Archived Messages from February 9 - 16, 2000

Cassandra Wed Feb 16 17:29:19 PST 2000

*panting* Too much work...not enough sleep... need caffiene, sugar... wild mind-blowing sex... screen chemicals... monkey tails...stuff and things

Hi all!

First of all, thanks to Americo for standing strong with me. Who needs romance! It's so often that I find people telling me "aw, Case, don't say that" after I tell them I want to be alone, like I'm some kind of pity case! It's rare to find someone who Truely understands that I'm still young and I have so much else to do... especially in these years where I still have the energy to do it all (or at least the mindset. I AM INVINCABLE!). Love can wait.

Second of all, hello, how are you all doing?

We had a disfunctional, insultative critque in my photo class yesterday which was quite interesting. It reminded me of home.... and why I don't care to go back there any time soon. (j/k) I like my family. My brothers and I just quip, jab and poke fun at each other... at least the brother that speaks often does.

I'm starting to factor my sense of humor more into my artwork, at least my visual stuff (for the time being). Perhaps when I find a way to communicate it through the written word I'll start writing pieces that have my particular sarcastic bite to them. I'm looking forward to it.

As for now, I'm rendering type and drawing monkey tails... I already drew the monkeys (and let's just say they're playing 'leap frog'). This weekend looks to be fairly uneventful... if I do a good, quick job shooting photos, I'm going to start scanning more of my college art work to post on my website, so stay tuned! Same Cassandra time, same Cassandra channel!

Ok, is it just me, or is it overly evident that I haven't gotten enough sleep and have eaten too much chocolate/sugar??

Anywho, I wrote another short poem today in the middle of a screen printing crique. (guess during class is my optimal creative time...funny cause my work in class usually isn't that good.) It was inspired by a comment from my teacher about having to "taste" the artwork.

Taste it...
my vision exceeds your expectations
reach it...
you're grasping at straws again
believe it...
don't blink or shake your head
understand it...
open your heart if you dare
love it...
there's nothing to loose but opportunity

Back to work for me
May the muse be with you all,


Rachel Wed Feb 16 17:16:15 PST 2000

Teekay - Hi you! I was wondering where you were (smiles). Nice to see yah.

Pussy - Childbirth... What can I say? Ouch (grins).

Take care all


Teekay. Wed Feb 16 15:20:35 PST 2000

Hi All.
This is just to let you know I am thinking of you and missing you all desperately.
RHODA: I will read your chapter this weekend and get it back to you. It definitely isn't lack of interest, just time.

Bye all and have a really great day.

Saying for the day:
" A yawn is a silent shout"
G.K. Chesterton.

Pussy Wed Feb 16 11:17:10 PST 2000

Childbirth, childbirth!

That was the happiest time of my life. I could be in bed all day, and eat all the chocolates my admirers brought me. Children are the loveliest thing in a happy marriage life. The rest is a bit boring. Well, sometimes.

howard Wed Feb 16 10:59:25 PST 2000

I forgot to mention that page has been translated into Portugese also, just for Americo.

And Heather -- Who needs words? :-)


howard Wed Feb 16 10:18:49 PST 2000

Hi again --
Bill Cosby said that Carol Burnett once described giving birth as "Grabbing your lower lip and stretching it over the top of your head." If you ever get a chance to hear his routine on the birth of their first daughter, do it! It's hilarious!

All --
If you'd like to see a real miraculous birth, complete with pictures, check this site:

Warning, some of the pictures are very graphic, but the story behind them is nothing short of miraculous.


Heather (again) Wed Feb 16 08:05:47 PST 2000

Last time I kissed wee Jon I got a mouthful of fur and a none-to-charming paw in the nose. Should I venture to send him a kiss? Here's one for the air. Catch it, Jon, you spry thing!

Heather Wed Feb 16 08:03:49 PST 2000

Trudy! That's a good point - wouldn't want to scare any young maidens into spinsterhood! Fear of phallises is not unheard of! (rather than make it fear of birthing, we'll be afraid of part of the source...)

Heather Wed Feb 16 08:00:57 PST 2000

Lynn - forgot to mention that I read your part 2 first, not noticing it wasn't the first installment. I will go back and read the first part, and let you know what I think,
although can I say this? I'm not very much into science fiction, so take any comments with many grains of the salty stuff. Since I don't read much SF, I will not likely make a perfect SF critic. I can critique structure, plot, characterization with no problem. Just can't tell you how your idea stands up to others in same genre. You asked for plot etc.. critique, so I will oblige. Shake up your salt while you're waiting!

P.S. - from what I've read, it wasn't too hard to figure out what was going on. I will take detailed notes on anything that might be awry.

Trudy Wed Feb 16 07:59:18 PST 2000

Kisses to Jon, poor neglected baby!

And a note to say I will not be visiting these pages agai until next week. I'm off to Canada's capital city and Winterlude celebrations. Will be interested to see everyone's posts about child birth...the desciption here can be so good sometimes this may scare some maidens away from motherhood.

See you next week all.


Heather Wed Feb 16 07:52:34 PST 2000

Howard! It doesn't matter that the poems were to another, other than your lovely wife. What matters is the joy and feeling you evoke with your darling words. I would have kept the poems too, never to throw them away had you written them to me.
I can only imagine what your words would be to your wife!
I too cannot share what my dear husband (dh) has written to me,or I to him, but suffice to say he is a 'keeper';(to use a cruddy phrase that entails ownership rather than a blessed vow such as our wedding vows are.)
Words meant only for one other pair of eyes in the world are truly much too private for the NB!
I did write something about how I feel about Wayne somewhere in the archived nb pages, but it certainly wasn't something I had written to him in a private letter.

Let's talk about romantic things we have done for our beloved; they can be silly:
One night when I was up late writing and he was fast asleep, I just had to think of something besides just a quick note - something different this time, and I was tired... I looked on the kitchen table and he had set out his cereal for the morning - so I grabbed a handful and made him a little heart shape out of it all around his bowl! He thought it was very cute, and put an arrow through it for me to find when I rose.

About birth - only a man (Americo!)would say "hey what about the credit we deserve for creating the child?" Well, men, without the egg there would be no child either, and have you thought about how much we women go through to keep the eggs healthy and fortify the womb every month for 2/3rds of our lives? Have you ever had blood running down your clothes in public? Not to mention carrying a child for 40 weeks as he/she kicks us and gives us indigestion or morning sickness, among other things? And then you pass out cigars (not even cuban) and laugh and joke with your buddies after we give birth. Have you seen the crown of your child's head bursting through? Have you contemplated the fact that we, as women, cannot even begin to describe what the pain of birth is like? True, we don't fight in wars and get shot and blown to pieces. But we are perfectly willing to have more than one child for you. There is my tour of duty.
And I did two - both, for the most part, smiling.
Many have done more than two tours!
I bow and salute.

OK, that was a rant. I am not mad at men in general, but I am sorry, guys, for it is as impossible for you to wear our birthing shoes as it is impossible for us to understand the difficulty passing gallstones through your hose or running, dodging fire and bullets. (Unless you live in Murder City, then you might know both)...
Any guy care to give describing what birth feels like a try? Any woman up to describing what it feels like to fight in WWII? We, as fiction writers, (some or almost all) must try and feel our way through this - heads on full-imagination-awareness...if we hope to be able to describe these things without personal experience to aid us.
No, scratch the thing I said about it being IMPOSSIBLE: it is possible for you to empathize, even understand although in this lifetime, you won't be able to give birth, and I certainly hope there aren't any more wars for 'us' to jump into. My point was that you cannot experience it directly, so be as accurate as you can(interview mothers) if you ever plan to write about it in a book. Real mothers would know you were bullsh*itting if it isn't realistic.
Haven't we all seen a few movies where a birth scene just really makes you snort? If it was that easy, we'd be lining up for it with glee. Even (gasp) surrogate motherhood would be popular.

howard Wed Feb 16 06:56:31 PST 2000

Umm- I'm afraid I have to disqualify myself after all -- those poems were *not* written to my wife, but to another. I would not share my deepest feelings about my wife with anyone.
THey were written for a girl I met a few years ago in college (I didn't start college until I was into my 50s). As it happened we were in several classes together, including music and history (and my wife, who worked right there on campus, knew all). She chose me as her study partner, and I was flattered.
I remember loaning her my watch one morning because she had forgot hers. That afternoon she walked into class looking pale, and as she handed it back to me she asked "Is that a real Rolex?" I told her that it was indeed, and she almost fainted when I told her that it was worth over $2000.
It was nothing more than that, though, even though I did write a few things for her. She was "The Girl Who Played Debussy" in that story (it made her cry). I found out later that she would occasionally show them to her other friends and family, and would boast of having a secret lover.
I've only seen her once since graduation, and she said she still had them all, and that they had helped her get through some rough times.
Anyhow, that's what it was all about.

Jon, CEO Wed Feb 16 05:30:34 PST 2000

Jack, please, please!!! The Notebook is full and takes two hours to refresh. And SM** is even fuller. I can hear the shouts of the Notebookers asking for room to post. And the problem is that everyone comes to me and blames me and never kiss me.

I do not know why but I feel like hugging Tucky today.

Americo Wed Feb 16 05:27:13 PST 2000

Your descriptions of how you met your prince were interesting. They lacked that element of surprise which makes the reader jump, but they were not entirely conventional. You sacrificed imagination to truth and that can also make good literature, if well written (the case of Rhoda, who should, however, ask God not to put His nose into the others' business -- I'll tell Him). There will be no prize because Howard got a cold. Yet, if I were to choose a post, that would be Cassandra's on Valentine's greetings. It is not easy to say that you cannot chain to your skirt a boyfriend for ever. I share your courage, Cassandra: my girlfriends never last more than thirty days (thirty one when the month is that long).

From hunt to picknick and indigestion. Today we'll write on the joys of birth. I find very unjust to the husband and the child to speak about how the mother was such a heroine on her children's birth, and forget that sublime moment when the husband, motivated by champagne and caviar, sweated all his strength to make the child. That is not easy, ladies, and demands a great deal of devotion and intellectual concentration, stolen from more interesting activities, like playing Myst on the computer. Do not forget that important aspect of creation, and give your children the gift of telling them their exact age. They have a right to know.

Maidens may speak about how many children they want to have, what kind of children (blond or black, girls or boys), and if they intend to keep them or offer them to the gipsies. Those who are against polluting the environment, please tell us about the most interesting anti-conception methods still used in your villages and inherited from the medieval witches. If they are cheaper than the pill, I'll use them myself.

© Writer's Notebook, the place of tears unrestrained and healthy laughters from morning till six.

Heather Tue Feb 15 22:45:02 PST 2000

Well, Americo, I am honoured you have noticed I was late in arriving!
I was writing on my third chapter, very furiously indeed...
sorry, NBers, even the precious NB gets stuffed into dark corners when I am in the middle of muse ticklings and bites.
Can't say how well it turned out yet, have to go back and take all of what I've written on this novel so far and read it straight through - without nitpicking! The impossible task - but I must forge ahead and do it! Leaving all pencils and red pens where they lie.
It is purely to know if what I am writing now ties in perfectly, and keeps things pacing along. Does it count that I still think of it as a good read so far? Or does that say I haven't gotten tired of it simply because it's mine?

Of any book - do you not agree the ones who have read them the most times over are the authors themselves? Except Jonathon Livingston Seagull (Richard Bach, the genius); I have read that one to the degree of having to purchase another copy! And no, A*, it didn't catch fire in my hands. Must have been my laser vision.

Randall, you have graced us again with a brilliantly funny post. Hurrah!
And Rhoda, thank you for sharing your story about meeting your husband! And Jerry, for your story about meeting his wife!

Lynn - I am going to read that promising number as soon as I get through the anti-nitpicking not-a-proof-read-for-pencils proofread. The workbook is surely bursting at the seams! Delicious!

Cheerio and top of the dark night to you all.


P.S. - can anyone imagine writing a novel in 6 weeks? I was reading a great book about the art of writing fiction (I'll get it out of the library again to give you proper title and author since it's the best yet I've read on the topic...)
*anyhow* In it there was an interview quip from an author who said she wrote one of her novels in 6 weeks! 6 WEEKS!
And I don't think it was a little skinny. I bet it was average length! GRRRRR. I should find it and see. Not that we need to be that quick...

randall Tue Feb 15 17:56:33 PST 2000

Hi gang:

I guess. Don't know what happened to the posts? Guess some hacker named Cooloi has invaded my system. Lost train of thought.

Oh yeah. Heather thanks for the vote. Howard, love the "hole joke." Reminds me of Tx DOT! There was an incident many years ago that is worth repeating. A work crew radioed in that they had left their shovels in the yard. The dispatcher, no doubt sensing a golden moment radioed back. "We'll have 'em out to you in an hour. In the meantime LEAN on each other till then."

Losing my thoughts again.

Try it again tomorrow night.

Goodnight all


ran Tue Feb 15 17:31:11 PST 2000

Randall star Tue Feb 15 17:30:21 PST 2000

Lynn Tue Feb 15 17:29:24 PST 2000


Okay. I got my password to the Workbook yesterday and my nerve up today. I have posted Chapter 1 of my novel in the Workbook. Please take a look and let me know what you think.

Seriously, all comments are appreciated. At this point, I am interested in high level stuff (plot, characters, etc.). But if you pick up grammar problems, let me know about that too.

Thank you!!


Americo Tue Feb 15 17:23:17 PST 2000

My encounter with the lionness.
It was in the same Casino Allein was getting drunk every night. She came up to me and asked for a light. But I did not smoke. Could I pay her a drink? Sorry, a teetotaller. Give her a kiss? Nope, against my principles.
She looked at me from top to bottom with such contempt that I almost died of shame. What kind of man was I? A priest?
"A nun," confessed I.
"Just what I need."
We married the next morning, but no children so far.
We women can be very weird sometimes.

PS. Sorry. people, I had to invent something as well.
PSS. The Notebook has been fabulous lately. And Heather has not arrived tonight yet! Unfortunately I must go to bed now. Kisses all over the place.

Allein Tue Feb 15 16:43:10 PST 2000

I haven't shared mine and Aaron's story. Well, it was a hot night in Vegas and I was working at the casino as usual. We were both drunk and a month later I found that he'd knocked me up...oh wait, that's not how it happened! We met at a party and he asked for my phone number. He called and the first place we went on a date was the Golden Mum (a Chinese restaurant). :) He took me there for Valentine's day too.

Lynn - My birthday is on March 5th.

Rhoda - The day you met your husband was the exact day I was born. :) That's kinda cool.
*hugs* to everyone,

Lynn Tue Feb 15 16:32:43 PST 2000


Your stories are wonderfully touching! You've all been part of a valentine's day I'll never forget.

Again, thanks to all of you for your encouragement. I have really made progress on Chapter 3.

And, just a word of warning, a stomach bug is going around. It has a headache accompaniment. I was back to work today, but I really questioned my judgment on that. At least I can't pass it on here! Hopefully, none of my co-workers will suffer for that decision.

Allein - What day is your birthday?


Americo Tue Feb 15 15:04:27 PST 2000

I've been having tea with Mary Shelley. We both love romantic encounters (those of the third kind are even more exciting than yours), and at the same time reading your posts. They prove that you write wonderfully when under a little emotion. So, it was nice to meet the man, hein? We are not that bad, after all. And you, women, you are fantastic. Much better than men in two or three things: a)love, b)singing)epistolography. You can also be good writers, but not so good as men as painters or musicians (no Beethoven on that side of paradise. Lousy as chess players. I prefer to work with men. But it depends on the job.

This is just to tell you that you are skipping in your narratives that first sentence that motivated you to the greatest deed. Sentences, ladies! That's what we are looking for. Not just looks. Words! And also: this topic is for girls and not only for married girls. I know that Allein never does what I ask, but Hema, and Cassanda, and Sqrl, and Avatar, and... (long list). Love is only you know little about it. And when it is impossible. For writing, only impossible loves.

Anyway, I surrender to your talent and to your charm. St Valentine did us a lot of good!

PS. My encounters with Mary Shelley are totally intellectual.

Rachel Tue Feb 15 14:34:59 PST 2000

So, the first meeting... Hum, I know that we looked at each other before we met.

We met in the highschool social lounge. It was a day like any other. The only difference is that we spoke to each other. The conversation was nothing amazing. Just hi, how are you, what's your name sort of stuff.

Then when you are 15 years old you don't think that you are meeting the person you are going to spend the rest of your life with. I guess if I had known I might have come up with something a little better, but maybe not. I think it is nice to have a simple meeting.

I didn't realize that Dan was good looking until after we had started to date. I knew he was pleasing enough to look at, that he wasn't ugly, but I hadn't really looked at him that way.

I don't tend to see people by the way they look. I was more interested in digging in and looking at the inside him. That is what I fall in love with. I was so surprised when I noticed that he was gorgeous. It was as if I couldn't see that before I saw that he was good looking inside. I think you can have all the physical beauty in the world and have an ugly soul.

Yuh, I know sounds like pretty deep stuff for a 15 year old, but remember I had seen my parents go in and out of relationships. I was not approaching relationships in the same way my friends were. I didn't want to go into anything blind. I wanted to know every facet of his personality. I provoked reactions so that I could examin them and decide what I thought of them. To see if he was
presenting a true representation of himself, or if he was hiding some dark and ugly person under everything.

We have had many fun and silly moments, but if I am remembering things right we just sort of met. I don't think that love is all zip and spark. Sometimes it just sort of creeps up on you.

I'll double check this with Dan, but I think it was just a casual afternoon in the social lounge.

Take care all


Rhoda Tue Feb 15 12:23:47 PST 2000


Thank you, but I haven't shared mine and Frank's story. Nonetheless I will tell it. I have hestitated so far because I have a hard time with brevity.

I met Frank on my way home for spring break. It was March 5, 1982 and I was in my second year of Graduate School at Baylor. Well, at this time in my life I was fairly dense and was in the midst of a serious relationship with a guy totally unsuited for me. Outside of mutual attraction and our common occupation as students in the Chemistry Department, we had little in common.

