Messages from June 8, 1999 to June 21, 1999

Americo Mon Jun 21 05:32:44 PDT 1999

though your message is addressed to Martin, I beg to also give my opinion on its issues.

Your teacher's attitude towards literature and art in general was regrettable. She should be teaching car-repairing rather than writing... And she had a philistine notion of what *effectiveness* means. Advertising, for instance, which one would expect to be just facts and information, can't be effective if not using some artistic devices. Art, and therefore beauty, is the most effective way to communicate at a decent level. Even business letters must have some sort of beauty to be really effective...
One is led to wonder if that lady was not *misinterpreting* William James's pragmatism — a topic which would take us too far. She should be someone to ignore if there were not seen signs of her poor "effectiveness" in *some* American writers. I hope her teachings have been repudiated in American schools.
Subjectiveness in ethics or in art's appreciation has its limits. We should not confound subjectiveness with ignorance or callousness. Good and bad are NOT synonymous . Those who think they are are perhaps interpreting wrongly something quite different: the co-existence of good and evil in man's soul.

I am glad to gather that you did not have that teacher's teachings in high esteem.

I firmly believe that one of the superior qualities of the English language is its capacity to easily absorb words from all origins. In this respect it's more flexible than neo-latin languages.

So we are in agreement on this latter point as well — which is a pity, as a good discussion with cultivated and intelligent people as you are would certainly be very useful and a pleasure ...

HOWARD Sun Jun 20 20:35:39 PDT 1999

Martin -- Of what relevance is beauty in language? What is beautiful, anyway? If I write about "a rose is a rose is a rose," as Gertrude Stein did, someone would be sure to point out that one man's rose is another man's weed. One of my writing teachers at college taught us (or tried to teach us) that 'good' and 'bad' are relative terms, inapplicable to writing, art, or to anything, and she refused to use them. One wrote effectively or not. One communicated or not. One put words on paper in a logical, orderly manner, and demonstrated clearly their grasp of "critical thinking." If one did this in a manner consistent with "proper English," then one succeeded in her class. It did not matter if she agreed with what was written, or if it was personally offensive. For her there was no "beauty" in writing (at least not 'officially') and writing was a clinical process to be done correctly, logically, and efficiently. I could not understand why she wanted people to read her work, but did not seem to care if they enjoyed it. I think it did not matter in her world what anyone else thought. She's dead now, but I don't think she knew that it really happened long before she stopped breathing. It's a shame.
Some of us do know and appreciate the beauty of language, and the way that beauty is moulded and amplified by words and expressions from many languages. I think that English -- especially North American English -- is unique in its acceptance and adoption of such words and expressions. We're not at all parochial concerning our "lingua franca," as some of our finest contributors are. I cannot speak or read effectively in anything but English, but I do have a small understanding, and an appreciation of Spanish, German, and French, and I'm thankful for their contributions to my native tongue.
Americo -- Thanks for the concern about my grandson. he was helping us redo the roof on my parents' home, and just got too close to the edge. He's fine now.

This is overlong -- good night

Americo Sun Jun 20 16:27:26 PDT 1999

Jack: I told you your monitor — at least as seen in your photo — stands too high and that is bad for the neck and spine. I hope you get better. Ask Fran to rub your back with... well, something good.

What's the importance of recognizing the beauty of words? Well: poetry; those colored and guilded decorations medieval monks dedicated their life to (illuminations?); caligraphy (very important to Arabs, Chinese and Japanese;choral music; music in general. Words and their beauty gave origin to many arts. Think of that and you'll be surprised with the accuracy of the biblical sentence: in principio erat verbum! Think of that.

Jack Beslanwitch Sun Jun 20 15:30:22 PDT 1999

Hello all: Sometime soon I will archive so that the Notebook will stay to managable levels. Not one of my better days I am afraid. My back is out and not able to even stand up straight and find it hard to walk. Grump. Also, as it happens, the server where I host has been toast since last night. They promise any time now it will be up and going again. I think I will believe that when my browser does not bring up page not found. Oh, well, off to go lay down.

Jon: Glad you got lent two front teeth so you can leave us waiting for more. Tarab? If truly not translatable I wonder what English words or more specifically Americanisms that are untranslatable. The classics, I suppose are the number of eskimo words for snow that segments reality into finer and finer distinctions in regard to snow, whereas common variety American just says snow. Well, Frank Zappa gave us yellow snow, but that's another story ;-)

Jon Sun Jun 20 09:15:17 PDT 1999

Pussy lent me her two front teeth so that I could say this message beautifully. It's urgent.
The most beautiful word of all languages I know is "TARAB". It is Arab and it's impossible to translate it in any language I know. I also know that its meaning is a very special kind of "ecstasy" only Arabs can experience. But even if I can't experience "TARAB", just being a cat and all that, I know that it's the most beautiful word in the world. The second most beautiful word is "saudade". The most beautiful expression in the internet is "Good morning, everybody".
I know everything, don't I?

Americo Sun Jun 20 09:07:50 PDT 1999

Okay, Martin.

Can a person who only knows one language understand language beauty? And since Americans tend to know only their language (which is a superficial generalization, of course), can they be sensitive to the beauty of words? This seems to be the topic.

My opinion is *yes* to both questions.
My evidence: Homer and Virgil only knew Greek and Latin respectively. And they were word geniuses. Shakespeare is supposed to have learned a little bit of Latin at Stratford grammar school, but certainly not very much — and he was what he was. I did not even know how to read, and hardly how to speak, when a little boy of my age pronounced a word I ignored — and I was so fascinated with that word that I kept repeating it all the time (even not knowing its meaning).

My theory is that man learns how to speak because he is pleased by structured sounds. A love for language is so natural in man as breathing. But that instinct can be more or less developed, of course.

This is the discussion topic and my humble opinion. It would be interesting if other people took part in this interesting conversation.

Martin Sun Jun 20 06:55:19 PDT 1999

One exception does not drown the theory. My mainpoint was, that if you do not learn a second language you can not understand the beauty of a language. If Jack speaks more than one language he does not count into this category if not he does.
You also could have mentioned Herman Melville as an exception, but I know he spoke more than one language.
Certainly their poets would prove me wrong, but as certainly those poets spoke more than ONE language.
It is like before you did not travel to other countries in this world, you do not know the beauty in your own country.
Jack, if you are reading this message please prove me wrong and I would be very happy.

What is sacred and profane in good old Portugal?

Max Frisch truely is the author of »Ich bin nicht Stiller« You have recently mentioned the tiny state of Andorra. Frisch wrote an interisting book with the same title.
Did you enjoy »Der Richter und sein Henker«? Dürrenmatt has written a much better ‘crime’ story »Justiz« I do not like »Der Besuch der alten Dame« because from the first scene I knew that the Güllener would succumb to the offer, it is pretty obvious isn’t it? I tend to think that Dürrenmatt only wrote all the interplays to turn the piece into play.


Americo Sun Jun 20 04:13:45 PDT 1999

Good morning, everybody!

Howard, I'm sorry for what happened to Stephen King and hope he recovers. I liked "Shining" (the movie rather than the book, which I have also tried to read). I must also thank you for the words of "September Song". How did your grandson manage to climb to the roof? (You're probably tired of answering this question...)He is a brave boy! And so are you...

Sqrl, a very special good day to you. I saw Edward's marriage on the telly yesterday. Perhaps you do not like these frivolities but I loved the bride! (I whistle three times to Edward's good taste).

Hey, have you noticed that the notebook's entry thing is larger now? Natives have no more excuses for misspellings, grammar errors or writing with their feet. And do not talk to me about spelling correctors. A writer should not need that! (P.S. I said *natives*, right?)

howard Sat Jun 19 21:12:56 PDT 1999

From the YAHOO! news page :

LEWISTON, Me. (Reuters) - Horror writer Stephen King was reported in serious condition Saturday night after being hit by a
van near his summer home, west of Portland, Maine, a hospital spokesman said.

King, 51, was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston after being struck from behind by a Dodge Caravan at
around 4:30 p.m. (2030 GMT) Saturday.

He was walking along a road bordering a ballfield he had donated to the town of North Lovell, where he has a summer home,
when he was struck by the van, the Oxford County Sheriff's department said.

Sqrl Sat Jun 19 19:37:12 PDT 1999

thanks. That'll help things out a wee bit.

As long as we're on the topic, can anyone identify the acronym HJDGG? some guy imed it to me when I inquired as to why he was asking me personal questions.

I haven't really had time to work on "S" or even look at it. I'm presently still on the 60 hour work week, am in the process of quitting one of the jobs, I tried to get fired. . .didn't work. oh well.


Smile! It makes people wonder what you're REALLY up to. :-)

Americo Sat Jun 19 16:19:18 PDT 1999

Switzerland is usually pointed out as a kind of paradise on earth: good climate, beautiful landscapes, high standards of living. What you say about your country does not surprise me, though. I once read a very good book by a Swiss author whose name I can't remember now (it got the French Goncourt, some ten years ago) which dismystified Swiss "happiness". The thesis of the book was terrible: the author was dying of a cancer whose origin he attributed to having been born and raised in a rich bourgeois Swiss family. He considered that atmosphere simply lethal. He died before the book was published — as if to prove the sincerity of his impressive thesis. "Mars" is the title of the book. Perhaps you'd like to read it.

Societies basing happiness on just material well-being are doomed. The happiest people I saw in my life were small children playing on the sand-hills of a desert in Ceará (Brazil). Those children of the dunes had the purest look of happiness in their eyes. I liked to see them playing and running to the beach nearby to help the fishermen bring their tiny rafts ashore. They were obviously very poor in material goods, but I would give my life to be one of them.

If Max Frisch is the author of "I am not Stiller", which I read many years ago, he is a very good writer. I also read Durrenmatt's "The Visit of the Old Lady" (and saw the play and the film, this with Ingrid Bergman, I think) and "Their Richter und sein Henker" (at least). Pestalozzi was compulsory reading in a one year-course I took called "Pedagogy and Didactics". And wasn't Jean-Jacques Rousseau of a French family established in Geneve? You Swiss have a good literature. It's good we speak about these things here, from time to time...

I can't agree with you about Americans lacking a sense of beauty for languages. Their poets would prove you wrong quicker than Cervantes took to write the sentence you refer... And I know an American gentleman who, despite loving emoticons and all sorts of siglas, once read a whole dictionary just for the sake of the beauty and meaning of words. His name is J. Beslanwitch. Still waters run deep, Martin.

Martin Sat Jun 19 13:36:27 PDT 1999

What is sacred and what is profane in todays world?
Here in Switzerland the army and our farmers are sacred for the government, for they spent billions of swiss franks in both. To the people security is sacred. To be on the safe side of life is the way of life here in Switzerland. Status symbols such as to live in your own house are sacred, too. You would be surprised what finacial and psycholigical pain Swiss people are ready to accept to own their own sweet home. The norm is maybe the most sacred of them all. For everything that deviates from it there is a law that prohibits the deviation.
Critical thinking is very profane here for it brings you on the other side of safty. Art is profane. All the people interested in art or even producing it are not working and
systematically outcasted. It even happens if you mention Max Frisch (One of the greatest Swiss writers) that people ask you if this is a politician. Interests on other
cultures are very, very, very profane. Thousands of Swiss tourist visit Spain every summer but not because it is a nation with a grand culture but because they have nice beaches.

Well now it is time to relax at the river Aare and watch the fish jump, before Américo catches them.


Martin Sat Jun 19 10:40:45 PDT 1999

I can even give you an example that the americans do not know anything about the beauty of languages. If an american writer writes about jail it is simply a jail if Cervantes writes about it, it is: Como quien se engendró en una carcel, donde todo incomodidad tiene su asiento y donde todo triste ruido hace su habitación.

