Archived Messages from April 30, 1999 to May 11, 1999

Jerry Lee Tue May 11 20:51:53 PDT 1999


Allien, did you notice that you said, "The Army recruiter said..."?
The Old Man was right about getting information about all your choices, when you've got enough, there will be one obvious choice standing alone. (Caviat Emptor)

All, I'm right-handed, although I suspect that I was born otherwise. Superstition may have lead my family to tie the other hand, forcing me into right-handedness...maybe...

On war, is imagination enough? Can you clearly picture your character doing something else you've never done? Flying in a biplane? Catching a 700 pound marlin? Skydiving? If you think you can. You're a writer...write it and ask someone who's been there to read it and let you know if you got away with it.

Take Care,
Jerry Lee

howard Tue May 11 20:34:29 PDT 1999

I forgot to add -- there's also an e after the t in dexterous, and dexter is in the dictionary (Webster's New Collegiate), but is not in the MS WORKS spelcheker. Go figure!

howard Tue May 11 20:21:11 PDT 1999

Americo -- I think the balance may be due to the fact that I've taken the back off my computer chair in order to improve my posture, and I have to pay more attention to keeping my seat. Or isn't that what you meant by 'balance'?

But there's no e after the t in ambidextrous, only in ambidexterity, and in dexter, which means right-handed or right-sided (unless you have a different dictionary).

Now, for a virtual candy kiss, can anyone give me the word meaning LEFT-handed?

And why do the stripes in ties always go in the same direction?


Eddie French Tue May 11 19:38:53 PDT 1999

I'm sorry that it looks as though I performed a 'hit & run' a few days ago, or poked a stick in the hive and stood back laughing. That is not the case. Anita has been ill with food poisoning and has suffered greatly over the past week so I have been doing my ham-fisted best to keep her comfortable. It has been particularly bad for her because she is diabetic and I have been monitoring her levels and such. The good news is that she has managed to eat a little soup today and keep it down. Her eratic blood sugar levels have also shown signs of stabilising somewhat today.
On War.
I think that you must depict war from a personal viewpoint at all times. If you are going to write a good novel along these lines, then it must contain all of good and the bad that these terrible situations generate. The comeraderie, the agony, the heroism, the confusion, the love, the wonder, the fear, the boredom, and much much more. I am attempting to write such a novel at the moment, (I am sure the opening chapter is in the workbook somewhere.) The only way to truly show how war affects humanity is to show the effect of war on your main character. Otherwise you write a history book full of incidents with graphic depictions of bloody violence. (I know that this is probably like teaching grandmother to suck eggs with you lot, but I take this philosophy right down to action/fight scenes in any novel, not just war novels.) This can only help to give the scene the depth it needs to be beleivable. Even if (As one or two here have stated) you feel that fight scenes are your weak point, then the weaknes of the fight scene becomes a weakness of the character, and can end up transforming a supposedly 'weak' section of your work into a very strong personality trait of the character and possibly even endearing further, an already strong character to the reader. (It made sense to me when I thought of it)
The Family Quarrel:
No true family could ever go as long as we have without a fight or two. Nobody truly knows another until the pressure rises. We learn more about each other through disagreements thrashed through than from polite chat. When I sparked this row it was probably born of personal disenchantment of a general nature than the actual content of the notebook over the past months, although I do believe that this place has suddenly shown its heart and deep spirit which will not be forgotten, even during polite social intercourse in the weeks to come. The spirit of Allein, who never batted an eyelid and carried on with the courage of youth. The tacit agreement of some who where beginning to feel the same way. The side line fights flaring and dying in a gentlemanly manner. Then there was Steve, who came in late as usual, but once again said all the right things.
Much more to say but no time to say it. Welcome Wes, Welcome Martin. Stick around, It don't get better than this.
Jerry, I had loads to say about Rama but I've prattled on enough for now. And who mentioned Ringworld ?
Later, Ed

Jon Tue May 11 18:58:51 PDT 1999

Xavier has just published in "S". There are still some people who worh in this otium domus (idle house, o ignoramus!)
Ego laboro nocte et die. Gatus intellegentissimus sum. (I work night and day. I am a most intelligent cat.)
That's for starters.

Americo Tue May 11 18:47:12 PDT 1999

Allein, I am also right handed. Aren't we kind of twins?
But I write with both feet.

Americo Tue May 11 18:02:50 PDT 1999

Perhaps that, Howard, but do not forget the e after the t as well... May I congratulate you a little? Your posts have been so balanced! How do you manage that in these times of sound and fury?

I took the archives to sea and, while waiting for the fish to run away from me, I read some posts of 1996. All those people are gone forever! I did not know them, but I felt they were my friends and... I miss them. A better generation, I guess!

Two quotations for your

"sheet for thoughts and experiences to flow" — that's how our most beloved (and missed) master, Jack, has defined this page on Oct 9, 1996.

And a beautiful sentence by Lisa Nickles, Oct. 11, 1996 :
"An idea can be killed with a withering look."

I rang up to the literary director of a publishing house today. He said he is going to the USA sometime in early summer to do busines with American publishers (he said beginning of July but was not sure yet about the date). Since I live for you, I thought of "Shadows" right away. But I did not tell him (yet) that I would like him to take "S" with him, just in case he could convince one of those yankee publishers you so love to, at least, read our masterpiece. I intend to do it in the most appropriate occasion — usually after a couple of drinks, not before. For that "Shadows" must be complete. Here in Portugal they do not accept samples and do not care about perfumed letters of introduction. Just the real stuff and no misspellings.

So, no procrastination and no excuses. As Jon, our respected CEO, said in an earlier post, the book has to be finished by the end of June, at the latest. And I have no other place to talk about *really serious literary matters* to the twenty plus collaborators except here. So, people, do not irritate me more than I am already — I have not caught any fish!—: get up that roundish part of your ugly bodies from that leather chair where you are snoring — and back to work, you lazybones!

(I did not talk about war, did I?... Well, you're welcome...)

Allein Tue May 11 17:57:23 PDT 1999

Jerry Lee - I would never go into the Air Force. The army recuiter said that they don't tell you anything they just say "sign up" and that's it. Well, when I went to the army office, I got an hour and a half lecture on why I should join the army - complete with charts, grafts and neat little computer videos. But, I'm still going to think about it a little.

Poor me, I'm only right handed - well, I use my left hand for somethings but only those that require the use of both hands - typing, driving...etc.

Well, I leave you with this final thought: How many licks DOES it take to get to the center of a Toosie Pop?
Bai bai,

Jerry Lee Tue May 11 17:25:31 PDT 1999


Weston, a couple of 'real world' options come to mind. The first, (with due credit to the author who's name escapes me) would be the "Rendezvous With Rama" cylinder that spins as it cruises through space. The other is the 'counterbalance' prospect that uses either two ships tethered together or simply a pod/engine as a counterweight so that the whole thing can spin like Rama creating what amounts to 'artificial' gravity.

I started a project with this type of thing in mind about a cruise ship that has to run from an invasion of our solar system...still sounds good. Maybe I'll resurrect it someday.

Allien, The Army is a fine institution, but the ASVAB test you have to take for the recruiter requires the highest score to get into the Air Force. It would be a shame to put such a shining young intellect in with a bunch of 'grunts' who couldn't score high enough to get into a better branch. (My apologies to any non-flaps out there)
One thing that the recruiter won't tell you is that when you compare the armed forces, the AF is more like a 9 to 5 job. Not a great deal of physical training...more mental.

All, as far as creating a civilization, think Mr. Spock. If it is logical, however strange, it WILL be believable.

Take Care,
Jerry Lee

howard Tue May 11 16:20:00 PDT 1999

Jon -- would that then be amQUAdextrous? ;-)

Sorry, but I ran out of steam on "Shadows." I do enjoy seeing what everyone else has done on it, though, and I think it has been, is, and still can be, a good project.

> Deja Moo: The feeling that you've heard this bull before.

Jon Tue May 11 15:44:00 PDT 1999

I forgot : I am fourdexterous.

Jon Tue May 11 15:40:36 PDT 1999

the word is "withdraw".

Jon, CEO Tue May 11 15:36:38 PDT 1999

Sorry to interrupt. My neighbor gonna fishing. He wants to know who are the people still working in "Shadows for a Dream". The book has to be finished on the 25th June, at the latest. In order not to disturb the blahblah, e-mail him. If no answers arrive in a decent amount of time (and time in the net can't be measured by clocks), he will draw the project from the place. Good night.

Weston Tue May 11 13:12:20 PDT 1999

Worldbuilding has not yet been an issue for me. I have set all my stories, SF included, in the here and now. Perhaps I suffer from a lifetime of dealing with the realities of electrical and mechanical engineering. (My family hates to watch movies with me - I find it hard to resist commenting on the technical impossibilies and inaccuracies of most Hollywood productions. Daddy! SHUT UP!)

Space travel has only recently revealed serious health consequences of extended stays in low or zero gravity and science has as yet been unable to devise a workable solution.

Bones and muscles in the human body grow to be only as strong as they have to be. (Perhaps this is true of intellegence also, but lets save that subject for another time.)

Without the CONSTANT excercize of contending with gravity, the body shunts the resources to other areas and the muscles and bones wither.
Perhaps a medical or genetic alternative can be found. I'm sure there would be undesireable side effects though. Even gravity has it's hazards.
Interplanetary genetic supermen.......hmmm. Is there a story here?
Consider, too, the mixing of alien cultures. Could the human body long endure a world that produced a being that was radically different from a human? Could that radically different being make an extended visit to Earth with no ill effects? Or have existed here? This is the stuff of fantasty.

Until the science catches up, perhaps it is the duty of the writer to artfully induce readers like me to suspend disbelief long enough to enjoy the story.

Well, there you have it. A blast of speculative gas.

I hope some of you survived.


Why shouldn't truth be stranger than fiction?
Fiction, after all, has to stick to the possibilities.
--Mark Twain

howard Tue May 11 12:37:26 PDT 1999

Gee -- I'd give my left arm to be ambidextrous!

Another piece of the "world-building" thing is to advance our present world to what we think it'll be in 100, 1000, 10,000 years. What will it look like after the atomic holocaust, or some other world-wide catastrophe? Jules Verne did it, as did H.G. Wells. More recently Sterling Lanier, in his unfinished "Heiro" series (Luchare!), presented the world thousands of years into the future, after "the death." Stephen King's "The Stand" gave a glimpse of an horrific near-future, and Isaac Asimov's "Foundation" series was surprising in its end point. Just think how alien our present world would have appeared to Jonathon Swift, Mary Shelley, or Louisa Alcott.
I've tried (in a couple of my infamous false starts) to build that post-apocalyptic world, but it's a very difficult thing to do. (without lots of commas, anyway) :-)

Enough rambling! --
Just remember Rule 13: It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.


Lena Tue May 11 12:02:26 PDT 1999

Snarly - I read the first book of Anne McCaffrey's Freedom series and was not very impressed. I was not interested in the reading the rest of the series... looks like I didn't miss much!

Jack - Notebook is taking a long time to load.

This is strange, again... there are not many people out there who are ambidexterous, and yet we have several already on the Notebook. Another one of the unspoken rules of being a writer...?

And, for the record, I go for the Build-The-World-Around-The-Character approach.

Jerry Ericsson Tue May 11 11:44:58 PDT 1999

Hi all, sorry for not posting in Shadows for a long time, I have been rather busy with computer stuff - just got the latest release Red Hat Linux (6.0) - and installed it on my Anti-winintell machine - love it but it does task the slow 486 DX4 100 processor - wonderful excuse for looking at new fast machines! Will try to set aside more time for writing - I do miss it, but playing with computer operating systems is just so much fun.

S.K.S. Perry Tue May 11 10:56:22 PDT 1999

Hey all,

S.N. Arly, I'm still here and still waiting.

Michele, sorry, but I couldn't really contribute much on the "War in Literature" topic. Unfortunately, I've only lived it, and never read about it.

Hi Rachel, - sorry folks, just socializing.

As for world building, there are so many diverse cultures and customs right here on Earth, I think it must be difficult to come up with something truly original. Most of the "alien" cultures that pop up in modern science fiction or fantasy are usually just rip offs of some of the more esoteric Earth cultures. As a matter of fact, the story that won Editor's Choice on the Del Rey Workshop won partially based on the culture and customs she created, but as far as I was concerned, were nothing more than slight variations of Middle East culture. I guess that goes to show that any culture can seem alien enough if the reader is unfamiliar with it, even if that reader happens to be an Editor.

Be Well, Live Well.

Rachel Tue May 11 07:45:41 PDT 1999

Hey Weston - I also am ambidextrous.

Take care


S.N.Arly Tue May 11 07:33:55 PDT 1999

On the subject of world building - I generally avoid basing my other worlds too closely on this one. The closer you make a world to this here Terra, the more limited you are because readers start to see it as the same. They don't differentiate, and wehn you do divert from what they know of our earth, it feels like an inconsistency. In a way it's a lot like using cliche or stereotypes in writing. While there may be a quick advantage, which is useful when trying to keep the word count down, it is generally swiftly overshadowed by creative limitation.

I do include flora and fauna in my worlds, which would constitute a gross similarity to our world. However, I also try to get some of that description in early to make it clear that the characters are not in Kansas anymore. Now some of my futuristic stuff does take place on or near earth, but I do try to avoid creating these futuristic worlds according to some mold I've already seen.

As for readers who think visually, the only thing I can think of is description. If they can't "see" it, then I'm not sure what to do for them. I may draw on similarities - EG: I have a story with a Terran female who has been taken to another planet as a slave. Yes, I know. Intergalactic slave trade. It's been done. But I do take an entriely different spin on it, and it was started as a farce. Anyway, the story is told in her POV, making it easy to draw on similarities and differences of flora through her thought. Gee this plant looks like a minniature willow from back home, only it's an odd shade of purple...

Lena - I have had to create two separate religions/cultures for one of my novels (complete with litany) and that was not in the plan at all when I started. Ooops. These things sure have a way of getting out of hand. But then, I like building my world/setting and characters (and all the backstories needed for these things) almost as much as the actual writing. Ithink it's worth it in the end because you have a more thought out and believable story. The fact that there is more than what you say is evident in the writing.

I know you're a McCaffrey fan. If you haven't yet read the Freedom triology, DON'T! I'd swear the last one was ghostwritten and then edited by toads. The first is OK, but stop there. The rest of the story is pretty clear (transparent, one might say). Both the second and third books feel incredibly rushed.

Weston - I'm ambi and both folks in my writer's group are right handed. We've discussed this occasionally at my group, and I think it's fascinating. I've oft wondered if ambidextrous sorts have more vivid dreams and more nightmares. I certainly seem to. Which would, I believe, endorse the creativity thing. Then again, maybe I have so much crosstalk between the hemis of my brain that messages get a bit garbled. The right side of the brain is linked to creativity, which again would make sense. And I wonder if those who are right hand dominant have simply learned to use both halves of their brains rather than being restricted to the logical left.

SKS - If you're out there, I'm aiming to test for 13 wpm Morse on Saturday. Once that's out of the way I should be able to update my site. It's in progress on my hard drive now (yea). And my Morse practice has sort of been in the way. I'm also having trouble finding decent graphics, which is a little silly. We'll see.



Allein Tue May 11 06:51:54 PDT 1999

Hi all! AOL was being slow yesterday so I wasn't able to post, but now I'm back!

I haven't started my job yet - it's only on weekends, so I should start this Saturday.

Actually, it's probably very good that I didn't post yesterday because I was depressed out of my mind (I don't know why either and that bugs me). But now I'm not so down.

But, I have to go to school now, so I'll write something more when I get home.

Martin Tue May 11 00:11:49 PDT 1999

Synonym for tolerance - allowance
allowance means that you allow someone else to be different from. Instead of saying: ‘That person
ist different to me, so she/he have to change.’ or ‘I hate that person, because he/she is different to
me.’ you say: ‘Hey. That person is different to me but that is a challenge. Maybe I can learn
something from him/her, for she/he certainly precious as much as I do.’ Of course is love the goal,
but you can’t start with the goal. Therefore tolerance is a good starting point.

I don’t think we are occupied by the Kosovo war. If we would be, we would go there like
Hemingway did in the Spanish Civil War (Lena. Maybe a good advice for you, for Heminway wrote
‘For whom the bells toll’ afterwards). I rather believe we are made occupied by the news. On every
news channel you turn on, talks about this war are taking no end. So turn it of, relax and
concentrate on writing. Soon you will wonder what the Kosovo is anyway.

Rachel Mon May 10 21:15:31 PDT 1999

Hey all

Old Man, Weston - Welcome!

Take care all


Jerry Lee Mon May 10 20:47:42 PDT 1999


Old Man,
I picture you on a mountain. People seeking answers climbing through rough valleys and engaging their thoughts on the tough ascent. Stay there. When you take the journey from those who seek a deeper understanding, you have the merely curious.

For a man to seek the greater truth, he must first concieve of it. Those that would make the trek are humble. This is what separates them from those who are secure in their knowledge of the world.

Do not seek after them. They will find you if the things that they know to be real fall from them. Keep your vigil on that cold apex. Keep your thoughts as pure as they can be, without the befuddled masses clammering for recognition.

Your search has ended and you have your answer.

Be well, old man. Wait for those who would question their places.