The night before I was to leave for home, my boyfriend and I had a discussion about the direction of our relationship. I realized after that this relationship had no future. This is what my head told me, but it took some time for the heart to catch up to that realization. That night I prayed. I asked God why it was so hard to love someone. I asked Him that if there was someone for me to share my life with, would He please hurry up and allow me to meet him.

Next day my boyfriend took me to the airport. I got on a plane and flew to Dallas. From Dallas I had to catch a plane to St. Louis. I got on that American airlines jet to St. Louis and immediately saw a young man looking up at me. My seat was about two down from him on the other side of the aisle. During the flight I studied this person because I found him quite interesting. He looked well enough, but he wasn't drop dead handsome. A woman came to sit next to him, and he rose up and helped her put her bag in the overhead compartment. While I watched him, I couldn't help noticing how kind he was. He was very tall, 6' 4" and of a large build, but he seemed so gentle. As the plane took off and I thought about this person, I asked the Lord why I could not meet someone who was gentle like this person.

We got off the plane. I really didn't give this person much more thought until he came to stand behind me in the line for the boarding pass on the next flight. He began to talk to me. Frank, as I learned his name, was also going to be on the flight going to Evansville. We sat down together and waited for the plane. When I boarded, there he was asking to sit next to me. On that flight we shared our life stories and found many interesting parallels. He and I both moved to Texas in the summer of 1980. He was from Louisville and I was from Evansville (100 miles apart). Frank was tired of living in west Texas and he was interviewing for a new job in Evansville. Frank went to Rose Hulman in Terre Haute while I was in Terre Haute attending Indiana State. We knew many of the same people, but in all that time we had never met. Frank was a Christian and so was I. Before the end of the flight, we exchanged addresses and phone numbers.

I didn't think that day that I would marry Frank. I still had the other boy friend, and I was sort of down on relationships at the time because mine was going so badly. When Frank and I returned to Texas, we began to write. Frank lived in Odessa at the time and I lived in Waco, so we lived about 300 miles apart. Our first meeting after that was a double date with some friends of his who lived in Kileen. It was very enjoyable and low key. Then Frank came to Waco to visit me a few weeks later. It was on that date I realized that Frank was someone out of the ordinary. I remember feeling so at home with him. He was so kind to me and so undemanding.

Frank and I continued to write and visit. The other boyfriend would not be dropped so easily and made things difficult for me for another few months, but eventually that relationship ended. I tried to be as open as I could about the other guy to Frank. Frank had just said that to be my friend would be enough. As time went on my relationship with Frank grew. There was no pressure, no pain, no games. We loved being with each other and in time it became clear we loved each other dearly. We became engaged Christmas Eve of 1982 and were married on May 28th of the following year.

So that is our story. We have had hard times like during the time Frank got laid off back in 1986 and then the time he spent most of his time away on a project in Wyoming in '93 and '94, but our love, and our committment and most of all the grace of God has seen us through. As Lynn pointed out earlier, even in the times our husbands drive us crazy, we still can't imagine life without them.

For all that was worth,


Rachel Tue Feb 15 11:03:17 PST 2000

Americo - You should change servers. I happen to know that you have had mail sent to you today (grins).
Take care you

PS - If you can't find anything from me let me know and I'll resend.

Americo Tue Feb 15 10:55:46 PST 2000

The post below should be mine, but I forgot to sign it and it is probably too late now for such daring feat.

I'm not getting any mail today and I am not amused. Should I change server or correspondents?

Tue Feb 15 10:41:07 PST 2000

I'm happy to announce the winner of the Writer's Notebook 2000 Valentine Contest: the prize was granted to all the Notebookers. Under the pseudonym of "Americo" (the husband and conscience of America), they've written, or at least suggested, the best valentine. Here it is for posterity:

Fran — We all love you.

This is the definitive version of a simple, sincere and true valentine.

Other valentines were mentioned by illustrous members of the panel, but none of them had the vehemence and honesty of the one dedicated to Fran. Mathematically there was a draw among several valentines. Jack's vote solved the problem.

Jack, I love your wife because I once saw a picture of you and her together. It's still in the bibliography page and is a source of great respect for me. Love does really exist in the couple, but it is not what little women — and soap operas — say it is. True love — affection, respect and dedication to someone worthy of such devotion — is something I deeply praise: the only love which I am unable to laugh at and which I can subscribe valentines to.
J. Ericsson, "je poetischer, je wahrer" (Novallis) = the more poetic/mischievous/and such appearances, the truer. Even when seeming to play, a writer is telling the truth (or provoking it). Writer means: "scratcher of the truth". At least that's my personal interpretation of it (the word comes from the Greek reissen=to tear, or perhaps, rhine=rasp, in any case producing a sound unpleasant to vulgar ears).
Tonight, we are summoned from all parts of the world to go on speaking about our first encounter with the person we married (or we are dating). That unfortunate event is usually surrounded by pathetic/romantic/comic circumstances which become glued to our lives. The prize for the best post will be a show of Howard dancing naked among the periwinkles.
Mary Shelley: you are obviously the best writer in this forum. Your mixture of early 19th, early 21th century prose is delightful to read. Do not expect common mortals to understand you. But I kiss your talented fingers.
P. Cushing: As long as you remain a mere lurker of this page, you will not have our blessing. Come to the light and introduce yourself. If you have trouble getting the money to pay the due drinks to Jon, Pussy and me -- just send an e-mail asking for a discount. In principle, you will be welcome.

Cassandra Tue Feb 15 10:05:26 PST 2000

Heather- I love Tom Robbins! Once I finish the book I'm reading now, I'm thinking of seeking out another of his novels. I read Jitterbug Perfume the summer before my freshman year of college and fell in love with it.

A hopeless romantic I am, but yesterday I actually protested valentine's day. Clad in dark grey and black, along with a few other friends. I've been alone every valentine's day... and although everyone says 'Some day your prince will come' it is quite difficult to believe when you've never had love last (4 months would be my record).

So now, I've grown content with my lonliness, taking my time to do work and express myself. Men may be attractive, and the lure for love may still be in my heart... but inprisoned in there is where it will stay for a good long while. I have no need for love in that form. I've got loving friends and a decent family.

Congratulations to those of you either exploring or growing old with love by your side... never take it for granted.

And Sqrl- Welcome Back Chica! Luv ya luv ya luv ya! See you at lunch in a few ;)


Heather Tue Feb 15 09:41:58 PST 2000

Rachel and Rhoda, very romantic tales, each.
I have another. Whether it is completely romantic is to be determined.

My husband and I met when I lived in a big house that was divided up into three apartments. The couple in the basement decided to have a big BBQ party and invited everyone in the house. Wayne had just moved into the middle apartment, I lived upstairs. Actually, when he was moving in, the moving truck hit the neighbours' soffit and fascia because the driveway was so skinny! I saw it and laughed my head off - the neighbours were really anal retentive types with red noses and little shiny eyes. I saw the dent in the house next door before I met Wayne.
Anyhow, we were having this BBQ, I brought the veggie platters and plunked them on the table. THen I went up on the deck to meet everyone. THe basement couple had invited a lot of friends and actually knew Wayne ahead of his move as well...
The little BBQ was for the veggie-dogs and hot dogs while the big one was cooking chicken and burgers. Wayne was trying to light that little one. No one had thought to buy lighter fluid. So Wayne and I introduced ourselves (my, he had intense eyes!) and he promptly asked if I had a can of hairspray he could borrow. The basement couple was very anal retentive too - and were 'environmental fascists'. Good thing for us they were out of earshot.

(Note: Environmental Fascism: On a previous day I went down to the laundry room and found that the young woman in the basement had put up superfluous numbers of 'how to recycle' signs and posters, and left other notes to the rude tone of 'you are all imbeciles and know nothing of using blue boxes for paper and glass recycling, and furthermore I decree that all who live in this house MUST recycle properly according to Environment Canada's Rules!'
So I showed her I knew how to recycle very well by promptly recycling her posters and notices in the appropriate place!)

Anyhow, I went and got that can of hairspray, and really folks, don't get all stiff in the environmental lips! I am as concerned as anyone and do my part. But that hairspray lit up the bbq grill's charcoal faster than any lighter fluid (and it's a hazard anyway)! Wayne and I had a good laugh. I quoted the basement girl when she had freaked out a month earlier as a nearby ancient factory site had caught fire..."Oh my God! Look at all the noxious chemicals in the air!" And this made our laughter all the more riotus.
Crude? Possibly. But a funny introduction nonetheless.
I had a boyfriend at the time, but Wayne and I began to talk when we saw each other coming or going from the house. And then we started talking longer and longer. WE were good friends for over 2 years. By the end of the second year, I decided my boyfriend at the time was Jerk #2 and I'd had enough. (Jerk #1 was history years before).
Six months later, as I was still not really dating, Wayne was over and we watched Braveheart (the movie). After that I asked him to come down to the river with me. It was night already, but a pretty full moon, and the walk was about 20 minutes to the river.
Getting down the bank was steep, so he went first and then held out his hand for me. THe moment I held his hand I knew.
I knew we were meant for each other, but I don't know how. Could have been the electric tingles?
I had been searching for my soulmate since age 9, when something inside me told me that there was one boy out there in the world, just one that was meant solely for me. And I for him. About 3 months before Wayne and I went to the river I had looked up in the sky at night, and seeing a bright star, I had made a wish that I would find 'him' soon. The next night I was out with my best friend Tanya, and I pointed out the star I'd wished upon. She said, "Heather! That's not a star, that's Venus!"
And so it was.

This is a true story.

Rachel Tue Feb 15 08:41:05 PST 2000

Hi all - Dan and I were highschool sweethearts. I was still 15 and he was 18. He had gone back to school to complete grade 12. Only attended the one semester in my school but that was all it took. He had attended most of his school in another town, so this one semester was our first meeting.

He and one of his friends had decided to come to my school to get their final semester and pick up girls (grins). Apparently my school was babe land (smiles). I was pretty shy, but Dan was very determined. I didn't want to date exclusively, so he told me to see who I wanted, just to try and keep a weekend day free for him.

My parents fell in love with him before I did (laughter). I realized by the time that I was 18 that I was in love with him. It was all much more romantic for Dan. For me it was a fight from the start. You see I didn't want to love anyone. My parents have been married three times each and I wasn't interested in playing that game.

A time came when Dan had, had enough of me and my indecision. He decided to leave the country. Decided that if he couldn't be with me he had to just leave. This moved me to consider the depth of my feelings.

I had a week to think things over. I told him I loved him the night before he was to leave. We had been out for his farewell and I was loaded. He told me that he would come by in the morning and if I still felt the same way we would talk some more.

He came by and I still felt the same way. Okay, I felt hung over too (grins). We spent the day together and he told me that he would be gone for a month or so, then he would come back.

I never wanted to love anyone. Now here I sit with a life full of love! Funny how that seems to happen. We get the things we don't want and they turn out to be exactly what we needed.

I'm not really very romantic, or if I am I don't mean to be. I'm just sort of the way I am. I tend to look life straight in the eye.

Love? Hum, I'm not sure what is with that. I think that love is the culmination of many things. It is the soup of a relationship. You toss in all the ingredients give it a stir and if everything isn't just perfect, well then you don't get love. You can get like, friendship, hate, dislike and every thing that happens between.

So that is a bit about me.

Take care all


Rhoda Tue Feb 15 06:23:15 PST 2000

My vote comes a day late, I'm afraid, but all wonderful lovers here get a Valentine from me. I think, Jon, you got it all wrong. Jerry, Howard, Jack, and Eddie have given the most touching and exalted tributes to their wives. Nothing weak about any of them.


Thank you for that beautiful story about first meeting your husband.


I loved the poems.

This Notebook is full of hopeless romantics. That must be the reason I like to hang out here.

Have a good day, all


Jack Beslanwitch Tue Feb 15 03:09:33 PST 2000

Americo: Thank you ever so much. And, yes, my valentine goes to Fran as well for far more basic reasons. For being my soul mate and meaning and sustainance and best friend. It is the moments like when we are driving down I-5 and one or the other starts talking about something out of left field and it just happens that the other is thinking the exact same thing and is just about to say it. Not necessarily telepathy, but the convergence of two gentle souls who grow closer and closer together over the course of seventeen years. I ever so much look forward to this coming June, something around the twenty first, when we will renew our vows with each other after fifteen years of marriage. It is truth to say that we fit the cliche of an old married couple where love is not the hot fires of first romance, but the deep enduring water of an underground spring that is ever there and ever faithful and ever bubbling to the surface with surprises and wonder and solace. The words are so inadaquate to say that I love this woman, but I do. And that is indeed a blessing. It is all the more suprising to realize that she loves me. Take care all.

Jerry Ericsson Mon Feb 14 21:32:18 PST 2000

All right then, all this talk of romance has me reminiscing about the day I met my lovely wife.

The year was Nineteen-Hundred and Sixty-Eight. The Beetles were still in vogue; a new country western singer named Willie Nelson was just raising to fame. I was so very-very young then only seventeen years. My car, an old beat up gray 1950 Ford with black fenders and Rambler front seat (folds down to a bed don’t you know) was my favorite haunt. My best buddy for the time was named Bobby, and we had been up to a neighboring town, looking for girls. As happened quite regularly back then the guys from that town decided that we didn’t belong there, and that we should leave their ladies to them ran us out of town. We drove back home, and met up with my cousin who furnished us with a case of beer that he and his friends had liberated from a local nightclub the night before.

Bored, we drove the streets of Lemmon, drinking our hot beer and smoking our Marlboro cigarettes. I remember I was dressed in black that night (I usually was) black levies, a black western shirt with pearl snaps and black cowboy boots. Bobby was dressed the same. After a few beers our young bladders filled to the brim, we pulled up behind the laundry mat, and went inside to use the facilities. Our chores taken care of we were heading back to the car when I noticed a girl I used to date. She was my girl next door, who taught me about love and life and that sort of things. With her was a girl I had never seen before. Since we struck out in the other town, we quickly decided that local girls weren’t all that bad. We walked to the front of the large building to where the girls were sitting, sipping cokes and smoking cigarettes. When we asked them if they wanted to go ridding around, at first the said no, but after about a half-hour of talking, the finally agreed.

As these things go, I began the night with my old girl friend, and after a few hours by mutual consent, we decided to switch dates. The girl next door went on to teach many of my friends the facts of life, much as she had taught me. I went on to become a soldier, and later a police officer. Bobby became the CEO of a major oil exploration corporation, and when the oil boom dried up, I was forced to put him in a straight jacket, and escort him some three hundred miles to the state mental hospital. The other girl became my wife, and has been for the past thirty years through thick and thin. She has followed me and my career, across this great nation, from the West Coast, to Texas then on to Washington DC. Later back to the Dakota’s and finally back home to where it all began. She has never complained about the uprooting, the moving, not once. Today, we celebrated our thirtieth Valentines Day, with an exchange of boxes of chocolate. For the first time I was not able to take her out to dinner, as I had to undergo an upper GI series this morning. Happily the test came back normal, but the after-effects kept us from going out. Yet she has yet to complain, and before going to bed an hour ago, she told me again, as she has every night, that she loves me, and I know she is telling the truth. I told her the same, and God knows I mean it with all of my heart.


Rachel Mon Feb 14 20:46:02 PST 2000

Hi all

I have considered my vote. I have to say that I like what Jerry did. I also enjoyed Americo. I thought you were both sweet and considerate. You both should get hugs.

I think anyone who would wish another person well, or wish nice things for another person should get honroable mention. I fling my arms wide and throw hugs at all of you!

Take care all


Mon Feb 14 20:36:13 PST 2000

hello, sweet day of hearts
In the moonlight i see a warm smile emerge
and whisper the words to me.
it was written in the Temple Beautiful
by no hand at all.

Heather Mon Feb 14 20:31:50 PST 2000

Oh! I was typing my post and Howard, the winner of my Valentine vote, posted again!
Who is this shy vixen? I am wondering...
Come out come out!

Just lurking...


Heather Mon Feb 14 20:29:12 PST 2000

HOWARD wins my VOTE! Although it's not quite midnight yet (45 mins left)
Justicfication? He doesn't need any. Look at the genius go in his post, the latest one tonight. My cricket friends are singing your sonnets, Howard. You were a bard in a former lifetime, I know it. In my former lifetime I played a harp.
My accompanyments!


P.S. A very honourable mention to Lynn for braving the 'Americo storms' and posting your piece.

Also, applause for Trudy, and
also some praise for Americo, for he did start a wonderful ballot/topic, and put in his own 50 cents. And I did like your Valentines, A*, but I am crying 'cause you left me in the (BRRRRR!) cold...
And a final note on loving our husbands regardless of primate behavior on occasion (scratch, scratch, fart, burp, scratch) and talking about them when they don't return the favour: Americo, are you jealous because your wife doesn't do the same? Or is it that Portugese duct tape doesn't hold like North America's?

howard Mon Feb 14 20:20:42 PST 2000

OOOOps! Dunno how that muse post got posted twice -- sorry about that.
And double OOOOOps! It wasn't just a love poem we were s'posed to post, but a Valentine for a Notebooker!

Lessee -- who would it be?

To the lovely shy person lurking in the corner:

I know you're there,
Waiting for "that right moment"
to quietly slip in
un-noticed among the raucous press.
You think yourself unworthy,
You're not.
You think you cannot write a word
to touch my heart.
You're wrong.
Come join -
make music with us;
after all,
you do have that missing word -
that key that will unlock our song.
Come, shy one,
bring our Valentine
into the light.


Allein Mon Feb 14 19:41:33 PST 2000

Jon - You're the sweetest cat ever. :) Thanks for the Valentine.

Trudy Mon Feb 14 19:19:29 PST 2000

Valentine's votes...I vote for Jerry and his lovely box of the finest Swiss chocolates. Yummy!!!! and his special cigars for the gents.

Trudy Mon Feb 14 19:12:36 PST 2000

Come on Jon, you must not be reading the men's postings...

