happy birthday? Either way, hope it was great.

Lena - Erg. I had some of those bad experiences early on too. It's a wonder I didn't completely give up... for good that is.

Michele - Some people are too lame to bother with. The more lame they are the more l's you need in the word lame. I'd say he was really llllame. Unfortunately I had a roomate like that once. He wasn't so great a catch himself, yet he judged his internet girlfriends by photos they sent him.

Jack - Accidents happen. We're just glad no one was hurt.

Should any of you ever require the services of a Data Retrieval Specialist (I hear they're called engineers) I'd recommend Ontrack. Well this is assuming you run an IBM platform. I've no idea if they handle Macs. If you're lucky and your drive isn't too badly hatched you can even try out some of their do it yourself software. Much more affordable I assure you. In fact you can even try it to be sure it will work, before you buy it. Now the free trial version won't acutally pull your data, but it will tell you what files the full version will be able to pull.

It's not a question of whether or not your hard drive (or floppy/zip/etc.) will go bad, it's a question of WHEN.


Eddie French Fri Apr 16 13:23:45 PDT 1999

A Pebble.
Journey's over now and I sit, unmoving amid the endless white. So cold, so soon after the basking warmth of flight. Just enough warmth left to make a small hollow, to snuggle into. Warmth seeps away until nothing is left but hard, pitiless cold. White cold locks me in tight, keeps me steady in the howling wind. Centuries pass, then millenium. I am patient, I can wait. My message can not wear. A glimpse of warmth, then passed and gone.... Another, living, frolicking, surviving. I feel the tremors of shifting plates, see the thinning of ozone above. The bastard sound of disharmony calls as the hairless apes approach, riding their polluting chariots. I will be assigned the most unglorious number for the rest of my existence which tells nothing of my magnificent flight across the stars, and the tale of life I hold within.

Lena Fri Apr 16 13:07:32 PDT 1999

Allein - I'm glad you got that bastard for harassment. You wonder how people like that were brought up... do people set out to raise the worst child they can?

SKS - The way I figure it, everybody has a genius for at least one thing. The problem is, most people do not find the one thing they have a genius for and so wander around in mediocrity. I might be good at curling (they do THAT in Canada!) but how would I know that? I've never curled.

Perhaps you are lucky and have found your genius... by genius I do not mean intelligence (although you certainly are that) but rather an innate ability to do something. Some people can sing. Some people can construct furniture. Some people can paint. Some people can write. Have you ever wondered how many Mozarts, Picassos, and Shakespeares might be sitting in a white-collar job in middle management? Who can say?

Also, I think that reading is more important to being a writer than formal education.

Hootie - A man after my own heart, quoting Billy Joel! One of my favorite BJ quotes: "Laura... loves me... even if I don't care." He sings that line in a voice of utter (self?)loathing and ironic amusement. Very cynical, but rather funny.

Ed - Hell no! This Notebook is just lacking a really good topic at the moment - inspire us!

Kristina - All is well, Jen and I are going to go see the Matrix this weekend. Okay, I admit this is my second time going, but somebody has to go with her! Love that movie. Have I mentioned the fight scenes...?

Americo - I am reading a book by Bill Gates right now. I am very wary of that book, because I know how manipulative propaganda can be, swaying the opinion of the masses and all. Not a bad book, though.

Howard - Will write down that name... Zenna Henderson... got it in by little black book now.

If anybody here gets a novel published, do you suppose I could have an autographed copy? I would pay for the book and mailing cost... this is just a random thought... never know how much these things will be worth as soon as we are all famous. Hmm. :-)

I have noticed that smiley faces are coming back in style on the Notebook.

"So many men, so few recipes."

Hootie Fri Apr 16 12:41:53 PDT 1999

Steve—I know how you feel. Praise makes me nervous, especially because I only have one book completed (and unpublished), and it could still use some work. Other people may think it’s a big accomplishment, but there are so many books I want to write...

I think that for us, the unpublished, everything that validates us as writers feels like it belongs to someone else, and everything that threatens our confidence is blown out of proportion. For instance, I was responding to your post earlier, and my wife read what I had written over my shoulder. She said I sounded like I was whining. I certainly didn’t want it to sound that way, so I just bagged the whole thing. Some confidence I have, huh?

All of this is really going to put Agsousa’s knickers in a twist. After all, he would say, being published isn’t why we write. And to a certain extent he’s correct. But I’ll bet even he got a thrill out of holding a finished book in his hands, with his name on it.

Howard—Look for a vignette from me soon.

Damn you, life! Why aren't you perfect?!
— Roland Lowery

Howard Fri Apr 16 12:06:32 PDT 1999

Ooops! I just checked again and "Ingathering" is now $25.00-- still worth the price. Check the reviews at Amazon, and you'll see that others agree.

Howard Fri Apr 16 11:40:13 PDT 1999

Steve -- that’s eggzackly what I’d hoped for! I’ve found it to be good practice, and I’m
looking forward to the rest of the entries.
To All: At the risk of waxing too enthusiastic over one writer’s work I once again
recommend (unashamedly and without qualification) Zenna Henderson’s “People” series.
This is my absolute favorite fiction, topping even Hobbits and the rest of JRR’s Middle
Earth. Zenna had (and used well) the ability of weaving magic into her stories, so well that
the reader (at least this one) *feels* and *experiences* what she wrote about, even after a
dozen or so readings. Her books are mostly our of print now, but sometimes can be found
in used book shops. Amazon does have the complete collection listed and available in
hardcover -- it’s called “Ingathering,” and is well worth the 16.95 price. The out-of-print
titles (all included in Ingathering) are “Pilgrimage,” “No Different Flesh,” “Holding
Wonder,” and “The Anything Box.” To read these is to wonder (and hope) that these
things just might be possible.

Thomas Fri Apr 16 10:56:43 PDT 1999

SKS and Rhoda,

I tried to post earlier but the damned thing wouldn't take. No matter. Whatever I said seems to no longer apply.

Yes, it is a lot "who you know". I am convinced, especially with all the writers around.

I was just hired today on retainer to write for a small company (press releases, advertorials, etc.). The boss has known me for years, but has bypassed me for the service because I was not born in this region. He has finally figured out that those who were born here, and whom he has hired, have done him wrong. I was hired, however, because I know someone at the company; he went to bat for me

I do not believe one needs a formal education to write; the biography of many writers proves it. It doesn't hurt, however, to read on many levels and in many genres to help you develop, by osmosis, the seeds of good, as well as bad, writing -- oh, and avoid the latter.


I intend to get in on your exercise as soon as time allows.

S.K.S. Perry Fri Apr 16 10:36:23 PDT 1999

Hey all,

Rhoda, I can say the same for you. Don't be discouraged. I've read your work, and believe you have what it takes to make it.

And now for a little inspiration. A writer aquaintence at another website recently signed a three book deal with Tor books. (On books he'd already finished, I might add.) From the sound of things, he was feeling about the same way you do now Rhoda. He'd sent the book out all over the place, to agents and publishers, and wasn't really getting anywhere. How did he finally break in? He started going to the conventions and meeting these people in person - and making a good impression, not so much with his writing, but as a person. As Thomas has so often stated, it's who you know.

Be Well, Live Well.

S.K.S. Perry Fri Apr 16 07:41:17 PDT 1999

A Straw,

"Do you know I can kill you with a straw?"

Here we go again, Joey thought to himself. "Sure Derrick, and I can pole vault with one too."

"No really," Derrick insisted.

Joey rolled his eyes. Derrick may have been his younger brother, but the kid was definitely a geek. "And how are you going to do that? Shove it up my nose and suck my brains out?"

Derrick scowled. "No dipwad. You cover one end of the straw with your thumb, and then you jam it fast and hard into corner of the guy's eye…like this." He held his un-peeled orange up in his left hand, and with a quick jab impaled it with the red and white plastic straw their mom had put in each of their lunchbags.

Joey was impressed, and took the orange from his younger brother. The little runt had actually managed to imbed the straw a good couple of inches into the tough skinned fruit. He raised an eyebrow in thought for a moment, then took a long hard draw on the straw, and with a determined effort sucked up a little juice, and even some pulp. "My way works better," he said.

Be Well, Live Well.

Rhoda Fort Fri Apr 16 07:17:53 PDT 1999


You are not a fraud. You are a wonderful writer, and I can attest to that because I am reading your book. I know exactly how you feel. I keep telling myself that I cannot assess my success as a writer by my inability to get published. The same applies to you. Still the feelings of despair and self-doubt are hard to overcome. I have been talking to my husband about going back to work as a teacher, a lab technician, or a clerk in a store. I have been really wondering if staying around the house, typing away at the computer on projects that many people tell me will never sell is really a good use of my time.

Actually, when the clouds lift and common sense surfaces, I remember that I love writing because I love to write, not because I live to see my name in print. I have read so many accounts of writers who wrote sometimes ten novels before selling their first one. I must believe that someday I shall sell something. So, SKS, if you really want your books to sell, keep trying. It will work for you.

On the little gender war, I can only say that men and women are more alike than not. Then there are ways they are different, but even were I to list what I perceive as these differences, there would be countless exceptions. To me, men remain somewhat of a mystery. I don't know why that is so, but it is. I have been married almost sixteen years to the same man, and I have yet to completely figure him out. There lies the fun of it all.

"What do we live for but to make sport for our neighbors and laugh at them in our turn."--Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice.

Happy Writing!


Howard Fri Apr 16 07:14:48 PDT 1999

Steve -- What "looks right" to you probably *is* right. You don't need all those degrees and classes to be a good writer, and you don't even have to know what an "independent clause" is, although all that stuff would probably be nice to know and have. The practical experience from all your reading is more of a help than all the theory. I found the writing classes to be most helpful for the same reason we enjoy the group we're in here -- the support and encouragement from peers is much more pleasant than any textbooks I've hugged, even virtually! :-) That, and the practice in writing. That's one of the reasons I suggested the vignette exercise -- practice. And tupos shouldn't bother you all that much.
Hootie -- The vignette should probably be around 200-250 words at most. Fewer is better. The intent is to produce the most crisp description possible with the fewest words. Take one of the objects and build a scene based on it. Like this one (I chose the bell):
Belle --- howard tuckey

It comes again in that brief forever between sleep and awakening. The tinkling of a little silver
bell, so familiar and close yet so distant, draws her mind back to the day that had terrified her so.
Belle is a toddler, a bright happy two year old, playing in the sandbox at the edge of the trees.
Her mother sits nearby reading a book. Around the girl's neck is a bright yellow ribbon, and on
the ribbon hangs a little silver bell that sings when she moves. She has been helping her mother
feed the squirrels and birds in the quiet little park, and she giggles when some of them come very
close to her outstretched hand to get the crusts she offers.
She turns from her play in the sand and notices a large jet-black crow hopping near her. A bright
smile lights up her chubby face as she reaches out with her last piece of bread. As she does so, the
bell on the yellow ribbon swings freely in front of her, shining in the morning sun. The bright little
ornament attracts the bird, and he makes a grab for it. He seizes it in his beak and tries to fly off
with it. As he struggles to free it from the yellow ribbon, his wings bruise her head and his talons
tear at her face until at last the ribbon breaks, and he flies off with his prize, mocking her terrified
A few too many words, probably, but good practice.
Remember when someone annoys you that it takes 42 muscles to frown BUT it only takes 4 muscles to extend your arm and whack them on the head.

S.K.S. Perry Fri Apr 16 05:43:09 PDT 1999

So much for my editing skills. A quick glance at my last post shows me that I spelled fraud, wonderful, osmosis, and beginning wrong. I also used the wrong form of "where."

Be Well, Live Well.

