Archived Messages from October 29, 1999 to November 5, 1999

Gary S Fri Nov 5 23:30:38 PST 1999

Sorry to hear that you had such a bad day. I hope it all turns out okay.

Maybe you can send our good host some of that nice cake, it sounds very tempting. Well, on to something about writing.

So people, explain something to me. In the interest of political correctness it is no longer acceptable to write a phrase such as the following: "...will see enough wildlife to satisfy 'his' needs." One is expected to write "...their needs," and violate the older and more functional rule of grammar in preference to the more judiciously concieved new rule. This grates somewhat on certain people who learned their writing rules in the first half of the century, but it is a reasonable correction and lacking a better solution to the problem one should over-ride habit and go along to get along.

Today I notice that a nature writer for the local fish wrapper wrote the phrase, "...will see enough wildlife to satisfy 'her' needs. By some remarkable coincidence the writer is a woman. I also have a fairly current text on grammar in which the author explains such innovations in a chapter devoted to political correctness in modern grammar.
The author is a highly credited expert (one I highly recommend) who used the "her" pronoun quite often in the text in violation of her own endorsement of the current usage.

The question is: Do modern rules allow for a "getting even" exception for women writers who want to show the boys what it feels like to be slighted? Or is it that women may opt to use the old form as a way of demonstrating the unfairness of the former, established misogynistic practice? Was a decision made by someone that this would be the way of things from now on? Did I miss a decree by the caretakers of the language when I wasn't paying attention one day?

If this is the case it brings up an even bigger question (yes people, there are bigger questions in the world than what goes on for writers). Does a change in the rules of anything mean that those who were shorted by the old rules may now do likewise to those who once enjoyed the benifit of the inequity. When Jackie Robinson was admitted to the major league baseball, should we not have banned a number of white players from the game in the aftermath? How many would have been a proper number? How long should a rule be applied in reverse after having been changed?

Personally, I don't see how we can create equity in anything by continuing the existing inequity in reverse. Of course if there is another aspect of this question that I simply have missed, I would like to hear about it, perhaps we might generate a spirited debate on this question.

Okay now, everybody dance.

Hayden, I see you lurking there. Be a good fellow and show me where the bar is, would you.


Arik Fri Nov 5 23:23:00 PST 1999

Hello all, force.. Jon how are you guys :-)

well, I come and go... I have to do something about it :-)

Jai Fri Nov 5 23:07:33 PST 1999

Hi all,

Yeah Rachel it was fun chatting. Especially once Ashling worked out how to use my ol' chat room.

Well I voted for a republic today. Not that I have anything against the queen :)

Happy writing all,


Rhoda Fri Nov 5 12:24:27 PST 1999

If anyone is interested in a great fruit dip, then try this one:

Whip together 1-8oz package softened cream cheese, 1 jar marshmellow cream and 1 heaping Tablespoon orange juice concentrate.

This dip is a wonderful crowd pleaser. I got the recipe from a woman at my church.

Happy Writing,


Rachel Fri Nov 5 07:09:54 PST 1999

Rhoda - I'm glad that cake turned out (big smile) Wish your son a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! Hope the party goes well.

Americo - Be good do yourself (hugs).

Jai, Ahsling, Teekay - It was nice chatting at you.

All - Have a great weekend
Take care

Allein Fri Nov 5 06:50:24 PST 1999

Jerry - That's cool. In 8th grade we determined that if a person had all of Bill Gates' money and spent 1000 dollars every minute, it would take them until 2010 to spend all of it.

Americo Fri Nov 5 04:20:06 PST 1999

Jack — thanks for having agreed in full with the S* shares proposal. You will be proud of us.

S* people — Now that we are all in agrrement, fame and glory is the goal. But we have to work hard! We will not give up before we publish the book (it will not be difficult if there is justice in America — Sebastian and Emma and Jenny and Aline are so sweet!).

In the meantime I must smoke a little less and go to bed a little earlier than my usual (3am)... *Cough, cough*... And also walk at least 20 minutes a day (do we need to walk more than 20 minutes? What a waste of time...)

A very good day for you all.

Jack Beslanwitch Fri Nov 5 01:39:50 PST 1999


Just read down. Rhoda, wish your son a happy birthday for me. Also, I added a link to the GMT time checker for the chat time posting page. If you click on the link it will bring up a window to check your time. I guess I am suggesting that we post both local and GMT and that way we can try to keep track of when the when is. Later everyone.

Jack Beslanwitch Fri Nov 5 01:26:04 PST 1999

I had a major disaster blow up with a client of mine late this afternoon and got completely sidetracked and then so disgusted that I completely spaced that I had set up a chat. Many apologies. Sigh. If it is not one thing it is another. The worst part of it is that it is still not resolved and so I have a round of long distance calls and emails to iron out what the hell is going on. Take care everyone. This place keeps my sanity together at times. I am going to head off, have a good stiff drink and bag it.

Rhoda Thu Nov 4 23:03:39 PST 1999

Sounds like some people managed to get together for the chat. Sorry I couldn't be there. I was still making my son's cake. I didn't think that would work out to be an all day proposition. I made a sheet, but it was too thin. I had to add another layer, so essentially, I had to bake the thing all over again. Today between icing and cake, I used up 14 eggs, 2 lbs of butter, 12 cups confectioners sugar, and 4 cups granulated. Wild, isn't it. Anyway, the cake turned out divine. It was the best job I ever did. Perhaps if the writing doesn't work out, I can have a career as a baker and cake decorator.

The birthday party is tomorrow, and I am just praying that I can keep the kids and the cat out of the cake and keep it looking pretty until we cut it. Well, I got a big day tomorrow.

Happy writing,


Ashling Thu Nov 4 20:24:28 PST 1999

Hi! Apologies to all for taking up so much space chatting about chat ... We'll get these time zone difficulties ironed out soon.

TEEKAY: The URL above links to a pretty good international time converter.

JAI: Using the above, I believe it's a little after 3 pm on Friday in Sydney?? Anyway, the second URL you posted works - so I at least got a peek at where you work. Will start earlier next time. [I did email you, but guess you had to actually get some work done. ;-)]

Rachel & I connected in chat for a few minutes, so the room does work. Also, after entering the room - click on "Options" on the toolbar & then click on Entrance alerts (there's 2 kinds - you can have both) ... You can then shrink the room as Rhonda suggested, go off surfing or writing --- and still get a sound notification when someone else enters the chat.

Best regards,

Teekay Thu Nov 4 19:34:32 PST 1999

Well Duh I thought I'd posted a time for a chat but I do remember running off and trying to find out what time zone I was in. Well actually I did sort of know it I just had to verify it and when I went back to see what time I'd put it wasn't there...yet. Now I don't know if I sent one or if it's just taking a while to add, like the noticeboard. Will get back to you all when I know what I'm doing.( It's been a long day.) By the way it's also 5th Nov. here.

Jerry Lee Thu Nov 4 19:15:01 PST 1999

Yo, All!
It's been a while since I've shown my grubby face here, but I thought this might brighten your day...

The answer to the eternal question "Is it better to be a jock or
a nerd?":

$ Michael Jordan having "retired," with $40 million in
endorsements, he makes $178,100 a day, working or not.

$ If he sleeps 7 hours a night, he makes $52,000 every night while
visions of sugarplums dance in his head.

$ If he goes to see a movie, it'll cost him $7.00, but he'll make
$18,550 while he's there.

$ If he decides to have a 5 minute egg, he'll make $618 while
boiling it.

$ He makes $7,415/hr more than minimum wage.

$ If someone were to hand him his salary and endorsement money,
they would have to do it at the rate of $2.00 every second.

$ Assuming he puts the federal maximum of 15% of his income into a
tax deferred account (401k) at the start of the year, his contributions will hit the
federal cap of $9500 at 8:30 a.m. on January 1st.

$ If you were given a penny for every 10 dollars he made, you 'd
be living comfortably at $65,000 a year.

$ This year, he'll make more than twice as much as all U.S. past
presidents for all of their terms combined.

Amazing isn't it? However...

$ If Jordan saves 100% of his income for the next 450 years,
he'll still have less than Bill Gates

$$$ Game over. Nerd wins.

A reason to keep trying?

Take care,
Jerry Lee

Allein Thu Nov 4 19:13:44 PST 1999

ALLEIN'S FUNNIES!! ::does the funky sqrlmunk::

From a Washington Post Report, in which readers were asked to tell Gen-Xers how much harder they had it in the old days:

In my day, we didn't have no rocks. We had to go down to the
creek and wash our clothes by beating them with our heads.

Back in the 1970s we didn't have the space shuttle to get
all excited about. We had to settle for men walking on the crummy moon.

In my day, we didn't have hand-held calculators. We had to
do addition on our fingers. To subtract, we had to have some fingers amputated.

In my day, we didn't have water. We had to smash together our own hydrogen and oxygen atoms.

Kids today think the world revolves around them. In my day,
the sun revolved around the world, and the world was perched
on the back of a giant tortoise.

In my day, we didn't have virtual reality. If a one-eyed
razorback barbarian warrior was chasing you with an ax, you
just had to hope you could outrun him.

I'm glad I didn't live back then.

Now for the parents out there:

Long term team players needed for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in faraway cities. Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.

RESPONSIBILITIES: Must provide on-the-site training in basic life skills, such as nose blowing. Must have strong skills in negotiating,conflict resolution and crisis management. Ability to suture flesh wounds a plus. Must
be able to think out of the box but not lose track of the box, because you most likely will need it for a school project. Must reconcile petty cash disbursements and be proficient in managing budgets and resources fairly,
unless you want to hear, "He got more than me!" for the rest of your life. Also, must be able to drive motor vehicles safely under loud and adverse
conditions while simultaneously practicing above mentioned skills in conflict resolution. Must be able to choose your battles and stick to your guns. Must be able to withstand criticism, such as "You don't know anything." Must be
willing to be hated at least temporarily, until someone needs $5 to go skating. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly.

Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face
stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects.
Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys and battery operated devices. Also, must have a highly energetic entrepreneurial spirit, because fund-raiser will be
your middle name. Must have a diverse knowledge base, so as to answer questions such as "What makes the wind move?" or "Why can't they just go in and shoot Sadam Hussein?" on the fly.

Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product. Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.

POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT AND PROMOTION: Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you.

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: None required, unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.

WAGES AND COMPENSATION: You pay them, offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give
them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.

BENEFITS: While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered, job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life if you play your cards right.

Jai Thu Nov 4 19:02:18 PST 1999

Ashling, it's my work address which is where I am at the moment. I'll be here for another few hours so if any wants to drop in to the above site before say 11pm PST feel free. If you like just drop me an email to get my attention :)

Well hope the rest of you had more luck than me with this chat stuff, it is sooo frustrating...


Teekay Thu Nov 4 19:01:14 PST 1999

Hi Jai, Tried to get to your chat site today, but it just wasn't happening. Got an incomlete information sign, but I'm doing this at work, it may be a little different at home. Anyway I've finally worked out how it works and I hung around in there a while yesterday arvo talking to myself,( I'm beginning to see why nobody uses it.) My time is the same as your time. I tried to find a time conversion chart so I could work out U.S. times in relation to ours but it wasn't happening there either. So I'll just keep popping by the chat room later on this afternoon and probably tonight. I've also posted a time for a chat which I'll have to go back and check as I've forgotten what it is.
All:- When I was asking about writers block I thought Americo may have had it coz his cat kept writing:-). I don't know if I have it coz I haven't gotten around to writing anything lately, there always seems to be a dog to feed or a plate to wash or something else that needs doing. I know that's slack but I want you all to know that you have really inspired me and from now on I am religiously going to write something EVERY day.
In retrospect, looking at the length of this message I don't think I have writers block.