I hope that not the same happens to your favorite team as it did to me at the Giro. I had already written the guest list and bought the wine to celibrate Pattani’s victory
then the ....... Union de Cyclisme International decided to spoil the fun. The guest stayed out and the wine is rotten.

Tell your neighbour he better gets used to it, for it was not the first and obviously not the last time this happened.


howard Sat Jun 19 05:56:44 PDT 1999

Rose -- you can copy/paste from your favorite word processor into the various gateway areas, no need to retype it all in. And the quality or lack of quality shouldn't scare you at all.

Jack -- While I haven't yet read "Harsh Mistress" I mean to Real Soon Now. I was familiar with TANSTAAFL (and its origin) from other readings.

Have a great weekend.

Jon Sat Jun 19 05:22:43 PDT 1999

wiww you pwease teww peopwe, mainwy Cassandwa, that it was not my neighbow, but you, who waised the question of Intewnetese this time and pwoposed a vote on Intewnetese use in this fowum?
He's gonna fishing and wiww come home onwy to watch the soccew cup finaw on the tewwivision this aftewnoon. Then he wiww go to the pub and get dwunk if his team wins the cup. He woves you aww.
I awso wove you aww, but I can't speak weww because I wost two fwont teeth. A man cawwed *dentist* puwwed them out with a paiw of pwiews. He was vewy bad to me, so I think he was Amewican!

Jack Beslanwitch Sat Jun 19 01:39:47 PDT 1999

Howard: TANSTAAFL - from The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress - One of my favorite books mind you and among the very best that Heinlein ever turned out - translates out as There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. TANSTAAFL.

Fri Jun 18 21:20:47 PDT 1999

Dianna Fri Jun 18 21:09:23 PDT 1999

I think I should quit while I am ahead. Did anybody see my misspelled words and typos? UGH! Now I am doing it too. I guess abbreviations kinda sneak in on us. As for internetese,forget it. Jury is still out. Nighty night y'all!

Dianna Fri Jun 18 20:56:34 PDT 1999

Hello, again! I would have been back here sooner, but I have been busy writing a college admissions essay. My fingered are crossed! What little nubs are left after writing and rewriting for days. I guess I'll be staying up extremely late now in order to write. My kids will be out of school next week. Hey, bonus - I'll get to sleep in late! By the way, thanks Casey. I checked with a computer store and finally got some useful info on that Crosspad. Now if only I could sell something so that I can buy one. I have been reading everybody's comments about abbreviations and whatnot. My conclusion? I'm still in the dark, and seem inclined to stay there, much prefering to avoid tarnishing the english language. I did enjoy the euro-english. I will be here tonight until I am hunched over the keyboard, sound asleep. I don't have much time during daylight hours to work on my writing. I am usually at the barn riding or training horses. I am sort of a functional insomniac - I can't fall asleep until I've written a few pages.

howard Fri Jun 18 20:27:35 PDT 1999

I didn't mean to sound all that pedantic about acronyms, it's just that we've been discussing that very subject in a writer's forum I'm associated with at work. If you think it's bad here, you ought to see all the pseudo-acronyms we use all day on the job!

Martin -- I don't know what KGB stands for (although I know what it is) and NASCAR is the premier car racing group in this country. The rest are: Lots Of Laughs, In My Humble Opinion, Rest In Peace, Year 2K(two thousand), and YUK is just that - YUK! -- an expression of distaste. We have Mr Yuk labels (in an awful green color) to place on containers of toxic and poisonous substances to warn children not to taste them.

Can anyone identify the acronym (if it's really an acronym) TANSTAAFL? It's from our very own science fiction genre, coined by the great Robert Heinlein.


Rose Secrest Fri Jun 18 20:23:11 PDT 1999

Hello, folks. I was on here while back wanting to know how to put my work in. Well, I went there and found I had to type it in. Ugh! Plus, the quality of the work I found there scared me away. It was much better than excerpts I read on here from published work. Those things are so bad I read them to laugh!

Bad news. My book will not be published after all. It should be on the following web site someday:

Here is the story of my book for you older science fiction fans. In 1983, I began writing a literary analysis of A Canticle for Leibowitz. I then put it aside until 1986, when my new husband helped me do library research for it. It was accepted by Starmont House in 1988. Starmont House went out of business in 1992, but they sent it to Borgo Press, who accepted it, promising to publish it by the year 2000. Now, at the last minute, they have gone out of business, too.

Good news. It's not much, but I began writing reference book articles in 1992, thinking it might lead to something. Now the people at Salem Press and Gale Research beg me to do harder assignments with the same pay, and I gladly go along, increasing my number of published works, but getting nowhere. Now they offer me the title of "consulting editor" for a science book. I get $1500 for three months' work, more than I've ever made doing anything, so I took it. Oh, yes, the tally is at 220 published articles, with an average annual income of around $2000.

Cassandra Fri Jun 18 17:54:34 PDT 1999

Tisk tisk tisk... seems as if at little tiff has broken out because someone allegidly accused someone of something and someone else jumped on their back.

Allow me to apologize for using the word 'abbreviations', I was typing quickly, intending to get back to profitable (not necessarily lucrative profitable...) writing. Otherwise, I agree with you.

Yes, it opened my eyes a little, but they are still half-cocked. For I thought that I said, writen shorthand to be typed in length later at one point in that post. For the sake of time, I write in shorthand first... Then I type the full word. I understand it. As do a few close friends, and they loose nothing of the meaning reading the shorthand.

It's like using another language, one cannot argue the best one to use, for every one of them has their strong and weak points. Different people become proficient in the language that suits them best. But for the sake of understanding, and communication... a standard, I assume must be set.

I assume that your vote would be that the notebook's standard form of communication be without Internetese. Such is your choice... as it is my choice should I want to use it. Should it be voted on, I would agree to whatever terms the populace wishes. Until then -- no one rules Casey!! Ha ha ha---
And, I apologize for the 'accusation' or whatever... I wasn't sure if you meant it to be ironic. I was pointing it out in case you didn't mean it... just to be a peev (peev- american slang, means an annoyance.) *shrugs* I was just in one of those moods that day. :) sorry

I have to get going... I've spent way too much time here, writing everything out word for word letter for letter.

Jack Beslanwitch Fri Jun 18 16:29:01 PDT 1999

    Americo: July 25th? OK, I always work best when I have a deadline. So, expect my keynote address and Fran and I confronting a ghost or two. If I could figure out an excuse I would have Deforest Kelley show up to comisserate with Dylan Thomas or Mark Twain, but probably not ;-)

    Martin: A Science Fiction Fan (singular) or Fen (plural) signifies the sub category of those who read or watch science fiction who attend science fiction conventions, like in our area we have Norwescon - Westercon52 and are presently bidding for Westercon56 for 2003. The old line is that we panel all day, party all night and sleep when we get home. Now that many of us are getting a bit older that is not quite true, but sleep deprivation is a common occurance at a con. Also, expect to see some elaborate costuming, meeting authors, publishers and a hoste of others. Basically, its damn good fun and quite enjoyable. In recent years the general science fiction convention has been added to by niche conventions like those for anime, furry fandom (do not ask :-), English media fandom ala Doctor Who and many other flavors. This past weekend I went to a small reader con where I had a chance to talk with Octavia Butler and Amy Thomson, two on my list of many science fiction writers that I love to read. Take care.

Martin Fri Jun 18 14:42:38 PDT 1999

Here is my bad English calling. I do not understand the second to last line in your poem.

I do not minde the USA americans. I spent more than one year in this lovely country, to explore their wonderful language. They even invented the best music there is:

¡The day I will forget June 4th 1944, it’s time to join Doctor McCoy somewhere beyond the ranges of the Enterprise!

The only problem I have with them is their USA-is-the-only-thing-that-counts attitude. And believe me, even if it may be wrong on this page, it certainly is valid for the rest of the USA.
This is true for the language as well. Unfortunatly for them, English became a world language. Certainly there is no need to learn a second language but on the other hand they never understand the beauty of their own language.
I love two things on this planet: My lady and languages. If you rape English with BTW I am hurt deep and thoroughly.
That’s me.

Welcome back. I was missing you!

In your modesty you could do no other than console a hurten heart. ¡Thanks!

Loretta Wilkins is the name of the lady in whose craddle Euro English was born.

Good evening Lexica Britanica
Let me in on the secrets of KGB, LOL, NASCAR, IMHO; RIP; Y2K, YUK

What is a fandom?

Good night I am ready to take the A-Train

Americo Fri Jun 18 08:11:28 PDT 1999

you said: "I have no clue where I'm going with the story."
Re: the program of the writers's convention is the following:
1st day— a) tea in the hall of the hotel (served by Lena and Allein); b) welcome speech by Jack;
2nd day— karaoke session;
3rd day— mask ball;
4th day— departure of the writers after breakfast (for those who are able or wish to go home...).
People are free to do whatever they please outside those obligatory activities. For more details about the program and the main theme of the novel please read the introduction to the latter in the round robin and the archives.
The book must be concluded on the 25th July at the latest.
P.S. Anyone that has ever contributed to "S" is supposed to be present in the Chelsea Hotel, even if they have deserted from the notebook or the project. Humour (with or without "u"), sarcasm, fantasy, tears and whispers are allowed and welcomed. Emoticons, abbreviations, acronyms, acrostics, crosswords, charades, puzzles of any sort, chess problems, repeated exclamation or admiration marks, whole sentences in capitals, bad punctuation, misspellings, and any other signs of bad taste will be left for posterity on the website, but deleted, discreetly and with a smile, on the typescripts of the editors, as publishers are, sadly, alergic to those phenomena of our brave world.

Americo Fri Jun 18 08:06:43 PDT 1999

you said: "I have no clue where I'm going with the story."
Re: the program of the writers's convention is the following:
1st day— a) tea in the hall of the hotel (served by Lena and Allein); b) welcome speech by Jack;
2nd day— karaoke session;
3rd day— mask ball;
4th day— departure of the writers after breakfast (for those who are able or wish to go home...).
People are free to do whatever they please outside those obligatory activities. For more details about the program and the main theme of the novel please read the introduction to the latter in the round robin and the archives.
The book must be concluded on the 25th July at the latest.
P.S. Anyone that has ever contributed to "S" is supposed to be present in the Chelsea Hotel, even if they have deserted from the notebook or the project. Humour (with or without "u"), sarcasm, fantasy, tears and whispers are allowed and welcomed. Emoticons, abbreviations, acronyms, acrostics, crosswords, charades, puzzles of any sort, chess problems, repeated exclamation or admiration marks, whole sentences in capitals, bad punctuation, misspellings, and any other signs of controversial taste will be left for posterity on the website, but deleted, discreetly and with a smile, on the typescripts of the editors, as publishers are, sadly, alergic to those phenomena of our brave world.

Allein Fri Jun 18 07:58:46 PDT 1999

Hello my adoring public. I'm just here to say that I will be leaving today to go to Colorado on that top secret CIA mission...or to visit relatives - whichever. I'll be back on the 24th and I'll be sure to fill you in on all the details. :)
Don't have much time to write seeing as how I still have to finish with the last minute packing and such. I'll talk to you all when I get back.

Rachel - glad you could drop by. Glad your trip is going well.


Rachel Fri Jun 18 06:42:26 PDT 1999

Hi all

I am writing to you from my baby brother's computer. Baby, well the guy is 22, but he is a baby to me (grins)

Howard - Thank you for the words to Septembers Song. I had been looking round for those. Also I am glad that your grandson will be all right.

Jack! - Wow! A Triathalon for Fran. Good for her. I can relate to the work that she has been doing. In the past year and a half I have lost 65lbs. It is no easy thing to loose weight. I think that her doing that is AWSOME!!!!!!!

I spent some time catching up on the posts. Its nice to see some of the old faces back here. WELCOME BACK!

Well I have to run. There is much to do this morning and I have to go meet SKSPerry for my Karate class (grins and laughter)

I also want to go see Shadows. Hum, I wonder if I remember my password. At home I just have it on a favorite button.

