Archived Messages from October 19, 1999 to October 28, 1999

Jai Thu Oct 28 22:44:17 PDT 1999

Toby - Doh I should have read the date :)

Allein Thu Oct 28 21:00:38 PDT 1999

More exciting news - my story will most likely be finished by January (settle down, Rachel). :)

And guessed it...more funnies (I guess I should have checked ALL my e-mail first.

A prayer for the stressed
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I cannot accept,
and the wisdom to hide the bodies of those people I had
to kill today because they pissed me off.

And also, help me to be careful of the toes I step on
today as they may be connected to the butt that I may have to kiss tomorrow.

Help me to always give 100% at school....
12% on Monday
23% on Tuesday
40% on Wednesday
20% on Thursday
5% on Fridays

And help me to remember.....
When I'm having a really bad day,
and it seems that people are trying to piss me off,
that it takes 42 muscles to frown and only 4 to extend my middle finger!


Allein Thu Oct 28 20:55:59 PDT 1999

It's almost here. The big day! I've got all my Halloween
activities planned, a costume to wear, a party to go to,
tricks to play on my friends and co-workers. It's going to
be a good year. But some people may not be as prepared as old Uncle Joe, so I'm going to give you a few tips on how to have a safe and fun Halloween. So, without further ado, here's Allein's funnies. :)

1. Only use fake vomit in well lit areas. It defeats the
purpose if someone walks across fake vomit in a dark room.

2. If you're at a party don't walk up to a girl dressed like
the wicked witch of the West and say, "So, you don't like to dress up for Halloween, eh?"

3. Police do not like to have eggs thrown at their squad cars. If you're going to play this very risky game make sure you're wearing good running shoes! This also applies to kids who are bigger than you.

4. When trick or treating try and stay in well-lit areas, but this does NOT mean start fires where ever street lamps are not present.

5. Use face paints rather than wearing a six pound mask that
you made out of plaster of paris, a cost hanger and a pair of your sister's old nylons that may obstruct your vision,
breathing or cause severe brain compression.

6. Make sure your costume has reflective strips attached and
that you are wearing a name tag so that you will be an easily recognizable target for bullies with eggs and shaving cream.

7. Make sure your costume is flame-retardant. Designing a
home-made costume out of oily rags you found in Dad's garage is inadvisable.

8. And finally, it's best to bring all candy and treats home
for inspection before eating! Lord knows what kind of nasties can be introduced into even prewrapped goodies. So for safety's sake all candy should be unwrapped, placed in a 5 gallon pot, and boiled down to its basic components before consuming. Any homemade snacks you might receive should be placed in the middle of a deserted field and detonated under the supervision of a qualified demolitions expert.

Happy Halloween everyone! :)

- Prince Chélon

Thu Oct 28 20:35:01 PDT 1999

re posting first post ever. TB

toby Thu Oct 28 20:34:39 PDT 1999

Jai, sorry, I'm not new. Been around a while. I was posting my first post ;)

Rhoda Thu Oct 28 20:24:52 PDT 1999

Happy Birthday, Jai!!!

Rachel Thu Oct 28 20:03:35 PDT 1999

JAI!!!!!! - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, happy birthday, happy, happy, happy birthday:D

Allein Thu Oct 28 18:38:18 PDT 1999


Americo Thu Oct 28 18:11:17 PDT 1999

Hi, Jai. My today is your birthday tomorrow. Happy birthday, friend!

But since you live in Australia, that was already yesterday. Anyway, stretch your arm and greet Xanana Gusmão right out there for me. He was awarded today, I mean, yesterday, the European Community Prize for Peace.

No, I cannot see the lost archive yet. It's a depressing feeling: as if I were blind. I cannot open the last but one (last for me) archive either. But I can open and read all the other archives back to three plus years ago.

Good night everybody and have a nice weekend.

Jai Thu Oct 28 17:31:59 PDT 1999


I have not problem seeing the archive for october 2 - 19...


I just lodged my tax electronicly, was strange. Do you have electronic lodgment in the States?


Americo Thu Oct 28 16:33:29 PDT 1999

It's interesting to read your first words, Rachel, Rhoda, Jay, Allein-chan, Toby, Lydia Sweet ... Of one thing there is absolute certainty —— only a great love for writing can keep people faithful to this cozy place, in some cases for over three years. Remarkable. With only nine months of life I am a Notebook baby yet.

BTW: the Archives are a wonderful document full of life and dream (and also some sadness from time to time). I like to read it when I have some time left. And I recommend it to everyone.

Is there anyone else here who cannot find the latest archive (3/19 Oct)? There is no way I can see it, though I see all the others. I have checked one minute ago. To no avail.

Thanks, Rach, for sending it to me. (Bloody Mac)

Arik: have a nice weekend with oceans of milk. Greetings from the Force. She loves you.

Jai Thu Oct 28 15:40:32 PDT 1999

Even if my sentences still don't make sense...

Jai Thu Oct 28 15:34:39 PDT 1999

Hi all,

Welcome Toby. Seems you have finally found a place where people UNDERSTAND. It can sometimes be hard this writing buisness.

Well tomorrow in my Birthday and I'm taking today off work to buy myself some presents :)

Seems I've been here on and off for nearly 11 months now, here is my first post -

Dec 6 21:01:32 PST 1998
Greetings all,

Hello Hayden, a fellow Austrlain.

It has been good, no that's definatly inadiquete, a warm releif to read the ramblings of fellow writters.

To consentrate on one peice, I was captivated with writting in my late school years, I wrote many small creative peices and short short stories and enjoyed it alot. But I have always craved to get stuck into a novel. After many starts ( at least four ) I final began an epic fantasy that captivated me. Then I got a job as a computer programmer and my writting nearly died along with my enjoyment of life... Ohh ocassionally I would have a weekend or holiday and become inspired and write like a manic but generally it was day to day drudgery. Lately I have realised that I want and enjoy writting, much more than my day job thats for sure. So I have been making an effort and it has only paid off a little, for one week I managed an hour a day and eight on the weekend ( nice to know I have it in me ). Desperatly to keep writting I decided to try a short story, to reinvigorate my writting and it worked. I wrote about one of the main characters in my novel, a tale of her past, and have found it has helped define her as well as adding a little more flesh to the land itself.

So do start somthing new, especially if your wading through a novel that seems like it will never end. I sent my story off today, its my first profecional submision so I'm a little nervous, it would be nice to make a living from somthing I love, maybe one day.

Good luck all and don't forget the magic, if your really stuck read your stuff, this always puts me back in the mood and remember its what you want to do so do it.

Jai Shaw

I would like to think my spelling has increased marginally since then :)



Arik Thu Oct 28 15:19:08 PDT 1999

Americo, my posts???

Allein Thu Oct 28 14:21:17 PDT 1999

Hiya Sqrlmunk!! :)

Here's my first post from back when I was known as Allein-chan. :)

Hi all!! I got this addy a long time ago (like in February) from KC, and I finally decided (after much procrastination) to write in and post a message. Actually this is my first time here and I came here because I love writing. I'm still writing the first story of my series about a prince and a princess who are in love and the whole sorta fairy tale bit with a little fantasy and a few adult situations (murder, violence, etc.). The stories are on my webpage if you'd like to go there and have a look around. I also draw and I'm pretty good at it but I'm working to improve. Some of my pix are up on my webpage too. Well, I've taken up my share of space and it's getting late.
Bye bye!!
Allein-chan ^.~

I was an airhead and didn't tell much about myself. Well, I'm still an airhead - it's that blonde syndrome. :p

toby http://www.geocities/torhyth Thu Oct 28 09:05:31 PDT 1999

Tue Mar 11 14:57:23 PST 1997
Hi, my name is Toby. I am eighteen years old and live in Ohio right now. I've been writing science fiction for the past five years. In all that time I've never really met, or talked, or wrote to anyone else involved in the Profession. The past year of writing have been the most succesful for me. I've written a number of short stories, and actually had two of them published, but in small press magazines (Actually, I would be more truthful to say 'tiny press' magazines). I have however received some notes of encouragement from a few editors of semi-pros and pros, which went a long way towards making me feel like I was actually going somewhere.

I am hoping I can join in on this group, as I have virtually no friends who can relate to me and my pursuits.
My latest project: my novel, of which I have ten thousand words finished, and the seven page outline that I have also just finished (I am very prone to forgetting what goes where and when and who does it when I get going).

Sorry for the long message.

Lydia Sweet Thu Oct 28 07:48:48 PDT 1999

Well here is my original post, at least I think it is: Posted in March of 1998

Hi, to all. I have been checking the board everyday for the past couple of weeks and although I have little to
say, I'll try to comment from time to time just to let you know I'm still here and somewhat alive.

I checked the bios and still have not seen mine posted so I'll give you the short version here.

I'm 44 years old, work full time as a purchasing agent for a large university and have 2 daughters, 11 and 17
and one husband for the past 12 years anyway. I write romance and historical romance. I left a chapter on the
workbook and pray someone will find the time to give me a critique.

As to the current topic of poetry. I was forced to read poetry in school and althought I recognize the beauty and
meaning it gives to many it fails to inspire me. I have written a verse or two when fresh out of high school,
thinking that is what young romantic writers should do. I have learned that I was not meant to write in that
format. I also have learned in the past few month's that my vocabulary is so pitifull that I could never make it
as a poet anyway and am seriously concerned about my destination as a writer of any kind. If you have any
suggestions on how to improve vocabulary please sing out.

Have a good day, all.

Sqrl Thu Oct 28 07:30:48 PDT 1999

Hello! :-) Today is a very happy day! YES SIR IT IS!

Today is the day that I shall quit work! :-D Today is a day that I have ALL TO MYSELF! (and studying for the last of my mid-terms! ::gulp::

love the funnies! As for the Mall thing . . . ::grin:: belive it or not, between kitten/Casey and I, there is probably but only 10 or 2 or them that have not yet been done! I know that there's only 12 I myself have not dared to try (yet), but Casey most likely has done them.

