Archived Messages from December 26, 1999 to January 12, 2000

Allein Wed Jan 12 22:29:07 PST 2000

Americo - I'm Canadian too - almost. I live very close to Canada. And at one time you thought I was wonderful too, I'm hurt. :(

Heather - I got your message. :) I get a daily dose of trivia every day so I'll try to send you some.

I just got back from a party and my friends are incredibly weird. I don't know what they've been smoking but whatever it is, I want some. Two of my friends think they are vampires who have been alive for 300 years. Like I said, weird.
Anyway, it's still snowing here. This morning, my dad handed my brother the snow shovel and said "You wanted snow, here." Hopefully no school tomorrow for my district. I know Rachel thinks differently, but that's because she has kids and I am a kid (though, so is she at heart) there's a world of difference. Though, she's not that much older than me.
Well, take care everyone.
(((BIG HUGS)))

Heather Wed Jan 12 21:51:34 PST 2000

Hi Ed - Sorry I goofed up on the generations - must have misread your happy post! Congrats again!
I have two babies - one 7, the other 2. And indeed, I am enraptured with their enduring beauty and sometimes wonder how I could be so blessed. No scratch the sometimes - I wonder all the time! I am captive to their charms.

P.S. to all out there who may well be wondering - yes I am a confirmed weirdo. Truth be told, in days such as these, I don't mind a bit. Highschool was a bit of a toughie.
Lastly, I will apologize for typing most posts so long they reach 3000 AD. Off I go.

Wait-:) there.

Heather Wed Jan 12 21:45:41 PST 2000

This post board is my new vice - as if I needed another.
Hmmm. My New Year's resolution was to be able to count my vices on the fingers of one hand. Too bad, I was so close to eleven.

Rachel Wed Jan 12 21:16:24 PST 2000

Heather - Yes, I am Canadian (big smile). I'm from British Columbia and love, love, love it here. At least most of the time. Sometimes I feel like I should start building an ark, but for the most part it's pretty nice. I'm glad you can hear me laughing. I believe that laughter is one of the turest, most wonderful, beautiful thing that a person can share. Aren't I a sap and a half (grins).

Jai - Was that little bit about me? If it was cool! I'm glad to be a wonderful dragon fairy. Does that mean that I get to be fierce sometimes? I mean, oh yah, yah that was me to a T! It's nice to see you back.

Take care all

Eddie French Wed Jan 12 20:53:36 PST 2000

I thank you for your kind words, but my SON (Who is the youngest of my offspring) is now more than twenty years old.
The anticipated arrival is my third grandson, (and my fourth grandchild).
Ahh to be young again!!
Just call me grampa!

Heather Myles Wed Jan 12 20:45:01 PST 2000

Allein, I listed above the name of the site I have a page on, and for any and all interested to visit. It's a page of my artwork besides the written kind - well, there is a goofy blurb under my even goofier photo (not a good face day) but the art work scanned well. If you want to see it, go to the site, click on 'enter virtual gallery'. When you see the next page come up, click on Artist Index. You'll find my name under M for Myles, and there be the page!
That way you can (sort of) tell what I look like...
Ignore the rediculous oddity we call the face, please.

Jai Shaw Wed Jan 12 20:38:36 PST 2000


Teekay - Did you get the email I sent you or am I just imagining I sent you an email. I did mean to send you an email but...

A short for the day -

And the fairy rose as her friends sang about her. She rose to her full height then continued to rise. Ribbons of colour wrapped her and carried her ever higher until she was far above the sacred grove.

She screamed in joy as the wings burst from her back. Her whole body shivered with energy. Her legs became one, lengthening and swirling behind her - snake like. Claws shot from her fingers and huge shapened teeth filled her mouth.

The song of the earth was hers.

"I live," She sang in purest glee. Her voice, the earths voice, echoing across the land to brighten even the darkest caves.

From fairy to dragon the cycle was complete. A dragon was born.

So there Rachel :P

Well a good day to you all, as you can see I'm over my post holiday depression.


Jerry Lee http://members/ Wed Jan 12 20:36:42 PST 2000

Yo all,

I have been enjoying the shorties all night and have finally decided on one...It has a main character(implied). It has action, a beginning, a middle and an end.

Coughin'; coffin.

I got this wonderful little story from my 11th grade creative writing teacher many years ago...

Have fun, y'all!
Jerry Lee

Heather (uuurppp) it was the wine Wed Jan 12 20:21:52 PST 2000

Teekay -- I sure will pass it on (my chapter that is) and thank you for volunteering! I had a hearty laugh when I read your absolutely wonderful short shortie - oh, and it was laughter because I understand completely and have bitten through my wrist once to stave off the stabbing hand. My book just cackled at me.
Im not a dragon in the Chinese Zodiac - but I can behave like one when fully bronzed. (I'll leave that one to the imaginations)
Eddie: Thanks for the word of caution about said virus - will buyer beware on that certainly.
CONGRATULATIONS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE ON THE ARRIVAL OF YOUR SON!!! Like Angels hiding their wings aren't they?

Pussy: Loved the black heart recipe - I shall be sure to add that to my menu when I can't make it to the butcher's for my usual delicacy. I think I know where I can mine a few black hearts this side of the border. But it won't be easy.

Americo: Shall it be Madeira? Or shall it be Beaujolais?
Red is the colour of this taste. Served with prime rib, blue rare of course.

Allein: sent you another email so check the Lunika mailbox!
*SMILES* Your post was delicious - uuuuurpppp - oops! Excuse me! Can you dish out another helping of those great yummy facts? MMMM Brain candy.

Rachel: Your bubbly-light laughter can be heard all the way to my house. Heard you were a fellow Canadian! Sigh. *Grin so wide it's pulling at my earrings*

Jerry: a brilliant short shortie! I am still chuckling...
Darned if you didn't roll the carpet out before you posted it! Royalty.

...Good luck to all with inoculating your hardware and software - perhaps I should invent the computer condom.
Might be a big hit.

Rachel Wed Jan 12 19:51:29 PST 2000

Americo - You want a short story? Hum, I left one in *SM... Jon tells me he likes it. So another? Right here, right now? Hum, hum, hum what's a gal to do. I guess I have not option but to be cheeky (grins).

I live.

I think that two words is about as short as I can make it.

Take care you

All - That is my short story. There is a great deal in those two words (grins). I'll let all of you go ahead and use your imaginations to make up what ever it is that you would like to go along with it.

Allein - Hi you. Wow, it better not be a day off school tomorrow! I have plans!!!!

Take care all

Heather of the wine Wed Jan 12 19:47:46 PST 2000

whiiummAhh. A great sigh. Americo; you titilate and tantalize the writer in my soul, and yes, I have a soul as deft as wind herself and it was I that permeated first. The tears that spat against the feet of your hearth are yet again hints of my dwelling. For it is the spirit I bequeath that lends all breath to nature. Follow me.

Americo; (Ignore that awful egotist talking up there )...
In answer to the quest for why Canadians are so interesting (Alas, poor Steve, I didn't know him at all) - ahem.
Bear with me - I'm thinking! Perhaps it is the wads and wonders of snow that frosts the tips of exposed delicacies and permits only the brain to function in such inhospitable weather. After all, the brain is rather suspended in the warm embryotic stew of cerebral spinal fluid with nothing but its' greyish wits to steer it through 'til spring. And basking in the desert heat or tropical paradise may milk this tender lubricant to depletion?! (Just a wide-angled guess). Perhaps it is the wilderness that has driven us heartier breeds to fortify our nodules and lobes with the sweetness of thought as stimulation - instead of feasting upon mere lust and luxury?! Nahhhh.
Or, maybe you have only met the 3% that are deranged enough to post!

I promise I shall be devoted to this very post site for a minimum of one thousand years.
I promise I shall outlive that specified time period.
I don't promise I'll be online for the full contract.
I do promise to fulfill any and all short shortie requests to the best of my (in) ability.
I do not verify that I am not insane.
I do not hold any offense to name calling, so long as you use the specified password, follow the explicit instructions, and leave in a hurry.
Please utilize mirth when poking fun or using blunt objects.
Feel free to drink blood, just so long as you don't spill it on my gloves.
Follow your fancy, plain or otherwise.
Hang onto your old soul, We cannot be held responsible for items lost or stolen.
And lastly, remain calm. The building is not on fire. You are.

ta ta and tee hee

Eddie French Wed Jan 12 19:31:15 PST 2000

Hello you too!
I just got your words of support in my guest book at 'The Retreat' Thank you!
By the way, Our Christmas break over in Germany was really fabulous! Kyisha is just a dream child!(I have been told that I must get the spelling right)I prefer Kyesha myself!

Nicki is a bit late with our latest addition to the family. She has been in Labour once already in the past week but has been sent home from the hospital after two days to await the final episode.
Anita was really worried so I arranged a flight for her yesterday and she is now back in Bielefeld with Nicki. ( She rang earlier tonight to say all is well and we are still waiting)
Actually, we already know that we are to have a new grandson when Nicki gives birth, ( aahh, Technology!!)
We are all fighting furiously about the name of this unsuspecting individual!!!
Ohhh boy....If I was him I'd stay just where I was right now! (Maybe that's just what he's doing!)
Names range from Caseus to Elliot!
Marcellus (Dad) wants Caseus, Mum wants Elliot.
Nan and Gramps will be happy with Elliot but dad is adamant!!
Whatever he is called he will be loved and cherished for ever.
I am so proud to be considered the Pater of this group of people. I don't know why our generation do not have this connection with the past...perhaps it is to do with the lost generation which was unfortunate enough to be born during and just after WW2.
My belief is that my generation has now crossed that divide and are building a new era of close family ties.
We will find out if I am right in the next ten years or so I think!
Whatever happens to mankind in general I know that I have had some impact, and that is good enough for me.
I am procrastinating! It must be time to go.

Teekay Wed Jan 12 19:26:47 PST 2000

Hello Everybody,
I just love it when there's heaps to read on the noticeboard.

EDDIE:- Perhaps you would have preffered to get the flu rather than that virus huh? Thanks for the words of warning.

JAI:- Welcome back. So holidays was it? Wondered what had happened to you.

HEATHER:- I am a dragon. But only a chinese one and I don't know wether that counts or not as I'm not Chinese. A Chinese person told me that it was good to be a dragon, if you were a man. Not humble enough for a woman I guess. No scales to spare though except the ones in the kitchen cupboard and they're broken. You may have them if you like.
I would LOVE to critique your chapters. I always thought I would make a good critic. So send on the manuscripts!!!

RHODA:- Hi girl. How is it all going? The novel is going YYAAARRRGGHGHHHH!!!!! The plot stinks the writing stinks the writer stinks. I'm starting again. Perhaps I really am just a short story kinda gal `SOB'. Speaking of which, here is my short story for the day.

She knew now what she had to do. All those agonizing years wasted. And for what? With the voices muttering frantically in her head she stumbled into the kitchen heading for the cutlery drawer. The full moon peering in at the window bore witness as with shaking hand she withdrew the razor sharp knife and raised it overhead.
"Take that you rotten shit of a novel!" she screamed as she brought the knife down on the paper in front of her. She slashed around for a while and then she felt better. Then she went and ate blackheart in red port wine with Jon and felt even better.

Eddie French Wed Jan 12 18:55:35 PST 2000

This latest one was also a Trojan horse, I wonder if it was the same one. They have so many aliases!
A board like Jacks' requires that your server uses Frontpage extensions. Sadly, alot of ISP's in this country refuse to incorporate them because of the security issues inherent in these apps. Mine is one of them so my board has to be proxy. I am restricted by the commercial aspects of this setup.

Americo Wed Jan 12 18:47:32 PST 2000

Sorry to hear about the virus, Eddie. Incidentally, I had a look at your site today. Greatly improved. Why don't you simplify the message board and make it like the Notebook? Jack's Notebook is the best because it's so simple. One just comes here, drops one's perls of wisdom and then reads the posts, offline. Quite comfortable. I love it.

Jerry Ericsson Wed Jan 12 18:47:17 PST 2000

Eddy, I can understand your frustration, I found out this morning that my computer CRASH, was actually caused by a new trojen horse virus that had wormed its way upon my hard drive in a friendly E-Mail. The darned thing was so new that my anti-virus software did not detect it. This morning my computer prompted me to up-date my date fro the antivirus, and lo and behold when the update was finished, the software informed me that remnants of the virus were still present, even AFTER a total re-fromat and re-install of Windows 98. The ant-virus software did a nice job of cleaning it up, or at least it claims to have. You never know about viruses though. I guess I only have myself to blame as I do frequent emulator and warez sites, searching for the lattest game or application. Some day I will learn my lesson, but untill then, I do make it a habit of not only backing up my data, but now I back-up my software as well. I found that the cost of a CD-burner is a small price to pay for the sure knowledge that I can put my system back up in a short time with a minimum of loss of data or software.


Eddie French Wed Jan 12 18:45:15 PST 2000

Did I do That!!!!
Oh yeah!!

Eddie French Wed Jan 12 18:41:58 PST 2000

You cut deep!
I am hurt...
What is that?
A strange word, fit for fictitious works which spew forth from the mind of the deranged methinks!
Writers dont work, they coast on a wave of creativity!
As the wave crests they soar!
When the wave beaches they too lay down to rest.
I merely lay down to rest.
I'm resting still

Americo Wed Jan 12 18:41:22 PST 2000

Sorry, folks, but you have posted exactly at the same time as Jon.

Jerry: nice story. No wonder, you are the master of all of us.

Eddie: how come you are not in bed with influenza? The news here is that the UK is suffering from an epidemics of flu. Hope you are all right (which does not mean that you cannot sleep till noon tomorrow). Looking at the clock (our time is the same)... till 2 0'clock. That's my favorite hour to get up, actually.

Jon Wed Jan 12 18:34:47 PST 2000

I see that tonight is the night of the canibals and the vampires. At last! My favorite film is "The Silence of the Inocent". I am the inocent of course.

Jerry Ericsson Wed Jan 12 18:34:22 PST 2000

Americo, since today is short story day, here goes:

They tell me that every short story should have some of each of the following: Sex, religion, money and suspense.

My God! said the bankers daughter " I am pregnent, I wonder who the father is!"

Hows that for short.

Anyhow have a great day.


Eddie French Wed Jan 12 18:33:59 PST 2000

Hello all,
Just a quick word of warning. Heed this well or be damned!!
I have just been duped, tricked, suckered.....I was sooooo foolish.
How?, I hear you plead expectantly.
Well friends, I will reveal all.
Firstly, in mitigation, I will ask....Would you open a file which was sent to you by a trusted member of a group to which you were affiliated?
Of course you would, wouldn't you?
After you had scanned it for nasties of course!
So, it comes up clean after a scan with the most recent DAT file on your virus checker. So, you open it.
I did!!
Sparks flew....
Obscenities were hurled....
Teeth were gnashed....
Hair departed cosy root burrows and flew skyward.
That was 6 hours ago and I have just finished rebuilding my system! I have probably lost more than I know just now.
So, Mark these signs well and at first sight (NO MATTER WHO IT SEEMS TO BE FROM) Bin it, Shred it, burn it.
The signs:


If you get an email with either of these words clipped to it, just get it the hell out. It is a nasty little beast.
Good luck

Pussy Wed Jan 12 18:32:09 PST 2000

Tonight I had little pieces of black heart marinated in red Port for dinner. Delicious. Jon brought the meat home. He's a dear, and I decided to divorce him only next month. I was a vegetarian before I met him. But he buys meat very dear, I don't know where. His favorite movie is "Delicatessen." Never saw it.

Americo Wed Jan 12 18:26:33 PST 2000

Methinks that Heather is the best present this Notebook has gotten since my apparition here on January the 26th, 1999.

Will you stay with us for some time, Heather? Promise!

And now a little question: why are all Canadians so interesting people? Rachel is, and Steve was (he starved some months ago), and, if you investigate in the archives, you'll find that all of them were. The English are nice but disappear when it smells to work, the Europeans are crap (look at me), the Americans are all right except when war rings the bell, the Chinese... yes, where are the Chinese? They took me Macau sometime ago but never mind, I'll discover another one. By the way, is Jon the only African on the spot?

Heather, your shortie is a source of inspiration for all of us. The voice you heard among the tendrils of the wind was my voice. When it reached your ears, it became the sound of your morning moon and you felt your blood warming, It is now running in your veins looking for your heart. Ah, here it is, your little heart. I feel like eating it and sucking its blood (I hope it's warm enough by now). Yes, with all my qualities I am a canibal. That's my fate: a new kind of vampire disguised in the wind, condemned to sweep the snow of the Northern countries from midnight to three (only on certain nights). Then I sit down in the most hidden corner of the yard I chose to rest and cry my awful destiny. The villagers think it's the noise of the wind in the branches of the trees, but no, it's my tears dropping (glopGlop) upon my bare feet. Yes, I have no shoes. And I have no feet, no legs, no nothing. I just have my voice. Keep it in a safe place, it's the voice of your soul.

PS. In case you don't have a soul, you may borrow one from Jon — he has three.
PSS. For warming blood quicker, nothing like a pocket microwaves. That's where I warm my voice again at 3:05 am, when I get up and run home, before my mummie calls the police.
PSSS. You, Heather, and me (or I) have written our stories of the day. How about the other lazybones? I'll eat them one by one in the next few nights. Since now that I have drunk your blood you are one of us, you are invited for the canibal feast. Bring the wine.