Jai Thu Nov 4 18:43:00 PST 1999

Hmm... that would be right, so it's not that nobody loves me. Try -

If that doesn't work come in the normal way - ( sorry for the big picture )


Thu Nov 4 18:37:23 PST 1999

Hi JAI -- I can't link to your chat room. I keep getting a screen saying "incomplete data received" .. Even tried hand typing the address myself with no better luck. I will attempt the Notebook room now ... I think it use to require a password. Will give you a progress report. If I email the address above your name will that reach you at work -- or is that your home email?

Jai Thu Nov 4 18:17:50 PST 1999

Ashling... I'm in the sydneny time zone. I see that 6pm PST is about 18 minutes ago and I still can't get volcano working :(

Ashling Thu Nov 4 17:36:16 PST 1999

Hi all!

JAI: I'll stop in to say hi at your chat room a little after 6pm PST -- about 30 minutes from now ... which Australian Time Zone are you in?

RHODA: I think your Chat Room Workshop idea is fabulous! I'll try to check into the Notebook's room tonight also. I go to bed shortly before most folks in the USA get up for work or school ... but maybe I'll catch you some weekend soon.

Best regards,

Rachel Thu Nov 4 16:36:42 PST 1999

John Vaugh - Oh my God! I am so sorry! I went into chat and then I skipped over to do some reading and forgot to go back and check if anybody was in there. When I went back I saw you had been there! I can't believe it, somebody goes into the chat room and I miss them, even when I'm sitting right on it! Grrrrrrrrrr. Well John, maybe I'll catch yah next time.
Take care you

Jai Thu Nov 4 16:14:32 PST 1999

I can't get the chat to work at all. It keeps crashing my browser. I'm going to suggest for my own selfish benifit that we relocate to my chat site. I'll be there at 12(6pm) or there about ( we are having a meeting at 11:30 but it is supposed to be a short one )., well at least you messages will stick around. It is an old style chat just like the notebook execpt it has a cut off after some number of lines. If you send a blank message it will refresh instead of posting. Remember to add your name before posting :)

Jack, if you want I can probably edit this program for the notebook and send you a copy ( for free of course ). Email me if your interested.


Americo Thu Nov 4 15:45:41 PST 1999

Jack— I've sent you today an urgent e-mail. Please answer it. You cannot let us down.

Rachel, Rhoda and Allein : thanks for your acceptation of the terms of the agreement. Now we can work with renewed moral.

I'm really busy but asked Jon to visit the chat room sometime this afternoon. He was disheartened: no chatters around...I'm sure he would have been warmly welcomed by everybody.

Good night, all. happy weekend. My weekend starts on Thursdays and goes until Mondays. Don't be jealous: I work hard on the other days.

Jai Thu Nov 4 14:59:11 PST 1999

Hmm I should be able to make a chat in two hours, that's 6pm over there right?

Forever confused,


Rhoda Thu Nov 4 11:22:11 PST 1999


Sorry it didn't work out. We'll try it again sometime. I hope all works out at the Insurance Agency, and I hope your dad is doing OK.

I stayed in the chat room a few minutes, but no one showed up. Maybe I'll try back later. I actually think the way this will work best is to have official weekly workshops in the chat room at a given time. Due to the differing interests represented here and due to differing time zones and work schedules, there should be more than one.

We could have get togethers concerning market information, writing information, poetry, free-lance writing, comparative literature, and a host of other things.

Please give this idea some thought. They have these types of workshops on AOL. Yes, I know that AOL is a big organization, but the Notebook has one thing AOL lacks, familiarity and a sense of family. If we can work this workshop thing out, I believe we will attract even more writers to this site.

Well, I must be running. Maybe I'll check out the chat one last time. I'll also try to be around this evening, but I can't promise anything at this point.

Happy Writing!


Rachel Thu Nov 4 09:30:54 PST 1999

Rhoda - I won't be able to check out the chat this morning. I have to go and meet with the Insurance people about the damage that my dad caused the the minivan. Maybe next time.
Take care you

Thu Nov 4 09:28:31 PST 1999

Rachel Thu Nov 4 07:16:59 PST 1999

Rhoda - I will try to get into the chat room at 11AM sounds fun.

Jack - I'll take a look in at around 6PM and see if I find you there.

Americo - Good morning

Take care all

Rhoda Thu Nov 4 06:29:55 PST 1999


I was in the chat room last night over twenty minutes by myself. I hoped I might be lucky and catch someone. I wasn't. I check the chat room almost every time I read the Notebook. I usually come to the Notebook at about 8:15 am Central Time. I think that is about 6:15 am for you. That is probably the time when you first wake and start getting the kids ready for school. I will try to get to the Notebook sometime around 1:00 pm my time today. That will be 11:00am for you. I'll check the chat at that time, and maybe it will work.

Incidently I throw out the above invitation to anyone else.

I do have a hint for anyone with Windows. Since the chat room has its own window, you can minimize it or maximize it at will. If you are going to be surfing the Internet for awhile, you can minimize it and check it every few minutes to see if anyone else has entered.

Today I make my son's birthday cake. I always bake the round two to three layer ones. Today I am going to try to make a sheet cake. I am afraid I don't have the right equipment. Can one pop a cake layer out of a 12" X 9" pan?

Well, there is much to do today. I will be back at 1:00pm.

Americo Thu Nov 4 05:39:22 PST 1999

Just a quick but cheerful good morning, everybody!

I'm getting ready for the weekend and to greet deeds, as usual.

London and Paris: a question of personal taste, actually. Both are wonderful cities. I like Paris best but have a friend who prefers London. Jon is all for Katmandu.

Jack Beslanwitch Thu Nov 4 03:14:14 PST 1999

I will repeat what I posted on the chat room scheduling frame: 'I am extremely busy at the moment, but I would like to make a suggestion that someone post a time for a chat so that everyone could collect here. I will make a proposal with no guarantees that I will be able to attend. 6:00 PM PST Thursday. Hoping I am free enough to see you there. Take care.'

With any luck at all this will collect some people into the discussion.

Today has been a bit strange here in Seattle what with the shooting of four people with two fatalities by an apparently random shooter. It reinforces my aversion to guns and my sadness at the pervasive infection of guns in American society. I suspect that there is no viable way to actually control their existence in this country without draconion measures that would probably result in circumstances that would be worse than the guns and still not get them off the streets. Sigh. Take care all.

Rachel Wed Nov 3 22:37:44 PST 1999

Hi all - How are yah all doing (big smile for all)? Everytime I go into the chat room it's empty... It's enough to give a gal a complex (grins).

Gary - Hiyah. Don't say the word crash to close to my computer, it might get some ideas! Honestly, that is the worst. If you can't track down Time Exposure let me know. I still have it.

On the writers block thing. I have had a couple of dances with that nasty old partner. Not much fun, my heart goes out to anyone suffering with it. I currently have no problems writing.

I don't think that writers block is something that has an easy answer. It is a thing that is different for each of us and the solution to it will likely also be different for each of us. How is that for using a lot of words and more or less saying, gezz, uh, I duno (grins).

Take care all

Jai Wed Nov 3 22:36:19 PST 1999

Oops web page above...

Jai Wed Nov 3 22:33:38 PST 1999


For those of you with PCs -
Has anyone ever heard of YW (Yeah Write)? I was looking for a light-weight text editor for my laptop(it's pretty old) when I came across this little gem. Though it is a shareware program it has a freeware component that is quite comprehensive.

It's very different from your conventional word processor and has the neatest document grouping and saving features I've seen. Plus it's less than 1 meg. It has spell checker and word count. About the only thing it doesn't do is let you print out a properly formatted ms. It gets close, with double spaced and numbers at the bottom in the middle. But you can't put you page number in the top right nor add any other header info to each page.

Still I like it so much I'll probably use it as my primary editor and just copy stuff to word when it needs printing. Anyway it's definatly worth taking a look at if you get the time.


Jai Wed Nov 3 21:36:52 PST 1999

Hi Teekay,

I don't think 9pm is a good time for a chat, at least not for our American friends.

I think that translates to about 2am over there :)

Sorta makes things hard, I wonder what time it would be over in Portigual?


Teekay Wed Nov 3 21:06:51 PST 1999

Hello again, I'm home from work now and I'm glad. I think it would be fun to arrange time for a chat. I'm going to attempt to have the internet to myself at about 9pm tonight that's Aus. time. So if anybody feels like joining in feel free. Of course if I"m not on at that time it's because something's come up and that's a very likely possibility. If anybody happens to be out there now lets see how it works.

Allein Wed Nov 3 19:26:19 PST 1999

Since people have been kinda mean to Jon lately, I thought this was appropriate for today's funnie:

An Ode To Furballs

1. After dark, all cats are jaguars...

2. Never *ever* try to baptize a cat.

3. Cats are smarter than dogs. You cannot get a cat to pull a sled.

4. A cat knows your every thought. It doesn't care. But it knows.

5. If I want to hear the pitter patter of little feet, I will put shoes on my cat...

6. Most people with cats, know they are being controlled. That's the horror of it...

7. Never try to out stubborn a cat.

8. Thousands of years ago, humans worshiped the cat. They have not forgotten this...

9. Whenever I bathe my cat, it takes an hour to get the fur off of my tongue.

10. I prefer to live with Feline Sapiens, thank you very much.

11. Picture of a fat tabby on a couch, looking at his owner: "My species domesticated your species..."

Jon Wed Nov 3 18:17:22 PST 1999

What's this ? I could not see any posts before I published mine. This Mac must be mad.

Jon Wed Nov 3 18:15:40 PST 1999

What's this? No posts since morning?

At last I have some room. Yes, a room of my own. "A Room of MY OWN"-- Virginia Woolf.

See you sometime,

Rhoda Wed Nov 3 16:59:25 PST 1999


I find nothing offensive about you. You seem like a nice person. Perhaps you are one of those poor souls who tends to say what he thinks. If so, don't apologize.

I endure writer's block almost everyday. Only when I can write continuously day after day do I not get it. Everytime I miss writing, it is extremely difficult for me to get back in the groove.

In the chatroom, pick a room? I've never had that option. I thought there was just one room. Oh, well, I will try it out and see what happens.


Teekay Wed Nov 3 16:26:57 PST 1999

okay hands up all those suffering from either accute writers block or a case of terminal boredom. ( Americo would that be you? No offense. I was once told by somebody really sensitive that I offend at least one person every day, but that only because I'm tactless, not mean, so apologees ( is that how you spell it???) in advance for any offence I may cause in the future.) Its Nov. 4th here and it's 11:20am and it's only Thursday and I want the weekend to be here. Also, about the chat room, I tried to go in there and I read the instructions, they told me to pick a room and when I clicked on room my only option was to close it, is this because there is no one there to talk to and they don't want you running around the room just talking to yourself. Somebody pleeeeaaaasse heeeelp meeeeee, pllleeeaaaasssssseee.

Americo Wed Nov 3 05:32:28 PST 1999

Good morning, everybody!

Jai: Writers fall in love for some of their characters and hate others. I do not like Pussy (she's a nazi! Or better, she was until she got married to Jon, who is a great semocrat (yes, semocrat= semi-democrat; the word is in the dictionary he wrote). Jon and I have something in common: a passion for justice. We can become angry when we do not see it. That's why we are friends for life.