Your e-mail address is familair, do I know you? or does someone else I know have an address close to yours? (I'm stumpped)

As for dreams-
Dreams very often carry some sort of message. It is up to the individual to discover the hidden meaning(s). Deciphoring dreams is a very tricky thing, it takes time and lots of practice for one to become a master of this art. Unfortunatlly, dreams mean different things for different people; thus, rendering those "wonderful" dream books useless. In other words DON'T TRUST BOOKS THAT SAY THEY CAN TRANSLATE YOUR DREAMS! 99.9% of the time, they can't!

On the subject of cars-
DON'T TRUST THEM! Be careful of the others on the road! You don't know if the person behing the wheel of that car coming at you is under the influence of ANY foreign substance! It's your life! Don't let them take it away from you!


Rachel Thu Oct 28 07:11:02 PDT 1999

Good morning All
Good morning Americo

Okay, now my first post (grins). I had to go through a couple of the archives to dig this up, but I found it!

July 3, 1998

Hello All:

I came across this site just yesterday while I was floating round the web and you all caught my attnetion. I was drawn in by the sense of humor of the place and how genuine you all seem. Jack I really don't know much of you aside from what I have found on this site but would still like to wish you and your wife all the best. Colleen I also am an at home mom and find it exciting to think tht there are other moms like me out there trying to write. Ah and Jack I was definietly sucked in by your picture/drawing? I liked it. Well, I don't really have much more I am willing to say at this point but plan to be hanging round the site as it comes across as friendly

Bye for now Rachel

It is funny. I can remember when I wrote that I was so freaked out. I was really afraid. I felt physically sick, but I managed to send it off and further to that sent of another one a couple of days later. Yup, my "It feels like walking naked in the mall or something, please tell me that I am not alone in this. Please tell me the feeling will go away..."

Guess what? For me I still get that same feeling, but it isn't quite as bad as it used to be (smiles) In fact there are a handful of people who I have become comfortable letting read my writing.

Again, all this time later, I would like to thank all of you who responded with such kindness, humor and encouragement.

Ah well, enough of that trip down memory lane.

Take care all

Rhoda Thu Oct 28 06:22:58 PDT 1999

That last post turned out badly. I think I'll try that again.


Here is my first Notebook post dating from June 30, 1997:

What a wonderful webpage! I don't have many remarks about writing to share right now because I'm ashamed of myself. Here
I should be writing and I am spending all this time online glued to this page, reading the biographies and the comments.

I live in Bloomfield, New Mexico. I am currently working on my 2nd book--a historical romance I've titled VALERIE'S
SONG. It would be finished by now, but I got on to the Internet a couple of weeks ago, and I've done more surfing than
writing. Hopefully the novelty will wear off soon and I'll get back to serious work.

I did want to comment about an internet publishing service a friend of mine has started. It is known as epubs, Do check out her page; it's truely impressive.

Rhoda Thu Oct 28 06:20:27 PDT 1999

What a wonderful webpage! I don't have many remarks about writing to share right now because I'm ashamed of myself. Americo,

Here it is, my first Notebook post. I think it dates from June 30, 1997

Here I should be writing and I am spending all this time online glued to this page, reading the biographies and the comments.

I live in Bloomfield, New Mexico. I am currently working on my 2nd book--a historical romance I've titled VALERIE'S
SONG. It would be finished by now, but I got on to the Internet a couple of weeks ago, and I've done more surfing than writing. Hopefully the novelty will wear off soon and I'll get back to serious work.

I did want to comment about an internet publishing service a friend of mine has started. It is known as epubs, Do check out her page; it's truely impressive.

Americo Thu Oct 28 05:18:18 PDT 1999

Jack: I am really sorry, but the most recent Archive includes the posts until the 3rd October only. Where are the posts published between the 3rd and the 19th October? I have refreshed my cache. Oh, well. (He cries).

And sorry to you all, denizens of the Notebook. I did not forget you, but I forgot to say good morning. Pardon me.

Good morning, everybody!

Americo Thu Oct 28 05:10:41 PDT 1999

I thought that one of my posts (Oct 26) needed clarification lest it should not be taken as mere intellectual provocation. It is not. I jotted down some notes on an important concept. Hope it will be useful mainly to the youngest writers in this forum. The others probably know everything about


No modern writer can survive without a thorough knowledge of this technique. I would go deeper and state that you cannot be a good reader without having some notion of that concept. I said modern and not contemporary because stream of consciousness was already used by Shakespeare and even older writers. In our century, it was largely used by James Joyce, Virginia Wolf and Dorothy Richardson. I chose those names because they belong to the Anglo-Saxon cultural heritage and you probably know them better than I.

In simple terms stream of consciousness is what any dictionary says it is: " a continuous flow of ideas, thoughts and feelings as they are experienced by a person; a style of writing that expresses this without using the usual methods of description or conversation." (OALD).

You take a character and let his thoughts and feelings flow freely, without any preoccupation with time or space. A multitude of points of view can be used simultaneously. You can even dispense with the characters and be omniscient and unique. The old Aristotelian logic is broken and we are in the world of Einstein, Bergson, Freud or Yung — our world, a much more intelligent world than the old one. Whereas the structure of traditional novels is usual achieved by a plot (a rather artificial thing), contemporary novels are mainly concerned with the recreation of life in its chaotic appearance than with unity of action and character. The soliloquy and the interior monologue (not exactly the same thing) are just two of the various techniques used in contemporary fiction. But you are expected to invent your own if you want to be a true creator. I had a lot of fun blending once traditional with contemporary and going against the current — the project worked.

Now do not give up traditional fiction completely . Even more importantly, do not start using multiple points of view, flashbacks and flashforwards or complex stream of consciousness techniques without knowing what you are doing. Be yourself and write what you like in the manner you like best providing you are expressing yourself and not just reproducing previous writers' thoughts, feelings, life experience or style. That would be sucking someone else's blood. Use your own voice, your own life and your own words as far as possible.. Perhaps you will not write a masterpiece, but you will be true to yourself — a very good starting point.

Above all do not be afraid — and write, write. But read much as well. All kinds of literature.

Jack Beslanwitch Thu Oct 28 04:06:56 PDT 1999

Just finished up a new look and a new location for my digeridoo page. It is noted above. This also will free up space where I host and I will be adding a audio reading of the Kipling Poem there as well.

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Oct 27 22:57:50 PDT 1999

Americo: Good night. Yes, actually, I did archive. I am not sure if you are refreshing your cache. Just checked it.

Philip: I too am wondering about the old guard and whether any are still lurking. I suspect that Britomart is not, but Toby has made an appearance or two in recent times. If you are, please feel free to a reunion at my house. If not in reality then virtually. :-)

RLH Wed Oct 27 18:27:19 PDT 1999

Rhonda :) Thank you for your kind words on the 24th. Bless you. However, I have been in a funk for the last several days. It seems RLH may be in the unique position of having the entire 60,000 person Navajo Nation clamoring for his head. Honest. I am exchanging e-mails with a collage senior in Mesa. A Navajo. He responded to an appeal for a Navajo to read and comment on my work which has Navajo characters. After a three day exchange, and he hasn't even read the novel, an omnious dread is seeping through my WASP bones. He has discussed the possibilities of my disturbing his ancestors...times and places to speak of sacred things...releasing behemoth ghosts...and a comparsion relating to would be Kevin Costners and Dances With Wolves.

Big sigh :( And you people think you got problems!

Well, what the heck. Things always seem to work out...still, you don't think he would journey to Texas and look me up? I suppose the ultimate critism for RLH would be murder because he stepped on the toes of the Navajo Nation? I can see the headlines: LOCAL WRITER SHOT GRAVEYARD DEAD BY IRATE NAVAJO, LITERARY AGENTS CLAMORING FOR MOVIE RIGHTS.

Just my luck. A 10,000,000 movie deal with Kevin Costner directing and staring in "DANCES WITH WRITERS." In the meantime RLH is hot footing it through the suburbs of hell fleeing a 12 foot demon carrying a 10 pitchfork. The Navajo's attorney plays the "race card." 5 years probation. That reminds me, where did I leave my trusty fetlock?

More to follow. (hopefully)

Night all.

Americo Wed Oct 27 18:03:43 PDT 1999

Arik: I had no car accident but (I am speaking seriously for a change) Xavier and Sqrl had one some time ago. They are okay now.

I have no car now. And I am trying to convince people to pay me some tax or rate or whatever you call it because I am not polluting the atmosphere and not ugling my beautiful city of Lisbon. Cars should be abolished. But I like the design of the Mercedes. The Mercedes should not be abolished. I only had one car: a Fiat 127. It was green of course. That is my favourite colour. I also love blue.

What are people here waiting for publishing their first post again? Bunch of rebells.

Arik: the Force asked me to ask you to please go to the archives and collect the best posts ever. That would be lovely. After that, no more tests.

toby buckell Wed Oct 27 15:11:28 PDT 1999

Phillip; almost hard to believe it's been three years! I'm still around.

Tobias/Toby/Torhyth whatever...;)

Arik Wed Oct 27 11:17:27 PDT 1999

Jon- Did you have a problem with some car lately?? where are you, I want my glass of vodka!!!!!

Arik Wed Oct 27 11:15:59 PDT 1999

Americo, ahhaaa. I"m glad that the force loves me... I still what to know who... S H E??? is :-). caviar and milk... sounds yammie

Americo Wed Oct 27 10:55:09 PDT 1999

Jack; sorry to interrupt your love affair with that new PC of yours, but you did not archive the posts of the last slate. You think you did but you did not. You must archive till the 19th October!

My wife also tells me that I do not hear what she says and that my mind is always on the moon. So I understand you perfectly. But I need those posts! (tears running on my hands, flooding the flat, flooding the ocean downstairs. And. This is a period.)

Arik! How are you? The Force is falling in love with you. And and I am jealous. The Force told me that she (he is a she after all) also loves milk. Caviar and mil! Awful.

Now I am alone.