Allein Wed Jan 12 17:42:18 PST 2000

Rachel - It didn't snow too much. By tomorrow it'll probably all be gone. Seabeck (a town close to us) got around 3 inches - I totally wish that was us. Supposedly there's a big storm front coming in so school might be cancelled tomorrow. If school is cancelled, sophomores and juniors have to make it up but seniors don't 'cause we're special. No, it's just that graduation is already set and they can't move the day (unless we miss over a week, which at this point seems unlikely). Actually, my german club teacher brought back the pictures from our party and in one I do look like a deranged psycho. I look evil. The flash made my eyes red and it just looks really evil. Heh, heh, heh... Actually, it was October when you came, 'cause I remember it was Columbus day weekend. Gee, last century - we need to get together soon. :)
I'm doing well - busy studying for finals. Anyway, tell me how you are? How much dust has my Christmas card collected? Just kidding. ((((BIG HUGS))))
Take care.

Rachel Wed Jan 12 16:49:09 PST 2000

Hi all

Heather - Allein is not a deranged psycho (smiles and laughter). No, she is a complete nut bar!!!!! I am just kidding. She is a 400lb man in a pink spandex outfit. naw, she is, she is. She's a very nice young woman. I can say this for certain because I had the opportunity to meet her in person last November. Ah, and yes, she is blond, but not nearly as spinny as she might like you to believe.

Allein - How the heck are yah? We also have had a dump of snow here. The kiddies love the stuff, I think it is very pretty. My yard looks like a wonderland.

Jon - Thanks for the compliments on my story. You are a very sweet cat.

Take care all

Allein Wed Jan 12 16:22:05 PST 2000

Oh yeah, important announcement - IT SNOWED HERE TODAY!! IT ACTUALLY SNOWED!! Everyone jump up and clap your hands - do the funky sqrlmunk dance!
Anyway, after that bout of weirdness, we can all use another right? Here's some interesting trivia:
+--------------------- Bizarre Trivia ---------------------+

Over 2500 left handed people a year are killed from using
products made for right handed people.

Taphephobia is the fear of being buried alive.

Clinophobia is the fear of beds.

The sloth (a mammal) moves so slowly that green algae can
grow undisturbed on it's fur.

The electric chair was invented by a dentist. [Figures.]

Astronauts cannot cry. In space, there is no gravity, so
the tears can't flow.

A company in Taiwan makes dinnerware out of wheat, so you
can eat your plate.

In Tokyo, they sell toupees for dogs.

Allein Wed Jan 12 16:05:20 PST 2000

Heather - I got your e-mail and will reply to it.

Jon - Isn't it hard to type with paws? Or do you have one of those dealies where you just say what you want to appear on the screen?

"Remember, when people make you angry it takes 43 muscles to frown, but only 4 to lift your middle finger."

Heather Wed Jan 12 15:20:49 PST 2000

Allein! Forgot to reply to your post earlier. No, I didn't get the photo of you - and you'll have to wonder what on Earth (ha ha) I look like since I don't have a scanner yet. Planning on buying one before the spring because I have an upcoming art show to do posters for. But that's another topic altogether!!
Celtic history is very fascinating. I have runes that I like to ponder upon once in a while, but mostly I have ben interested in Egyptian lore and such (Isis, Osiris, Hathor, Ptah, Bast, etc...) since around ten years ago when I ran across my first real treasure of information on pyramids...
I have Egyptian Cartouche cards. I've also designed and written the book for my own deck of Divination cards. Would cost me $150/deck to self publish them so I've stuck that on back-burner status for a while. (Busy busy) I think I'll submit them to a company that publishes Tarot like U.S. Toys and Games in the future... don't know yet. They're not traditional Tarot though. More like runes, with 25 cards in the deck, not 78. Anyway, enough about moi.
I would be glad to proofread (critique, whatever you wish) your creative writing assignment for you. Just send it as an attachment and away we go!
(Americo is smiling right now at this message tag we're playing.)
And may all the dragons reading this please donate any unused/shed scales to me, snail mail is fine! I just can't seem to find that perfect necklace to compliment my eyes.
Green and Blue dragons first, thanks.

Heather Wed Jan 12 15:04:35 PST 2000

Americo, Americo!
Your thoughts are received with glee! Yes, I have seen the fields of heather - in pictures. Some day I would love to see them in person... sigh. And don't worry that the honour of being Scottish isn't yours - be honoured that you are
you. "If it's nay Scots it's crap!" is something only Scottish people perpetuate... not that I mind all things Scottish. I rather admire the history and country and I love the language. (esp. the local dialects, etc..) But I'm English, and a little german and italian too although I'd say I look most like my birth mother and she's mistaken for Native American by just about everybody. So what does that say? I've been Native in past lives... but not this one as far as I know. And past life recall could be lucid dreaming or certainly wishful thinking as far as I know too.

So it's short shortie day?
Here's a shortie for thee.

Among the tendrils of wind and beneath the full of a spring moon, Hannah lifted her arms to the emptiness of sky. "Wake!" she breathed, feeling the current caress her bare flesh. "Wake for me!"
In the cobalt darkness there came a stirring from stark silhouettes of underbrush. A whisper of a voice flew to her waiting ears. "I am with thee," came the voice.
Hannah held her arms aloft to embrace him, the invisible mate of night.

ta ta for now, fellow scribblers!
Fare thee well.

Jon Wed Jan 12 12:01:20 PST 2000

I have a dragon-friend. She's quite a nice dragon-friend. She's thinking of getting married, as she feels lonely in this world of men. Shee complains that no one understands her. I do. Can a cat marry a dragon? Mind you, she's a she-dragon (a dragonnette, perhaps, Howard?).

Today is short-story day. So everyone must tell a shortie here. I have already told mine. Your turn perhaps?

I forgot the epilogue. The dragonnette is called Susie. I like this name. We will live happy ever after. I also forgot the epigraph. Here it is: "Who's afraid of beautiful dragons?" (Jon, adapted)

Americo Wed Jan 12 11:52:18 PST 2000

A short post to smile at the duet between Allein and Heather and thank Heather for her kind words on SM** You will be welcome to that fabulous collection of short-stories, Heather. Think of that fabulous meal you had with that fabulous person at that fabulous castle in Normandy at the light of fabulous scented candles -- and there you are, a fabulous shortie. Do not tell us any tale (that's for children and TV fans), just make your words sing. Did you know, Heather, that the hills of Scotland become lovely in August when heather covers them in purple and white? Not that I am Scotish. I have not that honour. I am Portuguese.

Laura, I've read your latest text for SM**. That Lord Trenton seems a very promising character. I don't understand the role and place of that dragon, but you'll certainly explain that to us. I do believe in dragons, but they are a bit out of fashion, aren't they. Please defend your point and kill me for saying they are out of fashion. And mainly do not tell any dragon that I consider them a little bit out of fashion. I hate arguinig with real dragons, especially the red and blue ones. I like those who vomit fire, though.

Heather Tue Jan 11 23:00:24 PST 2000

Too late Allein! I sent my chapter 1! But that's quite alright if you don't get to it until February. I might be a while until I get back to where I left off in chap 2 or 3 of your book. The file I got had no spaces between paragraphs or chapters so I can't remember offhand if I passed into chapter 3 yet. I'm enjoying it so far!
And yes, the critique is gentle - minor suggestions that if you take them into consideration may work out as less effort for you in the writing process. (That's always a boon, isn't it?)

And to all who may have some time and are interested in critiquing my chapter 1 and or 2, feel free to post a note and I can send it along to you as well. The more the merrier to quote somebody or other.
And if you critique, remember to be gentle!!!
What was that quote again....Allein - laughed at the quotes you posted (and the other ones further down the notebook too - can't remember who wrote them )
oh yes, I've got a few to add... enjoy all!

Always remember that you are unique... just like everyone else.

A man who lives in a glass house should change his clothes in the basement.

Be careful with your thoughts: They may become words at any moment.

Consciousness: That annoying time between naps.

Do for others with no desire of a returned favor. We should all plant trees we'll never sit under.

Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

Cole's Law: One head of cabbage
sliced thinly
and one chopped carrot

Hoffer's Law: When people are free to do what they want they usually imitate one another.

It's Ok to let your mind go blank, but please turn off the sound!

People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars... and they pass by themselves without wondering. (St. Augustine)

Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance. (Carl Sandburg)

Remember that failure is an event - not a person.

Remember: Worth and value are not wrapped up in what you do. You are not a human doing, you are a human being!

Show me a man with both feet planted firmly on the ground, and I'll show you a man who can't put on his pants.

The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. (Albert Einstein)

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of dreams. (Eleanor Roosevelt)

The nice thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from.

The word 'listen' contains the same letters as the word 'silent'.

Wherever you are - be all there.
(Jim Elliot)

Ok I'm sure that's enough silly (and serious) quotes to last you all for a while... if you didn't fall asleep half way through!
Parades across the page and off to write I go.

Allein Tue Jan 11 21:59:01 PST 2000

Heather - oh yeah, I think you mentioned being from Canada. *sheepish grin* Yes, I am blonde. If you want to send the nice gentle critique, I'll accept it. I'd be happy to read your story but not until the start of February, because the end of this month is Final Exams and I won't have enough time to really sit down and read it until then.
I'm from Washington, but in ancestory, I'm mostly Irish - celtic. I have two friends at school who are also Celtic and we get along great. We're all into the Celtic magic and dragons type stuff.
I'm currently working on a short story as a final creative writing project. If you'd like to take a look at it to critique it (when I get it typed up - probably this weekend) that'd be super. If anyone would like to help me with this, please speak up and I'll e-mail it to you.
Anyway, I must go and get my beauty sleep - not that I'm much of a beauty to begin with. Did you get my picture? I was all dolled up for that one, usually I look like crap.
Anyway, take care,

"Don't go out after dark, that's when all the weirdos turn crazy."

"If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving is not for you."

Heather Tue Jan 11 21:44:43 PST 2000

Hi Rhoda! Sorry, I had to check back to the notebook page to find your name so I could say hello.
Will be glad to play message tag with all of you at this site!

Post again soon

Heather Tue Jan 11 21:41:20 PST 2000

Hi Fellow scribblers and dreamers...thanks for the thoughtful welcome!
Looking forward to a one year celebration party - heh heh
Americo - liked the Strawberry and a moon idea, and the short stories so far on the workbook are pretty FAB-U-LOUS!
Enjoyed the read. Also, thought up a nice addition and will add it when I get a chance...should be soon
(-er than later)!
Allein, I got your attachment just fine (easy to do right?)
Read the first 2-3 chapters. If you want critique (the nice, gentle kind!) let me know and I'll email you.
Also, if you've got an hour or so to read, would you be interested in taking a peek at my cliffhanger of a chapter 1?
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have few resource people with which to share my writing and would like some willing readers (helps if they are the writing breed too - gives me a calibre reading as well!)
Anyhow, my mug is empty and I am eager to refill.
Ta ta for now..
Oh, to reply to the Q: No, I'm not exactly from England. I am English though - in the blood. My father was born there. My grandparents (still sashaying it up I might add) are VERY English and so I pick up the lingo sometimes. I'm Canadian. (Note: I gladly omit 'eh!' from my vocabulary.)

I might just send you chapter 1 of 'Haven' while I'm online - and you can email any comments, etc.. to me Allein!
Write on...

Allein Tue Jan 11 16:15:22 PST 2000

Heather - I sent you the file. It's name is redonestoriesII (I originally had a different version of the story so I named it that). I sent it through AOL, so if you get an e-mail from, that's me and not some deranged psycho (I know Rachel may have a difference of opinion...). *grins*
PS: Are you from England? Just wondering 'cause "cherrio" is an English expression or an American cereal. :)

Rhoda Tue Jan 11 11:52:13 PST 2000


Great to see you back. I am glad you had a good vacation. I'm sorry work is already getting you down. Just consider how much you will appreciate the next vacation.


Hard to believe you have been here for only a year. In some respects it seems like yesterday that you first posted. In other respects due to your great activity and your participation it seems as if you have been here forever. Anyway, happy first aniversary.


Sounds like a wonderful seminar. Writing classes in the south of France is a beautiful dream when one is bound up in grey winter. If only I had the money and the time.


I have read your posts with interest. It is great to have you on board.


Hope you are still going strong with your novel.

Happy Writing!

Heather Tue Jan 11 07:55:01 PST 2000

Cheerio, all:

Allein! Here's how to do an attachment (it's really easy don't worry)
Click on my email address at the top of this message,
then look on the window that pops up. Below the address line should be a symbol for a paper clip (to the left).
Click on the paper clip and another window pops up.
It will be a file window, all you do is type what file you want to send me. Make sure you type the name exactly...
(You can also type a message in the regular spot and it will arrive to me just the same, then a line will appear below your message and then your attachment will be on the bottom of that.) When you've chosen the file just click send and it'll go as a normal email.
You can try it with any file. If you want to check that it got sent, just go to your sent file in the mail program, and a copy of what you sent will be there. It will have the attachment too.

Good luck and hope to find the results in my email soon!

Hmmmm.... sounds delicious (these storied I've got a whiff off...) I shall follow my nose and find them! Yes, I think I need some nourishment - for the mind. Don't we all?
Keeps me humming. Trouble is my mind gets whirring and it won't stop even when my body says 'Hey! Enough! Get some rest!' Sometimes great inspiration comes in the wee hours when I'm supposed to be dreaming. (Or is it in dreams?)
take care everyone,
keep cradling those beloved words in the willow boughs of books.

nicola Russell Tue Jan 11 03:44:34 PST 2000

Creatively and commercially, crime and thriller novels are at the cutting edge of modern fiction. They may be easy to read, but how easy are they to write?

21 - 27 May 2000

CRIME BUT NO PUNISHMENT is a week-long residential writers’ workshop which takes place in May in the South of France, led by the well known writer broadcaster Sarah Dunant, and her partner in crime, Gillian Slovo.
Sarah Dunant, aside from her fame as one of Britain’s liveliest and sharpest arts broadcasters, is also one of the country’s foremost crime writers. She won the 1997 Silver Dagger for Crime Fiction Award for Fatlands and her two most recent novels, Transgressions and Mapping the Edge, are currently being turned into feature films. She directs the course with Gillian Slovo the eminent South African crime writer whose recent family memoir Every Secret Thing was widely acclaimed in 1997. Her latest novel, Smitsrivier is to be published by Virago/Little Brown this year. Both writers have taught extensively both in the UK (including the Arvon Foundation) and in Europe.

The five day writing course puts the emphasis on good writing and the art of telling a thrilling story. Mornings are spent on story construction, character development and dialogue, with afternoons devoted to writing, with plenty of time for individual tuition. The course is open to students of all ages and stages and a maximum of sixteen students will be accepted.
It takes place at La Maison Verte, a newly established residential arts centre in the Languedoc Region of the South of France. Owned and run by Nicola Russell and wood sculptor Teddy Hutton, La Maison Verte welcomes groups people wishing to extend the creative and cultural aspects of their lives whether through writing, painting, singing or simply relaxing in the warmth of the Mediterranean sunshine.
The 19th Century Mansion can sleep up to twenty people and has the feel of an eccentric English country house, crammed with paintings and curios and Hutton’s sculptures. It is surrounded by its own wine making barns, which have been converted into studios, workshops, exhibition spaces, and extra private ‘gites’ for independent smaller groups. They surround a vast private courtyard and two acre garden,
with a big pool fringed by fig, oleander and mimosa trees and twelve painted flamingoes.
Cost of Course and Registration Deadlines:
Full board, lodging and tuition fees £330 per person shared room, and £350 per person for a single room. Non participating partners: £250.
Further information: Nicola Russell at La Maison Verte.
Tel: (0033 4) 67 24 88 52 Fax (0033 4) 67 24 69 98
e mail: web site:

Jai Mon Jan 10 22:28:05 PST 2000

Hello gang,

Well I'm back from holidays and feeling much refreshed. Now life goes on...

I can already feel myself slipping back into my old mold, work, work and more work. The world is slowly turning grey.

Well hope you have all been well.

I really do.


laura Mon Jan 10 20:47:41 PST 2000

Hi everyone. Long time to talk to. I have five chapters of my novel finished. I need to update the Novel area. I got an A in my novel writing class. I am also typing this from my own computer for once. I finally got it working.

Teekay Mon Jan 10 18:41:13 PST 2000

RACHEL:- Great chating with you. You too JACK. I don't know what happened at the end. I got a disconnect message and it wouldn't enter after that. Hope you enjoyed your dinner.Smile.

AMERICO:- Are you in a bad mood or what!! There are certain rules that apply to writing a story. If your interested in inspiring someone to publish it that is. If you intend to publish the book yourself or are writing in your journal, or just to please yourself then you can throw the rules out the window.
I feel a bit paranoid about this. I posted a critique for Dick and he never came back. Am I one of the narrow minded reader of which you speak?
Now you see that was one of the major tests. If you let somebody elses opinion stop you from putting pen to paper, then you were never a writer to begin with.

Have a good day.

Rachel Mon Jan 10 18:39:06 PST 2000

Hi all

Teekay - It was nice to chat with you. Sorry I left so quickly. The meal wasn't that great, that I had to rush off like that (grins). My server cut me off. I hate when that happens!

Take care all

PS - Americo - Why do you get a party! I didn't get a party (sad little face).

Mon Jan 10 17:01:12 PST 2000

wow this is posting really quickly. If any body is there, lets meet in the chat room okay?okay! good.

Teekay Mon Jan 10 16:59:36 PST 2000

Hi All,

AMERICO:- Yes they do mean the same thing. I was just checking to say if you were listening.

Jon Mon Jan 10 16:46:20 PST 2000

Just to try to refresh this 150K page so that I can read and admire A*s previous post.

Ah, what was it?

Yes: there are two stories (at least) that fulfill our head editor's lust (I wonder if this is the word, perhaps urge is better -- must consult my own CatsDictionary). The two stories are: Jerry Ericsson's "Dinner with Father" and Rachel's "Strawberries and Dreams". After he reduces them to minced meat, shakes them, puts them in his mouth, and cooks them in his infernal oven of course. On second thoughts, I wonder if he could do that to such masterpieces. He would probably just move a comma or two. He almost cried when he read those stories.