Take care all

Jack Beslanwitch Fri Jun 18 02:42:55 PDT 1999

While we are noting different assorted acronyms. I think one point might be made about them. They do tend to spring up quite often in sub-cultures from the over all culture. The military comes to mind and have been pointed out previously. In science fiction fandom, definitely a sub if not a counter culture to the overall, we have, among others:

  1. FIJAGH - Fandom Is Just A Goddamn Hobby
  2. FIAWOL - Fandom Is A Way Of Life

In case you had not figured it out, yours truly falls into the FIAWOL category. Then, of course, there is GAFIA or GAFIATE which is someone who self exiles himself from fandom or Gets Away From It All

Now you thought internetese was bad and the above acronyms started in the 60's, long before Arpanet and the birthplace of the internet in the hallowed halls of the Defense Department. Take care.

Sqrl Thu Jun 17 19:45:13 PDT 1999


"You are not thinking of pinching the back of Dr. Kirk, are you? As a vague acquaintance of that mysterious character, I would be delighted if you did!" in response to this. . .I'm somewhat perplexed as to what you mean. I haven't been able to sneek a peek at "S" sence I last posted. In all honesty, I have no clue where I'm going with the story, it writes itself, not I writing it. It has a tendency to grab me by the throat, slap me across the face, all the while yelling obscenities at me, forcing me to do its bidding!
and thank you. I can only dream of being as eloquent of a writer as the rest of you.


Jerry Lee Thu Jun 17 19:19:35 PDT 1999

Whoop! Whoop! Whoop!

Oh, no! It's the alarm! Someone's been picking nits again!

In the Air Force, we learned some really good examples of acronyms, initials...whatever; ASAP, PDQ, SNAFU, BUFF, SAC, MAC, TAC, PACAF and FIGMO.
In order, they are;
As Soon As Possible
Pretty Damn Quick
Situation Normal; All {Fouled} Up
Big, Ugly Flying {Fortress} (aka B52)
Strategic Air Command
Military Airlift Command
Tactical Air Command
Pacific Air Forces
{Finally}, I Got My Orders

You could not have fought the military need for these things with a BUFF, so we simply learned them.

The same is true on the internet...When in Rome...

Shoot skeet, not bunnies.
Jerry Lee

howard Thu Jun 17 18:35:49 PDT 1999

Pnokio -- Isaac -- that's my grandson, knew what a CAT scan was. He'd had one before. He's been through a lot for a nine-year-old. He was making a small joke to get us to smile.
Here's September Song:
Writer(s): Maxwell Anderson/Kurt Weill

Oh, it's a long, long while from May to December
But the days grow short when you reach September
When the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame
One hasn't got time for the waiting game

Oh, the days dwindle down to a precious few
September, November
And these few precious days I'll spend with you
These precious days I'll spend with you

If I can find my copy of the sheet music I'll scan it in and send you a copy. I personally think it's one of the nicest songs ever written. Haunting melody, real words -- it really comes across.

Michele -- Strictly speaking, an acronym is a WORD (pronounceable) made up of the first letters of the words, or the first letters of major syllables of words in a description of an object, organization, or concept. I'm not sure that CIA and KGB really fit that description. While I could possibly pronounce LOL, I don't even want to hear anyone try BTW! NASCAR, RADAR, and NASA are acronyms, so is AIDS. Things like WWF, JFK, AT&T are mainly journalistic labels to save column space, while BTW, LOL, IMHO are contrived abbreviations to save computer space. Come to think of it, so was the two-digit decision that brought us the Y2K disaster! YUK! :-)

Rhoda! -- It's good to read you again!

Martin -- It was Greg LeMond, not Lemmon, who won the Tour de France.

RIP Doctor (I'm dead, Jim) McCoy. He's been beamed up somewhere beyond Enterprise range.

Also Mel Torme is gone. Did you know that he wrote the Christmas song taht starts "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire..."

Ah nostalgia! ---- It's not what it used to be...


Weston Thu Jun 17 18:06:26 PDT 1999

Even though acronyms are common on the internet, I don't see a place for them here in the notebook. There are visitors here who may not understand them. I didn't. Perhaps the use of shortcuts is a result of e-mail, bulletin boards, and chat rooms, where a few quick lines is the norm. I see it here- drpped letters, sawpped letters, finger hits thr wrong key. Do we proofread before we fire off our missives.
(Listen! Is that the nitpick alarm I hear?)
I do however, excuse those among us for whom English is not a first language, although most of them put the rest of us to shame.

As writers we should strive for clarity and creativity.

If you want abbreviation and acronym try the International Morse Code used by the HAMS (slang for amateur radio operator).

Martin - I enjoyed Euro English. I wish to pass it on. To whom may I attribute the piece?

Good Words.

(short for Weston, don't call me Wesley)
(I sometimes use my initials, W.C. Isn't that short for something over there? See the danger of abbreviations?)

Send missives, not missiles.

Americo Thu Jun 17 16:51:54 PDT 1999

Rhoda, how nice to see you again! The resident writers of this forum seem to be returning home and that pleases me.

Internetese does not bother me much really. It is ugly and smells of high-tech neauveau-rich (teenagers like to make a show of it when they buy their first computer), but whenever I do not like somebody's writing I simply do not read it Actually I do not even like the word e-mail, which I tend to replace for message or even letter... But this is a matter of taste and I am not going to waste time with this subject.

Martin, we are the European guests of these fine people and must treat them with the utmost consideration. We, continentals, lack the diplomacy of the English, for instance, and are used to discuss anything freely and with sincerity, forgetting sometimes that Americans have a culture and a sensibility different from ours. I wanted you to read the archives not to know more about me (I have no biography, like the Republic of Andorra) but to know what world you are in. It is a fascinating world, believe me, especially if you are ready to overcome the silly European complex of cultural superiority and forgive our friends for their own peculiar idiossincrasies... Don Quijote de la Mancha would probably challenge them for a fight with his rusty lance — and would beat them in the twinkling of an eye. But would thank them afterwards for a "nice joust". That's the spirit...

Avatar Thu Jun 17 16:00:20 PDT 1999

Hello all (tired sigh)
Sorry I haven't been around, but something has been backing up my e-mail and I have been up to my elbows trying to get rid of all of it.

Note- If you want to know where S.K.S. is, he signed up for the Del Rey Online Writing Workshop like I did. If he's there, you probably want to avoid e-mailing him unless he's a daily e-mail checker because it's like a notebook goes through your mail with everyone's opinion one letter and when you get up to around 100 each day it's a bit hard to catch up.

Can you tell my grammar's off today?

So how's the crew doing? I haven't been around to find out(obviously)

Anybody miss me?

I got a homepage last week, but I haven't had the time to upgrade it, so no one is getting the address until I get through! ;)

On the subject of Dads-
Dads are there to give you love
Dads are there to give you hugs
There to tell us right from wrong
There to hear our guilty song
To punish us for what we do
To tell us when we're being fools
To give us the wisdom of the ages
To make his parents seem like the sages
Dad's are there, 'cause if they bail
My mom would sure have fun puttin' him in jail!

I'm early, but that's okay.

Keep me posted, fellow plotters! ;)


Rhoda Thu Jun 17 13:43:01 PDT 1999


I am so glad that your grandson is doing well after the terrible fall. Better yet is that he wasn't too scared to get up on the roof again. I hope your job is doing well.


I am glad your exams went well.

Acronyms on the Internet do not bother me so much. The only danger I see is Internet language having an adverse effect on the rest of English literature. When BTW and LOL start creeping up in ordinary conversation or other forms of writing, there is cause for some concern. Newspaper's and magazine's dependance upon acronyms has increased over the years. But so far, I think the language will survive, Americo.

Last night I looked at Shadows for the first time in several weeks. I don't know how I am going to be able to read all that material and add to it, but I will do it. It was extremely sad to see all the postings from people such as Steve who do not post on the Notebook anymore.

I went to Borders Bookstore after a trip to Tulsa this week. In my enthusiasm I bought a load of books, many of them on the history of the American west. Though I have been busy, I have been reading more this summer than anytime in recent memory.

Well there is much to do. Since my children are home for the summer, I can't hang around on the computer too long.

Happy Writing!


Martin Thu Jun 17 13:33:46 PDT 1999

Americans just don’t know anything about beauty in languages. All they know is their American and they even believe that’s all there is. They never cried learning a
language; felt the joy of the first sentence spoken in a foreigner language or excavated treasures like »saudade«.
Don’t go to paredise. You will be dissapointed for Greg Lemmon will win the Tour de France the second time. Sorry. But sometimes truth shows its unfriendly side.

I bet you one hundred bottles of Rioja fino that every word in my textes count, even as simple as a post. If it is not important why mention it?
If this does not do the job, I can boil you an espresso italiano, that will open your eyes.

You ow me two bottles of vino tinto. ¡Muchas gracias!

Don’t you think, that we all are hunting the white wale, and even knowing that we will fail keep on hunting? You know white wales like peace, justice ...
I was just stating, that I hate BTW, MTV, VJ, TV and other only-recomended-for-use-for-lazy-people words. I certainly was not touching your beautiful English. I never would dare.

You really walk uphill??????????????????????????????????????
May I suggest to buy a bicycle??????????????????????????????

Luckily you mentioned nothing but a few. So you ow me only five bottles of Rioja fino.
Okay. Lack of knowing my propper English.

I always knew you were the first to understand. Hope you are merilly hunting mouses again.

And now I won’t be disturbed for I want read Pnokio’s post at leisure......

Shoot pool and not people.


Jon Thu Jun 17 10:37:18 PDT 1999

I went to de dentist's and can't speak vewy weww.
Medinks Euwo-Engwish tops.
Just to teww you I went to de dentist's.

Americo Thu Jun 17 10:36:25 PDT 1999

Hear! Hear! That's master's voice and splendid advice. Welcome back, Michele :-)

Michele Thu Jun 17 08:58:02 PDT 1999

Excuse me ! Can I just point out that BTW, LOL et. al. are NOT abbreviations - they are acronyms, and acronyms have been around a lot longer than the Internet has - for example, NASA, KGB, CIA to name but a few. An abbreviation is merely a shortened word, eg. phone, plane, temp., memo., etc. Kindly get your facts right before you go accusing each other of these petty crimes... and Jack is right - those acronyms are a part of the Internet they do save time - which you should all be spending in writing stories, etc. not leaving lengthy messages here... because lengthy messages here do not earn you money, whereas that story you're working on just might...


Oh and if anyone is interested, I had my exams last week and they went OK, but results aren't out yet.

Allein Thu Jun 17 06:33:04 PDT 1999

Heya all!! Finals are over and I did pretty damn well!

Casey - sorry I wasn't on to chat last night - I kinda fell asleep.

Abbreviations - I think they have their place. Such as I used tons of them in my notes for my history final. And Internetese comes in handy as well. But in stories and such it's not the best way to go because usually, you have the time to write complete words.

Martin - thanks for the suggestion. Actually, I do ride my bike the only trouble is that around here there are many hills and downhill you get no exercise and uphill, you have to walk. Actually, my mom works at a health club, so I might try working out there - since she works there, I get free membership so I might as well use it.

Well, seeya all later.

Americo Thu Jun 17 05:02:58 PDT 1999

Pnokio: I didn't know you are Irish. Ireland gave England her greatest writers: Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Beckett, Butler (?) Yates and Pnokio. And others you may add to the list, for our information.
I find cricket a bit boring and never managed to learn the rules. They say cricket is the game they play in paradise, but I hope they play soccer when I go there.
I'd also like to know the lyrics of September Song, if Howard will be so kind as to publish them.