Americo Wed Oct 27 10:46:09 PDT 1999

I am probably a bit late today to say good morning. I overslept, had to written a couple of urgent letters, discuss materialistic subjects on the phone (yawn, it is here that an agent could help, but I do not want to have any agent for Portuguese affairs, I have one in France for translations and all that, quite useless, publishers, adaptors and translators come and speak to me, not to Marie Ange Masson-Mosca, but she will ask me for her 10 %, I must put an end to that stupid contract -- this is what you call stream of conscienciousness (sp)) what was I saying?

Ah, good morning everybody!

I had an idea. Would everyone please publish his/her first post again. I would like to make a study on the psychology of the first moments. I was quite nervous when I wrote my first post. Wow!, I thought To speak to writers! How wonderful! I must sound very stupid! But then when I say the words on the yellowish page I was so happy. This Notebook has changed my life. Everyone here tells me that I am wasting my life with you. I say, not more than when I studied chess, tried to learn how to program in hypercard (a Mac thing), or when I wrote that fabulous novel that gave me fame and a little (not much) money. What is really important is to be happy. You make me feel happy. Sometimes angry and frustrated, but that is natural when you live. Yes, first posts with respective dates of publication.

A big hug to all those who said allo to me in my ninth monthversary (new word)

Arik Wed Oct 27 09:04:56 PDT 1999

Americo, thank you. I think I'll leave you some air and won't drink it all (only a very big part of it)

listen everyone I thought about a new project...

Rachel Wed Oct 27 08:14:33 PDT 1999

Americo - Don't you hear from me often enough (grins and laughter). Still, I will wish you good night and good morning and for that matter good afternoon!
Take care you

philip Tue Oct 26 23:27:31 PDT 1999


It's good to look back ... and sometimes surprising. I went to the archives the day after Jack left Australia - I wanted to see when I first posted here (Sept 5 '96).

I wonder if any of the writers from that time still lurk here.


Are any of you out there? If so ... how about a reunion at Jack's house? Yeah!

Back soon - Philip

Allein Tue Oct 26 21:21:04 PDT 1999

Americo - Good night. Sweet dreams. Don't forget to scratch Jon behind the ears for me. :)

Rhoda Tue Oct 26 19:59:08 PDT 1999


Of course I haven't forgotten. Jenny-2 is almost done. I just haven't been able to work on it. I'll try to get it to you tomorrow.

Sweet dreams,


Americo Tue Oct 26 19:16:52 PDT 1999

Thanks, Rhoda. Of course my stay in this shadowy place would not have been so pleasant without you and all the others.

Yes, Jon, you too. You have been my best friend.

Arik. Great news. The Force told me that he is going on holidays. He wanted you to do some nasty test but I quickly mentioned the word "caviar" and he fainted. He loves caviar. With vodka of course. So you can breathe for some time. But leave some oxygen for me. Do not drink it all, I mean.

Rhoda: I understand that today is a holiday here (nine months and all that) but you have not forgotten Jenny_2, I hope.

Jon has just asked if he could kiss your left foot. I said of course not. Was I wrong?

Why hasn't Rachel, the divine, why haven't all the others come and say good night to me here? It's nine months that have changed the world, though just a little. Did you hear Howard, the sage, Thomas, the good cynical, Michele, the greatest, Sqrl, the loveliest, Avatar, who started "Darkness Descends",Xavier, who had a car accident and could touch a keyboard only twice in the last month, Pnokio, the sweetest creature on earth, Steve, 5 foot and 6 inches tall and and an athletic build, Lynda, who in Portuguese means beautiful, Lidia Sweet, as sweet as her name, OLivia, who has dark eyes, and Gary, and Allein, and Lena, and Eddie, and SNarly,
and the old newbies, Hayden, Philip, and Jack, who since he bought his upgrade is adoring his computer as if it were a Mac and not a miserable PC, and, oh, my God, I must go to bed. Not without saying that the person I miss most is Lena. She is a poet (I hope she is still alive)

Rhoda Tue Oct 26 18:50:01 PDT 1999


Nine months. That is the human gestation period. I hope your time here on the Notebook has been appropriately fruitful, fertile and prolific. I hope we all have added new life to your writing existence.

I, for one, have enjoyed it.


Americo Tue Oct 26 17:14:33 PDT 1999

I wonder why English and American writers concern themselves so much about characters, plot — the traditional stuff. Aren't those elements nineteenth century things? Isn't contemporary literature about language, only about language? The Irish James Joyce never existed? Here in Portugal we believe that a good book must be something new — something never seen before. And style is all there is to it. Most English and American novels are very boring because they smell "old hat." They smell business and craftsmanship but not art. Comments, anyone

NB. This historical post was published here exactly nine months ago. It changed the Notebook completely. Those who are still alive have probably trembled when they saw it again. What a thrill! Confess, Rachal, Rhoda, Allein, Jack... hum, who else? No, Jon, you were not alive yet!

Than you all for a lovely company. Nine months. That is a life!

Tue Oct 26 16:56:41 PDT 1999


To get the real video file just click on the clip3 link

Jack Beslanwitch Tue Oct 26 16:55:20 PDT 1999

Americo: Thought had. Checked and you are correct. I have added the posts previously archived.

Also, please note the URL above. It is a real video of a master didgeridoo player playing the didge I bought in Australia from Didj Beat Didjeridoo's To make use of the above you will need the latest Real Audio/Video player, the G2. But thought some might find this fun. Take care.

Arik Tue Oct 26 14:21:59 PDT 1999

Americo, thank you for the support (wheu) I can breath again... yippy :-). I"m here for a long time and I still don't understand "the Force" oh well, I guess it will come to me :-)

Arik Tue Oct 26 14:19:01 PDT 1999

Jon, I didn't know cows give vodka at all (maby russian cows) I think cows are.... fine. so, what do you think about the test, get you help me with the astma? :-(

Americo Tue Oct 26 10:40:09 PDT 1999

Jack: could you please archive the posts from the previous slate? Thank you.

Arik: how are you? I hope you are fine. Jon told me that the Force is considering a terribly difficult test for you. I told him that there are other people here who have not passed their tests to be on the Notebook. He was quite excited with my information. I only meant that it was not fair to submit you to more tests and that you deserved to become an honorary member of this community right away. But he did not understand it that way. Prepare yourself for great difficulties in the near future. But I am here to protect you from all trouble. Okay, you can breathe now.

Americo Tue Oct 26 08:47:39 PDT 1999

Good morning, everybody!

I see that Jon is still around. Please patient with this nasty cat. Keep quiet, Jon, will you? Okay, lovely cat.

I have joined the Notebook community nine months ago today. I would like to thank Jack for keeping this lovely page and everyone for being around.

Jon Tue Oct 26 08:43:51 PDT 1999

Arik, what do I think about cows? They give the worst vodka in the world:—).

No milk, Arik. Only something veeery poisonous. Tea?

Arik Tue Oct 26 01:35:40 PDT 1999

Jon, what do you say about a milk-Vodka thing? It can bee good :-). well, it is a little problem not to breath (I have astma) so maby you can change it? Jon here is a test for you: What do you think about cows?

Brandon Ramsey Tue Oct 26 00:46:47 PDT 1999

I just posted my first attempt at a fantasy novel in the workbook, but i accidently posted it on the short story board, so if anybody has time please check it out and give me some feedback PLEASE!!!! I need some critique on this, so please give me your feedback either by email or on this message board

Rebekah Shiring Mon Oct 25 16:51:07 PDT 1999

Harmony Seldom Makes A Headline.

Jon Mon Oct 25 16:42:04 PDT 1999

Arik, my great friend, I do not drink milk at all! For me just Vodka. I'm glad to tell you that you passed the first test brilliantly. But the Force told me you must do the fire test. It is not difficult. You just light a fire and you read a book at the fireside. But you cannot stop or breathe or blink before reading the whole 500 hundred pages. Only Allein could do that (I also could of course).

You can also try smoking a cigar in front of some people here instead. (This is only for giants). You must choose: 500 hundred pages without (see above) or a cigar in front (see above). Good luck for yor second test.

Aufwiedersehen, ciao, buenas noches, arrivederci Roma.

Weston Mon Oct 25 16:29:59 PDT 1999

It has been suggested that men tend to measure success in terms of achivement. The job, the ballgame, action and adventure, etc. But women tend to measure success in terms of relationships. Friends, relatives, lovers. Relationship, hopeful and passionate, rather than mere sexual scoring, may be part of a successful romance novel.
It may be so here. The most stable influences on this website are the women who have developed relationships with us all.


Lydia Sweet Mon Oct 25 14:13:54 PDT 1999

Hi all,

SKS - In regards to supernatural and coincidence. Try this. I have been married for 13 years and I'm 46. When I first met my husband and he took me to his home for the first time I recognized the room I was in. Not dejavue because I remember exactly where and when I first envisioned the room. I was standing (not daydreaming) in my best friends living room. I was 13.
If you ever have to wonder if you are traveling in the right direction, it's nice to have signposts like that.

All - I have found dreams to be confounding. I have gotten messages through dreams, but they were so convoluted I didn't know what they meant until it was too late.
However, for entertainment value they come in handy from time to time. If I'm having a really good dream and am awoken, I can sometimes go back to sleep and resume the dream where it was interrupted. I haven't, however, found them to be of inspiration for writing. Unless (and this thought just came to me) I need to write about an angel or other winged creature in flight, because I have dreamed many times of flying and think you really are and feel what you would imagine it to feel like. Forget the imagine part, because in dreams you actually feel flying.

Rhoda - I noticed after Americo's snide remark, not very many commented on Romance as legitimate writing.
To make it short and sweet, good romance is a look at the human condition. Most deal with a relationship between a man and a woman, but it also deals with man's greed, ego, pride, kindness, cruelty, etc. Where do such things fail to fall into topics of legitimate and GOOD writing.

I've read from most every genre' and find that a well written book is always just that, a well written book.



Arik Mon Oct 25 12:52:13 PDT 1999

Jon, how are you my... cat, can I call you this way? ok. I"m ready for the test. what do you want to drink? I'll take some.... milk :-).