Americo Mon Jan 10 16:33:48 PST 2000

Okay, Allein, Jon sends his blessing to you.

Now for short-stories and novels. The best is to tell you what I would like to read in your collaborations for "Strawberries and a Moon".
1: a piece which would not remind me of any other piece I have read;
2: written in a way which would not remind me of any other writer (except perhaps his author);
3: which would not try to tell a little story but would try to sing a song;
4: which would make me shout: - A writer, a writer at last!
5: which would not have errors of any sort (of the kind that can be corrected by one of those stupid grammar&spelling correctors you have in your wordprocessors) and however would constitute the most obvious error to the genre for narrow-minded readers supposing they know what a short-story is because some stupid teacher told them in a creative writing course in Denver in 1957 that short- stories must be etc etc. I always feel like killing people who try to teach a writer what literature is.

So I'd better stop before I get hurt by my other (better) self.

Allein Mon Jan 10 16:19:01 PST 2000

Heather - I will send the first two chapters ASAP, but I don't know how to do an attachment file (I'm computer illiterate) so I'll just send it with text.

Americo - I'm sorry. I did recieve that copy of shadows and put it into my word file. School finals are in two weeks, however so I will be very busy up until then. After finals though, I have a 3-day weekend in which I will read what I haven't already read (I've read maybe 60 pp. before I was kicked off the computer). So far, everything seems good. :)

Americo Mon Jan 10 11:21:00 PST 2000

Good day, everyone.

Allein, I sent you a copy of S* some days ago. Please acknowledge its reception.

Teekay, isn't it the same thing? Anyway, I write fiction (not sci-fiction, just fiction, i.e., novels and short-stories), and also literary essay.

In some days, it will be a year since I discovered this place. You'd better start organizing a party.

heather Sun Jan 9 21:40:46 PST 2000

Jerry - glad to hear you could get your valuables back!
And with you being pretty expert on computers it's kinda nice to know it's not just us amateurs. Although crashing isn't kinda nice at all...
I will check out your site soon - but off I go first to attack and hopefully finish ol'chapter 2 before it stinks up the place. (can you refridgerate good ideas? Do they last longer in the crisper?)
You never know - that novel idea may spring well for you in a series of short stories if you can't stick to the longitude of novel writing. Myself - I'd say my short story writing is exculsive to emails and posts!
Maybe I'll give it a try after ... well, after two books. I've got the idea for another novel and have to finish this one first. By then who knows.
Ta ta for now
Happy paper trails everyone

Heather Sun Jan 9 21:32:10 PST 2000

Hi y'all and good tidings to you!

Hi Allien, you can email w/ attachment of chaps to the above email on this post. It's my home email. wcm = my husband's initials if you wondered. I'm also on icq as waterspider (my husband's nickname which i use mostly - or hexagon but i don't log on as that very often) Another note - I live in Canada (Ontario) if you are trying to narrow down nicknames in icq search. Don't think there'll be many waterspiders out there.

Rachel: Sounds like you've had a rough go with computers too - and yet both of us have forged onward and not let it deter us from the greater thing - writing! This is an excellent sign. Hope you are faring well with present computer soft and hardware. Mine is bug free thankfully - after my bro fished all he could find of my novel we erased everything and had a naked harddrive to start from scratch with. Now I back up my backup backup backups (4 disks) plus I have it in desktop files and others, and I have a plethora of printed copies. I usually print another fresh copy of what I'm working on when I add another 2-3 pages. Sometimes less, but paranoia may serve me well if (god forbid) this stack should ever fall victim again to the steely mandibles of a computer virus.
Do you go crazy with backups too,now? Does everyone???
Glad to hear you won't let just anyone fiddle with your computer. And sometimes the know-it-alls are the worst. I never let friends touch this one, they've all screwed their own systems up enough.
I must remember to kiss this machine before I go to bed! Seems to keep it humming. (well, just a bit of superstition perhaps).
Keep plugging!
I guess I should be too... I go to do a little bit more on chapter 2 (does it seem endless or is it me? chapter 3 would be nice around now).
hope all are faring well and may your muses sing sweetly and bring most delicious ideas evermore.

Never mind if my grammar or mechanics fail me at this hour! I edit my writing but rarely my posts.. sorry if this bugs anyone.

Jerry Ericsson Sun Jan 9 21:26:25 PST 2000

Heather, I know that feeling, lost my computer a few days ago to, and I am the "computer guy" here in town. Sometimes things just go wrong with these infernal machinenes, but then it seems it happens to almost all machines from time to time. Luckily I am just writing short stories at this time, and most of them I have had backed up on disk and paper so my losses were just in the software department. Found what I lost on the web, so I am in good shape again.

Jack - see there you go, short stories are much easier to back up, I have had an idea for a novel kicking around in my head since college, but I have never got it down on paper. Started it a couple of times, but never liked the starts and tossed them. I have much better luck with short stories, seems like I can't make the commitment to a novel, whereas I can knock out a short storey in a short time. Guess it's a matter of personal taste.

Good night all.

PS - clicked on the link and read some of the rambelings of "The Old Fart" - loved them.


Rachel Sun Jan 9 20:21:38 PST 2000

Hi all

Heather - You said you were 28? I'm 31. Yup, the old kid on the block (grins). You are lucky you have a brother who can find stuff for you on your computer.

I lost a ton of stuff, due to friendly help (grim little smile). Yup, last time I let that fellow help me with my computer (grin). Truth be told each time I have had a friend "help" me I have had a pretty nasty crash. Now I have learned my lessons.

Still, glad your brother was able to help.

Take care you


Heather Myles Sun Jan 9 19:19:59 PST 2000

Hello Allein, Teekay, Rachel and all!
Teekay: yes, imagine what exactly makes a grown woman cry.
Yes, losing three month's work - not to mention 30,000 words or more. Lucky for me my brother is a computer scientist with his masters in it - so I called him (Emergency!!!)
and he was able to fish through my hard drive and get bits and pieces. It was up to me, however, to swim through the millions of half-sentences and paragraph fragments for those to-die-for lines that I couldn't bear to lose. Still sifting through some, but guess what?
It turned out to be a blessing in diguise. I started fresh, just knowing my characters. I began the first chapter in a different spot --more action-- a bigger bang. And every sentence seems now much wiser, better said. Instead of just retyping much of what was lost, I reinvented it. So now the story comes out peachier (not to over-use 'fresh') and suddenly I knew where the story had lacked before. I'd never been satisfied with the opener, but now blam! It's much more grabbing. I still go back and print out the chopped tidbits and use them to rewrite certain things I am not changing in the rewrite, but mostly the characters are taking me on this journey so thank the stars it's a good one.

My story is grounded around an abusive relationship, its effects on friends, family and so on. BUT it's not written all from the 'victim's' viewpoint, nor is she necessarily the protagonist. Another character - her friend, is just learning about certain psychic intuitions she's been having - are turning out to be true - so she tries to warn her, but....THere are also some very strange twists and turns along the way - and some very interesting characters. Can't give you the pitch as that is on the drawing board still... wait until it's in print (I know - thinking positively here)!
Anyway, I'm sure there are many people posting here who have full-bodied careers in writing and don't need to listen to one hopeful's wishing... so I'll end soon and get to the real writing!
Allein - went to your webpage and would be interested in reading some chapters- however, I am up to my ears in work so I may not be able to get to reading it right away. I can send you chapter one of my novel if you like, and we could critique each other's work. Sounds like a good opportunity? I don't have too many people to proofread or critique. Here's what my husband said - (yes, seems callous but he's not)
"I'll read it when it's finished..."
Which is his way of helping me get to it. Of course i was upset at first, but after I thought about it i knew why he said that. Believe me, he won't read it until it's done.

Rachel: Thanks for the welcome! Will be nice to chat with all of you at this site!

Good evening to all and happy scribbling/typing
may your wit and wisdom bless each page.

Rachel Sun Jan 9 17:46:13 PST 2000

Hi all

Hayden - Nice to see yah, you lurker you!

Aline - I'm not sure when I'll be able to get together next. My time seems to be vanishing again. I am having to steal time from myself left and right just to keep things moving along.

HEATHER - (I wrote in caps to be sure I had your attention -smiles) Welcome:) Hope yah have a blast.

Take care all


Hayden Sun Jan 9 02:58:39 PST 2000

Hi all
The new year has taken us all into the 21st century and we're now up to tricks that are now centuries old. hehehe

For me the last eighteen months have been horrendously busy, and to some extent have also been successful. Currently I am in the last throes of a novel (my sixth) with two weeks off to finish it and only 30K words to finish.

Over here we have been setting up a local Speculative Fiction group that gathers together a range of people, from writers to games designers and illustrators. Most interesting. Soon we will have a website up which I will send a link through for you all to have a look at. Nothing like the ghost of an old chatter to get the willies going.

In the meantime, I've included a link to the column I write. It's not as farcial as I would like, but there are restrictions on what you can write here and get away with.

All hail to Jack for his successful site, and to you all lots of broom broom...or should that be vroom vroom.


Allein Sat Jan 8 22:31:59 PST 2000

Heather - I'd love to have a night in to write, but my parents have limited my time to one hour a day on school days and two hours on weekends (excluding time used for school work), so I can't really write too much anyway. But, I plan on doing some during the summer. However, the parental units told me that this summer I have to get a job and then either keep it or start school in the fall in order to live at home - I'm not going to be a couch potato. Actually, I have my afternoons off and since we have free membership at a health club, I'm going to start working out there and trying to lose some pounds (I'm not fat, but I'm not exactly skinny either). I hate losing my work to the computer. I remember once working for a long time - writing one and a half chapters to my story and then my computer decided to be retarded and not save my work.
Anyway, take care,

Sat Jan 8 19:30:56 PST 2000

I'll be lurking in the chat room for a bit, if any body is out there.

Teekay Sat Jan 8 19:25:30 PST 2000

Hi All.
HEATHER:- Welcome. I can't even begin to imagine what it was like for you to find the computer had eaten your work. Once I was writing out something to post in the notebook and as I was posting it it disappeared! That almost made me cry, vomit and choke simultaneously, so if I lost something to the extent you did I think I'd probably die, as ALL my organs would probably malfunction.

RANDALL:- They may have been scared stiff, or perhaps they didn't want to wave and over balance the car, or maybe they were all too scared to take their eyes off the road. Maybe they had a body in the boot and didn't want to attract attention. Could've been a car load of mannikins on their way to Grace Brothers. They may have been all deaf and blind except for the driver who was concentrating on where he was going. Of course they could have been just really shy or really rude. Enough said, I'm only mucking around ;)

T.O.M.:- Like a cloak of many colours hewn,
each word more precious than gold,
the brilliance of your paragraph dazzled me,
as it's meaning did unfold.

Catch yas later Alligators.

Rachel Sat Jan 8 17:48:48 PST 2000

Americo - Sounds like a plan

Take care you


Allein Sat Jan 8 17:34:27 PST 2000

Heather - Wow. I did not know that. And I liked 'The Outsiders' when I read it. We had to for an assignment in the 8th grade and I thought I'd hate it but it was really very good. I've been working on my novel since about that time and it and it's characters have gone through some changes. If you want to check out what it's all about, there's info on my webpage - listed above. However, there isn't a detailed copy of it on my webpage so if you'd like to read it, e-mail me and I'll send it to you a few chapters at a time. :)
Take care, *smiles*

Heather Sat Jan 8 16:53:04 PST 2000

Hello Allein and everybody!
Nice to get a welcome - thank you!
Allein - keep writing - doesn't matter your age...
Did you know the author of The Outsiders was only 17 when she published that book? Pretty cool. I wish I'd sent off my novel at 16, but I reread it once much later and in some ways I'm glad I didn't... the dialogue is terrible, but the plot and so on isn't bad at all...
Maybe someday I'll dredge it up again and rewrite it. Would probably fit in the SF genre. (Not my present one, mind you)
For now, I am hip wading in the close-to-middle arena of this novel (my first REAL novel - to be sent to the publishers) and just started a part time job to help with the expenses (which will tear me away from writing or at least tire me out ahead of my writing time slot) and I've got two small children too. (oh! and a new house so there's remodelling and stuff still to do...) My husband does a lot of the renovation stuff but I usually get to do the finishing (painting etc) after he's done!
So as you can tell, I'm a pretty busy person. You sound busy too, between school and going out. Lucky you have the summer to catch up if you get behind in your writing because of school work. Would I love a night out if I weren't so tired! Half the time I end up writing until 3 am, losing track of the time because I'm so into the work. Then I get up and do it all over again at 7:00 am. By the weekend I'm pooped but there's saturday morning dance lessons to drive my daughter to, then I usually work saturday afternoons. Sunday I usually sleep in late to make up for lack of it all week! If my husband's tired, we take turns sleeping.
Can't wait until my two year old is in school; then i can stop writing all night and get some work done in the daytime - that is if I don't get a full time 'regular' job then.
I want more than anything for writing to be my full time job!!! And I'm going to write until it happens!!!!
I promised myself I'd get this novel done this year. I started it last year (serious writing) around July, but as I explained in an earlier post, my computer took a dive and swallowed three months' work with it. So I've begun again, the Pheonix rising. And I'll be ****** if I don't finish it this time!
talk to you later--
thanks for listening while I grumble!
P.S. I forgot to say I'm 28.

Randall Sat Jan 8 12:34:16 PST 2000

Good afternoon all:

WOW!! hats off to you. In only a few words you outdid a Texan in description! Way to go lady. If we get a little extra rain up here (and I wouldn't hold by breath by the way) I'll send you Aussies some.

Rhonda, as always your gentle personality comes through in the words you write. You're obviously a fantistic person and I hope your family knows it! I like the way you write girl!!!

I am amazed at different folks in different locations, relative to how they react to others. And after 50 something years on the planet I've seen a wide variety of humans. We lived in Utah for over a year and the ones I met were not friendly, same thing as Farmington probably.

A quick story then I'm outta here.

I enjoyed banging around the back woods of the Wasatch Mountains in my 4-wheel drive Chevy when we lived in Utah. One afternoon my daughter and I met another vehicle on a very, that is VERY, narrow mountain road. Steep mountain on one side, heart stopping abyss on the other. Spooky, like looking into an open grave! I stopped, after moving to the abyss side on the right, :-) (We drive on the correct side of the road up here Teekay) :-) to let the other vehicle pass. There were three men inside and not one waved, looked at me, or anything as we passed. I had leaned out the window, prepared to chew the fat a little when they stopped...but no luck. Our side mirrors softly clicked as they passed, without so much a glimpse from them. Now, if Texans or folks from the southwest met under these circumstances we would have yarned away the afternoon.

There are friendly people everywhere, don't get me wrong, but there is an attitude of good humor and companionship in this region unlike any other. If you meet this Texan on a winding byway of Texas you're going to get a wave. If you breakdown, I will stop to help. If you have a flat, I'll help change it. If you need to use a cell phone, mine is available. If you get stuck, I'll pull you out. It's part of the Code of the West to help other folks. Period! Perhaps not on the interstate, but you know what I mean.

Bye and forever young at heart,

Allein Sat Jan 8 10:48:09 PST 2000

Heather - Hi. *smiles* I'm Allein. It's nice to see another new face here. I always like making new friends. I'm in the midst of writing my own novel (between school and my social life). I enjoy writing. It gives me a chance to express myself. Anyway, I've never had anything published - too bad. But, I'm only 17 so I have a lifetime. I hope you stick around. :) I'm a very smiley upbeat kinda person, if you can't tell. So's Rachel. She's nice. :)
Take care,

Heather Fri Jan 7 23:57:11 PST 2000

Greetings again
Never been to Texas. I'm a snow person. (think I'm nuts already?)

About the short stories vs. novel discussion, I'd have to say that the precision involved in paring down for space in a short story means that I'm not of that breed. Novels it is. I admire many of the ss' that I've read, with Bradbury the header of the list. But of the very recent ss in magazines, I felt they were lacking some savoury grit, as well as lacking in that very precision that is supposed to differentiate them from a novella,(besides the obvious word count). Perhaps I'm not picking up the right ones. Or perhaps the short story has gotten diluted? Maybe I'm reading ill-chosen mass market...?
Steer me toward a few notables and you might change my mind.

ciao, and a good night to all.(or day, depending on time zone)

Jerry Ericsson Fri Jan 7 21:40:34 PST 2000

Ah, Texas, God I loved that state back in the 70's when the Army thoughtfully stationed me there. We lived in El Paso for five lovely years, in fact my daughter was born in Texas. Over the years, we moved around the US., we always talked of moving back to Texas, but it seems they were only pipe dreams. When I left the service we came home to the Dakota's and have lived there ever since. But you know from time to time, when all is quiet in the house, conversation turns to Texas, and we both smile at all the great times we experienced down there.

Rhoda Fri Jan 7 21:05:15 PST 2000

The only modern short stories I have read lately have been the ones posted on the Workbook. I rarely read them in magazines. I did read several classical ones when I was in college. Once in a while I still read an O'Henry story from an anthology my mother had given me. Having read short stories from Tolstoy, Hawthorne, Melville, Poe and several others whose names I have forgotten, I have come to the conclusion that the purpose of the short story is altogether different from that of the novel.

As The Old Man mentioned the short story dispenses with the normal character development and subplots found in the novel. I consider a short story like a laser which zero's in on one certain point or moral. A traditional short story makes some very specific point in very few words. All detail and facts given in a short story have to in someway reinforce the point of the story. Words in a short story have to be more carefully chosen. Because of that, short stories are a far more disciplined form of writing than novels.

I personally don't have the right kind of mind to write a short story. I start short stories and have them turn into novels. Furthermore, I don't seem to have the precision required. I much prefer writing novels.