Jerry wrote, "I have been married to the very same woman I fell in love with for the past thirty years. In that time I have missed only one year in giving her a heart shapped box of candy, that being the year I was in Vietnam. That year however I did remember her with a first-class love letter. She has faithfully kept each and every box. They reside in the top shelf in her closet, each one covered with plastic to preserve its beutey. I have found it difficult to find a
different design every year, but have somehow mannaged. Fear not, some day your prince will come, and remember you on each Feb. 14th, as I have my own princess."

And since your post, men have been saying lovely things about their wives... read Eddie's Valentine post.

And Eddie I do agree. Now what did we do to show we cared? Hubby and I also shared a bottle of champagne and a spcial meal I prepared just for him...he brought me home two new books; now while that does not sound romantic, I can not think of a more perfect gift for me!

But alas I'm sure we don't love them just caught up on the romantic day!

Happy Valentine's Day all!


Lynn Mon Feb 14 19:12:07 PST 2000

Whoops! Forgot to thank Heather too! Looking forward to your answers.


howard Mon Feb 14 19:12:00 PST 2000

Love poems?
May I submit two? (pause) I'll take that as silent assent.

First, a song -- she wore a lyre shaped pin on the lapel of her jacket, and when I admired it she accused me of looking at her breasts. I denied -- weakly, I admit, and was compelled to write her a song on the spot, for my penance. It was a while before she realized that I managed to include all the elements of the incident into the verse -- into the last two lines! It's the honest truth!

_(to the tune of The Ash Grove)

Come list' to my heart strings
I'll play you a sonnet
come sit here beside me
come rest on the hill.

A sound softly cradled,
enchanting, inviting,
now buoyed, supported
by love's swelling trill.

Now come sing a love song,
melodic, ascending,
so softly repeated
'cross echoing vale.

And when you must leave me
forget not my music
the lyre that enchanted,
the hills, and their tale.

howard tuckey

And again -- she was seated on a stone wall, idly moving a blade of grass that had somehow become a survivor in a crack in the otherwise barren, dry stone. I wondered aloud at its tenacity. Full of her own misery she plucked it deliberately, and threw it at me in a selfish, destructive gesture, meant only to hurt. I was sorry for it, but more sorry for her...

Poor Venus

Green saber,
tiny blade of grass.
yet piercing the stone
upon which you sat.
like a Venus.
Only your lack was not
of arms,
but of something to hold.

hjt 1995


Americo Mon Feb 14 19:10:39 PST 2000

My vote goes to myself with the valentine to Fran. It's simple, sincere and true.

My honourable mention, to Mary Shelly's "Dance among the Daffodils". By far the most beautiful and artistic.

NB. I decided to vote right now because I need to go to bed. And here it's much past midnight. The contest goes on until your midnight wherever you are.

BTW. The votes of the members of the panel need justification. Otherwise they won't be valid. Any signs of corruption will be severely punished (I am not kidding in this little aspect of the question. This is a contest as serious as any).

Good night and good valentines. Lynn Mon Feb 14 19:05:44 PST 2000

I send Happy Valentine's wishes to everyone here.

And a special thank you to Rhoda, Trudy, Cassandra, Rachel, and Jerry for answering my questions and welcoming me. It sure feels good to fit in somewhere.

Allein - When I was in high school, I never had a boyfriend around Valentine's Day, so I am actually a little jealous. Your plan to get your own candy is right on! When it comes to getting what you want in life, always remember that you have the right to get it for yourself. Truthfully, you owe it to yourself.

For a romantic valentine, well, I am not quite familiar enough with you all yet. Getting there quickly though.

Instead I will share my cheesy "how we met" story. My husband and I met at work. It was my second week and I was sticking close to a girl that I met at orientation, Kristy. We both worked for the same Director, so we ended up sitting close in the building. Anyway, on Friday the second week, we decided to go out to lunch. On our way out of the building we saw some guys from orientation (had not seen them since). We were both SOOOO shy, that we invited ourselves to lunch with them. My future husband was in the group, but not one of the guys we had previously met.

And no, we did not hit it off then. In fact, I dated one of the other guys for a while. My future husband was seeing someone else at the time. My future husband and I became friends and spoke at work on our breaks.

As it turned out, we both were unattached about four months later. One Friday, we were discussing what we were going to be doing that night and it turned out we both planned to rent a movie and eat take out, ALONE. Well, that sounded kind of pathetic, so I suggested that instead of being pathetic alone, we could be pathetic together. Well, before I knew it, we decided to get dressed up and go out to a nice restaurant. Really do it right for a Friday night.

That night we discovered that we had a lot in common. We agree on many political issues and social issues. Three months later we had grown to know and love each other and we were engaged. (That's a good "cheesy" story that I will share with interested parties at another time.) Seven months later we were married.

Since that time my prince has introduced me to a whole new world. He is funny and I am serious. We laugh together everyday. Often we laugh so hard that I cry.

The reason I am telling you this story? Because the first time we met I had no idea. For all of you non-believers, Love is out there! For all of you who are disillusioned, don't let your hope go. It may already be there, just waiting to blossom. I didn't think I would ever find my prince, and one night I turned around and my friend had magically turned into a prince (and I didn't even have to kiss him, but I certainly did later)!

And for all you cynics who believe that we women are lying about loving our husbands, I must say, shame on you! Even when our men drive us crazy, we can't imagine life without them. Actually, it's harder to imagine my life without him when he is driving me crazy. I love that about him too!! :)

Happy Valentine's Day!!!!


Heather Mon Feb 14 18:58:30 PST 2000

Lynn! I haven't forgotten your questions... but I must get some work done tonight (if these keys would quit moving around under my fingers...)
so I will answer on the NB tomorrow or later tonight!

Heather Mon Feb 14 18:55:50 PST 2000

Or maybe.... my vote will go to EDDIE!

Heather Mon Feb 14 18:54:55 PST 2000

I will cast my vote at midnight. Thanks for the nomination, dear wee Jon, our pointy-eared, sharp-toothed CEO.

Randall is in the lead. Howard is a very close second - after all, he has posted one of my muse's names - you must guess who: she is elvin and mischievious. And took a good chunk out of my ear earlier. And honourable mention goes out to both Jerry and Mary Shelly. BUT this is not my final VOTE! Who will add brilliance to outshine these?

This Valentine goes out to Tom Robbins.
Where are you when the peachfish is hopping? The woodpecker is laughing and slinging dynamite? Run, redhead, run.
Or when the King has run from his throne and polygamous brides to chase a scent on the wind? Run, redhead, run.
Beets to you, fine one, like a bard on thine pages, sing ye.

Beets, sugared and red-purple with fresh stain-juice.
A lovely gift to leave upon a window sill. And I shall lob one at your car on Tuesday... Run, redhead, run!


Howard Mon Feb 14 18:54:42 PST 2000

Mary -- Dance among the daffodils? Much more fun to run naked through the periwinkles!

All --
We've spoken much of the muses lately, but I wonder if we all know who they really are?

The muses are nine in number, and their names and gifts are:

Calliope - epic poetry

Clio - history

Euterpe - flute playing

Erato - lyric poetry and hymns

Terpsichore - dance

Melpomene- tragedy

Thalia - comedy

Polyhymnia - mime

Urania - astronomy

Some more very interesting information on them can be found at:


Laura Mon Feb 14 18:51:38 PST 2000

Hi everyone, I'm back. The reason for my illness was not the accident, it was the fact that I have a problem with my middle ear. It isn't an infection yet, but they have said that it could become one. They gave me some strong Antivert medicine (Mescline) that could knock me out so if I'm more sporadic and less coherant over the next couple weeks that is why.


Howard Mon Feb 14 18:42:40 PST 2000

Mary -- Dance among the daffodils? Much more fun to run naked through the periwinkles!

All --
We've spoken much of the muses lately, but I wonder if we all know who they really are?

The muses are nine in number, and their names and gifts are:

Calliope - epic poetry

Clio - history

Euterpe - flute playing

Erato - lyric poetry and hymns

Terpsichore - dance

Melpomene- tragedy

Thalia - comedy

Polyhymnia - mime

Urania - astronomy

Some more very interesting information on them can be found at:


Mary Shelley Mon Feb 14 18:18:49 PST 2000

This valentine should not be one to announce publicly; its astounding revelation will be looked upon as madness by the vulgar. But who can resist to win such a valuable contest? The Writer's Notebook 2000 Valentine contest!

Here's my valentine:

A*, you are my own vampire, my own spirit let loose from heaven to laugh at all that was dear to me. I had thought that to annihilate my monster was impossible; one might as well try to overtake the winds or confine a mountain stream with a straw. Yet you came and my Frankenstein was gone. I surrender to you, my love. It is with you that I want to dance among the daffodils.

©"Dance among the daffodils", a serius candidate to tonight's best valentine contest, is a production of WNb*, your website with scented pollen and a suave tear.

Squirrel Mon Feb 14 18:17:10 PST 2000

HI! :-)
I appologize for the long absence. I have been busy with college, work, studies, the novel, and trying to get some stuff done on my web site! :-D

I have been popping in every now and again, but have not had the time to post. Everything is going good.

I would like to comment on a few posting that I have read (not sure when or if they are still visible), I do believe that someone posted about people here not reading enough, or something along those lines, first I have been reading, I've been wrapped up with Kant, Spriggle, McClousky (philosphers), a little bit about Cartision Dulism (sorry about the spelling). I've also been reading up on Druidis, Hinduism, the semantics of the English language, and a few other things. I have been working on my website, there are pictures up and with any luck I'll have more up tonight, so you all can see what I look like! :-D I will have more up later this week, I just have to find the time.

Allein, soon you will be "legal" I see. And thanks for sending me the drawings, as soon as I can I'll get some of them scaned. I'm having problems with the scanner at college.

There are a few other things, but if I wish to get anything done tonight I must stop typing.


Randall Mon Feb 14 18:03:29 PST 2000

Good evening everyone:

Happy Valentines Day to you ladies. As a macho man I know better than wish the MEN a happy valentines day. (So, I'll whisper it very low and fast. happyvalentinesdaymen)

A thousand curses upon you Eddie! My muse, Peter Piper Pudknocker, awaiting just such a lapse as this rushed in and began beating me about the head, screeching "Write it boy, Write it now! Go! Go! Go!"

I hadn't thought of the China Fleet Club in years!!!!!!! Instantly old memories rushed in and swamped me with melancholy thoughts. Ahhh, those were the days, eh Eddie, Jerry. I remember one cool rainy evening several of us sat at a table and drank Tiger Beer and discussed what we would do when returning to the civilian world. There's no place I'd rather be than Hong Kong in the rain (with a wad of cash)!

But NOTHING and I mean NOTHING could rival the afternoon we sat in the Old Raffles Hotel veranda and sipped Singapore Slings! The Raffles, was the hub of the British Empire in Malaysia. What plots in Colonial days were hatched in the lobby, adventures planned into the mysterious island jungles of the South Pacific. Bookings were made, ships charted and "We sail with the tide" as adventurers struck out for remote isolated shores and quests of richness beyond human consideration. I knew the significence of the Raffles even then while my sailing buddies were only interested in brown skinned, black eyed maidens. As my friends you KNOW that Randall would only pursue academic items of intellectual interests. Goes without saying.

But, I digress and who wants to hear old men speak of once upon a time. :-( The regrets of old age are the dreams of youth.

Happy Valentines Day my friends and I hope ALL your works are published and the movie deal only a phone call away.


Eddie French Mon Feb 14 17:38:42 PST 2000

Made a boo boo
Claire is now 24.
Boy, they grow up so quickly!!!

Rachel Mon Feb 14 17:19:55 PST 2000

Americo - I will jump in later this evening and take a look at the valentine greetings(smiles).

Americo - I send you a valentine greeting. Why? Because you are you. You came to the notebook and brought with you all sorts of mishcief and adventure. I think I will send a very nice hug along with my valentine.

I also send greetings to everyone else. Yes! Even the lurkers. I know you're out there (smiles and laughter).

Take care all


Eddie French Mon Feb 14 17:05:31 PST 2000

Support for my muse.
I started writing at the tender age of 9.
At that time there was NOBODY who understood, or even cared about what it was that I was doing.
My first story, about a boy who changed his life and began a new existance with the dolphins in the sea, was all of ten pages long.
My teacher shrugged and said 'It's errr...Ok, but what about the other stuff that you're supposed to be doing?
I joined the Army after school and went out upon my travels around the world.
I visited lots of exciting places, including all of those mysterious far eastern lands.
I got involved in a war or two and experienced all of the retentive shit which comes with that.
My writing changed after all of that!
(Jerry, Randall, I know what you done!)
Perhaps we met in Hong Kong while you were on R&R back in the early 70's. (71-72)
China Fleet Club (Hennassy Road)
Back Door Club (Wan Chai)

I digress!

My main support nowdays comes from Anita and Claire. Claire has the muse, (She just doesn't know it yet!)
Anita just loves anything that I write! Claire is more critical, but she thinks that I am wierd!
Those who know me here know that Claire is my Daughter, 22 years old now! She writes mainly poetry. she writes as she feels.
Anita does not write. She thinks that I am a genius!
(I like that feeling)
Problem is, I can't rely on Anita to crit my work.....(she thinks I'm great. Who am I to argue?)
I have to be a bit more careful around Claire. Once I almost took her to the magic kingdom of whitches and wizards, in the end we both chickened out. (We almost got there though, Ask her!)
My muse is a fickle demon, it leaves for months at a time. When it returns I write, and write, and write, and write!
I can write a months work in a night.
I can write a years worth of ideas down in a week!
I know when it's good, so I write.
I can't write on demand.
I hate deadlines, though I've never tried to write to one!
I don't know what kind of writer I am.
I just write when I feel Like!
How is it with you?

Jerry Ericsson Mon Feb 14 16:30:25 PST 2000

Lynn - My wife, bless her, does not and will not read what I write, I don't know if she isn't interested in that part of my life, or what exactly. I have never asked her. When I began writing, I showed her some of my first things and she showed no interest what so ever. Since then, I quit showing it to her. My daughter began reading it, but gave me the "thats too wierd dad!" and quit reading it. I send some of it to my son, and he enjoys it. My sister and her daughters are my support for my writings, they eagerly await printouts of my stories, and each keep a notebook filled with all that I have written. Thats ok, when we married, my wife wrote poetry, I read it, but never encouraged her, and she gave up. Maybe this is payback, but more likely, she is busy with her crafts, and what I write is so far from the stories she reads (she is an avid reader and reads several books per week).

To all the lovely ladies on the notebook, happy valentines day, I send each a box of the finest chocolates. (Swiss)

To the gentelmen, a special cigar (Cuban) enjoy in moderation!!


Jon Mon Feb 14 16:09:36 PST 2000

It's five members (I counted wrongly first)

Jon, CEO Mon Feb 14 16:08:10 PST 2000

Since this is my day, I hereby appoint three distinguished Notebookers to be the members of the panel who will choose the best valentine. Take note of their names:

Rachel, because she has been the latest to publish a tale on SM**

Heather, because she has given new life to the Notebook.

Allein, because we are the greatest lovers the world has ever seen.

Rhoda, because she has won something very exciting.

A* because. well, because I love my skin.

The results should be published here in about twenty four hours, at the latest.

From your midnight on, each member of the panel is supposed to cast his , her vote on this spot.

Eddie French Mon Feb 14 16:00:50 PST 2000

A very Happy and Oh So Romantic Valentines day to you all.
What have you done today to let your partner know that He/She is the only one for you, Now and for ever?
I am not one to be swayed by the commercialism of the occasion but I do respect the idea. From a purely human angle I DO think that we should, at least once a year show our life partners that we appreciate what they have done for us. (I also think that they should show US that they appreciate what we have done for us!)......This is a two way thing!
I do not subscribe to the recent media/commercial message which is being broadcast to us, which tries to persuade us to spend more and more on presents and gifts for valentines day. (And so making this day just one more calender date on which we are obliged to use our credit cards to 'Buy' our way into our own familys' good graces.)
However, I do agree that at least once a year (If not more!) we should try to let our partner know just how much we are in debt to them.
Tonight I enjoyed a glass or two of a very expensive Champaign. Anita made the journey to the local store and purchased it for me (She knows just how much I love it)
I got a bottle of her favourite wine and a pose of roses for the table.
The atmosphere in the house is special tonight.
We both know why it is.
What have you done tonight?

Jon Mon Feb 14 15:57:46 PST 2000

Who's here? Allein? The very Allein? The Allein of all my dreams? The Allein who has made me hide from the world and cry all these last days of my life? The Allein who in 19 days will be independent enough to marry me (if she consents?). Oh, Allein.

Sorry, Mary. I can't make it to the daffodils. Not this Friday, no. I have already a much better date than you. (This is my valentine to you, Allein. Hope the jury gives it first prize:—)

Jon again Mon Feb 14 15:51:38 PST 2000

I was so excited with what will certainly be the winner of the valentine's contest, that I copied Mary's post into my own. My valentine is only, modestly but sincerely, what you can read below:

Thanks, Mary. To my gaze you are also at least as beautiful as Dracula's wife. We can arrange that walk to the daffodils one Friday night. Take the drinks.

Allein Mon Feb 14 15:50:17 PST 2000

Jon - ::gives him a heart shaped box filled with catnip:: Happy valentine's day. :)

Countdown to Allein's birthday: 19 days and counting...

Jon Mon Feb 14 15:48:08 PST 2000

Attracted to this interesting page by A*'s unbearable suspicions on the customs and conduct of my creation, the immortal Frankenstein, I have been reading your posts. As the wife of a poet, P.B. Shelley, and as an author myself, I am endowed with the gift of seeing your physical traits below your words. By now, I know you sufficently well to recognize you in the streets. This confers upon me a power which you ought to have in awe, as you will not be able to know me.

Thanks, Mary. To my gaze you are also at least as beautiful as Dracula's wife. We can arrange that walk to the daffodils one Friday night. Take the drinks.