S.K.S. Perry Fri Apr 16 05:36:31 PDT 1999

Hey all,

Ever feel like a fruad? I know that's a strange question, but lately that's exactly how I feel. In the past few days I've had all sorts of people tell me what a talented and wonderfull writer I am (I still haven't sold anything, mind you.) Don't get me wrong; that's great and all, and it comes at a time when I really needed the encouragement to continue writing. I've had published authors, editors, and people whose work I really admire praise my talents.

Some of these people, who in my opinion can write circles around me, actively seek out my input, asking if I would critique, edit, or just point out where I think they could make improvements. I'm only too happy to oblige. It makes me feel useful, and apparently I'm good at it if there response to my suggestions are any indication. Of course, I'm flattered that they would think that highly of me and my work.

I guess this is were the fraud part comes in. I'm not a published author. I don't have a degree in English (I don't even know which degree you get, B.A.? Masters?)I've never even attended a creative writing class. As I think I've mentioned before, my High School English education consisted mostly of reading books and writing book reports on them. Grammar? Spelling? The last grade any of that was taught was grade five. (For some of us, that's a lot longer ago than for others.)Any grammar I know I learned by osmossis, and what I could pick up in The Elements of Style. "Place a comma before a conjunction introducing an independent clause." What the hell is an independent clause? How can you tell a dependent clause from an independent one, and how much of a tax break do you get if you use one?

When I edit, something either looks right, or it doesn't. By the responses I get back from people who do hold English Degrees, or edit for a living, I must be doing something right.

It's not like I'm not up front with people about this right from the begining either. Still, I have this nagging doubt that sooner or later it's suddenly going to dawn on someone that I'm just a Master Corporal in the Canadian Armed Forces, and as far as writing goes, I'm pretty much just winging it. I guess if I really do have any talent, that makes me an idiot savant (well, I've got qualifications for the idiot part anyway.)

Be Well, Live Well.

S.K.S. Perry (Steve)

Hootie Fri Apr 16 05:08:38 PDT 1999

Jack--get plenty of rest, and try to distact your mind from your accident. We all have those days, and we still love you.

Cassandra--So you started a gender war? I think not. I think you just opened a topic that has been going on since Adam and Eve. But I do appreciate your comments about the issue, especially since the sterotypes are so ingrained in us. And Agsousa does seem more emotional than most men, doesn't he?

Howard--I like your idea, but a question: how long do you want these viginettes? Or does it matter?

Life isn't a science; we make it up as we go along.
--Al Hirschfeld

Jack Beslanwitch Thu Apr 15 23:52:44 PDT 1999

Agsousa: BIG HUGS from me as well.

Feeling a bit depressed. After about a week or so of this cold or flu or whatever, Fran and I went out to do some shopping. And I tried to park and did a fender bender. The first accident that was actually my fault in close to twenty five years. It just seemed to happen and almost seemed inevitable. Blew hell out of my driving confidence, even if it was the first time in decades. Feeling sick and run down is almost as dangerous as driving DUI or talking on a cell phone :-).

Take care everyone. It has just been one of those weeks. I am going to go take some codeine and cough medicine and say to heck with the world. Hope I get the updates for Shadow. One warning on sending straight HTML, better if you zip it. And again, Agsousa, I think Bill Gates is a government plot to make life miserable for those who have Macs and PCs.

Allein Thu Apr 15 22:52:27 PDT 1999

well said, Cassandra

Cassandra Thu Apr 15 22:23:17 PDT 1999

Ohh No. Looks like I tipped off a little gender war in here... Things may get interesting now (rubbing hands together and chuckling)

I meant no harm by those comments. And I assure everyone that I am feeling quite a bit better. That was all part of a nervous breakdown. The stress of majoring in art is getting to me... I'm entertaining ideas of switching to a Psych major. (I'm Dear Abby, and Dr Katz to most of my friends anyway, and have hit dead center on figuring out people's personalities, and problems on first meetings).

I have one thing to say, and I hope it helps to put things in perspective. Women are not more complicated then men, Men are not "stupider" then women. Both sexes make mistakes, both have good intentions at times. (I don't know what sort of over-sexed girls agsousa knew when he was younger, or perhaps he is a good kisser... bad thoughts, bad, bad, thoughts!)

We think, and feel things differently. And it isn't just hormones. Boys and girls are treated so drastically different growing up, why shouldn't that affect their personalities. I grew up being treated a good deal like my brothers, and now I find myself understanding a good deal more about men than other girls of like ages (that men bashing post was a release of frustration, kind of anger released partially, at the wrong person/persons).

Rachel-thanks for the letter. I'll get back to you when I procure some free-time. :)

Xavier- same to you. I just wanted to say, thanks a lot. Made me feel better to know that there are nice guys in Albany (however few there might be)

sleep beckons, and so does my English paper...
I wonder who'll win out this time...

ta ta

"Be careful of the feet you step on today, they may be connected to the ass you have to kiss tomorrow." - anon.

Allein Thu Apr 15 21:46:11 PDT 1999

And Agousa - I know you think with both sides of your brain because you are intelligent and emotional. (((BIG HUG)))


Allein Thu Apr 15 21:39:56 PDT 1999

I just watched Titanic and had a good cry. :)

agsousa - I guess I did say that men only use the left side of their brain. I'm sorry, I didn't realize I'd said that. I used the wrong word. What I ment to say was that they USUALLY use the left side, but they use the right as well. But many of the world's genius' such as Einstein probably did mostly rely on the left side because that's the logical (or intelligent side) of the brain (and science can't be delt with using feelings), while women use the right, or the emotional side along with the left - which is why sometimes women make the wrong decisions based on feelings (I know, I've been there). So, in the case of Beethovan, he probably relied on his right brain a lot too since music reflects emotion. Sorry about saying that. It was really a mix up. But now, I'm going to stop talking because this is getting confusing (at least - it is for me).

The first time I was kissed, lemmie see. I was at a dance and I kissed my boyfriend. But the match had been set up by a friend and we broke up a week later. Other than that I've really never been kissed - except when this one guy pinned me to the wall, kissed me and said he wanted to sleep with me. I slapped him and turned him into the office for harrassment. Now, I'm just waiting for that special boy to come along and sweep me off my feet. :)

Well, bai bai,

Kristina Thu Apr 15 21:19:12 PDT 1999

Just stopping in for a moment...

Lena-well, that's disappointing that you did not get my email! I actually put a good deal of time into it! I wonder who DID get it, cause it sure didn't get returned to me!!!! I guess in the future I will try to post even long stories, then, until I know whose email does and does not work for me! So are things patched up with your friend? If so, I'm happy for you, if not, maybe I'll try to recreate that email when I get a few spare moments.

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us. -Helen Keller

Bye for now! Kristina

Allein Thu Apr 15 19:47:38 PDT 1999

I was here earlier, but didn't leave a message - I was depressed. I don't know why, but I woke up this morning and I simply didn't feel like doing anything. And I was tired as hell (which I don't understand because I went to bed at 10:30 - early for me - and woke up late).

A question: Who (read) here (my) thinks (story) that (read) subliminal (my) messages (story) work? :)

Cassandra - That's okay. I had to go anyway. I was tired so it was my bedtime. I'll try and be on tonight around 9:15 or 9:30 (12:15/12:30 your time). You're lucky I took a nap earlier, or I'd be too tired to talk. But now I'm all rested up. Did you get the e-mail I sent with the SPAM haiku. Tell me what you think.

Ed - Welcome back. ((((BIG HUG))))

Well, I have to go,
Bai bai,

Howard Thu Apr 15 17:06:47 PDT 1999

Hi Ed! Good to see you back! What's up? Not much, just sitting here watching the world ferment, and hoping that the distillate is worth drinking, and that I get a decent shot of it when it's decanted.
Actually nothing much has changed here. Got some new faces, most of the old ones are still around, and I think Agsousa *is* mellowing a bit.
I just got a new shipment, of commas, on the condition that I use them properly, sparingly, and not as liberally as I used to, in the old days, when SKS would jerk my chain about them, and their all too plentiful appearance in my prose, which was mostly unfinished anyway.
I propose as an exercise an assignment for any who would like to play. I will post a list of words (simple, common items), and those caring to do so will choose one of those words and write a vignette centered around it. We did this in a writing class I took at school, and it was very interesting and very helpful. Those interested in doing so may do more than one if they wish, then post them here, or send them to me and I'll post them together as one entry in the workbook. Here's the list:
A discarded chewing gum wrapper.
A small, tinkling bell.
A pebble (any color).
A comb.
A ribbon.
A baby stroller (that's a pram in the UK,I think).
A piece of seaweed.
A straw.
Go ahead! Give it a try and let's see what we come up with! After all, this *is* a writer's world,,,no?

Hootie Thu Apr 15 16:54:00 PDT 1999

Eddie--Yes, the Notebook has evolved somewhat. There is the lively project known as "Shadows", new voices with new ideas, and no currently debated topic. We are still striving, though; we are now as much a support group for people as well as writers (a little grin). But don't be discouraged. Just put down your thoughts like you just did, and maybe you can steer us into a new direction.

It seems that everyone is leaving for the weekend. I, unfortunately, will be working. I'm working now, and will for a few more hours.

Lena--Great Billy Joel quote. Here's another one back at you:
"In hell there's a big hotel
Where the bar just closed and the windows never open.
No phones, so you can't call home,
And the TV works but the clicker is broken."

Eddie French Thu Apr 15 16:27:45 PDT 1999

This is a forum in which we must speak our minds, no matter what. I am sorry if some are upset, or some get mad at what I say.....but what the **** . (Remember that this is just the that I feel Now!!!. )
I went away for a while but now I am back. The Notebook does not seem to the same as it was. Am I getting older, and therefore losing touch with the reality of life, as the world lives it?
Is it that the youth of today has lost touch (as always).
Do I need help to regain what I thought I had found within this forum?
Is it because I don't see my name in the posts? it because I see so many new names here?
Am I just a relic of the past?
I don't think so. I have more faith than that.
If I can't find a thread which sucks me in and makes me post my thoughts then maybe I have lost touch with what is important. Personally, I don't think so. (Hey, What do you want from me?) something evocative! you!!
What about the chat room?.... Shall we get it up and running again?
Agsousa, what has happened to your cutting tongue? Has the notebook finally tamed you? more often.
Howard.....what's up?
Jai....where have you gone?
Oh yes.....hi to all the new folk!

Jon Thu Apr 15 13:22:59 PDT 1999

I'm thinking of hanging Bill Gates. He plagiarized the Mac system and now makes things difficult for Mac-users. I do not know if hanging is a Christian way to punish people. Perhaps burning and eating with tomatoes and patatoes (or patos and tomatos) is better. I'll ask agsousa which of the two is the most Christian. Perhaps hanging and burning and eating with potatos. Agsousa is completely destroyed. Bill Gates smashed his soul. I am so unhappy! I love him. I asked him if he wanted a kiss but he kicked my rear. He is not in the mood today. Fortunately he goes on holidays for three days. He deserves it. He is so beautiful! I think Pussy is absolutely in love with him. You should also be. Thu Apr 15 13:15:12 PDT 1999

Lena — Jack needs the additions from 26th March to the 9th April (till the end of the first slate). I have, 2 minutes ago, sent him those additions in HTML. But I am discouraged. This has been my 5th attempt. Some days ago I received an attachment bigger than this one — it was in Word. It was beautiful. It was Thomas's! So, please send Jack your PC file as well.

Lena Thu Apr 15 12:37:53 PDT 1999

Jack - Cancel that, I actually have all of Shadows.

Lena Thu Apr 15 12:25:50 PDT 1999

Jack - I have all of Shadows from the beginning to April 6th. What do you need?

Also, I am no Mac master, but I do know that the programs are very, very different. We have Macs at one of my schools and PCs at the other... it is a headache. Nothing is compatible.