Cassandra: I really hate Internetese and never use it :-(
BTW: to say one thing meaning something else is not hypocrisy: it's humour or irony. You should have learned that at school :-)
But I really think Internetese is ugly and a waste ot time. It takes longer to write :-) than ... or — . The three dots or, more usual in Anglophobelandia, the dash at the end of a sentence convey humour — for those who have a sense of humour, of course.

Jack: there was an American guy, not very long ago, who won the toughest cycling competition in the world, the tour de France. I can't remember his name, but he was excellent. Americans can be very good at every thing except soccer and...politics. They are improving on soccer but worse and worse on politics. Here they are a complete disaster.

Pnokio Thu Jun 17 03:31:51 PDT 1999

Hello Everyone!

Thank heavens your little grandson's unharmed - I just can't imagine how you all must have felt. Well, he's okay, and so that's all okay. I sometimes think we're brought to the brink just to remember how lucky we are, to have what we have here - whatever that may be. But how sweet, the little boy wanting to know what colour was the cat! That's lovely. - But 'September Song' - oh if you could let me have the words I'd be very grateful for your kindness. I agree with you - that's to say, it's one of my favourites too. It's always been there in the background, echoing through the years. I'm writing a little story with a friend, and before it's finished we must have the words to work from. We know what the words are roughly, and what they indicate, and so we can go ahead, but we must have the proper text before we can complete. Feel free to email me if you want - or post the song right here. ((I can't believe Americo doesn't know it - that's to say, the melody. I'd willingly sing it to him - although my voice is not so great, you know, an it might reinforce his position!!)).

How about cricket - did you get into cricket while you were in England? There's a fantastic match today, South Africa v. Australia, and it's on tele and all, and so, as I'm not working today, I'll be in touch with it. - That was very sweet of you, what you said (if you weren't putting me on!). And what I was thinking runs along these lines - if you remind me of my friend Wally, and I remind you of you, where does that come out? Oh, and I'm Irish, although I've always lived here in London.


I never did feel anything other than something not-of-this-world about the white whale, not at any point, so there was no rummaging. I seem to remember it's is not unusual with this book. I think I was always totally caught-up in the relentless breathlessness of the writing - if ever I was in the hands of a master so outstanding that I ceased to exist at the power of his voice, it was in that book. I was behind his eyes, looking seaward, looking inward and outward, or he came in to me and looked out through mine. What do I mean by, "it's the blistering genius that sets it"? Roughly what I've just said, and it isn't only true of Moby Dick and its author. But in that book the only person speaking to me was Herman Melville, his 'blistering genius' is everything in his character creations. They are overpowered by the taleteller (on-stage they would live and breathe between a backdrop of his teeth!) - although the characters are mighty and absolutely unforgettable. It isn't a criticism. I'd know Ishmael anywhere. If he appeared under an alias for five words of someone else's book, I'd know who the father was. But until I die, whenever I think of any aspect of Moby Dick, from the famous opening line till the Rachel finds the orphan, I'll be one of the crew sitting around Melville listening.
(((And what does that mean, your thoughts on the abbreviators of Notebook? All I know is English, and that's all I'll ever know; but what you've written looks so lovely, even if it is a put-down. I envy you and Americo your multi-lingualism, I really do. I know a half-dozen bits and pieces, and recently, when I came to write about the sudden death of someone very dear to me, the only title that would do was 'Sans Souci' - which I came across studying Frederick the Great, and the goings on at his little country place. So many things - but I remember listening to Borges reading something in his own tongue, how loevly it was, and then there's the voice-over for 'Last Year in Marienbad', both hypnotic, however unintellgible - music-like))).


Jack Beslanwitch Thu Jun 17 03:11:37 PDT 1999

      Internetese. Hmmmmmmmmmmm. Oh, well, I admit it, I am a confirmed user of all those abbreviated methods of speaking online. BTW .. LOL .. And I certainly could not survive online without my emoticons any more than I could talk without my hands.

      On exercise, my wife is currently practicing towards doing an triathalon here in Seattle in August. And, as far as Americans not beeing deep into bicycling, you could not tell it by the fanatics around Puget Sound and Seattle. Built into every budget is a new expansion of the bike trails and bike lanes. I grant that we do not come even close to the phenomenal bike usage of say China or Europe, but what we lack in per capita I think we make up for in the furvor of the individual for this sport. And do not look at me, I am a confirmed motorist. Would not be caught alive and exercising on a bike. But I can cheer Fran on ;-)

Cassandra Wed Jun 16 22:55:27 PDT 1999

Short note:

If you're going to complain about Internetese, it might be best not to use BTW: right after that complaint. :)

Just a little smack of hypocrisy... thought you should know.

And VJ is Video Jockey, the television version of a Disk Jokey (or DJ), they play music videos on television, rather than records, or compact disks on the radio.

I think that Abbreviations have their place, they shorten commonly used phrases, so that the writer has more time to write what's really important. They are there for the same reason that secretaries use shorthand. To write all that out takes time, and in America time is money. Why not write more of importance, and leave those phrases to be typed out later, or understood in the mind of the reader???

that is my understanding of it...
perhaps you can open my eyes to yours.

ta ta


Americo Wed Jun 16 18:01:52 PDT 1999

Martin, you are right about Internetese. It's ugly. I myself have conducted a campaign against it on this page. To no avail:-)
Are we Europeans more sensitive to the beauty of English than the Anglophones themselves? Abbreviations like POV make me cry. And what's VJ? :-(
BTW: your text about Euro-English is of the best posts ever published here. Anthological!

PEOPLE — the comic novel is for the future."Shadows" is a different project. It may have funny moments but the main idea is serious, right?

Allein. the best way to lose weight is to climb the Everest. João Garcia, the Portuguese who did it some days ago (without bottles of oxygen!) lost 11 kilos (over 20 pounds)!

Leigh Hamilton, you got the idea!... LOL... Sorry, Martin, this LOL costs me the fourth bottle of Riojas :=$$) (This new, pretty emoticon is Jon©)

Martin Wed Jun 16 11:42:19 PDT 1999


So simple. Because man is the only animal who cries!!!

Martin Wed Jun 16 11:27:14 PDT 1999

Is this just stupid or is it me? We all are writers,meaning we love the use and to write words. Nevertheless I always find abbreviations like BTW or POV or VJ on this page. Are writers these days so lazy, that they can not do what they love most - writing words? I vote, that everyone who uses an abbreviation in the futer ows me una botella de Riojo fino. Anyone else who agrees?

As far as I know, Americans are not very deep into bicycling, but besides swimming it is the best exercise to loose weight, and after performing it, there will be no broken bones, or torn tendons.
Another good exercise is playing Baseball, but I am not sure, if you will loose any weight with it.

I can understand how you felt. It scared me reading it.

I got you. Nevertheless I enjoyed your neighbour’s compliments.

Can you still feel the white whale rummaging your guts?
What do you mean with, it’s the blistering genius that sets it?

»Do you think of the futere often, Linus?«
»Sure.. all the time«
»What would you like to be, when you are grown up?«
»Unbelievable happy!«
Welcome back Charly Brown!!!

I used to think that the universal use of the internet would prevent such things because of the instant communication which it offered, ...
I can not follow you. What made you think so in the first place?

Westchester is in Scottland, ain’t it?

Leigh Hamilton
I nice poem, but I can not agree with its content. For my dream ist to write sentences and not convince others of my dream, for my dream is unique and hopfully always will be.

Maybe we should do a comedy next time.
Do not worry. That’s why He entered the scene. You can be shure that you will not recognize the Chelsea Hotel after He left. if he finds the way to the Chelsea. But that is a complete ohter story.......

And all your optimists.. The war is not over yet.

shoot pool and not people


Leigh Hamilton Wed Jun 16 09:11:15 PDT 1999

Sometimes reality is funnier than fiction. Your suggestion for the opening where the bride and groom are walking down the aisle towards the alter when one slips on a banana peel is funny, however is it as funny as when the minister told me to put her finger on her hand (rather than the ring on her finger). Or when my new bride and I were supposed to light the trinity candles and it had never been rehersed because I had to run away from the cops during my rehersal dinner (its a family tradition the groom gets thrown in jail the night before the wedding... if he gets caught), well we had absolutely no idea of what we were doing so we went over to the waxless candles on either side of the dias and tried to pull one out. Did you know that waxless candles are spring loaded? We sent 4 candle missiles airborne before we finally got one loose. And it was all video taped for prosperity.


Americo Wed Jun 16 05:27:16 PDT 1999

PEOPLE: get ready for a new round robin project. A comic novel (or short-story collection). Provisional title "ALL THE FUN". More details in due time.

Suggestion for a beginning (provisional):

You are walking gravely towards the altar and your marriage, dreaming of a new marvellous life, and you slip on a banana skin...Even the priest laughs. The organ player forgets Mendelssohn's March and plays "rock around the clock" instead... even Jon cracks up.

Man is the only animal that laughs. Isn't this strange?
And what makes people laugh? According to the French philosopher Henri Bergson, the unexpected. (I was never quite satisfied with this answer to the question).
Howard: How nice to see you! These rejections are displeasing me greatly. Isn't there a way of avoiding them? Must a writer (and such an excellent writer as you are) be dependent on publishers? Well, perhaps we should found a small publishing house ourselves. Or something like that.

Cassandra: Inanimate objects do talk to people, mainly to artists! Nothing to worry about...

Students: good luck for your exams. And for other (more exciting) things.
"Shadows" tops, right?

Cassandra Tue Jun 15 22:17:40 PDT 1999

Hello All!

Yes, I have returned once again from a spacious, but not so much so as others, absence! I'm still writing, infact more so the past few days than in a while. I hope to get a few short stories on paper by the end of July so that I have a good amount to work from when I begin my search for writing scholarships. I am not letting all of those opportunities out there slip through my grasps. Perhaps capturing a few awards would raise my stock value as a writer a bit, at least in the eyes of my college...

Shadows time is being reserved for tomorrow, and perhaps a little humor might sneek it's way in. Most times I fund hidden moments in my work anyways, but perhaps they are personal jokes, only amuzing my oddly tuned funny bone. Oh well, but I will try. My friends know for a fact that I'm at least good for a few laughs. Isn't that right Sqrlgirl??! You should know from all of those emails!

Writing is tearing at me though. I find the urge to lift pen to paper nearly every day... and it just won't let go of me, regardless of my work schedule. Perhaps it will end up costing me my job when my muse tries to pirate time from my weekly hours. *eek* Let's hope not!

well... the bed is urging me onward, the pillow sighing my name, I guess that only can mean one thing... I'M GOING INSANE because inanimate objects are talking to me!

Maybe it's cause I'm tired... NAW, couldn't be

good night/evening/ morning/ afternoon to you all (adjust for your own time zone)

Ta ta


Allein Tue Jun 15 19:21:34 PDT 1999

Heya all - I decided to drop in and grace you with my presence. Actually - I have been busy with finals - I get to use a 5x7 notecard on my History final so I'm typing my notes in pt.6 font and taping or gluing them to the notecard - my teacher said that would be okay. I'm happy.
I left school early today since I only had one final. I went out for lunch and stopped at a couple shops. At one shop I found this beautiful red, Chinese style dress but it's a little too tight - good thing one of my goals this summer is to loose weight (so I might get the dress anyway) - which I lost 5 pounds this weekend but thanks to school lunch and study food I've gained a few pounds back. But, during the summer I'll just stick to veggies, rice, grain, and good old-fashioned excercise - does anyone know good excercises for slimming waists and trimming fat from your butt and thights? If so, e-mail me with suggestions - my goal is to loose 30 pounds by the end of the summer. Hope I make it.
Anyway, I do have to get back to writing notes.
Bai bai,

Howard Tue Jun 15 18:44:17 PDT 1999

Americo -- I'm still here, but have been frightfully busy since I opted for gainful employment. I just cleaned out my in-basket. WOW!
Yesterday I received another reject -- this time from the group that publishes Children's Digest. I had sent them a short story that "Doesn't meet our editorial needs." At lest that is what was checked on the multiple-choice rejection notice they clipped to my ms.
Pnokio -- are you serious about the words to "September Song?" I can look them up if you are. It's one of my favorites.
We had quite a scare Friday evening. My nine-year-old grandson wanted to help repair the roof on my parents' mobile home. He missed his footing and fell backwards off the peak, and landed on his head and shoulder, knocking himself unconscious. It was our first experience with 911, and they responded admirably. A CAT Scan (he wanted to know what color was the cat, Jon) and several xrays later they pronounced him fit and sent him home. Saturday morning he was back up on the roof (just to see if he could stand being up there again) and he seems okay now, thank God! Looking down and seeing him lying there was an experience I'll not soon want to repeat! I really don't remember how I got down myself, but it was in a hurry!
Gotta run,
cheers, howard

Jon Tue Jun 15 17:49:57 PDT 1999

Never ask: "What does the notebook do for me?", but: "What can I do for the notebook?"