Mary Shelley Mon Feb 14 15:47:12 PST 2000

Attracted to this interesting page by A*'s unbearable suspicions on the customs and conduct of my creation, the immortal Frankenstein, I have been reading your posts. As the wife of a poet, P.B. Shelley, and as an author myself, I am endowed with the gift of seeing your physical traits below your words. By now, I know you sufficently well to recognize you in the streets. This confers upon me a power which you ought to have in awe, as you will not be able to know me.

This extrasensorial apptitude has helped me distinguish, from among all of you, the loveliest one, Jon. It is to him that I dedicate my best endeavours to a suave valentine.

Jon, I look upon you as of a distinct species, a being heavensent, and bearing a celestial stamp in all your features. So contrariwise to wretched A*, whose repulsive physiognomy and manners are poles apart from those of Frankenstein, the creature whose handsome features I most admire. I cannot say that I love you, as I am faithful to my dear husband, as befits an obedient woman, but I would not mind going for a romantic walk with you amongst the daffodils Mr Wordsworth loved so much.


PS. None of the names mentioned are of SF writers, helas!

Jerry Lee http:/ Mon Feb 14 15:38:48 PST 2000

Yo all,

I welcome you to my web page with open arms! I can't hardly wait for some intelligent input from readers. And since all of the contributors get to have a character named after them, think hard on who you would like to be in the story.(New or existing)

Welcome to the f*&^%$# new guys! I just love Mondays so that I can read all of the posts from the weekend. This weekend gave us some new personalities to further round-out our little family.

YEEHAA!!! Good for you! It kind of tells those people in Los Angeles just how wrong they were about you!

Take care, all,
Jerry Lee

Allein Mon Feb 14 15:16:55 PST 2000

Hey everyone - HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!

I'm a little un-angry today. The best thing about valentine's day is that all valentine's chocolate is 50% off on February 15th. :) I'm going down to the market before school to pick some up. I just can't put it in my locker because then my boyfriend will see them and take them. We share a locker.
Anyway, bye bye.

Trudy Mon Feb 14 13:51:10 PST 2000

Cassandra, I think the biggest part of the problem with punctuation and the rules of writing comes from not knowing the rules to begin with...if you do it on purpose able to defend what you're doing and explain why...I write some experimental fiction so when you break the rules you have to know why you're doing it. It's the sloppiness that causes problems...typos, grammar mistakes, etc...send those to a publisher and don't be surprised if they aren't accepted. Even when you break the rules you have to be careful who you submit to; my 2 cents worth *smile*

Jerry, that is soooo romantic. What a lovely story.

Allein, stop hinting and tell the guy what you want; sorry boys for this next statement, but some men need to be trained. My hubby, I love him dearly, but he hasn't a romantic bone in his body; he does try though...Jerry's right, your prince will come. And at least this guy did something! Happy Valentines Day, Allein and everyone else in the Notebook today! I'll let you know if my hubbyn surprises me this year.

Lynn -- Regarding question husband is like yours; very supportive of my writing but seldom reads any of it...I don't generally talk with him about because he can't help...he's just supportive. I have very close non-writer friends who read my stuff and who I can talk to my writing about so I don't get hung up on my husband not being into it. As long as he isn't stopping me from writing I'm happy!

-- Regarding question number two...I let freidns and fellow readers read in all stages of the process; whenever I feel I need the input. Generally something is as good as i can get it at that point and I need feedback to keep me going.

Cassandra I so agree with your piece of advice "Just remember that you don't have to take all the suggestions." We forget that sometimes.

Gotta run again...will return to read the rest of the post later.


Cassandra Mon Feb 14 13:43:00 PST 2000

My valentine...

To Allein: for bringing the breath of youth and vibrancy into the notebook.

I'm in the process of checking my email, and I might be on IM later tonight, should work allow it.

Oh, and don't worry I've never gotten a box of chocolates from a boyfriend, though my last one's sister gave me one for X-mas... non-heart shaped of course. I've only gotten flowers once as well, a dozen roses from an older friend of mine... so once again their was no romance in it. *shrugging* I know it's bad to say, but I've gotten used to the lack of romance in my life. I'm comfortable being alone...

'Later gators


Eddie French Mon Feb 14 13:34:11 PST 2000

My email finaly got sent.
Thanks for being patient.

Eddie French Mon Feb 14 13:06:59 PST 2000

My email address, If you dont have it!

Eddie French Mon Feb 14 13:06:09 PST 2000

I tried to email you but my message keeps bouncing right back.
Congratulations on winning the contest.
Please email me so that I can auto reply and have your proper add. on my contact list.

Laura Mon Feb 14 12:55:39 PST 2000

I don't know how often I will be on. I'm going to the doctor. I got into a car accident on thursday and am not feeling very good. I will probably be out all day.

I also have a story I posted (am posting) in the Novel Archive. It is called Song of the Stone. I would appreciate it if some of you Science fiction readers (and you non-Sci-fi readers) would give me your feedback on it. IF you read Prometheus, same dimension, slightly different time, character has not met Curtis yet.

I'll give you a full report later.


Rachel Mon Feb 14 12:23:25 PST 2000

Rhoda - I wish you continued success (smiles).

Jerry - Thank you for the kind words (smiles).

Lynn - WELCOME:)

Take care all

Jerry Ericsson Mon Feb 14 12:11:36 PST 2000

Americo - you are wrong on one point - All fiction writers must be liers! - After all we formulate huge lies, then write them down convincingly enough to make others believe what we write could happen.


Jon Mon Feb 14 11:52:48 PST 2000


You sent me a Valentine! You were so generous. I do not deserve you. I was the prince that sent you thousands of valentines when you were showing your pretty legs in the Alps.
Thank you, thank you.
PS. I love marriage all the time.
Question: why do all women in this notebook speak about their husbands as if they were all wonderful? That's against all statistics. The woman who will confess she hates her husband will get the prize for the best valentine.
Question: can a woman who says she loves her husband be a writer? The answer is: obviously not. A writer cannot lie.
Why do men rarely speak about their wives and women are always speaking about their husbands? That shows how frail they are. That's even enervating.
No more valentines to me, please.

Howard Mon Feb 14 11:47:38 PST 2000

Hi! -- I just coasted in on the egger route, and I have about 3 minutes before I throw the usual fit and collapse for 12-18 hours **.

Rhoda -- Congratulations! That's great!

Allein -- I've never gotten a box of chocolates on Valentine's day, either. I think I got one for my wife a few years ago, though, and she let me eat the toffee. She doesn't like the toffee. Does that count?

Jerry -- Randall -- You're both geniusses! (is that one s or two?) Time machines and missing screen savers!

Americo --

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Some poems rhyme
This one don't

(author unknown)

Oooops! here comes the first wave! Aaaaaaaaiiieee!

** The 'egger route' was a mode of transportation used (only in emergencies) in James Schmitz' "The Witches of Karres." The Leewit (Maleen and Goth's younger sister) was sent over it, and did she ever put on a show after she delivered her message!

Rhoda Mon Feb 14 11:38:36 PST 2000


When I first started writing again soon after the birth of my first child, my husband distrusted and disliked my writing. He would go to bed somewhere around ten at night and I would stay up and write sometimes until 3:00 am. That schedule made home life a little difficult because I would then want to sleep the next day away.

My husband admitted to me that he was sometime jealous of my writing. He also suspected that I was to some degree in love with my heros. Well, he was right about that. I do have crushes on all of them. All that has changed over time. My husband is now extremely supportive even to the extent that he takes care of the kids while I go to conferences. He also never complains about the money I spend for printer paper, toner, and postage. When I succeed, he is genuinely proud and happy for me. How did this happen? Not overnight. It has been gradual. I think he has discovered over time that my love of writing is more than just a hobby or a passtime. I am every bit as serious about my craft as he is of his (engineering). I think that is an outgrowth of our mutual respect and love for one another. I support him in his career. I have made many personal sacrifices for his career, and as a result he has shown willingness to do the same for me. To love him is to accept him for who he is and at the same time to love me is to accept me as a writer.

Certain friends will understand and others will never understand (don't expect them to). The family members I am closest to are the ones most interested in my writing as I am interested in their heart-felt pursuits. That is often an outcome of relationship. Though a close family member cares, that does not necessarily mean he or she understands. I don't think anyone not a writer or another type of artist truly understands what it is to be a writer.

Here in Perryton, I have told few people that I write. Whenever I do, I get odd reactions from people. Without a doubt certain folks have drawn their own conclusions and think that I am either a nut or that I am trying to make my dull life as stay at home mother sound as interesting as that of the lives of real working women. The majority of people could care less. I miss Farmington where I knew five or six women like myself who had contracted the writing bug. We grew very close and helped each other by sharing news, information, and critiquing each other's work.

Being a writer is a lonely, lonely life. We are surrounded by the people we love, but our inner world of characters, plots, and stories sets us apart. This doesn't mean that we are better or wiser than the rest of society. It just means that where others conduct their business in meetings, work-teams, universities, stores, public, etc., we are left alone with our "muse." It also means we have a tendency to look deeper beyond the surface of relationships, politics, and institutions. We are always analying and observing in order to build fodder for our internal literary world. I think a lot of people would find that positively frightening.

Find other artists and writers and support each other, but do not expect other people outside that realm to truly understand where you are at. As you might not be able to comprehend what motivates a astro-physicist, don't expect most people to understand what motivates you to write.


Pussy Mon Feb 14 11:32:50 PST 2000

I had a splendid vacation in the Alps. A prince sent me a valentine. Cannot remember his name.
I must run to the haidresser's now. Here's my valentine:

Jon, you asked a valentine. This is it. Do not forget to say thank you.

Your beloved Pussy.

PS. How can you people stand marriage longer than a week? I'm in favour of marriage, but only new ones.

Jon (crying) Mon Feb 14 11:26:54 PST 2000

Please sent valentines to me.
Jon, the forgotten, the least loved cat in the universe (I'm crying).

Marina, countess Dracula Mon Feb 14 10:35:07 PST 2000

This valentine is for my greatest and most luscious A*:
A*, do not fear. I'll protect you from all attacks. Who's that little Mary Shelley? Another of your conquests, certainly. I'll eat her heart.
PS. Can I see you tonight?

Mary Shelley Mon Feb 14 10:31:56 PST 2000

It has been brought to my attention that a certain A* has suggested that Frankenstein, my creation, could be able to drink whisky on one of those horrible airplanes, in the company of that wreck called Count Drackula. I intend to severely punish the said A*, in prose and verse, in the near future. For the moment, and given the fact, that today is St. Valentine's night, I confine myself to a little valentine to said A*:

I recognize your genius for mischief and poetry. Lord Byron and my husband, P.B. Shelley, envy you. How can I fail to admire and therefore love you? Yes, I love you. But I also hate you because you suggested that, besides a drunkard, my own Frank was also a homossexual. I'll reduce you to ahes in the future. For the moment, I kiss your red lips.
PS. I was always generous and very loving. But even a loving romantic can be terrible when her creations are touched in their honour. So, love and hate.

Americo Mon Feb 14 10:22:03 PST 2000

Tonight is Valentine's night. Everyone is supposed to address velentines to the people on the Notebooke they admire and love. The best valentine wins the contest.

Here's my valentine:

To Fran,

for waking up Jack everyday (rarely before 2:00 pm) with a kiss and breaffast -- we all love you!

Cassandra Mon Feb 14 10:06:59 PST 2000

I had a friend in highschool who was very much like yours. She showed a lot of interest in my writing and wanted new stuff as soon as I had churned it out. Interestingly enough, she ended up doing a bit of editing for me... spelling and grammmar, and also pointing out parts that needed clarifying. It's always been my experience that an extra set of unbiased eyes only helps the writing. Just remember that you don't have to take all the suggestions, keep the voice your own.

Gotta run to lunch
Ta ta


P.S. My muse did come back, either that or it was someone else's muse talking into my head. The voice sounded different, and it gave me an interesting poem to mull over... perhaps I'll post it sometime, either here or on my page.

Lynn Mon Feb 14 09:45:52 PST 2000

Thankfully, my headache has subsided.

Question #1, addressed to everyone who has a significant other who is not a writer

My husband knows that I write, and how much time I spend writing. But, my prince doesn't seem to show much interest in what I am writing. He is supportive in the general sense, asking how things are coming along, being proud that I completed a chapter, etc. But the moment I give him any detail, he checks out. The fact that I am bringing this up probably indicates that this bothers me. But I have a sneaking suspicion that people who aren't writers just don't understand people who are. I am looking for opinions as well as a story if you have one. (I would give more detail but I have another question and don't want to take up too much space in the notebook.) Do you discuss your writing with your family and non-writer friends? If you do, are you met with the same reaction I am?

Question #2, addressed to everyone willing to furnish me with an opinion

I collaborated on a story with a friend (unfinished and likely to remain that way due to a joint decision that no one should ever see it) and that has created a deep trust with her. I have been showing her the chapters of my novel as I write them. She is very excited and keeps begging me for the next chapter. I don't think that letting her read the work is causing me problems, if anything her desire for more is excellent motivation. On the other hand, I am trying to perfect my diction and smooth out scenes before I give it to her. At this point I am planning to continue letting her read (seems cruel to stop now), but I am not going to do any polishing for her. I am wondering if most of you allow others to read works in progress, or do you wait and finish at least the first draft, first edit?


Thank you for the advice and encouragement! You and Heather have provided some much needed enthusiasm to move forward. And, I must say, your idea of just getting the story on paper (or into the computer) sounds right on the mark. I'm probably dwelling on the negative, how much more there is to go. It's something I have lots of practice in. I am also a perfectionist (surprise, surprise!) so I have a tendency to be disappointed in anything that isn't polished.


Trudy Mon Feb 14 09:25:48 PST 2000

Congratulations Rhoda! That is just so exciting and encouraging for the rest of us. Let's us know you have to enter to win so get those entries and submissions out there folks...we want to join Rhoda on the succes list!

Welcome Lynn, visiting here is certainly one great way to get over the downs. Visit often! You'll see.

ok have to run...will get back to the other posts soon.


Heather Mon Feb 14 09:23:34 PST 2000


Time for some writing, perhaps a love scene! Hmmmm.
Yummy, I am thinking truffles. Maybe later. Right now I have to work before a treat, and get some proper progress going in chapter 3...while smelling my fresh flowers that my husband surprised me with! Delightful.

Rhoda Mon Feb 14 06:40:30 PST 2000


Welcome to the Notebook. I hope you will find this a helpful, friendly place. As far as your novel goes, don't get discouraged, not on the second chapter. Use this novel as an opportunity to learn and remember that no one gets it right on the first go around. If this novel never gets published, it was still all the more worthwhile because it was a beginning. From a practical standpoint, feel free to make mistakes on the first draft of any novel. There is a lot of editing and polishing to be done before it is ever really "finished." I know everyone works a little differently, but I have found that the best way to do a novel is to throw out the story on paper as quickly as possible. Do your best writing, but don't worry about those parts that don't come out right. You can always fix them later. Just write the novel. Then go back and fill in the missing places and rewrite the parts you don't like. And do not get discouraged. Your perspective of your work at this point is not clear. You are probably writing much better than you think you are, and even if your aren't, it will turn out much better on the next draft.

Fear of failure is the one thing that holds most of us back from doing the things we wish. Remember you have had the desire to write for years. The talent is there. You just have to develop it, and that will never happen if you are not willing to take the risks. If you do happen to finish your novel and it does turn out to be the most horrendous dog that ever was, you have still accomplished something. I finished my first novel at 17 and it was terrible, but I'll treasure it always.


I have never gotten a Valentine heart from anyone. I have been married almost 17 years and my husband has never bought me one. Saturday my husband took me to Amarillo. They had a sale at K B Toys--buy $50.00 worth of Barbies and get the 1930's Stepping Out Barbie for free. Well I have been looking for that particular Barbie, so I bought a beautiful, expensive Barbie and got the 1930's one as well. That was my Valentine's present. It won't add a pound to my figure and I'll have my dolls always.


If you are still lurking. It was wonderful to read your post. I wish I had responded long ago to it. I am not in the least surprised that you have published some of your stories. I know you are busy, but don't stay away from the Notebook so long.

Happy Writing!


Lynn Mon Feb 14 06:23:09 PST 2000

Morning all! It appears that it will be a glorious day in Rockies, 58 degrees for a high. I am suffering from a stomach bug and have decided not to infect the others at work. Translation, I am staying home and hope my headache dulls enough to work on my next chapter.

Heather - Thanks for the reassurance.

Since everyone was listing favorite books and authors earlier, here's my two cents worth:

For mystery reading, Elizabeth Peters can't be beat (her Amelia Peabody mysteries are fabulous, set in egypt in the late 1800's and early 1900's. If you are interested, the stories are in sequence, so I would recommend starting with The Snake, The Dog, and The Crocodile.

As for Sci-Fi, my latest find was Lois Masters BuJold. I haven't read the previous books in the series, but A Civil Campaign was a brillant comedy.

In other realms, I don't care what anybody may say, Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass are terrific. If you ever need inspiration for fantasy, and can handle a little out-of-this-universe thinking, this is the place the go.

Well, the headache is progressing rather than regressing so I will sign off before I go blind.

Have a great day!

Heather Sun Feb 13 21:35:23 PST 2000

Lynn! Welcome! You are definately NOT alone. I am feeling a little down after finishing my chapter 2 as well...
Of my first serious fiction. I wrote a novel when I was younger but it trailed off, losing focus after the 250th page. (I was 16, what could I know about plot then? I certainly couldn't glean that info from English Lit or creative writing, seeing that I didn't even have the opportunity to take those until the following year.)

Anyhow, it is to my chagrin that I am paused in this slumpful half-crawl. Reaching out towards the middle of the third, only to find that I miss editing chapter 2! It took longer than I thought (remember 'speed typing' from last novel and wish...)
And the NBer's already know my past computer defeat with this present piece.