Heather Myles Fri Jan 7 20:53:10 PST 2000

Hello fellow page fillers,
Just joined this fine site ---
What? Nothing witty seems to fly from my lax digits this hour. Perhaps it's not late enough.
A bit about me? Well, alright, but just a tidbit.
I'm on the new side. Wrote a novel at 16 but never showed it to anyone. (Shhh, it's still in the closet)
Now I'm a tad more experienced but still languidly sloshing about in mid chapter... but simultaneously stuggling to wade into 'middle of the book' waters.
Got into the 30,000 word range on my novel and a virus ate most of my work. Yes, I saved it to disk - but unfortunately what was on the disk was gibberish too.
So, back to the fresh blank, the unspoiled 20 lb. lovely white, the pristine page with which to hoist my wrists above the keys and spatter with misspellings!
My computer is healthy, and I am a little wiser. Now I've got myself a new printer; the last had smoked it's last cannon of ink. And now I've paper and ink copies (real and tangible and in my hungry fist!)to savour; and disks filled to the brim with which to wipe my fetid brow in relief.
No manuscript of mine will ever again be virus fodder.
I have faced the gargantuan task of reinventing the beginning; which has come off the press so to speak in a much improved condition. But now on this arid journey, I find that it is all uphill - perhaps I will feel it smooth out beneath me as I pull myself together and forge onward?
I must not be stuck! I refuse to believe it.
Thanks for reading so far...
Glad to join such a crew.
Advice? Comments - welcome. I'm sure you have all passed this prickly strait and come out victoriously unscathed.

The Old Man Fri Jan 7 19:31:51 PST 2000

Greetings and felicitations,

Lo, the hurried pace of a rapturous night in the throws of passionate abandon!
Ink flows from the quill with small regard for subplot and character development!
Thoughts spill forth in heated language and furious twists of imagined fates as the tale quickly grows in dynamic shapes eager to enthrall the reader.
It is a tryst with little regard for explanation and speculation. The conception is still warm in the frontal lobes as the hand paints the picture of words that will draw all who will see into a frantic realization of the writer’s mind.
Such is the nature of the Short Story.

In flowing, languid motion, the pen deposits its burden onto the page with the sure touch of an experienced lover.
Long have these two known each other and long will they wrestle into the short hours of night as their expression of truth brings us to deeper understanding and compassion.
The total placement of characters and locations are exposed in the countless meetings of these partners.
Pathos and comedy are subtle textures to be caressed before the end.
The gentle curve of storyline is practiced and familiar as side-stories are initiated and followed, only to merge in surprise as the crescendo comes to view.
The last vestige of their meeting tells us of all things wondered in long hours of study and we learn more deeply than we may have had the time been shorter.
Such is the nature of the Novel.

Such is the way these old eyes see the differences in space and time allowed a tale. The shorter is quick and fresh, the longer wields the reader’s emotions like a broadsword, taking it up and slashing it down with a will intended to captivate.
Whatever your preference, the passion is the same. Either a frenzied affair or a substantial commitment is correct for which ever meaning will be passed along.

Fare thee well, dear friends!

Teekay Fri Jan 7 19:09:07 PST 2000

AMERICO:- Now how did I know that you were going to be evasive. I actually asked you what you had written not what you wrote about. Language is everything.

Wow I have just discovered where this ` sign comes from. Fantastic!

To you all.

HOWARD & RANDALL:- You guys don't know the meaning of space till you come to Australia. Why here you can drive for 6 weeks before you see another human being and dry! By gum here it's sooooo dry the only lakes we have to swim in are salt lakes and we have to wash ourselves with sand.
And our idea of a spa is to stand outside when there's a real big wind blowing. And rain!!! Well the only rain we have here is the type you use on a horsey.
Hee hee ( as Jack D. would say.)

One other thing. I prefer to read a novel than a short story, but I prefer to write a short story than a novel.

ciao, arividerci, sienara, Guten tag, grosbum, azotec, bye, au revoir, bestak, lentils, seeya.

Howard Fri Jan 7 18:51:50 PST 2000

Hello --
Randall, I know just what you mean about driving out of Texas! We drove in at the TX-OK border, and took I40 (and parts of old route 66 out through Vega, and into NM. Lots of time (and room) to change yer mind there!.

Unbelievable story time:
I was stationed in Karlesruhe, West Germany in 1964-1966, and while I was there I bought a new VW. I had lots of time to myself, so I travelled around quite a bit. One afternoon I stopped on the autobahn and picked up two young couples who were hitch-hiking from West Berlin to Cannes, to attend the film festival. They were camping along the way, and had picked up a cute little hedgehog as a pet.
We had a great time travelling - had enough common language to sing and get acquainted, and I took them into Austria, where they bought me supper, kissed me goodbye (all four of them), we took some pictures, and I headed back to Germany while they went on their way to the festival.
Okay -- would you believe that my wife and I were sitting in the restaurant at the motel in Vega, Texas, when I overheard two couples near the window speaking German, and having a good old time. I introduced myself to one of the guys at the buffet, and we got to chatting. Turns out that they had flown two loaded BMW motorcycles in to Chicago from Frankfurt, and the four of them were doing the round trip on Rt 66 from Chicago to LA and back!
A week later we ran into the same foursome at one of the overlooks at the Grand Canyon, several hundred miles to the west! Small world! :-)

Rhoda Fri Jan 7 18:42:12 PST 2000

Randell and Howard,

I have mixed feelings about Texas. For some reason, I have lived much of my adult life here. It was never intentional; this is just where my husband has worked. I have lived my youth in Indiana and have spent a few years in Louisiana, Kentucky, and New Mexico. In all my travels, the friendliest people I have ever met resided in Texas. I found Farmington, New Mexico friendly also, but with all the Californians and easterners moving into the community, that was quickly changing.

The best thing about Texans and many people in the southwest is that they accept you for who you are regardless of your income and place of origen. No one has ever put me down because I don't drawl or talk with an accent, though I have seen people make fun of the way Texans speak. People here tend to take your word for things. They mind their own business. When you take items back to a store and you don't have a receipt, store clerks believe you when you say you bought the item in their store. In Indiana storekeepers always assumed the worst and refused to accept your returns without a receipt. Here in Texas people make eye-contact, wave and even smile at people they don't know.

I don't think you can make judgments about this state by having visited once or twice or having watched DALLAS on television. I think the stereotypes of Texans are deplorable; if fact, all stereotypes are bad. Remember also that Texas is a big state inhabited by many groups of people. The east tends to be Southern in character while western Texas tends to be western. Up here in the Panhandle, many people are decended from Kansas and Oklahoma settlers. There is no such thing as a typical "Texas" culture.

I would love nothing better to live in another part of the country. Quite frankly I am tired of living so far away from my relatives in the mid-west. I would like to live in a place where towns are not 40 miles apart and where there are woods full of maple and sycamore trees. I miss the rolling hills of the Ohio River Valley. I miss humidity and more frequent downpours of rain. But I could still think of several worse places to live than Texas.

Happy writing,


Randall Fri Jan 7 18:04:06 PST 2000

OOPS! Mark that up to fat fingers!!

Randall Fri Jan 7 18:02:07 PST 2000

Hi gang, :-) (You too Prissy)

Friday night and it's raining in central Texas. Sorry for you guys in the northwest with all thoes web toes and fingers, but rain in Texas is a blessed event. I have friends there, well used to anyway, and they were always complaining about the rain. I told them to step into these boots for a while and things would be different. Rain for us is simply a renewal of life...literally. At last, BABY THE RAIN MUST FALL. Took a nap after work today and entered the sweetness of dreams as the rain pattered down outside my window. Simple pleasures for simple minds.

Howard: My friend, the problem with my home state is it's TOO big, TOO wealthy and TOO many overinflated egos and I agree with what you say...mostly. I can think of a lot of things to do with a Caddy, but burying it, tail up in the desert isn't one. My prefered country is Taos or Pagosa Springs...perhaps the western slope of the Rockies in Wyoming, maybe the Wasatch in Utah. Still Texas is home for now anyway. Howard, you don't know what eternity is until you drive out of Texas from deep inside. It takes us 6 to 8 hours to get into New Mexico from where we live in central Texas and that's on a good day with the pedal to the metal, set sails and a strong tailwind. A lady I knew from Germany told us one evening she could drive across Germany in the time we spent simply getting out of Texas. I've never tried this, but the distance from the panhandle to southern Texas is suppose to be nearly the same from the Ok. & Tex. border to Canada.

Uh, how about them short stories...huh? Stepped on some toes didn't I! No, not tonight my friends, let's leave it alone.

We face a real threat from a legal battle playing out in Utah. An anti-Mormon couple, the Tanners, who operate the Utah Lighthouse Ministry website have been slapped with an injunction requiring them to remove certain pages from their website, by lawyers representing the Latter Day Saints - the Mormons. These are not details on how to make atomic bombs or automatic weapons, but material the LDS finds sensitive.

Won't effect you because you live in Europe you say? It might, if someone decides the internet needs regulating. Check it out at their website or the Salt Lake Tribune site.
The Mormon Church is a very powerful, (read wealthy) religious sect. Their upcoming wrangle with the Tanners of SLC promises to be a heck of a battle and far ranging consquences for us free thinkers.

Gotta go, work tomorrow. No rest for the wicked or weary.

:-) Americo my friend, :-) if you keep on using thoes $2.00 words, I'm have to go out and buy a dictionary. See ya.

Randall Fri Jan 7 18:01:55 PST 2000

Hi gang, :-) (You too Prissy)

Friday night and it's raining in central Texas. Sorry for you guys in the northwest with all thoes web toes and fingers, but rain in Texas is a blessed event. I have friends there, well used to anyway, and they were always complaining about the rain. I told them to step into these boots for a while and things would be different. Rain for us is simply a renewal of life...literally. At last, BABY THE RAIN MUST FALL. Took a nap after work today and entered the sweetness of dreams as the rain pattered down outside my window. Simple pleasures for simple minds.

Howard: My friend, the problem with my home state is it's TOO big, TOO wealthy and TOO many overinflated egos and I agree with what you say...mostly. I can think of a lot of things to do with a Caddy, but burying it, tail up in the desert isn't one. My prefered country is Taos or Pagosa Springs...perhaps the western slope of the Rockies in Wyoming, maybe the Wasatch in Utah. Still Texas is home for now anyway. Howard, you don't know what eternity is until you drive out of Texas from deep inside. It takes us 6 to 8 hours to get into New Mexico from where we live in central Texas and that's on a good day with the pedal to the metal, set sails and a strong tailwind. A lady I knew from Germany told us one evening she could drive across Germany in the time we spent simply getting out of Texas. I've never tried this, but the distance from the panhandle to southern Texas is suppose to be nearly the same from the Ok. & Tex. border to Canada.

Uh, how about them short stories...huh? Stepped on some toes didn't I! No, not tonight my friends, let's leave it alone.

We face a real threat from a legal battle playing out in Utah. An anti-Mormon couple, the Tanners, who operate the Utah Lighthouse Ministry website have been slapped with an injunction requiring them to remove certain pages from their website, by lawyers representing the Latter Day Saints - the Mormons. These are not details on how to make atomic bombs or automatic weapons, but material the LDS finds sensitive.

Won't effect you because you live in Europe you say? It might, if someone decides the internet needs regulating. Check it out at their website or the Salt Lake Tribune site.
The Mormon Church is a very powerful, (read wealthy) religious sect. Their upcoming wrangle with the Tanners of SLC promises to be a heck of a battle and far ranging consquences for us free thinkers.

Gotta go, work tomorrow. No rest for the wicked or weary.

:-) Americo my friend, :-) if you keep on using thoes $2.00 words, I'm have to go out and buy a dictionary. See ya.

Jerry Lee Fri Jan 7 17:47:17 PST 2000

Yo all,
Eddie and Jon, I'm awful sorry if I 'ruffled' any feathers or fur, but the fact remains that it's better to cut to the quick if you're trying to get your point across. 'Nuf said.

If I seem as if I'm in a bit of a dither and unable to concentrate, it's because of all the sickness in my house...seems I haven't gotten any since the late nineties. (You all know how that tends to mess with the old mental faculties.

Take care, Jerry Lee

Pussy Fri Jan 7 16:58:07 PST 2000

Just a brief note to remember my dear fellow writers and all admirers that there are more stories in a scrambled egg than the eye can meet.
Your princess,
Pussy (you probably guessed by the style)
PS. I'm thinking of asking the divorce from Jon. I need life experience to start a literary career. With my big blue eyes I will be very successful.
Ciao, ciao.

Jon Fri Jan 7 16:51:44 PST 2000

I'm reading a treaty on Christianity by Hans Kuhn (no one can be called a Christian without reading Hans Kuhn), but I cannot resist giving my opinion on short-stories and big novels.
Hum... I'd better be as wise as Eddie French and think about this topic a little longer.
For the moment, may I recommend my CatsDictionary to my friend Jerry? It has 1,774 pages and is therefore bigger than "War and Peace". In my accomplished opinion big is beautiful. Well, it depends...

Eddie French Fri Jan 7 16:02:29 PST 2000

Thinking about those last two posts!
I have my own opinions on the merits of the short story.
(Or the shortcomings)
My feathers have been rankled!
I'll get them smoothed out shortly!
But for now,

Jerry Lee Fri Jan 7 14:54:13 PST 2000

Yo all,
I just thought I'd drop a line to let you all know whether or not I'm still kicking. Well, I am, but barely.
Happy New Year!? If I wasn't sick since New Year's Eve, my wife has been. The damnable flu is going around our house. Don't worry, though; I washed my hands before typing this.

Welcome to Viper Six! This is a unique place on the net. I have no doubt that you will enjoy it here as much as I do.

On the topic at hand, Short stories are great to write and tedious to read. Nothing like a good 590 page doorstop to relax a person. I must say, however, that deeper thoughts seem to be written in shorter formats. I have learned more useful information from three page quickies than I ever have from 300 page blockbusters.

"...feed your head." the Doormouse

Take care, Jerry Lee

Americo Fri Jan 7 11:50:36 PST 2000


You asked me what I write about. I write about life as "a casserole made of hours spiced with darkness and light" (Howard Tuckey - see SM**).

Rachel, that feeling of empy hands after finishing a book is quite natural. I'll get something for you to fill your hands, your heart and your mind as soon as I can. Just the time of putting some of my own projects on the table and be sure that I will not become too distracted of real life with the Notebook.

Randall, are you sure you are RLH? Really sure? I do not think you are. The moment you get a second name you become two persons. That's called the "heteronimic complex" and is a very complex thing really. Anyway, welcome aboard, RLH.

Jon, sorry Howard offended you by saying you do not have a soul. I think he is right. Rejoyce.

Pussy, I hate you. Hope you appreciate my sincerity.

Jack, it's 2 pm. Time for breakfast, man.

Allein, that's not funny. I'm laughing.

Teekay, there are moments which are much worse than the time you are starting a novel and the time immediately after you publish it. I'm thinking of the times when you are not writing anything.

Is there any writer you would like to be? I would like to be myself, but with more genius (if possible).

Rachel Fri Jan 7 09:36:57 PST 2000

Teekay - I think that Mr. King had it right. That is certainly how I see it.

With "Shadows" being done now, I am getting those strange feelings that come with the completion of a project. The whole happy sad thing. That sort of empty arms feeling that you get when you see your last child off to school for the first time.

I do have other writing projects to keep me busy. It isn't that I don't have anything else to write, there is always more to write (smiles).

Going back to the short stories - I also have to agree with Americo. What he wrote in his post sounds hauntingly familiar (smiles). I seem to remember something very akin to those words being written almost a year ago now. Yes, it is all about language.

Either way, short story or novel, if you write with your heart, with dedication, attention and conviction you are sure to have something beautiful when you are done.

Take care all

PS - If there are spelling mistakes in here, just try to skim over them. I didn't have time to do the cut and paste thing, but wanted to leave a little note.

Howard Thu Jan 6 19:46:03 PST 2000

Sorry, Tex -- I know things is bigger in Texas, but mile after mile of rocks, sand, and dead armadillos gets boring after a while, no matter which end of the armadillo is gettin' the sunburn.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed my drive -- got to see the Cadillac tailfeathers sticking up outta the ground and all, and those irrigation booms are awesome, but it was a loooooong trip.

Same with lots of novels I've read. Sure, you do get those grabbers like JRR's LOTR, and Lawhead's "Byzantium," (and a bunch of others) and I really enjoyed "Dune" (up to about the middle of the first book), but long for the sake of long is not my cuppa.

Give me a Zenna Henderson short story collection any time, or Ray Bradbury's "Quicker Than The Eye," or Poe, Howard, Camus, Kafka, etc etc. And Jean Giono's "The Man Who Planted Trees" is an absolute gem!

There are some who could function well in both arenas: James Schmitz' "The Witches of Karres," for example was an excellent novel, while his "Grandfather" was a great short story. Asimov was another example, with his "robot" series, then "Foundation."

But neither was done as an exercise in word count, but to tell a story. Just enough words to get the job done -- no more, no less, then get outta the way and let the story do its job on the reader, not the author's vocabulary.

No, it's the story that counts, and while I do enjoy the occasional long one, it's the short story that usually kicks the imagination into gear, and that imagination, running on after "The End," is what I'd rather evoke.

I mean, who wants to stop at the poster on the fenceline when you can ride right off into the sunset?


Teekay Thu Jan 6 19:23:39 PST 2000

Greetings All,

JON:- Do good Christians need to be concerned with be saved or should that just be a concern of the bad Christians?

AMERICO:- If this is the most interesting phase of writing a book then God help me. I'm not starting over though, if I did that then I'd never get any where. I think I've got a good plot, but that may be because I still have a little bit of household cleaner still in the blood stream. No, I like the plot although it does keep changing slightly every time I put pen to paper I just need to keep track of the core of it all and I should be alright. Gotta put some meat on the bones of it all.