There is a lady I would like to see one of these days: Olivia — the prettiest name on the block.

And where is Allein today? Preparing for the finals...Good excuse.

Of Lena, we have already lost hope. No money for an iMac? Write a short-story!

Eddie French Tue Jun 15 15:41:47 PDT 1999

Just thought I'd pop in and say hello this evening.
Hello all!
(That's just in case Americo calls me lazy again)

Pnokio Tue Jun 15 12:26:54 PDT 1999


EVERYONE knows September Song - even if they don't know the song that moves around inside their heads from time to time is called September Song. You've heard it a million times over. Music by Kurt Weill, words I guess by Bertold Brecht.


Americo Tue Jun 15 10:12:39 PDT 1999

I am terribly sorry for this repetition. I only clicked once on the respective button (I think). Too much creative energy, I suppose.

Americo Tue Jun 15 10:06:17 PDT 1999

Pnokio: I do not know the words of September Song, sorry. I do not even know the song, but became curious about it. Suggestive title. You say that I remind you of a Scottish friend of yours. Scottish and Irish are my favourite sort of people. They have an extraordinary talent for music, for words and for story—telling. I also made some Scottish friends when I was at Oxford. They always beat me at drinking beer... I would like to be Irish or Scottish. They say that the Portuguese also have Celtic blood (the Celts were here many centuries ago in fact). But certainly not the best of that blood... And do you know who you remind me, Pnokio? Me, at my best moments!
I hope England goes to the European Championship. It's a very tough competition. Portugal has been doing well for the moment. But we have to discuss with Rumania the first place, the only that gives direct access to the competition. We only need a draw — but the match is in Rumania and Transylvania is where the vampires drink all kinds of bloods...Did you know that I have two novels translated into Rumanian? I wish I could understand them...

Charles: please do not feel an outsider among the new faces. Some of us read the archives and the "old people" are better known than you may think. The notebook has become a different place, perhaps. It is not only about science fiction but open to all genres. We also have a cat (JON) among us to share with humans his wisdom and (occasionally) his bad humour. If you have not been writing much lately, all you have to do is coming back and you'll see that the old inspiration will return.

Sqrl: Your latest contribution to "S" intrigued me. You are not thinking of pinching the back of Dr. Kirk, are you? As a vague acquaintance of that mysterious character, I would be delighted if you did! BTW: I love your style.

Americo Tue Jun 15 10:01:24 PDT 1999

Pnokio: I do not know the words of September Song, sorry. I do not even know the song, but became curious about it. Suggestive title. You say that I remind you of a Scottish friend of yours. Scottish and Irish are my favourite sort of people. They have an extraordinary talent for music, for words and for story—telling. I also made some Scottish friends when I was at Oxford. They always beat me at drinking beer... I would like to be Irish or Scottish. They say that the Portuguese also have Celtic blood (the Celts were here many centuries ago in fact). But certainly not the best of that blood... And do you know who you remind me, Pnokio? Me, at my best moments!
I hope England goes to the European Championship. It's a very tough competition. Portugal has been doing well for the moment. But we have to discuss with Rumania the first place, the only that gives direct access to the competition. We only need a draw — but the match is in Rumania and Transylvania is where the vampires drink all kinds of bloods...Did you know that I have two novels translated into Rumanian? I wish I could understand them...

Charles: please do not feel an outsider among the new faces. Some of us read the archives and the "old people" are better known than you may think. The notebook has become a different place, perhaps. It is not only about science fiction but open to all genres. We also have a cat (JON) among us to share with humans his wisdom and (occasionally) his bad humour. If you have not been writing much lately, all you have to do is coming back and you'll see that the old inspiration will return.

Sqrl: Your latest contribution to "S" intrigued me. You are not thinking of pinching the back of Dr. Kirk, are you? As a vague acquaintance of that mysterious character, I would be delighted if you did! BTW: I love your style.

Americo Tue Jun 15 09:59:44 PDT 1999

Pnokio: I do not know the words of September Song, sorry. I do not even know the song, but became curious about it. Suggestive title. You say that I remind you of a Scottish friend of yours. Scottish and Irish are my favourite sort of people. They have an extraordinary talent for music, for words and for story—telling. I also made some Scottish friends when I was at Oxford. They always beat me at drinking beer... I would like to be Irish or Scottish. They say that the Portuguese also have Celtic blood (the Celts were here many centuries ago in fact). But certainly not the best of that blood... And do you know who you remind me, Pnokio? Me, at my best moments!
I hope England goes to the European Championship. It's a very tough competition. Portugal has been doing well for the moment. But we have to discuss with Rumania the first place, the only that gives direct access to the competition. We only need a draw — but the match is in Rumania and Transylvania is where the vampires drink all kinds of bloods...Did you know that I have two novels translated into Rumanian? I wish I could understand them...

Charles: please do not feel an outsider among the new faces. Some of us read the archives and the "old people" are better known than you may think. The notebook has become a different place, perhaps. It is not only about science fiction but open to all genres. We also have a cat (JON) among us to share with humans his wisdom and (occasionally) his bad humour. If you have not been writing much lately, all you have to do is coming back and you'll see that the old inspiration will return.

Sqrl: Your latest contribution to "S" intrigued me. You are not thinking of pinching the back of Dr. Kirk, are you? As a vague acquaintance of that mysterious character, I would be delighted if you did! BTW: I love your style.

Americo Tue Jun 15 09:59:04 PDT 1999

Pnokio: I do not know the words of September Song, sorry. I do not even know the song, but became curious about it. Suggestive title. You say that I remind you of a Scottish friend of yours. Scottish and Irish are my favourite sort of people. They have an extraordinary talent for music, for words and for story—telling. I also made some Scottish friends when I was at Oxford. They always beat me at drinking beer... I would like to be Irish or Scottish. They say that the Portuguese also have Celtic blood (the Celts were here many centuries ago in fact). But certainly not the best of that blood... And do you know who you remind me, Pnokio? Me, at my best moments!
I hope England goes to the European Championship. It's a very tough competition. Portugal has been doing well for the moment. But we have to discuss with Rumania the first place, the only that gives direct access to the competition. We only need a draw — but the match is in Rumania and Transylvania is where the vampires drink all kinds of bloods...Did you know that I have two novels translated into Rumanian? I wish I could understand them...

Charles: please do not feel an outsider among the new faces. Some of us read the archives and the "old people" are better known than you may think. The notebook has become a different place, perhaps. It is not only about science fiction but open to all genres. We also have a cat (JON) among us to share with humans his wisdom and (occasionally) his bad humour. If you have not been writing much lately, all you have to do is coming back and you'll see that the old inspiration will return.

Sqrl: Your latest contribution to "S" intrigued me. You are not thinking of pinching the back of Dr. Kirk, are you? As a vague acquaintance of that mysterious character, I would be delighted if you did! BTW: I love your style.

Pnokio Tue Jun 15 05:21:24 PDT 1999

Hello Everyone of you.


I've been away, nowhere much as usual, and somewhere below I see you've been lost in space. Well, it's good to know I haven't missed you, having missed you. I also see that you think of this page as an English pub, and for some time now I've been thinking much how you remind me of a lovely Scottish friend I once had, Wally O'Brien, who died a few years ago. There's a pub in South London, just off the Walworth Road, The Beehive, and in that place people came from all over to listen and speak to him. Once, when my son was at university, I told him how I'd go in there and there'd be students sitting in a circle on the floor around him, their arms wrapped around their knees, and completely rapt with whatever was under discussion. It's true. He was so interesting, and always so interested. That's how it used to be. He had much experience, and he was also a very funny, lovely human being, with a beautiful Scottish voice, soft and sincere, that I can still hear, and still smile at. Shortly after telling Andrew (my boy) of this South London treasure, I went into The Beehive one evening - and there was Sheila, one of Andrew's student-group at Keele, sitting right there in front of Wally, soaking him up. - And something else you were saying, about England v. Portugal in the European Championships. That'd be wonderful, and against so marvellous a footballing side as Portugal only the English blind (there are plenty) could be hurt if they beat England. But I have feeling England won't be going. It's still possible, but our team is the kind of team that only seems to acquit itself well when there's a glory-bag at the end of a game. We're not doing that well. But we'll see. And Americo - a favour of you asked: would you happen to have the words of September Song?


Character - Moby Dick - Ishmeal, Queequeg, Ahab, Starbuck, etc., etc. Oh yes. After all these years I still can't believe how the book ever got written. Yes, the character is created, but it's the blistering genius that set it? You're not wrong (how would I know anyway?), but reading the book for the first time I was in a shocked delight, in an ecstasy of bewildered admiration, and the sheer thrill of it is something inexpressible for me, and all I could ever hear speaking was Herman Melville. Every character in it came at me with that whispering, resounding voice of his, and for months after I'd read it every letter I wrote, and everything else I wrote, echoed with that voice.

Where does the need to write come from?

Not difficult to pin down. I remember stories, being completely lost in them. When young, stories like The Tinder Box and The Box of Delights, and comics of every description, were my world. Rather, they were the treasure this house delighted in, where to hear and see was to possess forever. I remember my childhood songs, particularly Linden Lea and Clementine (Pure Heart versus Capitalism, I conjecture, not being a boy anymore?). And Treasure Island, rivetingly read to me when I was ten years old by one of the best teachers I ever had, someone called Major Sadler (I still have the Christmas card he gave me - he was only with us for one year), and then The War of the Worlds, and somewhere along the line I was read a little story about what love might be. The narrator goes to war, leaving his widowed mother, his dog, and his girlfriend behind, and many painful things happen to him but cannot break him. His girl finds someone else, he is taken POW, is starved and frozen, beaten, and at one point he and his best friend have to dig their own graves. He escapes but the best friend is killed. He gets back to his own lines, and there's a letter from his mother saying all's well at home, and in a PS she tells him his dog has been killed, and only then does he weep. I don't know who wrote that - and the themes and events of many other stories I was read, I don't know who wrote those either. My stories in the school magazine, that happened, but it didn't mean too much to me, and somewhere along the way came great Ray Bradbury - rereading and rereading passages so he could tell me wonderful things all over again. Then the poets, some Shakespeare plays, the beauty of Chaucer and Blake, Henry Fielding, the recognition in these writers' words that they were the words of most wonderful people, people who lived and cared, and they had given these treasures to us all - and so you start, with all the help you can gather from every source to power the source within, and you carve out something that means something precious to you - and you begin to write:

"She glances around, but no one is there,
Between the water-fountain and the trees"

And you may be the only one who will ever love it, and that doesn't matter, because it is worthy of your love, twenty, thirty years and more went into its construction, your years, your life - and as the words begin to come you begin to be able to speak, and gradually you get to know yourself.