Jerry Lee

howard Mon May 10 19:50:20 PDT 1999

Arrrghhh! Arrrghhh! Why Why does does it it do do that that ??

howard Mon May 10 19:36:59 PDT 1999

World-building is one humongous topic! Some writers say it's best to build the world first, complete with all its physical characteristics. Name all its mountains and seas, and all its continents and islands. Then build races, languages, religions, legends, histories, flora, and fauna, but make sure they all fit in their proper place in your world. Build glossaries and dictionaries, and make sure you understand all of them. Then pick out someone living in that world and write his or her biography.
Others say just start with an idea and build your world as you build your story. Just remember everything you've written before, so you don't end up having your heroine ride in on a white rat on page 477, when you've already had the Pied Piper do away with all the rats on page 53. Or something like that.
Either way, world-building is one of the most difficult activities in the writing trade. I think Orson Scott Card wrote a book about it for the WD library.
Check out Larry Niven's "The Integral Trees" and "Ringworld" for two great examples. Then there's Alan Dean Foster's classic "Midworld," and of course Anne McCaffery's Dragon series. One other author I'd highly recommend is James Schmitz. His "Witches of Karres" is outstanding!

Welcome, Wes!

And welcome back, Hootie!


howard Mon May 10 19:36:34 PDT 1999

World-building is one humongous topic! Some writers say it's best to build the world first, complete with all its physical characteristics. Name all its mountains and seas, and all its continents and islands. Then build races, languages, religions, legends, histories, flora, and fauna, but make sure they all fit in their proper place in your world. Build glossaries and dictionaries, and make sure you understand all of them. Then pick out someone living in that world and write his or her biography.
Others say just start with an idea and build your world as you build your story. Just remember everything you've written before, so you don't end up having your heroine ride in on a white rat on page 477, when you've already had the Pied Piper do away with all the rats on page 53. Or something like that.
Either way, world-building is one of the most difficult activities in the writing trade. I think Orson Scott Card wrote a book about it for the WD library.
Check out Larry Niven's "The Integral Trees" and "Ringworld" for two great examples. Then there's Alan Dean Foster's classic "Midworld," and of course Anne McCaffery's Dragon series. One other author I'd highly recommend is James Schmitz. His "Witches of Karres" is outstanding!

Welcome, Wes!

And welcome back, Hootie!


Lena Mon May 10 18:53:17 PDT 1999

People build communities. Not all people are alike - communities often suffer from bickering. Love, not tolerance, is what is needed in a strong community.

Wes - I am mostly right-handed, but I am strangely left-handed in certain areas. I deal cards left handed, and I naturally hold a sword in my left instead of right hand. I suppose I could be ambidexterous if I worked at it. Welcome to the Notebook - I hope you stick around.

Goodweed - I assume you are talking about fantasy... well, the reader obviously needs SOME connection to the world they know. There are, of course, the classic fantasy cliches that are now an integral part of a fantasy world... the drafty castle, the lords and ladies, often a mystical sword or two, intelligent beasts, strange religions, etc. And what fantasy story is complete without an honorable thief or a dishonored prince?

But those are the cliches. Be wary of cliches... they lurk in the night, thundering whenever someone speaks an ominous sentence. Thunder storms always seem to blow up whenever somebody gets murdered. (maybe that was the purpose behind all those sacrifices of yore...)

World building is an art unto itself. If you have never written fantasy/sci-fi, you have no idea how hard it is because you are able to draw upon a fully actualized world (our own) with its multitude of references, common phrases, and little tidbits that everybody knows. One of my characters has a predilection of quoting novels and poetry - unfortunately, I have been forced to invent an entire literary background to cover her little habit!

Just how much of a world should be real is best left to the story. I have read wonderful novels based very closely off our world (the names were changed to protect the innocent) with little of the typical fantasy fallbacks - magic, swords, etc. I have also read wonderful novels of strange new worlds, where you are immersed in a totally different culture. The most boring novels are those which fall back on cliches for world building... everybody seems to think they are the first person to ever think to writing about elves or those honorable thieves. Make a world your own, or it is not worth building.

Snarly - Thank you for the kind (re)welcome! I have never read either of the books you mentioned, although "A Farewell to Arms" is on my To-Read list. If I understand correctly, though, "A Farewell to Arms" is a fairly cynical book with regards to war.

I mused this little song today, but I cannot remember the tune now. Here are the words:

Gray bird sitting in a green leafed tree,
Why do you seem so sad to me?
I am the gray bird and my song is true,
But I cannot look upon the sea so blue,
I can not look upon the sea.

Allein - I never received a survey.

"Like a song, out of tune and out of time, all I needed was a rhyme for you... c'est la vie."

Weston Mon May 10 18:30:47 PDT 1999

Hello the group:
I have been watching from the sidelines for the past two weeks. The writer's group I attend at the local Borders book store only meets once a month, so daily checks of this site have been enjoyable. I appreciate the wide range of perspectives in age, background, philosophy and geography that I see here. I also enjoyed the discussions about recent world events.

It was with some mild alarm that I read about the disagreements among you, as I feel I have come to know each of you and your absence would be missed.

I find more of you than I would have thought with backgrounds and intrests similar to mine:
Navy, Viet Nam, electronics, and probably some others.
I have daughters in college.
Some of you "are" daughters in college.

It turns out that my local writer's group (the regulars) consists of five left-handed males and one right-handed female. Seems I have heard of studies associating left-handedness with increased creativity. We lefties can only hope. Creativity in a writer could be a good thing.

Could we have a show of (left) hands here?

I have a SF novelette out there circulating about, gathering rejection slips but some of those have been rather encouraging. In the mean time I contribute electronic how-to articles and report on local events for my local amateur radio club newsletter, and submit an occasional rant to the letters to the editor section of the local newspaper. (Flint, Michigan)

I think more slowly than I type, so my future comments here may be somewhat less expansive.
Some of you may be relieved.


Hootie Mon May 10 18:15:12 PDT 1999

Tsk, tsk--I haven't posted in so long that I have forgotten how to do the heading. My apologies. Hootie Mon May 10 18:13:34 PDT 1999

On war—I thin that every generation looks at war differently, and a lot of it has to do with the wars they experience. My uncle grew up with the glories of WWII, but encountered the reality of Vietnam. I grew up with the horror of Vietnam, yet the “conflicts” that we have been in since have often been glorified or worse, ignored (Desert Storm, Granada). I speak from an American POV, of course. And I think that the genre of literature influences how war is portrayed, also. For writers of fantasy such as myself, war is a common element, and often glorified. But many of us try to make it realistic, too. It’s a fine line.

On language—I think that I mentioned before that language is often used to separate groups of people through the use of jargon and slang. I think that a lot of what seems to be “evolution” in language is actually just more segregation: acronyms separate the educated from the uneducated, emoticons separate the computer literate from the illiterate. Ebonics, at its worst, separate the races.

Goodweed—I will have to think on your topic, but I will answer it soon.

Agsousa—I will respond to your e-mail soon, too. I have not forgotten or ignored it, you just presented me with a challenging question.

How do a bunch of soldiers killing each other solve the world's problems?

Americo Mon May 10 17:50:18 PDT 1999


You gave the answer I expected from a civilized person and a gentleman. Let us get beyond this, as you proposed. Do not hesitate criticising my work or even myself, with fairness and good knowledge of the facts. That is the only thing I ask from anyone in this forum.
You need not do much to call my attention. I read all your posts, as I try to read everyone else's.
Thank you.

Science-fiction writers and writers of other genres:
there is room enough in this site, I believe, for mainstream literature as well. "Shadows" needs your encouragement and not the opposite. I may try (and I have tried) to give support to writers of other kinds, even if what they write is not exactly in my line. I know some people here who have demonstrated a lot of interest for mainstream literature and, in a certain way, have found their way. They are happy, please do not discourage them, young and not so young.

I think that talking about works in progress is the best topic we can discuss here. I am sorry, but I am not prepared to let anyone make me speak about anything I do not like or prevent me to speak about what I feel I must. We had fifty years of repression in my country. That was enough.

Allein — I have read your post to "Shadows in a Dream". I am very proud of you. How is your gardening and car-washing going?

The Old Man Mon May 10 17:42:41 PDT 1999

Greetings and Felicitations

I am a very old man who has been on Earth for a blessedly long time. If you have a question, I have an example. If you have doubt, I have advice. If you dislike the truth, do not ask me a question. I am here for you as you are here for me. If we work together, we will learn substance together. I have no E-mail. I have no http:, I do not speak html.

I have been around here for a good while. I have read what you have had to say and I have kept my opinion to myself. Until now.

The discussions that I have read in the near past have been good-spirited larks into the frailties and strengths of your particular version of life. The responses I have noted have not been in the same vein. You young people are all dear to me. You live the lives that others dream of.

To those living in different countries, the day-to-day lives of the school-aged of you are a glimpse into life in America, Britain, Portugal and Australia. My wish is that you all would come out from your cheery versions of life in your own country and tell the young members what life is really like in Portugal. In this way, you will aid both them and yourselves. You will help the young to realize more of the world, thereby expanding their views of a world growing smaller and will help yourself to see the inequities of life in general. What old men are there in your country? Are they resting comfortably around a pool? Are they working until death? Do the young in that country worry about the little things that American teen-aged school children worry about? This is a wonderful medium for the exchange of differences. And it is the differences that build friendships, perhaps better than the commonalities.

I do not berate you. I simply appeal to you to share the Greater truth which comes with life in different places.

Being as old as I am, I see petty bickering as a great tool for learning and I revel in reading it here. Just be careful to keep it from hurting one another. Better friends have I not seen.

To all with a decision, (Allien in particular) there are more choices than you see on the surface. An old saying goes, "If you have a decision to make, you lack information." To have to decide some thing over another thing is not to know enough about either.

It was good to write directly to you.

Vaya con Dios.
The Old Man

Godoweed of the North Mon May 10 16:12:28 PDT 1999

I know that this is my opinion based on what I believe to be true. First, Alien, Lena, and those more youtful than I; I do remember my teenage years, the excitements, frustrations, and passions. You have the same right to enjoy the complexities of life that I did. You also have the right to express yourselves and any topics you wish to express. What I have learned through hard lesson (had a knife pushed against my throat once for it) is that I must let others be heard.

I often knew answers that another shipmate (I was in the Navy at the time) didn't in the field of electronics. I was truly trying to aid him in his diagnostic abilities. What I didn't know, was that I was making him feel more inept. It came to a head at the end of the cruise when he was ruining a mutual freinds new knife, which he was trying to sharpen.

I tried to explain to him what he was doing wrong and why it was wrong. What can I say? I had been a boy-scout and was taught how to sharpen a knife by an excellent scoutmaster. He got fed up with me and jumped up with the knife in his hand. Three other freinds jumped up and dragged him away from me. I didn't write him up for it, though I could have.
I understood then that I was part of the problem. Please learn from my mistakes. I do think your views are refreshing, especially when you talk about your writing trials, tribulations, and successes. I have the same ones you see.

Now to address the love instead of tolerance debate. I agree with love, if it is understood that one can love another, be sincerely conscerned for another persons well being, without likeing that person. There are a few on this world who have hurt me in the past so frequently, and deeply, that it left permanent scars on my psyche. I fully admit that. Some of these persons have never grown out of that mean-spirited way of life. I do not like them. I would probably defend them at my own risk were it necessary.

I will always have a problem with many of the alternate lifestyles. I will never feel the need to bash anyone. I have no predjudices that I know of other than against those who seek to do harm to others, for whatever the reason.

I was fortunate to have met an Iranian when the U.S. was freindly with that country. He was likable, and a man you could intictively trust with your freindship. He had great integrity. Then his government rebelled against our government. I don't really know enough to make a judgement of either. They both have their shortcommings as far as I can tell. The point is, if Jim hadn't been forced by his government to fight against the U.S., I don't believe he ever would have done so on his own. I don't know that he ever did. I never saw him after my year in Memphis.

That experiance taught me a great lesson. There are good and bad in all cultures and races. I have known both in many.

Another man I would trust with my freindship was Portugese. he was training to be a Navy Seal. He was one of the most likable men I have ever met. I could go on, but won't.

Topic; I'll respond to your challenge S.K.S. Time to stop whining. When creating a world, what are the strengths and weaknesses of basing that world on the world in which we live? Will that restrict creativity, or open up new slants on what is already known? Will it be too familiar, or will it make it easier for the reader to grasp the story without having to learn new creatures, plants, etc. What about the readers who can't think visually, but rather through words?

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

Rachel Mon May 10 15:36:53 PDT 1999

Lydia - I could not agree more.

Take care you


Lydia Sweet Mon May 10 14:36:57 PDT 1999

MY GOSH! The whining I hear here sounds like a room full of kindergarteners rather than the educated, intellects I know to reside here. For crying out loud, there will always be topics that one is not interested in, but in a place with as many occupants as we have here, you cannot expect to always find what you seek. I read this site everyday I am at work. I do not participate or comment frequently. If you can't fulfill your needs currently on the discussed topics, go elsewhere. Yes, this is a comfortable and familiar place with friends and aquaintances we know. Because it feels like home we pour out our feelings. We don't expect to get them trampled on. Please, take exception from time to time, but don't make the attacks personal, make them individual. Not everyone is going to agree with you. Some will. Take comfort in those and go on. You want a writing topic? Suggest one. If it takes the fancy of any, it will be commented on and lead to discussion.

Michele, Don't feel too bad about your topic. I proposed one, some time back and didn't get so much as "Lousy topic. Forget it."

When people are wrapped up in a topic already, it is hard to divert them somewhere else.

I am fond of all of you. Some do tend to stretch my patience from time to time, but that hasn't run me off yet.

Any discussion we have here, from politics to religion, to schools and a person's daily acitivity or health is productive. Everytime one of us posts we have the opportunity as writers to see another perspective, another lifestyle, another view. All valuable to me as a writer. The mechanics of writing are good topics also and most productive, but please, always leave in the human element.


Goodweed of the North Mon May 10 14:17:29 PDT 1999

Americo; You might be surprized to find that I am not of a simple mind, but rather hold a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology. I love the humanities, poetry, such introspective activities as archery (which demands a great deal of concentration and effort) and love nature and the perfection created for us. As for my comments, yes they were designed to grab your attention. Now that I have, I can indeed apologize. I wanted you to know how it felt to be attacked. I read your attacks upon others. I do feel you have contributed in a real way to the notebook, as has every other person who has visited.

I'm sorry I went to such edxtremes in my verbage. I guess I let stress get the better of me. As for my input into your story, I was feeding off of (correct me if I'm wrong) Thomas's postings, not in the story, but on the notebook, giving it a sentience. I just extrpolated on that theme. The idea was to give the notebook a personality, show it's fear and insecurity, and finally, to show that it could learn to trust. From my point of view, the input had merit. I have not attacked your writing. You have your own style. I might march to a different drummer (sorry about the cliche') but tht does not invalidate my work.

I hope we can get beyond this. I value your posts and went far out on a limb to catch your attention with this one. It is somewhat out of character for me. I much prefer to sooth and offer compromise rather than yell and shout.

howard Mon May 10 13:05:10 PDT 1999

Sorry, Michele, I was on late last night, didn't get a chance to read everything. It's a good iead you have, except there are so many books on war that you'd probably go a long way to find one we've all read.
Several WWII books that come to mind (and that I enjoyed) were "The Longest Day" and "A Bridge Too Far," by Cornelius Ryan; "HMS Ulysses," by Alistair McLean, also by McLean were "The Guns of Navarrone," and a few others. Then there was "Beach Red", "The Thin Red Line", and "Patton."
But before those there was "Wilderness Empire" and "The Frontiersman", both by Alan W. Eckert, which were very well written accounts of the French and Indian War and the American Revolutionary war. I'd recommend them to anyone, along with anything else that Eckert has written.
For VietNam there's "In Pharaoh's Army," by Tobias Wolff.
Douglas Reeman wrote about the British Naval engagements during WWI and WWII, and under a pen name he wrote the "Bolitho" series, about an officer in the Royal Navy in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
Some writers glorify and romanticize war, and others try to depict the horrors a bit more vividly, to teach how evil it is.
It's a large topic! But as you say, it's well worth discussion.

Michele Mon May 10 12:34:36 PDT 1999

HEY !!!!!!

Right, now I've got your attention.... I did try - yesterday - to start a topic of conversation related to writing. The response it got was a remark from Lena about 2 kinds of war fiction, a dismissal from Allein, a lengthy remark from Jerry on Viet Nam and a comment from SNArly to Lena about remark...

So much for starting a topic of conversation related to writing... I wonder why I bothered ? It seemed as valid a topic as any - and was put in response to recent comments on the conflict in Kosovo...

So as hardly anyone can be bothered to respond, I'll go talk to someone who can...


Jerry Ericsson Mon May 10 10:23:25 PDT 1999

Sorry for the lengthy post earlier but someone mentioned war.

Anyhow getting back to writing - what gets my goat is the lack of capatalization in the movies and tv titles and credits. Looks like (probably is) the things are put together by idiots.

Jerry Ericsson Mon May 10 10:06:47 PDT 1999

War - what a terriable waste of good men.
They called Viet Nam MacNamara's war now the news has dubbed Kosovo Madaline's war it should rather be called Clinton's Folley.

When I got back from Nam, I read all the books that came out about the war most of them were fairly well written, and containd some truth. There were those written by the wana-be-vets who probably spent all their time in-country doing KP or cooking at the mess hall. You could tell them from the real vets by the stories they tried to tell based upon myths of the war, such as the old tale of dropping VC prisoners from a helecopter - throw one out and the rest tell the whole story of their units etc. Now this may have happened, but most of the wana-be-vets that I have talked to or read tell that they personaly wittnessed it. If all of them realy saw this happen we could have won the war as there wouldn't have been any VC left to fight.

Writing about war from the perspective of the soldier should to be realistic show the terror that is there when you first experience comming under fire. The realization that there are people out there who really want you dead, and that they will do everything in the power to make it happen.