Some time ago he chained me to an electric chair for weeks so that I could lissten to his reading me his complete CatsEnglish Dictionary (3,000 plus pages of text). He made me starve, he submitted me to electric shocks, he commited all atrocities to my poor body and soul. But in the end I kissed him on his pretty head and forgave him everything. He also shares with me a capacity for forgiveness. In my case that is easy because I have a bad memory, but in him it is a great moral quality as he has what we call here "a memory of elephant ". He remembers his first word (caviar), learned when he was only 3 months old.

This reminds me that I miss Impala and the Kawinkidinks (the whole family).

For the non-fictionists among us (if there are any, I do not think there are): the capacity for creating characters and changing voices is what distinguishes the novelist from other kinds of writers. It is not easy.

To Gary and the others who mentioned me or my posts: good morning, good morning, good morning!

Jon went fishing last night and he has not returned yet. He is thinking of asking the divorce.

Gary S Tue Nov 2 21:47:52 PST 1999

Hey you all,

What a great bunch of posts for one day.

Welcome, Karli. I noticed that you made some association with being grown up and participating in this forum. Normally people choose one or the other but since you are already 36 and have four children, and we have no express prohibition against grown ups, we will just have to let you in. Allein is going to grow up the minute she graduates, or so she fears.

Sorry I can't help you in your quest for homosexuals. I strongly considered applying for membership at one time when my heterosexual proclivities were creating so much trouble for me, but I never found the address. Anyway, there are so many 'gay' themes on the TV comedies these days that it is already getting to be a bore. I don't think that the campaign for gay equality was aimed at being portrayed five nights a week as buffoons and simpletons, but that is a price all groups must pay for recognition in American society. You have "arrived" in America when your peers and colleagues are doing something moronic every night on TV.

Old Man,
Good to see you again. Quite a well of Halloween information.

I got your material and I plan to read some after this posting. Alas, all of my rewrite of Time Exposure except for the first few paragraphs was lost by my dirty rackenfracken computer, it performed one of those mysterious illegal operations, and it all went south. I still, however, have the original in a separate file and on diskette. If I could afford a new computer I would call the police and turn this one in.

The chat room.
What is the sound of one hand clapping? Why, it's the same as one voice chatting in a chat room.

I would be happy to join a chat. I only worry about my dismal record of forgotten meetings, rehearsals, doctor's appointments and just about anything else I am supposed to remember. The only reason for my third marriage was so I would have someone to remind where I was supposed to go. She quickly told me one more place I could go. My fourth marriage? Well, I forgot what day it was supposed to be. Now I'm alone and I have resorted to taping large notes on the bathroom door in big letters. That reminds me, I have to go look at the bathroom door.



Rhoda Tue Nov 2 20:03:06 PST 1999

I have never been to London, but I could not possibly see how it would be boring, not with the Tower, Buckingham Palace, the Thames River, Portabello Rd. and all that stuff. To me, London is my Mecca. I dream of getting there.

I know that wanting and getting are two very different things. I will probably go to London some day and find it is not at all what I envisioned.

My husband and I have just gotten our passport photos taken. We also have our birth certificates, and as soon as I can arrange it, we are going to the county court house to apply for our passports.

As far as other destinations outside of my own country, they will have to wait. The mother-land, the old country comes first.

As far as New York, it would be nice to go there, but I am afraid I would find it as foreign, if not more so, than London. I have heard many rumors concerning New Yorkers, espacially those who work in the publishing industry. If these rumors have any truth then maybe I should avoid New York. Writers back in New Mexico claimed that New Yorkers thought that folks in New Mexico packed guns, rode horses for transportation, and didn't have running water in their homes. Could this be true? Or was this an exaggeration. I like to think that was exaggeration. I cannot think that even New Yorkers are so backward.

I personally like Chicago. Chicago has everything a big city should have. It has character, a family-friendly baseball team, great museums, and good public transportation. It is also astheticly pleasing. I loved riding the elevated and looking down upon the old neighborhoods with their brownstone walk-ups, row houses, and old Catholic churches. I know I would probably think differently if I lived there. I met a man from Skokie a few years ago who was trying like crazy to get out of Chicago. He wanted to go, of all places, to New Mexico.

I have been to Washington, D.C. and to Los Angeles. Both were major disappointments. Outside the mall and Pennsylvania Ave., Washington looked like a slum--quite a disgrace for the capital of the world's richest nation. Los Angeles was congested and dirty, and being a stranger, I couldn't find access to the Pacific ocean. Back in 1985 when I went, Hollywood looked like a red-light district. While in L.A. I looked in vain for the signs and sights of the pristine, middle class paradise I saw on The Brady Bunch, My Three Sons, and all those old sit-coms. Even the freeways were disappointing. They looked nothing like they did on CHIPS. The ones in Houston were much better, and believe me that is no compliment to Houston.


Sometimes the chat room does not work for me. I push the Chat button and it doesn't do anything. The times I have managed to get in, there has been no one there. I really would like to chat. I espacially miss our ICQ chats. Perhaps we should agree on one or two times a week to have a chat or a workshop. I see no reason why a few of us, at least, can't arrange something.

Happy writing!


Allein Tue Nov 2 18:52:51 PST 1999

Yep, it's that time again - time for funnies!!

In the sprit of Monday feel free to use these phrases at work.........

Ahhh... I see the screw-up fairy has visited us again

I don't know what your problem is, but I'll bet it's hard to pronounce.

How about never? Is never good for you?

I see you've set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public.

I'm really easy to get along with once you people learn to worship me.

I'll try being nicer if you'll try being smarter.

I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message...

I don't work here. I'm a consultant.

It sounds like English, but I can't understand a word you're saying.

I can see your point, but I still think you're full of it.

I like you. You remind me of when I was young and stupid.

You are validating my inherent mistrust of strangers.

I have plenty of talent and vision. I just don't give a damn.

I'm already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you.

We're all refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view.

The fact that no one understands you doesn't mean you're an artist.

Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental.

What am I? Flypaper for freaks!?

I'm not being rude. You're just insignificant.

It's a thankless job, but I've got a lot of Karma to burn off.

No, my powers can only be used for good.

You sound reasonable... Time to up the medication.

Who me? I just wander from room to room.

Sqrl Tue Nov 2 17:44:56 PST 1999

My website is up and cheesy! this is just the begning! I am in the middle of switching sites, so . . . hehehehehe my NEW site, which will be up and running soon, will have little cartoons ::grin:: as well as writings, so far from me and Allein (THANKS ALLEIN) and as soon as I get them scaned, I shall have pics! and if any of you have been wondering what I look like, there is a pic of me on Kitten's site! I'm the one with long brownish hair and the smiley tie! ::grin::

Jon! Allein! ::wiping tear from eye:: thanks you two. you's my friends too! ::grin:: {{{{{{{{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}}}}


Jai Tue Nov 2 17:33:02 PST 1999

Americo! *sigh* Are you really upset about our treatment of Jon or are you just _playing_? Jon is an imaginary prop if you like, he is a creature who we can make fun of and play with he is _not_ you.

If you really like being Jon then stop posting as you and we will treat him as we treat you. Like T.O.M. Jon the cat can become your allias instead of our pet.

It seems to me that you are using Jon to play with us but not letting us play with Jon. Not fair!

Unless of course you want us to make up our own imaginary friends to play with you and Jon, but I think this group may become a little fragmented and my head is spinning just thinking about it :)

Teekay - why do you think something is wrong with the chat? I mean it hardly ever has anyone in it but it seems to work OK.

Thanks for that summery on Halloween it was very interesting. The Celtic pagans where a facinating society.

Oh well I better get back to work...


Americo Tue Nov 2 17:32:16 PST 1999

T.O.M. — thanks for the explanation about Halloween. That's so complicated that I suggest wiping H* from the calendar. As a devoted pagan I should like H*. But for some reason (certainly stupid) I don't like H* Even the word frightens me a little. We do not have H* here. So it can't be any childhood trauma.

I don't like Carnival either. Except in Brazil, where it is genuine. The Brazilians are the people I like best. They make me sing and dance. A very merry people. The Italians are also funny. I am the only person in the world who likes the French. I sympathise with the English, though they are a bit of a bore, But they are honest and I like people who are faithful to their word.

I am not too fond of Portugal. Too small for my talent. But I adore Lisbon. It has the most beautiful light in the world. A light for poetry.

Paris is my favourite city. The first time I saw Paris from Sacré Coeur I cried. I was discussing with a woman with whom I had fallen in love on the eve. When I am in love I talk a lot. Then I shut up for years. So I was talking wildly and was not seeing anything around me. She suddenly said: shut up and look. And it was the most incredible urban landscape I had ever seen. I knew Paris from novels I had read since my childhood. I knew the names of many streets. But I could not imagine that Paris was so beautiful.

London is a bore. A good place for finding old, rare books, though.

Berlin is too remote for my taste. And it tastes to loneliness, I do not know why.

New York I do not know. For some reason people here do not have much curiosity for the USA. But I honestly think that NY must be a lovely city. Have you read "The Great Gastby"? It has some nice paragraphs about NY. Scot Fitzgeral was a great writer. He knew how to suggest with half a dozen words. He gave me the subtle suggestion that he loved NY.
I also love chess.

Americo Tue Nov 2 16:38:57 PST 1999

Thanks for the edits, Rhoda. Never mind the greetings: when we send big chunks of text we have to be careful with the Kbites. Now we are working very well and at full steam.

Do people still say at full steam? It should be at full electrons or something.

People: please do not hurt Jon's feelings. I love that cat. And he was the first to be offended. Everyone offends Jon. I do not like that. Honestly. That cat is me (I suppose that I is also acceptable.

You can hurt Pussy's feelings. She cooked three kitties today. I hate that bloody cat. I love Jon.

I would like to know if there is any homossexual around. We never speak about minorities. That is not right.

Jai Tue Nov 2 16:29:57 PST 1999

Greetings all,

Thanks Ashling.

Hey Karli, how's your novel going?

*Psst* Americo, do you know what works really well on naughty cats *glances around nervously* water guns. If you can get yourself one of those plastic toys Jon will never be able to boss you again. You may even be able to teach him some manners. Shh, here comes Jon...

Teekay au Tue Nov 2 15:57:11 PST 1999

Hi all. Is there something wrong with the chat room? How is it supposed to work?

Rachel Tue Nov 2 15:49:19 PST 1999

John - I look forward to it.
Take care you

All - I also love all the seasons, but I have to admit I love the fall. Then again after a few weeks of solid rain I will be crying for the summer and hot sunny places. Hum... Seems I am quite undecided.

The Old Man Tue Nov 2 15:32:22 PST 1999

Greetings and felicitations,
In resaerching the event, I found this explaination:

All Hallows Eve is observed the night of October 31, followed on November 1 by All Hallows Day, also called All Hallowmas, All Saints' Day and All Soul's Day. The ancient Celts called the festival Samhain (pronounced sow' an) and observed it to celebrate the onset of winter and the beginning of the Celtic New Year; "samhain" means "end of summer."
Samhain marked the third and final harvest, and the storage of provisions for the winter. The veil between the worlds of the living and the dead was believed to be at its thinnest point in the year, making communication between the living and the dead much easier. On the eve of the holiday, the souls of the dead freely roamed the land of the living.
Samhain is a time for getting rid of weakness, as pagans once slaughtered weak animals which were unlikely to survive the winter. A common ritual calls for writing down weaknesses on a piece of paper or parchment, and tossing it into the fire. Cakes are baked as offerings for the souls of the dead.
The custom of trick or treating probably has several origins. An old Irish peasant practice called for going door to door to collect money, breadcake, cheese, eggs, butter, nuts, apples, etc., in preparation for the festival of St. Columb Kill. Another was the begging for soul cakes, or offerings for one's self-particularly in exchange for promises of prosperity or protection against bad luck.