Jack Beslanwitch Tue Jun 15 02:11:46 PDT 1999

Charles: Delighted to see you back. Philip sometimes makes a short appearance, as do some of the others. However, most of the faces are new. And there are some exciting happenings on the Workbook. Americo had spawned a fiction imitating real life in a fictitious grouping of the Notebook visitors at the Cheshire Hotel in New York City. Sort of collaborative fiction experiment on super charged steroids. It is intriguing and somewhat daunting to fictionalize yourself and yet not. If you get a chance take a look and maybe add your own appearance.

Oh, BTW, I attempted to order your Missiles book several time from Amazon, but they eventually gave up on it. I at least tried. Look forward to your contributions. Take care.

Charles Mon Jun 14 20:56:22 PDT 1999

Hi Jack!

I don't seem to recognize anyone else. We moved temporarily from Jerusalem to Toronto last August, and we hit the tarmac running.

Sadly, I haven't had much time for writing fiction. Most of my days are spent teaching and lecturing.

I'm so excited to hear about your trip to Australia. Please send my warm regards to Britomart and any of the other old-timers you meet down under.

If there is anyone else out there from the old days, you all are great... thanks for being there for me when I and my writing needed you. I hope to be able to contribute to the page again soon.

Happy writing,


Sqrl Mon Jun 14 19:47:44 PDT 1999

Comedy? ::Grin:: Sqrl can make people laugh! ::evil grin::


Smile! I'm wearing underpants! :-)

Americo Mon Jun 14 18:07:00 PDT 1999

I've read the latest additions to "Shadows" this evening (do not forget that I am eight, perhaps nine hours ahead of you) and have to say that your writing, boys and girls, is getting better and better. We started half joking and we are now being dramatic and so serious that I sometimes think that next time we'll write a comedy instead. I am sure some of you have found out if not your singing voice at least a very promising voice. I would like to congratulate Martin in particular. I know, by painful experience, how difficult it is to write fiction in a foreign language. Well, he dared. And I, on the impulse of Swiss example, also wrote something — and it is also there, always in the right place. Forgive me, oh, Christians!

Eddie French Mon Jun 14 16:32:08 PDT 1999

Strange Days.

These are indeed strange days. I watch the images being flashed in front of me on that screen and I can hardly believe what I am seeing.
It seems that Europe is on the move one more time, tracked armour travelling familiar roads once more!. I see the Russians denying space to an overwhelming force, VJ forces killing while NATO sits just around the corner. Leaders bicker over anticipated glory while innocent people die for the want of basic medical care up in the hills of Kosovo. I am making no political statements here, just telling of my amazement at these events. I used to think that the universal use of the internet would prevent such things because of the instant communication which it offered,

how wrong can you get.

You're right of course, I am being lazy. I promise to work harder!!
Welcome to all of you newbies. I know you'll love it here.
I'll just go and do my bit by checking all of the new 'S' contributions and I will get back to you all later.
Allein Mon Jun 14 16:04:03 PDT 1999

Heya all!
Found some time to write. It's hot here - over 80 degrees. It's amazing - nine months out of the year it's cold and rainy, then all of a sudden, June comes and it's nice until mid-September. I only had one final today. In the morning, my entire math class (we took our final last Wednesday) left to go outside or to just leave. I just left - I went to the park by the waterfront and then to the library and then came back to school. Tomorrow, I don't have a final for my fifth period class so I'll probably leave school early and go to lunch. :) Japanese food - I hope.
Well, gotta study (I have one final tomorrow morning and two on Wednesday).
Bai bai

Eddie French Mon Jun 14 15:57:41 PDT 1999

Strange Days.

Xavier Mon Jun 14 13:47:50 PDT 1999

Hello, hello...

Milling about, as I am oft wont to do, I've noticed quite a few new writers aboard! excelent! I hope they get as much from this place as I do (sans headache, ofcourse)

Not much new here, realy. I'm in Westchester again, and am making my house ready for habitation. I will be moving here in two weeks, and am excited. This is where I grew up, and it's nice to return home at last.

Well, I'm off to check 'Shadows' for new additions.

See ya later.


Leigh Hamilton Mon Jun 14 09:36:36 PDT 1999

I write for myself or so it seems,
for no one else can realize my dreams.
I place in words, the emotions of life,
feelings of love, joy, anger and strife.
My heart is on these pages, for all to share,
I'll bleed my soul dry, and no one will care.
Write is what I'll continue to do,
and hope that someday.... you'll realize my dreams too.

Martin Mon Jun 14 02:40:45 PDT 1999

I always knew, that English is my favorite language.


The European Union commissioners have announced that
agreement has been reached to adopt English as the preferred language for European communications, rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty's Government conceded that English
spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five-year phased plan for what will be known as EuroEnglish (Euro for short).
In the first year, 's' will be used instead of the soft
'c'. Sertainly, sivil servants will resieve this news with joy. Also, the hard 'c' will be replaced with 'k.' Not only will this klear up konfusion, but typewriters kan have one less letter.
There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome 'ph' will be replaced by 'f'. This will make words like 'fotograf' 20 per sent shorter.
In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes
of silent 'e's in the languag is disgrasful, and they would go.
By the fourth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing 'th' by 'z' and 'W' by 'V'.
During ze fifz year, ze unesesary 'o' kan be dropd from vords kontaining 'ou', and similar changes vud of kors; be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters. After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil b no mor trubls or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech ozer.
Ze drem vil finali kum tru.

I heard, that De Forest Kelly died. This certainly ends my interst in Star Trek, for DeForest always was my favorite character. With such a beautiful name, he has to.

Exactly the kind of E-Mail I love to receive.

Since different people see the same person in many ways, I do not believe that you have done an exact copy of your friend. If his friendship is important to you, use him
only in the most likeable ways and let him in on the story. A good example is John Steinbeck. The Doc character in »Cannery Row« and »SweetThursday« is modeled after John’s best friend Edward Rickets. If you study this closer, how Edward turned out to become Doc, it may help you on your problem.

What about the K.G.B. files I recently found? Why did you withold them?

Shoot pool and not people


Jack Beslanwitch Mon Jun 14 02:18:09 PDT 1999

Hello all: For the very old timers here who remember way way back, I have been in email contact with Britomart. You will have to check the bios and her web page to find out her real name. But it seems she will be at the World Science Fiction Convention in Melbourne this September, so I should get a chance to meet her in person. I am quite delighted at this. I am hoping some of the other Australians who have frequented the Notebook recently and in this past might be going as well so I will get a chance to meet them in person as well. Things really are beginning to shape up for our trip to Australia and I am quite happy about it.

Americo: Congrats on the iMac. The new editions of the iMac would appear to be more robust than earlier version. So, you should be over your crashing computers for the time being. Take care everyone.

Americo Mon Jun 14 02:03:30 PDT 1999

Good morning, everybody!

I bought a new computer (an iMac, of course — they are cheaper now) for my house in Lisbon. Now I'll be in permanent contact with you, both in my den at S. João do Estoril — from Monday to Thursday — and in Lisbon, over the weekends. A 24-hour service every day! No more leisure at weekends... Take advantage of your slave and write me often.

Where are the good people, like Howard, Pnokio, Jai, Litter, Rhoda, Hootie... all the old faces (including my terrible foe SN Arly)? I miss you all and I'd like to see you in the Chelsea. And deserters like Thomas and Steve Perry are still missed. I am in permanent contact with Thomas but there is nothing like a good beer at the fireplace of the notebook... I am glad to see Jerry Lee and Jerry Ericsson around, but the pub is still a bit empty sometimes. As for Lena, she must buy an iMac soon to replace her defunct computer, and Eddie French is being too lazy lately. Michele, the greatest, should publish here more often and send us kisses from Gloucestershire. Martin is a splendid new contributor — he should read ALL the archives from 26th January 99 until tomorrow to satisfy his insatiable curiosity. I hate filling forms, Martin, and will not answer your questionnaire, but do not give up on me. I like you.

Let us try to make this place a lively one, with interesting observations on life, literature and all arts ands sins. No one is obliged to write for "Shadows in a Dream" but beware of Dr. Kirk — he loves witty observations on characters, fictitious or otherwise... I would write, if I were you... (Did you here this, Jack?)

On Swiss literature: I read some of your writers, Martin. Durrenmatt is well-known here. I'll speak about it some other time.

Kisses all around.

Jerry Ericsson Sun Jun 13 21:10:26 PDT 1999

Meisje - I find my characters everywhere, some are friends, some are people I meet in passing - they are my charcters, and I do with them as I please. If you are comfortable using a friend, then that is where you found one of your charcters. I think you as the writer have that right, and your friend should be pleased to be involved. Of course that is just my opnion.

Meisje Sun Jun 13 20:26:42 PDT 1999

Hello again.

Question: Is a character still fictional even if you base him/her/it on someone you know? I mean REALLY BASE the character on the merest idiocyncracies, every aspect, every feature and mannerism of that person you know? I don't know if I'm making any sense here, I'm not even sure what I'm asking...

Like, say you create a character in the image of your best friend and put him or her in a story. It's coming along really well, and you like the story, and you want to have it published, or at least have a wide audience be able to read it (such as posting on the web). But even though you love the story, it's too obvious that the character is someone real. You may be able to change some things about the character, but in changing them you lose the personality. Am I just overreacting???


Jon Sun Jun 13 19:08:56 PDT 1999

I always thought this was Jon's Exclusive Fan Club till I saw Allein's latest post. Well, you are never too old to learn.

Martin, you can find all information about my neighbour in CIA's top secret files. There is nothing more updated since yesterday.

I moved to another town for safety reasons. My name is still the same pseudonym.

Rach sent greetings (only for me) from her hiding place.

Cassandra Sun Jun 13 17:57:34 PDT 1999

Hi all

Thanks for the email it was thought-provoking. I sent you a reasonably longwinded reply. Hope you enjoy it.

Ignore the advice about scanners, the vast majority can not read handwriting.
And I believe you can find those pads in places like Comp USA, or any other large computer store chain.

gotta run

ta ta


Allein Sun Jun 13 15:10:22 PDT 1999

Hello members of the Allein Fan Club (or Writer's Notebook - whatever). This will probably be my last post until Wednesday or Thursday since final exams are this week and I'll be rather busy.
I've just gotten back from a bike ride - went down to the drug store and got my father a Father's Day card. Usually I would get candy too, but now I'm on a diet - which will end the moment I get to my grandparents' house on Friday. My grandmother loves to cook, and hey, she's good at it. So, I'll have to resume when I get back. :)
Well, I'm gonna go rest some now.
Bai bai,

Sun Jun 13 07:17:29 PDT 1999

Dianna - A scanner serves basically the same purpose..write something, scan it, and there it is in your computer. Is this what you meant you needed? Well, c-ya! :-)

Dianna Sat Jun 12 20:24:05 PDT 1999

Hi everybody! New kid on the corner here. This is my first online chat. Hope I am doing this right. Please bear with me, I am very old school in that I write very fast but type as slow as molasses going uphill in January. Has anyone out there used the new Cross Pad, its sort of like the electronic pad the UPS guy uses, except that you can download everything you have written into your PC. It converts handwritten script into text. I want to buy one, but nobody at the stores can give me any info on how well they actually work. Thanks!!!!!!!

Sqrl Sat Jun 12 19:48:15 PDT 1999

MEISJE! WELOME CHICA! Que tal? (sorry can't remember how to do that upside down "?")

I'm just stopping in for a second. I was suppose to work 5-9 tonight, but someone decided to quite so I had to start at 3 and didn't get out until 10. oh the sanity! My boss is confinced that I'm insane. He kept telling me how wierd I am. . .after a while he grabbed some ice cream, pulled up a milk crate, sat down, and watched me dance as I cleaned empty ice cream thingies (brain freeze. can't think o fthat word.)

I go now. Will be working 10 am till 7 pm at other job tomorrow, that's pretty much my scheg for the remainder of the week.