The true herosim is overcomming that fear and forging ahead. Most soldiers don't fight for home, mom's apple pie or the flag. They fight to protect their buddies who quickly become closer to them then any brother could, and to protect themselves.

Allien - don't believe everything a recruiter says - I was one in the mid 70's and most recruiters will tell you exactly what you want to hear. While they have regulations that prevent them from lieing, they are taught in recruiter training how to tell half truths.

Americo Mon May 10 09:59:52 PDT 1999

Goodweed of the North-

You wrote: "If you want to schmooze up to the youthful women on the e-net, please do it through the e-mail or some other less public forum. This site is devoted to writers, not romancers."

I knew that you were a simple-minded person on the day you took the tree for the forest and completely misunderstood "Shadows in a Dream." Your comment on it was, however, so valid as that of any distracted reader. A writer must be prepared to that sort of reactions and accept them with patience and humbleness. Having that in mind, I asked the other collaborators of the novel to be tolerant and try to improve their writing in order to avoid subtleties which not all could understand at this early stage of the project.

I hoped you understood that gesture of good will and did two things: a) going on reading the book and be honest enough to, on the appropriate moment, recognize your error and apologize for it; b) ask to withdraw your collaboration, either because you did not approve of the book you were contributing to or because you understood your stuff was inadequate. You did not do any of the above.

Instead you come now with a direct, personal attack on me. You confound my wish to encourage and be encouraged, motivate and being motivated, with frivolous chat and flirtation. And you finish by telling me that this site is for writers, not for romancers. As if I did not know it, showing my awareness of that by theory and by practice.

I started here with a challenging, thought-provoking discussion which is still going on, from time to time. Some of my posts have been publicly recognized as interesting.You yourself once wrote that I have taught you a great deal, and you meant literature.

Why are you denying yourself now? I am sorry for you, but I am not sure I can forgive you, unless you recant yourself. What you said is most unfair and, rather than contributing to improve this page, has drained a lot of enthusiasm from me for anything that goes on here. I hope it has not done the same harm to anybody else.

Rhoda Mon May 10 09:48:20 PDT 1999

Jack used to post a weekly writing topic. That was good because most of us felt honor-bound to comment on it when we posted on the Notebook. Could we do something like that again? It doesn't even have to be Jack who brings up the topic, though I thought Jack did a good job at it. We could still maintain some socializing, but at the same time balance it with something more substancial.

Litter and SNarly,

I too decry the change in language due to laziness and ignorance. I think the computer has greatly changed the language, though not necessarily for the worst. What I hate is using abbreviations for everything. No one goes to Kentucky Fried Chicken anymore. We go to KFC. When reading the news we have to contend with the likes of the IRA (Irish Republican Army or the stock account). Then there is the CIA, the FBI, NEA, NBA, NFL, and the NRA. We don't enclose self addressed stamped envelopes in our queries but SASE's. These abbreviations have always been with us, but it seems that they are increasing of late, and sometimes they irritate me.

Incidently, I hate "nite" and "lite."

I believe the reason for much of this language change is that few people have respect for the language's origens anymore. History to a lot of people is passe. I personally like English's idiosyncrasies. I like the ght endings because they harken back to English's Anglo-Saxon roots. These things have carried over through countless generations. I don't see why they have to be overturned in just a mere decade or two by advertising departments and ignorant and culturely profane writers.


Your spelling doesn't bother me in the least. Though I realize the truth of what Thomas says about spelling, I don't think we should have to be such sticklers here on the Notebook. My spelling is terrible sometimes. My spelling is sometimes so bad that I can't even find the word I am looking up in the dictionary. How can I in good conscience impune anyone else for the same failing? Sometimes we only get a few moments to post and cannot run to the dictionary to check a spelling.

Well I have to run now and try to get some work done.

Happy Writing!


S.N.Arly Mon May 10 09:13:24 PDT 1999

Been away a bit, so I apologize in advance for this egregiously long post.

Americo - Me patriotic? You such a funny man! I'm apparently a bit more selective in my loyalties than you. I'm also and eye-for-an-eye kind of person, but we won't go there.

Lena - Good to see you are still alive. Keep it up! Where would I be without my twin? Which of those categories would A Farewell to Arms sit? Not exactly heroic. He did defect, after all. But not exactly an accurate portrayal. Likewise with The Human Factor, which may unfortunately be out of print at this point. Then again I suppose there are also those who would argue that it's not a war book per se, more of a suspense and intrigue kind of thing.

Allein - I did that once. The hair thing, that is. I think people have finally figured out that I'm not 15. I've increased to 17 (which is annoying when people think I'm a high school drop out). So they're about a decade off. Big deal. I'm sure it'll be nice when I'm 80.

Ed and Goodweed - Thank you for your honesty. I also would like to see more talk on writing, although I wouldn't expect all carefree banter to disappear. That just doesn't seem to be the nature of the electronic bulletin board. It is nice, too, to get to know each other a bit. It helps in deciding whose advice is worthwhile and whose may not be. About a year ago we were much more heavily into writing topics, and I found it quite useful. Sharing of information; that's what it's all about. On just about every site I frequent for writing stuff, I run into the same thing.

Litter - Good topic. I agree that language is a constantly evolving creature. However I am also one of those who bemoan the illiteracy I'm surrounded by. I cringe every time I see ‘s to make something plural. Creative spellings (there's a hair salon here called Kreative Kuts) is one of my gigantic pet peeves. I hate to see the language evolve on the basis of stupidity, laziness, lack of interest, and/or inadequate education. The definitions of words change over time because they are constantly misused (nauseous, for example). But then in language, majority rules and I am obviously not in the majority.

Martin - You might try Zoetrope. It's a bigger site (much) and a bit ungainly to navigate, but each topic has it's own board, which is kind of nice. Zoe is a critique site as well, and you will need to critique five stories to get in to the discussion boards. If you decide to give it a try, make sure you give those first five crits serious thought, because no one likes a quick crit by a newbie just trying to gain access to the other stuff. I've a zoetrope link on my page, which is currently the only URL I bother to remember while I'm at work. Hope that's not inconvenient.

Howard - While love may be the desired end result, I think tolerance is a good midway step. Tough to get people to go from hate to love, and just now there are a lot of people who hate anything that is unfamiliar and unlike themself.

SKS - I have tried to divert the topic back to writing several times. Remember when I asked for something other than Shadows stuff? But there appeared to be a lack of interest. I have no problem with the chat, as is apparent by this extravagantly long post. However, as stated above, I am also very interested in talk of writing and crafting issues. I'm interested in others' experiences and what I can learn from them. I'm interested in sharing what I know with those who are interested.

To All - Anyone know if the magazine Whispering Willow has folded? They've had an MS of mine since December and now they don't appear to be showing up on any of my current market lists. I'd like to send the story out to Pulp Eternity, from whom I just received a fabulous rejection lette, and I'm on a bit of a deadline. I will query them, just to be sure, but if anyone has this market info for me, it'd save me time. Thanks!


S.K.S. Perry Mon May 10 06:35:53 PDT 1999

Hey all,

Whine, whine, whine. To all of you who are complaining that this site should be dedicated to writing, and are annoyed by the frivolous nature of some of the posts, my question is - what exactly have you posted lately? Have any of you come up with any interesting themes or threads for the more literary minded to pontificate upon? Come on - be specific. Throw your ideas out there, and those of us who wish to comment or elucidate, will.

And those of us who wish to just chat will probably do that too. Of course, I realise that you're forced to read all that endless babble to get at the good, meaty writing topics, but…hey, wait a minute! Couldn't you just skim over the stuff you're not interested in and read the things you are? That way the Notebook could serve everyone's interests equally.

But of course that would just be wrong, wouldn't it. I mean, if we can't all see things the same way, there has to be something wrong with the way we're doing it. Therefore, I suggest we have a vote. All those who want to use this site to discuss only literary topics, vote YES. Those who don't mind a little friendly banter thrown it, vote NO. Then, in the spirit of the truly democratic and tolerant society that we are, the winners will force the losers to conform. Then we can all be happy.

Be Well, Live Well.

Allein Sun May 9 20:47:04 PDT 1999

I finally added to Shadows - proud of me? :)

Goodweed of the North Sun May 9 20:33:12 PDT 1999

Boy were there ever a lot of typos in that posting. One day I might even remember to proofread these postings before sending them out and becoming completely embarrassed.

Goodweed of the North Sun May 9 20:27:24 PDT 1999

I reference to our younger writers; I would quote a small piece of a psalm I think applies here. "To everything, there is a time to every purpose under Heaven". I don't think any of us "older" writers wants to tell you to shut up and get back to work with no time for freindly chit-chat. Rather, I think we are trying to say (and excuse me if I'm misjudging anyone here) that the socialization needs to be tempered. That is, we are trying to learn a craft, one that we feel strongly about. I know that it is my goal to be published. I have learned a great deal in this forum in previous years. And I hope to learn more. I won't though, if all that spoken of is light, airy, feel-good, hi, how ya been, my test went poorly, etc.

And Agsoussa; You speak strong words so I'll return the favor. I don't like the notebook the way it is now. I liked it better before. If you want to schmooze up to the youthful women on the e-net, please do it through e-mail or some other less public forum. This site is devoted to writers, not romancers.

I know I'm going to get flamed for this one. SKS, Thomas, Hayden, Eddie, Rhoda, and all my freinds here, sorry for stirring up the hornet nest, but I hac to jump in. Like a few others here, I was feeling that those of us who are seriously trying to better our craft skills are being squeesed out by the frivolous.

Again, socialization is good, but not as a steady diet.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North (and to think I used to be a peace-maker)

Howard Sun May 9 20:04:28 PDT 1999

Our local newspaper (part of the Gannett Group) is running a series about what kind of values we should be teaching our children. They've requested the general public to submit short (200 words) letters on the various topics, and they've started with Tolerance. I jumped right on it, and began to write (in my head) the Final Word on the subject. Right! I immediately got sidetracked by the idea that perhaps tolerance is not all that desireable. That's right -- who needs tolerance?
Now maybe I'm all wet, but doesn't tolerance carry some undesireable baggage with it? Just what do we mean by tolerance anyway? Is it just me, or does the word really say that "You're really not quite as good as I am, but look how sophisticated, and how sacrificial of my own desires I am by making this effort to tolerate you."
Also consider the possibility that the word has been pushed on us by people who want us to use it to overlook things they do that we really should *not* tolerate!
Then consider the (okay maybe it's corny) possibility that we already had a word that covered all the racial and ethnic situations being held up as reasons for tolerance. A simple four letter word that's so much better than tolerance. An unselfish, unadulterated word that leaves no room for ulterior motive, and is already the very opposite of the hate that intolerance is supposed to cure.
Am I too far out by suggesting that it's not tolerance we need -- it's LOVE.

Allein Sun May 9 19:31:38 PDT 1999

Lena - Glad to see you're still here. Yeah, I think Chap. 14 was the last e-mail I sent to you. I think I also sent a survey after that which I wanted you to answer.

War in Lit. - I'm really not into war books. All I have to say about Kosovo is that I think we should get our noses out of there and start working out the problems in America. There are plenty.

Well, bai bai,

Lena Sun May 9 19:09:43 PDT 1999

I have a free night, and so I read everything posted in the Notebook in the past week. My goodness. I have much to say, so bear with me...

Ed - Ouch. Wounded, indeed. I understand what you are trying to say, though, and I agree with the spirit of it - even if you did express your opinion with all the inherent subtlety of a plummeting anvil. I feel bad that you even had to THINK about leaving us. I am taking a Notebook Sabbatical (is that the right word?) currently while I take my finals... I am sparing you the brunt, believe me! And I do contribute to the "real" discussions on literature and the fine art of writing on this site. If I had never told you I was in high school and never mentioned that I was taking, say, my final exams, would you have addressed your remark to me? I debated even telling those on the Notebook my true age, for a while. I believe that there is a bias out there towards the opinion of the younger generation, though it is, of course, vehemently denied. I am who I am, regardless of age, and if I happen to mention what happened in my school today, well, as Allein said, we are students and this is the life that we lead.

War in Lit - I think that authors tend to approach war in two ways - the Heroic version (epic fantasy, glorified legends) and the Stoutly Realistic version (ie Saving Private Ryan, Thin Red Line, etc.) I have not read many novels that combine elements of both, which is what I believe war is. War can bring out both the evil in people and the good in people. Most authors tend to focus too exclusively on one side or theme. Life does not have a theme. Themes are made up by English Professors who need to publish something in order to justify their existence. (sorry, Americo - this does not necessarily pertain to you!)

I am a bit wary of writing a battle scene for my story. I have a wonderful plot leading up to the war itself, but I am so acutely aware of my lack of experience in such matters. I do not know what it's like out there, and even listening to others and reading books can not cover such a basic lack of... of FEELING what it is like. I know that "The Red Badge of Courage" was written by a twenty-one year old who had no war experience, but I did not like that book and so that does not count. Any suggestions?

Pussy - "Fidelity is a virtue, have it if you can. Seldom in a woman, but never in a man..."

Allein - Have you noticed that we are always grouped together on the Notebook? When people mention you, they often throw me in the mix so as not to hurt my feelings. I suppose it was unevitable, though... two seventeen (hah! I finally caught up with you!) year old girls, charming, witty, intelligent, beautiful... oops, that's just you. And you mentioned an e-mail a while back... I have received no e-mails from you since you sent me Chapter 14 of your story. Was that what you meant?

I believe I said this once but I'll say it again. I am not a good speller. I am decent, but what little skill I do possess is due entirely to the amount of reading I do. It's nice to know that ability to spell and talent at writing are not connected!

I do have a dictionary. Got it for my birthday this year... amazingly enough, I did not own a dictionary or thesaurus before last month. *cringes* Don't smite me, now!

Martin - Sometimes there is a good reason to kill. The trouble is, nobody can agree what that reason is.

Americo - I know I had something to say to you, but I forgot. (why did I even bother to tell you that?) Remember, you need to teach me to swear in Portuguese!

SKS - Don't stay away too long... your wit is sorely missed.

Xavier/Americo - I have read a few Regency Novels... this is the point where I protest becomingly that a duel would be such an AWFUL thing for you to have... I would really hate to see anybody injured on behalf of lil' old me... and if you are going to do this duel, would you please go outside so you don't accidentally break the china? Thanks. *smiles sweetly*

Best wishes, everyone.

Allein Sun May 9 12:58:51 PDT 1999

Americo - a while ago you asked me how to write in Japanese and well, I couldn't show you for obvious reasons. I recently found a site that could help you. Here is the link:

Hope this is helpful!

Michele Sun May 9 12:07:46 PDT 1999


Rather than rabbitting endlessly on at one another why don't we have a proper discussion ? And since so many here are obsessed with the conflict in Kosovo, how about a discussion on war in literature ?

The daily paper I read, The Independent, has been running a series of articles on the Kosovo conflict from writers around the world. We might also consider how propoganda was used - for instance early in the First World War, Britons were told that German soldiers were killing babies in Belgium, we might consider how many books of war poetry & how many war novels were written during and after the First World War by writers of all nationalities... I can think of a famous French book - Henri Barbusse's Under Fire (Engiish title - the French title was Le Feu), the German books All Quiet on the Western Front (E M Remarque) and The Storm of Steel (Ernest Jünger) both translated and published in English in 1929.

We might also consider Vera Brittain's Testament of Youth and we consider how collections of war poetry by women are only just being published and discussed - such as Scars Upon My Heart (ed. Catherine Reilly).

This is just a suggestion - at least it would take us back to discussing literature and writing instead of merely chit-chatting...


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Agge shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

-- Laurence Binyon, For the Fallen, 1914.

Allein Sun May 9 11:15:34 PDT 1999

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!! This goes to all the mothers in the notebook.

For my mother today I've already done some chores around the house and later I'm baking chocolate chip cookies. Yeah, I know what you're thinking: Allein? Baking? Call the fire department in advance!
Actually, the cookies are the kind that you just pop in the oven and cook - no making dough required and I'm really not that bad.

Well, just wanted to drop in, say hi and sustain Americo's life for one more day (seeing as how he can't live without my posts).
Toodles everyone,

Martin Sun May 9 05:44:14 PDT 1999

Hi All

To end that discussion about spelling, simply forget about it. Watch your words, they can be much more harmful.

Does anybody know any other links where talks like tihs are going on. (Please no chats.)

I think a tiped my E-Mail address wrong the last time - just kill that coma and settle for a point.

Hi Americo
I am no Rambo either, but Steinbeck does make a good point there. Lenny is the guy who killed a girl because he wants to pet her.He loves mices and believes that the hair of the girl feels like peting a mouse. First the girl submits to Leny because of his strong build body; but then because Lenny is way to strong everything gets out of control and he brakes the neck of the girl. Because Lenny is as well a little bit limited in his mind he not realizes what he has done.
Now tell me. Is it not better to shoot Lenny (as it was done at the end of the book), than to let him live and doing harm to hundreds other girls?
Or would you rather cage him, where he still can live but do no more harm? Maybe put him into a zoo and feed him three times a day, so he can live on?

What we do have A-Bombs for? We only have one planet. I think because the thread was so eminent, it kept any crazy Hittler copy from starting the Third World War. If the thread is eminent for another two or three hundred years, people finally will learn to live in peace together. Only regret, that I won't see that day.

Pussy Sun May 9 05:08:47 PDT 1999

Hello, my darlings!

May I suggest a topic for your enlightened discussion? Fidelity in marriage (fidelitas in matrimonio). Sorry, my latin is a bit rusty.

Jon Sun May 9 05:05:30 PDT 1999

Well, Impala. I am married, you know? And I only talk about serious matters. Are you prepared to discuss the concept of Weltanschaung with us? If you do not like that, perhaps "Abraham Lincoln on capital and capitalism."