But as the May-Fly knows, its day in the sunlight shall make it free, and in that day everything will be the way it was envisioned. Until that day of shine, (I consider this to be the day my novel is finished) I must germinate these words, plant them as thought-seeds, and stand back to water and weed them. All else is left to the hand of Nature (God, if you will). And the one-day-lifetime of a May-Fly, to them, is completely worthwhile. Perhaps it is only our misconception of time that makes us wonder at the few hours of life they have?
I do know that this whole novel is a gigantic time-filling love affair with paper and words, and every love affair has times of half-slumber. And I will fly that paper airplane to the finish. Even if I am in the geriatric ward!

I ramble, I rehearse,
I bleed panic into verse.


Jerry Ericsson Sun Feb 13 21:32:02 PST 2000

Allien, I have been married to the very same woman I fell in love with for the past thirty years. In that time I have missed only one year in giving her a heart shapped box of candy, that being the year I was in Vietnam. That year however I did remember her with a first-class love letter. She has faithfully kept each and every box. They reside in the top shelf in her closet, each one covered with plastic to preserve its beutey. I have found it difficult to find a different design every year, but have somehow mannaged. Fear not, some day your prince will come, and remember you on each Feb. 14th, as I have my own princess.


Allein Sun Feb 13 20:59:12 PST 2000

Rhoda - Congrats on your victory. *takes juice box from Cassandra, opens it and sprays it around room like champagne*

Cassandra - I e-mailed you. Please answer soon.

Everyone - Tomorrow is Valentines Day. I had my Valentine date today. My boyfriend and I went out to lunch. I expected him to show up with one of those heart shaped boxes of candy - I've always wanted to get one of those even if it was just from a friend - but, instead he got me a video. We watched it at his house, and it was okay, but I didn't really like it all that much. I'm actually quite disappointed. I was about to buy myself some of that candy. I hate Valentine's Day so much because I never had a boyfriend and the one time I do he doesn't get me what I want and I'd been dropping hints. So, I'm quite depressed right now - and, no, I don't want to be nagged because I'm on a diet. A piece of chocolate every day or every other day wouldn't hurt anything.

Cassandra Sun Feb 13 20:37:08 PST 2000

Congratulations Rhonda!! *breaking out the juice boxes in the dorm room* Hey, it's the closest thing we have to champagne! *shrugging* When in Rome...

As for rules in writing, punctuation and the like...

I've always seen languages and writing as arts of communication, ever changing. The artist dreams and creates, often breaking rules as they go. The most exciting artists are often the ones that know, but ignore the rules for their own purposes, to show what they feel needs showing. The cubists, rebelling against the photo-realistic Dutch still lives of yore. The impressionists concerened more with feeling than with out and out accuracy.

e.e. cummings didn't capitolize letters, yet on he lives in our culture...

Is technical prowess more important than true emotion, description, or characterization? The technical can be taught, the rest comes with the daring heart of the writer. Or so is my humble opinion.

I am attempting to coo my muse into spending some time with me tonight. But alas, it took offense to what I spoke of before. It even wrote me a note.

Dear Poopyhead (for that is what it always calls me)
How dare you assume to possess me! I am all that is, was, and will ever be! I am everything and nothing at once, mystery and truth dancing within the heat of feeling! Should you need me again, I'll be sleeping at Americo's side tonight. Besides... with what I hear of his talents from the countess... it should be interesting. Anyways, learn some respect for me and we'll talk.
Ta ta
(not quite) Your Muse

What an attitude! Oh well, if I weren't already equipt for begging I wouldn't be an artist. Perhaps Americo would help by sending her back to me...

I must return to the page to see if she's there...
Good Evening all


Heather Sun Feb 13 20:19:28 PST 2000

Congratulations Rhoda!
I saw your page, but didn't get to finish the first part of Valerie's Song...ran out of time!
I will go back and read the rest soon.

Lynn Sun Feb 13 20:15:37 PST 2000

Hello out there. I visited this site yesterday and today and finally realized that I am not really alone out here.

By day, I am a technical instructor for a telecommunications company. Started with them in the engineering division five years ago (my education earned me a B.S. in electrical engineering). Moved around a little last year and ended up in training, training other engineers. Like it better than actual engineering, but it isn't my true calling. SO...

By night, I am a frustrated amateur author. Been writing since seventh grade, as a creative outlet (need I say, the creativity in engineering is not the kind my soul needs). Two weeks ago I really got serious about putting a book together. I completed chapter 2 (out of an expected 12) last night. Applied for access to the Notebook today. Hope to get some reviews soon (need the access first).

Just wanted to say that since I work in different environment all day, it did my heart a lot of good to find other people who know the ups and downs of writing. Especially, the ups and downs when you're pushing yourself to actually complete a story (this will be the first if I finish it).

Anyone out there have any suggestions for the downs? Despite my progress (which has thus far been much quicker than I have ever experienced before), I feel rather depressed after I finish a chapter. I am nuts out here?


P.S. Congratulations Rhonda!

Jerry A.G. Ericsson Sun Feb 13 19:41:58 PST 2000

Rhoda, I always knew there was a ton of talent on this notebook, you just proved it once again. Congratulations!

Rachel - Read your contribution to SM** Great story, well written. I think I have met my muse a few times, she comes to me in my sleep, or when I am not paying attention to anything in particular, wispers sweet plots in my ear then flies off to her place in the corner of the room near the roof of the house patiently waiting for another chance to inspire me. Never thought of offering her tea, who knows?

Americo, you are quite right guess I will have to pull out the old comp book and review usage and punctuation. In college when I took Comp 101, my instuctor was concerned with my ability when we began the class studying such things, I told her that I really couldn't tell her the difference between an adverb and an adjective, but when it came time to use them, I knew which word fit in my writing. After we had turned in our first few writing assignments, she commented on one of them, that I was correct, I sure didn't know the difference, but that I placed the words artfully, and proved my point.

PS - I received A's in all my English classes.

Katarina Sun Feb 13 18:51:27 PST 2000

Rhoda - Congratulations!!! You must be elated....

Teekay Sun Feb 13 17:08:34 PST 2000

RHODA: That is faaaaaantastic. I am so happy for you. You must be over the moon. turn next. I did get your critique thanks. Hubby wubby opened it on his puta and saved it to disc for me. Got your chapt also twice now. We'll get to reading it shortly (fingers crossed.)

Jai Sun Feb 13 16:49:38 PST 2000

Well done Rhoda, congrates.

Hey all, stay well. I am so buisy, whew...


Rhoda Sun Feb 13 16:21:19 PST 2000


I lived in Farmington, New Mexico when I got my Angelfire account. I have lived here in the Texas Panhandle for a year and a half. I lived a few hours from Taos. Farmington is in the 4 corners area. I was close to Utah, Colorado, and Arizona.


Heather Sun Feb 13 16:12:48 PST 2000

I only got to describing my first muse...
My other muse is a 300lb. man in pink tights. No, wait - that's Allein! (just kidding) Right Rachel?

Elfin are my muses, not unlike tree nymphs or forest pixie-kind. Anything with pointy ears and a stature along the lines of 4 inches to a foot high qualifies.
No, Americo, I don't believe you have pointy...ears.

Where has short shortie night gone? They should be every three nights.

Or telegram night:

Dear Frankenstien (stop)
Please accept payment for your services from Americo (stop) The Countess thanks you for favours and your fine hands (stop) Another contract is in the works (stop) Expect another telegram in several weeks (stop) Kindly allow this time for recouperation on Americo's part (stop)
Your willing participant and partial employer, Marina Dracula, The Countess (stop) (end)

randall Sun Feb 13 16:01:53 PST 2000

Congrats to Rhonda!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why am I NOT surprised?

Knew you had it in you all along!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Say kind lady, by your e-mail address, would you by chance live in northern New Mexico? Only a few miles from my favorite town of Taos?


Rhoda Sun Feb 13 15:18:38 PST 2000

Life is so strange. Late last fall, I entered VALERIE'S SONG in two contests. One of them was the Los Angeles Romance Writer's BEST BET FOR A BEST SELLER and the second one was Rocky Mountain Romance Writer's BEST FIRST KISS. The Los Angeles contest sent my entry back to me with a critique that kept me in tears for a whole day. It was so bad I told my husband I didn't ever want to write again. One of the scores was 53 out of 100. The other was a 65 out of 100. It was bad!

So what happens? I win the other contest, BEST FIRST KISS.
I found out today . I get a pendant and a certificate. To me this win is a great honor. It is the first writing contest I have ever won, and I can't think of anything better to do well than love scenes. I think it just goes to show that taste has so much to do with our work. Not everyone will like it. And no matter how discouraging things look, just keep on trying. Never give up.

Anyway, I could not help but share my good news!


Trudy Sun Feb 13 14:15:07 PST 2000

I want temperatures like Randall's getting!!! It's snowing here and while it's pretty as can be burying everything in a blanket of white powder, I know I'll be busy shovelling for hours if it doesn't take a break soon. Oh well, I'll worry about that later.

My muse is as easily distracted as I am, by the call of the Notebook, by the need to respond to unanswered emails, by the lure of a good book and a steaming cup of hot coffee, by just about anything sometimes! But when I finally say enough is enough to both of us and sit down with pen in hand or keyboard at the ready usually my muse will agree and we will get to work. My biggest problem, and perhaps I've been partnered with such a muse, is I'm so deadline oriented and without a deadline have a hard time getting down to business. Oh well, sometimes the self administered ones work. Other times, my muse will say enough is enough get this story out of my head and I have to long as I don't distract the dear soul.

Americo, you asked do writers still know how to write? Sometimes I don't think we spend enough time on the details of crafting a story and in our excitement to share somehting we've just created send out material less than perfect in the technical sense. With an editing background (boy will I be in trouble now if I get something wrong with punctuation or grammar!!) I have no problem helping those who need, and request, the assistance. That's part of why we're all here, isn't it? ... to share our strengths and learn from other's strengths.

Happy writing this snow Sunday afternoon!


Cassandra Sun Feb 13 11:44:59 PST 2000

My muse and I are both mutually evil... we share a certain respect for each other. It changes sex as it feels the need to, sometimes a cute little fairy whispering love sonnets, sometimes a vicious little gremlin pulling me from other work into it's vicious grasp.

It may ignore me at times...but I give it exactly the same treatment. So a uneasy respect sits between the both of us. I've learned the special call that leads it to my mind... and if it spite's me, so will I should it come to me when I'm busy.

Blocks happen less when you don't have the time to let them bother you. I just move on to other work.

Today it takes a back seat to Screen Printing, until I have to wait for the thing to dry after cleaning it. Then I'll let my muse speak.

And I loved the Narnia chronicles growing up. They were some of my favorite books, and any time I get the chance I pick up another of them from the book store.

But I must bid you fairwell,
off to the art department with me...


Randall Sun Feb 13 10:36:59 PST 2000

What a beautiful afternoon in central Texas:

Sun shining, sky clear, temperature in the mid 70's.

My muse. Gang, I hate to shock you but my muse is a devil. He/she taunts me with so many tales and plots it drives me krazy. There is no way I could write all the stories I have been given ... no way. In two lifetimes! With two right hands!

My muse also controls daydreams and these are constantly being written, edited and rewritten as I deliver for NAPA. It's maddening :-) (Sigh)

My muse also controls my dreams, sometimes I am allowed to remember them, sometimes they are whisked away seconds after awakening. Little teaser! Like to catch the little four-eyed dickens one day and shake the living krap out of him!!!!

Why does he punish me this way? I understand the need for goals but kriminy! Enough is enough! Leave me alone muse, go back to Stephen King!!!!!!!!!


Well we're off to sample the great outdoors.

Bye! Randall

Rachel Sun Feb 13 06:47:11 PST 2000

Americo - Thank you. It was also a pleasure to work with you (smiles and a hug). Yes, I do need to continue to work with my grammar and punctuation. I think you were brave to work side by side with me on such a large project as "Shadows"

Heather - I have only just begun to discover how scary a fairy can be! On the muse thing. I don't think I could say I only have one and I don't think that they are all female. I have all sorts of inspiration. I wake up in the night often (grins). Just jump out of bed and race for my pencils and paper. Other nights I stumble out of bed, but I'm up and writing all the same. I pull over when I'm driving. I leap up in the middle of conversations to scrawl out some quick notes. Lucky for me I have understanding friends (grins).

I better dash. I have to take Danile to hockey practice.

Take care all


Heather Sun Feb 13 06:25:49 PST 2000

Kat! C.S.Lewis' "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe" can be found in a set called something to the likes of
"The Narnia Chronicles" and they are excellent. Read them all as a youngster. I loved them. The first (Lion, Witch, Wardrobe) is also a movie. The books are far better, as is what usually happens.

Randall, liked your 'redition' of family war and peace.

Americo, I agree that Rachel's story has a good concept, but I found the beginning a little slow. Perhaps because I like to jump right in the centre of action? Rachel, A truly excellent idea and you were able to pull it off - but condense the beginning just a little...? Very true how things seem lack-luster when the muse is gone. Tea, hmmm. I should remember to have such a tea party if my muse ever decides to take her leave. She's fickle but I've sent her my love this morning, and she tips her faierie helmet to me and laughs softly.

Waving wands and all that sparkle dust. I have another muse too. Pops up when least expected - such as middle of dreams, middle of night, middle of traffic jams, centre of brain, (pineal gland) and when I am in the shower.
My first muse, she being very tiny, sometimes sits close to my ear for hours unnoticed, until I really haven't caught the driftings and she bites me a good one on the lobe. Usually while I am talking on the phone.
Did you know that faieries have wickedly razor-sharp teeth? Well, you do now.
Faierie wands are amazing little 'spider prods'.
my muse likes to stir up cobwebs, and spear escaping spiders in her spare time. Gives her ideas to give me.

Good morning, Sunday, how early you have arrived. And sunny too. Could you do a wee something about this cold weather? Thanks.

Will discuss the topic later tonight Americo, as my children are vying for this computer terminal. Terminal being the 'inoperative' word. Ha ha ha. Well, so far so good.


Americo Sun Feb 13 05:39:04 PST 2000

Nothing like a nice tea and a chat with your loved child to put an end to that writer's block that has been haunting you for months, and bring back the muse without which life is dull and meaningful. This seems to be the theme of Rachel's latest contribution to SM** — "Tea with my Muse" — a nice piece of writing where a state of mind is the subject rather than any contrived story with an artificial plot, such as the one we breathlessly read here days ago (see "My Honeymoon with the Monsters — a story to be avoided").

I had the privilege of working with Rachel for months in the composition of a novel (S*), know her skills and her literary anguish, and I'm sure that she will be one of the authors The Writer's Notebook is helping to give shape. Without the force of Jerry Ericsson, the craftsmanship of Teekay, the maturity of Eddie, the knowledge of English of Rhoda and Howard, and perhaps the imagination of Heather (still to be proved), Rachel Olson is a name to be memorized. Her style has a rare warmth and a remarkable youth. However, her grammar and punctuation need urgent revision. This is one of the defects of almost all the texts published in the Workshop— something which raises terrible questions, such as " do writers still know how to write?".

This is the topic for tonight and every night.

Katarina Sat Feb 12 21:40:11 PST 2000

Good evening all...a few moments to relax....

Jerry: Your story was neat. Kinda like Back to the Future.

Randall: I also enjoyed how you personified your better half in your latest posting. I am sure she is anything but....As for teenagers....I always tell my husband (I have a 17 yr. old step son) "Remember when you were his age...."

I am in the midst of looking for a new job, so things have been busy lately. I did meet a new friend the other night...took the kids to McDonald's to play and was reading a book (Black and Blue) in the playland. This woman says, "Can you really read in here?" That started a 2 hr. conversation. It was unreal, like I had found my long lost twin! She was into cooking and reading and messing around on the internet. We mostly talked about books. She is a Grisham fan, which I am not. She said she liked Anne Rice, which I do to and recommended some of her work that she did under the name Anne Rampling.

We talked about C.S. Lewis, because she had just finished reading the Harry Potter books. She said his works for children were actually much better than anything he tried writing for the adult world. I am going to try to check out a copy of "The Line, the Witch and the Wardrobe." I saw the movie about C.S. Lewis' life story and was totally fascinated!

Well, my eyes are getting heavy...


Randall Sat Feb 12 19:58:55 PST 2000

For the unenlightened: POS means Piece Of S*#@. Do you know what DAL means? It's used in stock shows and NASCAR.

Goodnight all. Ran

Randall Sat Feb 12 19:53:42 PST 2000

Good evening:

I hope everyone has had a happy Saturday and now willing to kick back and relax. Wish I could. Things are tense around the house tonight, with an undercurrent of impending doom. I believe my son and I are in imminent danger form the head female enforcer in residence. It started out simply enough, but that's how it always starts among the boys ... simple.

I recently observed that my Faith Hill screen saver was missing, from the screen. I tried a couple of moves my buddies in the pool hall taught me ... to no avail. It simply wasn't in the system. I'll bet I know who's responsible............

Knock, knock.

My son's bedroom door opens a good two inches. Behind him in the room I hear a loud crash, heavy footsteps and a cat's frantic meow. I honor my 16 year olds right to privacy, just wish I knew what he was doing with it. I tried to pump his sister one night about the boy's room one night ... but she burst into tears and ran into hers.

"Son of mine," I began, control mode engaged. "Have you by any stretch of the imagination seen my Faith Hill?"

"Uh, dad, which one?" One brown eye stares at me through the
opening. Then the door closed slightly pinching my foot.


"Sorry dad."

"I have only one Faith Hill son."

The pressure on my foot increases. "Dad we are nearly out of memory and I may have lost it?"

I counted slowly to ten and brought my best parental graces to bear. "You have lost my Faith Hill screen saver!"

"Well, not on purpose. You see I found an Asian Beauties web site and though I might compress that file... "

About this time the head cell officer strolls through the hallway. She always shows up at times like these. It's an irritating uncanny knack she posseses, and uses frequently to keep the BOYS in line.

"What's going on guys?"

"Nothing Mom/Dear," we answer together.