Martin Sat Jun 12 12:53:11 PDT 1999

Well reading carried the torch of the urch to write in my soul, too. After devouring so many delicate words, the stomach was fed, and the mind free for new deeds. But his was unable an act worth more than to draw from the content of the stomach. The words, meanwhile mingeled and shaken, burst in freedome, different lines than they were captured and jailed. Thus - The first whoreshipping of light of my creativity and my first short story!

Tip of the day: Check out »S«.

Shoot pool and not people


Meisje Sat Jun 12 12:01:06 PDT 1999

Hello! I'm brand new to this place, and I still haven't looked around enough to know what I'm doing, but I hope to have some fun here with you all. Thanks Sqrl for letting me know about this site.

Well, for a while now, I haven't had an audience to write for, so I haven't been writing at all, basically. Now that I'm out of college and not taking any more writing courses, the prospect of an audience just went phut. Hopefully by participating here I can find some inspiration to get started again. For me, not being able to write is deadly, since I'm trying to find a job in publishing. I hope I haven't lost my touch. I know I haven't found my voice yet, I just hope I haven't lost my touch.

Oh well, thanks for listening.

Cassandra Fri Jun 11 20:21:14 PDT 1999

*groan* Allein, That was almost as bad as one of my mom's jokes... Good job. Takes guts to be that corney! :D

Well, I have returned from work, which was actually kind of fun, because I was being entertained by the kitchen staff... the guys always sing along with the music they play back there (and loudly, and off-key I might add). Occassionally they'll even break into dance. It was a riot.

I'll be wandering around, so if anyone wants to start a debate, or anything... Casey's game :)

ta ta


Allein Fri Jun 11 19:28:05 PDT 1999

Rachel - If that becomes the case, might I suggest using a cat-apult.

Yes, you all have permission to groan at my incredebly lame, corny joke.


Sqrl Fri Jun 11 19:02:09 PDT 1999

Just saying "Hi!" I received my work scheg. for the next two weeks. . .40 hours at one job, broken up between 4 days, and the other three days I get to work between 10-20 hours at my other job. *sigh* I will be posting something in Shadows soon (hopefully tonight), just having some editing problems (can't get this one scene to be the way I want it!). Then I will promptly dissapear for a while, ocationally popping my head in and out, to see what's going on, or for a nice sanity break! okay, I must go now. I still have things to get done. take care ya'all


Jerry Ericsson Fri Jun 11 18:33:13 PDT 1999

Sorry for the long absence, and not contributing to shadows - it seems I have lagged so far behind that there is no way I can now catch up. Something happened a few weeks (months?)ago, and I, for the first time in my oh so long life sank into depression - shocking to do that for the first time but lo - and behold I have again risen from the depths to again rejoin the ranks of the living and breathing family of writers. However, I may not have time to rejoin as I had been, the poeple who had written me off as totaly disabled, now have re-labeled me as rehab(able)? and are working at getting me back among the working again. While I am aprehensive, it would be nice to be able to earn a living again after several years as a dissabled person. Will let you know what happens when it does.
As far as being inspired to write, I think it would have to be my English professor in College - before that time I did write a little, but never thought of myself as having the ability to write anything but in my journal - and of course police reports and the likes - she showed me that I was capable and showed me the joy of writing. Many thanks go to her for the effort and encourgement.

Rachel Fri Jun 11 15:54:20 PDT 1999

Hi all

Jon - You may sleep at my feet, but if you use my gardens for a litter box I will toss you across the cul-de-sac!

Take care all

Allein Fri Jun 11 15:05:47 PDT 1999

Who first inspired me to write? I don't think there was any single person. As a child, I always loved to be read to, and then when I was four I learned to write. I wrote my first story when I was five - it was five pages long and full of spelling errors. It was a mystery involving the My Little Ponies - pretty stupid, but as a kid, I was proud of it. I think my mom sent it to my grandparents.
When I was in fifth grade, I read my first book by Lurlene McDaniel - she writes books about kids with terminal illnesses and such. I loved it. I guess her writing inspired me to become a better and when I grow up, a published writer. I now have 22 of her books. :)
I started writing the Mali and Azol series in the eighth grade. It started as a few short stories but soon I decided to make it a five or six novel series. I'm still writing the first novel (I'm currently in the middle of Chapter 15) - plan to work quite a bit on it over the summer.
Well, I hate to disappoint you by leaving, but I have to study for finals.
I'll write here very soon. :)
Bai bai,

Cassandra Fri Jun 11 13:10:09 PDT 1999

Greetings to all on this fine June day. I only have a half hour before I have to join the rat race... *sigh* How I wish I could just sit here and babble on about writing again. I guess I'll just have to do that late at night when I return home.

Who inspired me?? I seriously cannot remember, because I started writing so young. Ever since I capitalized on the ability to read, you couldn't drag me away from the library, or the books in our house. I would read anything. I guess there were people along the way that encouraged me. But the greatest inspiration would have to be the books I read growing up, and there are much to many of them to start listing authors here.

Well, I have to go run around like a chicken with it's head cut off, to make sure that I'm ready to go in and work my butt off.

Have a nice day all, and I'll check back in later... :)

ta ta


Xavier Fri Jun 11 12:09:47 PDT 1999


How are my fellow writers doing on this fine day?

I'm fine, getting ready to spend another weekend in NY city. Perhaps I will spin by the 'Chelsey' and see what it's like.(they will probably throw me out!)

To answer Sqrl's question as to who was my writing inpiration: I would have to say my Father. He grew up in the 40's and 50's and loved the older classic movies. He used to beg me to watch them, which I did to humor him. However, in the interim, I began to get a dramatic sense, and to understand the fundamentals of story telling. Comic books were also a great eye opener for me, the ones with an older target audiance like Fantastic Four and X- Men.

The urge to write first hit me at about 14, when I outlined my first novel legnth story. It never went further.

Today, I was reading the local paper about a guy who wrote, directed and produced his own movie. He said it was a life long dream of his. Wow, how I would love to do that!
He also said it was a lonely experance, as no one believed in him. Sounds about right to me.

Ok, thats about it. I'll check in during the weekend.


Jon Fri Jun 11 11:45:00 PDT 1999

Thanks for mentioning my famous name, Martin. As you know (everybody in the world must know) I am the CEO of Shadows Inc. Very respected cat. I intend to read the book you indicated. In German of course. It could also be in Latin or Greek. No, not in Greek.

Rachel, kisses for you. May I sleep at your feet?

Americo Fri Jun 11 11:40:32 PDT 1999

Friday greetings to everyone. This means short message but much love. I am talking about love all the time — it must be some sort of disease I caught in infancy : must ask Dr. Freud.
I am very happy the war is over. Let us hope it is over for ever.
Have to go now.

AGIDUDE Fri Jun 11 06:41:28 PDT 1999

I know this doesn't really have anything to do with writing but it does in a way. I was wondering if anyone had a "cheap" laptop running DOS, with a disk drive for me to write some stuff on? If you do, please e-mail info to:

Jack Beslanwitch Fri Jun 11 00:21:57 PDT 1999

Rachel: In a word about Australia and treking down under being exciting about it. Hmmmm. YIPPIE. HORRAY. YAHOO ..... Hmmm, yes, I think I would agree with you ;-)

Joy: On your questions about who inspired me to write.

      Well, who is an around about sort of person. My grandmother, a former teacher, used to nestle me on her knee and trick me into learning to read at about age three to three and a half. This gave me an early appreciation for the joy... beauty... love of the written word. In the end, then, it is really the words that came to inspire me most.

      So, when I wrapped my tongue around the words in something like Dhalgren or James Joyce's Ulysses, I fell in love with the words even if I was bewildered by the context. It made me want to run not walk to my nearest typewriter and start plunking keys to generate ink on paper.

      When words can invoke such an involvement that you can, say as in Frank Herbert's Dune, smell the spice, feel the flesh ripping impact of sand on face in gale force winds and all the rest, there is an envy for what this writer has done, a need to find your own words and your own special place to invoke. So, not so much who inspired me except insofar as that one special person that I do not really remember but have been told about. And ever after, what words inspired me. How badly this got can be framed by one week when I must have been around ten or eleven when rather than do anything else one summer, I read a dictionary from cover to cover on the outlook for words I did not know.

Sqrl Thu Jun 10 20:09:01 PDT 1999

Someone asked: "Who was your biggest inspiration to become a writer?"

To be honest, for me it wasn't just one person. I started writing when I was in grammar school, it was a way to escape. I didn't really have a childhood, always the butt of all the jokes, you know the "geek with no life" the one that even the "school outcast" wouldn't sit with. Pretty soon my pen and pad became my best friends, my comrades, my only friends. I never showed anyone what I wrote, terrified of criticism. Then around fifth grade I started to share what I had been working on, some of my short stories. Students and teachers, laughed at me. One teacher even posted on the board one of my stories. I was sooooooo proud, until I read what was above it "What I DON'T want to see from students!" I was crushed. I continued to write in secret, letting very few even know that I was doing such. In Seventh grade I started to read them again. Some people were receptive, while others were not. I let myself slip into a rut again, not wanting to be made fun of, until one of my teachers read a poem I had written on the back of a test when I had hit "rock bottom." I had accidentally left my name off the paper, and she needed to know who it belonged to. All the students were in awe over my poem, a couple had even asked for her to define a few words (I had to giggle at them, not laugh, no just a giggle) I loved it when she gave them a dictionary and said "Look them up yourself." Nobody knew who it was until my hand slowly raised up, I somehow stammered out the words "It's mine. I'm sorry for the inconvenience." The teachers eyes lit up, after class she told me what talent I had and that no matter what people said or did, that I was to keep up my writing. That God had given me a gift and I should share it. I still keep on writing, letting everything and everyone influence it. They are my biggest inspiration! If it weren't for that idiot making that rude comment about my heritage right before the test, I would have never written that poem, and that teacher would have never read it. . .and so on.


Sqrl Thu Jun 10 19:49:19 PDT 1999

Who was your biggest inspiration to become a writer? Mine was my

Allein Thu Jun 10 19:06:10 PDT 1999

Rachel - sounds like fun. I hope everything goes okay. If you're ever in my town - drop by and say 'hi.'

K.G.B. - Sure, why not, the American government is corrupt anyway.

See ya!

Rachel Thu Jun 10 12:09:26 PDT 1999

Hiyah everyone!

Xavier - Thank you for the well wishes.

Americo - Hugs received and returned. I am just packing up now. I will try to remember all things (grins) 152 e-mails, WOW!

Allein - I am off to Ontario for a renunion with my father who I have not seen in 26 years. I will also meet his wife and their son. He is 22 years old!
I will also reunite with my mothers side of the family (they are a little on the wild side)
Then I will be off to Guelph for a Karate Camp. This will be fun and I will meet up with a couple of people form my dojo.
From there I go back to Toronto for more visits with more relatives. after that I will come home on the 28th.
While I am there I will also be meeting up with SKSPerry and his lovely wife and their children.
All in all I am sure to have a very exciting and full trip. I think when I come back I will write a story or two about my time with my family (grins)

Pnokio - Hey buddy! I'll be dropping you a note later today.


Jack - Hi you, are yah getting excited about your trip? I bet you are.

Take care all

Lena Thu Jun 10 09:47:07 PDT 1999

Did I see a mention of Silk from the Belgariad? Great guy. I read those once, was fanatical about the series for several years, re-read the series and then realized it wasn't as great as I remembered it. Oh well.

Hope all is well here. Sorry I can't go back and read what I missed, but my computer is still down and I can only visit here via school computers. Feel free to e-mail, however... I am able to keep up with my e-mail, at the least.

Have a day,

Martin Thu Jun 10 08:47:32 PDT 1999

Kawinkiedinks (all three of them)
And what happens with Miller and Bush?