Jon Mon Oct 25 11:23:49 PDT 1999

Arik, my great friend, how are you? I'm fine! and you? Hope you are also fine.

I thought that you could perhaps start your tests with a backflip. If you pass this one, I will tell the Force to let you skip the fire crossing and the spit spitting. So, backflip. NOW!

Fine!I will study the X-rays I took to your spine and tell you something about how good or bad you did some other day. Let us have a drink now.Let us have a drink.Let us have a. Let us have. Let us. This is an experimental poem!

Arik Mon Oct 25 10:08:13 PDT 1999

Rachel- It's ok, I also don't think it is bad to be a man :-). How is your family?

I thought about something everyone. can we start a new book like "S"??

Rachel Mon Oct 25 09:13:05 PDT 1999

Arik - Hi you (smiles) I don't think it would be bad at all to be a man. I think that there could be some nifty advantages to such an event, but I am a woman. I just wanted you to know. I had a couple of other instances where people thought I was a man. I guess it just weirds me out.

SKS - Shhhhhh, don't tell them about the operations (grins and laughter)

Allein - Thanks you.

Take care all

PS - Sending out a welcome to all the new folks

Arik Mon Oct 25 05:41:16 PDT 1999

Rachel, did you get my e-mail? well, i"m sorry I called you a name of a man :-) we are not THAT bad... actually we also, also as good as you :-). see ya all


Brandon Ramsey Mon Oct 25 01:46:22 PDT 1999

Hi all!! I signed up for the workshop a while back, but i havent been on the net, and i lost my password for the workbook, so could you please send it to me again Jack? Well until then heres the first part of my first chapter of the novel I'm working on:) This is my first attempt at writing, so be honest if you take the time to read it.

The Dream War
Chapter 1

The sun shone in bright beams through the evergreen branches overhead. The
forest was the only escape from the terrible summer heat. This was the worst summer
ever in Barra. The Barran river, usually bustling with small trading boats, could now
hardly even be called a river.
Galwin, remembering what he was supposed to be doing, pulled his eyes off the
tree tops and back to the path that lay in front of him. Wiping the beads of sweat from his
brow, and pulling his long matted brown hair from his face, he walked a little ways down
the trail when he heard a rustle in the leaves off the side of the path. Looking around
nervously he called, “Jon. Is that you?”
He had never cared much for these woods. All his life he had heard all the stories
about these woods, and all the horrible things that had happened here hundreds of years
before. Some still said that the woods were haunted. They said that the lost souls of the
people that had died there still roamed the woods looking for revenge.
Jon, Galwin’s best friend, didn’t believe these stories to be true. He thought the
stories to be some clever trick thought up by adults to keep there children out mischief.
Galwin wasn’t quite sure about this though. He had always been superstitious.
Galwin turned on his heels at the sound behind him. Someone was coming, or
something. Galwin looked off the trail out deep into the woods. The forest was dark,
besides the small amount of light streaming through the branches overhead. Vines hung
from the trees obscuring his vision. If something was out there, Galwin couldn’t see it.
“Jon. Are you out there?” There was no answer.
I’ll never make it to Jon’s if I jump at every sound I hear. I’m acting just like a
Galwin turned back in the direction he was heading. He started making his way
down the path. The sunlight flickered through the tree branches, casting strange
shadows, that didn’t make Galwin feel any better. Galwin heard the sound again behind
him. He started to pick up his pace.
Jon’s house wasn’t much farther, and he was glad for that. He was getting scared.
Off to the side of the path a limb snapped, and something started coming toward
him.. Galwin started running. The sunlight flickering in his eyes so fast that he could
hardly tell where he was going. He looked back over his shoulder to see a dark shape
following him, and gaining fast. He couldn’t make it out, but it didn’t matter. Galwin
knew that whatever was following him, it wasn’t wanting to hold friendly conversation
with him, and that was all the motivation he needed to run.
He looked back over his shoulder again, the figure was almost on him. Galwin’s
foot caught on a stump and sent him rolling down the trail. A large rock off to the side of
the path stopped his rolling, the pain from the impact of the rock, ran through his body,
making it impossible to get up. Galwin opened his eyes, his vision now blurry from blood
running down into his eyes from a gash on his forehead. He looked up in time to see the
dark shape jump down on top off him, crushing him underneath its weight.
There was nothing he could do except lay there. He was in to much pain to move
an inch. The weight of the thing on top of him made it impossible to breath. The pain
only let one thought enter his mind. I’m going to die out here. Galwin closed his eyes
and prepared himself for his death.

A splash of blood on his face made Galwin open his eyes, he knew that it was his
own. Relief spread over him, making it easier to breath, when he saw the point of a long
dagger sticking out between the eyes of the huge beast. He felt the wieght of the thing
roll off of him. When Galwin saw who was standing in front of him, a smile spread across
his face. forgetting the pain, he slowly tried to get to his feet.
Jon, a little shorter than Galwin, but significantly stronger, pulled him to his feet.
“What have you gotten your self into? And more importantly than that, what the
hell is that?” he said pointing at the furry beast laying face down, if you could call that
horrible looking thing a face.
“I, I don’t know. It just attacked me. Damn, I’m glad you came. I would have
“Yeah, maybe. I’m glad I came also,” he said smiling. He grabbed Galwin by the
arm. “Lets go to my house. Mama can bandage up those nasty cuts, and we can get my
dad to come look at this, this thing.”
The sun was getting low behind the trees when they started off for Jon’s house on
the other side of the woods. The two boys made the walk quickly, before another one of
those things could be seen.
By dusk the house was in plain site.

Allein Sun Oct 24 20:03:49 PDT 1999

Scott - Hi. I'm 17 too. :) If you want something posted you'll have to click on the button for the workbook and sign up for a password. But, I don't know how many people actually go to the workbook, so you can post it here too. :)

Scott Brown Sun Oct 24 19:12:36 PDT 1999


I'm new here. I'm kinda scared and all and I bareley know how to turn my computor on. I would like to have my stuff posted, yet I don't know how. Help. I'm just a big seventeen year old ditz O.K. Could anyone help me?

Allein Sun Oct 24 18:49:35 PDT 1999

Rhoda - wow! Congrats! :)

SKS - You li'l stinker. ::slaps his shoulder playfully::

Arik - Yes, Rachel is a woman - a very kind, loving woman. :)


S.K.S. Perry Sun Oct 24 18:27:13 PDT 1999

Hey all,

Yes, I can verify it. Rachel is a real, live women...well, at least she is now that the operations are done with. :-)

Just kidding!!! (She knows where I live.)

Be Well, Live Well.

Jai Sun Oct 24 16:01:23 PDT 1999

Wow! That is great news Rhoda, Congratualtions!

Rhoda Sun Oct 24 15:59:13 PDT 1999


You have a way with stories. I feel creepy now having read that one about your house in Mason County, Texas. I used to know an English lady when I was growing up that told me such stories. She swore they were all true, and I believed her. I think you have quite a future awaiting you in literature. I can see by your post that you are a very descriptive writer.

John Vaughn,

I hope you will stay around the Notebook and participate. We have quite a lot of fun here(at least I do).

Well, I took on an agent. I hope I will not have cause to regret it. He answered my questions well and his references checked out. I hope to be very busy in the coming weeks. Since the agent has VALERIE'S SONG and will be attempting to sell it, I thought I should do a rewrite of its sequel, THE RELUCTANT BARBARIAN. I also wish to finish my third novel within the next six months. I know I can do all this, but I feel so intimidated right now. I have wasted so much time over the past year.

Happy writing!


Rachel Sun Oct 24 15:20:19 PDT 1999

Arik - I am not "dan olson" My husband and I share an e-mail address. I assure you I am Rachel. SKS_Perry and Allein can verify this. They have both met me in the flesh, and I am indeed a Rachel and not a Dan (smiles).
Take care you

Arik to Rachel Sun Oct 24 13:18:54 PDT 1999

Hello "dan olson" :-). yes I got your e-mail, I will send reply soon.

Rachel Sun Oct 24 13:15:34 PDT 1999

Arik - Don't worry about Jon.
Take care you

PS - Did you get my e-mail?

Arik Sun Oct 24 12:57:06 PDT 1999

Ahaa... a cat oh well, it is nice to meet you.... cat, I won't fite with you because yo can bite (my cat can do it really good). friends?

Allein Sun Oct 24 12:19:04 PDT 1999

Arik - Jon is a cat (actually, Americo posing as a cat). Just go along with it. He seems to think he's master of the universe.

Jon - ::throws him a ball of yarn:: There, enjoy.

That should keep him busy for a while.
Allein (the cat lover)

Arik to Jon Sun Oct 24 11:57:34 PDT 1999

Well Jon, I'd love to have the tests.... by the way: who are you? I will think about a test for you also. hey people ... can you tell me a bit about Jon, I just don't seem to know him :-))

Jon Sun Oct 24 10:58:54 PDT 1999

Arik, same to you... feel like home! Or better, feel as if you were in my personal bar. Help yourself of a drink. Tea? Scotch? Coca-cola?

Arik, I'm afraid you have to be submitted to some tests. You have passed with distinction all the tests for your first phase on the Notebook. Bravo. But now I have to think of more difficult tests for your admission on the second stage. Yes, I must think of that.

In the meantime, cheers, salud, shalom, good-bye.

Arik (TironZ) Http:// Sun Oct 24 09:22:17 PDT 1999

Hey John, nice to have you hare... feel like home :-)

S.K.S. Perry Sun Oct 24 08:49:37 PDT 1999

Hey all,

I just got back from a three day Government and Technology convention - you know, where they show you all the latest toys in computing and teleconferencing and stuff. God I hate my job. Why is the military (and the world in general) so bound and determined to turn me into some kind of techo-weenie! I'm an action/adventure kind of guy, don't ya know. At least it was a paid trip, and I found a late night jam session at a downtown bar (downtown Ottawa, that is)and played drums until three in the morning.