Are you going to tell us what you have written. I don't think you will although I wish you would. May it happen to me that one day I shall be sitting beside strangers who are discussing the merits of my writing.

RANDALL;- I remember what Stephen King once wrote about short stories and novels, at least I remember something of it. He said,
"a short story is like a kiss, a novel is like a love affair."
end misquote.
I think that says it nicely.

Bye All.

Randall Thu Jan 6 18:21:58 PST 2000

Short Story Versus the Novel.

Interesting subject Jack. Not one I lose much sleep over though. Still, you've asked for comment, so here goes.

Wait :-) Now, before I get into this you must understand one thing ... my view of the world and life is one of basic simplicity, borderline paranoia, enhanced by a jaundiced view of humans and their nature. Have fun w/tongue firmly in cheek, but be prepared to cry. I think crying should be followed by a laugh, day by night, sunrise by sunset and/or vice versa. Everything neat and in place. (Must be that old Navy training.) Wanna know a secret gang? Americo knocked me out of my chair recently when he wrote he could see the boy in me. Right on Bro! Hit the nail on the head there my man.

So with that in mind ... my only concern, SS versus novel would be the mechanics of writing SS versus a LONG story. Logistics perhaps, emotional content...well certainaly a consideration. Keep track of time and characters, and so forth. Simple mechanics, ain't nothing to it. But folks, (a big wave of the Stetson) in Texas we say, "Never send a boy to do a man's job." If one has an interesting storyline, plot and can dream up enough characters...why not crank up the keyboard, kick the cat outside, threaten the kids with banishment and write a novel 50,000 words minimum? Just do it.

Okay, okay I hear the yelling!!! Before I am leaped upon by SS gurus...yes I know literature is filled with first rate, classical short stories. Jeez, goes without saying, calm down out there. But, how much more interesting would Poe's (example) tales be extended outward. Okay? "Quote the Raven, evermore at 8 chapters, 6 characters and 75,000 words." Content is everything and the more the better.

I pounded out an interesting short story about a dream I had years ago. Drug induced by the way. No, not that kind of drug! One given to me by a doctor. Could I make it longer? Sure no problem, a little more plot, couple more characters and zippo the magic 50,000! But would it sell Randall?

Well hon, guess what, who cares!!

I write for myself anyway, and baby, if you think I'm gonna concetrate on a storyline that only covers a few pages and 1500 words? Forget it! Short stories, hey, okay for some... But short story is not in my dictionary. I need the meat, bones and gristle a long, long, novel gives me. My ideal long novel? Without question LORD OF THE RINGS by old JRR. Start that sucker in the fall and read each night till I'm fast asleep dreaming of Hobbits and adventure.

Short stories are only a snack for the mind. Big is good? Bigger is better? (Grins) After all, I am a Texan by birthright.

Forever, a boy at heart.

(Americo....RLH & Randall are the same. See ya Pal.)

Americo Thu Jan 6 11:15:16 PST 2000


You've written a very interesting piece on the troubles of the novelist. You are probably in the most interesting phase of writing your book: when, after thinking you wrote some splendid pages, you switch on the telly, look at the news and sigh: "What crap I have produced today compared with real life." And you go to bed feeling dejected. If you are like me, you start everything again on the next day. Till your head aches every day and you feel like eating something really exotic that does not exist anywhere. A holiday is a good idea for those times. To go on holiday and forget about the novel. But taking the notebook and twenty pencils, just in case there's a sudden recovery from that terrible sensation of complete failure. This awful phase of novel writing is not very different from when one falls in love and the victim of our reverie does not pay any attention to our romantic state. That's why I consider it the most interesting phase. It's not too bad actually if compared with what comes in the end.

The worst phase of novel writing is when the book is published. If it is a failure we feel that the world is stupid, if it is a success, we feel like vomiting with the stupidity of the world who could not see that there was a misprint on page 34 and probably did not read the book with critical eyes. There is no way out. Except writing another novel. Alber Camus called this process "the myth of Sysiph", but probably the name of the Greek has just been mispelled.

This Notebook gives a great lesson to its writers: it lives a lot out of silence. Writers must learn that getting no reaction to their best pages is a painful but necessary part of their jobs. That part really sucks. I like people shouting around my books! The most glorious moment in my life was when I heard two people getting mad in a train because they did not agree on the quality of a novel I had just published. I felt like kissing the person who liked the book, but I could not tell him that I was the author. On the other hand I knew that the one who did not like the book was right. And I could not kill him because that's probably a sin.

Jon (more seriously) Thu Jan 6 10:16:39 PST 2000

Hey, hey! Do not procrastinate: Jack has asked us to discuss a very interesting topic -- shot-stories versus novels. What's a short-story? Does it require a plot? NO! A story? NO! What is indispensable in a short-story? Just language, preferably conveying feelings, emotions, life. Not very different from a novel, except that the latter tends to be a bit bigger. That said, I must admit that the subject is not so simple as that. Must read something on that.

Thought of the day: switch off wordprocessors' grammar correctors. They are absolute crap, and they can induce people to make terrible mistakes, like writing in too short sentences, avoiding preposition at the end of sentences and other things which were recomended in the 16th century to secretaries. What distinguishes a writer from an office clerh is that the writer knows where and when to make "mistakes". A text without "mistakes" tends to be a poor thing. This does not mean that you people go on mispelling words and making other silly (real) mistakes. The "mistakes" I am referring to are of a creative order.

Jon Thu Jan 6 10:05:10 PST 2000

Hey, Howard, I have a soul. It's my wife Pussy who has lost it in the laundy some time ago. But I'll buy a new one for her. Americo has no soul. He is a terrible Catholic. But he loves Jesus, who is a great friend of his. (Actually I'm becoming rather suspicious of their strange relationship).

BTW: please do not get scandalized with my views on religion and other decent matters. I rarely get scandalized with even more important subjects. I'm thinking of getting life insurance for my soul, hope it's not too expensive. In my opinion, I'll go to heaven. What do you think?

Thought of the day: can a good Christian be saved? Americo told me not, but he knows little about transcendental matters. In his opinion only good people can be saved, so perhaps some Christian girls that I know (allo, Allein!) will go to paradise with me. I like paradise very much. Hope you also don't mind paradise.

Americo Thu Jan 6 09:52:38 PST 2000

SHADOWS IN A DREAM has been archived at last. A copy has been sent to each of the magnificent four (Rachel, Allein and Jack, besides your truly). Now it's just a question of finding a publisher. The first person in this forum to get a publisher THAT WE CAN ACCEPT will get 10 % of the proceeds ($100,000 in a million bucks) and will become rich. Rich & Famous only the writers who made it till the end -- not an easy task, but a rewarding one.

The novel has been copyrighted under the pseudonym of John McIntyre.

As you see, we are not playing in the "Writer's Notebook", which, from now on, can boast a full-fledged novel to its credits.

The next project? STRAWBERRIES AND A MOON, already in full swing. Open to everyone, including those who abandoned the ship of S*.

PS. The final collaborators of S* are kindly expected to send me their impressions of the novel together with a list of errors or misprints.

Howard Thu Jan 6 09:51:11 PST 2000

Teekay again --
I left out the most important group! Those who just keep chugging along, enjoying Allein's jokes, Jon and Pussy's irreverence (they can be irreverent because they've no souls to worry about, right, Americo?), Americo's constant goading to "write Write WRITE!" , and the general attitude of encouragement and cameraderie we find here.
At least that's what keeps bringing *me* back!


Allein Thu Jan 6 06:38:46 PST 2000

Randall - Sun? What's that? Oh, I remember now, that thing in Florida with the light and the heat that turned my skin red. See, we don't have that in Washington. But we have rain - lots and lots of rain. :)
Take care,

Howard Thu Jan 6 05:44:02 PST 2000

Teekay -- Many have visited, stayed a while, then left again. Some get real busy with other things, and get away from the habit of stopping to chat. Some come back when they get bored elsewhere, others get bored here and leave for greener pastures. Some are more thin-skinned than others, or forget that a sense of humour may be perceived differently on the screen than in person. Some are truly more sensitive, and cannot abide the haggling that we get into now and again. A few (thankfully) get tired of not being able to have it Their Way, and decide to go be the bully in someone else's yard.
Gee! this place sounds a lot like life! :-)
Randall -- R.E.Howard's "The Colour Out Of Space" is one of my favorite stories. The "Conan" series is excellent also. R.E.H. was second only to Edgar Allen Poe in my estimation. Too bad he couldn't have lived with himself -- he committed suicide at age 39. A very disturbed young man. There have not been many who could follow him -- August Derleth is one, perhaps.


Teekay Wed Jan 5 22:12:46 PST 2000

Back Again.

I was just looking through the archives, I started with one this time and it was very sad to see that the people who started of writing in the notebook no longer come here. What happened to them and will it be the same with us? Are we but ships who pass in the night? I feel quite depressed now. I know you've been here all that time JACK, but you've had to be really haven't you. It was reassuring to see your name there amongst all those strange ones. You're rather like the island and we are but sailors who will touch upon your shores. Some may stay for but a moment, others longer and some may decide they want to stay. I think I'll stay.
AMERICO I see you rather as the tour guide.

Remember Arak and what about Avatar. 'sigh'.

Teekay Wed Jan 5 21:38:08 PST 2000

Hello Everyone.

Yes Randall welcome. Maybe sometimes Americo reads the noticeboard with one eye closed? Who knows?

Welcome VIPER SIX.

JACK:- I think the main difference between writing a short story and a novel is that in a short story you need to make everyword matter, every word is there for a purpose whereas in the novel one can dilly dally around a bit, throw in some decorative bits and I think have a little more freedom.

Also with a short story, I think it is much easier to keep control of your characters and the plot, where as with a novel there is so much scope. Characters tend to run amok and not behave as you wanted them to and are saying things they're not supposed to ( I have come to this conclusion in my 2 days of writing the best selling novel.)

Also with a short story you can write it in an afternoon (if your lucky) and then you can wash your hands of it. A novel, no such luck, it haunts your dreams, you find yourself watching over your shoulder, you bite your nails to the quick, try to go to sleep without adding to it that day, if you can. Your novel becomes your alter-ego, this may not be a bad thing if the words are flowing smoothly and the plot is moving along nicely, but when it's not my sympathies are with you.

When someone tells you that your short story stinks it hurts, but you can deal with it after all it wasn't that much of a commitment, where as with a novel....

And how hard must it be to keep the reader entertained for the duration of the book????

That is my opinion on the difference between a short story and a novel.

Now just to let you all know how I'm going with the ?novel?
What a mess!! I have scribbly bits all over the place and the paragraphs aren't in order and I have notes next to everything!?!? and I think once I edit what I have actually wwritten I'll have practically nothing there.

Yesterday I spring cleaned the house, I think it was to put off writing and I was so tired when I went to bed last night, but I still couldn't sleep because I kept thinking about 'it'. So of course I had to write after that I felt better.

Going now.

Americo Wed Jan 5 20:29:53 PST 2000


I know TWO persons that fit your description. One is you, the other is me, but I do not work for IBM.

Anyway, it's almost 5 am in Portugal and I am still working. On what? On my job and hobby and life and the thing I love most: writing. Well, I also love soccer and my thousand wives (today I converted myself to poligamy -- any objection?)

Hey, Viper Six and Randall -- Welcome aboard!

Viper Six Wed Jan 5 19:56:45 PST 2000

I did not know a site like this existed . I'm glad that I was informed of it's existence. I am a friend of Laura's. My story is in the short story archives. Please E-mail me and let me know what you guys think.


Randall Wed Jan 5 16:30:25 PST 2000

Good afternoon group (You too Jack)!

Not much to report from this keyboard. Another balmy day in central Texas. 65 degrees (F), clear sky. That is, another DRY day in central Texas. Had a heck of a sandstorm yesterday. At 4:00 PM we stood outside the store and was able to stare straight into the sun! A manical farmer raced by on his tractor yelling. "That's my dirt up there and I'm gonna farm it if I have to chase it plumb to the Gulf of Mexico!"

Man, it's so dry here jackrabits are packing canteens! There are children in our neighborhood a year old who have never seen it rain! Someone reported this afternoon fish at the lake were seen stockpiling water!!! Y2K meant nothing here, because weather is on our minds. Seriously, local ranchers are watching their water holes for the ocassional cow who becomes stuck in the mud trying to reach water. Hay sales are rising and stockmen are buying feed and/or selling their stock.

The Empire of Texas! No place like it.

Not a word from my agent. (Sigh) :( Randall drops another bomb it seems. My name should be Randall "Bombs Away" Hackwriter. I'm sorry, sell or not, I have to write what I feel comfortable with. I can't write of lawyers foiling mafia gangs or White House sexcapades. I like SF (sorry Americo) I feel comfortable writing of such affairs. It's an escape for me, and an exit from normalcy!

Any of you guys heard of Robert E. Howard? No? Okay, how about Conan the Barbarian? Yeah, that's the guy, swords and sorcery. Now that's SF for ye. Mr. Howard lived, wrote and died only a few miles from my home. Conan always seemed to be battling monsters in rugged mountains, sailing wide seas with pirates or somewhere in between. Guess the dry Texas climate affected Mr. Howard's writings and he chose to escape the Texas concept of normal as well.

There are, I suppose many things that affect the writer...where on the list should climate fall? If one writes to escape, then it stands to reason adverse local surroundings will be avoided. Right?

Forever in doubt.....
Randall "Bombs Away" Hackwriter

Howard Wed Jan 5 16:18:18 PST 2000

This just in -- ain't it the truth!


There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed his desire to
become a great writer.

When asked to define "great" he said, "I want to write stuff that the
whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional
level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!"

He now works for Microsoft, writing error messages.

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Jan 5 16:16:30 PST 2000

Since things got quiet all of a sudden, thought I would throw out an enquiry about the differing skills involved in writing a short story as opposed to a longer piece like a novel. And, as an extension, which do you prefer to write in. In this, I am picking back up the proposed topics for discussion since we do not have any discussion of round robin activity going at the moment. Hope everybody is having a wonderful New Year and having few if any computer problems. I just had a go around with AT&T Cable Modem tech support that finally ended happily, but was without fast internet for the better part of a day. Oh, well. Take care.

Jerry Ericsson Tue Jan 4 21:32:23 PST 2000

Well, I'm back on the desktop again, after two installations of Windows 98 second addition. I knew there were some things wrong with my old setup anyhow, it was going very slow, and having a lot of errors, so this was in reality a good thing, now my computer is back up and running at full speed again, I think it would be good to do this at least every two or three months anyhow. Just wished I had backed up all my files, lost my favorite program called streambox ripper, which allowed me to download real audio music, and convert it into CD music, so I could make CD's for my CD player. Went back to their site to get it again, and seems Real Audio sued them and they can no longer sell the software. Should have learned long ago to back up, but you know hard to teach an old dog new tricks.

Susan K. Perry Tue Jan 4 20:33:44 PST 2000

FYI: A new online school is starting in mid-February: this one’s with Writer’s Digest, long known for their magazines, books, and correspondence courses (they published my bestselling book Writing in Flow). I’ll be teaching Focus on the Nonfiction Magazine Article, and Writing the Nonfiction Book Proposal, and the workshops will repeat twice more during the year. My husband Stephen, a New Yorker-published poet and the most encouraging teacher you could ever hope to have, will be teaching Fundamentals of Poetry Writing. Find out more at (for WritersOnlineWorkshops).

Courses are 12-14 weeks long, and though they’re not inexpensive, I believe you’d get more writing done and more personal feedback than from a traditional course.

Writer’s Digest isn’t yet linking to instructors’ Web sites, but if you’re interested in finding out more about me or Stephen, do see our extensive site at (And don’t miss my Expert Q&A page - get to it quickly from the index on the very opening page, or from the Writing in Flow page. Lots of detailed free info.)

Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.

Rhoda Tue Jan 4 17:41:16 PST 2000


Be careful with that set-up thing. Not everyone can load Windows 95 and 98 that way. My Windows 95 got corrupted and I used the Setup on the Windows disc and lost it. If you have Windows Explorer, loading Windows95/98 with Setup will crash your hard drive. That was what I was told by this tech-support person I called.

Good luck with the reloading process. I have got my system working where I can do most of what I need on it, but it is not what it used to be. It does strange things like locks up my Corel Word perfect whenever I load my Microscoft graphics programs or load the software for my scanner. I think for it is time for me to buy a new hard drive. As far yourself, I would advise you to consider getting your money back or having the company you bought from provide you a new computer. At two months, you should have warrenty on it. Incidently we bought a Compac a few years ago. It crashed constantly from the moment we brought it home. We tolerated a week of it and then took it back to the store we bought it from--best thing we ever did.


Jerry Ericsson Tue Jan 4 17:19:07 PST 2000

Well the accident gave us a great exit to the old year, so today, just to keep things going well, my desktop computer (its only a couple of months old) had convulsions, then displayed a large blue Microsoft Windows 98 Screen saying ERROR please run setup again, so I did. The machine locked up, had to reformat it, lost all my data, except what I keep here on my laptop. I am re-installing Win 98 again as I type, this new year just keeps getting better and better.


Howard Tue Jan 4 08:28:43 PST 2000

Hi again, and thanks again for all the notes, posts, prayers, and encouragement. It has been deeply appreciated.

Now, in a much lighter vein:
In honor of the annual SUPERBOWL mania (at least on this side of the pond)I wrote the following "pre-history." My apologies to those who don't follow American football (I don't much myself).
One critic called it a "One Trick Pony." He's probably right, but I liked it anyway. Enjoy!