She leans in and pins us with those all seeing eyes. "I hope this is not about Faith Hill and THAT computer." Her gaze narrows, eyes darting between my son and I. "Because if it is, I'm going to take that overpriced shotgun you had to have last year and blow that POS all over the wall. Understand?"

"Yes Mom/Dear," we answer together.

"Good. Son, clean your room. And you big fellow, into that cesspool you call a garage." She moves away like a battleship leaving a sea of carnage, guns silent but still capable of inflicting damage.

I stare at the one who will carry my name into eternity. He stares back.

"Is it loaded?" he wonders in the silence.

"Don't know," I reply slowly. "Don't think so."

I picture this gentle, caring woman, gunsmoke filling the air as she pumps blast after blast into our world wide access to the finer things on the net. Laughing hysterically she shouts. "Take that Brittany, how 'bout them apples Carmen. Should have stayed in Asia, Asian Beauties! This one's for you Hef!"

I shudder at the image. The door opens and we shake hands. As one against the common enemy, males stick together. The world indeed lost a chance at peace when our wife/mother was not recruited by the UN. The Middle East problems could be over in a week ... two at most. Ireland ... a passing memory in an hour at best.

"Son find it and put Faith back in the A drive."

"Right'o Dad."

Well another adventure in parenting, you know he's not such a bad kid after ...

HEY! WE DON'T HAVE A CAT! SON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sat Feb 12 19:24:23 PST 2000


like the haiku...I know there's a contest out there that was saying dust off those haiku and get them entered...I was looking for the link but can't find it...I'll keep looking.

Boy when did it get so quiet...I know Americo is expecting not to be here much but did everybody leave?

Anyway, earlier it was mentioned about returnees and I was curious when Jack started this great site so into the archives I went...his first post was April 3, 1996...My first post was July 13, was pretty slow posting back guys have certainly picked up the pace.

Rhoda you've really been here for the long haul haven't you...and didn't I see aposting from Goodweed recently? Any other long timers hanging about, lurking? Come on, say hello! It'll be like a reunion!

Later all new and old friends...I shall return.


K Moore AOHell4U2 Sat Feb 12 09:30:34 PST 2000

consider midnight -
lonely castle gate rumbling
listen - serene butterfly


K Moore AOHell4U2 Sat Feb 12 09:28:40 PST 2000

forlorn crane alone
silence: touch unspoken hurt
red poppies emerge


Trudy Sat Feb 12 09:17:20 PST 2000

Hi all, hope you're enjoying the weekend.

Rhoda, hope you get rid of that cold soon...I have a recipe for ginger tea that is supposed to be really good for colds if you'd like me to pass it along. I haven't tried it but another list I'm on says it's great, especially if you like ginger which I love so asked for the recipe! Let me know.

Books and authors...right now I'm reading The Scarlet Letter and finding it pretty dry...just the time it was written in.

My favourite author is James Joyce ever since I took a seminar in univeristy about his work. And I now love anything I've ever read by Irish authors or boos that are set in Ireland or about the Irish. Just love all the mythology and superstions that come with it I guess.

Let's see...I am also a big fan of our many Canadian writers including Margaret Atwood, Timothy Findley, Alice Munro...I just picked up a Cure For Death By Lightening by Gail Anderson-Dargetz and am saving it for a five hour bus ride to Ottawa next weekend for Winterlude.

For more mainstream reading I'm a big fan of mystery and horror writing including Minette Walters and Anne Rice. I'm basically all over the board in my reading, somehting that keeps me from writing, just like the internet!

Must run...will return. Enjoying all the creative posts here, btw!


Jerry Ericsson Fri Feb 11 22:06:27 PST 2000

Americo - I had a dream last night -

I was walking past my neighbor Jon’s garage the other day, when I saw his son Little Jon working away on a strange looking conglomeration of wires, and steel. I couldn’t resist stepping inside to check this sight out.

“Hey Little Jon,” I said, as I walked through the open overhead door, “Nice looking piece or work, what is it supposed to do?”

“It’s a time machine.”

I walked around the machine, and checked it out. There were wires running here and there, and out one side stuck the old 386 IBM computer I gave him a couple of weeks ago when I was cleaning out my storage shed. In the middle of the machine was an old office chair, the kind with arms and a low back that turns round and round to raise or lower the seat. The seat and back were covered with duct tape, probably covering up old wear and tear holes from years of sitting.

“Does it work?” I asked, scratching my balding head.

“Works just fine!” bragged Little Jon. Sent my cat Chuck back to 1869, and brought him back just fine.

“Sent any people?” I asked trying to suppress the smile, which was forcing itself on my face.

“Sent Mr. Olson, but I didn’t get it quite right, he ended up in 2010 Denver, and a suburb of Chicago.”

“Two places at once? That must be quite a trick.”

“Not a pretty sight” replied Little Jon.”

“Sent anyone else?” I asked with a chuckle.

“Sent that friend of yours from Portugal, America or Americo or something like that to 2100, he wanted to check out the wildlife or wild life, I didn’t quite understand what he was saying, he has that accent you know.”

Now this got my interest, Americo had come to America to visit, and I was going to show him around the mid-west when he suddenly disappeared . That was why I was outside to begin with.

“Twenty-one-hundred,” I said, “Now that might be interesting, can you send me there to see how it is going?” I asked, trying to humor the little fellow.

“Sure,” He said, “just have a seat on the chair and I will adjust the timer.”

I sat on the old office chair, as I was getting tired of standing anyhow, and watched as Little Jon twisted a dial, then pushed a couple of buttons, and typed something on the old keyboard of my ancient 386.

Then the room began spinning, and everything went blurry then faded to black.

When it became light again, I was walking through a small park in a little town. All was quiet and peaceful it reminded me of the small town I grew up in back in the ‘60’s. Soon I came to the main part of town, again it was nice, peaceful. I happened on to an old man, who was walking down the street toward the outskirts of town, holding the hand of a small boy. Both were carrying fishing poles and tackle. I stopped and asked the old fellow if he had seen my friend Americo.

“Sure have,” he replied and spit tobacco on the ground away from my feet. “Saw him go into the barber shop.” He said, nodding up the street indicating where the barbershop was to be found.

“Thanks,” I replied, “Taking your grand-son fishing?” I asked.
“Not my grand-son, just the boy assigned to me.” He replied, and the two continued on their way.

I walked the two blocks to the BarberShop, to find my friend Americo. It was so quiet, then I noticed that there was no automobile traffic, people were walking, couples strolling hand in had, old men walking with small boys, old ladies walking with young girls. Everyone appeared so happy, almost like there wasn’t a worry in the world.

Then I came to the BarberShop, and walked in through the door. There was my friend Americo sitting in the barber chair, getting a haircut, and smoking a huge cigar. (I think it was Cuban by the smell.)

“Americo!” I said, sitting on one of the chairs in the waiting area. “Just had to come and see how you were getting along in the twenty-first century.

“Just fine my friend.” Said Americo, “Been having a wonderful conversation with the Barber here.”

I looked over the barber, he was a typical barber, kind of wide in the middle, not a lot of hair on top, with a wide handlebar mustache. Then I looked at the haircut that Americo was receiving, and decided that this fellow wasn’t much of a barber.

I noticed that there were no mirrors in the shop, now after seeing the haircut that Americo was getting, I could understand why.

“Finding out about the wildlife Americo?”

“Well, I was looking for the wild life, but our friend the barber has been telling me about the wildlife around here, seems that wildlife is thriving in the twenty-first century.”

“You got here by a time machine, like your friend here?” asked the barber.

“Well yes,” I said, “Don’t you find that unusual?”

“Nope,” he said, “Been time machines for most a hundred years now, since a young fellow named Little Jon Brandberg made the first one. Oh there was that one incident where the first guy got his head sent to Denver and his body to Chicago”

Now I was getting interested.

“Well what about wildlife, have the animals managed to survive the awful predictions of our time?”

“Of course they have. Why you can go hunting any day, there are more deer and bison then you can shake a stick at. When you kick up a flock of passenger pidgins, they flock so thickly that they block out the sun. There are seasons for duck, goose and dinosaurs. You can fish for anything from palled sturgeon to northern pike. Why since the invention of the time machine, you can go on a hunt for most anything you want. In fact I was just out hunting saber tooth tigers last week.”

“What happened to make your town so peaceful?” I asked.

“Why, since we drove all the lawyers out, and the barbers took over the world, it has been very peaceful.” He explained.

“What about the Internet, has that survived the century?” I asked with interest.

“No, you see people got more and more involved in the internet till no-one ever left home, except to get their hair cut. That is how we barbers came into power.” He said, you see, we began to whisper into the ears of everyone who came through our doors, how the world was going to fast, and the lawyers were ruining the world. After five years, the internet collapsed, and it wasn’t long before the PC’s were all dispatched by laws enacted by the world Barber College. Then just for good measure, we banned televisions, just so they didn’t take the place of the PC’s.”

“What about crime, is there still crime in the twenty-first century?” I asked, as things looked so peaceful.

“Nope, crime is a thing of the past. You see we began to see that men and women were working hard every day just to put bread on the table. Children were left alone, and without supervision, they turned to crime. What we did was to assign each small child a foster grandfather or grandmother, who takes the child in hand, and teaches them the things their parents don’t have tome to teach, such as right from wrong, and how to catch a fish, or shoot a deer for the freezer.”

About this time he pulled the drape cloth off Americo, indicating that the haircut was done.

“How much?” asked Americo.

“Just two-bits.” Said the barber.

Americo tossed him a quarter, and together we left the barbershop.

“So, Americo my friend what say we take one of those hunting trips, see if we can bag a deer, and I will show you how I prepare my famous jerky.”

“Why not!” said Americo, “After all we came here to see about the wildlife, or was it wild life, oh will no matter.”

We took the local time machine back to 1825 on the great plains of North America, in what is now North Dakota. Our hunt was very productive; Americo shot the biggest Mule Deer I have ever seen. Regrettably, I had to make the trip home, as my wife needed me to drive her to her mothers. I took the same time machine back.

Suddenly, I was back in the same chair in Jon’s garage. Little Jon was still punching things on his keyboard.

“Thanks for the ride, it was great!” I said, as I got up to leave.

“No problem, by the way, sorry about what happened to your friend, but I think I got the bugs out of the machine now.”

Rhoda Fri Feb 11 19:29:48 PST 2000


Did you get my critique of "What's in a Name?" I sent it out last Sunday. Let me know.


Rachel Fri Feb 11 18:14:52 PST 2000

Teekay - Hey back at yah (big bright smiles).

Teekay Fri Feb 11 18:02:54 PST 2000

Nope! No cigar baby, I give up...for the time being.

RHODA: Got your chapter. Thanks.

RACHEL: Hey Girl.

Teekay Fri Feb 11 17:26:14 PST 2000

Something is terribly, terribly wrong. I still can't get into the workbook.

Rhoda Fri Feb 11 17:22:04 PST 2000


Opps! Sorry about that. I'll get it right out to you. I must not have attached the file.

I gave the address of my hopelessly backward, out of date web-site. I probably won't work with it again until I finish my current editing project.

I have a horrible cold. I am doped up on Benedryl. Life is a blurr right now. I don't hear well, see well. I cannot taste and smell.


Teekay Fri Feb 11 17:17:40 PST 2000

Something is terribly, terribly wrong. I still can't get into the workbook.

Cassandra Fri Feb 11 17:17:14 PST 2000

Americo- Do not fear, I am reading. I was forced to read a compliation of poetry written by my English teacher... but I also picked up something on one of my research trips to the library. Right now I'm immursed in Love Beyond Death: the anatomy of a Myth in the Arts by (covered by a sticker on the cover..hold on) Rudolph Binion. It's quite an interesting look at the use of love and death in both literature and the visual arts. It's giving me some good ideas on where my writing is heading, and even moreso, my visual artwork.

I'd recommend it to anyone who is reasonably versed in such things, and has at least a slightly morid streak.

Back to reading and writing...


Rachel Fri Feb 11 17:15:32 PST 2000

Americo and Teekay - I also do not have a web page. The notebook is pretty much my net (smiles). The most time I have spent on the net has been in looking for a publisher (I pull out handfulls of hair)! OUCH! Dang! That hurt!

Take care all

Teekay - Hope you can get into the workbook soon. Not just so you can read my story (grins), but because I know how frustrating it can be when things with the ole computer just don't seem to work.


Teekay Fri Feb 11 17:09:17 PST 2000

Hi everybody,
I can't believe I am actually here. I try to get on at work, but the 'puta goes haywire and boots me out. So I'll think I'll mostly be only dropping in on weekends till my next lot of hols.

RHODA: I haven't recieved chapt. 8 yet. Just a note saying here it is.????????????????

AMERICO: I too do not like the internet. I also do not have a web page. The only place I visit when I finally get onto the computer is the Notebook.

MICKEY: Nice???? How mediocre.

RACHEL: Tried to get into SM* to read your story but am having a hard time entering. I'll try again later.

Well last night I watched `Notting Hill' and I gotta tell you I just loved that end. Simply because it was the end. That was one of the longest most drawn out movies I have ever seen. If any of you feel that life is just flying by and you don't have time for anything then watch `Notting Hill' You'll gain hours.

It is rainin, raining here and I am sooooo glad it has been soooooooooooo hot.

Dracula and all you other monster out there, take a hike.

Eddie French Fri Feb 11 15:36:30 PST 2000

Hi all,
Isn't that just me!
Just recovered another major crash and rebuilt the system.
Lots of stuff going on here. I will catch up soon.
Jerry, I went to your site and loved the idea. I want to get involved in the story and add my own two cents worth. Problem is....the bloody colour scheme on your site is horrendous!
Yellow text stuck on that dark blue, marbly background!!!
Difficult to read online.
I have always found that the easiest way to read text online is to present it in the way that text has always been on white!
I have however, copied and pasted the text to Notepad and will read it as soon as I am able.
I like the outline, it's right up my street. I had to get past the awfull colour scheme though!!
Good luck.

Rachel Fri Feb 11 15:19:19 PST 2000

Hi all - I just left a story in SM.
Ciao, ciao, ciao for now!

P. Cushing Weget' Fri Feb 11 14:01:10 PST 2000

If any of you wonderful people are still wondering about the fate of the invasive evil which chose upon that night to visit our compatriot in that dark apartment at that ungodly hour then have no fear.
I dispatched that unspeakable evil with my 'Special tools'.
I have found that, over time, that this equipment has become, more and more, the most valuable travel aid!
Once more dear Notebookers....Not a word of this to *A*!!!!
Dr. Van Helsing.

P. Cushing Weget' Fri Feb 11 13:45:38 PST 2000

Fellow Travellers,
Do not mourn the end of *A*!
Although I failed in my daring dash across the channel to secure the eventual happy ending to the sad tale of *A*'s unfortunate foray into the realm of the undead, I nevertheless feel that it is my duty to report back to you all, the eventual outcome of this sorry affair!
I arrived at Oostende just before the hour of 10pm. The night was calm and the promise of a speedy journey to the dwelling place of *A* seemed certain.
However, the onward train journey comprised of two changes of carriage and one which entailed the replacement of the engine itself due to the opposite facing direction of travel. To recite here the further delays upon that fateful journey would serve only to increase your undoubted impatience to get to the end of this sorry tale.
It is sufficient to impart to you, dear readers, that I failed to arrive at the scene in time to save the imperilled *A* from any further harm!
I arrived at the apartment a little after 3am.
It was obvious to my experienced eyes that the dark forces of evil had transformed this once happy home into a black playground of unspeakable terror.
I quickly searched the apartment for any sign of the dark visitors and prepared for the worse. I knew that the evil purpertrators of this black deed could not go far at this time of high summer. Dawn was perhaps just an hour away, too soon to permit any distance of travel.
I found the pathetic remnants of the once proud *A* lying in a dark corner of the lounge.
He lived.
I could not help but balk at the strangeness of his perculiar attire. He wore about his body nothing but a strangely shining peice of attire which covered no more than the bulk of his manhood. A tiny thread of material joined the covering patch of the garment to the thin band which circumnavigated his narrow waist.
I quickly checked the remains for any signs of normal life.
I soon found that his human existance upon this world had been seriously compromised. *A*'s ethereal body had been abused in an unimaginable way. He had been soddomised, raped, and ultimately divested of his very humanity by his unwelcome visitors. Although unmarked on the outside, his body had been invaded in the the most intimate way by the forces of evil.
I knew that if he he was to survive and live out what life remained to him by any normal standards that I must act quickly.
I dressed his physical wounds as best I could and applied what healing ointments I had to his more tender areas.
I paid special attention to the twin wounds which marked his lower neck. Having tended to the visible wounds I turned my attention to the unseen scars which were so much more difficult to treat.
In my haste to beat beat the grim reaper I have possibly missed one or two of these inner wounds and though I did my best I fear that the job is not complete.
I managed to implant into the mind of *A* an alternative memory of that fatefull night. The recovered *A* now believes that the terror to which he was exposed to quailed at the sight of his mortal presence and fled to the comforting realms of their respective home countrys'.
I even implanted a quirky notion into the mind of *A* that the reason for his survival of this encounter was none other than the inherent sexual prowess of his own personality!
So ends my tale of my inevitable encounter with the forces of evil.
I would ask only one thing of you dear readers, please restrain from divulging any of this from our dear friend *A*. To reveal the truth would be the physical death of our beloved *A*!
If at times it seems that he oversteps the established bounds of common decency, then you must ask yourselves how much of this transgression is the fault of my own iterference. My knowledge of human interactions is limited to my own experiences, which alas, are so commonly lacking.
I beg forgiveness for my failings, but ask you one and all to consider the dreadful alternative.
We are here by the grace of God and the inventiveness of our own intellect.
Without the one, the other cannot exist!
I feel that now is the time to divulge my true identity.
My birthright comes from the established name of Van Helsing.
I am here. I will always be. I dedicate my existance to the eradication of evil.
I thank you and remind you all....Not a word of this to *A*!!!

Rachel Fri Feb 11 13:44:52 PST 2000

Two more books for my list. Neither are published, both are great!