Impala Sun May 9 05:01:25 PDT 1999

Sierra Club informed me that only agsousa sent a check for me to pay the fine. You Americans are very stingy! And some of you are carnivals.

I would like to be friends with a gentleman in this forum called Mr Jon. I love his posts. He is a sweetie. I am blond and slim, blue eyes.

Americo Sun May 9 04:47:57 PDT 1999

Good idea, Allein. If you join the Army, there will be no more wars. Or, if there will be, enemies will immediately surrender to charm and long hair. In any case, I think you will be a better shooter than some people I know.

Thought: what's the good of having missiles if you can't distinguish a Chinese from Milosevitch?

Reflection : get ready for the greatest challenge ever — to compile the best posts from the archives and write the book "Thoughts and Reflections". Volunteers accepted.

Challenge — serious writers of this forum : we are waiting for you to start a good topic. Lena and I can't do everything.

Today is sunday but it is not a sin to write lots of interesting posts in my favourite site.

Eddie — I posted a message in your site. I expect to have an answer.

Allein Sat May 8 21:50:14 PDT 1999

Hi everybody! Guess what I did today? I thought long and hard about my future. I talked with a recruitment officer about the possiblity of joining the Army. It gives many oppertunities and benefits. And since women can't go into combat, I don't have to worry about fighting if there's a war. I personally don't want to fight, but I think we should be allowed to. Of course the chauvenist pigs in Congress think that us poor, delicate dears will be hurt. Appearently none of them have ever seen J.I. Jane. Actually, I haven't either, but I hear it's pretty good.
And to get into basic training the only physical strength requirement I have to pass is one push-up. Guys have to do 20 - which I also think is unfair. Though in my case, it's good. To be truthful, I could stand to get some exercise. Scratch that, I could stand to get A LOT of exercise!
Anyway, I'll have to tell my teacher on Monday. He'll probably slap me and say "Allein, we talked about this! Why serve a country that's..." And go off talking about everything we've discussed that's wrong with this country.
Well, anyway, it's my bedtime,

Thomas Sat May 8 19:39:06 PDT 1999


No need to apologize, I suppose I missed your point. But I assume I certainly made mine.

Once again, I go to bat for the profession. Is this what I am supposed to be doing on a Web site for writers?

Jon Sat May 8 17:12:14 PDT 1999

Anybody home?

I have licked the stamps to all today's letters and sent them overseas. Now it's your turn.
(I'm getting addicted to glue).

I thought that if the serious people in this chalet initiated some serious conversation I might join in. How about the impact of Chinese romanticism in the Western Weltanschauung? You don't know what Weltanschauung is? And I am just a cat...

howard Sat May 8 14:19:12 PDT 1999

Martin -- Welcome! I read "Of Mice and Men" years ago also, and I remember enjoying it, but not much more. Is that the one with the differently-abled person named Lenny? I'll have to dig it out and read it again.

All -- I have my loaner copies of Zenna Henderson's books (the ones I recommended a while ago) back, and will be glad to loan them to whoever wants to send me their snail-mail address. The only requirement is that you read them as soon as you can, and send them either back to me or on to the next person in the group who wants to read them.

Omni -- Can you send me the recipe for that leek and potato pudding? Or were you just kidding about that?

All (again) -- This is starting to sound like the old Prescriptivist/Descriptivist debate that I tried to understand when I was younger. As I recall there were no clear winners in that one.


Eddie French Sat May 8 14:01:22 PDT 1999

My My....I seem to have lit a fire!
Isn't it just like the old days.
Allein, Lena,
I just wrote a page and once again the notebook had it's nasty way with it and spirited the post away!! I wrote it mainly to you both. In essence it said (It's never the same second time around but here goes) Please don't try to justify your posts on the notebook. My post was all about me, not you! To justify my last post though, I would ask you to reverse the situation. If you opened up the notebook day after day and failed to read anything which inspired you to reply, or promted you to submit your thoughts, how would you feel?. You might say that it is just my temporary state of mind which makes me miss the point for a while and you may be right. But as I said, the post was about me, not you. Please read it again and I am sure that you will see this now that the pang has lessened.
I would also like to thank you all for the support which I have received via email, I was suprised by the depth of feeling my post evoked. I did not actualy say that I was leaving the notebook, It wont let me anyway!! What you good people don't realise is that the notebook has taken you all prisoner! Just try to post a farewell message and find out :¬)
We are all here for life, there is no escape. I hope this post gets through, after all, it has the f******l word in it twice.
seriously, my post did bring up a valid point: The main function of this forum: I would merely point out that the majority of posts lately are of a chat/social nature and as such will discourage deeper discussion. I am not a totaly serious person who eschews the lighter side of life (ask those who have read some of my 'Stange posts'. I just feel that if the notebook does not inspire original thought now and again, or fails to make you say WOW once a week or so, then it gets flat. Perhaps we are so afraid of disturbing peoples sensibilities or just so afraid of the politically incorrect that there is nothing left but pleasantries.
If I have directed the train of thought into another direction than of late then it can't be all bad, Can it?

Xavier Sat May 8 13:58:02 PDT 1999


It seems this once peacefull board has become quite hostile of late. Guns, shootings, duels, mowing lawns-- it's all so un- notebook like. However, I too would like to see this board return to a more of a writing orientated stance, while I do enjoy reading the witty and oft humourous posts from our "younger" writers. It was my hope that some kind of happy medium can be found. I, like others, first came to this board looking for a place to talk, learn and think about writing. However, I've found much more than just that, and have grown fond of many people here.

I do enjoy hearing bits of peoples lives, and find every experance a possable story plot, or twist. Being fairly new to writing, I need help to find my way, help only other, wiser writers can give.

To the young women here, write what you like, just becouse we are older dosen't mean we don't understand.(did I just sound like your dad? I'm only 30!!!)

Unto the older, wiser writers: Please don't abandon us, we need your help too! (I guess I'm in the middle of the age exremes)

Xavier Sat May 8 13:31:02 PDT 1999

Martin, I read the book many years ago. And I liked it.

There is NEVER a good reason to kill! I am a fanatic non-killer guy, but I will kill you if you say such silly things.

That reminds me that in some of the USA states there is still death penalty. Well, Arly, if you happen to still be alive, we have abolished that some centuries (at least one and a half) ago in this corner of biblical paradise.

Sorry, chaps, I am watching soccer and have no time to see if my spelling is okay.

Martin Noname@bluewin,ch Sat May 8 12:20:30 PDT 1999

Hi to everybody

Is somebody out there who read 'Of Mice And Men' by John Steinbeck?

Here is my challenging thought to the book:
Sometimes there is a good reason to kill!

You have not read the book? Do not despair! It is not the only book I have read. I love to talk about any books.
Make a sugestion!

Litter Sat May 8 11:25:09 PDT 1999

Hi All,

Thomas, I think you misunderstood my intent with what I said. I do not condone sloppy work or misspellings, laziness or unwillingness to learn the 'craft' aspect of writing - quite the contrary. In fact I have spent a great deal of hard-earned cash to the end of improving the craft aspects of writing - many times more than I spent as a bona-fide student.

What I was really referring to is the staidness of some, usually but not always, of the older magazine columnists and editors, who fail to acknowledge that language is, and should be, alive and a great medium for experimentation. (Have I just agreed with Agsousa??????)

I firmly advocate learning the appropriate 'rules' of spelling, grammar and technique, so that you know which ones you are breaking! The general drop in quality of writing I read about in the UK education system is depressing, but I do not have a problem with those aspects of English which are evolving to meet the need of 21st century literature and communication. The fact that we in the UK accept Americanisms more and more these days is an encouragement, as I would hope to publish in the US as well as the UK and it means less to rewrite.

I apologise if I have misled you.

Allein - I love children too, but I couldn't eat a whole one. (Sorry - standard response in the UK!)

Howard - Thanks for the welcome - yes Impala's are strange animals...

Michele - my 15-year-old daughter is showing potential as a writer and I am thankful that she attends a school where they still care about the language and how it's taught. Now she can go out and start breaking the rules like her father :o)

You all be good now Y'hear.


When a man's knowledge is deep, he speaks well of an enemy. Instead of seeking revenge, he extends unexpected generosity. He turns insult into humour, ... and astonishes his adversary who finds no reason not to trust him. - Baltasar Gracian

Jerry Ericsson Sat May 8 09:57:56 PDT 1999

Wow, lighten up - I read the intro to this site, and it said it was for "Once and Future Writers" - The young people who post here are certianly the FUTURE of writing. I think it nice to be able to live vicariously through thier postings.

Just a thought

"Fight the future, Live in the past!"
(My wife on reading the back of my X-Files T-Shirt)

Publisher Sat May 8 08:32:52 PDT 1999

I appreciate young students who work (even in the capitalist system) to get some money for the holidays.

I am looking for a novel (or short-story book) with the following theme : young gardener and car-washer describes what she/he sees, hears, smells and tastes while doing his/her job, in terms of people, squirrels and even adults (these to be dealt with proper rubber gloves). I do not believe in much dialogue (good only for filling in pages and almost nothing else) or plots. I like language, ambience, light, feelings — art, that is to say, contemporary fiction.

$$$$$$ offered $$$$$!!!! Sat May 8 08:23:29 PDT 1999

Yes, Thomas and other "professional writers", there are, very handy, 101 sites dedicated to "literature". I know them, as I know the one you collaborate to. People send one threaded message and wait three days for an answer. The question is usually about how many characters must a page have and how much money must a "professional writer" ask from a publisher. With the occasional useless discussion about English and American spelling — and a lot of patriotic chauvinism going on. Disgusting!

It is a fact that I never managed to read all of the 300 plus Kbites of each of one of those sacred places, so I may miss something more motivating. But I caught the basics and I vomit before I read 25% of them. I am sorry you collaborate to such tripe, as I respect you as a person and as a I wine and food writer. Do not minimize THIS notebook. I love it such as it is.
Maria Emília went to her ancestors' lands, in the countryside, in order to make a movie of people, their voices, houses, the stuff. One of her uncles is 83 and not in good health. She visited him in S. Paulo (Brazil) at Easter and thought that her uncle would like to see the places of his childhood before going into invisibility. That is why I am on my own this week-end. I hope he will still be alive by Christmas to see the film. Perhaps I will still be with you to tell the story.
And now I must have some urgent work done.

Allein Sat May 8 08:11:12 PDT 1999

Agsousa - I do not work every day, just on weekends. Seeing as I have school every day I really can't work then. But once summer starts I'm sure my neighbor will find other things for me to do. Abraham Licoln once said "Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor and could not have existed if labor and not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital and deserves much the higher consideration." This is kinda what I'm saying and what my mom has told me for years (figures I'd listen now) that money isn't free and you must work for it - no work, no money. Unless of course you win the lottery, but being only 17, I can't buy a lottery ticket yet. However, that's the first thing I'm doing when I turn 18. Might get lucky. :)

Rachel - I also love children and want to work in a daycare but there are so many classes you must take. Anyway, one day I'll have kids of my own - if anyone is brave enough to marry me, that is. :)

Well, so long all,

Thomas Sat May 8 07:00:05 PDT 1999


Whew! I know what you mean.

Perhaps the "writing" portion of this site will be confined to the sepArate sections for novel, short story (et al) entries. The overall Notebook seems to lean towards friendly banter and life happenings, with the exceptional discussion on, say, spelling.

Having little inclination, and little time, to take part in online collaborative writing, I hoped to use this site as I use another to learn, pass along and discuss writing ideas, like the conversation going on about spelling. When that opportunity does not present itself, I move on.


Language evolves, sometimes it even changes, but for a would-be writer to assume that he or she need not worry about poor spelling (or poor grammar, or poor anything related to the craft) is a sign of laziness, a lack of maturity and whatever else you can think of that is not conducive to producing good writing.

Writing is a serious profession and those who would write but aren't able or willing to study just as they would study for any profession, cannot claim the title of writer. They can say, "I like to write," but that is not the same as being a writer.

I do not profess to know the spelling of every word in English, and I ain't so good at grammar sometimes, but I certainly do not think I have the freedom to disregard and excuse my ignorance -- I find out how to do it correctly, and then I do it. That is what my clients pay me to do.

Michele Sat May 8 06:16:36 PDT 1999



I don't know if you included me in your rant since I am also a student and talk about college a lot - can't help that - it takes up most of my life - including my writing time, essays are the only things I have time to write currently. But anyway I apologise if I am boring anyone...


Litter is quite right about language (including spelling) adapting, changing and evolving - it has to if it's not going to stagnate and die. And yes US English and British English differ in their spellings - did you know that a lot of US English spellings are the ones Britain used to use centuries ago - we changed and you didn't ? But even in Britain English is not the same all over - there are many regional dialects that have words that aren't in the Received Pronunciation of English.

However, there does appear to be a severe problem with illiteracy - and as you wittily point out, this is largely to an increasing reliance on machines to do the spell-checking and grammar checking for us... I am doing a short course on essay writing skills at present and one girl in my class claims not to know how to write in paragraphs... which I find incredible... and appalling - at 18 she should be perfectly familiar with paragraphing, punctuation and spelling - surely ? When I was 18 we were expected to be familiar with those basics of composition. Maybe the problem lies in the fact that computers are used to write essays these days - most of my fellow students (both young and mature) write straight to the wordprocessor without bothering to write essays out longhand, and the problem with that is that it is too easy to move things around the page - cutting and pasting - and so it's too easy to lose coherency, logical progression, etc. Or am I just being and old fogey and showing my age ?

These things bother me a great deal...


Americo ah Sat May 8 04:36:31 PDT 1999

I woke up at 11:54 with a headache and also feeling lonely. I intend to spend Christmas on my own and wish to know who will be writing to the notebook on that holy day. The average life of each collaborator is three months. I said the average — counting those who leave a message here and disappear. I am also becoming old very quickly and would like to know who are the true writers in this place for exchanging stamps. If you do not answer this message I will move my wrath towards the bloody English. No stone upon stone will remain of that rainy, boring, fish-and-chips-eating European colony of the yanks! Do not tell me I did not warn you. My friends of yesterday may very well become my foes of tomorrow. I woke up with the killing instinct today.
(And this bloody headache!)
Allein — so you have become a slave of the capitalists. Tell us about your experiences in the labor world EVERY DAY. A day without a post of yours is for me a lost day. I can very well do without everybody else's posts here (except Rachel's and Lena's).
I guess I am not in the mood today. A good day for writing, I guess!

Rachel Fri May 7 21:56:38 PDT 1999

Hi all

Hey Howard - You crack me up!

Allein - You are sweet to want to help, but believe it or not this is nothing for me. I love children, I really do. I have worked with children for a long time. I brings me great joy.

I don't know if you would want to help so very much if you could even hear just a whisper of the noise from my home. It makes mortals run and hide! (grins and laughter)

Did I tell you that my daughter wrote her own little newspaper to take back to school in place of the "journal" which she felt was dull and boring? She's an intersting girl. She also wrote a very nice story. She lacks her brothers sarcastic snap, but her stories are very nice. I went in with her the first day back to school to make sure the teacher was all right with our modifications to her requested work. The teacher was delighted. (smart teacher)

Americo - You without words? (gasp) What have I done to you!

SKS - Pen told me you were making chipmunk sounds in the backround. You just behave and stop making fun of my voice, or the next time we talk I will make that high pitched squeak and see to it that your ears hurt! (grin, wink, just kidding, you can make fun if you want)

Jack - How's Fran? How are you?

All - Sleep well and Take care


Allein Fri May 7 20:38:17 PDT 1999

I just got me a job! I'm getting paid every two weeks (quite well too) to cut my neighbor's lawn and wash their truck (well, every week for the lawn).

Well, just thought I'd share the good news,
Bai bai all,

Americo Fri May 7 20:31:53 PDT 1999

Omni vore (sp) — you are a carnival (cannibal)... (grin)

Howard —the right quotation for the right impala! Did you sent your contribution to Sierra Club? Hurry up, while the dollar still has some value (wait for the Russians soon... and the Europeans for that matter). (double grin)

Xavier — duel accepted. I'll tell you the wapons to be used tomorrow. Fear, oh macho! (grimace)

Eddie — do not dare to leave us! (double scotch)

Allein — I love your hair (thousand hugs per second)

Rachel — I am without words! (três abraços)

All — Good-night. It's 4.30 a.m. and I am falling asleep on the (what's the name of this thing you play the piano with your feet?). Good-night.

Allein Fri May 7 20:01:46 PDT 1999

Rachel - Oh, I see. :) Understood. Just wanted to make sure you were okay. I wish I could help you with your kids and guest but I'm here and you're there - sorry. :(

I know I may annoy some people when I talk about my hair, clothes, make up and boys. But I'm a teenage girl, so if I didn't talk about these things, what would I talk about? Just kidding.
Y'all know I'm a little deeper than that - than most teenage girls. But let's face it, I'm not an adult. School takes up nine months of my life each year. There have been only four years I've never been in school (not counting nursery school) and I don't even remember most of those. Well, for those getting bored of hearing about my high school life, I get out on June 17th so then you won't be subjected to my torture. And then I leave for Colorado on June 18th so you won't even hear from me for a week. :(
Well, anyway, there's my two cents.
Bai bai,

Howard Fri May 7 19:44:23 PDT 1999

What’s been happening here? I’ve been in withdrawal all day, and was just about to try the
Etch-A-Sketch to see if *that* would work for posting this foolish beast!

Litter -- Welcome back! I got your email, but thought I’d check here first before
responding. At first I wondered at your comment re impala, but now I think I see what
generated it. Strange posting!