I hope this helps.

john vaughn Tue Nov 2 15:28:23 PST 1999


I got your e-mail and I am going to forward you something in the near future but I've been so busy with work. 10 hours a time for fun and games. Grrrr.

Allein Tue Nov 2 15:19:05 PST 1999

Karli - Welcome, I'm Allein, the official bringer of funnies (want to see something really funny look at my pic on the biography page) and a lover of sqrlmunks. :) I'm 17 and have no kids, but I do have a little brother (ick!). Feel free to check out my webpage. I'm currently working on a novel and info about it can be found there.

Americo - That's good, I love kitties. They're so cute. My friend has two - Lonnie and Jerry. Lonnie hates everybody but my friend's sister, Jerry loves everybody and they're both fat (though, I think they're part Himilayan, so, that would explain it). My grandma has a cat named Maggie and she's so fat that when she walks down the street in the yellow sweater Grandma knitted for her, people yell "Taxi!" I'm only kidding of course, but she is fat. Actually, I hardly saw her. She was usually hiding under the bed in my grandparent's room or under my fold-out bed in the living room.
I like all the seasons because they each have their own good qualities - the crisp clear days and the rain in the fall, the in the winter (we hardly get any snow, so when we do, it's a big deal, but school was cancelled once last year due to flood warnings). The spring is warm and clear and the pink flowers on our plum trees start to bloom. And summer, well, we're out of school and the sun is out.

Rachel - Hi. *hugs*


Rachel Tue Nov 2 14:59:54 PST 1999

Karli - Welcome!

Americo - I like winter, but then I seem to like almost everything (grins). My favorite are cold, crisp days, but I like the rain as well.

Rhoda - How about I send some of our rain your way. We get plenty and then some in my neck of the woods.

Take care all

Rhoda Tue Nov 2 13:21:05 PST 1999


I like short, cold winter days. I would like them better now if they were a bit wetter. We are having a drought here. October is usually a very wet month, and we had hardly had any rain.

I sent you the Edits of Sebastion-4 and Emma-3. I am sorry that I forgot to include a greeting on the e-mail. I finished the thing and just sent it on. I didn't think about the letter. I hope you will forgive me because I hate to ever appear rude.


I appreciate your sentiments about me. Please be more discreet. Buttons read your comment about me, and he is mad! What is worse, is he is taking his insecurity and his jealousy out on me. He meows in my ear at 3:00 in the morning, he does stuff behind the couch and he hisses at me and threatens to bite. I tried to explain to him that you were not going to take his place. How could I transport a little kitty from Portugal to here? But Buttons is not a reasonable kitty. Hopefully he will get over his tiff. If he doesn't, I will have to put him out for good.

John Vaughn,

Good to have you on the Notebook.


Welcome back.

Happy Writing!


Americo Tue Nov 2 12:19:22 PST 1999

Welcome aboard, Karli.
Good evening to everyone. What time is it there? I'll see when I post. Here it's 20:20 pm (winter time). The days are so short now. I love looong days.

Allein, Pussy also loves you. She's making dinner for Jon I believe (hope she's not cooking one of her thirteen kitties. Women, you know...)

Karli Shanklin Tue Nov 2 11:40:11 PST 1999

Hello to Everyone,

I discovered this site a few weeks ago and submitted a few things to the Notebooks. I've been told all my life that I should be a writer when I grow up, and since I'm now 36 with four kids of my own, I thought I just might be grown up enough to make a go of it. (I'm not too sure about the 'grown up' part, though).
Anyway, I thought that it would be a good idea to gather as much support around my effort as possible so that I have no choice but to continue. That's where you all come in. I hope to be able to give as much encouragement as I receive, and I look forward to getting to know all of you.

Well, that's it for now. Bye! Karli

Allein Tue Nov 2 06:01:39 PST 1999

Pussy - you're a much nicer kitty than Jon. You think you could give him a few lessons in manners? I know that there are lots of males who don't have them, but I think there are some great examples of those who do right here on this Notebook. I'll give you milk and tuna, a new kitty toy and a scratch behind the ears. ::petting her:: Good kitty.

Jon (Then Pussy) Tue Nov 2 04:55:54 PST 1999

Allein: I stick my tongue out at you too. Hiss for a hiss crap for a crap. And I am going to write my report to A* about your silly draft. Ahahah! (he makes water on his knickers from laughing sardonically and runs to hide homself from A*, who hates inconveniences in this heavenly place.)

Pussy enters.

Pussy: Good morning, my darlings! Any cricket here today?

Rachel Mon Nov 1 22:26:35 PST 1999

Jai! Check your mail:) I left something for yah! No, no, don't get excited, its not any more writing, just an e-mail.
Take care you

Rachel Mon Nov 1 19:01:41 PST 1999

Gary - Hi you, long time no write (grins). Yes, I did say I would send something and I will. I will get it off to you soon... Naw, just kidding, I have a clear day tomorrow I am so, so, so excited! I am singing and dancin! I plan to send of some much promised writing (grins and laughter) I would love to look at Time Exposure again and will make the comparison and tell you what I think. I'm sure it will be sound, you have nice tight writing, clean. It is a pleasure to read.

The same goes for you Jai and I plan to send off my comments to you on your piece tomorrow, thats right! I am going to get back to you. I'm going to get off my lazy backside! Keep in mind that 14 hours seperate us, so I guess I'll get back to you in a day or so (grins). Your writing is always a pleasure I love the imagination and the way that you support it. I not for one moment think "No way, couldn't happen" It is believable and well written. I wish my writing was so clean. My writing drives me up a wall. It can drive other people up walls as well.

Alline - Now I have to come back I can't wait to see the rubbing it in dance (grins). I'll give the text a read over this evening.

John Vaugh - You still out there. Did you get my e-mail?

Americo - Good night you.

Gary S Mon Nov 1 18:35:46 PST 1999

Hello Rachel,
Am I imagining things or did you say you were going to send something to look at. It may have been a day or so earlier.

I see Jon, the cat, has wasted no time in misleading you. I have every reason to believe that Allein does no such thing behind couches as Jon suggests, and frankly, I can't erase the image from my mind quickly enough. Also, if we did have any rules here, one of the first would be that no such reports will be made about our fellow members. Secondly, that cat would not be entrusted with the enforcement of the rules. I think Halloween has made him a bit bold. We will excuse his exuberance on the basis that cats (black ones in particular) are susceptible to being over-imaginative at the end of October. I would suggest that Americo keep him indoors lest he should become integrated with the tread on a steel belted radial, thus creating the physical phenomenon known in veterinary circles as "Flatness of the cat," or "Wall hanging syndrome,"... "Firestone feline pronality" etc.

BTW Rachel, I have been busy today reworking Time Exposure, and learning the value of self critique. It only makes sense to fix the things that you don't like, yourself. Where I have made accomodations to reducing word count, I have eliminated the accomodations and gone to saving space by editing in other areas. It seems this has worked so far. Perhaps you will give me the benefit of your comparison to the first writing. That will be contingent on me getting away from these chats long enough to complete the rewrite.

Another thing for those who have some interest in the ordeal of our freind, Stephen King. The apocryphal report (but very believabe) is that the injuries suffered by King were very severe, I should say extremely so. This from a couple of the nurses who attended him at the Deaconess. It might not have been the Deaconess, I don't know. Boston has enough major hospitals to become a separate city if they were all pushed together. A lot of nurses on the Cape work in the Boston hospitals.

As is usually the case when a hospital has a popular celebrity on the ward, there seem to be about a dozen extra and unofficial nurses in attendance at odd times on any given day. Mel Gibson couldn't believe how many enemas he was given. "Somebody just did that," he would say.

"Well, I didn't," was the usual reply. Anyway, the girls, if you trust the reports, claim that King is a real sweetheart and a very brave patient. I don't know about you, but this assesment works for me. I rather like believing this kind of scuttlebutt. Good for Stephen.

Be happy, everyone,


Allein Mon Nov 1 18:21:57 PST 1999

Teekay - don't worry, I'm sure you're not a stalker, serial killer or puppy kicker or anything like that. And like I said - don't listen to Jon. I've been having trouble with Shadows (our collabritive work) lately, but I just got my masquerade scene done and it is on it's way to Americo and Rachel. So Jon can sit by his litter box and eat dry cat food and cry and cough up hair balls while I go ahead and write more about Mali, Rags and their torrid love affair (I have an outline for the rest of the story, but I haven't gotten around to writting it down yet).

Jon - Like I said, I have my scene for Shadows done. You were wrong, Rachel was wrong. I told you so. ::I stick my tongue out at you::

Rachel Mon Nov 1 17:54:19 PST 1999

Hi Teekay - Welcome:) No, I do not breed dogs (grins). I do have a dog, a real little character, I also have a tank full of fish.

Jon Mon Nov 1 17:44:10 PST 1999


I forgot to say that Sqrl and Avatar and Jay and Lydia Sweet and Gary and Hayden and Philip and John Vaughn and TOM and Goodweed and Hootie and Eddie and Lena and Thomas and Michelle and Steve and Snarly and Tobias and Olivia and Linda and... (Internet falling on my toes, must interrupt) are also my friends and admirers. The rest is just snippy snoops. Arik is on probation but he is not a snippy snoopy. He is a friend. Stephen King also writes but he has a mental block so do not fear.

To people with writer's block: join us and I will solve the problem. No one is allowed to suffer from mental blocks here. It is impossible too. Only poor Stephen King managed to have one but I think he borrowed it from Allein. Allein has the biggest writer's block the world has ever seen (next to Jack, I mean).

Did you know that, well you don't know. See you sometime. Please miss me.

Ashling Mon Nov 1 17:39:37 PST 1999

Hi y’all.

JAI -- Hi right back at you ... and a belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Hope you treated yourself extra special. Mine was Oct. 6th and I have six relatives with October birthdays ... A busy but joyful month.

TEEKAY -- Welcome to the Notebook! The version of Halloween you gave is the most popularly quoted, even in documentaries ... but my research on Irish Celts points to varied answers. The link by my name above is to a site (I can’t vouch for its accuracy yet) which made very interesting reading.

Or if anyone prefers the Readers’ Digest Condensed Version ;-) ... The Celts celebrated a Fall Festival to mark the end of fall with its harvest of food, and the beginning of winter. To me, it sounded real similar to the modern day
Thanksgiving (American Holiday in November), and nothing at all like anybody’s Halloween. Today’s Halloween is an evolution of the Roman Fall Fest ... Later absorbed by the Christians when the then reigning Pope declared Nov. 1 as a
day to honor All the Saints, instead of All the Dead. Even the name evolved ... All Hallows Eve --> All Hallows Evening --> Hallow even --> Hallowe’en. Halloween was brought to America only by the Irish Celts. But hey, I’m just quoting,
I wasn’t around back then. (Wonder if LitterAli is still here, he was always up for a good debate on Druids and all things Celtic.)

No, the above isn’t straying from the subject of writing ... Because I’m researching for a novel set in 650 - 699 AD in Ireland ... Which I find terrifically exciting, probably because I’m sweating away on another project at the moment - and will be for a while.