"Shadows in a Dream" by John McIntyre

"Najin" by SKS Perry.

Jerry Lee Fri Feb 11 13:31:19 PST 2000

Yo all,

Thanks for the kudos on my little web site. When will we be able to see yours?
Maybe Jon and Pussy will have the time to come up with one. The can sell the dictionary there.

Take care,
Jerry Lee

Rachel Fri Feb 11 13:24:36 PST 2000

I never mentioned authors or books I like. Gezzz what kind of person am I?!

Okay, I've done a good chunk of reading over the past year or so. So far at the top of my love it list is

"The History of the Siege of Lisbon" by Jose Saramago. This book is great. I would recommend it to anyone.

"A Movable Feast" by Ernest Hemmingway. This was an awsome book! I read "The sun also rises" afterwards but didn't like it as much. A Movable Feast rocked!

"The Sorrows of Young Werther" by Goethe. Now here is a rip your heart out story if ever I read one. Also a must read.

"The Plague" by Albert Camus. An excllent novel on many levels. Excellent.

"Nine stoires" by "J.D. Salinger" I love this, but the Americans in the group might not. At least if they are reading it the way that I did. You all interested in what I mean by that? Go ahead and read it. It's good stuff. I also read "The Catcher in the Rye" It isn't on my favorites list.

I like short stories. I read some by Mansfield, but I find her writing very sad. A little to melencholy for this gal.

"The Shipping News" by Annie Prulx. An excellent story. I loved this book. I have read it several times and it never fails to delight me. She has another out "Heart songs" I didn't like it as much as "The Shipping News"

I am just staring on "Perfume" by Suskin. It is all ready proving to be an excellent read. I have fallen in and don't want to get out. Soooooooooo, I better dash (grins).

Oh, I also really like Maja Angelou (spelling)? And also the author of "The sick rose" and "The Tiger" Who, who, who is that. How could I forget? Is it Blake? William Blake I think.

I haven't read enough poetry to have a favorite, but I'm devloping a sense of what I do and do not enjoy. I can appreciate it all, but that doesn't mean I'm going to enjoy it all (grins).

I think that is about enough from me for now.

Take care all


PS - Sorry for any spelling mistakes. I'm in a bit of a rush

Americo Fri Feb 11 12:05:45 PST 2000

Hello, lazybones!

I cracked up with my telegram novel yesterday. How about you? It's your turn now to brighten the Notebook with your genius. Who wants to be next? Just drop an idea, without any idea of how it's going to be developed, and let the other Notebookers continue it. Probably you'll come to the conclusion that the collaborative spirit of the others is not the best, but never give up. That's the spirit.

No news from Marina, my countess, today. Hope she is not secretly jealous of her husband and of Frank. Women never believe when you tell them that nothing happened. (And they are almost always right).

Marina's "poison" is great. But only for an emergency. Don't start asking me the recipe. Absolutely taboo. Just for my friends.

I intend to finish reading "The Natural History of the Senses" this weekend, and must also go on with my private work. Do not worry if you do not see me much over the weekend. As you know, I eat monsters for breakfast. But I'll try to come here and drop some posts whenever I can. So rejoyce!

I have noticed that some of you are not reading anything at all. And of the list of favorite writers you mentioned some time ago I saw a little number of great writers and much crap. I was glad to see the name of Marcel Camus in one of your lists (Howard's, I believe). WE must improve the quality of our readings. And tell here what we are reading.

By the way: I visited yesterday Jerry Lee's website. Though I did not have time to read the story that is evolving there, I can tell you Jerry's site is quite interesting, mainly for SF fans. I'll visit some other sites in the future. Have the house ready for inspection. (Don't forget the drinks for the visitors, we maybe three or even more, if I take my friendly monsters with me).

And give us a kiss.

Rachel Fri Feb 11 09:49:38 PST 2000

Hi all!

MICKEY - WELCOME, WELCOME!!!!!!! Your wirting looks excited (grins).

Americo - I am so happy that you survived! I enjoyed the story (smiles).

Take care all


trudy Fri Feb 11 08:22:25 PST 2000

Hey all, I wrote a message yesterday and think I went offline before posting it. How's that for bright?

Americo, I didn't offer much help against the monsters, sorry, but did say to bring Pussy and Jon and meet me at the bar for all the drinks the returnees owe when they come back to the Notebook. Also wanted to know what kind of wine everyone likes (red or white) as my hubby and I should be putting a batch on soon and I do love sharing our home made wine.

OK I've been procrastinating all morning so must go...happy day all.


Cassandra Fri Feb 11 07:54:36 PST 2000

Hi all,
Just stopping in quickly. Unfortunately I've got to write a book review for my English class, run out for art supplies, get my negatives developed for photography, and do all sorts of work today... so I'll be popping in and out of here... hope you're all doing well. :)

I included a link to my website, which will improve over time.(i hope I hope I hope) Right now it's just a loose informative site about me, nothing too specific... I might end up cutting it down to only creative endevors and a small explaination of who I am.

Come summer time I'm teaching myself html and learning how to drive... Yes, I'm already 20 and I haven't learned how to drive yet. With college tuition the way it is, I can't afford a car, nor have I really had a pressing urge for one. The public transportation here in Albany isn't half bad.

Anyways, onward and upward
and good day to you all


Viper Six Fri Feb 11 00:40:34 PST 2000

Hey All,
There is a problem with my system. If anyone wishes to E-Mail me, then you'll have to actually type out my address. PLEASE DO NOT FORWARD MAIL. Please send it normally.Thank you, sorry.

....VIPER SIX....

Heather Thu Feb 10 21:24:50 PST 2000

Mickey, your caps-lock is on!

Heather Thu Feb 10 21:19:43 PST 2000

Americo! You were on such a roll, I felt it too good to stick in my voice and stop it. And I didn't check in until almost too late.
Excellent telegram service you have there. Mighty fast service (stop)(end)

Cassandra, thanks for the kudos! I didn't have to design the site myself, or it would have been even more minimalist!
I'd like to see yours whenever you have it in the state (in which) you'd wish to share it.

Your energy tires me, Americo! And I thought I posted a lot!
(you sweet genius)(stop) (just kidding)(stop)

And I think it was Rachel's potion that did it (Was it Chanel #5, Rachel?) Ha HAHAHAH hA hA ha aha...big guffaws.

I'll catch up again for some zzz's
You people who only got 5 hours of rest last night? That is my normal night, sometimes only 3 or 4. Feel lucky this is not your regular sleep routine! ZZZZ


MICKEY Thu Feb 10 21:12:19 PST 2000


Randall Thu Feb 10 18:02:09 PST 2000

Hi all:

Been away for a while. Have I ever mentioned that my son is Bill Gates? No? Well, he thinks he is. Last Friday night the 16 year old pride of our family was compressing files. Trying to make room for more Brittany Spears photos I assume. Possibly the Carmen Electra photo album as well. the process he compressed EVERYTHING and took out our operating system quicker than a starving duck on a fat june bug on a warm summer night.

I discovered the "adjustment" Saturday afternoon and eventually through parental understanding (brass knuckles), extreme patience (heat lamp), gentle vocal tone (rubber hose), wormed the whole story out of my genius to be. That was right before I chased him for two blocks with the defunct hard drive over my head. Boy, these 16 year old boys can really run when properly motivated!

I guess I'm a pushover. Aren't most parents? But, I can't wait till he's taking care of elderly dad and I reconfigure HIS computer system to make room for Carmen Electra!!!!!

Jerry: I have tried to contact fellow Navy shipmates for weeks----to no avail. But, I'll keep on trying. Surely some of them are still afloat.

Americo: Thank you for the kindness on reading my posts. You're too kind my friend. I know where the real power is in this site. A short story? Well, been thinking about it Americo. Still thinking about it.... If I do anything I might slip in a page or two from my novel. Is that legal?

My creativeness is sorta down the tube this month. My contract with the literary agency expires this month. I understand how E.J. felt as he watched the Titanic slip slowly away from him.

Lots of problems at home guys. Seems like everytime I get my head up someone steps on it. Kinda like crawling across a Saturday night dance floor in a Texas honky tonk. Been there, done that, moved on.

But I will persevere. Is that spelled right?


Remember me always my love when cold and bitter is the wind
When the words are few and sad and barren we part
There will be no tomorrow, tomorrow, forever
But where the rocks cover the flowers.

Americo Thu Feb 10 17:30:29 PST 2000


Letter from Marina, the Count's wife:

I never thought my husband could be so coward. To flee under such a storm, just at your naked apparition! And that little Frankenstein is no good either. There they are, at a corner of the kitchen, still drunk from the wisky they took on the plane, in the arms of each other, moaning incessantly: "What a sight! What a frightening sight!"

A*, you are my hero. With just your beautiful shining eyes and only with a pair of black knickers in your marble hands of elegant intellectual, you freaked out my man and one of my nine lovers. They arrived here in a miserable state in the morning. They could not swallow my breakfast. And the only decent word I could extract from that wrecked monster of my husband was: "Portugal? Never again! The Portuguese are too cheeky, too indecent even for Dracula." To which, Frankenstein added: " Yes, and we did not meet the cats".

Your adoring Countess,
PS. You have certainly noticed that I wrote nine lovers. You were supposed to be the ninth, but I decided to have only one from this day on-- you, my greatest! See you soon.


"My Honeymoon with the Monsters" — a novel in telegrams and one letter, more or less.

© Writer's Notebook -- your website just for a kiss!

K Moore AOHell4U2 Thu Feb 10 16:51:28 PST 2000

Hi all.
First posting, second visit and things seem friendly. Bizarre in places but I guess I’ll figure that out.
Will watch and linger a while and see what shapes and shakes but one thing I have to address to Viper Six – Visited you page but it drove me crazy! Every time I went near a logo or drawing I got a copyright notice jumping out at me. I use an itellimouse, which means that everytime the notice jumps up my cursor jumps to the default setting. (which is the one and only button on the notice) By the time I’ve moved the cursor away (unless I’m very careful) I have ‘fouled’ another graphic and up pops the box again. So I gave up on it. Sorry, but like Jack says it is really irritating.
Catch you soon, K Moore.

Americo Thu Feb 10 16:30:29 PST 2000

Midnight here. I've drank the poison. I'm feeling so energetic tonight! To hell prejudices, sin, salvation! I want to live!!! I'm waiting the Count and Frank with joyful anticipation. The champagne is in the refrigerator and the scent of the black candles enebriates me. I also found some caviar. Oh, come my sweet hearts. What a night.

It rains heavily, the sky is just a continuous thunder. On the mirror I watch my face at the light of the candles and the tempest. The face is pale, but the lips are red and my eyes shine with lust. Now I am the monster. A handsome monster. Pussy's shoes are so elegant! And Jon's knickers so exciting.

Three violent knocks at the door. My heart beats so strongly! Three knocks! Perhaps the lovers are three! Who knows if Milosevitch managed to come as well? What a night! I run to open the door. My knickers slip down my legs and

© Writer's Notebook - the loneliest place in the universe.

Americo Thu Feb 10 16:18:31 PST 2000

Telegram from the Count:
"I'm coming in some minutes! Be with you wery suun. Only love!!!"

Telegram from Frankestein:
"Save me a waltz! Frank."
Telegram from the Count's Wife:
"Don't you dare touch my husband, you luscious beast!"

I give up. Farewe!l, fellow writers. I'd rather lose my life than my honor. I'm going to drink the poison the countess left here yesterday, "for an emergency". This is my testament:

I leave P. Cushing all my genius. He was the only writer with a heart. You have no hearts and no bras -- nothing for you. Tucky, please pay the drinks you owe me to P. Cushing. A*

"My Honeymoon with Dracula"
© Writer's Notebook — every midnight, a surprise when you least expect it.

Allein Thu Feb 10 15:37:37 PST 2000

Here's today's funny. I'm going to nap now. Zzzzz...

You Might be a Child of the 80`s If...

You have deep, personal relationships via computers with people you`ve
never met in real life before.

The phrase "going courting", to you, means fighting an unjust traffic ticket or playing tennis.

You know, by heart, the words to any "Weird" Al Yankovic song.

The Brady Bunch movie brought back cool memories.

Songs by Debbie Gibson still haunt you to this day.

Three words: "Atari" "IntelliVision" and "Coleco". Sound familiar?

You remember the days when "safe sex" meant "my parents are gone for the weekend".

You remember "Friday Night Videos" before the days of MTV.

You ever owned a pair of "Pop-Wheels" - that handy little combination of shoe and roller skate that lasted about a year on the open market.

A predominant color in your childhood photos is "plaid".

You`re pissed that you couldn`t really participate in the 60`s, pissed that you were a part of the 70`s, think you wasted too much time doing stupid, meaningless things in the 80`s, and still have no clue what the 90`s are all about.

You see teenagers today wearing clothes that show up in those childhood photos, and they still look bad.

While in high school, you and all your friends discussed elaborate plans to get together again at the end of the century and play "1999" by Prince over and over again.

You remember when music that was labeled "alternative" really was.

You, yes you, sat down and memorized the entire lyric sheet to "It`s the end of the world as we know it".

You can`t remember when the word "networking" didn`t have a computer connotation to it as well.

You took family trips before the invention of the mini-van. You rode in the back of the station wagon and you faced the cars behind you.

You`ve recently horrified yourself by using any one of the following
"When I was younger"
"When I was your age"
"You know, back when..."
"Because I said so, that`s why"
"What the Hell is this noise on the radio?"
"Just can`t (fill in the blank) like I used to"

You can`t remember a time when "going out for coffee" didn`t involve 49,000 selections to choose from.

Schoolhouse Rock played a huge part in how you actually learned the English language.

Kids that work in restaurants and supermarkets are starting to piss you off by calling you "sir" or "ma`am".

"Celebration" by Kool & the Gang was one of the hot new songs when you first heard it at a school dance.

The first time you ever kissed someone at a dance fell during "Crazy for You" by Madonna.

There were at least three people in your school that voluntarily went by
the names of "Skip" "Buffy" "Muffy" or "Dexter".

The phrase "Where`s the beef?" still doubles you over with laughter.

You`re starting to believe that maybe 30 isn`t so old after all, and it`s those people over 40 you have to look out for.

You freaked out when you found that you now fall into the "26 - 50" age category on most questionnaires.

You have begun to lust after women (or men) that it would be socially inappropriate for you to date due to their age.

Your hair, at some point in time in the 80`s, became something which can only be described by the phrase "I was experimenting".

You`ve ever shopped at a Banana Republic or Benetton, but not in the last five years, okay?

You`re starting to believe (now that it wouldn`t affect you) that maybe having the kids go to school year-round wouldn`t be such a bad idea after all.

You`re doing absolutely nothing with anything pertaining to your major degree.

You won`t walk into the place where you once knew every bartender on a first name basis because "there`s too many kids there".

Going to keg parties no longer involves hiding out in the woods when the cops show up.

You want to go out dancing, you really, really do, but your back hurts, sorry.

You`re starting to get that "why aren`t you married yet", not just from parents, but now from friends that are married.

You`ve recently horrified yourself by groaning as you get out of bed, not because of a hangover, but because it genuinely just hurt to do so.

You ever wanted to be gagged with a spoon.

U2 is too "popular" and "mainstream" for you now.

You ever used the phrase "kiss mah grits" in conversation.

When someone mentions two consecutive days of the week, the Happy Days theme is stuck in your head for hours on end.

You remember trying to guess the episode of the Brady Bunch from the first scene.

You remember "Hey, let`s be careful out there".

Rachel Thu Feb 10 15:29:24 PST 2000

Americo - I give you my super, secret invisible potion and you vanish! The monsters will not be able to find you. The fun part will be that you will be able to watch them look (grins).
Take care you.

Americo Thu Feb 10 14:03:37 PST 2000

I'm alone. Still raining cats and kittens. I wish my friends had not left me at the mercy of two monsters. Two luscious, drunk, shrimps-filled monsters. And no one of my dear notebookers seems to care about my life. Life? I don't care about life. Innocence. Honor. Pride. A good name. A reputation. This is what matters.

I have bought the champagne and the black candles, as demanded by the Count. Have also lit the fire. Have even put some drops of Channel no 5 behind the ears. I'm now thinking what I must put on as underware. It probably has to be black. They say black is exciting. The Count, Frankenstein must want black. I remember having seen some exquisite piece of cloth... yes, here it is. The Count's wife's..., no, too small for her. Oh, help me! Find me a way to save me from this nightmare! And, just in case no plot tricks work, can any of you, genteel ladies, lend me something nice to wear on occasions like this? Yes, black, it must be black. So, either an idea or a bra.

Telegram from Milozewich:

"Sorry I can't join them. Happy night."

Uf! At least the monsters are only two. But they are arriving!

The antecedent:
Dracula and Frankenstein come for un unwanted visit to a good, pious Christian, who, incidentaly, is now on his knees, praying for an idea to save his honor and his physique. Won't you help, oh inspired writers?

"My honeymoon with the Count"
© Writer's Notebook -- a sensation every hour!

PS. Wait a moment, a voice in the desert. But no saving idea... Thanks anyway, P. Cushing. Methinks you are the only Christian on the premises.

P. Cushing Thu Feb 10 13:12:24 PST 2000

*A*[comma] Arriving at Oostende 8pm [stop] Have 'special' tools with me [stop] I fear we may be too late to save your body [stop] Fear not for your soul [stop] I will deal with that as necessary. [stop] In the meantime [comma] STALL!! [stop][end]

Americo Thu Feb 10 12:01:24 PST 2000

Telegram from the Count:

"I'm on my way to you, and already in Barcelona. Met a strange fellow on the plane. Name Frankenstein. He's also bound to Lisbon. We've drank two bottles of whisky and tons of shrimps. A bit tipsy now but feeling very, very energetic!!! I mentioned you to Frankenstein and he also wants to meet you tonight. I'm not jealous. We'll be there by midnight, GMT. Get some champagne. And black candles. Kisses and lots of cuddling. Dracula."