Avatar - Hey now! Think about all the jokes and snide remarks that females make about males... cut some slack, and laugh at the silliness of the typical female. Such silly little things, really.

Xavier - Yes, we are all going to meet up, at the Chelsea Hotel in New York. It is a three day conference, with interactions galore. You can get the backstory by just reading Shadows or, as Americo suggested, going back into the archives.

SKS - Yum.

I have only kissed a guy once, on a dare. It was bloody well embarrassing, and afterward he got all romantic on me and asked me to a school dance. I said yes, seeing no harm, but he soon started writing me these letters proclaming his undying love for me, etc. He is adaquetely summed up by the term "obsessive"... I felt like I was being stalked at times. To make a long story short, it all ended badly and I have not kissed nor gone out with another guy since then. The end.

"And so it goes, and so it goes, and you're the only one who knows."

Avatar Thu Apr 15 12:06:07 PDT 1999

I'm alive?

Oh, yeah, I am.

Happy B-day Olivia. Hope it was a good one.
Sorry I was so late. I just have a talent for it I guess.

Americo- I resent that! I don't mind you dissin' the quote but don't diss the female race as well. (diss=put down, for those who have not quite caught up on the Gen-X linguistics yet)

This was just a little I'm not dead yet post. For now, I'll see you all on MONDAY, 'cause I've got to get to that Jazz Concert down in Oregon. Trumpet's gettin' a bit antsy. So's the rest of the band. Ta ta.

(Boy, everybody's leaving!)

That story is going to need a little bit of work-


S.K.S. Perry Thu Apr 15 12:04:22 PDT 1999

Hey all,

The first time I ever kissed a girl I was in grade nine, so that made me fourteen. She was this really pretty, outgoing girl from my martial arts class, and she asked me to her High School Dance. (We went to different schools.) She definitely wasn't shy - at least nowhere near as shy as I was (girls scare the bejeezus out of me - they're about the only thing that does.)

We were at her school, with her friends, and on her turf, so I was pretty much minding my P's and Q's. Anyway, before long she was sitting on my lap, and the next thing I knew she was kissing me. The problem was that she'd been eating dill pickle flavoured potatoe chips. To make matters worse, she was into french kissing. Remember, I'd never kissed anyone before, and here's this girl shoving her tongue down my throat with dill pickel breath from hell! I was too polite to say anything, and stoically endured, but I swore I'd never kiss another girl again. Luckily, I got over it, and my experiences with kissing have improved dramatically.

Be Well, Live Well.

Jack Beslanwitch Thu Apr 15 11:12:24 PDT 1999

I got Agsousa's email, but no attachment attached. Not sure what the problem is between your computer and mine, Agsousa, but horrible as it sounds I think our best bet is to post again. Luckily, at least most of the the posts prior to getting to New York are not linear. So, the serendipitous way that things get tossed together should be just fine.

Just out of curiosity, any Mac masters out there. Is there some reason that Agsousa sending me Mac Word 98 documents would come partly scrambled on my PC Word 98. I admit that I am relatively clueless in terms of Mac. Oh, well.

xavier Thu Apr 15 08:51:48 PDT 1999

Hello again!

Well, I just posted on Shadows and its, uh, a bit graphic. I hope it dosen't offend anyone, but I was actually going to make it even worse. I wrote it cold, no first draft, so I can only hope its passable. I felt the realism stated with my charicter, as well as other peoples, only helps strengthen the work as a whole. I mean, my charicter could have been a preist, walking around preacking to the downtrodden. However, nice little stories like that don't get read very much, and the Bible pretty much cronered the market on that note. My pernt is, I like to show things in my stories that the average person dosen't come in contact with very often, or at all. We just pass men like Xavier in the gutter, clutching our wallets or purses, watching with disgust his abomidable form. It's sometime hard to look at people like that as humans. I try to change that in my stories.
It probably dosen't work, but I try.

All in all, I thing the writing people have done in 'Shadows is awsome, and I enjoy the opportunity to collborate with people of such talent. I'm hopeing some of you learned folks will critique my writing, as I could use the professional help.


Americo Thu Apr 15 08:27:02 PDT 1999

Jack — I've just sent again the Missing Files (Word document — no compressing). Last attempt.
Collaborators should prepare themselves to publish again their texts from the 26th March to 12th April. Wait for orders from Jack.

Xavier — if you go to the Arquives you'll know everything about Shadows. As a novel it only ends when it is finished......... (three dots, meaning humour).

Howard — your story is a case of extraordinary kawinkidienk (coincidence). We, grown-up boys should talk more often.

Girls (and other people interessed in kissing) — the first time I really knew what kissing was about, I felt I was flying. She felt the same thing. So, whenever we wanted to kiss we used to say: "let us go to the clouds". And we went to the clouds, really.

But girls (not those in the notebook of course) were really a pain in the neck. When I was at school, trying to concentrate on the Philosophy lessons, they liked to distract me sendind little notes not related to Kant at all. Some of them were really dirty. Do not give me that bulshit that girls think with both sides of the brain and man only with one. Einstein, Beethoven (and me) were all men! WE invented the F-16, if you know what it is.

I'm writing too quicky and probably I blundered somewhere. Never mind, Jon will apologize for me. He asked if a person could be a Christian hating cats. I said NO.

If I do not come to this place in the next days that is because I went on weekend. I think the place is a bit desert without Rachel and Thomas anyway.

Kisses all around.

Xavier Thu Apr 15 05:43:56 PDT 1999

Hello Man apes.

Just a quick note to let you know I did not die in a tradgic blimp accident or anything.

I never got a response to my query a few days ago, and feel dejected. However, being the resiliant sort, I'll try again.

What is the entended ending for Shadows? Are we going to interact, or does it end when we all get to the Hotel?
Also, is there anyway to upload a file to the workbook, as opposed to hand typing each installment?
And lastly, how many angels can fit on the head of a pin?

Well, hope all is well with everyone.

unto Michelle: Forget that clown, if he can't accept who you are, thats his problem. He is shallow.



Michele Thu Apr 15 01:47:02 PDT 1999

Hi all

Well it turns out that the reason my email friend was disappointed in me, is because I am not girly enough for him ! Hah !

Some you win.... !

We have bright sunshine and frost on the ground - no one would ever know it snowed here several times yesterday ! But there's more to come apparently... just as well I have an essay to get on with, I guess...


You found my first post ? Oh my goodnight ! How embarrassing ! Can you remember which archive it was in ? I feel like wallowing... oh, no - I must get my essay done...


That's a pretty spooky story ! Gave me the creeps a little...

Anyway no more procrastination - I will get back to that essay... talk to you later folks...


Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body.
-- Sir Richard Steele The Tatler, No. 147

Cassandra Wed Apr 14 21:13:01 PDT 1999

Just dropping in quickly to give a short message to Allein

I'm sorry it took so long for me to sign back on. One of my friends needed to talk to me about something very important to them, and we had a very long talk, that went into tons of different, and equally interesting topics. The time got lost, and my network here at school would not let me sign on at 5 of midnight (which is what time it is here :) Hopefully I'll be roaming around there again at around 12:15 (5 mins) or 12:30. At the latest, I'll try signing on at 1 or perhaps (if I'm desperate for good conversation) 1:30.

If I don't see you there, I'm sorry it took so long, and I'd love to continue talking some other time. AND, I will read more of your story as soon as humanly possible. Perhaps I'll take in another chapter while my network cools down enough to let me sign on Instant Messager. :)

ta ta


Jerry Lee Wed Apr 14 20:55:34 PDT 1999

The closest I've been to Portugal was when I nearly got ordered to the Azores, the USAF has a base there, but the orders fell through. I was really looking forward to it, too. They tell me that if you're stationed there, that you can get a free ride to Portugal or Spain when you go on leave. But, the orders were changed and I wound up in California...drag.

Maybe one of these days, when I'm a rich and famous writer, I'll stop by and we can try out the local food.(the best part of traveling)

Take care, all.

" let us stop talking falsley, now.
The hour's getting late."

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Apr 14 20:53:05 PDT 1999

p.s. Make that next several months, most in May rather than weeks. Also, I am having a NWSFS Social at my house. Anyone here is more than welcome to join us on May 15 for that as well.

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Apr 14 20:48:36 PDT 1999

Hi Agsousa: Close but no cigar (boy that saying does date me) Got the Mac Document file, unstuffed it, but Word 2000 gagged on it. The result was a bunch of usable text punctuated by a whole lot of non textual garbage. Leave it to Microsoft to make Mac and PC document files incompatible. Oh, well. This too shall pass.

Just out curiosity are any of the Northwest types going to any of the conventions over the next several weeks, these include BakaCon (and yes, Allein, Edric, the chair, is aware of what Baka means and is actively thinking about changing the name), Anglicon (with several Baby 5 guests), Foolscap (who has Octavia Butler as its guest) and Westercon52 which has the Professional Writing Conference just prior. I will be there for part of Baka, a little of Anglicon, all of Foolscap (Fran is a big fan of Octavia Butler) and all of Wester. Might be a possibility to meet face to face and say hello.

Allein Wed Apr 14 18:59:31 PDT 1999

Hi everyone. A girl in my class had her baby yesterday. A little girl - Alyssa Marie was born at 12:17 PM. She weighs 7 pounds 14 oz. Mother and baby are doing just fine. Just thought I'd share that with you.

I also saw Never Been Kissed today. It was a good movie. I love the part where...well, I can't tell you, you'll just have to see it. :)

Bai bai,
Allein Wed Apr 14 18:09:04 PDT 1999

Jack — I've just sent you the missing files in an archive compressed with StuffIt Lite. I'll be around for the next hour or so. You may say something here in the Notebook : it's quicker and more reliable than e-mail. You can e-mail as well, of course. Sorry about all this trouble.

ALL : it's wise to always keep a copy of our masterpieces. Computers are not so reliable as my old Remington. I miss it. But then, I miss so many things!

Jerry and Eddie — I haven't read your contributions yet but they are certainly interesting, coming from such interesting people like you.

Jerry Lee — Did I read somewhere that you had not visited Portugal yet? You should. A lovely country.

Girls are not very collaborative today. Oh, well.

Lena Wed Apr 14 18:02:15 PDT 1999

Howard - In the words of that immortal song, "How bizarre!"

Jon - Some catnip... a peace offering.

Sorry, no opinion on the gender war. I have not much experience with romance. I prefer to be friends with a guy, and I have found that many of them are more human and normal that way.

Did somebody mention Dante? I read "Inferno" last year, and I actually managed to find a decent English translation, too. I want to learn Italian, so I can read the Divine Comedy (all of it) in its native language. At some point in my life. There is so much to do in life, and much less time to do it in.

Toby - I agree with your "just write" idea in theory, but it does not work for me. I write S-L-O-W and am constantly editing. I doubt I would ever be able to manage that many rejections on a day.

Kristina - I did not get your e-mail.

I was reading some of the archives. I found Michelle's first post, and was introduced to "Hayden" and "Britomart"... I believe there was somebody named "Barbara," also. It was a bit humbling to see how many people have frequented the Notebook before us. Jack, you have truly created a community - one where people come, make friends, have the occasional disagreement, discuss many topics (both relevent and ir), and move on, carrying memories along with them instead of baggage.

Whew, did I get it all in?

G'even' to all,

Jerry Lee Wed Apr 14 17:34:16 PDT 1999

Well, I finally broke down and added my little bit to 'Shadows', If you all don't like it, just let me know. I'm not entirely sure it fits in with the story so far, but what the hey, I had to give it a try.

"I don't know if I'll cry,
I non't know if I'll die...a legend."
Bad Company Wed Apr 14 16:50:28 PDT 1999

Just to tell you that Eddie French and Jerry Lee have added to "Shadows". I'm checking my mail and may come back. Do not run away. (The place looks a bit deserted tonight)

Cassandra Wed Apr 14 12:36:02 PDT 1999

Hi all,

Well, I'm feeling a bit better thanks to a few of my friends. Thank you Kristin, and Allein...