Superbowl LVII

January 25, 2023 (Lombardian year 57)

It was officially "Auld Lang Syne" last night, when, during the halftime ceremonies of Superbowl LVII, the New Lombardian Calendar was formally adopted, to the cheers of the 400,000 fans in the standing-room-only crowd jamming Microsoft Stadium. The rest of the world went wild as well, as they followed the action on interactive hyper-TV, and on the remains of the old internet. The Reorganized UN finally approved the new calendar, retroactive to the year of Superbowl I, at the request of former U.S. President Joe Montana.

LY57 actually began with the ceremonial opening Bud commercial, in which the sole surviving member of the original frogs hosed a detachment of lizards with napalm from the main turret of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud SUV. The sight (and smell) was incredible, topping even the "This Scud's for you" ad that won it for the lizards in last year's halftime.

Last night's halftime established several new records, including length (93 minutes), number of 30 second spots (85), and total advertising revenues (still to be determined). The total take hasn't yet been counted, but it's rumored to be even more than the amount Bill Gates spent to acquire Hong Kong in the summer of LY43, after the IMF failed to bail out the sagging Mao Jones index.

The longest halftime ever also proved that the crowd still loves nostalgia, as the Starr Revue's 200 (admittedly sagging, but still kinda cute) former White House interns high-kicked to the old standard, "Will You Still Love Me In The Morning, Willy?"

The Bills Memorial Trophy, for "Best Commercial from a Sponsor Who Never Won Before" went to the Whitewater Zipper Company, in spite of some technical problems with their Presidential Model -- it wouldn't stay up. They did, however, promise to provide with each zipper a sworn affidavit stating that it had never opened.

One surprising announcement came from the special session of congress, held in the "Tastes Great!" end zone, late in the third quarter. By an almost unanimous vote (Senator Helms abstained) they resolved that Superbowl Sunday "will henceforth take the place of all other national holidays." Senator Terry did propose that each quarter of the game be named in memory of one of the major holidays, Santa-day, Bunny-day, Elvis's Birthday, and "Yes He Did" Day, (others to be negotiated) but settled instead for ACLU-approved memorial yard-line markers, at the suggestion of Senator Kennedy.

The obligatory "Sensitive Moment" was a real tear-jerker this year, as Elton John, dressed in a pink suit with bunny ears, sang a moving tribute to the Energizer Bunny, who was found dead in his apartment last week, of an apparent suicide. He left a note admitting that it was really him that was caught on tape that day in the darkened White House theatre. Elton's performance was interrupted for a few minutes when his own batteries fell out. A nearby Promise Keeper replaced them, but somehow (intentionally?) put them in backwards, reversing Elton's polarity, and causing him to chase after one of the Starr Revue gals.

One final note was announced by commissioner Madden, from his bus in the VIP lot. He said that "Next year we may have a real game, with a real Madden team, to fill in the spots between some of the commercials. Some of the old guys up at the NFC home in Canton have been after me for it. POW! What a rush that would be!"

© January 1999 --howard tuckey

Rhoda Mon Jan 3 20:53:17 PST 2000


Congratulations, girl! I am so happy to hear you are starting your project. I think you will find that the excitement grows as you progress with it. Anyway, you have taken a tremendous first step and I wish you luck with it.


Thank you so much about sharing insights so deeply personal with the Notebook. I know that I have been moved by them. You came from a wonderful family. You are a credit to them. I can see that one of your father's greatest accomplishments was raising you to be the fine, wonderful, caring, Godly person you are.

Happy writing!


Teekay Mon Jan 3 20:15:27 PST 2000

I realize this is a little late but it's been difficult getting near the 'puta. I still wanted to wish you all one though.

HOWARD:- I am so sad for the heartbreak and loss you are going through at this time. You are very lucky to have had such a wonderful man for a Father. I cry too for your Mother especially after the insight you gave in your last piece of writing. My thoughts are with you.

Well I have started that novel (shall I call it that yet?) Went to the library and got the books for the research, got the basics worked out in my head am heading for the pen and paper after I post this. Had this most brilliant idea for it. Of course it may turn out completely different from what I have in mind, but at least I've begun, I guess now the important thing will be to finish. There is simply no rest for the wicked. Anyhow, I am feeling very enthusiastic and I shall keep you all posted on my progress, or lack of. Am off now to do some scribbling while the spirit is willing.

Take care all y'all.
Happy scribbling.

Jon Mon Jan 3 19:08:40 PST 2000

I am also sleeping, but I would like to ask a question: why is it so difficult to refresh this page after Americo posts his profound thoughts? Is it only to force me to post one of my brilliant posts? After I post, A*'s posts usually appear immediately but mine only on the next day.

Pussy Mon Jan 3 19:03:53 PST 2000

I am sleeping but I would like to wish you a happy night!

Americo Mon Jan 3 19:01:33 PST 2000

What would I dream if I dreamed of you?
Rachel -- an angel with a duck feather writing on Roman parchment;
Allein -- two angels singing carols and telling funnies;
Eddie -- three angels playing soccer against the whole team of Manchester United - and winning:
Howard-- a referree of a soccer match;
Jack-- someone sleeping with a nice smile on a summer's day (and also on a winter's day)
Teekay, Joy, Jerry E, RLH, Ashling, Jerry Lee and all the others: that's your turn of dreaming. Please dream of me. Something nice.
Jon and Pussy are just sleeping. They wish you good night and happy something!

Rachel Mon Jan 3 11:38:14 PST 2000

Hi all

Today we have snow! This is a pretty big deal around here. Sure, we have had some flurries, but this is accumulating. My children are all dressed in their snow gear and ready to play!

Take care all

Pussy Mon Jan 3 07:43:10 PST 2000

In my opinion I am the only wise person in the Notebook. Hope you agree with me. I miss a lot of things today: Americo as a child (he was a dear), Jon as a boy (he was quite exciting), me as (cannot remember anything interesting about me-- do you?).

And with this we can start a new year at last.

Jon Mon Jan 3 07:37:42 PST 2000

Do you also miss the music and Christmas? I think it's up time for us to start wishing happy new something to one another. Happy Easter-- oh no, not that again. Happy Summer!

Americo Mon Jan 3 07:32:53 PST 2000

Anyway, good morning to you all. I feel like discussing literature and reduce you all to dust. Anyone interested in being transformed into a sausage? Then, I'll write "Metamorphosis" (Kafka). But instead of an insect I will describe in detail the movements, dreams and aspirations of a sausage. Will this be the masterpiece of the 21th century?

Allein Sun Jan 2 23:10:40 PST 2000

Here's another funnie. And yes, I promise that tomorrow, there will be one about women.


"I`m going fishing."
Really means...
"I`m going to drink myself dangerously stupid, and stand by a stream
with a stick in my hand, while the fish swim by in complete safety."

"Let`s take your car."
Really means....
"Mine is full of beer cans, burger wrappers and completely out of

"Woman driver."
Really means....
"Someone who doesn`t speed, tailgate, swear, make obscene gestures and
has a better driving record than me."

"I don`t care what color you paint the kitchen."
Really means....
"As long as it`s not blue, green, pink, red, yellow, lavender, gray,
mauve, black, turquoise or any other color besides white."

"It`s a guy thing."
Really means....
"There is no rational thought pattern connected with it, and you have no
chance at all of making it logical."

"Can I help with dinner?"
Really means....
"Why isn`t it already on the table?"

"Uh huh," "Sure, honey," or "Yes, dear."
Really mean....
Absolutely nothing. It`s a conditioned response like Pavlov`s dog

"Good idea."
Really means....
"It`ll never work. And I`ll spend the rest of the day gloating."

"Have you lost weight?"
Really means....
"I`ve just spent our last $30 on a cordless drill."

"My wife doesn`t understand me."
Really means....
"She`s heard all my stories before, and is tired of them."

"It would take too long to explain."
Really means....
"I have no idea how it works."

"I`m getting more exercise lately."
Really means....
"The batteries in the remote are dead."

"I got a lot done."
Really means....
"I found `Waldo` in almost every picture."

"We`re going to be late."
Really means....
"Now I have a legitimate excuse to drive like a maniac."

"Hey, I`ve read all the classics."
Really means....
"I`ve been subscribing to Playboy since 1972."

"You cook just like my mother used to."
Really means....
"She used the smoke detector as a meal timer, too."

"I was listening to you. It`s just that I have things on my mind."
Really means....
"I was wondering if that red-head over there is wearing a bra."

"Take a break, honey, you`re working too hard."
Really means....
"I can`t hear the game over the vacuum cleaner."

"That`s interesting, dear."
Really means....
"Are you still talking?"

"Honey, we don`t need material things to prove our love."
Really means....
"I forgot our anniversary again."

"You expect too much of me."
Really means....
"You want me to stay awake."

"It`s a really good movie."
Really means....
"It`s got guns, knives, fast cars, and Heather Locklear."

"That`s women`s work."
Really means....
"It`s difficult, dirty, and thankless."

"Will you marry me?"
Really means....
"Both my roommates have moved out, I can`t find the washer, and there is
no more peanut butter."

"Go ask your mother."
Really means....
"I am incapable of making a decision."

"You know how bad my memory is."
Really means....
"I remember the theme song to `F Troop`, the address of the first girl I
ever kissed and the Vehicle Identification Numbers of every car I`ve
ever owned, but I forgot your birthday."

"I was just thinking about you, and got you these roses."
Really means....
"The girl selling them on the corner was a real babe."

"Football is a man`s game."
Really means....
"Women are generally too smart to play it."

"Oh, don`t fuss. I just cut myself, it`s no big deal."
Really means....
"I have actually severed a limb, but will bleed to death before I admit
I`m hurt."

"I do help around the house."
Really means....
"I once put a dirty towel in the laundry basket."

"Hey, I`ve got my reasons for what I`m doing."
Really means....
"And I sure hope I think of some pretty soon."

"I can`t find it."
Really means....
"It didn`t fall into my outstreatched hands, so I`m completely

"What did I do this time?"
Really means....
"What did you catch me at?"

"What do you mean, you need new clothes?"
Really means....
"You just bought new clothes 3 years ago."

"She`s one of those rabid feminists."
Really means....
"She refused to make my coffee."

"But I hate to go shopping."
Really means....
"Because I always wind up outside the dressing room holding your purse."

"No, I left plenty of gas in the car."
Really means....
"You may actually get it to start."

"I`m going to stop off for a quick one with the guys."
Really means....
"I am planning on drinking myself into a vegetative stupor with my chest
pounding, mouth breathing, pre-evolutionary companions."

"I heard you."
Really means....
"I haven`t the foggiest clue what you just said, and am hoping
desperately that I can fake it well enough so that you don`t spend
the next 3 days yelling at me."

"You know I could never love anyone else."
Really means....
"I am used to the way you yell at me, and realize it could be worse."

"You look terrific."
Really means....
"Oh, God, please don`t try on one more outfit. I`m starving."

"I brought you a present."
Really means....
"It was free ice scraper night at the ball game."

"I missed you."
Really means....
"I can`t find my sock drawer, the kids are hungry and we are out of
toilet paper."

"I`m not lost. I know exactly where we are."
Really means....
"No one will ever see us alive again."

"We share the housework."
Really means....
"I make the messes, she cleans them up."

"This relationship is getting too serious."
Really means....
"I like you more than my truck."

"I recycle."
Really means....
"We could pay the rent with the money from my empties."

"Of course I like it, honey, you look beautiful."
Really means....
"Oh, man, what have you done to yourself?"

"It sure snowed last night."
Really means....
"I suppose you`re going to nag me about shoveling the walk now."

"It`s good beer."
Really means....
"It was on sale."

"I don`t need to read the instructions."
Really means....
"I am perfectly capable of screwing it up without printed help."

"I`ll fix the garbage disposal later."
Really means....
"If I wait long enough you`ll get frustrated and buy a new one."

"I`ll take you to a fancy restaurant."
Really means....
"Someplace that doesn`t have a drive-thru window."

"I broke up with her."
Really means....
"She dumped me."

Allein Sun Jan 2 21:50:24 PST 2000

Howard - I love the piece you wrote about your father. It made tears spring into my eyes. I noticed the date of his birth and he was the same age as my grandfather. My grandfather and grandmother have been married 60 years and neither is in very good shape. My grandfather is worse though and I've been worried lately that he might die. But anyway, I don't want to bum you out, so I'll stop there.
(((BIG HUGS)))

Howard Sun Jan 2 20:35:36 PST 2000

Allein, Ashling, Eddie, Americo, Joy, and all who contacted me with love and condolences (hope I didn't leave anyone out) -- Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your responses. They've meant more than you could imagine.

I have been unable to do much of anything for the past few days except write about him. I tried to sleep last night, and the words just kept coming, until I had the account of his last night. The nurses had told me about it, and my mother told us quietly as we sat with him one last time, about their last night together.

They would have been maried 59 years this coming Valentine's Day, and I do not remember ever hearing either of them raising their voice at the other. Friends and acquaintances marveled at their devotion to one another, and I know their example had a positive impact on many other couples, including me and my wife. We all joke about 'marriages made in heaven' but this was one that really was.

She laid on the bed with him, and held him in her arms through the night until the very end -- then just a few moments longer.That I know, from the nurses and aides. They cried as they told us. And here is the last I'll post about them for now -- it came to me in the night, and I had to set it down just as it came. My mother read it this morning, and asked how I knew all of it. Perhaps it will serve to help strengthen other relationships as it has ours.

One last night

The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms…
-- Deuteronomy 33:27

And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them. - Mark 10:17

"She's breaking our hearts, just lying there with him, holding him like that." The nurses and aides at the nursing home came out of the room with tears in their eyes, but many of them found a reason "just to go in and check on them, and make sure they're comfortable."

The angels said "Lord, you'll have to help us with this one. She's holding on to him too tightly, as if she hears us coming and doesn't want to let him go, and we don't quite understand. How could you allow them to be so close?"

"Allow it?" said Jesus; "I created them this way purposely, so that their family and friends, and everyone around them could see the love that a man and his wife could share -- a glimpse of my love for them."

"But how can we get her to let him go?"

"I know them, and they know my voice. When it's time, I'll whisper to them and she'll let go."

"But she'll be so alone without him. Who will fill the emptiness?"

Jesus looked at them with loving eyes, for angels still do not completely understand the ways of humans, and the depth of His love for them. "My angels, do you not remember Calvary? He knows that I took his place there, and he knows I'll take his place here as well. Not as completely as then, but they'll know she's not alone. And as long as I hold them both they cannot be far apart. Besides, her children have been asking me to comfort her, and they will be a part of that comfort and they won't leave her."

He looked down again and said "I've waited, to give them one last night alone together, but now it's time. Come home, my son, I have new life for you."

And he reached down with those nail-scarred hands, and she kissed dad one last time, and let him go home.

Jack Andrew Tuckey
7/24/1917 - 1/1/2000
From the arms of his loving wife,
to the arms of his loving Savior

Allein Sun Jan 2 18:29:04 PST 2000

Howard - I'm sorry about your father. I just want you to know that you are in my prayers and I hope that God leads you and your loved ones through this time of hardship.

Ashling Sun Jan 2 16:53:34 PST 2000

HOWARD: I've been trying to post to you for 2 days, but kept breaking into tears ... The bittersweet kind. My keyboard seems dry enough to type now. Are you putting your memories of your Dad into a writing project? If not, why not? Share this wonderful man with the world - your eloquent words do him justice. At the least, you have My Most Memorable Character for Readers' Digest. At the most, a memoir, a novel, or a children's book.

I'm not giving advice, just sharing my experience ... The foundation for the main character in my current novel is my Dad & baby brother, both deceased. The characters are growing, evolving, and new characters have leapt up on the stage to join them. I'm no longer sure where the plot is going, but I know deep in my soul that it is a place I need to explore. I didn't start writing this immediately after my brother's untimely death, so maybe you need to take a breather ... but I hope you start the journey one day soon.

TEEKAY: A while back you asked what part of Australia I'm in. I live in Alabama, but the slang of Aussieland has the same friendly flavor of my Southernisms ... so I've adopted sayings such as, "No worries." Many thanks to my new friends on the bottom half of the world that I discovered through the Internet ... That includes you in NZ!

WELCOME to Shawn, Jasmeen & all newcomers. HI to Rhoda, Eddie, Jack, Randall, Allein, Joy, Gary H, Americo, Rachel,
Rosemary, Jerry and ... May the Muse be with you all as you write to complete old projects and/or start new ones. Thanks for the 3 AM company while everyone else in my time zone sleeps.

Take care,

Americo Sun Jan 2 15:19:34 PST 2000

Good evening, everyone.
Perhaps we could discuss our literary projects for the new year. I must translate into Portuguese (it was written in English) my thesis, defended some years ago. I would like to make it a publishable book. This is compulsory work and it is four months behind.
Then I would like to resume writing some novels in Portuguese. They are several years behind.
And finally perhaps I'll write another novel in English.
A lot of work to do and a certain anxiety to do it. Not good, for someone who only likes reading "PlayCat" and sleep the rest of the time.

Jack Beslanwitch Sun Jan 2 14:44:47 PST 2000

This is just to let everyone know that I have added a search feature to the Archives. You can now do a keyword search to find an individual archive. Take care.

Eddie French Sat Jan 1 17:34:56 PST 2000

I tried to email you but it kept bouncing, something about access denied?
No matter, you know what I meant anyway.

Rachel Sat Jan 1 16:43:49 PST 2000

Americo - How could I not know about a pagan fesitval! I consider myself a very good pagen (grins).

Americo Sat Jan 1 14:46:02 PST 2000


I am deeply moved. Thank you very much indeed for having shared with us your grief in some of the most moving messages this Notebook has ever seen. I would like you to know that thousands of miles away from you, I am with you, I have been with you all these painful days, silently, awkwardly, in my way. And your Father is and will remain among us all for ever. Allow me to kiss his hand.