Any way, I believe one of the topics being discussed here is about dreams and how they influence our writing. Unfortunately, I rarely remember my dreams, and on the odd occassion that I do they tend to be those weird, funky "Twin Peaks" kind of dreams. Would you believe I'm 38 and I've never had a sex dream. My dreams have never given me much in the way of fodder for writing, but I have found that I'm the most creative at those periods where I'm not quiet awake, yet not fully asleep yet either. Often the solution to a problem I'm having with a story, or a much needed bit of inspiration, will come to me at these times.

As for ghosts and other supernatural occurences, I've never really had any experience with them, no matter how badly I'd like to. I feel the same way about them that I do about the existence of God - I can't say that I believe, but I can't say that I disbelieve either. Hey, you never know. The one thing that does fascinate me, and that has played a major role in my life, however, is the nature of coincidence. Sometimes it boggles me at the sheer number of apparently random occurences that had to transpire in order for something to appear as a coincidence. If there was ever a compelling argument for a controling force in the universe, I'd say coincidence is it.

Oh well, I really should get back to work on my current novel.

Be Well, Live Well

Jon Sun Oct 24 08:14:19 PDT 1999

Okay, boss. Do not get angry with me.

Your humble servant,

Americo Sun Oct 24 08:13:05 PDT 1999

No, Jon, I did NOT mean "ghost-writers". "Ghost-writers" still write. Our "guest-writers" just promise to do it. Promises, promises, promises...

PS: will you please stop interfering in my posts?

Americo Sun Oct 24 08:09:24 PDT 1999

Amazing how in a world of images and sounds, quick communications and
information, more people than ever want to become writers. Writing has a
fascination and a scope no other means of expression can compete with. The future may become full of computers and empty of books, but the written word will prevail over any visual or audio forms of communication and entertainment. The less oral words are used in everyday life the more man will feel the need to write them. Superior to literature only music.

From "Shadows in a Dream"
by A.G.Sousa, Rachel Olson and Rhoda Fort
and, as "guest-writers",
Jack Beslanwitch and Allein Anderson

PS........................... he meant "ghost-writers" probably (Jon)

Silka Sat Oct 23 23:30:55 PDT 1999

Can anyone give me some feedback on this poem..?


My world has gone away
Never to come back another day
And where it is, it will stay

My love is lost and so am I
I was tossed and laid away
I am lost and now must die

Die I would 'cause who would not
I searched and looked for what I sought
All I found is what I caught

Caught in a love so deep
so deep I know I could not see
That you had never wanted me

I found myself
Knowing I'd never find my light
Wondering when I lost my sight

I wonder why I did not see
What it was you were doing to me
I know I should just let it be

But I know I'll never let it go
Why you left me, I want to know
And I know I'll never find it, so..

Now I leap from way up high
My last chance to touch the sky
And one more time to say goodbye..

RLH Sat Oct 23 19:09:17 PDT 1999

Evening all. Wanna hear a ghost story? Turn down the lights, turn OFF the stereo and TV. This happened to me several years ago.

My grandparents owned a small ranch in an isolated section of Mason County Texas. I was down there hunting deer one November afternoon many years ago. Grandfather was dead and my grandmother in a nursing home in Brady. My companion was a gentle Dobie named Tuco. I was still single then, moving when I choose and where I chose. Hunting was more getting into the woods and nature than slaying, so Tuco and I sat in the blind and watched numerous whitetail's feed by. I killed for my family, we lived on venison when beef was too expensive.

This afternoon I merely watched, enjoying the deer in their natural setting. Tuco sat in the stand with me, often napping at my feet. We returned to the house at dusk and I began to prepare supper. Well, warm up a can of beans, fried tortillas, a hot pepper or two. I popped a top, turned on the TV, and settled into my grandfather's rocking chair. Tuco lay next to me, his back to the gas stove. It was, dare I say it, a dark, cold and windy night? Within seconds a feeling of doom, an omnious dread swept over me. It was if all the loneliness in the world settled within me. Ever felt the hair on your neck stand up? It happens. Tuco sat up and began to whine. (Hey, this is a true story, not a writers fancy.) I stood and looked around, nothing behind me, no noise except for the oak branches brushing against the side of their house. I am familer with weapons, a Vietnam Veteran, having spent 4 years in the Navy. With Tuco inches from my legs I explored the dark house flashlight and 44 Mag in hand. In her bedroom a curtain was moving as the wind swept through a small gap in her window. The seldom used living room was next and it took all of my control to walk through. Nothing, except the wind and that damn limb rubbing against the roof. Back in the kitchen I pondered the next move...turned off the stove and lights and drove to Mason for a motel room.

The house was just fine the next day when I returned. I spent thousands of nights in that house over a period of 20 years and never felt that sensation, before or afterward. What was it RLH? Well, 1/2 mile from her home in a desolate pasture is an old, abandoned cemetary, named Water Valley. Look it up, it's listed on geo maps of Mason County. A classic site, sunken graves, tumbled tombstones, an erie location day or night. Some of my relatives are buried there. I believe a lonely spirit was drawn to the light from their house, maybe drawn by the radiation of a human soul and sought companionship. Who knows? My first novel was named THE SPIRITS OF WATER VALLEY CEMETARY. It is a reflection of life with my grandparents. See ya. Randall

Rachel Sat Oct 23 17:53:42 PDT 1999

Hi John - Welcome!!

John Vaughn Sat Oct 23 15:41:22 PDT 1999

I've searched this blasted internet high and low for other people that are serious about writing and it seems that I've finally found the spot. I went through the Bio's and some of you people have some impressive credentials. Ben Woestenburg, are you out there? I too work in a sawmill here in the great northwoods of Minnesota, I feel your pain brother.

Avatar Sat Oct 23 12:41:41 PDT 1999

Corax- Well, I don't know many good critiquing organizations. However, if you can trust us enough, you could probably send it through the notebook. ;)

Scholar- D&D? (ears perk up) Ditto on two and three, almost ditto on number one (though of the opposite gender), and if you don't understand a word I'm sayin', check your last post. ;)

On ghosts and dreams-

I've often wondered how much of reality is expressed in our dreams. Sometimes I find myself waking up after trying to look for my shoes and catch the bus at the same time. Sometimes I am astonished to see a parody of what I have gone through already and am wondering if the world I wake up to is really the waking world.
Sometimes my dreams give me food for thought. Other times they let me drop all hurt and anger I may have by using images to let me express those painful emotions.
I can't remember my dreams most of the time. At times they take on a frightfully real quality, in a different world where my imagination rules. And I am then a king, or a thief, or the leader of a revolution.
I will never know what my dreams bring until they come.

Near my little town is an almost abandoned ghost-town called Silver City. I went there once with my family and my great-uncle.
What surprised me most at first was the quiet. It wasn't an eerie quietness that you often expect of a haunted town. It was more of an expectatious hush, as if the people living there were waiting to come home.
There were people living there. You could see it in the tourist shop near the edge of the town, or the small hotel that beckoned visitors through its dusty panels. New cars were parked near the edge of a building. A few people sat on the roofs, their gazes protective and hostile.
The minute I stepped out of the car there was a feeling. The same kind you get when someone is looking over your shoulder or is going to sneak up on you. I could feel the silent echo of voices on the wind, feel the life in the old mining town.

Some of you may be skeptical, and think this is crazy. I have not wondered all that much about it myself.
There are things in this world that many are not meant to hear or see, and things that are unexplainable.
I have no reasons for it. Maybe I felt that way because I was expecting to. Or maybe it was because of the ghosts, I don't really know.
I can understand now why many people are afraid of ghost-towns. There is really nothing to fear, but you ought to have a respect for them as well. The unexplainable is something that deserves every ounce you've got.

Boo! ;)

Jai Sat Oct 23 10:31:45 PDT 1999

Greetings all,

3am and here I am again. This is the third time in a week. Maybe it's just my natural waking time or something. I should got to bed a 7pm and wake up at 3am.

I write so the world can see how brilliant and crafty I am. To show off my expert penmanship and dazzle with my natual competence. ( not really )

I think I write to touch people, to open their hearts and minds a little. To improve their quality of life and help them dream.

I've just joined that Critters group ( sure you've all heard of it ) URL above... I'll keep you all posted an tell you how it goes. It's a bit daunting the idea of getting not a handful but 20+ critiques on a single manuscript. He bites his fingernails and wonders which of his babies to send through the meat grinder :)

Stay well,



Allein Fri Oct 22 18:56:45 PDT 1999

RLH - I'm glad you like the funnies. Actually, although I am a good judge of humor, those aren't mine. I'm actually subscribed to several sites that send me jokes through e-mail. My mom is subcribed to one of these too - but their jokes are pretty lame - she just told us the one about the chicken crossing the playground to get to the other slide as though we'd never heard it before. That joke is about as old as the one about the chicken crossing the road. My dad also has a bad sense of humor - usually. Occasionally he comes up with a good one.
Anyway, why I write...hmmm. I've always liked to write. I wrote my first story when I was five or six. It was handwritten and only five pages long with tons of spelling errors, but I was proud of it. It was a murder mystery involving the My Little Ponies (don't ask). I also wrote some other short stories revolving around TV or Book characters until I was in around sixth grade.
In seventh grade I began to draw - and let me tell you it wasn't pretty. I wasn't the best artist in the world. I've improved quite a bit and now I'm very good at drawing (Rachel can back me up on this). Then when I was fourteen, I drew a picture of an alien girl. Her name, of course, was Mali. This was the beginning of my novel - Mali and Azol (I'm trying to think of a new name for it). I wrote several short stories about them (most of which I don't have anymore) but in tenth grade I started the current novel. Almost 2 years of work have gone into it. The characters have changed quite a bit - Quachik actually used to be young and very cute (now he's older but he's a real sweetie). If you'd like to read what I have so far, I could e-mail a copy to you or you can read it on my webpage - the address is above.
So, I guess I really don't know why I write. I just enjoy it and supposedly I'm good at it (though I don't see it - I never think my writing is up to standards and that bothers me because I don't have standards).
Lots of smiles, :)

RLH Fri Oct 22 17:54:20 PDT 1999

Good evening everyone. Friday at last, eh? Allein, do you stay awake at night making your funnies? Could they be real life experiences? Whatever, their pretty good. You seem to posses a natural wit, something that is a true gift.