Toby- Problem with your advice is: I have no nice, quiet male friends. Every guy I meet on campus, or in Albany is loud, rude and/or obnoxious, unless they already have a girlfriend. Perhaps that breed of boys died out after High School. I knew a few quiet nice guys there but I wasn't really ready to start dating at that time.

Anyhow, I think I'm going to swear off men for a little while. Good idea, considering that I don't have any time to be worrying unnecessarily about them.

On that note, I must run away... art work to do.

ta ta

Howard Wed Apr 14 12:11:18 PDT 1999

For the totally strange department: I was looking through some of my grandmother's old diaries -- they run from 1936 or earlier to just before she died in 1964, and she faithfully recorded *every* day's events, and I found also some of her scrapbooks. She saved interesting newsclips, etc. One of the scrapbooks contained an article telling about the death of a friend of mine in the late 1950's. Roland was riding in a car driven by his twin brother Roger, and they crashed into a tree. Roland appeared to be all right immediately following the accident, but died suddenly a few hours later. There was quite an article about the accident, with pictures of both brothers. I had forgotten the incident, and hadn't seen or heard from Roger in almost 40 years, but the article brought back many memories, and I wondered what Roger was doing now.
Today I picked up the paper and was just about floored to find his name in the obituaries. What are the odds of something like that happening?
Dunno if I dare read through the rest of the diaries...

Lena Wed Apr 14 11:08:42 PDT 1999

I do not know what to say. After all that has been said on here... thank you? The words do no justice to the meaning. I am a bit sorry for pulling the Notebook down into my life, but we will survive. I certainly have.

Jen, if you are out there still, lurking about this page... you shall have me blushing for a long, long time. Thank you. Sometimes I wonder what I did in a past life to deserve somebody like you.


Jon Wed Apr 14 10:48:38 PDT 1999

Dear Americo —

Can you please exterminate Rhoda?

Dear Lena — I want more catnip. Now!

Dear Pussy —

I do not being kissed at all. Not like Americo when he was a spoiled superbrat only thinking of socker, hide-and-seek, blind-man's-buff and such like childish games. I love to kiss and I love everything. I am so happy!!!

I also love literature. Have I told you that you can already order the book I am writing on family? Plenty of pieces of advice. $30 dollars for latecomers. It has an interesting reference to Rhoda (ah! ah! ah! My revenge will be terrible.)

Américo Wed Apr 14 10:41:32 PDT 1999

Jack — I sent you this morning (GMT) the missing additions of "Shadows" as a Word document. I thought that perhaps you couldn't open the material I had sent on the eve — as nothing has shown up yet in the first slate of "Shadows". Do not worry if you can't open either of the two files I sent you. I have just posted your coppy of your addition in the second slate — and it works fine. So, just tell me if there is nothing you can do on that side of the dollar — and I will solve the problem here.

Collaborators may notice slight changes in their additions. They are just spelling corrections made by Jon. He did not do anything to words that do not exist in English. Just frowned visibly and threatened calling Dr. Kawinkiedinks.

Hootie — I love being kissed by girls even now. But only when they are intelligent. I prefer intelligence than beauty. For me, the soul is everything. I am being a bit hypocritical, I guess — but that is the idea. Beauty without intelligence is stupid — now I am being serious. Well, I'll write something about this fascinating topic some other time. I have to think about it.

Rhoda Wed Apr 14 10:15:56 PDT 1999

It is raining steadily here. The streets are flooding, and if the rain doesn't slow down soon, me might be in for some unpleasant flash flooding. If anyone can figure out a way to do it, I would gladly donate some of our rain to moisture-starved Georgia.

I only checked in while I could because we have had thunder storms also. The wind is supposed to pick up a lot this afternoon.

Well I must be running,


Michele Wed Apr 14 09:18:27 PDT 1999



Well I thought that my email friend and I would get on OK - and indeed we seemed to during the day we spent together - we have so much in common it's almost unbelievable.. but, since we met on Friday he's given me a very strong impression of being disappointed with me, and so far I have not managed to find out why or how I disappointed him... shame really, because he didn't disappoint me one bit !

It's snowing here - again... silly weather !

I've done a fair bit of essay note writing today... but more to follow, so don't be surprised if you don't hear from me much the next few days... I shall be back at college on Monday - Sighs some holiday I've had !

Talk to you soon folks...


I'm fresh out of quotations for you !

Rhoda Wed Apr 14 08:01:18 PDT 1999


Happy Birthday!


I would like you simply because we would have much to talk about once we met. You and I have similar interests in literature. You are a well-educated and articulate person--not too many of those around where I live. But I am only another woman, so the dynamics of any relationship would be quite different than that enjoyed with your other e-mail friend you recently met. I find if a person is not terribly rude which you have never shown any sign of being on the Notebook, I can get along with them quite well as long as we have something to talk about. That is why I can say quite honestly say that I would enjoy meeting anyone who regularly posts on this notebook, excepting Jon, whom I think is an arrogant cat.

I feel quite acomplished, for I finished a six-page short story I am planning to send to a woman's magazine. It needs a lot of work, but I actually did sit down and write the thing. I hope to get it out in Friday's mail. I close on my new house tomorrow. Happy Day!


Fire Jon. Or better yet, give him a one-way ticket to the animal shelter. If you can't bear to do that, take him to the vet and get him neutered.

Well, I can't stay too long. We've been having thunder boomers all day and another is on the way.

Happy writing,


Hootie Wed Apr 14 07:46:40 PDT 1999

Americo--Do you still hate it when the girls try to kiss you?

Americo Wed Apr 14 04:28:02 PDT 1999

When I was a little boy, the first thing I did after waking up was to jump out from bed and run to the playground to see if there were any boys I could play with. Now I do the same thing : I get up and run to the computer to see your messages. Only after lunch I thought about girls. Usually to try to convince them not to spoil our boys's games. They were a pain in the neck. And had a tendency to pinch my back. All of them tried to kiss me behind doors when we played hide-and-seek. (They still do). I hated that.

The best title in the world is Proust's "A L'Ombre des Jeunes Filles en Fleurs." Let us have more intimate confidences of girls today. Speak to me about the mysteries of teenagerhood. I know that boys are much more innocent than girls. They only think about romance and things. We man think mainly about games.

Secret message: It is not the flower you are/ but the flower in you/ that makes me wish/ my dream come true.
Who is the Beatrix of this Dante? (The Dante is me!). A candy for the one who guesses.

Michele Wed Apr 14 00:16:20 PDT 1999

Hi all

and thanks for the comments regarding meeting online friends...

Rhoda - you only say that because you've never met me yet ! Believe me, if you had, you'd understand... or maybe you wouldn't ! Anyway, we'll have to see how things go...

Must go - the cat keeps trying to dance on the keyboard !


Kristina Tue Apr 13 23:07:30 PDT 1999

Well, tomorrow I go back to work for three days! It's been nice having been able to keep up with post for awhile...I finally feel like I'm getting a pretty good feel for everyone's personalities! Wow, my baby just reached up and shut off my computer and everything popped back up when i turned it back on. A true miracle. He's sitting here repeating the word "don't" to me, and yet he is trying to turn it back off. Well, "cheese" is now followed by "don't".

Lena- Let me know if you got my email. If you did you will see that what I wanted to say was a little long and that is why I didn't post here...

Casey- Don't ever blame yourself for guys not treating you as well as they should! It isn't always easy to find the gentlemen out there but believe it or not there are some! My baby is now pouring Tang all over my bedroom carpet so I will have to cut this response short (I will probably email you when he gives me a few more moments!)...But for the moment I would just like to say don't ever settle for less than what you deserve, and even though your father and brothers may not have given you proper respect that is all the more reason to set your sights very high for the way you expect to be treated in a relationship. And I truly believe with patience you'll find what you're looking for, and best of all the jerks out there will make it easier for you to recognize "mr. right" (or mr. pretty darn close) when he comes along!

It is the chiefest point of happiness that a man is willing to be what he is. -Erasmus

talk to you all soon (i hope) or in 3 days when i'm off work again! Kristina

toby b Tue Apr 13 22:39:07 PDT 1999

Guys...jerks? No! Actually, speaking as a guy, what I've noticed throughout my life is that when young, all the girls constantly went out with and hung out with jerks, and then complained about it! Most of the mild mannered friendly loyal guys were not flambouyant enough, because they were mannered, and gentlemen are not supposed to be loud and in the public arena all the time. Once I figured that out I kept my politeness and turned loud and flambouyant as an experiment, and guess what, I started getting asked out. If I had to give advice to women, I would have to say look to the quiet guys, the ones that are always told "Oh, I couldn't go out with you, you're my friend!" that is where most real good true relationships I've seen develop from. There are more dynamics there, but I'll move on.

Productivity; yeah, most new writers make a few mistakes, and in talking to writers and editors in the SF field I've found out some things that influenced the way I went about this business. First, focus on short stories, they give you the best return for the money, and they hone your skill. Chances are the first novel you write will be crap, and it will take you a year and half or so to actually write. With the short form you can experiment, and learn more about tight good attention getting prose. Short stories stand the best chance of actually getting published, and or noticed and helped along by editors. You can develop a style and good writing much more effectively.

Also, write lots of short stories, churn them out. Each one is a learning experience. Even if they are crap you are learning a lot, and you can afford to write a crappy story, then trunk it. I've written some fifty or more short stories in these past couple years, only thirty are in my consideration area. Since my last submission round I've dropped eight to be re-written or trunked.

I got serious about this last summer, when I realized that I not only had to want to be a SF writer, but really put the money where the mouth was. I churn it out, I edit, I spend as much time as I can writing when not keeping my grades up. I wasted a month fooling with the novel, then realized all this and dropped it. I can't put around, write a few stories every once in a while, submit every once in a while, then worry about ever becoming anything. I know that that will take time, and probably get me nowhere. So I'm prolific. I don't want to be, I am.

The changes in my writing are stunning. I look back on stuff only a month ago and wonder what the hell I was thinking. But that gives me hope, as it means I'm improving. Ray Bradbury "any writer who applies the good old honest values of hard labor and work will make a name for himself as a writer". Writing recquires above all, persisitance, and a stubborn tenacity, and boy do I have plenty of that to go around.


Rachel Tue Apr 13 21:38:37 PDT 1999

Hi all!

W. Olivia Race - H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y !!!!!!!!!!

Hope it was a good one and its sure nice to see you back.

Take care you


Allein Tue Apr 13 21:16:08 PDT 1999

Oops, almost forgot!
W. Olivia:

Many hugs,

Allein Tue Apr 13 20:46:49 PDT 1999

Cassandra - hang in there. (some) Men (or should I say boys) can be jerks. Just wait until they're older - they'll grow up and be sweet and sensitive like the men on the Notebook.

Actually, something interesting I learned about men in anatomy today is that most of them only use the left side (logical thinking) of their brain. While women use the left and right (or more emotional side of their brain). So, if you call a man half-brained you might not be far off. Although, there's no man on the notebook like that, I'm sure.

Well, take care all,
Bai bai,

"Everyone's sick of that Richard Gere story."
- Me talking to my brother this afternoon.

S.K.S. Perry Tue Apr 13 20:28:37 PDT 1999

W. Olivia Race,

H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y !!!!!!

Cassandra Tue Apr 13 19:30:02 PDT 1999

I was just stopping in cause the dorm room is very lonely tonight. And my happy mood from earlier has dampened serverely.

Don't worry, I'm just depressed about being alone. I'm disheartened with the male sex in general right now (no offense the the notebook males: you are of a breed apart from the jerks in my age range, that tend to roam Albany NY). Why is it that no one is taught how to treat a lady anymore?