Jon Sat Jan 1 14:27:34 PST 2000

Have a nice Christmas of the year 2000!
(I was the first in this)

Sat Jan 1 14:26:39 PST 2000

I have been living with

Americo Sat Jan 1 14:25:56 PST 2000

When I think about the wonderful messages we'll leave on this Notebook in the 365 (66?) days of this fantastic year ahead, I feel like packing, saying goodbye to the mooners I have been living in the past days and go back to the Earth as soon as I can.

I made the resolution of not spending so much time with you as last year, as my personal work is really behind. But, well, we'll see.

Rachel, the Carnival is... I don't believe you don't know what Carnival is. That's the pagan Christmas par excellence. And we, pagans, have our rights.

Happy Carnival, all.

Allein Sat Jan 1 13:19:14 PST 2000

Rachel - well, the next three day weekend I have is the 15th, 16th and 17th. So, if you want to get together then, that would be cool. The 17th is Martin Luther King day, but on the school bullitain board they put MLK day. My brother wanted to know what MILK day was. :)

howard Sat Jan 1 12:43:11 PST 2000

Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest, and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:5-6

When I was a young child my dad took me to the Deforest Street swimming hole, in the Chenango River near where we lived. It was an eddy off the main branch of the river, now victim to highway construction, but then a pleasant place to play and swim in the water.

Dad let me go out into the water by myself for a ways, but always kept an eye on me, making sure I was safe. I wanted to go out deeper, but he wouldn't let me go alone; he waded out and took my hand to steady me on the slippery rocks, and in the stronger current. I remember reaching up to hold on tightly to his hand as he sometimes even had to lift me through the deeper spots.

We reached a point where the water became too deep and the current too swift, even for My Dad, and he said we'd stop there, that even he would need to hold on to someone's hand to make it all the way across.

Last night in the nursing home my dad kept reaching up, though there was nothing visible there to grasp. I didn't realize until this morning, when I got the call, that he was reaching for someone to help him across that deep, fast water.

And this morning at 6:30 Someone did.

Thank you dad, for everything.

And thank you Lord, for getting him safely across.

Rachel Sat Jan 1 09:06:07 PST 2000

Uh, that post before was from me (grins). I hate when I screw up my posts!

Take care all

Randall Sat Jan 1 08:28:05 PST 2000

Hi all - Once again, Happy New Year!

Randall - Thank you (smiles). I also send you a hug and have been holding warm thoughts for you and your family.

Jerry - Accidents can be frustrating. I wish you all the best with your efforts.

Allein - Yah! What you said (smiles).

Americo - Happy, happy to you! I'm not sure what Carnival is, but hope you have a nice one, hope I do too!

Take care all

Jon Sat Jan 1 04:55:11 PST 2000

This is to wish you all a happy Carnival!
Pussy is shouting something from the kitchen. Happy what? Ah, she agrees and wishes you all a happy Carnival!
Americo went to the Moon for a quick visit to friends there, but I'm sure he wishes you all a happy Carnival.

Jack Beslanwitch Sat Jan 1 01:54:59 PST 2000

Allein: Congratulation on being the first to post in the year 2000. Just back from my own New Millenium Eve party. Take care all.

Ashling aka_Ashling Sat Jan 1 01:54:52 PST 2000


My New Year's Resolution: Quit my day job & earn a few bucks a month at writing whatever for whoever, until I become a published novelist.

Happy Writing,

Just spent the most romantic evening of my life, at home with my husband of 23 years. Now, there's a long story behind that ...

Allein Sat Jan 1 00:35:52 PST 2000

Happy New Year people!! *blows noise maker* Obviously nothing's wrong with my computer. I just stayed home with the family and watched movies and then fireworks on TV at midnight. My brother is over in the rec room saying Happy New Year to the gerbils. I don't really think the gerbils care. He probably woke them up as they were sleeping in the new year - of course, they're sleeping most of the time. Getting old I guess.
I'm in one of the last time zones to ring in the New Year. ::blows noise maker thingy and does the funky happy sqrlmunk dance::

RACHEL - Hi you. Boy, last time you came down was last century, we'll have to get together soon. *grin* ((((BIG HUGS))))

RANDALL - I had a character named Randall once. He was a warlock, but the story was stupid so I never finished it. He was a cool character, but I was writing it with a younger girl, and well, it got stupid, so, I quit (this was back in seventh grade). You may not believe this, but a year ago I was really depressed and suicidal. I figured I'd never see the year 2000. It always seemed like my life was going no where. But, when a classmate of mine took his life last March, I got help. Now I can see that I should cherish life because I have so much to live for. I'm young, you know, so I have lots I need to do in life. Even though it's scary going into the future (I have no idea what I'll do or what'll happen to me), I have to face it. I want to go to college and get a job and get married and eventually have children. Anyway, now I plan to do as much as I can when I grow up - travel, mainly. I want to see the world. I'm glad to be in the 21st century. At least, the first half hour has been great. *grin* Anyway, I've been babbling. (((BIG HUGS))) to you.

*hugs* to everyone else too.
Good night everyone. Sleep well.

RLH (Randall) Fri Dec 31 20:03:39 PST 1999

Well, looks like everything is up and running tonight!

So :) :) :) Happy new year from deep in the Heart of Texas!

Been reading the posts, Jerry your the greatest! Americo, thanks for the hug. Rachel, Rhonda, Teekay you're swell ladies in my book. Howard, I'm retired too, Bro and things never looked better! Allein---I wish I could bottle the joy of life you have. Just a drop would elevate us all!!! Jack B...Love Ya!!

We plan on a festive ocassion tonight...just me, our children...Sara, Sean and my wife. My other daughter and her husband may stop by, but I doubt it. They're friends are all partying, and who wants to hang out with a bunch of old foggies? I usually sleep into the new year anyway and will probably do so tonight. Oh well, such is life in the fast lane.

Oh by the way...I'm changing my name on the posts. RLH is no longer. Randall is my first name and RLH sounds so cold and formal. So let's bid old RLH a fond farewell and welcome Randall.

My #1 resolution is, well actually it's a three parter.
Write...Write...Write. Time to Kick Out the Jams and get to it as the rock group MC Five used to sing.

Happy New Year my friends


Jerry Ericsson Fri Dec 31 18:10:03 PST 1999

Allien you are more then welcome to share the stuff I put up here, and of course we are friends. I may seem a little gruff from time to time, but you have to consider I am getting old, a little cranky.

Well just enjoyed a little wine and cheese with my family, that is about all the celebration I am going to do tonight. The wife has to work tomorow, and my daughter is still recoperating from her accident so we shall say at home and watch TV to see Y2K come in accross the world.

Happy New Years, Century, Mellinnum (Or what ever) Enjoy.


Eddie French Fri Dec 31 17:22:30 PST 1999


Eddie French Fri Dec 31 17:19:55 PST 1999

Made it throught the big Y2k with both my computers (Networked) up and running!!
Absolutely noth ing w884t wr*%$£!
I am so Ha*&^y
^&%$$ ty75645 NeVeR eVeN Affect%$£" me aTTT alll
I'mmmmmmm SoHaPP**&^%$£

Rachel Fri Dec 31 17:15:05 PST 1999

Hi all

My computer has issues and due to this its clock turned over on me earlier today. I went in to check to date and found that my computer figures it is already January 1st! Well, I guess that means that I'm not going to have any problems. I'll head out this evening and don't plan to worry at all.

Take care

Rhoda Fri Dec 31 15:13:54 PST 1999

To my friends in Australia and Europe,

I have just realized that for the next few hours we remain a century and a millenium apart. The rest of the world has always maintained we are a bit backward over here. I suppose there is reason for that. I hope you have all gotten through the changes and the Y2K threat. Of course over here on this side of the Atlantic we face the propects of a nuclear attack from Russia (heard that one on a radio add.), the declaration of marshall law from the president of the United States (a coin shop dealer I visited last week thinks that a probability. No worry, he is ready for it), failure of electricity, water, and all sorts of vital resourses. And then there are the terrorists who will be pressing their advantage.

I don't mean to make light of things, espacially terrorist threats and system failures, but I am glad to learn that at least for Austrailia things have gone well.

I am optimistic we in the United States will still be around in a few hours to share the new year with you.

Hope you are all enjoying the New Year. I eagerly await it myself.


Howard Fri Dec 31 14:06:21 PST 1999

Thanks Jerry! Great one to share right now!

I'm still going to unplug everything before I leave for work at 11PM tonight, then I'm supposed to unplug everything there from 11:30-12:30, but they're having free food and non-alcoholic champagne, so it won't be all that bad.

Free food all weekend for those of us who will be working (Hey! I'm retired! How'd I get roped into this?), then BAU starting Monday morning.

So happy this only happens once every thousand years or so...


Allein Fri Dec 31 13:12:09 PST 1999

Jerry - Great joke. :) I passed that along to some friends. Hope that's okay (I didn't take credit for it, told them I got it from a friend). You're my friend, right. :)

Allein Fri Dec 31 13:05:24 PST 1999


Hope everyone's having a great New Year's Eve. The voices are telling me that I need to get off now. No, I'm not think as you drunk I am... ::blows a noise maker thingy:: HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

PS: I'm well aware that the new millenium is actually next year but I don't care. I like to think that I'm in the first graduating class off the new millenium. Yay!!

Rhoda Fri Dec 31 13:00:58 PST 1999

Have a Happy 2000!


Rachel Fri Dec 31 11:47:57 PST 1999


Jerry - I liked that post. It made me laugh. We have friends who are going Y2K crazy. We have told them all that if things go wrong to come on up to our place. We live out in the countryside and they can dig as many toilets as they would like. We also have lots of wood and fire pits and camp stoves, all the fun stuff. We are prepared without ever meaning to be.

Take care all

Americo Fri Dec 31 11:08:40 PST 1999

Happy New Year!

Jerry Ericsson Fri Dec 31 10:03:05 PST 1999

Just got this in my E-Mail, thought it fitting to today:Date: Friday, December 31, 1999 9:26 AM

>On January 1, do not open any email, do not go anywhere, do not eat
>anything, do not wake up... The world will be infected with a life
>threatening virus known as "Holy shit the world is still here" virus...
>It will infect every human being alive who believes their car,
>microwave, and sphincter gland are going to shut down due to the terrible
>Y2K virus. Some visible signs of this virus will be food that is still
>fresh sitting in your fridge, a car that actually works, and a bank account
>with all the money it had in it the night before.
>If any of you experience any of these symptoms please call the following

Eddie French Fri Dec 31 09:41:15 PST 1999

God Bless

Jack Fri Dec 31 05:33:03 PST 1999

p.s., Stand down about an hour or two before midnight and come back up a couple of hours after. Playing it cautious actually. So, if you have trouble getting in, wait a while and all should be back to normal.

Jack Beslanwitch Fri Dec 31 05:30:12 PST 1999

Well, it has already begun to happen. I just got through watching the millenial celebration in Sydney, fireworks going off of the bridge that Fran climbed and you can see if you visit the URL above. Pass your cursor over the passports and you will spot her. This is wishing all and sundry here and beyond a very very happy new year and mellenia. Whether you are counting next year as the beginning or four years ago or none of the above, this is a time that I choose to call special and appropriate for reflection. Just on a procedural note I will warn you that the ISP where the Notebook is based off of has given the warning that it will stand down sometime before midnight Y2K here in Seattle. Unhappily, our mayor elected to cancel a lion share of the festivities here in Seattle. Actually, I had no intention of getting anywhere near to the Space Needle after the comedy of terrorist ineptitude tried to cart explosives across the Canadian border. I will be taking one of my didgiridoos to a local private party that you can find more details about at this address and if you elect to join in look for someone making a bad stab at playing the didge and you will find me :-)

Joy Fri Dec 31 03:13:36 PST 1999

Hi Howard: I'm tongue-tied with the heartwrenching beauty of your writing and that image of the man who is your father. There's not much I can say but, God Bless you both with whatever eases the pain -- for once, words evade me.


Howard Thu Dec 30 23:42:09 PST 1999

The Yankees were playing a Monday night exhibition game in our town, against the Binghamton Triplets -- an Eastern League Yankee farm team, and dad's supervisor had given him a couple of tickets to the game. These were like gold to us, as there was never enough money left over for frivolities such as baseball tickets (or bicycles, for that matter), and I remember dad was as excited as I was about the chance to see Whitey Ford pitch.

We got to Johnson Field early enough to watch some of the batting practice, and we met the lady with the cowbell that we used to hear in the background when we listened to the games on the radio. She went to every game, and that cowbell was a fixture at the home games.

Anyway, the game started, and the Yankees were awesome, but the Triplets really shone in their home whites.
About the fourth or fifth inning the hotdog vendor came up our row, and I got instantly hungry. I looked at dad and asked if we could have a hotdog (with kraut and mustard) and a root beer. He hesitated for a minute, and I thought he was going to say no, but he reached into his pocket and had just enough for that, and for a bag of peanuts. It was so good!

I don't remember who won the game, but I remember that Whitey pitched several innings of shutout ball before being replaced. The crowd cheered as he left, and the game went on.

It was quite some time later, that I found out that dad had spent his entire week's lunch money to buy us that hotdog and drink, and he went without lunch for the next few days, until one of his friends at work noticed that he wasn't eating any lunch, and shared a sandwich with him.

This morning at the nursing home one of the specialists told me that he could no longer swallow -- that he choked on just a few drops of water on a spoon. The only way that they would be able to get any nourishment into him would be to force-feed him through a feeding tube, and that inserting the tube would be a traumatic thing, and that he'd probably just try to pull it back out anyway.

I was sitting on the edge of the bed, and I looked at dad and remembered him whole and well, and for some reason I remembered that game, and I told the nurse no -- no feeding tube.

I reached out and touched his cheek, and told him I loved him, and he turned his head and kissed my hand.

Please, God, let a friend share a sandwich with him again, soon.

Jerry Ericsson Thu Dec 30 20:19:07 PST 1999

Thanks for the replys, the fact is that there was over three thousand dollars damage, both my daughter and the other driver ended up seeking medical help due to back and neck injuries, but nothing serious on that matter. We have been talking about the millnnium, here is some facts to consider:

According to the U.S. Naval Observatory, the end of the second millennium and the beginning of the third will be reached on January 1, 2001. This date is based on a calendar created in 526 A.D. by Dennis the Diminutive, the
head of a Roman monastery who forged a common calendar from the divergent dating systems of his day. Rather than starting with the year zero, the calendar begins with the date January 1, 1 A.D. Consequently, the next millennium is not officially reached until January 1, 2001. Despite
this fact, much of the world will celebrate on December 31, 1999 as the calendars flip to the year 2000.

The difference between the Millennium and year 2000...

Short explanation...

The 3rd Millennium starts January 1st, year 2001 NOT year 2000 as many people believe.
Year 2000 starts January 1st, year 2000.

Longer explanation...

The reason why the 3rd Millennium / 21st Century starts in 2001 is because there was no year 0 (or 0 AD, 0 BC). The year before 1 A.D. is defined as year 1 B.C., so year 0 is not defined - it never existed. Therefore, January
1st, year 1 is defined to be the start of the 1st century and the 1st Millennium.

Because 1 Millennium is 1000 years, the first Millennium ends with year 1000.
The next (2nd) Millennium starts 1000 years after the first, that is in year 1+1000 = 1001. And the 3rd one starts 1000 years later than the 2nd:
1001+1000 = 2001. The same procedure could be followed for centuries.

What should we celebrate?
It's no problem celebrating both of them, although probably most people will think year 2000 is the biggest of them.
When going to year 2000, we celebrate that it's a special round number, and in year 2001 we can celebrate a new century, a new Millennium, and that it's passed 2000 years since year 1 started.

What would cause the "year 2000-problem"
It's year 2000 that would cause that problem in most cases, not the Millennium/century-shift in year 2001, except for places where code is based on century/Millennium-code, which might be a problem in seldom cases.
The main problem with year 2000 is that computers may think it is year 1900 or similar, because they were programmed to use only two digits for year, then presuming that it was 19xx, so when xx=0, they might think it is 1900.
There are also a problem that some programs don't know that February 29th 2000 is a real date, there IS a leap day in year 2000.

Why was there no year 0?
When the present system we use to count years was invented in the 6th century (and later established around Europe) they used Roman numerals which did not have zero. Therefore 1 BC is the year before 1 AD, with no year 0 between.

Teekay Thu Dec 30 19:16:35 PST 1999

Hi Guys.

JERRY & ROSEMARY:- Don't know if your interested or not, but here in N.S.W. The police don't get involved in car accidents unless somebody is injured or there is over $300 or$400 worth of damage to public property. I think there is one more reason but I can't think of what it is. Anyway I'm glad nobody was hurt. At least I hope nobody was hurt.

In America if Christmas falls on a weekend, do you then have a public holiday during the week to make up for it?

Going now, take care all.

Allein Thu Dec 30 18:11:36 PST 1999

Eddie - Ach, ja! Das Bratwurst! :)

Americo Thu Dec 30 16:51:12 PST 1999

I've just read the posts of the last three or four days off-line and decided to come back again just to send a silent hug to RLH and to Howard. Now I can go to bed. Good night, everybody!

Jon Thu Dec 30 16:18:47 PST 1999

Now that we have solved all literary, political and religious problems of the 20th century, could we perhaps join in a big embrace and start solving the problems of the coming millennium?

With this little ambition in mind, I am going to publish my resolutions:
3. idem.
( I am a bit short of inspiration now, perhaps later.)

Happy New Millennium, people, mainly the second part.

Pussy is shouting something from her bedroom. Happy what? Ah... milennium (I thought it was year -- I am rarely wrong.)

Eddie French Thu Dec 30 16:16:25 PST 1999


Americo Thu Dec 30 16:11:37 PST 1999

Happy New Year, folks!