I have send you an E-Mail, wondering if you ever read Kater Murr, the educated cat« by E. T. A. Hoffmann. Murr and you are very similar I would say bloodbrothers.
Maybe you are a descendant of Murr? He lived from 1818 to 1821.

The door smacks close. The lift is crowded and footsteps are heard in the staircase.Someone is running - running for life. The footsteps die away. Instead cars are honking and bad curses are filling the air. In the store across the street the owner is shaking his head. What an idiot to risk death just to cross a street is carved on his brain. The Idiot crushes into the door of the store, curses and ends at the counter - gasping for oxygen.
»A pi ahahahah nt of ahahaha la ahahahah ger, please«

I really did my best to get you that lager you have earned. But then my friends came over.....

S. N. Arly
All of Dostevsky’s characters are recurrent, but maybe that’s why they turn out so vividly in the »Brother Karamassov« his last book.

Shoot pool and not people


K. G. B. to Agent Allein Thu Jun 10 08:43:20 PDT 1999

We you offer 500 000 americansky dollary if you us tell, what mission.

Americo agsousa Thu Jun 10 05:31:06 PDT 1999

Yesterday we downloaded inspiration. We wrote a third rate sentence and we improved it right away. "I looked her in her eyes and heard my lips trembling: — darling, I made the bed with fresh linen" provides us with a theme to be developed.
Is this improved sentence first rate? No. It will only be if and when we find out a form never used before. That is the most difficult part. It demands a lot of genius. However, never try to be original. Just be yourself. Originality for the sake of originality is showing off. If you can't find an unheard of way of saying things, say them as best as you can. With time you'll become fed up of your common places — that is when you'll get a style, which is tantamount to saying, when you discover your unique voice — then you'll deserve the name of writer, my son.

So must a writer never show thought or feeling? Exactly! He must rather *inspire thought and feeling* in the reader. The object of literature is to transform a reader into a creative being. The reader must be the procreator of the book. The writer is a kind of lesser God: he just provides the words. It is the reader who does the, well, the lovemaking.

That is how God created the world. He said a sentence: "Fiat Lux" — and the rest was left for us to complete. "In principio erat verbum" — understand this and you will understand fiction.

Today is a holiday in my country. The Day of Camões. The President of the Republic invites a writer to make a speech and then he sticks medals on the chest of the most prominent men and women of the year. I will get one of those medals one day, but I do not know where to keep it, as my house is full of books and diskettes. I'll try to sell it for beer. Who was this Camões that makes a country stop? A writer, friends. Only a writer. The Portuguese greatest poet of all times. He lived and died in the XVIth century and wrote "The Lusiads". Consult an encyclopedia on Luís de Camões and you'll have won the day. A country that dedicates a day to a poet has something to be loved. And we writers should be proud of our calling — a vocation so noble that it can make a country stop and sing.

I'll be away for the weekend but I'll be working on "Shadows" and thinking of you all. A nice trip to wonderland, Rachel. Do not forget your tennis racket... and the cough syrup — summer colds are a pain in the chest.

Martin Thu Jun 10 04:17:21 PDT 1999

Character! Great character; strong character, weak character; funny character; musing character, character splashed all over! What is it, that turns a book into a
great book? Character!
Jesus, Odysseus, El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha, Mobby Dick, Ivan Karamssov and pointy ear. Why did they intrude our souls to never leave them again? Character!
Archetypes, friends, people you meet or smell, Superman or Woody Allen, who cares? What do they need, to be what they are? Character!
Give them a character nobody dares to forget ever, for nobody cares about plotting, spelling, language, phantasy or realism. Nothing matters in the written world but one
thing. Cahracter!
You can write an adventure story
And Odysseus will slay you at the first encounter for breakfast.
You can write a love story
And Quasimodo will pour hot oil over you dignified head.
You can write a science fiction story
And wonder: »My God.... It’s full of stars.«
Whatever it is what you do, there is only one thing that can make it stand up among all the others. Character!

shoot pool and not people!


Joy Cressler Prichard Wed Jun 9 20:07:48 PDT 1999

Hello! My name is Joy and I live in the scorching land of Texas. Just moved here last summer in time to roast chili's on the hood of my car. I am a newspaper editor by trade and a professional writer by heart.

I'd like to get acquainted with you guys. You can check out my creative writing webpage at
I'm working on a couple of books right now. Have any of you attended the Oklahoma Writers Federation conference in OK City? I was there a couple of days before the tornado came through and tried to erase them off the map. I gained some valuable contacts that way.

Who was your biggest inspiration to become a writer? Mine was my seventh grade English teacher, Miriam Bullard, who left our area (Nucla, Colorado) after teaching several years and moved to Mancos, Colo. I'd sure like to get in contact with her again if any of you know her.

Back then, she had long blond hair and looked like she was rather free spirited. That was in the 1970s. She encouraged me in my writing, no matter how immature it looks to me now.

Thanks for your time...Joy

Americo Wed Jun 9 19:55:30 PDT 1999

"downloadable writing utilities" did you say? I can only think of inspiration. How can one download inspiration? Here's something I have to find out quickly. If I discover a good method, I'll share it with all my friends.

Yes, I know. You start writing and words bring thoughts, and thoughts feelings. That's for the first version. Then you delete the thoughts (fiction is not about thoughts — essayism is) and desguise the feelings (marriage is about feelings, fiction is about suggestion). You are left with language only — the book is done.

For instance, instead of writing: "I thought I loved her, so I invited her to bed" (third rate literature) you should write instead : "I looked her in her eyes and heard my lips trembling: — darling, I made the bed with fresh linen."

This is prettier and more effective. No reader can resist such a suggestive invitation (valid for both sexes — don't forget using the adequate pronouns, though) Of course, we can discuss this, but my example sounds fairly eloquent, don't you think?

You owe me a pint of lager for this little lesson on *really* creative writing.

Allein Wed Jun 9 19:49:09 PDT 1999

Hello, yes I am here - but I have final exams in school next week so I've been rather busy. Then the day after school ends, I fly out to Colorado for a week on a secret mission to help the CIA with...damn! I've already said too much. Just kidding - I'm visiting relatives. Does anyone know where Rachel is off too?
I may not be posting so much the rest of this week or next but I will be here lurking. And I will leave a post the day before I leave. :)
Well, I'm off to study (or chat on the internet).
Bai bai,

"Make fudge, not war."

Kawinkiedinks (all three of them) Wed Jun 9 19:10:27 PDT 1999

We think German beer is too waterish for our tastes. But thirty German beers will do nicely for a Saturday breakfast.

Pussy Wed Jun 9 19:08:23 PDT 1999

I do not consider soccer literary matter. I protest against this fescenine intrusion in intellectual issues. Make "Wars..." (I forgot the rest) ah! "Make Wars not Treks".

Jon Wed Jun 9 19:04:36 PDT 1999

I am also here.

Americo Wed Jun 9 19:04:06 PDT 1999

Hey, hey, that's me again.
Portugal won 8-0 to Lichtenstein today and will certainly go to the European Cup Final. I hope England will also go. The final will be England-Portugal and England will come in second. Isn't that great, Pnokio?
Hugs to everybody, mainly to Rachel and Jack. Is Allein somewhere? I kiss for her. And Xavier and Cassandra have published wonderful texts in "S". I know everything! And I have just received 153 e-mails! No kidding.

Xavier Wed Jun 9 16:58:34 PDT 1999


Yes, I'm still around, just not much to say.

Unto Rachel: have a good trip, and keep in touch.

Ok, thats it fer now.


AGIDUDE Wed Jun 9 16:22:35 PDT 1999

Hi everyone! Since I am new here can everyone give me some information on what they are writing and the progress of it? Thanks! BYE :-)

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Jun 9 13:49:48 PDT 1999

Agidude: I emailed you on this, but I'll drop it off here as well. You can find software you are referring to in the Commercial Services for Writers area of forwriters com. Our purpose can be discovered by clicking on the Our Purpose up above :-). It more or less says it all.

Americo: Many Hugs in your direction. My email should clear up any additional problems you might be having connecting here or on the Workbook. Very very glad to see you back.

AGIDUDE Wed Jun 9 13:24:14 PDT 1999

Hi everyone! I haven't been here long (2 days) and I was wondering what is this notebook about? So far it looks like people talking about their books and ideas. If that is what it is, can anyone point me to some downloadable writing utilities? Thanks everyone! Bye :-)

Americo Wed Jun 9 11:41:14 PDT 1999

I'm afraid I need a login name and a password for having access to the workbook. The old ones disappeared from my hard drive. I have already filled the necessary form. Thank you!

Americo Wed Jun 9 11:33:34 PDT 1999

Oh, my! Is this the notebook? I can't believe! The "Writer's Notebook" button on the front page of is working again. And it was quick! After one hundred desperate attempts it worked! Geez! This is a miracle. What have you done, Jack? I am really happy. Because, you see, the notebook is my English pub. I love English pubs and English beer, right? It's here I meet my friends and discuss my literary projects for the future (including personal ones). And this is final! I kiss you all quickly and rush to the place where I earn my money. But I'll come back soon. Oh yes!

Rachel : you were my guardian angel during this time of darkness. I love you! Do not forget your straw hat. It is going to be hot and pleasant there.

Anyone who has written me during my crash (yes, another crash; system 8.5 is not reliable — sorry, Steve Jobs, I love the Mac but that is true and must be said) and whose letters I could not receive for technical reasons, please try again. But not in German, Martin!
And those who thought that I had gone forever and could therefore forget about "Shadows", think again and write VERY QUICKLY. The book must be finished on the 25th July. All the additions now should have the Chelsea hotel as background.

See you later, alligator!

S.N.Arly Wed Jun 9 10:21:27 PDT 1999

Jack - Silk is really one of my all time favorite characters. Another is Alaric Morgan from Kurtz' Deryni books.

I often build my characters around specific traits I want them to have/that further the story/that accomplish the character's purpose. I know the kind of character I want them to be from the start (although that occasionally changes), but they don't spring fully formed from my brain (imagine the headache).

I have noticed recurrent traits and themes in some of my characters, both in personality and in appearance.


Cassandra Tue Jun 8 22:47:42 PDT 1999

Hey there!

On the subject of making characters unique, I've always found that MY characters tend to be individuals already. They more come to me, than I create, or come up with them...

Occasionally, I will borrow from ideas only half commited to by other writers, or mythology. At times I steal the more interesting traits of my friends, or I realize traits in my characters that mirror those of my friends.

Anyways, it's late, and I should be getting some rest.

Creative thought provoking dreams to you all!
Ta ta


Sqrl Tue Jun 8 18:12:34 PDT 1999

Thanks Jack! Weeeeee. . .I would LOVE to babble, but will refrain from doing such. Yesterday was my very first day at my new job. Went well. I now have a higher respect for those people that work at the icecream places! ::shaking head:: It's scary out there!


Jack Beslanwitch Tue Jun 8 12:56:51 PDT 1999

       OK, Agsousa could not get in and someone else indicated a slow time on the Notebook, so I have gone ahead and archived up to yesterdays post. This leaves a very blank slate for everyone to write large upon and I heartily invite all to do just that. I suspect that the Notebook will be a bit quieter in the summer as sunny weather and such intrude on people's lives for those in the northern hemisphere, but this should not effect those down under.

       I also updated the link from to here. It is looking more and more like this will be the permanent home for the Notebook. Take care everyone and I have enjoyed the discussion about POV. Might I suggest we extend it and come up with our suggestions for individualizing our characters, making them unique. David Edding's Silk is an always memorable character from day one. One part humor, another larceny, another foolishness and so on. He has elements of such archtypes as Coyote or the mythic fool in anime that is the wrong person in the wrong place doing everything wrong and by doing so accomplishing something truly great. Sort of Jar Jar Bigs in Star Wars. By this I am referring to one possible way to individualize your character, steal a mythic archtype. What are others?

Oh, well, Babble Alert :-) Take care all.

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