Perhaps it is my fault... I've hardly ever had a man treat me right (with respect and tenderness). My father is a perfectionist, who barely ever show affection, or respect. My brothers have given me merciless beratings and beatings all my life. And it seems that the only nice guys are my taken friends... Maybe I've done something to deserve this. Cause it seems like everyone else has at least had one good relationship by my age.

Ohh well, might as well just go back to that english paper.

Ta ta


Dr. Kirk Tue Apr 13 19:18:13 PDT 1999

And HOOTIE has just inaugurated the second slate of Shadows. And Sarah has just sent me her 03.00 in the morning letter. OH, life is a see breeze on my face!

Jon Tue Apr 13 19:09:50 PDT 1999

Did I read somewhere that there are girls who miss school? I can't believe my eyes.

I started writing a book on how to raise a family with 13 kittens and a Pussy — without working. Great pieces of advice! $25 a copy. Order now!

Well, gentlemen and girls, good night and do not forget your conjugal duties.

I am so happy!!!

W. Olivia Tue Apr 13 19:00:37 PDT 1999

Hi all. It's been a long time since I've popped in to say hello (sigh) and now must catch up on weeks of posts. I've been working furiously on a project for a friends webpage and also working furious on a new novel AND trying to correct the one I've already got done.

Since today's my birthday, I figured the best treat I could give myself was to shove all the other things aside and pay the Notebook a visit. Glad I stopped in to see both the old and new who have visited. I've missed you guys!!!

W. Race

Hootie Tue Apr 13 18:46:15 PDT 1999

Jen and Lena—I have never been so thrilled and so ashamed for reading a post. I am thrilled that you two are such good friends, and that it looks like your friendship will only grow, but I felt like an intruder (hence the shame). Thank you for letting us into your lives.

One friend in a lifetime is much; two are many; three are hardly possible.
—Henry Adams

Americo Tue Apr 13 18:42:08 PDT 1999

Jack — I have just sent you an attachment with the missing additions to "Shadows in a Dream". Since the file was edited in a Macintosh with Macintosh programs, I am not sure it works for you. However, I believe every collaborator must have a copy of their originals and all they will have to do will be to publish again.

Please do not send originals to me. Only love letters.

And by the way, Jen is not Jon!!!!!

Jen : if you are the person I suspect you are, you owe Jon 93 cents and me a box of Aspirins for having to hear Jon's pieces of advice about how to deal with young girls. I did nothing else this afternoon!

Jen Tue Apr 13 18:01:30 PDT 1999

Yes, I am an interloper here.
But you made a mention of this place, and I followed it up-- forgive me for that one. This is just for you-- but quietly murmured words, no matter how heartfelt, are sometimes harder to believe, it sometimes seems... So I thought I would put this in a place where you would find it and it would go straight through to you, put with the words of those you respect and admire and have befriended. So- I trespass.

But here it is...
You are THE most important person. You could write me twenty notes, thirty- you could cut me to the bone with words and lay my soul bare to the world and I would still be here for you. I'm your friend, damn it, your Warder as well!!! I probably did deserve that note, though I never saw it coming. Because there are no secrets from you, nothing that I wouldn't go to you with. You mentioned something about this... When I find something that 'pains' me so bad I need to run to someone, you ARE the first and the only person I run to. And if I can't run to you, then I jog so quickly there's hardly a difference and think it out on the way. You can complain to me too, lord knows we've done it more times than we can count... and I do know EXACTLY how much you are here for me, Lena-- you always have been, and I have always known it... This grand and glorious funk has been nothing more than a rethinking of my small world and a comedy of errors.
You say you didn't go to school today...?
Guess what. I did not go to school today because I stayed up all night reading a book, until about three or four, and basically felt so rotten at the prospect of having hurt you that I had a lovely wallow.
Sometimes, Lena, we are alike more than we know.
So you need to know this, Lena. My world as well is centered on you-- you do not need to hang on to ME, I need to hang on to YOU. I never knew it hurt you, and if I had, then we would have talked this out long since.
*grins* -I'll never need to 'page you later'... But just know and believe that there is absolutely nothing to feel concern about.
Always know that we are friends, and there is nothing stronger. *chuckles* Dedicated to make you grin, Lena-- it's how it goes. You think a note could break this? Words, Lena- words. They are meaningful words and taken to heart. But all this is words, everything is words. What is not words would and always will be more important! Stars of hope in the dark, May second... Dragons, duets... blue bows... road trips... Staff fights!!! That's US, Lena- Believe it!!! ~Now all we need is Mrs. Demerly.

You're important, Lena. Never think that faded. The pen is mightier than the sword...? It would take the sword.


Jerry Lee Tue Apr 13 17:20:18 PDT 1999


Lena...It seems to me that second-guessing yourself is a good habit to break. Tell yourself that you sent the letter that was appropriate at that time. To bang yourself around for it is the wrong way to handle it, the ball is in her court now, if she's a good friend, she will take your harsh words and use them to better herself. That's why they make harsh words.

I don't think I've ever told you all anything about myself, so here goes...
Born:September 6, 1960, Yuma Arizona.
Moved to: Just about everwhere on the planet at some time or another. (not Portugal, though)
Work at: A large mid-western university as a locksmith. (The Goo Goo Dolls are playing in the gym right now)
Published: An article on opening LeFebure safe deposit boxes., A 20 minute fantasy story to a small press magazine.
10 years in the US Air Force as a locksmith (3 and a half years in South Dakota, Jerry) Both Daughters born at Ellsworth AFB there.
Married 15 years to the best woman I've ever met.
Enjoy life and writing.

There it is, my life story in a paragraph. (I skipped a few parts)

"I just finished my first book! Maybe tommorrow, I'll start reading another one." Anon.

Allein Tue Apr 13 16:23:49 PDT 1999

Lena - I hope everything works out w/ your friend. Keep smiling. :)

I can't believe it - it's been four months already since I got in a fight with this one girl and she's still going at it. She's still calling me names and trying to make my life a living black hole. I'm actually only annoyed with her because it's like a broken record - she keeps calling me the same things over and over. I think she has an insecurity and immaturity problem. She's obviously insecure because it seems to me she's putting me down to feel better about herself and she's immature because, who else but an immature person would carry on a fight for four months (yeah if someone ticks me off, I'll call them a name once or twice - maybe not at all - and then drop it, but four months - come on people!) over something really minor (and actually, I don't even think she remembers what she's mad at me for). I'm just ignoring it - even though it's annoying. And if I had any self-esteem what-so-ever, she'd probably be hurting my feelings too, but my self-esteem died somewhere between 5th and 6th grade and I haven't seen it since - I hardly remember what it feels like to have any. Anyway, I just thought I'd vent - I feel better now.

I think I'm going to visit the chocolate bunny I got for Easter - and bite his head off.

Codekas Tue Apr 13 16:18:30 PDT 1999

Hello, all. Wondering if any of you know honest agents for non-fiction spiritual in northwestern us?

Kristina Tue Apr 13 15:58:15 PDT 1999

Michelle-don't get too worked up about things not working out with your email pal. I once met a guy by accidentally dialing the wrong pager number and had the exact same experience...I thought things went well but he weirded out on me for some reason. Doesn't mean I wouldn't agree to meeting somebody else who I first met online or in some other strange way (assuming I trusted them etc...) Not all people I have met in person turn out to be exactly what I thought they were either! It's a gamble, but what the heck. Every now and then things DO work out wonderfully...Just don't expect it every time.

To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.- Confucius

Rhoda Tue Apr 13 15:32:40 PDT 1999


Opps, it was you who said that, not Lena. Sorry about that.


Rachel Tue Apr 13 15:21:36 PDT 1999

Hi all

Michele - Hey you!

Sorry to hear that your meeting didn't go so well. I like Rhoda don't quite agree. I am going to meet SKS and his lovely wife this summer and I am excited.

It turns out that he and his wife live in the same place as a huge branch of my family who I am going to see this summer. Talk about your small world. I mean what are the chances?

I was talking to my uncle the other day and he says its unbeleivable. It sort of is.

I almost got to meet Jack and Fran last summer, but my family and I left on our vaction just a little too soon. Maybe some other time Jack. (big smile)

Lena - Hang in there. I hope you talk to your friend. I once didn't speak to a friend for three years. We both said some thoughtless things, and we are both rather stubborn. Well long to short one day I just missed her too much and gave her a call and it was just like old times. We forgave each other then dove into the same old same old it was like we'd never missed a day. I know we still both feel foolish for letting those years go. Lots happened and we could have used one anothers friendship.

All - I am off for a wild and crazy adventure with the fandamily. We are springing into the old minivan tomorrow morning and heading off for Grand Forks. I love, love, love it there.

I'll be gone till Sunday so that means that my brain and eyes will melt when I get back and try to catch up on all the posts.

So all of you take care and have a lovely week and weekend.

Take care


Cassandra Tue Apr 13 14:54:42 PDT 1999

Rhonda- Me thinks you are mistaken. It wasn't Lena who made the comment about democracy, it was I. Just informing you, cause I would hate to cause confusion in here, or be misnomered if I said anything memorable ;)


Rhoda Tue Apr 13 14:47:54 PDT 1999


I am more than happy to hear your heart-felt concerns. I consider you a friend and am interested in whatever you wish to share. Heaven knows I've done my own share of ranting. You've put up with mine, so I'll gladly bear with yours.


I agree with you. As Lena said, democracy is sometimes taken too far. I regret that writers are viewed as a commodity used only to line publisher's pockets and to entertain the masses. Seems we don't have much room to teach, exhort, inspire, challenge and educate. Nobody in the publishing world wants innovation these days. It is simply too financially risky. In the current publishing market, Faulkner, Bronte, George Elliot, Margaret Mitchell, and hundreds of others who have created our literature and have brightened our civilization would never have been tolerated.


I disagree with you. As long as your friend isn't some type of stalker or weirdo, you were right to meet him. If he is disappointed by meeting you in person than he really didn't like you at all. He merely liked his perception of you. I met Goodweed and his family last summer and we all had a wonderful time. I cannot imagine meeting anyone on this Notebook and not being totally thrilled at the experience.

When I was in college, I corresponded by letter with an older guy I met only once when I visited my aunt. The first time we met we got along like a house on fire. We lived in different towns and corresponded by snail mail (the only way to do it in those days) all through my college fall term. During Christmas vacation, I visited my aunt so that I could spend time with him. During our days together, we talked, ate out at restaurants, went to movies, etc. I had a wonderful time, but evidently he didn't, for after one lackluster letter I never heard from him again. Needless to say, I lost my pen-pal and the dream I had of pursuing a closer relationship with this person. That hurt. Looking back, I don't regret a thing. This person and I had little in common. I did enjoy the time I spent with him, but the illusion he and I had built through four months of correspondence had to end sometime and sooner then than later. Still it took me awhile to get over it.

Personally, Michele, I could not imagine anyone not liking you.

Well, I must go. I hear some thunder in the distance. Happy writing,


Jack Beslanwitch Tue Apr 13 13:50:22 PDT 1999

DESPERATE PLEA: Did anyone by chance save a copy of Shadows to review. In archiving it, something went very very very strange and all posts between March 26 and now somehow disappeared. If you do have a copy please email it to me and to Agsousa. The really strange part of this is that I saved an archive before I did this and looked at that. It stopped at the March 26 posting as well. Not sure what I did, but this hoping that someone else can help rectify things. Take care.

Michele Tue Apr 13 12:22:41 PDT 1999

HI all

I take time out from trying to comprehend the sociolinguistic development of Norway and Russia (don't ask !) to check in here - it doesn't look like anyone missed me whilst I was gone... sighs never mind - can't all be fantastically popular...