Rachel -- Do the 8 children running ‘round your house have anything to do with the
surprise houseguest being on *top* of it? :-)

Ed -- stick around! Things are certain to liven up a bit. These younkers are just the ticket
for what ails old codgers and curmudgeons like us! Who knows, maybe we’ll learn
something in our dotage!

Allein -- Your hair sounds beautiful! Please don’t cut it any shorter. I remember my
great-aunt, who, at 5’1” had auburn hair that reached the floor. My uncle’s hair reached
the floor quite often too, before he quit drinking. Seriously, though, my great-aunt Alice
had beautiful long hair that reached clear to the floor, and she could actually cover her
toes in it while standing.

Impala -- Like they say in those southern movies -- “Life’s a bitch, y’all!”

Omni Vore Fri May 7 19:13:25 PDT 1999

Dear Impala,

Was that your mom? Still tender after all these years! Delicious in that natural gravy with
those little wild mushrooms, and the potato and leek pudding! All we had to accompany
her was a medium sweet red wine, but I think she would not have been offended by that.

By the way, have you heard that the grass is greener on the other side of the road? Only
please jump a little higher than mom did, so the hood ornament doesn't waste so much of
those tender ribs!

Your friend,

Jon Fri May 7 18:52:28 PDT 1999

Just a moment, neighbor! Lena has published something new in "Shadows". There are still some writers left. We will survive! We shall o-ver-come! What's that sentence she wrote? "Please wear..." Underwear??? I need to see an optcrietian... and buy a deeptinary. Fri May 7 18:43:28 PDT 1999

Allein — I get so excited whenever you talk to me! It is as if we belonged to the same planet or something... Will you send me your first novel, when, in three years' time, you'll publish it — just with your (true) name as dedication? You see, I like to collect the first books of future Nobel Prize winners. (My collection has no items yet...)

I admired the way you used that hose some time ago. Very efficient, really... I tried the method myself but Jon did not like it at all. He got all wet and said something funny about the extraordinary manoeuvres I learned with you to hold the hose. He said a word beginning with an "s" and another with an *f*. He repeated the last one three times. I think he was speaking ebonics (or quoting Tom Wolfe/Bret Ellis something/ any other of the magnificent American contemporary best sellers... no English writers mentioned because Eddie is feeling a bit down tonight).

For the sake of the great intellectuals of this page:

Allein's little piece of writing is a masterpiece of the art of suggestion. He never mentions it but we can see that he got soaked to the bones. Instead of describing the moon just mention its broken reflex on the running water of a brook.

Lena, my dear — the above observation is worth ten lessons of a creative writing course. Theckov taught it to Scott Fitzgerald, but true writers know this by intuition. Nothing teachers teach us teach us anything. Unless pupils are genuine writers — which is the case of you and Allein and two or three more youngsters I know. Adults are sometimes such a bore!

LLL (Long live life)

Rhoda Fri May 7 18:03:10 PDT 1999


I am sorry that you feel the way you do about the Notebook. You have a lot to do with whatever direction it takes, as we all do. The Notebook is a collaborative effort, and it is the personalities of everyone involved who provides its particular tone.

Frankly I love the posts of the younger ones here. The Notebook is much like a family and without the younger voices, it lacks balance and perspective. It is sad that many things in modern life serve to separate generations. I find it very positive when young and old alike can share their viewpoints and experiences with one another like they do on the Notebook.

Well, time to go. There is much to do tonight. God Bless You All. Everyone have a wonderful week-end, and a Happy Mother's Day for all the moms and mums here.


Rachel Fri May 7 17:52:33 PDT 1999

Hi all

Allein - I am crazy busy! I have at this moment 8 children running round my house, and a surprise house guest on top.

No biggie in a bit two of the kiddies will go home and then I will be down to six and a house guest. That I can deal with.

I'll respond to your e-mail's later this evening. After the crew have gone off to bed (grins and laughter)

I think this will be a very fun night. The drums and organ are being played. The songs are being written. The nintendo is on and I had to wrestel a kid for the computer (more laughter) Ah and the great mysteries of the universe are being solved in my downstairs bathroom. (the science lab - much laughter)

I gotta run

Take care you


Litter Fri May 7 17:46:02 PDT 1999

Hi all,

Michele's dictionary question and subsequent comments have partly pre-empted something I was going to raise.

I believe that language evolves and adapts and that the function of a living language is to do just that - move with the times.

Compare the Language of Chaucer to that of Shakespeare. Then compare Shakespeare to Dickens to Hemingway. Then Hemingway to .. well, almost any popular novelist of today.

Language develops, spellings change (Compare the UK English parent to its US English offspring), punctuation styles develop and become "cleaner on the page", removing many commas and almost all semicolons and so forth. Now we are faced with the next generation of change - that of the influence of e-mail and the Internet, with its jargon, short-forms and emoticons.

Notwithstanding the above, the regular writers magazines I read bemoan the apparent illiteracy of many new and upcoming writers, yet I feel that it is merely a natural progression. E-mail, because of its immediacy, positively promotes the use of familiarisms and shortforms that many of us would not have dared use in letters to anyone other than our family and close friends.


And Michele, sumtimes my spillchicker works not but moreso even the grandma corrector responds failing to do in a reasonable manner &

All good things


Hating people is like burning down your own house to get rid of a rat.
Harry Emerson Fosdick

Allein Fri May 7 17:44:34 PDT 1999

Eddie - I'm wounded. Can't think of anything else to say. Pity a writer who is at a loss for words.

Americo - You're such a sweetie. (((BIG HUG))) I'll continue to enlighten you with my posts.

Anyway, something really funny happened in class today. The teacher told my friend Billy to quit talking or he was going to get sent out of class - he was pretty much in Billy's face at this point. So, what does Billy do, pulls out a pack of tic tacs and says "Sir, would you like a breath mint." So, he gets sent out of class wondering why. He's my friend, but he's also an idiot.

Well, that's it for now.
Bai bai,

Americo Fri May 7 17:36:16 PDT 1999

Anybody home?

Oh, Eddie. I never expected that from you! I love the posts of our younger collaborators and I expect them to go on speaking about their little/great problems. They are the best in life.
Well, I shall email you soon and see what happens.

Eddie French Fri May 7 16:01:07 PDT 1999

Hello Thomas,
Nice to see you still think the notebook a worthwhile place to visit.
Earlier this evening I wrote a long farewell speech to the notebook. I have been feeling lately that the content of this esteemed forum no longer inspires me to contribute. But of course the notebook has its own will and would not allow me to send the page of sorry justification of my decision to depart. The post just vanished into the ether!
That said, the notebook has no power to disallow the venting of my innermost feelings as long as I don't threaten to leave!!
I find myself wearying of the continual posts of the younger members who delight in 'wonderful' depictions of anticipated high school exam results and who continually expound the joys of 'swatting' before more of the same!
I left that wonderful era behind many many years ago and I have no wish to re-live it over and over again, no matter how 'great' it was. I am so sorry if this post upsets many of our members but if we 'elders' continue to write in platitudes then we cease to be 'of the real world'.
I look forward to more meaningful and fulfilling content in the very near future but I really have to say my little bit and get it off my chest. After all, this is me, Ed, and I have to be myself or I am nothing.
Rant over.

Allein Fri May 7 15:47:57 PDT 1999

Rachel - Still haven't gotten an e-mail? Are you okay? Are you mad at me? Are you just busy? Drop me a line, girlfriend. :)

Allein Fri May 7 15:44:27 PDT 1999

Hi all,
I just got my hair cut today - notice I said "my" not "a". I avoid saying "I got a haircut" because everytime I do someone has to day "Which one?" And I happen to think this is one of the stupidist jokes in the world - a classic, but stupid (probably cause I've heard it so many times). My hair used to be a little past mid-back and is now up to my shoulders. Sure, I miss my long, blonde hair and it pained me to part with it but now it's easier to take care of and I look older (at least 15). Everyone always thinks I'm younger than I really am. My family and I went to dinner on Friday night (last Friday) to a place that has a kiddie discount. The cashier looks at me, looks at my parents and asks "Is your daughter twelve yet?" The same thing happened on my birthday only they mistook me for thirteen. So, my mother politely had to tell the cashier that it was my birthday and I was seventeen. Oops. Right now, looking young is a burden because you get your ID checked for everything - but when I was at an R-rated movie I was looking for my school ID however the cashier saw my driver's permit and said "Never mind, you can see it." Ah, but I'll be grateful once I turn 40.

Well, I'll leave you with this final question: What was the best thing before sliced bread?
Bai bai,
Allein :)

Eddie French Fri May 7 15:40:16 PDT 1999

Welcome to the Notebook.
That was a pretty introduction, You introduce your karma and not your person! Who are you? Where do you live?
I love mysticism, I love the unspoken truth! Unfortunately, if it is spoken without a sense of origin then it is lost on me.
Please post again and in doing so, tell us a bit about yourself.
I look forward to meeting the originator of such a well written post.

Mason Fri May 7 14:44:27 PDT 1999

Maybe I am crazy. I thought everyone thought about snapping and killing random people once and a while, just like suicide. I always considered no difference between sanity and insanity other than that electric impulse that starts the motion. The same amount of energy it takes to blink is the difference between now and never, tears and fears, acceptance and insanity. Insanity, another word to seperate us. Those who can resist their instincts, opposed to those who live them, gave in to them..... for just a blink. A path you can not get off of. A destiny you cannot escape. A freedom you did not ask for. When we all desire for scilence but scream for everyone to shut up, that is insane. But people in society do it all the time. Beleiving that being a bigger part of the problem is the solution. Setting rules and not following them, seperating themselves from the rest. Does this not seem insane to you?
I still cry sometimes. Even when I get my slice of silence. I still cry, even though my tears do nothing. They mock my state with their functionlessness. THey drive me insane.

They are closing the lab I must go. I hope you enjoyed. I feel better writing.

Thomas Fri May 7 11:41:49 PDT 1999


Perhaps, but are you using the research you quote as an explanation or an excuse?

No matter. Editors and publishers seek neither explanation nor excuse, and it is the writer's loss who doesn't face that fact.

Fri May 7 10:32:43 PDT 1999

Lena Fri May 7 10:31:22 PDT 1999

I am still alive... finished up my final exams in Calculus and Chemistry yesterday. I have three AP tests next week - Calculus, US History, and Chemistry. Aaauuugghhh... (that is the sound of slow strangulation and utter desperation)

On a much nicer note, I finally got my new bit for Shadows onto the Workbook. Cassie, please tell me if what I have written works with your character - is it too light? Did I get the character description right? I think our two characters are going to get along very well, both have a similar sense of humor and outlook on that strange thing commonly known as "life". We shall see. Also, who out there roaming the lonely streets of New York would like to meet up with Cass and I? Let's see if we can start bringing the characters together.

Miss you much.

"Step out the front door like a ghost
into the fog where no one notices
the contrast of white on white." - Counting Crows

Xavier Fri May 7 09:21:45 PDT 1999

Hello Everyone!

I had some neat- o things to say but I'm too afraid of mis- spelling a word to do it!

Oh, what the hell, face your fears, right?

For those interested it has been found that the ability to spell and the ability to write well are NOT connected. They actually come from two different sides of the brain. It is purely LUCK that both my writing AND spelling suck!

Anyhoo, I believe Americo wanted to challenge my charicter to a duel over the young ladys. How machismo, I love it. However, consider this: Xavier is an ex- boxer with a perchant for large hunting knives who has "tangoed" with the worst hoods NYS corrections had to offer. He also suffers from mild, drug induced psychosis, and can be, uh, unpleasant at times.

However, after talking at great legnth with Xavier, he's decided not to accept the challenge. He says that you can have the women, if you wish. There is only one woman for him, his sunshine, and she has gone on to a better place.

With any luck, he'll join her soon.

I however, will gladly duel for the women.
Being machismo a bit myself.


Michele Fri May 7 07:36:32 PDT 1999


This thing wasn't working earlier - I couldn't post...

Anyway to answer your question Hayden, I had a personal email from Philip a little while ago (2 or 3 weeks I think) and he said he's coming over to the UK later in the year - and wants to see my work - a daunting thought ! It's a long way from Aus. to see someone's work...


Americo Thu May 6 08:13:01 PDT 1999

S.N. Arly — please do not "patriotize" things. I never said there is no violence in Portugal. Actually there is not (significant one, I mean), but patriotism is one of the things I consider responsible for many evils. If you want me to speak about the wrongs of my country, I will be most pleased to talk about them, provided you and the other people in this place promise to read and comment. My thoughts and reflections on America are constructive - not anti-american. I wonder if I do not love your country more than you do!

Impala Thu May 6 08:03:59 PDT 1999

I am a five year-old, female impala. I am from Angola. Last week my mother was killed by a huge American car. The driver was drunk and driving at 160 miles an hour. It was night and my mother became dazzled by the powerful headlights of the vehicle. She died instantly as if shot in the heart by one of those big bullets Mr. Jerry Ericsson keeps praising, with the tacit or expressed agreement of other Americans — so do not be sorry.

I am writing to you because I am one of those shy onlookers of what is going on in this brotherly page. Like them, I never dared to post, my English being poor and my spelling even poorer. I just read and cry (sometimes smile, and even laugh, but this is becoming rarer and rarer.) Also because there are so many common points between America and Africa (I'd rather not expound on this today.) It happens that the driver, supported by the police and other authorities, want me to pay a fine for damages on the "death car". I think this is most unfair! But I have to pay, if not they will kill me (they will kill me anyway, but that is a different matter.)

Please send a check of $2000 to: Sierra Club, 730 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 941019, (415) 776-2211.

P. S. Good Christians need not contribute. They shall go to heaven just by praying and saying good-night to other Christians. Let them keep their money to their funny charities.

Rachel Thu May 6 07:51:19 PDT 1999

Hi all

Hey S.N. Arly - I never have any problem at all reading your posts. (grins)

I think rubber sia's sound much safer. I get to play with a rubber knife. I guess they aren't ready to arm me with a real one yet (much laughter) Can't say I blame them.

Can't wait to get a look at your Martial Arts Section in the Land of Moobeast (grins)

All - Me and my posts. Have to admit that I don't really have so very much time. Don't always put a lot of effort into the spelling. Don't know if I'll ever learn to use this computer.

Often I have to break from my post several times in order to bust up a brawl between my kiddies, or answer the door, or cook a meal, or, or, or. (I think you get the idea) I also have to cram it in between other activities and still leave time to write.

I admit that my writing has improved a good deal since I have come here. I am listening to you guys and your words are much appreciated.

SKS - Going to get pics developed today. NO, I am not a vampire! Honestly! Tell Pen she'll soon know just what a cuttie I am (grins and laughter)

I took a shot of me with my never ending pile of laundry for yah. Just so you can see I'm not kidding about that.

Take care all


S.N.Arly Thu May 6 07:21:39 PDT 1999

That was me. Obviously.

Thu May 6 07:20:58 PDT 1999

Rachel - No big bad tonfa strikes yet, but my spouse has gotten some of those. My sais are rubber because I'm not strong enough to hold the steel ones for long enough to get through a kata. I hope to upgrade to aluminum before my black belt test. I have heard some fabulous kama injury stories and one of the black belts at my school nearly skewered his foot when he dropped his sai. Maybe bo staff is a little safer.

Michele & Thomas - While I do proof nearly anything as I go, my fingers sometimes fumble and I don't always catch it on a quick read. I also don't always have time to proof my posts (right now I'm stealing a moment at work, for example - naughty me). I'd guess that's more likely the cause of spelling differences. Oh, and I never run my posts through spell checker. Takes too long. Yes spelling is important, but if I'm going to show up here at all I'm going to be on time constraints and just have to hope that you (and everyone else) can tell when I've made a typo and still get the gist of my message.

I am a lot more careful with my stories, I assure you. Although I can't say my fingers cooperate any better in that mode.

Jack - I remember hearing about the deer die offs in college, but I don't know that it was MN. We're the only one of the lower 48 that has never had wolves on the endangered list. It may have been WI. They chased out all their wolves at one point, but they're returning now. I like to go up north and go howling. It's neat to see who'll respond and just how far away they are.

Americo - There's a lot of violence everywhere. I bet some even happens in your safe haven of a land.


"She is everywhere and no place,
a church not made with hands."

Hayden of the Red Porsche Thu May 6 03:07:02 PDT 1999

Hi gang
back for a bruiser or two
So great to see everyone just hanging out their words around here. And it was sad to see on the TV what was happening midwest. Ouch guys, you have my best wishes. Hope evryone is fine...or you wont be reading this I suppose.

Rhoda, good to see you here again.
Anyone seen Philip recently?
Hi Jai, if you're still about, towering over everyone.

looks like I hit the wrong button again.
Be back when I have something better to say.

Hayden of the Red Porsche Lesjo@oze Thu May 6 03:04:22 PDT 1999

Allein Wed May 5 21:19:15 PDT 1999

Today is not only Cinco De Mayo but also National Cartoonist's Day. Think of those people who draw Garfield, Peanuts and other comics that bring a little laughter into your life. :)
Bai bai,

Jerry Lee Wed May 5 20:56:45 PDT 1999

Yo, All,

My Uncle, Aunt and cousins in Oklahoma came through it all okay, but it does, of course, concern us all when something like this happens. If we appear not to care, maybe it's the constant coverage of this sort of thing on the tube that makes us prefer to concentrate on lighter matters like are spoken of here...a time and a place for everything...

The subject of killing is an interesting thing. I don't kill anything as a matter of course. My wife gets perturbed when I fail to squash a spider, instead picking it up and putting it outside and out of our living space. It seems right to me.