Why do YOU write?

Me first: I've spent the better part of my life working under God's blue sky for TX DOT. I have had the pleasure to work with several persons, mostly rural men who had a razor sharp mind, could think of repartes in an instant and foremost in their mind was amusements. Yes, was amusements, I don't care if Mr. Webster recgonizes it or not! Sadly these natural wits were unable to share this with the general population because they considered writing as something done by effete snobs smoking dope, sipping tea in a cafe and hobnobbing with like minded snobs.

Of all of these men a legendary old man named Grumbles topped the list. When I worked with him he was well into his 60's. One could never get anything over on Grumbles. He always came out on top of any joke or conversation. One morning I fired up my track hoe and heard a loud banging. Fearing the worst I shut it down and checked the machine out. Again I started it and the same banging sound. Check it out, then start it again. This time I caught Grumbles standing alongside the "Hoe" hammer in hand grinning like that boy you see on the back window of Ford or Chevrolet vehicles. The last I heard of him he was sking on a lake down to Austin way at age 80 plus. What have we lost because memories of millions of citizens like him didn't write.

I, good old RLH, write to pass on memories to my children, grand children and so on. My great-grand mother lived through the Comanche raids in Mason County. As a very young child she told us they would huddle in root cellars as the raiders rode past. The men of the family were astride their horses, rifles cocked and loaded, surrounding the cellar. Usually the Comanches rode on, but many times she related there were pitched battles only yards from where she and her sisters huddled. She related one time she was carrying firewood and realized a lone Comanche warrior was watching, nay, following her home.

"I was sorley afraid," she told two wide eyed city boys. "I wish I'd had my bible with me, that redskin was right behind me. Why I could feel his horses breath down my neck."

He followed her to the kitchen door and asked her mother, who had a shotgun at hand, for bisquits, which they gave him. I know these stories because she told them to me and my brother. What a heirloom I would have if she would have writen her life story. She met her husband as he rode cattle drive through Gainsville Texas. What a story that would be! But now it's lost.

Why do you write? Pleasure? Profit? Fufilment? Bored? Stress relief? (Put me down for that one.) Historical concerns. (Ditto) Maybe it's something you can't explain? I can't stand to see this little screen with nothing on it. That's why I am boring you to death with self indulgence (s). A writer writes. Right? Your turn...................

Allein Fri Oct 22 15:40:57 PDT 1999

Time for more funnies! ::does the funky sqrlmunk:: Go Funnies! Go Funnies! Allein's funnies! Yeah! Yeah! ::stops and looks around as everyone stares at her::

50 Fun Things to do in a Mall

1. Ride mechanical horses with coins fished out of the fountain.

2. Try pants on backwards at the Gap. Ask the salesperson if
they make your butt look big.

3. Dial 900 numbers from demonstration phones in Radio Shack.

4. Sneeze on the sample tray at Hickory Farms and helpfully
volunteer to consume its now unwanted contents.

5. At the bottom of an escalator, scream 'MY SHOELACES!AAAGH!'

6. Ask the sales personnel at the music store whether inflated CD prices are in pesos or rubles.

7. Teach pet store parrots new vocabulary that makes them unsellable.

8. Stomp on ketchup packets at Burger King...

9. ...but save a few to slurp on as snacks. Tell people that
they're 'astronaut food'.

10. Follow patrons of B. Dalton's around while reading aloudfrom 'Dianetics.'

11. Ask mall cops for stories of World War I.

12. Ask a salesman why a particular tv is labeled black and
white and insist that it's a color set. When he disagrees,
give him a strange look and say, 'You mean you really can'tsee it?'

13. Construct a new porch deck in the tool department of Sears.

14. Wear pancake makeup and new clothes and pose as a fashion dummy in clothes departments, occasionally screaming without warning.

15. Test mattresses in your pajamas.

16. Ask the tobaccanist if his hovercraft is full of eels.

17. If you're patient, stare intently into a surveillance
camera for an hour while rocking from side to side.

18. Sprint up the down escalator.

19. Stare at static on a display tv and challenge other
shoppers whether they, too, can see the 'hidden picture'.

20. Ask appliance personnel if they have any tvs that play only in Spanish.

21. Make unusual requests at the Piercing Pagoda.

22. Ask a salesperson in the hardware department how well a
particular saw cuts through bone.

23. At the pet store, ask if they have bulk discounts on
gerbils, and whether there's much meat on them.

24. Hula dance by the demonstration air conditioner.

25. Ask for red-tinted lenses at the optometrist.

26. Sneak up on saleswomen at the perfume counter and spray
*them* with your own bottle of Eau de Swane.

27. Rummage through the jelly bean bin at the candy store,
insisting that you lost a contact lens.

28. Ask a saleswoman whether a particular shade of panties
matches the color of your beard.

29. In the changing rooms, announce in a singsong voice, 'I
see London, I see France...'

30. Leave on the plastic string connecting a new pair of
shoes, and wander around the mall taking two-inch steps.

31. Play the tuba for change.

32. Ask the Hammond organ dealer if he can play 'Jesus Built My Hotrod'.

33. Record belches on electronic sampling keyboards, and
perform gastric versions of Jingle Bells for admiring onlookers.

34. Ask the pharmacist at the drugstore which leading cold
remedy will 'give you a really wicked buzz'.

35. Ask the personnel at Pier 1 Imports whether they have 'any giant crap made out of straw'.

36. 'Toast' plastic gag hot dogs in front of the fakefireplace display.

37. Collect stacks of paint brochures and hand them out as religious tracts.

38. Ask the information desk for a stroller, and someone to
push you around in it.

39. Change every tv in the electronics department to a station showing 'Saved by the Bell'. Chant the dialogue in a robotic voice, and scream if anyone tries to switch channels on one of the sets.

40. Hang out in the waterbed section of the furniture
department wearing a Navy uniform. Occasionally run around in circles yelling 'scratch one flattop!'

41. Hand a stack of pants back to the changing room attendant and scornfully announce that none of them are 'leakproof'.

42. 'Play' the demo modes of video games at the arcade. Make
lots of explosion noises.

43. Stand transfixed in front of a mirror bobbing your head upand down.

44. Pay for all your purchases with two-dollar bills to
provoke arguments over whether they're real.

45. If it's Christmas, ask the mall Santa to sit on *your*lap.

46. Answer any unattended service phones that ring in
department stores and say 'Domino's.'

47. Try on flea collars at the pet store while occasionally
pausing to scratch yourself.

48. At the stylist, ask to have the hair on your back permed.

49. Show people your driver's license and demand to know
'whether they've seen this man.'

50. Buy a jawbreaker from the candy store. Return fifteen
minutes later, fish it out of your mouth, and demand to know
why it hasn't turned blue yet.

Allein Fri Oct 22 15:21:35 PDT 1999

Hi everyone. I've been sick for the last 2 days. The flu is hitting everyone really hard this year, but I'm feeling a lot better today. :)

Rachel - did you ever read the chapter I sent to you? Did you pass it on to Carling?


philip Fri Oct 22 15:02:15 PDT 1999


If you're as disturbed by people dying from hunger as I am, you might consider the following message . An actor friend of mine sent it to me - I'll support this action daily. I have it bookmarked. You might want to do the same ... or not.

>I'm writing to as many people as possible to spread the word about
> in case you haven't heard about it. Every few seconds
>someone dies from hunger in the world, three quarters of them children
>5. By going to the site and clicking the FREE DONATION box you provide food
>to starving people. It costs you nothing except the few seconds it takes to
>connect and click; you can only do it once a day. YOUR 'CLICK' is paid for
>by the sponsors whose logos you see on the site. It's all above board, most
>of the money literally goes to buy food, a small percentage to admin and
>distribution of the food. A long list of countries are now participating.
>It's a great way to help. Since the site was set up a few months ago, a lot
>of people are still alive who would otherwise have starved to dead. Tell
>your friends, and your colleagues as well, get everyone at work to join
in -
>it won't cost a business ANYTHING extra if you're on net anyway. Thank you!

Have a look - PHILIP

Rachel Fri Oct 22 13:20:04 PDT 1999

Americo - It was a great story. I loved the book. It was nice to be able to write to you about it as I went along. I have started on the other book and now I am in horror. Horror is exactly the word, it is not just alarm or mild distress, this is horror. God, I am not going to be able to put this down! I have to go, I should be able to read a couple more chapters while I'm getting lunch out for the kiddies. Yup, I am walking along with my nose in a book (grins).
Take care you

Americo Fri Oct 22 11:50:11 PDT 1999

Rhoda: I have just received the second part of the chapter. Thank you.

Rachel: isn't it so damned good to cry when you finish a book?

Rhoda Fri Oct 22 11:10:52 PDT 1999

I too have gotten story ideas from dreams. Actually anything can trigger a story, but you experience dreams in a way you don't experience movies, books, or the evening news. I have actually brainstormed and built plots through my dreams. Many times I wake up and think of these plots and find them useless, but there have been a couple of occassions where the dreams had merit.

Dreams are an interesting receptacles for unhindered reflection. For the most part I agree with Jerry. Dreaming is a way we deal with stress and problem solving. We need to dream. Yet, there is spiritual dimension to dreaming. In the Bible, God used dreams many times to communicate messages. However, I must point out, that the persons dreaming the dreams knew that they talked to angels even in their dreams, except for people like Pharoh and Nebachaneezer. In one case the Apostle Paul dreamed of a person who beckoned him to come to Macedonia and preach the Gospel. Ancient Egypt and Babylon were not nations who had a Judeo-Christian perspective, yet they noted the importance of dreams. Both Joeseph and Daniel achieved success and respect in those societies through their God-given ability to interpret dreams.