I'd like to warn everyone here against ever meeting any of their email "pals"... I met a correspondent of mine on Friday - he was all I expected, but I get the distinct impression that I was somehow not what he expected, and an air of disappointment pervades his emails now... Don't do it !!


How's my sax. playing coming along ? grins


Take no notice of Jon - cats are notoriously selfish... oooh miaow !

I sympathise with you entirely - I too have said things to friends that I have regretted afterwards, even when they were true... I hope you and your friend can work things out - and I would echo SKS's offer of sending me a private email another time if you want someone to "listen" (is it possible to listen to a written message ? You know what I mean anyway, I'm sure !)

We've had snow here today - oh I love April in England - all those different varieties of weather, just when you thought it was safe to get your Spring clothes out, it snows on you... Ugh !

Anyhoo I think I'll wander off and see if I got any email yet. I've had so little lately - it's very dispiriting - I find myself having to study and write essays notes when I could be procrastinating with my email ! grins

Talk to you soon guys and girls...


"The more I study, the more I know,
The more I know, the more I forget,
The more I forget, the less I know,
So why study ?"

Seen on an Oxford University t-shirt.

Cassandra Tue Apr 13 11:45:53 PDT 1999

Hi all,

I'm basking in the glory of chair completion... :D Happy Day! One project done 9,000,000,000 to go. Luckily I can ignore those for a few hours, and be happy with the one thing that I kicked butt on!

Howard- Sorry, I wasn't writing to be edited or published there. I just messed up on something simple, that wasn't particularly important. That seems to be the best place to mess up.

My point later in my last post was not to get caught up in those things... , they can be edited eventually. It's the message, and style that can't be fixed by editors. And it's the style and message most often ruined by editors.

You should open up that file some time, there's probably tons of good stuff in there.

Lena- If that letter was the truth, then don't berate yourself for writing it. It probably had to be writen, or said sometime... better for it to come from a friend, who would break it to her a little easier than from some stranger would.

Agsousa- I agree with you, to a point. I think that writers in America find themselves trapped. Trapped in between telling the story they want, in their own unique voice, and making a living. It's horrible that a writer has to be measured by how many copies their book sold, when not every writer has a fair shake at it. Shouldn't quality, and not quantity rule where creativity is involved?

That is, I believe, one of the worst by-products of democracy. To apply 'majority rules' to every situation. Sometimes what the majority believes, or wants, is not what is the best for them. Don't get me wrong, I love democracy, in it's pure practice, but I'm not about to ignore it's downfalls.

I will talk freely about youth... but I'm starting to get older. I'll be 20 next year. So, I'm reviling in the last year or two of young adulthood. Pretty soon I'll be expected to take responsibility for everything in my life. Believe me, I'm dreading the day... To be free in spirit and without the worries of checkbooks, and credit cards, and paychecks, is so invigorating. (of course, I've got the worries of grades, alcohol, popularity, self-esteem, drugs, sex, and adolescent relationships, along with trying to figure out just who I really am, in place of the more 'adult' worries).

I have to get back to working on my drawings,


"The difference between a kid and an adult is, when you're a kid, you throw water ballons at cars. But when you're an adult, you throw water ballons FROM a car."- Jack Handy Tue Apr 13 11:39:30 PDT 1999

Lena — Jon is going to be father and he's training for that job, giving advice to anyone he encounters He did not mean to hurt you. I told him to apologize but he advised me to stay out of his way. A very proud stupid cat. Shall we fire him?

S.K.S. Perry Tue Apr 13 11:38:25 PDT 1999

Oh yeah, Lena (and anyone else for that matter) - though this is definately a writer's Notebook, all of us here have had occasion to rant, rave and sob. Who better than to people who share your interests, and actually care about you (albeit on a weird, cyber-related level.)

If you feel uncomfortable spilling your guts here, your always welcome to email me directly. I'll listen. (There's nothing like listening to someone else's problems to make you feel better about yourself - JUST KIDDING!!!!)

Be Well, Live Well.

S.K.S. Perry Tue Apr 13 11:32:26 PDT 1999

Hey all,

Toby, thirty stories? Wow! I couldn't get five rejection letters because I don't even have five completed stories yet. Four and a book, that's it, although I'm working on four others right now, and one of those seems to be turning into a book.

I guess I'm just not that prolific. I have too many other things on the go to get that much writing in, and my style seems to be to get partway through a story, and then freeze up for a couple of months before finishing it. I HATE that.
I really have to reorganize my life to allow for more writing time, as I would like to make it a priority, but let's face it, if it can't pay the bills, then it's just a hobby, and real work keeps getting in the way. Doesn't that just suck!!!

Be Well, Live Well.

S.N.Arly Tue Apr 13 10:37:57 PDT 1999

Anyone know where one might acquire some data retrieval services with a small price tag?

Hey Lena. We can wallow together, as I am most definitely in a wllowing mood.


toby b Tue Apr 13 09:55:17 PDT 1999

S.K.S- sorry, I have to disagree. I have gotten six rejections in one day, and I am no pro, although I certainly intend to be, and I never sim-sub, which is a no no. It does mean making the commitment to post out as many stories as you can. In that case it meant sending out just over thirty stories.

I think the self-help book was trying to make the point that the most important tip concerning writing is... write. Write well, but write lots. You may write a lot of crap, but the more you write, the better you get, the more able you are to recognize the crap.

Frabjous day all...


Lena Tue Apr 13 09:48:42 PDT 1999

Sorry. I had no right to take out my troubles here, this is a Notebook for writers after all.


Howard Tue Apr 13 09:39:05 PDT 1999

Steve -- Re the suggestion to write "nothing but dialog" to practice -- I have to agree with that one, and I'm not sure why Americo found it to be so distasteful. It *is* good practice, and I found it to be fun, and a learning experience. Same thing with practicing descriptive writing and character development by writing vignettes, to see just how well one can describe a person/place/thing in as few words as possible.
Americo -- The dialog piece that Steve refers to was out in the archives, but is gone now. I'll forward it to you so you can see what he's talking about. It was an enjoyable exercise.

Jon Tue Apr 13 08:29:26 PDT 1999

Lena — your attitude towards yourself concerning the letter you wrote to a friend sounds pathetic to me. I have a feeling that she deserved that letter. Never apologise so loudly!

I hope we'll still be friends, but you have being deserving this paternal observation since yesterday. Do not apologize, damn! If you wrote that stupid letter that is because she deserved the letter. Now you are measuring your deed with tea spoons. Talk to her, though. Tue Apr 13 08:20:40 PDT 1999

Has anyone ever thought that he/she might get rejections just because they are more worried with publishers than with satisfying their creative leanings? Trying to please publishers is, in my view, the shortest way to get rejections. Apart from the fact that writing to please sounds rather meretricious (I mean whore-like) to me.

I haven't seen anything written by any of the admirable would-be writers here that, if I were a publisher, I would publish without hesitation. Your too pragmatical attitude to writing is absolutely wrong, ladies and gents. That's the wrong pragmatism. The only right attitude is to create something new — not for the sake of being different, but because each TRUE individual is different and can't just imitate someone else's voice or blindly follow rules of thumb. Conventional pragmatism is killing American literature!

Please don't ask me to prove my assertions with examples of my own creation. To be a critic is not so difficut as being a writer worthy of this name. And have you ever thought that each single word I write here cost me hours, sometimes days, even months to learn? Multiply that for many thousands and conclude that you can't ask me anyting. But you can hear, can't you?

Steve Perry — could I have the URL of the other workbook, please? Your example made me cry. Formulae writers are crap and should be pissed on and... I have to learn more vocabulary to express indignation and nausea.

And, no, I am not being provocative or elitist or anything of the kind. No. NO, shit! (this one I knew already without consulting the dictionary.)

I'd rather talk about war.

Lena Tue Apr 13 07:13:26 PDT 1999

I am hiding, wallowing in self-pity. I wrote that awful letter to a friend of mine yesterday, so I am hiding. Stupid, stupid, stupid. How do you deny what you yourself have written, especially when it is the truth? I am hoping she is in a forgiving mood. I can be completely tactless, at times. She is the only friend I have who means a damn to me - I need to talk to her, but I feel so ashamed.

So I am wallowing. Yesterday I wrote some more of my novel, on loneliness. Nice stuff, very melancholy.

My muse is very polite at times like these. Just gently steers me toward my computer, and then lets me go from there. Writing is wonderful therapy.

Americo - Like my character in Shadows, I would prefer to be older. I don't especially embrace the entire mindless youth culture... I am one of those who is not going to appreciate my youth until I lose it.

I will attempt to pull my mind together for long enough to make an attempt at something resembling Shadows. I have all day. Finished "Royal Assassin" last night (this morning?) at 3:00 a.m. Good book.

"If you wake up and don't want to smile,
If it takes just a little while,
Open your eyes and look at the day,
You'll see things in a different way." - Fleetwood Mac

S.K.S. Perry Tue Apr 13 06:39:06 PDT 1999

Hey all,

Howard, that whole file of stuff you have. Is any of it finished yet? (he say's ducking - oohhh, a swing and a miss!)If I recall correctly, you wrote a neat little story that was nothing but dialogue.

Someone at another workbook suggested one way to write effective dialogue is to first write out nothing but dialogue (no "he saids, or descriptive tags,) then have a few friends read it aloud as if it were a script. If it sounds good, then you can add all the little observations and stufff later.

Be Well, Live Well.

Howard Tue Apr 13 05:44:37 PDT 1999

Casey -- mixing description in with narrative/action is good, as your example shows, but can/should we mix tenses as well? You have "tossed, shifted, watched," but then the tense changes from past to present with "pushing, coughs, strides."
Not trying to be critical, or to show you up, but that's one of the rules that editors *do* tend to enforce.
And yes, I do agree with your suggestion to "write it just because you want to write it -- not necessarily to simply get it published." I've got a whole file full of stuff that fits that description. It's great practice, and it helps get things off your chest that would otherwise snarfle up your day!

Dr. K... Tue Apr 13 02:34:16 PDT 1999

addressees, I suppose. A bit sleepy today. Tue Apr 13 02:32:20 PDT 1999

Thanks, JACK. The link is perfect. However, the additions from the 26th March till yesterday, 12th April, disappeared!

Lena — would you like to inaugurate the new slate, please. Write your name in full capitals so that I have a beautiful face in the mirror every morning.

And this is the beginning of a new way of writing novels — sending secret messages to anonymous addresses :

I like to see the flower in you bursting in its violent shock against spring. We have a new star in our little sky.

Why don't youngsters speak about their youth? I woke up this morning feeling the sea breeze in my face. Just like when I was sixteen.

Jack Beslanwitch Mon Apr 12 21:38:19 PDT 1999

Still battling the colde, but took a moment and archived all of Shadows In A Dream up to this point and left a new blank slate for people to do something with. Agsousa, if you would like to pick the existing archive and start editing it, you can find a link from the existing Shadow page.

Allein Mon Apr 12 19:15:26 PDT 1999

Hiya all. Didn't want you to think I'd abandoned you or anything. So, I'm just leaving this short post.
Bai bai,

Cassandra Mon Apr 12 18:18:49 PDT 1999

Hi all,

Evan- I thought, to give you some help, I might tell you what I do. I tend to mix descriptions into the action.
Instead of just saying: Casey is a short girl, with brown hair, highlighted with reds. She has blue-grey eyes. Her frame is slight, yet muscular. She has a very commanding
I'd probably do something like: Casey tossed her long brown hair over her shoulder, as she shifted the weight of her book bag. She watched the other students walking by her, looking up to see their faces. If they saw her, she thought, what would they see hidden in her storm cloud eyes? Pushing gently, past a few students waiting for the shuttle to Picott she coughs lightly. The rest move out of her way, as she strides determinedly toward the van.
That's just what I do though, other people have rules and guidelines (or none at all). So if it helps any, use it, if not, just disregard it.