That said, I spent a lot of time in the Philipines as a child and as a man and saw many cobras being slaughtered without mercy by Filipinos. You may say that even a poisonous snake has a place in the scheme of things, but the Filipinos don't agree, and will continue this practice no matter who says what on the subject. You see, during WWII, the Japanese were having a hard time getting the 'indigenous population' under their control, so they went to Thailand and collected poisonous snakes of all sorts and air-dropped them onto the islands. Islands where there had never been snakes of any sort. The population suffered greatly, losing mostly children who had no notion of how to deal with the new threat.
For this reason, no cobra is safe, and never will be. To this day, snakes are as welcome as Japanese.

I don't remember where I read it, but the shortest story in the world is, Coughin'; coffin.
It has all the prerequisites, beginning, middle and end. It has a main character and a plot. It even has a location, if you take the hyphenated word to be southern slang. Most of the elements of the story are IMPLIED, though.

Take care,
Jerry Lee

Howard Wed May 5 20:20:47 PDT 1999

Americo -- I’m very concerned about the situation in Oklahoma and Kansas, and have
been praying for them. I have a niece who lives on the southwest side of Oklahoma City,
and we had no word from her until this afternoon. She’s okay, and only had slight damage
to her home. Some friends only a few blocks away, however, lost their home.

Rhoda -- Good pointer on the dating of words! It’s amazing how many anachronisms one
can spot in books, movies, and television. And good editors *do* keep up with that sort
of thing.

Michele -- Right on! Only when *I* said that I had to duck! I too am afflicted with
“proofreader’s syndrome,” to the point where it’s sometimes downright painful even to
read the local newspaper. But please let’s not encourage folks to rely solely on the spelling
checker. The wrong word correctly spelled can be much worse than the incorrectly spelled
right one, and incorrect usage or grammar can be deadly! Much better to read and
improve one’s vocabulary by practice. When I look up words in the dictionary (which I do
often) I find it interesting to read all the words/definitions on that page, and on the
opposite page, if I have time to do so. It helps with the vocabulary.

On the subject of short stories, I remember seeing “The shortest horror story ever
written.” I can’t remember the author, but the story went:

“The last man on earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door.”

Then a few pages later, I found by the same author “A horror story shorter by one letter
than the shortest horror story ever written.” It went:

“The last man on earth sat alone in a room. There was a lock on the door.”


Rhoda Wed May 5 19:25:43 PDT 1999


If you think killing deer is inhumane, you should see how cattle and hogs are made to live their lives and then dispatched in packing plants. Nothing is more cruel than taking a cow away from his pasture and sticking him in a feed-lot for 2 months. Here thousands of cows are jammed together in very little space. All they do is eat and deficate. They smell horrible. The cattle are then shipped off to the packing plant and slaughtered.

Hogs have it even worse. The only time a pig ever sees the light of day is when the pig is transferred from one house to another and then to the packing plant. These operations are very clean, but it isn't a good way for any creature to live.

Deer are treated far better.


Jerry Lee Wed May 5 19:23:28 PDT 1999

Yo, all,

The idea of poor spelling is like unto the idea of gun control; yes, we can try to get a handle on it, but stuff happens. (paraphrasing)

I won every spelling bee I ever entered, my wife spells absolutely awful (by her own admission) and yet she consistently beats me at Scrabble. So, who's to say that poor spelling is a sign of ignorance or intelligence? We do what we do. If you're not happy with your spelling, read a dictionary, it's really quite fun.

As an ex-proofreader, I notice the misspellings maybe more than most...but I got over it.(Grins)

I enjoy the things that we argue about. Keep up the good work.

And...Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Jerry Lee

Americo Wed May 5 19:07:37 PDT 1999

That's better, Allein. Those are the posts I used to love when you were the genious in the block. Now that you shouted the "grito do Ipiranga" (the cry of freedom) — that was last friday, I think (I loved it!) — teenagers MUST shout one day or another, you can speak a little about spelling and other transcendental subjects, like we, poor oldish things, but please do not exaggerate! Your genious is in your way of interpreting every day life. Not even me was so good as you are in this respect. (I was better in many kissing, for instance...) And let us not be modest. That's for common people — and we are special. Well, almost...

Jack — the speed limit is 120 kilometers per hour (miles, I do not know). That limit can avoid a lot of things like bumping against any antelope you see in the middle of the road. Of course, in the States, a big country, perhaps there are no speed limits on the highways and I do not want to give the impression that I am a saint. However, I sense a lot of violence in America. (I also sense much kindness and understanding, honestly.)

On a different note: so you use the spelling corrector of Word and then you "cut and past" (sic, see your last but one post, please)! Word for Windows, I guess...

ALL — Michele is right! We should be more careful about our spelling! (Do not demand better grammar from me, please, I speak Americonish — my apologies for this : it is not ignorance, just sheer perversion — oh, Sarah, Sarah, what questions you ask!)

Bai, bai

Jerry Ericsson Wed May 5 18:48:52 PDT 1999

Americo - I don't think you really understand what life in North Dakota is like. The state of North Dakota is
about 400 miles across from east to west, and 250 miles from North to South. Within that boundary, there
reside around six--hundred and fifty thousand people. Most of the highways were designed in the early
1900's, and have only been repair or re-built, however they have not been re-designed unless necessary
due to changing paths of rivers or enlarging lakes. The primary industry is farming, and the small farms of
my youth have been gobbled up by the huge farms, as the cost of farming increased and squeezed the
small family farm out of existence.

This allows for miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles. Driving across the state one can see
hundreds of abandoned farmsteads, buildings falling to earth, collapsing from disuse. As man moves away
from the country and into the small towns, the population of wildlife increases, and so do the collisions of
man and beast. As has been said, the natural predators of the local wildlife have been hunted almost to
extinction, the population of deer in this area has become out of hand. The deer destroy the farmers crops,
and yet are protected by the state. When we have a hard winter, which happens more and more often, it
seems, the winter kill of wildlife is appalling. Three years ago, we had a particularly hard winter, and not
only the wildlife but also farm animals died in huge numbers. It was apparent that they suffered greatly
before they died. Many hunters joined with the wildlife service in providing their four wheel drive
pickups to pickup corn and other grains donated by the local elevators and farmers, and distributed them so
as to save the wildlife.

If we halted all hunting today, the deer population would grow to an unhealthy number, and with inter-
breeding, and hard winters would suffer all the more. When a blizzard hits this area, it can hit the entire
state, depositing up to three feet of snow on the flatlands, with drifts of over twenty feet in high, and many
yards long. The wildlife cannot dig deep enough to reach the prairie grass on which they live, and they
suffer a lingering death. With hunting used as a population control, we keep the herds to a manageable
size, and they can be fed by the game and fish authorities, and hunting organizations. As far as what
happens to the deer once we make our kill, they are quickly processed by the hunters, or their meat
processing shops, and are consumed by the hunter and his family. The money from the hunting licenses is
used to improve the wildlife habitats.

While it may appear cruel to the onlooker, most deer are killed very quickly. The law provides that the
hunter must use a high-powered rifle, or handgun, so as to prevent the wounding and loss of animals.
While I admit that there are poor hunters who do allow wounded animals to suffer and die a lingering
death, all those who hunted in my party would spend an entire day seeking a wounded deer rather then
allow it to slowly bleed to death. Most were found within one half hour or less, and they were usually dead
when we found them, because of the power of the rounds used, and the accuracy of those with whom I

By the way, I make refference to North Dakota, since I lived there the past seventeen years. I now live in South Dakota, but can see into North Dakota from my living room window.

Allein Wed May 5 18:17:31 PDT 1999

Well...look who just woke up. :) I'm back and actually do have things to say, I just didn't before because I was awfully tired. My brain and fingers were bearly connected and my eyelids wanted to close so bad.

Anyway, I learned a very valuable lesson today: if you're running water through a hose - for God sake's hold onto the hose!!
The teacher that I assisst in school wanted me to clean up the biology lab. Yesterday I swept up all the dirt and such. Today, I had to scrub a fish tank - home to a few crabs, oysters and other sea life. Also included was algae which smelled terrible. So I had to get a sponge and scrub it all out. Then I had to fill the tank. I put the hose in and hopped off the counter. I turned the water on full blast and a few seconds later - it's raining inside. I know it rains a lot in Washington but that couldn't be right! So, I had to get the hose under control and well, anyway, that was the most exciting period of the day.

It's Senior Honors Week at my school. It's where seniors get free stuff - candy, ice cream, soda - so for this week only I'm a senior. Hey, it's worked for candy and ice cream. Tomorrow I hope to get a free Pepsi. It didn't work last year though because since the sophomore class does this many of the people giving stuff away were people I knew. But I hardly have any sophomore friends this year...I can get away with being a senior for one week. :)
My brother told me that next year he'll be in my school and would tell everyone that I wasn't a senior. I reminded him of two things: 1) I WILL be a senior next year and will have a school ID to prove it and 2)If he doesn't pull his grades up, he's going to be taking the ninth grade over again.

Well, anyway, I have an ice cream sandwich in the next room that'll melt if I don't eat it. So, I should probably go.

Rachel Wed May 5 17:30:59 PDT 1999

Hey all

Well, well, well. I have been busy trying to understand my computer (grins and laughter)

Truth be told its kind of fun.

With any luck at all I will soon understand how to write my posts in an area where I can SPELL CHECK them and then move them in all their beauty and perfection here to be posted (grins)

I never, ever claimed to be an ace at spelling.

Ah, and for the record I do read, just not what I'm interested in writing. I have read many, many books. I have those that I love and those that I read in hopes that they would get better (guess what some of them never did get any better) I hate when that happens. You sit down to read a book and it just stinks!

Have to admit I have been thinking about reading some more of the stuff I like. Seems that these published guys have a couple of really interesting ideas (imagine!)

I don't claim to have read all the classics, but I've read several that I suppose would be considered classic. I also have read books that would not be considered classic at all (big grins) Just good adventure. "Dirk Pitt you are my hero!"

Sometimes I wonder what some publishers are thinking. I really, really do. Maybe they are just thinking about their wives, and their kids and their dogs and not really looking at what they are selecting for publishing. Maybe they just close their eyes and draw an author to be published out of a hat, because honestly some of the stuff out their sucks. I would hate to think that some of the stuff I have come across was selected on purpose for publishing.

Well, then, there. That is just a tad more than I would usually say about anything, but what the hell. May as well share an opinion.

Take care all


Jack Beslanwitch Wed May 5 17:10:19 PDT 1999

Agsousa: Thanks for the insights on game management in Africa and environmental concerns in general. I will note that here in the states one of the things early learned about refraining from hunting or thinning of heards after eliminating all predators (wolves, etc.) was that this lead to several instances of mass die offs from over population and mass starvation that took decades to correct. I believe the state in question was Minnesota or thereabouts. At any rate, although I personally do not have any desire to hunt and consider myself an environmentalist with a small e, I have no problems with hunting at least until a viable predator population is in place to allow the balance of nature to take its course. And, I do know of several who have had severe car damage from hitting deer and moose. And I have a friend from twenty years ago who was killed by a Grizzly in Glacier Park. This gave me very conflicted emotions about preserving bear populations in parts of Montana. At least at the time.

Jon Wed May 5 16:51:22 PDT 1999

My subordinate agsousa is the only person who speaks about serious problems here. He even stopped using AmericOOOnish when he saw a misspell in the name of this distinguished language.

Allein, if you do not talk to people, people shall not talk to you.

And the above mentioned underling of mine was the only persono who regretted what happened in Oklahoma and Kansas. You Americans and other barbarians do not have a soul (let alone an ortography/orthografy/spelling.

And then call me arrogant! (Geez!!!)

Little Michele, my bell. Do you already know how to write plagiarize? Wed May 5 16:40:37 PDT 1999

On environment and animals:

Jerry Ericsson — I can't speak for all Europe but the trend is to study the environmental impact prior to making highways, bridges, etc. There is usually a ministry for the environment with that task. Ecological groups or political green parties are very active and protest if they feel a little bird will have to move to another nest just because of a new dam... Of course, each country has its regulations, its authorities and its people.

Going a bit further South, to Africa: in the district of Nyaminyami, in Zimbabwe, the local authorities organize huntings (to impala, for instance) whenever wildlife's numbers threaten environmental balance or human safety. The meat of the culled animals is then sold to the locals and the money used to benefit the district.

Environmental concern extends to artistic patrimony. Three years ago a huge project for a dam had to be cancelled because some paleolithical drawings were found in the Northeast of Portugal. Man's comfort is not the only thing that matters. Life is, and all its forms must be preserved.

("Including cats and their right to a normal sexual life!" — Jon's voice off. "Shut up, Jon!)

I know that in the USA 3 in 4 Americans say they are environmentalists and fond of animals, but I understand that between the ideal and the reality falls the shadow... — everywhere, unfortunately.

Allein Wed May 5 16:11:31 PDT 1999

I have a dictionary, but hardly use it because I'm a good speller and my vocabulary is well developed.

Well, I should go, nothing else to say.
Bai bai,

Jerry Lee Wed May 5 15:23:10 PDT 1999


I've got a great old dictionary called 'Thorndike Century Junior Dictionary' from 1935. I dearly love it. The words it does not have interest me as much as the antiquated ones that it does. Strange how the English language has changed in such a relatively short period of time.

When I was a kid, I asked all the questions that every kid does but always got the same response: "Look it up." At the time, it was irritating, but I realise now how I spent hours reading our old set of 'Funk and Wagnels' and the collection of dictionaries we somehow accumulated because of that response.

Two much real eye ants on spell-checkers caw says brain damn age. (All spelled correctly...look it up.)

This illustrates the real problem with spell-checkers; they don't catch words that are spelled right.

Take care,
Jerry Lee

Thomas Wed May 5 15:08:06 PDT 1999


First, a dictionary is really not for spelling but for definition and, perhaps, etymology. And the person who thinks his/her spelling is correct would not think to look up the spelling.

Second, I share your concern. I understand we are writing as friends here, and some of us (me) can't type either. But I do see many indications that spelling is not taken seriously, and anyone wanting to be a writer must take it seriously. Send a manuscript to an editor with bad spelling and you make neither a friend nor a sale.

Barring a learning disability, poor spelling often indicates that a person doesn't read enough. To be a writer, you have got to read a lot.

Jack Beslanwitch Wed May 5 14:18:12 PDT 1999

Michele: I spell check when I post to the Workbook because I am using Word to do my writing and then cut and past into the posts. Similar case when I am doing email, but I am less religious about using the spell checking component of my email client. However, when I am posting here on the Notebook things get a bit dicier due to a lack of spell checking and the sometimes spontaneous way that I respond. I have noted in the past the thoroughly awful mispelling and the unintended consequences that those can give birth to. Still, on the subject of dictionaries, I have a dictionary encyclopedia from the 1890s that I absolutely love to peruse, searching for words that have fallen out of use and savoring the flavor of each one of those tasty bits of English anachronisms that I can cherish with great wonder. Take care all.

Michele Wed May 5 12:13:32 PDT 1999

Hi !

I asked the dictionary question because of the variations on common spellings I keep seeing here... Perhaps I should have asked does no one here use a spell-checker ! Or do people not bother proof-reading their posts ?

Sorry - I know it's pedantic of me - but with built-in proof-reading skills I notice these things when reading other people's postings (I also notice mine - but not until after I've posted... !)

No doubt someone here will berate me for worrying about "minor" details and stifling other people's creativity (that's the usual remark that's made on comments about poor spelling), so go ahead - berate me - it's not as if I haven't heard it all before...

It's just that I happen to think proper spelling, grammar and punctuation are important - they add clarity to a piece of writing, I feel...


Dull. 8. To make dictionaries is dull work.
Samuel Johnson, definition number 8 of the word Dull in his dictionary. (!)

Rhoda Wed May 5 11:33:16 PDT 1999

I enjoyed the Colorado Romance Writer's conference in Boulder, Colorado. There is nothing like a conference to bolster enthusiasm and acquire a healthy perspective. Everything was great except the weather which was cold and rainy.


Of course everyone here has a dictionary. We are writers, aren't we? I think the appropriate question is whether we look at them as much as we should. I probably don't.

Speaking of dictionaries, when I was critiqued for my last contest, I got called on the word choice in my historical novel. Certain words such as tavern and balustrade were not used until the 17th or 18th centuries. I first thought it stange that since my characters didn't speak English anyway that someone would call these words into question, but then I realized that a writer must be sensitive to the setting and what word useage would be expected by the reader. To use terms that tend to be modern or which obviously go with a later era would spoil the ambience I am trying to create. My critiquer suggested I buy a copy of the Merrium Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th edition. Sure enough, this dictionary features dates of earliest recorded use in English. Such a reference is very useful for writing historical fiction, so I thought I would pass on the suggestion.


I hope you are able to sort out your difficulties. You are in my prayers. Don't stay away too long.

Well, I must run, for it is a busy day.

Happy Writing!


Thomas Wed May 5 08:54:10 PDT 1999


Why did you ask the dictionary question?


At best, television is inane and impossible. At worst, it is downright corrupting. What television, and even the movies, do to history should be considered a capital offense against society.

It seems in our culture entertainment is the supreme motivator, knowledge be damned.

Americo Wed May 5 07:24:43 PDT 1999

My deepest regrets to all the people that suffered the consequences of the tornados. Moments of grief such as this should make us think of the suffering all over the world. Oklahoma is perhaps for some of you as remote, but as loving, as Yugouslavia or East Timor or Angola are for me. Let us join our best thougts for a better world. And I hope the USA government does not forget that the tax payers money is best applied in help than in missiles. People of Oklahoma, I am also with you!

Now I am going to read today's messages and later I shall tell something to my friend Jerry Ericsson — about ecology, I guess.

Howard Wed May 5 05:32:47 PDT 1999

Michele -- I have several dictionaries. Why do you ask (he said, ducking)?