I believe that as dreams can be used by God, I also believe they can be used by more malevolent beings such as demons. Here I am stepping into troubled waters, for this viewpoint is tinged with my religion which not everyone shares here. I have dreamed things that came to pass and it is a terrifing feeling. I can honestly say those dreams were not from God and they served no positive purpose.

As far as the supernatural is concerned, of course it exists. I think everyone of us here knows that. We do interpret what we know differently depending upon our world views and persuasions.

Things like ghosts and dreams are not only good tools for a story, but they also add a moral dimension to the story. HAMLET sees the ghost of his father. If not for the ghost, the murder of Hamlets father would never have been known about. This ghost also gives Hamlet a moral imperitive to avenge his father's death. Ghosts remind the reader that nothing is ever kept a secret and that every horrid, violent deed must be accounted for and resolved.

Dreams are the link between the factual, emotional and the spiritual dimension. In literature dreams often remind the dreamer of some terrifying incident long forgotten by the conscience, but still remembered by the unconscience. The charater is being driven by some secret and only the dream provides the clue of what it is. The same dream is experienced at regular intervals to prod the character to resolve the issue of the dream. There are few better vehicles of bringing to light a character's motivation than dreams, for dreams shine light on the charater's personality and inner workings that even the character is unaware of.

Happy Writing!


Jerry Fri Oct 22 08:47:37 PDT 1999

Ah, the dream. I recently read that the dream is the minds way of relieving the stress we build up daily. It seems that the more stressfull the day, the more stressfull the first dreams of the night are. As the stress is relieved, the dreams become less and less stressfull, until at long last the stress is dealt with, and the last dream of the night is the best.

If in fact one is awaken following one of the earlier dreams, he in fact will feel the stress of the day before, and report that he had a poor nights sleep. If however, he sleeps the night through uninterupted, he will report a plesent nights sleep, and have a fairly good day.

Well that is what the article says, and I guess I would have to agree, as I wake up many times during the night, and at times even remember what I had been dreaming, the earlier in the night I wake up, the worse the dream is. If however, I take a sleeping pill, I fail to dream and although I can sleep the night through, I never feel rested.

Anyhow, that is just my perspective, I do agree though, dreams make for wonderful stories, and have based many of my short stories on those dreams I had early in the night.

The wonders of the human mind never fail to amaze me.

Wonderful dreams all


Jai Thu Oct 21 20:39:52 PDT 1999

Hmm... lets try from a less self indulgent perpective.

Corax(and others) - These days I have a schedual. I'm a morning person so in the morning I write ( I wake up early ) then I work. When I come home I like to critique ( it's a less intensive way of improving my writing ). At least that's what I've been doing for the last week or so. Unfortunalty I've run out of stuff to critique :( So feel free to send over a chapter or two or a short story, this applies to all my notebook friends. Yes even you Americo :)

Hyden - I just love that poem. The more I think about it the more it is correct. It is so simple and elegent. It has a certain completeness of meaning. I think it might just be correct!

Philip - I've seen that one before and yes it is good. I've been meaning to get a copy *snip* there... I don't like much of Fueds work, he was a little to obsessed with sex ( and himself ). But it is definatly thought provoking.

RLH - Ghosts and hauted places are believed by many religions and mytholagies and they lend themselves handily to fiction. Can anyone really say ghosts don't exist? Isn't that like saying extra terestial intelligance doesn't exist? If you can't see it you can't discount it...


Rlh Thu Oct 21 20:26:16 PDT 1999

Phillip: Yeah, I hear ya. Dreams, oh boy, where to go with this. I believe in the reality of life, the reality of death and the reality of dreams. All three may be uplifting terrifing and mysterious. If a person has a bad night because of a disturbing dream then it affects the reality of their waking life. Conversely, a good dream may set the mood for my whole day. I have known persons who swear they never dream. I've dreamed in wide screen color, with disturbing odors and even had "instant replays" for crying out loud. I know some dreams reflect feelings of insecurity. Like the one where I'm back in hi school and suddenly realize I have no clothes on! I've always accepted what life has offered me, dreams are just another aspect of living. Perhaps dreams are a way spirit-guides try to guide us through life. If at death you suddenly knew all the answers so evasive during life and could return to help you're loved ones...would you? I believe in God, but I don't believe He/She will burn you in hell if after 70 years on the planet you can't conform to His ideas. Souls are His creation, loaned to you for His purposes and too valuable to waste. So...I believe there are spirit guides who use the access to your brain during sleep to nudge you in the right direction. Okay? Crackpot RLH, huh? Dreams, His way of getting through to you? The dream I had that prompted me to write WHERE THE ROCKS COVER THE FLOWERS was so powerful it has driven me for 2 years plus and 98,000 words. Gotta go old buddy. TGIF

Jai Thu Oct 21 20:14:17 PDT 1999

WOW! The weekend has caught up with me. I thought it was wednsday but it's FRIDAY! Now I can get stuck into that Novella :)

Good writing all,


philip Thu Oct 21 17:42:37 PDT 1999


I immediately thought of Freud when you talked of writing your dreams.

Co-incidently, today I was looking at a book of press clippings and found this (I'm paraphrasing):

When Sigmund Freud published his first book, 'The Science of Dreams', it is said he wanted to show that sleep is not just a continuation of waking life. He refused to recognise that sleep is a simple physiological event and stated for the first time that dreams expressed the frustrations and resentments of our waking hours. He further said dreams are a means of satisfying our desires - mostly those that are socially unacceptable, that are suppressed by day.

Today of course, most of us take for granted what he said - that by bringing suppressed material into consciousness, people may better understand their mental conflict and symptoms may then disappear.

Freud's book outlines a quantum leap in thinking - its pros and cons are still vehemently argued.

October next year will mark 100 years since its publication.


RLH Thu Oct 21 16:34:57 PDT 1999

Phillip: Outstanding! I enjoyed your 40 something rules for writers. I love it!!! A writer writes, isn't that what Billy Crystal said in THROW MAMA FROM THE TRAIN? Seriously, people, that is the average citizen butchers the English language on a regular basis. (Sorta like my spelling!) At least the ones I know do. Perhaps there are over educated academics who form perfect sentances, with correct grammer but not around here. I always meet folks who tell me they wished they could write. (Please understand I am far from an expert on writing. There may be people reading this who have forgotten more than yours truly will ever know. But common sense, ambition and a life SPENT reading surely helps one put down a word or two.) I tell people, write as they speak. A great friend in Utah worked on the Alaskan pipeline and has a mind full of memories. I tell him to write 'em down! He can tell tales all night long but cannot write the same story on paper? If I lived closer I would move in and write every tale he could remember.
Heard a ghost story this afternoon. A local house that has hosted a couple of suicides and a mentally challenged man possesed by something. Heard it from the guys cousin. He swears it's true. Claims he has an aunt who has the ability to CLEAN houses of demons. (Wouldn't she be interesting at family reunions?) Anyway, as he tells it the woman was asked to spend the night in the house. She enters and looks around. A village wag standing behind asked if she could hear any demons. She turns and pins him with a baleful glare. "Yes, and I can see them too." She settled into a bedroom for the night with her husband and her mentally challenged son in an adjoing bedroom. Before bed she blessed the house and performed a ritual in the doorway. Late in the night they were awakened by a noise at the bedroom door. It was her son TRYING to enter the room. He couldn't get past the doorway! Funny thing is, as I told my wife the story she interupted to say her brother's, brother-in-law commited suicide in that same house. Where is my bible? Anyone see it lately? What are the words to Hail Mary? Anybody know? that something at the door, scratching, knocking? I'M OUTTA HERE. Give my regards to H.P. Lovecraft.

Corax Corax@Yahoo.Com Thu Oct 21 11:41:01 PDT 1999

Does anyone know a way to have someone or some organization critique work? I am writing a Fantasy novel, and I want to know if it has any potential, or if I am wasting my time.

Jack Beslanwitch Thu Oct 21 11:17:27 PDT 1999


By the way, the Notebook was over 200k. Sufficiently large that some were not able to get in. I will attempt to stay on top of this and get things archived at 100.

Happy writing. Just wish I was doing more of it.

Jack Beslanwitch Thu Oct 21 11:15:19 PDT 1999

Mea Culpa

   I was not able to update the Notebook last night, er, well, three in the morning. I will not go into the technical details, but I came down this morning and bleary eyed found I could get in and started the replacement of the Notebook. I realized what I had done as soon as I clicked, but too late to save any posts from three this morning until now.

   The preceding posts will be up on the Archives sometime this afternoon. This has not been a good week for computer snafus. Oh, well. Take care everyone.

Philip McLaren Thu Oct 21 11:11:09 PDT 1999


I came across two bits of info I thought I should share with you.

First, Roget's Thesaurus online. It's experimental but it works just fine.

And I had this posted to me - it originated in the USA and is doing the
rounds with writers.


1. Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
3. And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.
4. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
5. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They're old hat.)
6. Also, always avoid annoying alliteration.
7. Be more or less specific.
8. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually)
9. Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
10. No sentence fragments.
11. Contractions aren't necessary and shouldn't be used.
12. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
13. Do not be redundant; do not use more words than necessary;
it's highly superfluous.
14. One should NEVER generalize.
15. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
16. Don't use no double negatives.
17. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
18. One-word sentences? Eliminate.
19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
20. The passive voice is to be ignored.
21. Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical
words however should be enclosed in commas.
22. Never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice.
23. DO NOT use exclamation points and all caps to emphasize!!!
24. Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.
25. Understatement is always the absolute best way to put forth
earth shaking ideas.
26. Use the apostrophe in it's proper place and omit it when
its not needed.
27. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "I hate
quotations. Tell me what you know."
28. If you've heard it once, you've heard it a thousand times:
Resist hyperbole; not one writer in a million can use it
29. Puns are for children, not groan readers.
30. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
31. Even IF a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
32. Who needs rhetorical questions?
33. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
34. The passive voice should never be used.
36. Do not put statements in the negative form.
37. Verbs have to agree with their subjects.
38. A writer must not shift your point of view.
39. Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long
sentences of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.
40. Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
41. If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a
linking verb is.
42. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.
43. Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
44. Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with
singular nouns in their writing.
45. Always pick on the correct idiom.
46. The adverb always follows the verb.
47. Be careful to use the rite homonym.
And Finally...
47. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

Back soon - PHILIP


Good evening everyone! Why do I write? I'm glad you asked that question. Well, I dream profusely, always have. The manuscript my agent has now was a dream. Perhaps aided by numerous pain pills to relieve a squashed disc. Still, it was vivid enough to work into a novel. Several years before that, maybe a dozen or so, I dreamed of a beautiful musical note. A bell/chime so pure so perfect I never forgot it. If I had to guess, perhaps it was of Eastern orgin, a signal that I had reached the halfway point of life. Three months ago I dreamed of a woman dressed in white, a regal person of obvious stature and breeding. She told me "RLH I will get you some more money, but you have to work for it." Now, what in the Sam Hill does she mean by that? I have to work! Lady I'm retired! I'm trying to write books; one, because I'm to big a coward to steal. Two, I'm to lazy to get another job and three; I'm to dumb to be a rocket scientist.
Jeeze, and she wants me to work! Well, perhaps the lady in white knows something I don't. For that reason I swallowed my pride and sent a female rock star a copy of my manuscript. Why would you do that RLH? This 22 year old rocker is, without question exactly what I perceive the Navajo sorceress in my novel to look like. I knew it the minute I saw her. Maybe this is what the lady in white meant. Search every possible outlet. If one sits around sipping coffee hoping the literary agent will come through ... you're asking for trouble. After 52 years on the planet I've learned a few things. Some people have gravy with their potatoes. The rest of us poor slobs wish we could only see a potato. Ramblings from a guy past hump day. Good evening.

Jai Wed Oct 20 17:07:49 PDT 1999

Rhoda, I don't buy or read romance. Just as I don't buy or read Star Trek serieses or Dungeons and Dragons books. These books are usually to corny. To predictable. My view of romace ( Mills and Boon type ) is that they are poorly written soft porn.

However I have read and loved some books ( historical fiction ) in which romance played a major role. From what little of your work I've read I wouldn't call it typical romance it has to much depth.

My opinions are however very limited as I have read almost no hard core Romance. This is just my vague impressions from looking at them in libaries and so forth.


Americo Wed Oct 20 16:36:24 PDT 1999

Rhoda: romance is basically a love story, usually without any pretensions to quality. I would not clasify Jane Austen, one of the greatest writers of the English novel, as a romancer, but as a novelist. As I told you, in neo-Latin languages romance (Portuguese), roman (French) translate the English novel. Novela (Port.), nouvelle (Fr) mean novelette or long short-story. And so on, and so forth.

I hope this conversation won't degenerate into the war of mainstream versus sci-fiction versus fantasy versus... That is the kind of discussion I would not like to take part in.

Jon would like to thank yet another recipe. This one from Jerry Ericsson Hope it is not a secret, Jerry. I had a look at the ingredients and the dish seems to taste yum,yum,yummy!

Rachel Wed Oct 20 14:37:31 PDT 1999

Rhoda - I think that romance has it's place in almost every novel. People like to read about this stuff, admit it or not, they do. I think its a little bit like the tabloids that nobody buys, but they certainly do turn a booming business.
I do not get the impression that you write fluff, so I think that I would likely enjoy your sort of a romantic story, a nice historical tale of love and romance, mystery and adventure. I'm as into that as I am into seeing Dirk Pit crash into the ocean, both have their good points. It's just different sorts of reads. (yah, I know that sentence was not very well put together - grins).
My only problem with a romance is when it is unrealistic. When it is so, so transparent. I guess that is where the bodice ripper part comes in. I think that as long as there is a good story to support the romance that all is well.
As for men writing romance, or romantic text, yes I believe that they can do that. Or rather YES! yes, is much to mild. I have read some excellent "romance" by men. It may have been tucked into the middle of an action or science fiction story, but it is romance none the less and it has been well written, believable, touching. I have read short stories by men that would leave every woman and half the men on this page weeping (I get to read some pretty cool stuff - grins).
I have even read a female character written so well by a man that I had to stop and wonder if maybe this guy wasn't really a gal.
I love romance, even if its rip your heart and guts our romance. I love it when it turns out and turns sour. Its good stuff, I just don't seem to write it well (grins).
Hum, well, I would say I have said more than enough of this. I have to go, I'm in the middle of a wonderful book, well, okay, I'm almost done with it, but I just have to see what happens. Okay, I know what is probably going to happen, but I love the way this guy writes, so I can't not read it.
Take care all

Rhoda Wed Oct 20 13:26:58 PDT 1999


I don't think the Notebook is loading well at all. I had problems also. I just reloaded the page, and it worked.


Rachel Wed Oct 20 12:06:57 PDT 1999

Ahhhhhhhhh - What is going on! I am trying to read Rhoda's post and this box keeps jumping into the middle of her post (grrrrrrr)! I didn't really want to post anything just right now, but since this box keeps jumping onto the screen, I thought, well maybe if I write something in it, it will go away! Lets see if it will work.

Take care all

Wed Oct 20 12:05:14 PDT 1999

Wed Oct 20 12:04:18 PDT 1999

Rhoda Wed Oct 20 11:19:13 PDT 1999

A few days ago there was some discussion on genre writing. I would like to pick up on the step-sister of all writing genres--the dirty, little secret stashed away at the back of the bookcase which everyone knows about, but no one will ever admit to having ever read let alone having ever owned--that gritty, disgusting, trashy romance novel.

What exactly is a romance? I used to think I knew, but through various contests I have entered, I now have learned that the romances I set out to write are not romances at all. They are classified as mainstream or historical. Danielle Steele is not a romance writer, but is instead a mainstream author. When I think of great romance novels, I think of JANE EYRE, REBECCA, LORNA DOONE, QUO VADIS, and PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. When I was a child, books by Phyllis A. Whitney, Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, Georgette Heyer, and Anya Seton were considered romance novels. All of these books had other elements. Victoria Holt and Mary Steward had strong elements of suspense and mystery, while Georgette Heyer and Anya Seton used historical settings.

Americo and I discussed romance novels some in an exchange of e-mail. He told me he thought of romance novels in light of Barbara Cartland. In Portugal they are known as "pink" novels. In the United States and around the world, they are not better thought of. Here we call them "bodice rippers," and Harlequins whether or not they are truly published by Harlequin. I think the world at large looks down on them and puts them in the same light as day-time soaps.

Any type of book can have romantic elements in it, and those elements do not make it a romance. Where do we draw the line? Do men write romance? Can they?

I am curious what others here think. How do other Notebookers qualify romances? Be honest, please and do not attempt to spare my feelings.


Americo Wed Oct 20 10:52:18 PDT 1999

This Notebook needs revival. It was never as lively as a "Writers' Notebook" should be. But it used to be better than it is now. I used to look at its contributors with open heart and a smile or a tear. Now I look at the Notebook with distrust. What went wrong?

(The rest was deleted)

See you later, aligator!

Scholar Wed Oct 20 09:13:16 PDT 1999

Hey all.

I love this idea. I am 16 and about to submmit the first of several short stories/novel/poems to some publishers. How should i go about doing it?
I have about 3 stories and 1 novel in the works but i have done at least a few dozen poems. some already were published in my local paper.
I would like to hear from anyone and perhaps share some writings.

oh yeah i should tell you about me.
1)I am a 16 year old guy who love to write.
2)I often use free verse poety to cope with my life.
3) I play duengeons and dragons for creative inspiration.
4) I love

Allein Wed Oct 20 06:58:58 PDT 1999

I'm Baaaaack!! *takes a bow* Miss me?

Anyway, here is something I got from a friend through e-mail. It's not a funny, but rather a good story with an important moral.

A lady in a faded gingham dress and her husband, dressed in a homespun threadbare suit, stepped off the train in Boston, and walked timidly without an appointment into the president of Harvard's outer office. The secretary could tell in a moment that such backwoods, country hicks had no business at Harvard and probably didn't even deserve to be in Cambridge.
She frowned. "We want to see the president," the man said softly.
"He'll be busy all day," the secretary snapped.
"We'll wait," the lady replied.
For hours, the secretary ignored them, hoping that the couple would finally become discouraged and go away. They didn't. And the secretary grew frustrated and finally decided to disturb the president, even though it was a chore she always regretted to do.
"Maybe if they just see you for a few minutes, they'll leave," she told him.
And he sighed in exasperation and nodded. Someone of his importance obviously didn't have the time to spend with them, but he detested gingham dresses and homespun suits cluttering up his outer office.
The president, stern-faced with dignity, strutted toward the couple.
The lady told him, "We had a son that attended Harvard for one year. He loved Harvard. He was happy here. But about a year ago, he was accidentally killed. And my husband and I would like to erect a memorial to him, somewhere on campus."
The president wasn't touched, he was shocked. "Madam," he said gruffly, "We can't put up a statue for every person who attended Harvard and died. If we did, this place would look like a cemetery".
"Oh, no," the lady explained quickly. "We don't want to erect a statue. We thought we would like to give a building to Harvard."
The president rolled his eyes. He glanced at the gingham dress and homespun suit, then exclaimed, "A building! Do you have any earthly idea how much a building costs? We have over seven and a half million dollars in the physical plant at Harvard."
For a moment the lady was silent. The president was pleased. He could get rid of them now.
And the lady turned to her husband and said quietly, "Is that all it costs to start a University? Why don't we just start our own?"
Her husband nodded.
The president's face wilted in confusion and bewilderment. And Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford walked away, travelling to Palo Alto, California where they established the University that bears their name, a memorial to a son that Harvard no longer cared about.
You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those whom they think can do nothing for them or to them.

Americo Wed Oct 20 05:20:32 PDT 1999

Great stuff, Hayden. Jon, the cat, could not do better.
He sends greeting to all the Notebookers.

Hayden Tue Oct 19 19:21:59 PDT 1999


In all the world there'll never be
a poem as beautiful as me


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