Lena- About my physical description, *ahem* check the above passage :) And I have a few pics on my website, on the 'general info' page. I'd be perfectly willing to meet you at the airport. I'll have to split a taxi with ya on the way to the hotel though (no car). (warning: my character may not be the most innocent... so just stay on the safe side with what you do *evil smile*)

Agsousa- Don't worry, I tend to make up some rules as I go ;)
Writing is a creative medium, and if the boundries aren't stretched(or even broken)now and again there might be nowhere left to go.
If life followed the rules, than maybe writing would to. But it doesn't, life throws curve balls (baseball term, means: does unexpected things). So, we, as writers, must do the same. We should do the unexpected, make the impossible possible. As long as life doesn't play by the rules, I'm not going to :P

Given, my last point may not apply to publishing. Yes, I realize that publishers don't tend to go for incredibly new things. But their opinions shouldn't dictate what you write. For once, write something with no intent of getting it published. Write something for the sake of it being writen. TO HELL WITH PUBLISHERS!! :) I think I just found a new battle cry :)

On that note, good night everyone, and sweet dreams of revolution.

Ta ta

"Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light." - Dylan Thomas

PS, I hope you older folks start burning and raving, and raging against the dying of the light. Cause that's what I intend to do when I get older ;) Having fun ain't just for teenagers, you know?

S.K.S. Perry Mon Apr 12 17:24:52 PDT 1999

Hey Howard,

Only a pro (or lottery winner) could afford to mail away enough submissions to get 5 rejections a day. First of all, you'd have to sim sub, which is a big no no, and second of all, the postage alone would break me! I think the only thing that receiving 5 rejection letters in one day would inspire me to write would be death threats!!

Be Well, Live Well.

Howard Mon Apr 12 15:45:32 PDT 1999

Re: your Muse, creativity, and how to stimulate it: The latest Writers Digest tips includes a cut from one of their new pubs on exercising your creativity. It's called "Twelve Tips for Priming Your Creativity." Would you believe tip #1 is "Get 5 rejections in a day!" They set this as an "output goal," assuming that if you don't get that many rejects in a day you must not be generating enough output. Steve, we're just not producing anywhere near what we should be doing!

Evan Mon Apr 12 13:29:24 PDT 1999

Thanks for the welcome folks..

a rewrite..

Our Love can Stand The Pain

I don't mind losing face
Scold me, put me in my place
If you're hurt, if that's the case
Our love can stand the pain

Drag this problem through the dirt
Dare me, hit me where it hurts
Tell the truth, for what it's worth
Our love can stand the pain

Don't pull no punches I won't break
Love is strong for heavens sake
It's pretence that I can't take
Let your feelings show

I don't want to pick a fight
But come on baby I won't bite
If you're angry, it's alright
Our love can stand the pain
Our love can stand the pain
Let it rain baby rain..

© 1999 Evan Brooks

Thanks Lena for that advise on SNT..
Yea I did have a muse, someone in mind when I wrote this Lena


Evan Mon Apr 12 13:28:15 PDT 1999

Thanks for the welcome folks..

a rewrite..

Our Love can Stand The Pain

I don't mind losing face
Scold me, put me in my place
If you're hurt, if that's the case
Our love can stand the pain

Drag this problem through the dirt
Dare me, hit me where it hurts
Tell the truth, for what it's worth
Our love can stand the pain

Don't pull no punches I won't break
Love is strong for heavens sake
It's pretence that I can't take
Let your feelings show

I don't want to pick a fight
But come on baby I won't bite
If you're angry, it's alright
Our love can stand the pain
Our love can stand the pain
Let it rain baby rain..

© 1999 Evan Brooks

Thanks Lena for that advise on SNT..
Yea I did have a muse, someone in mind when I wrote this Lena


Kristina Mon Apr 12 13:10:27 PDT 1999

Evan-liked your song! I enjoy song writing also but I haven't finished anything lately that is "post-worthy"...

As for the POV debate, I feel changing it is no big deal if it is a CLEAR change...but I think sometimes how clear the change is can be debatable. Since people don't usually expect it, it is more likely to be found confusing than not.

And when it comes to showing-not-telling I do think what is "best" does vary. When I write or do any public speaking my goal, first and foremost, is always to keep the audiences attention...It doesn't matter how important what you're saying is if your listener gets bored and quits listening.
In most cases I think it IS easier to keep people tuned in if you use "showing" (getting them right in the action) but I think there are definately techniques that can be used that can make "telling" just as captivating...and maybe even a "better" choice at the moment because it can also make one's work more concise, which is usually a pretty good thing in and of itself!

Back to work! Kristina Mon Apr 12 12:02:05 PDT 1999

Hello, everybody!

I see that my absence improved the quality of the discussion here. The POV debate is very interesting — though I think that the best guides for would-be writers are just personal analyses of great novels and not exactly what the critics and the academics have to say about our job. They just know what our older folks taught them — and shouldn't a new writer reinvent the techniques? Well, I will not go to that January subject again, but I still think I have a little point here ( a modest one)

Jack — we are going to need another active page for Shadows soon. Your suggestion of a link sounds good. Or something like "Shadows 1, Shadows 2," etc. I think we still need four of five times the text we have now. 300 A4 pages are the ideal. But we need more than that so that we can delete some.

Eddie — there's a conflict with the Notebook voice, but we'll solve it. Follow the flow and you will go in the right direction — the flow is us, the happy few who will finish the best Internet novel ever. Everything is already in some priviledged heads of collaborators. Secret is the soul of business. (ah, ah). Join us if you like, we'd be pleased. (the Novel is open to everybody, until it will be closed of course).

Avatar — do not rewrite anything — rewriting is a especial case of procrastination. Go on writing, change your POV(s) whenever you like, fear not being contradictory, start anew if you prefer. This is just the first version after all and everything is still possible. The novel is structured in such away that it will admit almost everything, provided it is beautifully written.

The above applies to everyone. Only limitation : if your text belongs to other projects it should go there. I haven't had the time to read with attention "Them Bones" or "Darkness Descends" and I fear that is not the line of writing of some of the people who write for Shadows (including me, unfortunately). However, as Goodweed said some time ago, these are good projects as well and should be supported with the same enthusiasm as "Shadows". Our site is the best of the world (in my terribly biased opinion) precisely because it is open to all kinds of literature. I love VERY good sci-fiction ( I rarely find it). ( I rarely find good contemporary fiction as well).

Cassandra — I like your attitude towards literature.

SN Arly — Thanks for telling me about the existence of a History of Underware. I have already read some books of that kind, but unfortunately they are not very explicit about Roman women. I am serious about this topic and you understood it. Thanks again. If anyone knows of an Internet site about Roman garments, please pass the URL.

Hi, Allein — welcome back. There is a whole family of Kawinkiedinks spending holidays with us. Could they have posted from Florida? You are the great creator of their names, so you are their father. Someone else is their mother. Or vice-versa? Versa-vice, probably.

Hootie — Welcome back, dear friend. I like clarity in literature. Honestly!

IMPORTANT — in order not to scare stingy people away may I suggest that, in case Shadows won't be published (Simon and Schuster published "Virtual Love" in 1994 and Shadows promises to be much better — so they are a good hint to sound out in a very near future), the authors of the additions keep their respective copyrights? Majority wins. Abstention or silence means a vote in favor of this motion, unless a different motion proposes something different — and wins. Democracy rules, right?

Lena Mon Apr 12 11:56:39 PDT 1999

A good rule I use for showing-not-telling (SNT?) are to concentrate on the details and have people doing something (action). Details and description can evoke a certain scene, and action tells the plot or theme. For a songwriter, I imagine the details would be very important. My favorite songs usually contain vivid images or good description.

Allein - Welcome back from Flor-idia, and thanks for the next chapter!

Cassy - Yup, gotta love the dragons. "Masterharper of Pern" is the most recent Pern novel published, so you haven't missed a thing.

Would you mind meeting me in the airport? Uh, in Shadows, that is. I was wondering what you look like, so that my character can find your character. Need a description, please!

Hey, Evan, do you have a muse for your songwriting? Just wondering...

Wrote a letter to a friend of mine, said some very harsh words. I feel very guilty now. I want to go hide, but I know I should talk to them and explain what I meant. I feel very, very ashamed.

I saw "The Matrix" yesterday. WOW. Loved the fight scenes, cool special effects, and a decent plot. Have I mentioned the fight scenes? Hmm. Very cool.

I am going back to reading "Royal Assassin" by Robin Hobb, will see you around.

"I wish the real world would just stop hassling me."

Hootie Mon Apr 12 11:53:23 PDT 1999

Allein—Welcome back, and don’t forget to make aloe vera your friend.

Evan—We were missing a song writer to compliment all the different types we have so far. I liked your song, too, although I’d really like to hear it with music.

Red Rose—I would have e-mailed you, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that your best bet would be to read the archives. You would discover that there are almost as many different opinions on the elements of story writing as there are stars in the sky. Agsousa is a fan of the contemporary novel, where there are no rules. Many others that post here are genre writers (Romance, Fantasy, or Science Fiction mostly), and each genre has it’s own standards. Thomas writes magazine articles, Michele and Kristina like non-fiction, and we now have a song writer in our midst. Our motto is on the For Writer’s home page: “There are nine and sixty ways to construct tribal lays, and every single one of them is right.” I know that doesn’t help you much, but it’s the truth of the situation. If you really want to annoy your teacher, ask her to clarify what kind of story she is talking about. And if she tells you, let us know, and we’ll see if we can help you more.

Okay, now for the great show-don’t-tell topic: I have to admit, after reading some of Tom Clancy’s work, I would have to say that the rule is applied differently in different genres. For the techno thriller, the info dump is perfectly acceptable. And from some of the comments here (and from the humble opinion of my wife), F&S/F puts off a lot of people because it can be too confusing—i.e., these two genres tell too much and don’t show enough. I don’t know how it is for other genres, but I’m guessing that the Show/Tell ratio changes for each, and yet the mantra continues: “Show, don’t tell.” I’m just guessing, but I would say that you need to know your audience, and your editors. And even then, test the boundaries.

Listen: there's a hell of a good universe next door; let's go.
--e. e. cummings(Pity this monster, manunkind)

Kristina Mon Apr 12 11:24:28 PDT 1999

Is anyone here familiar with LongRidge Writer's Group? I am working on my applications test for their correspondence course right now and I think I remember noticing that someone mentioned they were going through the course when I was reading through bib's one day. If anyone has been through it or knows someone who went through the course, and can tell me if they feel they got a lot out of it, it would be much appreciated!

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live. -Norman Cousins

Evan Mon Apr 12 09:42:54 PDT 1999

Thanks for the welcome Jack.
I was gather more ways to show rather than tell, I would moniter my emotional reactions to things. When I felt an emotion I could identify, I could tie it too the thing that illicited that emotion and insert the cause instead of the emotion into a 'He was as phony as a video with the sound turned off' or It was as typical as a gun battle in a hollywood movie'........but take the words 'phony' and 'typical' out.....I don't know, just an idea. I do know that showing and getting more sense bound language seems to make more of an impression in a listener than just telling.....Thought I'd post a song for you guys just for fun..

Our Love can Stand The Pain

I don't care about losing face
Yell at me put me in my place
If you're hurtin', if that's the case
Our love can stand the pain

Drag this problem through the dirt
Tell me the truth, hit me where it hurts
Give me all you got for what it's worth
Our love can stand the pain

Don't pull no punches, give me a push
I won't beat around your bush
If you feel green and you see red
Black and blue is better than dead

I don't want to pick a fight
But come on baby I won't bite
Show me you care it's alright
Our love can stand the pain

© 1999 Evan Brooks

Well talk to ya later

Xavier Mon Apr 12 07:33:31 PDT 1999

Hello again:

Well, I'm back at school, and my eyes are sore from reading all the posts I missed (about 4 days worth). I'm glad to see the conversation has shifted back to writing again, I thought I logged on to 'At' for a moment by accident.