All -- Anyone up for a game of "Swifties?" or a "Swifties" pop quiz?

"It sure is quiet out there on the western front," Erich remarked.

Michele Tue May 4 23:08:07 PDT 1999

Hi all

Question ? Doesn't anyone here possess a dictionary ?


Your email address rejected half the emails I sent you last night - so no doubt my joke fell flat... sigh I tried !

That's all folks !

(Got to get the bus to college soon...)


Allein Tue May 4 20:12:20 PDT 1999

Nothing much happening here, got a B on a test - that's about it. Just posting to let you know I'm still alive.

Rachel - I got your e-mail, but like I said here, nothing's happening so I'll answer when I have something to say. Send me some of that ruthless e-mail if you like. Carling should be getting my letter soon.

Well, bai bai,

Jerry Ericsson Tue May 4 18:42:02 PDT 1999

Americo - I don't know how wildlife is managed in Europe (Do you have a lot?) but in this part of the U.S. the heards of deer and antilope are plentyfull, with some herds exceedint 100 in size. The weather here provides for very extreme winters from year to year, and I have seen it where after a particularly hard winter, the deer population is way down due to starvation. Our wildlife officers keep a yearly count of animals, and from that count, they decide how many permits for each sex of each species should be issued. Normaly around sixty percent of the hunters in this area are sucessful, and the wildlife officers take this into consideration. With this regulation, the herds are kept in check, and the starvation is kept under control. How would you rather see the deer die, by slow starvation, or a quick shot from a hunters rifle? While I no longer hunt, as I cannot, I surely support hunting in this area, to control the herd.

Have you ever tried to make a wild deer to use an underpass, there are indeed some, however most deer move at night, when they are very hard to see. Believe me no driver wishes to see the damage that is done to the vehicle by a collision with a deer. I have seen many fine vehicles maimed from such a collision, and there have even been deaths of humans from such collisions. It is simply a matter of numbers, when there are too many deer, travel is unsafe at night. Also hunting makes for an interesting two weeks of outdoor activity for we sedatory old men.

Jerry Lee Tue May 4 15:46:01 PDT 1999

Yo, All!

That was me who had yet another idea ripped from my busy little hands by the small minds at NBC. I watched both nights of it (my wife taped it for me Mon. pm) and am now writing fast and furious on the project once again. Have any of these network people even read the Bible? Noah's story was looooong before Sodom and Gommorah. And what was with Lot showing up with his band of un-friendlies after the flood to take over the Ark? It made me feel good to see what a terrible job they did with the story. (Is that a bad thing?)
Anyway, if they're going to pirate an idea, at least they had the decency to do a really horrible job of it.
I did glean one good thing from it, though. Noah's wife and sons were watching him talking to God and the kids were saying how funny he looked. Their mother told them of a flute player who came by one day and got everyone dancing. A deaf man came by and thought they were all crazy. She said that they were like the deaf man, just because they could'nt hear the music, didn't mean it didn't exist.


Take care, Jerry Lee

Litter Tue May 4 13:47:18 PDT 1999

Hey All,

This might be short coz I'm having all sorts of problems with Notebook downloading. All my other regular sites load fine so I am stumped with what the problem is. I'm talking here about the difference between my normal 10-15 seconds and 4 minutes!!!

When I get sorted out I'll try posting something worthy of conversation...

All good things,


Avatar Tue May 4 12:45:37 PDT 1999

I got a new e-mail address, so if anyone e-mails me, I'm there now, not here.

Xavier- My character and I would love to hook up with yours, I'll e-mail you in a minute.

Jon- I'm sending you a peace offering in my next e-mail to Americo, but if you don't like it I'll get somethin' else

SKS- I missed you friend.

Lena- We're wishing you luck over here. Hope you make the deadlines

Americo- I haven't gotten any mail from you yet. Maybe the post office did screw it up.
It was the school's piss-ye, so I'm kinda glad no one caught me.

Hootie- I sent you mail, it should be there by now. Call me back when you can.

Cyclones and hurricanes. What actually happened in Oklahoma? I'll see the news tonight, but I don't quite have that information yet. As it is I'm wishing all of them a silent good luck.

Auntie Em! Auntie Em!
-Dorothy, wizard of oz


(i'm posting again in shadows soon, so everybody better watch out!)

Michele Tue May 4 11:33:28 PDT 1999

Hi !

Boy am I whacked ? I spent absolutely AGES today doing research for an essay for my Local History class - the question I've been set is : Is Local History a separate discipline or merely a sub-discipline of History ?

What a question !!! Anyway I found lots of journal articles and a couple of useful books - seems this debate has been going on a while... I think my tutor is in for a balanced argument, but I still have some reading to do before I make a final decision myself, although I know which way my mind is inclining at present...

SKS Perry

I missed you, honest - but as I was hardly here myself last week, I didn't really mention it... And many thanks for the kind comment on the quality of my postings (you exaggerate, of course !).

Hope no one is sitting in the path of a tornado at present... if so, stay away from the trailer parks - they always get flattened as far as I can tell...

Oh well - I am going to do some more reading... talk to you all later...


"I don't think we're in Kansas any more, Toto !"
--Dorothy, The Wizard of Oz. Tue May 4 11:26:35 PDT 1999

Literature for kids:
Since we need to earn a living (hopefully by writing), kids are very good targets for our materialistic ambitions. One of my college (University) coleages became a successful writer for children and teenagers. Her Columbus egg? History. She writes in an interesting way about all those kings and queens and their lovers and their crimes and their... well, everything. She is supposed to instruct and educate. I like to say that she explores innocents. But I may be wrong. The fact is that she earns lots of money. Perhaps you are interested in the recipe. But you had no kings, poor Americans. Well, invent them.

I heard there was a violent tornado/ gales/ tempest somewhere in Oklahoma. Hope no one got hurt. I shall see/hear the news in half an hour.

Xavier — how are you getting on? So you also want love letters. Well, are there enough girls for two people like us here? How about a duel with my character in one of those NW gardens at dawn? No guns allowed!

Rachel Tue May 4 11:12:24 PDT 1999

Hey all - I'm back again. I forgot to ask Agsousa something.

Agsousa - Sooooooooooo, what did yah think of that story? I will be waiting for feedback.

Take care all


Rachel Tue May 4 11:05:36 PDT 1999

Hi all

Hey Cassandra - Yah going to meet up with my character in shadows? Cool. Looking forward to what you come up with. (grins)

S.N.Arly - Hi you! I'm still pretty new to bo work, but hey, I'm learning. I got to learn weapons early because I trundeled off to camp. I have given myself a few nifty strikes with the tonfa's as well and pulled the sia's back into my sides nice and hard (ouch - grins - laughter)

SKS - Mannnnnnnnnn! I just got your old e-mail address down and you went and changed on me.

I sent Pen a couple of notes today. If she doesn't get them let me know and I'll try to figure out just what it is that I'm doing over here.

Take care all

Americo Tue May 4 09:06:15 PDT 1999

Jerry E. — Thinning down the heards? 15 dead deer along the highway? Shouldn't highways have subways for the animals to cross? Shouldn't drivers avoid overrunning wild life? I do not understand your argument at all. Isn't the rich USA more developed than Africa in terms of ecology?

Please go on talking to us with that sincerity and honesty. Exchange of intellectual and moral attitudes should be welcome among us, writers.

All people who are interested in literature for children — can we have more about elves and other mythical creatures? Is that stuff still read in America? I wish it were — much better than violent heroes and war games and odd comics.

S.N.Arly Tue May 4 08:44:56 PDT 1999

SKS - Oh yes. Boot to the head is ooooh soooo effective in street fighting and genuine self defense. Just like using that inside crescent kick to disarm a gunman. Hey see my leg over here. Yah the one swinging right across your body. I'm gonna kick that thing out of your hand before you can pull the trigger. Ha ha ha!

Hope to see you around once in a while any rate. I have been gradually cutting back my time on the internet as well, and for almost all the same reasons. It's good to check in from work, where I can't do any writing anyway.

Rachel - I've only leaned the first 10 moves of the traditional 25 moves with bo staff. I'll eventually get back to the black belt who has gotten me that far. On weapons an pain... We never got rubber nunchakos, unlike some folks in our class. We went straight for the regular nasty ones. It only took a couple of really, really painful strikes for me to get good. Ah the incentive.

Lena - Good luck with your deadlines. See you back when you have the time.


Xavier Tue May 4 08:31:43 PDT 1999

Hello Ya'll!

Please note new e- mail address, incase you decide to send me a love note!

Activity has been sketchy around here lately it appears, and I have not been much help. Busy with finals next week, and fighting a fierce cough I contracted have not helped to put me in the writing mood. Actually, the only thing I write for anymore, is Shadows, which I plan to post my next installment soon.
By the way, I need one of your lovely, gun toteing, psychotic charicters for my plot, so if one such person could contact me, I'll lay out the deal.

I wish I had internet access at home, than you would hear from me everyday! (groans in the audiance)

Maybe soon!

Well thats about it fer now.

P.S. Unto SKS Perry: I'm glad you feel that I help you in some way. I often get alot from your writing and insight and it's nice to be able to return the flavor.

Remember: new e- mail address! (write me dirty letters)


Casssandra Tue May 4 08:24:32 PDT 1999


I'm just about finished with the LAST project of my freshman year of college. YIPPIE!! No more of this crap until Late August!! I'll actually have time to write, and converse with people on a semi-regular basis. :)

Don't worry, you won't be alone for too long in shadows...

Do you still want someone to meet you at the airport in "s"? I know that you're busy with school work... perhaps I could reach the Chelsea, settle down, and then take a taxi out to meet you whenever you get back to the story.

What AP classes are you taking? I took 3 or 4 of them my senior year in Highschool (Drawing, Economics (macro and micro), Psych... I think that's it)

You've been just as helpful to me. I hope that things are going well, and that you're getting a lot of work done. :)

Just remember to take a break now and again to come play with us... especially in Shadows. We miss you (well I know that I do.)

Americanish is fine, just don't start getting into Ebonics.

Yo word up ta my homey cat Jon, dishing up da sponsibility to dem folks that don't be answering da emails. It's a tough pill ta swallow know what I'm sayin? But it's got ta be done.

lol... I'll be back writing on Thursday. Expect some fun in shadows by the time Friday rolls around.

ta ta


Rachel Tue May 4 07:53:38 PDT 1999

Hey SKS - I missed yah Magoo!

I will hold you to those computer lessons (grins) A cheat sheet (huge smile) Sounds good to me!

Uhhhhh, duhhhhhh, Martial Arts? (I scratch my head and make a dorky face)

At least that's how I felt yesterday with my flashy new boe (much laughter) At least I only hit myself a couple of times. Managed not to crack myself in the head.

Sensi tells me I should work with the metal boe before each class. Hummmmm, that would really hurt if I hit myself (ouch - laughter)

Take care all


S.K.S. Perry Tue May 4 07:41:51 PDT 1999

Hey all,


When you come down in June I'm going to give you an intensive, all-inclusive computer course and cheat sheet. By the time you get back to B.C., people will becoming from miles around to ask your advice!

By the way, I was in the book store this weekend and saw the book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Martial Arts, and it occured to me that if you really were a complete idiot, they could tell you anything and you wouldn't know the difference.

eg. You should never kick above waist high. Normal people can't kick above waist high anyway. The reason it always looks like Bruce Lee is kicking so high is that he's normally only fighting Orientals, and we all know how short they are.

Hey, if you were a complete idiot, you might fall for it.

Be Well, Live Well.

Rachel Tue May 4 07:15:54 PDT 1999

Hi all!

Kristina - Hang in there you. Feel free to drop me an e-mail, okay?

SKS - Do you know where I can pick up a book on computers for dummies? (laughter) I need to figure out what happened to the e-mails I've been sending.

Agsousa - Did I somehow send you the e-mails for Steve and Pen?

SKS - I will look into my mail log and see what I can see. I had a pretty wild weekend, very, very busy. (grins) Honestly I think it just might be time for me to learn to use this computer. (I make a face) I think I've been saying that for what? A year maybe? (grins) I am sooooo lazy about learning to use this thing.

Hey all - My latest entry just got into shadows last night. Don't leave it in there sad and lonely. COME ON GUYS!

Jai - I am going wild wondering about your mystery man! You can't leave me hanging like this! Well, I guess you can, but I hope you won't. At least not for much longer. (grins) C'mon, c'mon you!

Take care all


S.K.S. Perry Tue May 4 05:01:56 PDT 1999

Hey all,

S.N. Arly Yes, I'm still around and waiting to see your martial arts site. Let me know when it's up and running.

Everyone I know I haven't been posting here as much lately, but I've had to rearrange my priorities a little. I found that between the Notebook and a couple of other sites, as well as critiquing and editing the work of various friends and aquaintences, I wasn't getting any writing done myself. I haven't completed a story since before Christmas, which is a really lousy track record if your dream is to be a professional writer. To that end I've decided to devote a little more time to actually writing. I still drop in frequently and read the posts to see how everyone is doing. Besides, it's not like anyone really missed me (pout, sob, sniff.)

Kristina Sorry to hear about your problems. I truly hope everything works out for the best.

Jack I sincerely hope that you and yours are doing well. My impression of you is that you are one of those people who is constantly doing for others. People like you deserve a break every now and then.

Rachel Where have you been? Pen and I are going through withdrawl here!

Rhoda Pen is currently reading The Reluctant Barbarian. I'll let you know what she thinks of it as soon as she finishes. (I plan on reading it too.)

Allein, Michele, Lena, Hayden, Jerry, Agsousa (and your various incarnations) Cassandra, Goodweed, Eddie, Avatar, Pnokio, Xavier, Hootie and Thomas (I hope I haven't forgotten anyone) Keep posting. Whether you know it or not, you have all helped me at one time or another, both creatively, and supportively.

Be Well, Live Well.

Kristina Mon May 3 23:06:04 PDT 1999

Hi all, just saying a quick hello. Unfortunately I'm going through a little marital crisis at the time which is putting a lot of things on hold. Oh well. It sucks when you find out your "perfect life" isn't as perfect as you thought, but oh well. Happy writing...

Americo Mon May 3 19:31:08 PDT 1999

One of the fascinating things of our page is that to read the posts in chronological order I have to put my hands on the floor and my feet on the ceiling (manner of saying).

Answering from top to bottom (geometrically speaking only).

Rachel: of course I got all your e-mails, silly. And you idem or I'll die (Americonish structure, see N. Chomsky, though).

Lena: your fine, well, you're fine — this one time. Muchacha guapa!

Avatar: do not be away so long, please. I wrote a letter to you. Hopefully you understand braille. I put your mail address — Idaho post office certainly knows what I mean. If not ... fear, oh Elvis creature (this elvis is Americonish -
nothing to do with Presley.)

Good night everybone (Am). Good dreams of peace and me.

Rachel Mon May 3 18:51:07 PDT 1999

Hi all

Agsousa - You have got to be kidding me! You ask what I have been up to after the marathon e-mail I sent you?

You did get the e-mail didn't you? If not let me know and I'll re-send it to you.

As for what is hot and what is not we will see. (I narrow my gaze at you)

I almost feel a little bad for my poor character. (grins and laughter)

I also can say that you are a sweetie. At least most of the time. (grins) Then again who is a sweetie all the time.

Take care all


Lena Mon May 3 17:58:16 PDT 1999

Jon - You are a cat with fine tastes. How do you manage to open a bottle of wine with your paws? Do you have to get your neighbor to do it for you? And please do be gentle on the fines... I can spare a few leaves of catnip and perhaps some cold milk... but I did not receive your e-mail until today. Lo siento, mi gato guapo.

Avatar - Wonderful!

Ye gods and little fishes, but I am hounded by deadlines everywhere I turn! Finals this week, AP exams next week, several big projects in the work... I wrote more of Shadows, which I will post in a day or so, but beside this I am afeared (Americonish for "afraid") that I will not be around much for the next few weeks. Catch ya on the flip side... I will miss my daily dose of the Notebook... love you all... wish me luck!

Missing you already,

"I'll be back."
"... is that a promise or a threat?" Mon May 3 17:43:48 PDT 1999

Hello, Rachel. Long time no see. What have you been up to? When shall we astound all these neck people (Eddie's word, not Americonish) with some really hot stuff? I need some excitement, some spring breath, some... Grab me, someone, or I'll shout!

Ey, Allein, did you say I am a sweetheart? You sure it was me? Thanks millions — that's starts being Americonish...

Inkitoothly (incidentally), if the Klinkton Institute is so cultivated, why is its Portuguese presentation page so badly translated? Oh, well.

Rachel Mon May 3 17:30:14 PDT 1999

Hi all

Hayden! - Hi you! Long time no see.

Allein - We'll hook up another time.

Agsousa - Thanks for clarification on that.

Take care all


Jon, CEO Mon May 3 17:21:22 PDT 1999

There are two people in this forum that should report to me right away. My subordinate agsousa complained that they are taking to long to answer an e-mail he sent them, in their capacity of co-editors. I am thinking of the fine they are going to pay for their delay.

Speaking of food : I like iraviol and itortollin con ovin obianc.
This an example of Tomaso-Americonish, a dialect of pure Americonish.
Translating into Americonish-English : I elik... well, the rest is obvious. Mon May 3 17:13:46 PDT 1999

God bless Jesse Jackson! (did I write James, Thomas? Yes, I did — that's *unvoluntary* Americonish). Sorry.

Nape, Rachel, nape. Please correct and publish! Sorry.

Avatar — Jon likes elves. He would never delete yours! Just go on with your blind character. "S" is after all a fantasy novel (at least it has room for fantasy). Glad your piss-ye — another example of the language of the future, Americonish — has recovered from the kick you gave it when you realized that you should've bought a microwaves instead.