Hope everyone's evening is terrific (or morning for those in Aussieland), and may the Muse be with you.

JACK -- Speaking of Australia, I started vicariously experiencing your vacation last night. The music on the Real Player video is way cool & the little travel tips are neat! Thanks.

Take care,

Teekay Mon Nov 1 17:30:12 PST 1999

Hi Allein - want you to know I tuned into your wb page and started reading your story about Mali. I think it's great and it makes me want to keep reading it( that's half the battle won.) Also I've been reading the archives so I feel I know a lot about you. ( That's not supposed to sound scarey or anything.)

Rachel - I thought you must have bred dogs or cats or something which I thought was a bit odd as you never mentioned anything about that in your past notes, but Gary cleared that up with the 'litter/letter' thing. Going to try to do some work now. It's 11:30am. Almost lunch time. Amazing to think that some of you people are getting ready to go to bed!!

Allein Mon Nov 1 17:21:06 PST 1999

Oh yeah, in my list of best friends, I forgot to include Sqrl. :)

Allein Mon Nov 1 17:19:38 PST 1999

Teekay - Welcome. Do not listen to Jon. He's just jealous because I get a toilet to crap in and he has to settle for the litter box - or a garden, but if he craps in my garden, I'm going to kick him all the way to Timbuctu. :) I hope you stick around. We are very close knit here and always open to newcommers (this may be hard to believe, but I was once a newcommer too). Infact two of my best friends - Rachel and Americo - are here (though, I would say that Rachel is more like a big sister to me - I don't have a real sister, just a brother who is a pain in the rear end). I'm also the one who posts the funnies on the Notebook. :)

Sqrl - Go ahead and put my stuff on your webpage. :) Just make sure that I'm credited for writing it.

Sqrl Mon Nov 1 17:09:58 PST 1999


oh btw I have a site in the works. ::darting eyes around the room::


Jon Mon Nov 1 15:54:31 PST 1999

Teekay: welcome to this place. It is a symbol of heaven. Very boring except when there is a game of cricket. Tonight there is no cricket. I am going to introduce to some people here (only until my Internet connection falls).

(I wanted to place her in the last place but this is by alphabetical order). She's the snippest creature I have ever met. She craps behind couches.
the loveliest creature in the world. She laughs a lot but only to me ( do not try stealing her love from me, okay?)
also a snippy snoopy
the invisble
The snippest of snoopies.
That's me. The most hated cat on the block. I am usually nice, but sometimes I am a little snippy.
THERE IS NO ONE ELSE (ain't I mean?)

Look Teekay, it would be nice if you stayed with us. If you post again (and ask politely) I will tell you the rules of the place. I am very good at rules (and their exceptions).
Thanks for the information about Halloween. I enjoyed it here yesterday night. I ate the pumpkin I desguised my pretty face with.
Good night and only a little nightmare at 3 am.

Teekay Mon Nov 1 15:40:44 PST 1999

Hi everybody, you don't know me but I feel I know all of you. I discovered this site the otherday and have been reading through the archives, pretty desperate I know, but I was between books, and I think this is a terrific idea.

JON- (the cat not the human) I feel you must be a very intellectual type of cat to be so interested in the origins of halloween,you must tell me what your day job is, are you a diploCAT in the foreign embassy? Anyway to try and answer your question from bits of information that I picked up who knows where halloween aka All Hallows Eve is eve of all saints day which is Nov.1st. October 31st from the ancient celtic calendar was the last day of the year and it was believed that all the spirits and such would gallivant freely that night. So I don't know if before November was joined onto the calendar what we now know as Halloween was called something else (like New Years Eve perhaps because these days everybody breaks out the spirits then and usually feel like hell the next day.) I think that would be a good one for T.O.M he would probably have the answer to that one.
I hope that helps and I also hope it's right. I could go on for ages here but I guess I should make this first one short and sweet( too late for that now though) Oh one more thing, Stephen King used to be a high school teacher so you can see the taste for horror has obviously run in his veins for a long time.
Till next time,

Allein Mon Nov 1 15:23:46 PST 1999

Jon - I didn't mean to offend you, you cutie of a kitty. Come here for a can of tuna and a scratch behind the ears.

Rachel Mon Nov 1 12:29:53 PST 1999

Jon - Come here you poor little kitty. I got you some nice salmon.

Allein Mon Nov 1 12:29:49 PST 1999

Rachel - I only cut and pasted the quote from an e-mail. I didn't come up with it. Personally, cats prefer our garden. Honestly, I wouldn't mind if they just did their business in our garden (it would save us money on fertilizer) but they have to dig it up after wards and that really drives my mom nuts.
Anyway, as you'll find in a message I left in your e-mail box the text for S* is now finished and I can type it up so don't worry about it. Okay? :)

And I think I forgot earlier, so, HAPPY BIRTHDAY FRAN!!! (even though it's a bit late).

My lunch period is almost over so I have to go.
Bye bye.

Rachel Mon Nov 1 07:44:03 PST 1999

Hi Jai - You will not wait much longer (smiles and a hug) I have read the story over once, but want to read it over again. Fear not! For thou art a fine writer (grins).

Alline - What cat craps behind a sofa? Is this a common cat thing? I have never had a cat and now I think I am glad that I did not!

Take care all

Jon Mon Nov 1 07:37:16 PST 1999

To all the people who have been hissing me: hiss you! What a bunch of humans! They schmack bestiality!

Allein Mon Nov 1 06:36:21 PST 1999

Hi All. Trick or Treating was fun last night. I came home with sore feet, but I got lots of candy. :) Afterwards I took a hot shower and watched TV while drinking hot apple cider. :)
Well, I have to go to school now.
Bai bai,

"A cat by any other name is still a scheming little fur ball
that craps behind the couch."

Americo Mon Nov 1 06:18:52 PST 1999

Jai: are you kidding? All the people the S* rules apply have been aware for a long time of what can happen to them and their collaboration. Those are very old rules. I do not intend to waste time with discussing them after many months and thousands of hours of work. Have you been asleep all this or what? Anyway, they have nothing to do with you, relax.

Rhoda: I have just sent you 2 texts.

Jai Sun Oct 31 20:06:21 PST 1999

Rachel -
I watch my inbox with silent dread. The vigil is long and tireing for who knows what words fate will throw over me like some leaden cloak.
I can only hope that one day a writer full of life will fill my screen with words of wonder and I will be free from these leaden boots to fly on the winds of imagination.

I didn't know you were an artist, does that mean I can get you to illistrate my book too :)

Jack -
Wow Fran is born on the 30th as well! Be she wasn't born in 75...
For we are jolly good fellows, for we are jolly good fellows, for we are jolly good fellows....

And bugger the rest of you :)

Oh please remove my contribution to shadows.

Argouse -
It would probably be best if you amended your sixth rule too, well not really amemded. But you should explicitly ask each contributor for his/her permission before publishing anything. For these rules never existed before shadows was started and you may just find some people getting upset if you publish their writing without them being aware of it.
Just a friendly warning don't want anyone getting into trouble.

Allein -
Mutter mutter, school is a usless waste of time, mutter mutter... Of course commitment and self confidence are still very valuable assets.

Here is something I wrote back then...

'Seize the day I say I say. In the distance I sit and wait for today waits, for today I have the resolve if only fate would treat me with some kindness. Tomorrow is to late so I sit and wait for fate to let me have my day today.

I am happy but, but, am I, yes. I am sick but I am happy so my sickness leaves. I am happy but? I can't be happy for somewhere in my mind lucks a voice that says, "no no you can't be happy, for I am here and I am guilt."

Happiness is only skin deep for beneath is a million things that swirl and sweep. So happiness is just a trap, a trap for some unfortunate fool who comes to close and is drawn into a pool of crazy feelings that tear and rip the soul of some poor fool who learns to be suspicions.

Suspicion is a nasty word that lies and lies with a tongue so slick to the silly man who took this word in his mind and held it there to breath its evil breath and lie and lie, but once it saved this man from a nasty fate and so he holds this word close to heart, because he likes this word and that is that.

And so if you are listening in to the writings I have writ, the writing of a man so mad, I say I say seize the day for all who would listen.'

Gary S., Ashling and Avatar -- HI!

Welcome John V(not you nasty cat *Hisss*) - I agree with Gary S. to some extent in regards to flow though I never learnt anything from some proff. Basically you write the story as best you can. Then you ponder it for weeks on end, then out of the blue you see what it needs to loose, what needs adding or how best to chage this or that. Mind you some crittiques can really help improve flow as well.

That's all folks, in future try to keep the bandwidth down on weekends ( when I'm not usually online ) for it is very hard to keep up ( poor me ).


Jon Sun Oct 31 15:53:52 PST 1999

Guess what? Everything looks fine now in both Americo's computers (in different towns) as far as the Archives are concerned: isn't this wonderful? It was a problem with his ISP server for sure. He does not know what a cache is.

I am enjoying Halloween tremendously. I have disguised myself as Prestigiar, the dog Mephistopheles used to disguise into. I am referring to "Faust" by Goethe.

Does anyone know the origin and meaning of Halloween? What's the meaning of the word? Intelligent questions for intelligent people.

Kisses from Jon.

Americo Sun Oct 31 11:34:21 PST 1999

Amendment to nº 5 of S* rules

I have made an amendment to nº 5 of the Rules for S*. All the interested please take note. In case there will be no objections within 48 hours from the people the rules concern, the amendment will be considered approved. These rules were published on the workbook/Notebook on the 28th July and 2nd September 99.

"Shadows in a Dream" — Rules

In order to allow for a fair distribution of the proceeds from the book,
only collaborators with at least 6000 (six thousand) words of accepted text
will be considered as co-authors. (By "accepted" it is meant text adequate
enough to be included in the final version of the novel.) However,
exceptions may be considered to collaborators contributing with
exceptionally good material, regardless of its size.

28th July,1999


1. The CO-AUTHORS are expected to participate ACTIVELY AND PROMPTLY with the EDITORS (Americo, Rachel and Jack) in all the phases of the making and publication of the novel.

2. Any of the co-authors may be asked to leave at any time if he/she does not comply with the rules of the project until its completion.

3. Since the collective work must be preserved, the co-authors' texts are
from now on collective property. (See, however, no. 4)

4. Only if the book does not find a publisher, or if it is decided not to
publish it in any form, will the co-authors' texts be returned to their

5. In the meantime, the co-authors' texts may be corrected, amended,
deleted, reordered, or modified in any way, by the editors (amended: by the head editor) WITHOUT FURTHER NOTICE, in the best interests of the project.

6. The collaborators of the round robin who did not become co-authors of the book may now, if they wish, ask Jack to withdraw their texts from the round robin. Their texts will not be used in the final version of "Shadows".