In any case, I would like to know at which point 'Shadows' is expected to end, and if there will be any interaction betwixt our charicters. My charicter is just dying to meet all of you. Hopefully in a dark alley.

Is there any way to upload a file to the workbook, as opposed to hand typing each installment? Last time, it wouldn't post, then it posted twice. My luck.

Well, thats all for now. I'm off to consume foul hamburgers and stale coffie in the mess hall.

Peace, baby.


Jack Beslanwitch Sun Apr 11 22:42:05 PDT 1999

Evan: A songwriter is very definitely welcome. With elements of the balladeer and poet intertwined with music, I suspect you have a lot to inform us about.

However, I would say from the previous two posts that the rest of us might want to dredge up what our own expectations for what a story is about. What are the elements that make it a story and not just a vignette. What are the limitations on Point of View (We did have a lively conversation on POV started that I would not mind seeing continued) Well, you get the idea. We seem to be having some new aspiring writers arrive that I think might occasion a reflection on the basis for our love of the muse. As a final reflection, showing not telling is so much a given its hard to not, expescially when you are talking about aspiring science fiction writers. Info dump is such a ticklish component of that particular genre that we are cruelly aware of show not tell and how to sneakily try to break the rules.

Well, just watching Titanic and the ice berg is breaking. Later.

Evan Sun Apr 11 17:58:05 PDT 1999

Hi. I'm not a writer per say, well I write prose sometimes. I'm a songwriter. But I'm interested in learning how to show not tell. Do you know what I mean? To bring a person into a situation through showing them instead of telling them. Anybody got any ideas about this?


Red Rose Sun Apr 11 15:13:16 PDT 1999


I have to do this report on well-written stories. I have no idea what to write about them. I couldn't find any info. If you have any information for my report please tell me. Also please stop e-mailing me any ideas after Monday April 12, 1999.



Cassandra Sun Apr 11 09:19:41 PDT 1999

Hi all,

I'm just stopping in quickly because I'm swamped with work. All myy fault too, cause I was just slacking off yesterday instead of getting stuff done. (Bad Bad Casey)

I haven't taken lessons or anything, but I fake it pretty well. :) I'm used to more of a club dancing style... but I've always wanted to learn how to swing. They're going to have lessons the day before the concert. So, I might go, if I'm not too busy.
Cheese? Well, at least taking photos of him smiling will be easier. Just whip out a hunk of gouda, and ask him what it is. then *Click*, you've got him smiling.

Well, I've got to get moving...

ta ta

"Be a complete idiot... it puts people at ease."- Casey, in a conversation last night.

pnokio Sun Apr 11 07:52:31 PDT 1999

Hello Everyone - I would have said hello to you all last week and posted what's now inside (in the Workbook) here on the outside, but there was a big problem. Anyway, there's something in the interior for you to read if you'd like, two things in fact, neither of them very long, and if one or two of you have any time it'd be nice to hear whatever you may think. All I want to say about Looking for Micky is that it's a kind of variation on what I wrote in Notebook a few weeks ago, maybe a bit too conventionally. The thing Jack invites anyone visiting there to give before leaving I mean - some thoughts on writing. And I'm okay if you say whatever you want to say with a hammer.

What and who am I? Not very much and no one very much, but what there is is all there is! I live in England in the middle of London in a fairly deprived area, Nunhead, next door to Peckham, and I work in a surgery in a place called Brixton. A surgery is a good place to work because when you're feeling pretty lousy you can't help seeing how much lousier you might be. And when you're feeling really good you can use that. I daydream and go daydreaming wherever the thread takes me, and there are places up and down that route that are interesting and important to me, places no one else can know about, and probably that's why I write. I suppose I hope others might like to go there.

Perhaps you can let me know....!

Thomas and Michele - Oscar Peterson. Oh yes, so terrific you hardly know what to say. I listen to other pianists, pretty wonderful pianists, but there isn't anyone I know who's ever played jazz he couldn't play off the planet. Maybe Tatum'd hold him. (And yet...) And a modest and utterly respectful man. Not that we've ever met, but I've seen him play and watched him speak on tele and that's the impression I get. Critics've sometimes moaned saying he has too much facility, like he's too good or something. Like those folks who just can't marry or set-up house because they're too beautiful and love one another too much. Well he just goes for it because he knows he can do it. An idea entering his head flashes to his fingers just like that. A no-hitch no hang-up talent.
As you say Michele - "wwwowww!".

Does anyone out there know this:

....................................... "a secret......a secret...gotta little s.e.e.e..c.r.e.t..................................
..........................................a secret......a secret....secret kind of s.e.e.e.e.e...c..r..e..t"..................
..................................... ..."If this isn't love.....the whole world is craiizzzzieee.........................
......................................... If this isn't love.....I'm daft as a daiissssssieee"................................
........................................."If this isn't love.....then winter is summm..m..e..r..r..r......................
..........................................If this isn't heart needs a plummm...m..e..r..r..r"?.............

Someone loaned me it, Sarah Vaughan at Mister Kelly's - recorded 100 years ago today - and this is the first time I've ever heard it, and I'd never heard the song before either. Outta of my head. My heart needs a plumber..............mmm, that's just lovely. "I'm bursting with bliss". And so is that.

'Bye for now,

Jack Sat Apr 10 21:23:38 PDT 1999

Kristina: Oooops. Just went back and got the archives up. Thought I had, but my brain still has a bit of cotton in it from the leftovers from this cold.

Jerry: Sitting down and writing about the war is an excellent idea. I look forward to seeing it. Sometime I should lay down some of the things I experienced as a hospital corpsman in the Navy.

Take care all.

Rhoda Sat Apr 10 21:22:24 PDT 1999


I got rid of cable in my household two years ago. It is one of the best things I ever done. I know how you feel. I got sick of television and cable news long before this war started. Television news programs are designed to foster emotional reaction from their viewers, and I simply did not like my emotions tampered with. Also I got tired of being talked down to and having to listen to all the stupidity. Furthermore I was impatient with the lack of facts and balance.

Life has been so much better since. I took the TV away mainly because of the kids, but my husband's and my lives are so much calmer now. A little radio news on the hour, a newsmagazine, and Internet news suffices for us.


I'm so glad to hear you are feeling better. Everyone in my family came down with that stuff, and my husband is suffering terribly with it. Hang in there and take care.

Good night, all,


Jerry Ericsson Sat Apr 10 21:08:15 PDT 1999

This war thing has realy got me going - not that I want to talke discuss it int this form as you said this is for writing, but it realy has brought back memories of the 70's and Viet Nam - the TV coverage every time I turn it on seems to be about the war. Just hearing the songs of that era take me back. Guess I will have to sit down and write something about the war in Nam and get it out of my system. Last night my dreams even took me back, and I was in the Jungle again. Oh well.

Will get to work on my next post to Shadows soon. I have been spending time with my anti - bill gates computer that I worked over so there is nothing from Microsoft installed - running on Redhat Linux - great fun to play with but takes lots of time to learn a new system.

Hope everyone has a great weekend - it is raining and cold up here so Today was spent palying around with the computers and listening to the oldies radio. Kept the TV off till the wife came home and started fixing supper - then as a matter of habit the box came alive with the most recent reports of the war in Kosovo.

Kristina Sat Apr 10 18:27:39 PDT 1999

Hi all! Well, I guess I waited to long to check the new postings...Most of the recent ones are gone and the last set in the archives is not accessible yet! Oh well... In that case I will go sit down and work on shadows right now...
I am off work for the next three days, so I can stay up as late as neccessary tonight!
My excitement of the last few days is that my baby said his first real word, other than mama and dada yesterday. Was it
"book" or even "tv" as I expected? Oh no, he decided to look at me before I gave him his snack and said "cheese".
Go figure! Sorry, but as a proud mommy I can't help throwing in some baby trivia! :>

Casey-Have you done much swing dancing in the past? It's a blast...Jason and I (husband) were taking lessons, but then I got pregnant, and well, that was the end of that! We are hoping to start teaching some dance out here in hawaii soon,
but unfortunately we have forgotten most of the swing moves!
Enjoy your concert!

Allein Sat Apr 10 18:16:33 PDT 1999

*yawn* Is it really six already? Wow! I've been asleep nearly all day - aside from watching TV and doing chores this morning.

Anyway, the trip was great. I loved the beach. The Atlantic is warm and good for swimming. The waves are big too. The only part I hated was getting sand and little rocks in my swim suit, and getting sunburned. I told my brother to swim north until he found the Titanic. He splashed me with water.
I also went down the St. Lucie river on a tour. We didn't see any alligators, but there was other wildlife and lots of different trees.
I also went to a huge mall and other places to shop. The only thing I didn't like was that my mother was uptight the entire vacation (or in my brother's words, she was being a b*tch). She insisted on buying the souviners and stuff for me instead of letting my grandparents do it - but my grandfather managed to slip me and my brother 20 bucks before we left, with specific instructions not to let my parents see until we got to Seattle.

Well, I still have e-mail to check (I already read yours, Cassandra) and people to call and other things to do.
Bai bai,

Sqrl Sat Apr 10 16:46:29 PDT 1999

SN Arly- maybe I should direct Sr. to this site...(thanks for the boost.)

I am open to any and all criticism pertaining to my writing...I trust all of your opinions and place great value on those opinions.



"Today is the tomorrow of yesterday!" ~me

Jack Beslanwitch Sat Apr 10 16:38:45 PDT 1999

     Still not completely back to full form, but feeling one whole heck of a lot better. Now if this does not devolve into bronchitis I will be happy.

     Anyway, Allein, welcome back and as one Northwesterner to another, know all to well about burned to a crisp. I remember one time when I first encountered the ocean in California and fell asleep on Mission Beach. It still hurts to think about almost thirty years later.

     Took a moment and archived the Notebook at least. It had grown to 200k. So, people should be able to post more easily. Although, right after doing that I discovered that the server was down. A phone call to technical support corrected that problem. Take care.

Stay healthier than I have been :-)

Rachel Sat Apr 10 07:29:31 PDT 1999

Hi All

Allein! Welcome back!

Gald to hear you had fun.

Sun Burn!!!!!! Be careful.

Take care all


Cassandra Fri Apr 9 22:43:02 PDT 1999

Welcome back Allein! Hope the vacation went well :)I read the first few chapters of your story. Loved it!! Love that flagpole ;)

Lena- I LOVED Dragonflight. I've read nearly all of the pern series. Of course, I haven't had the time to look into any of the newer novels. Last time I checked there was The Masterhaper of Pern out... I haven't read anything from that on. But I'm a very big fan of dragons. So, I read alot of juvenile fantasy genre stuff as I was growing up. Anne McCaffery was one of the first adult writers I found in my search for more challenging dragon inspired work.

Anywho, I'm over at a friend's house, just chilling. We're planning on attending a Cherry Poppin Daddies concert later this month. We're all hyped up about it. hehehe, gonna swing dance and everything. (the bandmembers ain't too bad to look at either :)hehehe)

I outta be going now.
Best wishes to all of you. I might not post tomorrow (got chair work to do!)

Ta ta

"Who's your daddy? yes I am!"- Steve Perry(not SKS!!), the lead singer of Cherry Poppin' Daddies

Allein Fri Apr 9 19:20:35 PDT 1999


Pale skin and Florida don't mix you know. But, I had a great time. I kept a short diary of event and such which I will post in the short stories section of the workbook later.


Well, my parents want me to get off and help unpack, so, I'll post later.
Many hugs to all,

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