Allein Mon May 3 16:10:37 PDT 1999

Rachel et all - Sorry, but the chat wouldn't let me in. I entered my name, pressed start and nothing happened. So, I couldn't be there (if anyone came).

Bai bai,

S.N.Arly Mon May 3 14:47:44 PDT 1999

Hayden - Great to see you're still alive and kicking... er zipping around in that Porsche, I mean. Hope your time away has been beneficial. The internet can be a real time suck, which can really detract from one's writing.

Speaking of which, I have a very emotionally demanding story to finish for Wednesday's writer's group, so gotta scram. It also happens to be possessed by computer demons, so I have no idea how long it'll stay on my hard drive this time. Or if the hard drive will take it down with the ship. Gotta love that savetoa macro in WP! Backups! Yea!

SKS - If you're out there, I'm working on my martial arts stuff. I finally got all my old bookmarks back where they belong, which is what's been keeping me from getting that up.


Cassandra Mon May 3 13:59:08 PDT 1999


You can tell when stress is really getting to you when you write a top ten list of stress relievers for the average college student (yes they are scary, and basically weird things that my friends and I do to amuze each ourselves).

I am working on my next installment of 'shadows', of course, it's on pause right now because of the self portrait that has to be done by tommorow at 1pm.

After/during breaks from working on that I will be answering your lovely survey. And I should be online off and on tonight.

As far as things go with shadows, my plans are going to evolve very quickly after I get out of school. Hopefully people will be able to keep up with the plot that's being constructed in my mind. ::evil laughter::


ta ta


Avatar Mon May 3 13:03:54 PDT 1999

Is everyone asleep or is it just Monday?

Hello, hello and good afternoon.

Who was the one who got mad because NBC stole their idea and produced a movie on Noah's Ark when he wanted to write a book? I think you should. I watched the first part last night and they got it all screwey or something. They had Lot in there as Noah's best friend and distant relative, and Lot was Abraham's brother!

Jon- If you even think of tearing out my part, I'll do the same to your whiskers, see if I don't. I also left a message with Americo to leave with you, so you won't mistake the gist of my thoughts on the matter.

And for everyone who is wondering, yes my character is an elf, but she looks like a human now, so no one's going to shout in the middle of the street like a madman when they see her. And if anyone has a problem, I have one thing to say.
Our writing group is mixed, our writing is mixed, so why can't Shadows be mixed?
It should work out fine, and everyone will be able to write like they want to. If no one's ever heard of a book like that, we're inventing it.


Jerry Ericsson Mon May 3 11:35:17 PDT 1999

Ah, yes I to have returned home from my trip north. It was wonderfull to get out of the house, and back up to see all my friends in law enforcement.

We had a great trip, and for all those who were discussing hunting with me, I saw the best reason for the hunt - that of thinning out the heards - there must have been fifteen dead deer laying beside the highway in those 300 miles. What a waste of great meat, left to the carions to devoure. It did however make for super bird watching, I saw several Eagles, Hawks, and prarie falcons.

The prarie is getting into spring now, and all was a bright green, the part of South Dakota which I live in is all hills and buttes, where we traveled to is on the flatlands so there was a great variety in the scenery. For those who have never traveled in the open praries of the north, one can drive for fifty miles and see only one or two farms, no cities. The larges city we traveled through would be considered a small town by most, and our small towns would be villages. The city I reside in has a population of only 1400, and is the biggest town for nearly 100 miles.

As far as speaking other languages, I can speak english fairly well, and can cuss in German, Swed, Norwegen and Spanish, but cannot speak any of them well enough to carry on a conversation. I did pick up some French in high school but have forgotten all except a few phrases. I can understand a few Vietnamees words but not enough to use. I guess the main reason we never feel the need to learn another language around here is simply that there would be no use for it - I can travel nearly a thousand miles in any direction and be in english speaking country.

Perhaps it would be good to try to learn - we did when we were in the Army, as Spanish was spoken among mexicans and other hispanic's in the service, and we did live for about four years on the Mexican border at El Paso Tx. I have forgotten most of that also, however my daughter has studied spanish for five years and does speak it rather well, according to her, couldn't prove it by me though. Mon May 3 11:34:45 PDT 1999

God bless Reverend Jesse James and the Yugouslav authorities that understanding that the solution for the problem is in gestures of good will and not in missiles; in diplomatic and political intercourse and not in killing. Enough for today about the most important issue of the moment — together with the situation in East Timor.

Jay, what do you know about that? Australias is not far from Indonesia, is it?

I thought that Shadows was already almost finished. But no-one has published since Lydia Sweet. Three days away and everyone sleeping. Wake up, people, will you?

Avatar asked me to tell you that she had a piss-ye crash and that some of her elves are in trouble but she will come back soon.

I have extraordinary things to tell you about Star Trek, Klingo, and Americonish (sic), the language I have invented this week-end. But I will only tell you that if you wake up and sing "Stars and Stripes Forever" (by who? by who?...)

Americo Mon May 3 09:44:01 PDT 1999

Hello, everybone!
Just to tell you that I am back and very busy reading and answering e-mails.

Michele Mon May 3 08:06:13 PDT 1999

Oh so this thing's working now is it ? I left you all the most witty message this morning (well you can't prove it wasn't witty, can you ? And what do you mean - I'm not normally witty ?! grins) and then when I went to post the server was down...

Hayden !

Welcome back again !! The cat better not have flu - if she has, I'll sue the vetinary practice - she only had a flu vaccine just after Christmas... actually the vet thought she had worms - particularly as Shade (the cat you understand) has a trick of playing with dead baby birds and mice... at least she doesn't bring them in the house half-eaten like the neighbouring cat !


Very good... I am most amused...

Well I have enjoyed my day off - more or less... spent the morning with a friend, and this afternoon cleaning my room - it's now dust-free, and I have an almost empty desk - unheard of virtually ! Housed all the books that had been piled up on it - and put away much paperwork... So my desk is all set for me to start work on another essay tomorrow - and my brain is as well - can't be bad, huh ?

There's a couple of hours yet before dinner, I am going to play some games on my piss-ye... ! Have fun y'all !


Hayden Mon May 3 04:58:27 PDT 1999

Hi people
Long time no write...but I am still alive and back for a while, hopefully. Have been working on a novel which is causing me no end of frustration, though I will get there in the end.

Hello to you Jack. Are you and Fran still coming our way for the worldcon. Jo and I are only going down for a couple of days because of the costs. The offer is still open to come and stay on our Porch...not Porsche heheheh

Hi to you too Goodweed. Jo sends her best to you and your family.

Hi Michelle. If your cat is anything like ours, it has a flu virus. Cats don't normally sneeze, so look after the thing. (hey, there's a bit of trivia for everyone...cats don't sneeze often.)

Hi Allein. Good to see you are still posting here. You seem like a person with a big heart and a big future.

Cheers everyone. It will take me a while to get back into the swing of talking to you all again, but persevere.


pnokio Mon May 3 04:42:56 PDT 1999

Hello Everyone.

Goodweed - hmmm, that was well said. I took a first look at 'Darkness' yesterday, at your prompting, not having looked before because someone a while back once said - well, she said nothing at all really, just went mute when I suggested dual-authorship of - oh, just about anything. But I like the feel of 'Darkness' very much. Some great ideas coming through, and well-expressed - well true to say I lost myself in it, the best thing I can say about anything I read.

Michele - is this one okay?

Before enlightnement I chopped wood and carried water; after enlightenment I chopped wood and carried water.
Zen saying.

And this wicked one?

Wagner's music is better than it sounds.

Mark Twain

Bye -

Allein Sun May 2 22:06:17 PDT 1999

To Rachel and anyone else who might wanna join - I'll be in the chat room around four tomorrow if anyone wants to talk. :)

Ta ta,

Allein Sun May 2 19:32:41 PDT 1999

Casey - it's nice that you have your priorities straight. :) Just kidding.

Well, I'll come back when I actually have something worthwile to say.
Bai bai,

Eddie French Sun May 2 17:54:09 PDT 1999

Oh yes, the omission of the 'O' was intentional.

Eddie French Sun May 2 17:52:17 PDT 1999

Your posts are so few and far between lately. But when you post, you make so much sense!
Have a good bank holiday.

Cassandra Sun May 2 14:00:50 PDT 1999

hi all

I am alive and kicking (kicking what is the question?!)

I still have one more project to do, then I'll be home free to frolic around in the gorgeous spring weather up here in Albany! I have all of tomorrow to get it done, but I'm going to start on it tonight, and hopefully create a window of time tomorrow night where I can either sleep, write, or answer Allein's survey before she kills me!

I agree with Goodweed. This is a place to grow and feed off of others creativity, and learn. Unfortunately, my time has been limiting me to just reassuring people that I am alive, and that my creativity is still functioning on some level...

On that note, I have to run...

ta ta


Sun May 2 09:21:30 PDT 1999

Hey, Dad... oops, I mean Goodweed! Well said. The best way to learn is practice... although, as they say, practice does not make perfect; rather, practice makes permanent. That is why critics exist.

Cassie - Hell Week indeed! I have finals this week for two of my classes... 'tis very evil...

Good wishes to all,

Goodweed of the North Sat May 1 19:34:57 PDT 1999

Ok guys and dolls. I'm throwing down the gauntlet. K. Allen Cross, S.K.S. Perry, Lena, and myself have put in bits here and there into the story "As Darkness Descends". It is an interesting and exciting bit of work. In the paraphrased words of an Alka Seltzer comercial, Read it, You'll Like it."

Add to it, you'll like it more. And lest we forget the illustrius originator of this site, give a look at "Them Bones" for those who are more bent toward the S.F. genre. I propose a workshop attitude where we submit to the stories in the workshop, and discuss what does and doesn't work from the submissions. I believe that will sharpen our writing skills much more than any other single thing we could do here. I know that's why I have enjoyed this site for so long. Even more than the excellent comraderie, it's a place to sharpen my skills.

There are some great writers here. We can all learn from each other. We should be learning from each other. This is a "Writer's Notebook". Sometimes, we seem to digress from our purpose. Let's write, and learn.

If "Darkness", or "Them Bones" doesn't tickle your fancy, there is "Shadows" as well. Jack can add other story lines such as romance, western, whatever for those interested in such.

I strongly recommend participation. It's how we learn.

I hope that didn't sound like a "Dad Lecture".

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

Rachel Sat May 1 19:16:47 PDT 1999

Hey All!

Hi Nicole - Welcome.

Take care all


Allein Sat May 1 17:14:01 PDT 1999

Hiya everyone. I just finished cleaning my room and that's no easy task - believe me! Perhaps you all remember your rooms when you were teenagers. Maybe neat, but more than likely like mine. The void under my bed and black hole in my closet (things go in and never come out). The pile of clothes I refer to as my floor, the pile of papers I refer to as my desk and the pile of God-only-know that's on my dresser - wait, do I even HAVE a dresser? I started at around eleven this morning and just recently finished. Everything is all nice and neat - even my closet. I actually went through and got rid of things I never wear or didn't fit or are in bad condition (the ones in bad condition I threw out but most of my clothes will go to charity). Now I need to do some more clothes shopping. :)

Nicole - welcome. Hope you like it here - everyone's really nice - even agsousa (infact, he's a sweetheart).

Casey - I'll be on IM tonight around nine if you want to chat.

Well, I'm tired, hungry and look a fright, so I'm going to eat, take a shower and relax. :)
Bai bai,

Hootie Sat May 1 11:00:56 PDT 1999

Poor Notebook! Nobody has posted in so long, it must be wondering if there’s a problem somewhere.

Litter—Thank you for returning. My condolences on your father’s passing, and my thanks for describing it so eloquently.

Nicole—Welcome, and watch out for Agsousa.

Xavier—Good to hear from you. Try to come back some more (and that goes for all the other old time lurkers out there)

Thomas—I think one of the tricks of good dialogue, especially a regional dialogue, is not so much listening to the sound of the words as much as listening to how the words go together. A few creative spellings help, but I agree, too many tend to get in the way. So for a Texan, a couple of “y’all”’s help, but knowing that most Texans use the phrase “fixing to” to mean “about to” is even more useful. For a Scot, I think that the words “nae” and “wee” are good clues, and much better than trying to spell that dialect phonetically (not that there’s anything wrong with the way the Scots speak, Litter).

I’m fixing to go get some lunch, so I’ll talk to y’all later.

Money doesn't talk, it swears.
—Bob Dylan

Nicole Lauren same as above no website I'm pretty computer illiterate Fri Apr 30 13:28:47 PDT 1999

I love to write it is one of my hidden passions. I write a lot of poetry and enjoy the works of Edgar Allen Poe. Hers's a sample of one of my poems.

Sunday morning I awake as the sun rises and rush outside to collect logs for the fire. I split the logs with a heavy steel ax and think to myself that it's too early. My backaches but I must keep the house warm. My son sleeps peacefully in his warm bed, dreaming sweet, hopeful dreams. He is my greatest posession and what I live for.

I hope you enjoy. Toodles, Nicole

Michele Fri Apr 30 13:26:54 PDT 1999

Wow ! I thought the Notebook downloaded PDQ !!! And now I know why...

Well it's a bank holiday weekend here - and for a wonder we're expecting nice weather ! It's a stock joke in the UK that we always get lousy weather on bank holiday weekends - but the worst the meteorologists are threatening is showers tomorrow afternoon... Miracles do still happen !

I have had a most restful week doing nothing more than attend lectures and catching up on some reading - not all of it college-related... it's been pretty wonderful, I can tell you... I feel a lot better than I did at the start of the week...

One thing I must do over the weekend is hoover, dust and tidy my room - particularly I need to find space for the books I've recently bought... currently they're sitting on my desk - which isn't too helpful - I have to shift them when I want to do any work/writing - wastes a good 5 minutes of my time moving them all onto the floor...

The only other thing I am planning to do is visit the local city of Gloucester to pick a CD I ordered for my best friend's birthday next week, pick up a book from the city library and consider whether to purchase a couple more shirts for my spring wardrobe...

Oh and I have to take the cat to the vet tomorrow morning - which she won't much appreciate, but she keeps coughing and sneezing - feline hayfever ? My dad goes on about me and my mum being soppy about her, but she coughs and sneezes a couple of times and there he is, phoning the vet in a panic... still as I am pretty attached to Shade (the cat, you understand), I let him off and will take her up tomorrow... She has an endearing (if slightly maddening) habit of sitting in the window alongside my PC workstation looking out at the birds - the maddening bit is when she jumps into my lap or onto the keyboard en route to the window or the floor...

Anyway I've wittered on quite long enough... talk to you all tomorrow...


'Tis the good reader that makes the good book.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Jack Beslanwitch Fri Apr 30 12:50:16 PDT 1999

Took a quick moment and archived everything up to today. I will have the archive posted sometime in the next hour. However, things were getting a little slow loading here.

Rachel Fri Apr 30 08:59:01 PDT 1999

Hi all

Hey Rhoda - I'm glad your son's up for it. Daniel is very excited about sending a note to your son.

Could you send me an e-mail with his name, so Daniel know's who he's writing to?

Mind you I may not be able to hold him back, so if you get an e-mail to "Hey you" It will be for your son, from mine (laughter)

Allein - I am getting ready to run for my life if you come looking for me! (ahhhhhhh, help me, help me, save me, save me!!!!!) Just kidding - Sorry I haven't done the survey yet. (will yah ever, ever forgive me?)

All - My spelling is HELLATIOUS! Still I usualy manage to get across what it is I am trying to say (uh, don't I?)

Take care all


Xavier Fri Apr 30 08:47:51 PDT 1999

Hello, hello!

I'm afraid I missed a couple days of posts, and now they are simply tooo much for my small mind to assimulate. So, due to school ending, and this death- cough I've aquired of late, I simply have time to stop by and say hello.

So hello!

And goodbye.

See you again soon.


Thomas Fri Apr 30 06:31:30 PDT 1999

Jerry Lee,

Of course, creative spelling for a writer is necessary in dialogue, or in the thoughts inside characters' heads. But I'll bet ole Twain knew the proper spelling of most of the words he used -- he also knew the sound of words and regional dialogue, which is a great talent to have.

In fact, for me, one of the hardest things to do with dialogue is to mimic the sounds the people would make. For instance, in Brooklyn they (not I, God forbid) used to say dese, dems and doze, but when I try writing it out in dialogue from characters in a novel I am working on, they dialect seems strained to me, and it seems to get in the way of the thoughts being expressed. Sometimes I think I like words and sentences to be too perfect -- that comes from writing for magazines, and to a much lesser extent, writing for newspapers (the latter often provide editors who haven't a clue regarding the English language).

Jack Beslanwitch Fri Apr 30 00:07:08 PDT 1999

p.s. I just actually took a look at the site below. They have active working groups translating both the Bible and the complete works of Shakespeare. Somehow, I think some people have too much time on their hands ;-).

Jack Beslanwitch Fri Apr 30 00:03:00 PDT 1999

Thank you for all the well wishes for Fran. I will definitely pass them along. For those interested all you ever wanted to know about the subject of Klingon as a language can be found at and I have to say that the goals of Esperanto were laudable, but I think for better or worst, the universal language that esperanto hoped to be is now English. There are lots of historical reasons why this has come about. Two centuries of the major super powers being English speaking countries has a part. Also, necessity such as air traffic control lent itself to this. As for Klingon, I suspect the fascination with Star Trek and the prevelance of Klingons at least American science fiction conventions. The standard joke about the Klingon language was that there were two groups trying to translate the Bible into Klingon, only there were too many untranslatable concepts ;-).

Take care everyone.

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