2nd September, 1999

Allein Sun Oct 31 10:49:16 PST 1999

Rachel - It's beautiful here. :) I had the same problem with drawing guys as you do. Infact, some of my guys still look like girls (Allein for example *grin*). I'm just kidding. I'm not so sure that Rags looks like Benderas either, but if he does, then we all know why Mali likes him so much. My brother and I have been debating about what's really scary - we've come up with Barney, Telletubbies *shudder* and Pikachu. I suggested Chélon too, I mean, at least he's a ghost, but then, he's a nice ghost. Not as nice as Casper, but nice just the same. Good, that was the whole point. :) Patches is also scary - well, she scares Rags quite well. :)
I should go, and perhaps we could finish this discussion on E-mail rather than take up the Notebook, huh?
Love much, (((BIG HUGS))) and all that good stuff,
Allein :)

Rachel Sun Oct 31 09:13:41 PST 1999

Allein - Yes, Bandares is eye candy, there is no doubt about it. I had never really thought about Rags looking like him... I have got half of the drawings done now. My drawing is evolving at high speed. I have changed how I draw wings for the fiary people and have begun to draw them in motion and profile. Do you know what was hardest for me? Drawing a man that looked like a man. All of my men looked like pretty girls with short hair (laughter). I spent a day working with eyes, mouths, noses, jaw lines and now I can draw a man that looks like a man!
Ciao for now

PS - Is it as gorgeous at your house as it is at mine? The weather has cleared, the sun is out and the smell of Halloween is in the air - BOO!

Allein Sun Oct 31 08:53:41 PST 1999

Rachel - I understand about drawing. I look at drawings that I did a year ago and I don't like them. It takes lots of time to produce one drawing. On Thursday, I ran out of pages in my art journal and Friday, a whole bunch of ideas flooded my head. I got a new journal yesterday - 400 pages in a hardbound journal for five dollars, it was a really good deal! :) My friend and I were talking on Friday - she thinks that Rags looks like Antonio Bendaras (I'm sure that's spelled wrong) but, I'd have to agree. Bendaras is a REALLY cute guy - don't you think? *grins* He was to die for in the Mask of Zorro.
Any way, I like the sound of the rain, but it's been raining nonstop for the past week, so it gets a little old after a while. I hope it snows this year, I really do. My parents hate the snow (to them the four letter S-word). But I love it. It's actually sunny today, I hope it stays clear and dry so I can go Trick or Treating with my friends tonight. :)

Okay, time for Allein's funnies. :) This one is an original made by my friend Ruth and I. Ruth is the Coca-cola goddess and I'm the Gordita goddess and a fan sqrlmunks everywhere. My friend, Mike, has a religion called Taco (don't ask) so, Ruth and I decided to have a Gordita-Coca-cola-sqrlmunk movement and here are the rules as today's funnie (no, I don't seriously believe this, this is only a humorous thing not meant to be taken seriously):

1) Followers of the Gordita movement must eat only Gorditas and the occasional bean burrito. Any sort of Taco is not permitted. Consumption of a Taco will result in the guilty party being sacrificed to one of the following - Gordita, Coca-cola or Sqrlmunk.

2) Taco Bell (soon to be renamed Gordita Bell) is the only place special enough to carry the Gordita. Any other fast food chain discovered to be carrying or promoting the Gordita will be immeditely overrun by rampant sqrlmunks.

3) Anyone who demeens the Gordita shall be sacrificed by means of rampant sqrlmunk.

4) The Taco Bell dog shall be reveared as the high priest of the Gordita movement. If he says "Drop the Chalupa" you had best drop that chalupa!

5) The official motto of the Gordita movement is "Viva Gorditas" or failing that "Yo Quiero Taco Bell."

6) Members of the Gordita movement must drink only coca-cola products.

7) Chihuahuas and sqrlmunks are considered sacred animals and shall not be harmed.

8) When a new flavor of Gordita (like the Pikachu flavor now being developed) or new type of Coca-cola is introduced, we shall rejoice and it will be a holiday.

9) The wearing of fur is prohibited as this offends Sqrlmunk. Pikachu fur is permitted since it is our sacred duty to exterminate these evil yellow rats from the earth.

That's all we have so far.
Happy Halloween everyone.

Now here's a very scary quote:


Toster Sun Oct 31 07:58:49 PST 1999

No you didn't Ashling, the post is mine!!!!!

Ashling Sun Oct 31 04:09:36 PST 1999

Oops - The previous post is mine. I forgot to fill in my name & addy on the form. It HAS been a while.


Sun Oct 31 04:05:41 PST 1999

Hi y’all. Months ago I decided posting here was too time consuming ... but never removed this page from my bookmarks. My novel is impersonating a snail ... crawling along very s-l-o-w-l-y. So here I am again, reading the Notebook on a
regular basis & hoping your writing experiences will energize my Muse.

ALLEIN -- My fav horror writer? Poe was da man for eons, but Stephen King - well, I’ve worshipped the pages his words walk on for over 20 years now. I love murder mysteries, especially the Agatha Christie type, but never cared much
for horror stuff ... but King is a notable exception of that genre. Hell, I’d pay to read Stephen’s grocery’s lists.

I used to write “Talking Head” essays ... Which lacked the basic requirements to qualify for the title of Stories. From Stevie I learned to write dialogue and later on natural sounding dialogue, plus description - of characters & their
surroundings. I began to set hooks in the readers’ minds in the first paragraph, and sometimes wrote endings that echoed in their hearts.

JOHN V. -- My writing professor (who is also a published author) taught me how to weave the above together within a plot, and how to edit like crazy - tightening & polishing. Prof always said to just slap the story down as quickly as possible, as if relating a tale verbally ... “The Weirdest Thing Happened To Me on My Way Home From Work Today.” THEN and only then - begin editing. Please let me know if this works for you, John --- I try, I really try, but I rarely get beyond page 3 without The Editor living in my head taking the keyboard hostage. ;-)

GARY -- Thanks for the news flash on King, I’ll add my prayers to Rhoda’s. Since Tabitha is also a writer, she may want Stephen working at whatever - so he won’t be underfoot interrupting her Muse. However, in interviews they give the
impression of a stable marriage and they share a good sense of humor. I’m betting Tabitha was just trying to encourage her man to hang in there, employing her usual droll sense of humor.

By the way, Carrie wasn’t published until Stephen entered his mid-twenties. Prior to that, he worked several back-breaking manual labor jobs at slave labor pay ... Which inspired the authentic flavor exuding from blue collar workers in his stories. And since King is a college graduate -- I imagine one or two universities would hire him in a New York minute to teach some elective courses in their English department.

RHODA -- Good on you for dusting off Barbarian. The story is interesting and the characters intriguing ... You'll find a home for it soon.

JACK -- Hope you enjoy a fun weekend, and please tell Fran ... HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Thanks to all for keeping the Story-Telling hearth burning.
Happy Fall Festival!

Take care,

"He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands, and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands, and his head, and his heart, is an artist." - ST. FRANCIS of ASSISI

Rachel Sat Oct 30 23:21:26 PDT 1999

Gary - Okay, so would yah like to look at something by me. Yes Jai, I will send it off to you as well (grins and smiles) I have some of this an that, and it could use the quirk or a brow from some trusted folks. Americo has seen enough of my work to make any man dizzy as for SKS, well lets just say I do believe that I melted is brain...Lucky for you Gary, Americo and SKS have invested a good deal of time and effort into my spelling, grammar, punctuation and so on. Okay, I admit I don't use spell check on my posts, I think that must be pretty clear (grins). I'll send you something. I have this story I have been hashing over for quite some time and it is almost acceptable (grins).
Take care you

PS - Send on your work, send it on, Send It On, SEND IT ON!!!!!!!

John Vaughn - You okay? I hope you are not beating yourself up. You sounded like you were.

Rachel Sat Oct 30 23:15:53 PDT 1999

Alline - The weather here is really something! I would say it was awful, but duyah know what? I sort of like the rain. I love the sound of it. I like the way the wind blows it. I love the way it has a sense of humor and will blow under your umbrella just to soak you! I have to admit I kind of like rain, it has attitude! Hum, my daughter is now about to be published, I am the last one to go (very sad face) furthr to this, I have been requested to illustrate my daughter's story and this is not so easy as I have thought. They want so many drawings! I am doing good, but I want to be done by this weekend and I have in truth only done four out of about 20 drawings. I wish my daughter would have brought home my rough work, but she didn't. Now I have to think of what to do. I don't want to draw the same thing over and over. That is dull... Hum, illustrating is not as easy as one might think. You need detail, at least I do (grins). I don't just draw a room. I have pictures on the walls, wall paper, curtains window's and then there is the action outside the window. One picture takes me more time than you would ever imagine. I think in this that you Alline can understand. It is work. Drawing does not just materialize on a page. For me it takes much more time to draw a scene than it does to write one, but still I have said I will have this done by Monday and I will, and it will be good.
Dang, I wish you were here, I bet you could draw these folks in half the time that it takes me! I am not a natural artist, it is something that I have taught myself and worked hard at. I had to suffer through my pathetic work and have now entered the always acceptabe stage. Even when I hate what I am doing people will ohhh and ahhh over it., I think that people must be very easily impressed.
Take care you

Rachel Sat Oct 30 23:06:12 PDT 1999

Gary S. - A litter over seas. You know, a bunch of babies (grins and laughter) You are such a brat! You always call me on my type errors. It is good to see you posting again:D

What I am saying is that I can get a letter to London faster than I can get a letter across the line! I can drive to visit Alline for the day, but I can't get a letter to her within the week. That sort of bothers me.

Oh, and about those Borders...

Take care you

Allein Sat Oct 30 22:25:19 PDT 1999

Rachel - Really? 4 to 5 days. It took a week for my card to get to my grandfather in Colorado. Oh well, you're closer than he is. :) BTW, have you been having bad, rainy, cold, icky weather up there. We have here and it's terrible. I hate rain - now, snow is another story. I love snow, but the one time it snowed last year, I was sick and couldn't play in it. This year, I'm getting a flu shot. *grins*

Gary S - I will NOT get D's otherwise, I'll be grounded. It's A's and B's and possibly the occasional C in my grades. But so far, this quarter, it's A's and B's (I think). I do accept hugs from anyone though, except for the parties who leave fur all over my shirt - not that I'll mention any names...*cough, cough* Jon *cough* My, I must be coming down with something.

Jon - are you going as a black cat for Halloween. You'll look so cute. I'm sorry for throwing you, come here my precious little kitty. *pets him, scratches him behind the ears* You're such a good little kitty.

Sqrlmunk - I still have some HTML to learn. :)

Okay, now, since it's almost Halloween, I have a question for everyone (don't give me that look). I'm curious as to who everyone likes as a favorite horror writer. For me, it has always and will always be Edgar Allen Poe. :) I love his work - esp. The Raven and The Tell Tale Heart. My teacher doesn't seem to like him though. I suggested that we read one of his short stories for class but my teacher didn't go for that. My teacher also doesn't like Sqrlmunks - of all the nerve! Sqrlmunks are the cutest little critters in the world.
Anyway, I have to go and join Alice in her Wonderland now *groan*. I wouldn't mind reading the story, but I just don't want to have to do the questions.
But, I suppose I should go.

"Quoth the Raven: Eat my shorts."
- Bart Simpson

Gary S Sat Oct 30 21:52:10 PDT 1999


Your line: I can get a litter overseas in 3-5 (days.) I was wondering if you would care to elaborate on this cryptic... oh, never mind.


Gary S Sat Oct 30 21:41:56 PDT 1999

Hi Rachel,
I haven't written anything lately. I have been too busy. Does that sound like a current theme in the forum? Strangely, the busier I am the more writing I get done. It's when I am not busy that I never have time for anything.
As soon as I write a new shorty I'll send it to you (hugs). You are my favorite criteeker.

Don't be afraid of your last day in school. You will not have to become an adult the minute school is over. It took me about five minutes. Of course that was a while ago so maybe the requirement has changed. Maybe it has gone down to one minute. Maybe I'm wrong and you should be afraid.
Anyway, I will give you hugs even if you don't get A's. Even if you get D's I will give you hugs. You should not take any particular comfort in this because I just like to hug girls.
I have no educational requirements for hugging. In fact I hug some of the least educated girls in town. Actually, between you and me, I never did become an adult, I only faked it... poorly at that. The real deal is that you should not be in such a hurry to change. Of course if you suddenly find yourself dressed in a cellophane suit in the middle of main street, feel free to ignore this advice.