Thu Dec 30 15:56:26 PST 1999

Last-minute Distractions

Cake is in the oven,
Gotta watch that show!
I can't hear the timer
My ears are off the zone

Thirty seconds til the
Is headin' off again,
My, oh my, look at that food
Oh, wait
Did they just win?

Two more seconds and then we're
Millenium's comin' fast,
Oh me oh my, what will I do?
Ha, Ha!
It's really past?

Allein Thu Dec 30 07:22:44 PST 1999

Rachel - ((((BIG HUGS)))) order to try my cooking I guess you'd have to come down sometime. :) Anyway, I give everything a try, unless it's growing green or moving and then I'd rather not eat it. There's a green, moving thing in my closet. Actually, my room is surprisingly clean. :)

Americo - Welcome back! *hugs*


Howard Thu Dec 30 00:30:02 PST 1999

It's amazing how different PB&J sandwiches taste at 3AM! Especially with lumpy milk! I don't think it was spoiled, but it was definitely lumpy.

Rachel Wed Dec 29 22:11:49 PST 1999

Allein - I'm not ascarde of you cookin (grins). Bring it on! BRING IT ON!!!!!!!!!!!

Mind you, I might decide to make you eat something that I made (big wicked grins). How about a nice lentil loaf! You up for that?! Maybe a vegetable pie (bwah, ha, ha, ha).

My little sister moved in with me when she was in her late teens and she used to say "Oh my God! You can taste the health in this!" I assure you, that was not a compliment to my cooking (grins).

Well, I better go

Take care you


Americo - You'll probably be back home by the time I'm up, soooooooooo, WELCOME BACK! Hope yah had a nice time.


Allein Wed Dec 29 18:26:49 PST 1999

Eddie - Ah, a trip to Germany. Sprechen du mit die Bratwurst. Die Bratwurst schmeckt sehr gut. Ich habe die Stimmen in mein Kopf und sie spricht zu mich. Ach, die Yummy Bratwurst spricht zu mich. Warum bin ich in einem weissem Zimmer mit ein Straightjacket? Guten Abend Herren und Damen. :)

Hi people. I made cookies today. Some turned out not so baked but most of them are scrumptious. My mom decided to put a cookie in the microwave for a while to see if it would cook. It burned. I'm not very good at cooking. Luckily, most of you will never have to taste my cooking (except possibly Rachel). ::evil laughter::
Anyway, I have to go.
Bye bye,

Rosemary Wed Dec 29 15:55:11 PST 1999

Hello, writers all:

I had a wreck as I was turning into my driveway the end of October. I had a bad feeling about the deputy sheriff at the time and sure enough, he got the report all wrong. Luckly for me, I had an excellent witness and both insurance companies did their own investigation.
The other driver had been speeding (limit 40mph.) on our country two lane road and had just passed two other cars. My witness admitted she was going 50mph when he passed her. He was in the process of passing me when I turned into the driveway. I never did see him come up behind me because I was watching the curve in front. After a month, his insurance agreed to pay the $4000 repair+rental car for 2 months+$1500 repair for the fences we flattened, and my Insurance refused to pay for his repairs.
The Deputy's report said I had pulled out of a side road and hit the other car. I was tempted to file a complaint against him, but since I live out of city limits and he will probably be the one to show up any time something goes wrong, I let it drop.

All of this was partially venting,(I'm still steaming) but mostly to let you know that the police report is not necessarily the last word. (At least in Texas)
Good luck and happy new year.

Eddie french Wed Dec 29 06:53:38 PST 1999

Hello everybody.
Just a quick hello from Bielefeld in Germany.
We are just getting ready for the trip back home.
if I miss you before the 31st then happy new year to all.

Jerry A.G. Ericsson Tue Dec 28 17:58:06 PST 1999

Well we ended the old year quite properly, on Christmas Eve, my daughter now 25 years old, went uptown to do some last min Christmas shopping. Not finding a parking space near the store she was going to, she started crossing the intersection, when some young kid with his girlfriends car decided that she needed the side of her mini-van re-arranged and slammed into it. The officer who came to investigate did a very poor job of investigating, and when his report came out, he had her going a different direction then she acually was. (It appeared she was at the sceen, if you don't take into consideration the skid marks where her van was slid around 90 degrees). I called him to tell him of the mistake, and he copped an attitude with me. So, being the old retired police chief that I am, I attempted to reach the Chief of Police in our small town, but he is gone on vacation. My daughter called him again, and he offered to meet with us but only in the presence of the States Attorney. Now again, since I trained as a paralegal and hold a legal assistant's degree, I do not fear lawyers, so we had the meeting. The attorney looked at us like he had no idea what the cop was talking about, but the officer stood on his twenty years as a highway patrolman experience, and refused to correct the accident report. Looks like I will have to go over his head to the Chief and Mayor, maybe to the peace officers standards and training commission. Oh well I don't have much else to do, but I would rather welcome in the new year, century, melinum (or whatever) in a more peacefull way. It's just that I like to see things done right and when I see an officer who doesn't belong on the force, I will do what I can to eliminate that problem. If that guy was on my force, he would be on his way down the road right now, even if it weren't my daughter involved.

Oh well what ever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and every conflict makes you a better writer. Life goes on.

No resolutions here, except maybe to try and make the world just a little better if I can.


Teekay Tue Dec 28 17:22:50 PST 1999

Hi Everybody,
Well I finally made it back to the 'puter. Couldn't wait to read all your posts. I think this notebook is one of the best discoveries I have made.

About new years resolutions:
I usually say out loud that I'm not going to make any, but in my subconscious (which I am slightly aware of)I just know that it's made definite plans to start that elusive novel. I sure hope the will of my sub conscious is stronger than that of my conscious.

RLH:- I know what your saying. You know what sort of gets me down? I read a book and the whole time I'm analysing it.
Sometimes I'll read a brilliant book and I'll think, 'Man, I could never write like that.'But then I'll tell myself that I don't need to write like that, I'll just tell my own kind of story. There are other times when I read absolute crap and that's really heartening because I figure that if that got published then I have a chance.
You know I only hope it's not like becoming an actor. How many people out that would be truly fantastic performers, they only need their big break??
I also have another theory on writing. You can have the most boring plot in the world, but it's what you make of your characters that makes the story interesting.
Don't get me wrong. It may sound like the reason I write is simply for the money (hysterical laughter.) but it's not although I would love to be able to have the freedom of lifestyle that a monetarily successful artist has, and imagine the work you would be doing would be what you love best.
No the reason I write is because it's like this gnawing feeling within. Like an addiction. What am I saying? It is an addiction. And you know, when I do write I get this amazing feeling. Sometimes it's like a form of meditation, that's when all the words flow just right. Other times it's frustrating, but always after I've done it I feel such a wonderful sense of wellbeing.

I remember reading somewhere a quote by some writer and it's always stuck in my head. They said that whenever they want to read a good book they write one.

Well better enter this before the whole thing disappears.
Cathca All Later.

My thoughts are with you all.

RLH Tue Dec 28 11:50:52 PST 1999

Greetings one and all!

Hope everyone had a festive time during the holidays. We spent Christmas day with my wife's mom, Gloria. She was at home, where she wanted and able to visit with her children and grand-children one last time.

Cancer claimed her yesterday and she returned to God.

There should be something for a writer regarding her struggle to live against impossible odds. Something to write about, but not now. I find I am better at incorporating emotions and incidents into the written word from far away. So this will be filed away and in a few years, (God granting) I'll create a character that has all of her love, strength of character and devotion. Come to think of it...she has done all of the work for me. All I have to do is write my memories of her.

If my agent is reading this, and she has said she does, I would like to say a few kind words to her...

Why don't you get off your &%^#!#@ &#% and get me a publisher! Futhermore, ^&#$%@ and &^$#%@ or I will *&%^#$ *&^ @!$^!! Understand.

It's a amazing how I can keep my cool at times like this. I mean, the Great American novel only comes along once in a lifetime. How could you not realize what you have? Some of my friends have read it and they weep in admiration, then laugh, slap me on the back and walk away shaking their head. (I don't understand their need to jump up and down on the manuscript though?) If the movie deal is holding things least let me know. I keep telling my banker the deposit is in the mail...but I don't think he listens to me. It would be hard I suppose, the way he laughs and slaps his knee as I relate my coming wealth.

Sigh. No one told me writing was easy. No one told me writing was hard. In fact, no one told me anything. Big sigh. :( Maybe I'm too isolated, perhaps I should travel to Paris and wile away the hours in sidewalk cafes, drink coffee and discuss deviant sex with the idle rich. That has worked for some. (No, not Paris Texas!)

Perhaps I should find a war and get a job driving an ambulance?

Develop a taste for whiskey, marry another with the same tastes and sing into debauchery?

Climb a mountain, study with the monks?

It's all a big mystery.


Jasmeen Mon Dec 27 22:16:34 PST 1999

Greetings from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where it's summer all-year round. There's been gazillions of New Year parties lined up here in KL. What will I be doing? I guess I'll be at home watching some good movies. It's also fasting month right now (for the Muslims) and here in KL, it's kinda rather inappropriate to go crazy during a month of abstinence and prayers. Besides, I have to be in the office on January 1st (..this rumour has been spreading around the office like wildfire).. but I'll just cross my fingers. But anyway, a Merry Y2K to all, and to all a Good Year ahead!

Howard Mon Dec 27 21:25:10 PST 1999

Hi all!
It's midnight, and I'm so lucky to be working the late shift for the next couple of weeks, covering for Y2K problems. I'll be here from 2330 to 0800 every night, including New Year's Eve, to defend the world (this corner of it, anyway) from the millennium bug.
Right now I'm listening to "The Best Of Ladysmith Black Mambaza" on my portable CD player. If Paul Simon never did anything else, he would still be a genius in my mind just for bringing this group to the public attention.
We enjoyed our Christmas -- spent lots of time with family and friends. I got lots of books, and other goodies too.
Spent some time with my dad, and I think he knew I was there. It was good to feel the slight return pressure when I squeezed his hand. I remember whenever I was sick or hurt as a child, that he would hold my hand and squeeze it to let me know he was there for me. How can I do less for him?

I guess if I were to make a New Year's Resolution it would be to be more like him.


Rachel Mon Dec 27 17:08:25 PST 1999

Allein - I saw that one coming, but I don't see it that way. My way of thinking will cause me no distress at any point (smiles and a hug).

Allein Mon Dec 27 14:52:14 PST 1999

Rachel - if you make a new year's resolution not to make a new years resolution then wouldn't that be making a new year's resolution?

Gary Howard Mon Dec 27 14:07:26 PST 1999

Greetings from Vancouver, B.C. and Happy New Year to you all. I haven't been to this site in a couple of years. I'm in the middle of a rather horrendous separation/divorce and I'm beginning to remember myself and find more time for my writing. Jack, the web site only gets better and more refined ... you're doing wonders. Hopefully I can pop in from time to time and maybe even slip in an occasional poem in the work book. Currently I'm editing and reworking my screenplay. I guess if I were to have any resolution this year, it would be to complete the screenplay project.



Rachel Mon Dec 27 05:10:14 PST 1999

Hi all

New Years Resolution is to make no resolutions. I have many goals in my life and make them all through the year. I don't tend to wait for a special day for much. I do what I want when my heart is moved to do it and need to excuses to treat myself or others well. I think that most New Years Resolutions lead to masses of guilt and possibly even depression for the people who make them. At least this is what I have observed in my friends over the years. I guess it's all in good fun, but I have never been one for fun that turns out to be damaging to others.

I hope you will all be good to your selves when you make your resolutions. For all the Christian folk out there, "All you ever have to be is what he made you." (I give credit for that quote to Amy Grant) It came from a song I heard playing a long time ago, and it suck in my mind. So many people run around trying to be everything for everyone and taking on the weight of the world. I believe that if you take a little peak in your bibles, if that is what you believe you will find that God already took care of that matter.

I'm not saying don't try to do good, I'm just saying you can't do anyone any good if you all trash your selves. I have read so many posts where my heart has just been wrenched.

Ah well, I'll stop with all this.

Here! A resolution. I resolve in the New Year that I will go back to keeping my mouth shut.

Americo - If I could think of a New Years Wish or a Dream for the Millenium, I can not think of one more inspiring for myself, than that of the Nobel Prize. What write doesn't sit back and think about that one every once in a while. You are a darling to hold such a thought for me (I send you a very warm hug).

Take care all

Joy Mon Dec 27 02:40:03 PST 1999

A Happy New Coming to everyone. According to Jack's new graphics, I think we're all supposed to resolve to have more sax in 2000. I myself resolve to do more writing, spend less time on the net (the one making space for the other), stop asking everyone to check my e-mail while they're on the computer (they've taken to sneaking on when I'm out of sight) and to stop getting up so #@&!* early (notice I slept in this morning -- it's only 5:30). Seriously (I WASN"T serious about not getting up early -- I LOVE these "writer" dark circles under my eyes) I have no true writing resolutions, for writing is just a series of gifts we find some days under our tree. Sometimes they're those wonderful box-in-a-box-in-a-box-in-a... gifts that keep us writing forever, and sometimes the box is empty and we have to scramble to find something to fill it. We writers, with everything we write, are gift givers also; we give laughter, tears, pure heart-thumping entertainment, and sometimes -- if the gift was truly God-given -- a reason to go on living. The blessings of the Millennium to all of you. Keep well, keep warm, keep writing.

shawn shawnlow22 Mon Dec 27 01:39:17 PST 1999

i love writing, its part of my life. i think that writing
cultivates your mind and soul. it enriches a dull workday
into a fun-filled world of fantasy!!!!

Allein Sun Dec 26 15:05:04 PST 1999

Hi People!! *hugs*
I don't make New Years resolutions because quite often, I don't follow them. However, I'm making one this year and that is to finish my Mali and Azol story and move on to the next one in the series. Actually, I already know what I want to write, it's just a matter of getting off my lazy butt and doing it.
I had a wonderful Christmas as I hope the rest of you did. I woke up early (about seven) and went downstairs where my brother was fixing himself a pop tart. I hope he enjoys them while he still can. Mom says that come Y2K, all the toasters will malfunction and there will be no more pop tarts.
Anyway, I watched TV until my parents were (finally) ready to open presents. I actually got a lotto scratch ticket and won two whole dollars! :) I'm rich! One of my brother's presents came in a shoe box. Ignoring the present, he put the shoe box on his head and thanked mom and dad for the wonderful hat.
I got some inflatable furniature (a chair, footrest and pillow). Now I guess I'm all set for when I move out. I also got lots of chocolate (most of which is gone now), a (much needed) new camera, two tins of my favorite swiss mocha coffee, two CD's, money from my grandparents and some other stuff.
My brother asked for a time keeper. He didn't specify a watch so my dad make him a little sun dial out of cardboard and gave that to him.
Afterwards, I went upstairs to blow up my furnature and watch TV. After lunch I fell asleep and didn't wake up until dinner. :)
That night we had turkey which was delicious. :) Then I went upstairs and got on the computer and talked with Sqrlmunk! :) She said she had a nice Christmas too.
Now, my family is trying to decide what movies we want to watch on New Year's eve. It's difficult because all of our tastes are so different. I like chick flicks and Disney, my brother likes tasteless humor and science fiction and my parents like drama. I'll also watch anything with Antonio Bendaras in it (he's really sexy!).
Does anyone have any suggestions? They'd be greatly appreciated.
Anyway, I must go and leave room for others to post. I hope that in not posting Internet jokes I've made certain people at the notebook happy. Not that I'll mention any names ::Cough cough - Americo - cough:: Gee, I guess I'm coming down with something. *grin*
Smiles, rainbows and lollipops!

"Remember that trees are important, so please recycle by using both sides of the toilet paper."
- Bathroom poster

Allein Sun Dec 26 14:46:17 PST 1999

Americo Sun Dec 26 14:11:07 PST 1999

Resolutions for the next millenium:

1. That "Shadows in a Dream" be published in the USA and reveal to the world the best Internet novel ever written.

2. That the S* experience show to all the Notebookers past, present and future, that when a writer makes a promise, that promise will be kept until its fulfilment.

3. That ever-nevers, deserters and other unreliable people change their ways.

4. That the "Writers' Notebook" become a meeting point for international writers of all persuasions except fascists, zealots, and other reactionaries of ill-omen to the world.

5. That Jack Beslanwitch rediscover his lost dream of becoming a writer. (Fran, no more presents of computers for that man before he writes and publishes a book. I've seen many talents lose themselves amidst cables and fancy mice-- actually, if I do not take care, the next victim of computers and Internet will be yours truly.)

6. That Jesus Christ come back to the Earth and ask for a revision of the Holy Scriptures. Sentences like "if you do not believe in me, you'll go to hell", are not only a tremendous blunder but also a discredit for a religion which, though far from perfect, has some good points.

7. That Russia, China and the USA convert themselves to Democracy.

8. That a new Beethoven be born.

9. That I write a masterpiece.

10. That Rachel become the first Canadian Nobel Prize.

11. That Allein stops collecting Internet funnies and returns to her lovely (and truly funny) messages.

12. That Howard and Thomas return to the Notebook so that we can have good discussions here.

13. That Timor Lorosae be reconstructed and the murderers of that people be severely punished.

14. That Macau be happy in the bosom of her mother China (but not forget the Portuguese cultural inheritance).

15. That I stop making resolutions which are more wishes than resolutions and stick to the topic proposed by Jack.

Jack Beslanwitch Sun Dec 26 09:16:16 PST 1999

The graphic above says it all. An extension to that is what resolutions if any are we giving ourself for writing in the New Millenium? My answer is still percolating. One too unfinished resolutions from before. And as an added way of bringing things into focus I have archived and provide you with a tabula rasa to write the new 1000 years upon.

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