Welcome to John Vaugn. John, Who is on first. And as I recall, the choices are whose, who's, and Hoo's (as in Horton hears,) and the much under appreciated hooze used chiefly by writers from the Bronx.

I have one suggestion about first novels: GONE WITH THE WIND. Okay, it was a last novel, so what.

Have fun with it, everybody.


I predict SK will come out of his block soon after the holidays and become a romance writer. Also, in fairness to Tabitha, who is reportedly a very good natured person (and a fellow photographer... photographs fellows,) there has to be something more to that story. She would be out of character saying Stephen has to get a job. This would not be the first case of reporting a quote out of context. My real guess is that it was just a joke.

Rachel Sat Oct 30 21:29:52 PDT 1999

Alline - I read Alice in Wonderland with my daughter. When I was a girl my mother read it to me. I read to my daughter from the same book that my mother read to me, it was an interesting feeling. I will look forward to your text, it should not take more than 4 or 5 days. I can get a litter overseas in 3 - 5. Funny how it takes the same lenght of time when we are so much closer. Kinda makes yah wonder...
Don't stop, work hard and show me I am wrong. Don't let me be right. I do not want to be right, and if I am I will be very annoyed.
Take care you

Allein Sat Oct 30 21:00:08 PDT 1999

Rachel - I'll e-mail you when I finish it. I'll be finished by next week (school depending - but it shouldn't be a problem) and I'll send it to you, however, I'm not sure when you will get it because I don't know how fast the mail will get there (that's why it's called snail mail). Anyway, I'll start on it as soon as my homework is done. All I have to do now is read Alice in Wonderland and answer some questions - should be simple, I've seen the Disney movie and Disney certainly would never exaggerate on the story now would they? *grin* Actually, I've already started reading the story and it seems to be rather accurate. Anyway, I should stop writing here and get my homework done, huh? (((BIG HUGS)))

Sqrl - the poems are in your mailbox. They're kinda corny, but I hope you like them.


Rachel Sat Oct 30 20:32:36 PDT 1999

Alline - I will be delighted when you make me wrong. I am looking forward to it. I will thank you. Good luck with your writing. Get that pencil, have an eraser on hand and go for it! I love yah too kiddo.
Take care and good writing.

Allein Sat Oct 30 19:44:23 PDT 1999

Americo - You know how often I hear that I have to get A's - it's sickening. I've worked my butt off to get the grades I have and know I've heard from a scholarship company. I might meet with them and I might not. I just don't want my senior year to end, because the moment it does, I'll be an adult and I'll be in the real world and that scares me. I don't think I'm ready for that.

Rachel - I will make you wrong. It's much easier for me to write in a journal. If I sit infront of the computer trying to write, I'll use up all my computer time just thinking. But, I will print out that outline tonight and start on the scene as soon as my homework is finished. I won't write you a nasty letter, I know you're just being honest. I'm sorry, I'm just really emotional right now. But I want you to know that I still love you. *hugs*

Sqrlmunk - I will send the poems.


Sqrl Sat Oct 30 19:18:53 PDT 1999

SQRLMUNK POEMS! *EEP* Go ahead and send them my way! :-D I'd LOVE to read them! (oh and uhh, in case you haven't noticed . . . I have discovered a little bit of html! (still not as good as the majority of you all! I'm working on it! :-D)


As for stories. I'll give you some advice that a very wise woman once gave me. DON'T write stories! Live them! Let your character tell you what he/she wants to do! When you go against what is suppose to happen, writers block occures. (if anyone is wondering my friend has written MANY books that have been published! Including a book on writing a book.)

Oh and to add to Allein's short list of silly things:

Written on a container of glitter:
"Read directions before use."

that's all


Americo Sat Oct 30 18:50:46 PDT 1999

Allein: B's are not good grades. I expect only A's from you.

Now, you may be cross with me for one day or two. But you will be thankful to me for ten or twenty years. Then you will have your writers' block. That will be when another Americo will cross your way to the pond. You will recognize him and you will walk with him for some time. He will leave you in the middle of the road. And you will cry again. But you will then know the way home. And you'll tell to your husband: "today I met an angel". And everybody will laugh and you will laugh as well because you will feel that your mental block was gone. That night you will kiss my photo, the photo you had cut from a very old newspaper. And you'll say to yourself. In truth that man was my best friend ever.

Good night, all. Sleep well.

Jon is preparing himself to enjoy his halloween. I do not like that kind of thing . We do not have halloween here: on that day we pray for our beloved ones. I do not pray because I am agnostic. But I feel and that's much better than praying.

Rachel Sat Oct 30 18:24:08 PDT 1999

Alline - This is a difficult thing, but I need to say that time is something that we all need. It is a matter of time management. Do you remember how I talked to you about that? I wasn't kidding. I was being very serious. I know that your computer time is limited, but you seem to find the time to go into chat and that sort of stuff, I know this sounds awful, but you and I went over the outline for the ball scene and all you had to do was to more or less add the "ands, buts and thes" I know that this sounds harsh and unking, but may I suggest that you take a little bit of time out from your web surfing and stuff and take the 20 to 30 minutes it would take to get the piece done. I know that what I am saying is likely jepordizing our friendship, but honestly Alline, you have had that outline for weeks. I am, as I said happy to type it up for you, but still, it is a shame you can not do it yourself. I think you would find more satisfaction out of knowing that you did it on your own. I as I said realize what it is to be busy. I mean honestly I do make like I have time to spare, but I don't. I have time, because I make time. I steal time from myself in order to get the things done that I need to get done. It is a matter of how bad do you want it. God, I feel sick writing this, but it needs to be said. Writing on this colloborative project has been approached so half assed backwards that it has begun to irritate me. I am busy, I have an active and full life and so do my husband and four children. Two of my children have serious behavioral and developmental challenges that add to the pace of my day and there are countless other things that I will not go into, but I assure you that every person on this site is likley having the same time issues as yourself.
Okay here is a little saying I read someplace recently. I can't remember where, but know this is not my own. It goes like this "Those who say they can't are often passed by those who are doing it." Come Alline, don't be an ever never. I know that you said you would have it to me in a week, but I have just seen so many deadlines pass you by. Please, please, please make me wrong. I want to be wrong. I want you to sing and dance and do the "I told you so dance." So get off the net and pick up your journal and write. In fact feel free to write me a very angry letter, just write!
Take care

PS - John Vaugh did you get my e-mail?

Allein Sat Oct 30 18:00:13 PDT 1999

Americo - I know that I am and I've been trying to get it done. I really have - I'm lucky to have gotten the outline done. And as for working on other things in class, I do it all the time and still pull of good grades, so, I am not a cheater - I'm very honest. You have no idea how hard it is today to keep up with school and get good grades and I'm only in high school! Please just cut me some slack. Rachel has offered to type it up for me, so now, I can take my outline to school and get it done w/in days. I have several classes where we never really do anything and if I had access to a computer, I'd be working on S*. I know that I can procrastinate but right now with the end of the quarter in school and grades coming out in a few weeks, I really can't be bothered with other things right now. I'm sorry but I can have it to you really soon. I know you're a good friend and you want to tell me the truth, but I'll tell you the truth too - I AM really busy. I've been trying for two months to work on Mali and Azol too and I can't because I'm too busy. You are a good friend and just because I've asked Rachel to type it up for me does not mean I'm a parasyte. I'm still doing my work and I'll be getting it to you shortly. But due to homework and limits on computer time (which are not excuses but reality!) I simply need some help. But please try to understand that I'm really stressed right now. After the quarter ends next week, I'll have more time, but right now I'm too extremely busy. Please just cut me some slack and do not give me any more truths because I'm really depressed right now and crying and I don't want to hear it. But if people really don't want me here - I'll just leave!

Rachel - thank you very much. You're a good friend. I'll have the mask scene to you by next week.

A very sad, Allein

Americo Sat Oct 30 17:22:29 PDT 1999

Allein: you will never be a writer if you say that you are too busy with Halloween and homework to work on S*. You have been giving me excuses of that kind for almost two months. People like you are called ever-nevers. And people who ask friends to type things for them are called parasites. And pupils who do something different than pay attention to their teachers or do classwork during lessons are called cheaters. The world has already enough of them. Sorry but one day someone would have to tell you the truth. This is the second time I have to tell you a painful truth. It is very unpleasant to me but you are a nice person and you deserve to have friends that do not lie to you. Notice that they are very rare in this world. They usually die at the hands of injustice or misunderstanding, and they go to hell. I do not mind going to heaven if that means I will save a friend from going to the fake paradise your society is preparing you to go.

And please do not throw Jon or touch his fur. That can be dangerous.

What a bunch of ever-nevers there are in this forum!

John Vaughn Sat Oct 30 17:14:12 PDT 1999

I'm new here and have no idea who's who...or is it WHOSE who...who cares. Anyway, I have a simple question for anyone
that cares to reply. As far as fiction writing goes, how do you establish a good flow in a do you know when
to take a paragraph to describe something or just a short
sentence. Ya know what I mean? I have a horrible time at finding a good rhythm when writing fiction. I read what I have written and delete the whole thing in a flury of red-faced cursing. I have an idea for a story that has gone nowhere in the last four months...I need help.

Rachel Sat Oct 30 13:54:46 PDT 1999

Hi all

Alline - Yes, if you send me your writing I will type it up and forward it to Americo for you. I have been quite busy these past few weeks. I have started on a very interesting project and have been working on Shadows. It is taking shape (smiles). I have also been reading relentlessly. I am being sucked into book after book. I just can't seem to stop myself, for that matter I don't want to (grins). I have just started on "To The Lighthouse" I have been hunting high and low for my copy of "Of Mice and Men" I had it out to read and now it seems to have grown legs and wandered off. This is frustrating!
I will wander back into my mail logs and respond to yah (smiles and a hug) I have been catching up on some of my e-mail. Well, I should get motivated here. I will not get anything done if I sit on the net all day.
Take care all

Avatar Sat Oct 30 12:31:25 PDT 1999

Has anyone noticed that all I've contributed for the past few weeks is philosophic notes? ;)

Here's today's-

There really is no point to it if all you do is notice it. What use can truth be if no one but you holds it within your grasp?
Speak out! Implement this wonderful thing called truth in your hearts and minds, first improving yourself and then others! You never know what ingenious thing will happen when you open yourself to change with truth!

Okay, that's it for now.

Happy birthday to Fran. May you see many, many more of them.

My prayers are going out to Stephen King. Hope his writing improves because of this experience.

May your pen (or whatever) always be true


Allein Sat Oct 30 12:12:07 PDT 1999

Americo - I'm currently working on S* but it is hard to use the computer with limited time. I've asked Rachel if she'd type it up for me if I wrote it out on paper but never got a response. This weekend I'm too busy with homework and Halloween to work on S* but I'll try to do some more this coming week. If I were to write it in a journal for instance (so that Rachel could type it up) I could work on it at school (this works really well because teachers think you're taking notes).
Anyway, I do have somewhat of an outline for the masquarade scene that I could send to you. :)

Rachel - Will ya type up my S* part for me if I write it out on paper? Please? Pretty please? Pretty please with sugar on top? With it I'll include a picture of Rags w/out his shirt on.

And now, onto the funnies. :)

Truly dumb warnings/instructions

On my hairdryer instructions:
Do not use while sleeping.

On a bag of Fritos:
You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside.

On a bar of Dial soap, it says:
Directions: Use like regular soap.

I have a frozen dinner at home that says:
Serving suggestion: Defrost.

fits one head.

Inside a men's bathroom, a sign that says:
Pregnancy and alcohol don't mix


Rachel Sat Oct 30 08:59:17 PDT 1999

On Stephen King's writers block - I am willing to bet that it will not last long. This guy would seem to be a bottomless well of creative ideas, maybe his style will change, but I would be very surprised if the block lasted for to, to long. In the meanwhile i think Rhoda has a point, it will give him a chance to look up and see what has become of the world while he has been writing for so long. Maybe in fact the block is not so much a block as an overload. I hope and believe that he will be fine. I think the man just needs a little time. After all he has been through something and a half.

Take care all

Rhoda Sat Oct 30 08:43:40 PDT 1999


I did get Sebastian-3. I have had a terrible time e-mailing you. The server is just not accepting my e-mails now.

I am currently reworking THE RELUCTANT BARBARIAN. It is quite an experience going back to that old thing. I am redoing the beginning and the ending. After three years, my writing style has changed somewhat. At the same time,I want to finish my third book. How do you balance the time? Priorities I guess.

On the subject of first novels. Many other writers have told me that most first novels are not really fit to publish and are not worth the time. I disagree with this, but I realize it is true that writers rarely publish their first novels. Philip, would you have some perspective on this? I really don't think I am spinning my wheels going back to the old thing, espacially since it is the sequel to VALERIE'S SONG. But there is a time for looking and thinking ahead, so current projects shouldn't suffer and future work shouldn't be postponed too much.

Stephen King's Writer's block. That is a problem. I would imagine that Mr. King is suffering emotionally as well as physically. He probably is overcome with fear that he'll never write anything decent again. At the same time he wonders if he'll ever have his heath back. Then his wife stands over him and threatens to send him to work if he doesn't produce his writing. It would be difficult for anyone to write well with those burdens.

If Mr. King comes through this crisis and comes to terms with what has happened to him, his writing will greatly benefit and he will be better than he ever has. As a result, his writing will acquire new depth. After this experience and this dark period of his life, he will not take his talent and responsibilities for granted.

Also I think a day job wouldn't be so bad for Mr. King. There is a tendency for prolific, busy writers to be so isolated from everyday life that they lose perspective on how the people who read their books live. If a writer doesn't experience life in its extremities once in awhile, his writing becomes stale. Mr. King could draw much knowledge and inspiration as he spends time out of his comfort zone.

Incidently, I know a couple of cases where accidents involving severe physical trama have actually started people's writing careers. Once such example is my friend Linda who is a published romance writer. She had an accident and was bed-ridden several months. She spent her time reading romance novels, and somewhere along the line decided she could write one. She tried, and in time she went on to succeed. Now she writes full time.

My prayers go out to Stephen King and to any other writer who is struggling to reconcile adversity in his or her life to the need and desire to write.


Have a very happy birthday.


I like living in rural America. But what I miss about civilization more than anything is the opportunity to go to shows. My husband and I did that sort of thing when we lived in Houston. Les Miserables came to Amarillo last year, but seating was very limited, and the musical was held on a week-night. There was no way we could see it. I envy you people who live on the West or East coasts. Oh, to live somewhere where communities are more compact and the distances between towns are not so far. If we can't find something in Amarillo (120 miles away), then we have to go to Oklahoma City (300 miles), Denver (350 miles), or Lubbuck, (over 200 miles away). When I lived in Farmington, NM, it was the same story. The closest big city was Albuquerque (270 miles).

At least I live in an area where no one locks their cars and everyone in town knows everyone else. You can get anywhere in town in less than three minutes. I don't have it so bad.

Happy writing,


Americo Sat Oct 30 06:11:30 PDT 1999

Jack: I can see now and have actually downloaded the two last archives. All is fine at last. There was probably some sort of problem with the server of my ISP . Greetings to Fran for her birthday.

On writers' block: in the case of S* it will become very expensive. The proceeds will be shared according to criteria. ONE of these criteria will be sheer amount of words written (and accepted). Sorry, Jack and Allein — you will not get more than 2.5 % (two point five percent) each. And I am being generous. No, you cannot withdraw your contribution now. But you can go away if you like. I hate people who are not faithful to their word. I really do.

Americo Sat Oct 30 05:54:16 PDT 1999

Rhoda: Jenny_2 received. Thanks. I've just sent you Sebastian_3. My first attempt to send you the latter failed apparently because of an error in your e-mail address. Please acknowledge recept.

Rachel Sat Oct 30 01:56:40 PDT 1999

Hi all!

Jack - Don't worry to much about the archive stuff, lucky for us I have figured out how to cut and paste! :D

Gary - You crack me up! I loved your post about Stephen King. I used to read lots of his books, but over time I just sort of stopped. I have missed yah, have you written anything new?

Jai - I am working on one of my never ending e-mails for you. Better brace yourself and make sure you have lots of room on your hard drive (grins). I just may have something I'm willing to send over for you to look at. Something that isn't just an early morning strech (grins).

Americo - Have a lovely and restful weekend!

Allein - Hi you:D

Rhoda - How are yah?

Take care all

PS - Jack - Tell Fran I'll be getting back to her this weekend. I once again have more questions(grins) What a surprise. I would seem to be the questions girl!

Jack Beslanwitch Sat Oct 30 01:30:45 PDT 1999

p.s. Just noticed we were over a 100k, so I archived. And, Americo, yes, I really did archive. It is there.

And this is wishing that all of us, Stephen King included, never be visited by the curse of writers block.

Jack Beslanwitch Sat Oct 30 01:11:29 PDT 1999

     Allein: Les Miserables was awesome. The music, the production and everything else was awe inspiring and the conclusion brought me to tears. Even given the fact that I knew the story. Fran was crying at other points. On Miss Saigon, I did see it and enjoyed it as far as it went, but it was more special effects than music. I left the theatre somewhat let down. Of the broadway style musicals I have seen here in Seattle, my favorites bar none are Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera. Actually, we have tickets and good seating for Phantom the end of March.

     Oh, and just wanted to note that today as of midnight was Fran's birthday.

Happy Birthday Fran :-)

Gary S Fri Oct 29 22:24:37 PDT 1999

Hi all,

I heard on the news that Stephen King is having writer's block since he was hit by a motor vehicle while walking on deserted stretch of road in Maine. Writer's block induced by severe physical trauma? Why not, I guess it's as possible as anything. I just never thought anything could stop a writer like our Mr. King. A curious thing is that King's wife, Tabitha, says that if Stephen can't write, he'll have to get a job.

Now, I know why certain comics say you can get all the material you need for a good stand-up act from just reading the newspaper. The last publicity release I can remember about King's business affairs was that he had signed a contract for five million dollars for his next six books (or was it six million for his next five?) This was a while ago and I would expect he has fulfilled that contract by now.

Believe me when I say I am completely sympathetic to King's tragic injuries, and I am sure it has been a strain on the family, but I have a problem with the way Tabitha is handling the household budget. If she can't manage to handle money a little better, maybe Stephen should pack her off to work. I mean what happened to six million dollars in a couple of years?

I don't think King is that much of a spender himself. I know a guy who goes to the Sox games with King and he pays for his own tickets, not that he shouldn't, but it rather supports the theory that King is not out sporting away all his money on his freinds. And a guy who does all that writing can't possibly have time to spend six million bucks.
I don't know where he gets the time to go to the games.

And another thing. Why does King have to walk the Maine country side and put himself in such danger? What do you think, Hayden? Maybe Tabitha bitched about needing the Porsche that day and Stephen was hitch-hiking to Fenway Park for the Twi-night double header? Just a wild guess.

I have one other theory about the exhaustion of the six (or five) million bucks, and that is that it was eaten up by his first couple of weeks in the hospital. In truth this sounds more likely than the idea that Tabitha is such a bad budget handler. Also, the Kings have kids in school and knowing what tuitions are like these days, well just imagine.

Well, this news should alert everyone in the forum that if you become published and start writing two or three novels a day and raking in millions of dollars a week, please get your spouse a car that he or she can have whenever he or she needs it. Get a couple of extra cars, if you must. Get an extra one for whover can't get out of the driveway.

Just as a question in closing. If Stephen doesn't break out of the 'block' soon and unplug the cash flow, just what kind of job does Tabitha think he might be able to do? King has never done any ordinary job and there are no ads in the paper for horror writers. Even if there were, that is precisely what Stephen can't do right now. Of course anyone can say "Would you like fries with that order?" How would you like to open your 'burger bag' and see a severed head with snakes crawling over it?


Allein Fri Oct 29 19:39:55 PDT 1999

Sqrlmunk - Hi. ((((HUGS RIGHT BACK AT YA)))) I wrote some poems about sqrlmunk (my classmates think I'm crazy). :) Would you like to read them? If so I'll send them to you through e-mail. I'm getting good grades this quarter. YAY!! ::happy sqrlmunk dance::
bye bye,

Sqrl Fri Oct 29 19:14:31 PDT 1999

Weeeeeee! I gave my two week notice today! :-D tomorrow is my last day! (long story) ::happy Sqrlmunk dance:: NOW I can focuse on my studies! :-) I loved my job, but my grades were suffering something aweful!

Happy Belated Birthday to Jai!

Allein- HI! {{{{{{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}}}}}

Toby- HIYA! Ohio?! COOL! I have MANY relatives out there! (I do mean MANY!) My family settled there around the Great Potato Famine! :-) They became farmers and . . . I have the story around here somewhere. ::scratching head:: if only I could remember what I did with the family book. *ooops*


Allein Fri Oct 29 18:19:41 PDT 1999

Jack - hope you have fun at Les Miserables. :) I've never been to an actual play but I'd really like to see Miss Saigon sometime - it's supposed to be really good.
And about the joke.. ::picks up something furry and throws it:: Oops! Sorry Jon!

Jon - you should dye your fur black and be a black cat for Halloween. Sorry about throwing you. I'd like to make up for it - but how? Catnip? Kitty treat? Vodka? How about a nice scratch behind the ear?

Well, I'm off (to see the Wizard..)

Jack Beslanwitch Fri Oct 29 12:36:08 PDT 1999

Do not have a lot of time, just finishing some things up so Fran and I can go to Les Miserables. Missed it the last couple of times it was through Seattle, am a great fan of the music and will love to see what they do with it on stage. Anyway, Allein has been handing out the humor, so I thought I would add my own. Hope I remember this correctly:

What do you get when you divide the circumferance of a jack-o-lantern by its diamter or was its its radius?

Anyway, the answer is Pumpkin Pi.

Yes, do throw things at me. Take care.

Lydia Sweet Fri Oct 29 11:15:49 PDT 1999


Did I tell everyone that I finally got that home computer. Well I had one of the researchers tell me how I could switch my Mac disk to a PC disk. Let's say it's a really good thing I have my book in hard copy, because I no longer have a computer copy. I really didn't get that upset though, because I now am forced to do the rewrite it so desperately needs. By the way you guys who have read, and poor SKS who has been doing a great job of editing, have been really kind in your criticism of my work. I got a fresh look at it and can see how really stilted it is. I hope in the new version you won't find yourself nodding off.

See ya later,



Return to Writers Notebook