Dear fellow writers, I'm shaking all over. It's tonight! it's tonight! Shall I survive? And if I do, as intact and innocent as before? Jon and Pussy, my faithful companions, are packing for the weekend. I'll be left alone in this huge, old house. It's raining, it's cold. I trust on your skill for building plots. A little twist in the plot can save me yet. But hurry. HELP ME! QUICK!

"My Honeymoon with the Count"
Summary of the antecedent:
Lured by A*'s (and J*'s) attraction, Count Dracula comes for a strange visit. He brings Frankenstein with him. Both are sexmaniacs and, worst of all, have eaten shrimps on the plane. The fact that they are already drunk doesn't help much either. Jon and Pussy are strategically leaving. A* is in terror and asks you for help.

© Writer's Notebook - every night a thrilling story.

Cassandra Thu Feb 10 09:11:49 PST 2000

Seems everyone's messing up today... *blush*

Well, I'm just stopping in before my nap. I only got 5 hours of sleep last night, so I think I deserve it.

Heather- kudios on the website. I didn't know you were a painter as well as a writer. You do some beautiful work. I myself am more a drawing and design artist. My site is elementery at best, hopefully over the summer I can reinstall my scanner card and put some of the later work from my classes up. As of now there are only highschool sketches and such... Improving the image and type, and making a logotype for the page seems in order.
But I digress... I was just in class not more than half hour ago and the critique is still fresh in my mind... excuse my weirdness :)

well, off to catch up on sleep,
May the muse be with you


Cassandra Thu Feb 10 09:01:30 PST 2000

Americo Thu Feb 10 08:26:57 PST 2000


Telegram from the Count:

"Wife disappointed. She had thought you were the cat! And tell me you too qwick for she. Me to go now. Tonight! Get ready. Little confession to make: I'm superstitious. Never stop at 13. Kisses."

Dear fellow writers, I know this is just an intimate problem but I need your help. I feel like a bride on her honeymoon. Completely virgin of Counts! I thought that those who are good at plots (mainly experienced mothers) could give me an idea to escape from this situation, or at least some advice on how to survive this dismal night.

Summary of the previous episodes: On a trip to Transylvania, A* and J* meet Count Dracula. The Count boasts that his wife can have eight lovers at the same time. A* expresses his doubts. But the Count's wife proves him wrong. A* thinks he did well. Yet the lady complains to her husband that she mistook A* for J*, the cat. Tonight the Count threatens to visit A* (see telegram above). What can A* do to save his skin and continue the story?

Writer's Notebook -- everyday an adventure!

Ha ha I'm really going now... Wed Feb 9 22:51:00 PST 2000


Heather Wed Feb 9 22:49:37 PST 2000

Howard, where are you? You must be busy?
I still can't get the copyright sign to pop up...
I am just using my netscape (quite recent version) and I have corel office and wp 7.0; i think it is compatible or very close to msword - I don't know... Jerry? Any idea?

Q: (for the computer-inclined) If I am online, using my browser, how might I also use corel 7.0 tools or programs while there (yes, I really want to try that little c. for copyright!) Feeling deprived of that knowledge. boo.hoo.

I don't know if that's even possible - haven't had to try it yet. 'Til now.
Found a character insert window, but only under 'edit page', and that would alter something on the notebook, I think, not my post.
Big? Huge? Question? Followed by uncertainty.

Dear Countess (Mrs. Dracula),
You will be hard-pressed to find a gaggle of lovers in telegramspace, or cyberspace. Try Portugal again.


Heather Wed Feb 9 22:30:44 PST 2000

Here! Here! Give Allein a hand for two fun lists!
And you really like typing, just like the rest of us.

here is a sign I saw at a friend's place:

Houckd on foniks
wercked ferr me!

That is deciphered as: Hooked on phonics worked for me.

Ok, I admit it was funnier when I read the sign - some letters were backwards and I'm not sure I remember exactly how it had been mis-spelled. (But I remember correct spelling...this is good)

'night all ((c)'Nytol!)

Heather Wed Feb 9 22:20:02 PST 2000

Here here! Give Jerry a hand for the fun list.
And that Swedish chainsaw? I pray no one stopped the chain with their genitals and it is just a mis-translation. It's probably NOT. *shudder*

I had a great list of moronic instructions (collection of actual instruction sheets that was for a strange conglomerate of every day products)but when I had to erase my entire drive (all 6 of them)in 1999, I obviously wiped that list.
I will try to find it again on the net and post it.
Yes, all 6 of my drives are in wonderful %3809glick! ord374950er. %$) Bleuuap!&$@!?

%) there's a creative smiley face. here's another %O?
anyway, seems I'm procrastinating. I was on my way to bed.

Allein Wed Feb 9 22:14:01 PST 2000

Jerry - I've seen that one before, in fact I think I may have posted it here once. But, that's okay - it's nice to see the classics. :)

Here's one you may enjoy:
Things You Never Want To Hear During Surgery

Better save that. We'll need it for the autopsy.

Someone call the janitor - we're going to need a mop

Accept this sacrifice, O Great Lord of Darkness

Bo! Bo! Comeback with that! Bad Dog!

Wait a minute, if this is his spleen, then what's that?

Hand me that...uh...that uh.....thingie

Oh no! I just lost my Rolex!

Oops! Hey, has anyone ever survived 500 ml of this stuff before?

Crap, there go the lights again...

Ya know, there's big money in kidneys. Hell, the guy's got two of 'em.

Everybody stand back! I lost my contact lens!

Could you stop that thing from beating; it's throwing my concentration off.

What's this doing here?

I hate it when they're missing stuff in here.

That's cool! Now can you make his leg twitch?

I wish I hadn't forgotten my glasses.

Well folks, this will be an experiment for all of us.

Sterile, shcmeril. The floor's clean, right?

What do you mean he wasn't in for a sex change?

Anyone see where I left that scalpel?

And now we remove the subject's brain and place it in the body of the ape.

Okay, now take a picture from this angle. This is truly a freak of nature.

This patient has already had some kids, am I correct?

Nurse, did this patient sign the organ donation card?

Don't worry. I think it is sharp enough.

What do you mean 'You want a divorce'?

She's gonna blow! Everyone take cover!

Fire! Fire! Everyone get out!

Argh! Page 47 of the manual is missing!

Here's another one:
Actual Bumper Stickers

I love cats ... they taste just like chicken
Out of my mind. Back in five minutes.
Cover me. I'm changing lanes.
As long as there are tests, there will be prayer in
public schools
Laugh alone and the world thinks you're an idiot.
------------------------------------------------------------ Sometimes I wake up grumpy; Other times I let her sleep
I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather ... ...Not
screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car ...
Montana -- At least our cows are sane!
The gene pool could use a little chlorine.
I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to
be a vegetarian.
Your kid may be an honor student but you're still an
It's as BAD as you think, and they ARE out to get you.
When you do a good deed, get a receipt, in case
heaven is like the IRS.
Smile, it's the second best thing you can do with your
Friends don't let Friends drive Naked.
I took an IQ test and the results were negative.
When there's a will, I want to be in it!
Okay, who stopped the payment on my reality check?
If we aren't supposed to eat animals, why are they
made of meat?
Time is the best teacher; Unfortunately it kills all its students!
It's lonely at the top, but you eat better.
Reality? That's where the pizza delivery guy comes
Forget about World Peace.....Visualize Using Your
Turn Signal !
Warning: Dates in Calendar are closer than they appear.
Give me ambiguity or give me something else.
We are born naked, wet and hungry. Then things get
Make it idiot proof and someone will make a better
He/She who laughs last thinks slowest
Always remember you're unique, just like everyone
Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math.
Friends help you move. Real friends help you move
Very funny, Scotty. Now beam down my clothes.
Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere
may be happy.
Consciousness: that annoying time between naps.
i souport publik edekashun
We are Microsoft. Resistance Is Futile. You Will Be
Be nice to your kids. They'll choose your nursing home.
3 kinds of people: those who can count & those who
Why is "abbreviation" such a long word?
Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?
Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie!'...till you
can find a rock.
2 + 2 = 5 for extremely large values of 2.
I like you, but I wouldn't want to see you working with
substomic particles.
I killed a 6-pack just to watch it die.


Preview of tomorrow's funny:
"You might be a child of the 80's if: Your hair, at some point in time in the 80`s, became something which can
only be described by the phrase "I was experimenting"

Jack Wed Feb 9 21:59:31 PST 2000

p.s. Just one comment about the page in question. The continual pop up windows informing about the copyrighted nature of the graphics was fair to moderately annoying and detracts greatly from the page. If these are your images, consider water marking them with your copyright or using certain JAVA applets that make lifting the images impossible. I will take a closer look at the page when I have more time, but thought this should be mentioned.

Jack Wed Feb 9 21:56:36 PST 2000

BTW, just for everybody's information, for the form to recognize your URL you need to include the entire URL including http. I have put Viper 6's URL up above in the correct format.

Jerry A.G. Ericsson Wed Feb 9 20:55:11 PST 2000

Just to lighten it up a bit, here is the text of a recent E-Mail I received:

In case you needed further proof that the human race is doomed through
stupidity, here are some actual label instructions on consumer goods...

On Sears hairdryer: "Do not use while sleeping."
(Gee, that's the only time I have to work on my hair.)

On a bag of Fritos: "You could be winner! No purchase necessary.
Details inside."
(The shoplifter special.)

On a bar of Dial soap: "Directions: Use like regular soap."
(And that would be how . . .?)

On some Swanson frozen dinners: "Serving suggestion: Defrost."
(But it's *just* a suggestion.)

On Tesco's Tiramisu dessert (printed on bottom of box): "Do not turn
upside down."
(Too late!)

On Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding: "Product will be hot after heating."
(As night follows the day . . . )

On packaging for a Rowenta iron: "Do not iron clothes on body."
(But wouldn't this save more time?)

On Boot's Children's Cough Medicine: "Do not drive a car or operate
machinery after taking this medication."
(We could do a lot to reduce the rate of construction accidents if we
could just get those 5-year-olds with head-colds off those forklifts.)

On Nytol Sleep Aid: "Warning: May cause drowsiness."
(One would hope.)

On most brands of Christmas lights: "For indoor or outdoor use only."
(As opposed to what?)

On a Japanese food processor: "Not to be used for the other use."
(I gotta admit, I'm curious.)

On Sainsbury's peanuts: "Warning: contains nuts."
(Talk about a newsflash.)

On an American Airlines packet of nuts: "Instructions: Open packet, eat
(Step 3: Fly Delta.)

On a child's superman costume: "Wearing of this garment does not enable
to fly."
(I don't blame the company. I blame parents for this one.)

On a Swedish chainsaw: "Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands or
(Was there a case of this happening somewhere? My God!)

Americo, you can check out my homepage, it is as you say, not much, keep in mind that I made it up in 1996, and have since forgotten the password necessary to up-date it. I will be working on a new one, and will post the address once I have it prepared.


Jerry Lee Wed Feb 9 20:48:52 PST 2000

Yo all,

Check out my site. It's all been trial and error...mostly error. It is an experiment that is sort of on-going; I write a bit, wait for feedback from visitors, and continue using their suggestions for storyline and characters.

It may not be too flashy, but then, it may be too flashy.

I don't know what you mean by "think big", but the whole thing sounds intriguing. Count me in.

Take care all,
Jerry Lee

Hema Ati Wed Feb 9 20:44:38 PST 2000

This is in response to what Americo's posting.
My sin is truth too.But I cant bear it when its bad and is about me!I am learning ,though.

Heather Wed Feb 9 19:24:57 PST 2000

Well, guess what! I blew the link the first time. Try the link on top of this post - it should work. *sheepish grin*

Heather Wed Feb 9 19:21:32 PST 2000

There, Americo, you can visit my page if you like. It is part of a large site of guelph artists. It is being 'renovated' and expanded into 'art-in-canada' soon.

I really have not visited many people's home pages, but I agree with Americo on what I have seen. Most are ugly and boring. Especially ones with music and little dancing .gif logos. Ech!
I got a page on the art-in-guleph site because theirs is actually professionally done by a 'web-designer' - and when the new site is launched it will look even better. It is at a 'less is more' look at the moment. I will be a part of the new site as well.

Americo, I am honest in any critiques I have given/done so far. And I don't plan on changing that. I am also honest in my posts, although the silly ones (might) have exaggerations!
Sometimes it might be hard to tell that, since we do not know each other (NBer's) by any other means.

So, NBookers! Take heed to Hema's and Americo's post(s)! They are right.
And slap that old homepage in the arse to liven it up!

Jack - interested to see how the notebook will look and function! I am personally glad that the format for the round robins' will stay the same. Need a little familiar territory.

Another note, A* - I am interested in that book on the senses. I have a recommendation: Tom Robbins' 'Jitterbug Perfume' is quite filled with intense imagery, pungent olfactory-ness, etc.

And one more thing...
Trudy - interested to find out more about the trade show!
You can email me so we won't offend Americo!

Waving and writing at the same time

Americo Wed Feb 9 18:07:37 PST 2000

Trudy, my old friend. I used the name of my new friend Teekay to address you (see my last but this post). It was unintentional, but this slip of the pen can be understood as a proof of love for both of you.
Trudy, you know that anyone who has not published in the Notebook for longer than sometime (your case) must pay three drinks to Jon, Pussy, and me? You only paid one.
It will be poisonous and very alcoholic whisky (I like to scandalize abstemious). I also smoke. Havanas. No drugs, please. I really hate that stuff. That's the only thing you will not see me speaking about here.
Good night, people. You did not speak too much about the topics of tonight. Shame on you.

Americo Wed Feb 9 16:55:20 PST 2000

Thanks, Jack. And think of getting an agent for our collaborative writing, please.

Teekay, a good feature of your and the others' homepages would be a link to the Notebook. I do not have a homepage. I don't like the Internet. It's ugly. My Internet is the Notebook.

TOM, you said that you agree with some people's prejudices about the Internet. I beg to disagree. What's wrong about the Internet? I see much more immorality on the Tv than on the Internet (that's why I like Tv...). And the virtual has an innocence that the people who do not use it cannot understand, because they are dirty-minded people and only think of evil in the others. I am thoroughly in favor of complete freedom of expression. Freedom corrects itself automatically. That's why democracy is really a dream come true. What's wrong about the Internet is that it is slow, technically unreliable and the pages are usually ugly and boring.

But the topic of tonight is Dracula's wife and her visit. Well, she's already gone back to Transylvania, poor thing. The Count is right. Eight lovers for the lady is not many lovers. Well, it depends on the lover. I always thought that women is just blahblah. Now I can say I am ALMOST (only almost) right. By the way, where's Randall and the Vietnam warriors? Anyone interested in writing a story called "Dracula's Wife"? (I can't, I'm too discreet).

I'm reading a fabulous book: "A Natural History of the Senses" by Diane Ackerman. I never thought that the sense of smell, for instance, is so rich. And I had read a splendid novel, "The Perfume" (Peter Susskind), which deals with that sense. I haven't read the chapter about taste yet. Really a good book.

Viper Six Wed Feb 9 16:27:52 PST 2000

Just a quick hello. Anyone who tries to use the linked site, you may find that it doesn't work, I don't know why. But if you actually type it in it should work.
There are two that I would recommend:
....VIPER SIX....

Laura Http:// Wed Feb 9 16:23:15 PST 2000

Hi everyone. How are you doing? Jack, there is a little bit of trouble getting into the Short story archive, it is sometimes not possible to get to the Post now section. Just thought it would help to know.

I have a new novel in the workbook. Song of the Stone. I am also above two hundred paged with Prometheus, I will be reposting it soon, I just have a little more tweaking to do.


PS Jack, love the dolphin, I also like the story idea.

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Feb 9 16:05:45 PST 2000

Americo and Hema: Some of the goals you are indicating will be taken care of when I update the Workbook with the new PERL script. Hopefully, I will have time sometime this coming week to get to it and initiate some beta testing to make sure everything functions correctly. The main advantage will be that each story will be on its own with subsequent comment lines attached to it. This will encourage people to read the individual stories and then initiate criticism of said stories. In doing this I will be scrapping the other critique pages. The round robins will continue as they stand since they are part and parcel with each other and quite often need to be read sequentially. Talk with you soon.

Trudy Wed Feb 9 15:35:43 PST 2000

Hi all, my tootsies are aching after a day on my feet beating the pavement of a trade show to get contacts for articles...anyway it was a very productive day, but I'm exhausted...

Before I curled up with a book I thought I'd check out the notebook and Americo's posting then prompted me to check out some web sites...which leads me to Viper Six's site...when I linked it said file not it just me?

Americo, where's your web site? I hope Mrs. Dracula leaves you with a little energy to continue your visits to the Notebook! I'm starting to design a site of my own and want some good examples of good web sites...what are some people's favourites? Outside the Notebook of course...that goes without saying! *smile*

ok book beckons!


Americo Wed Feb 9 14:01:40 PST 2000

Hema Ati, I only review short-stories posted in "Strawberries and a Moon". And only some of them. No time for reading more. Sorry.

It's almost dark and I'm trembling. Count Dracula did not like my doubting his wife had eight lovers simultaneously and sent me a telegram:

"How dare you suspicious? She to break neues record tonight. She to visit you tonight. Be ready for she. Dracula"

Can anyone help me? Howard, perhaps, or Jai? This is not going to be solved with karate or pillows throwing. So women cannot help. Otherwise I would ask Rachel, Heather or Hema. What can I do?

Viper Six Wed Feb 9 10:18:32 PST 2000

Well now that I am on line once again I can come to this site on a regular basis. I was over looking some of the short stories, And it seems to me that everyone here is trying hard to make this site a second home.
I don't blame you. It has taken a lot for me to start writing again. My life has, well, been hectic for the last eight years or so.When Laura told me about this site I knew that this was where I could get an honest, non-biased opinion of my work.
I look forward to getting to know everyone here...If anyone has any thoughts or reflections be sure to respond via E-mail. I am At Thank you for the warm welcome you have given me.
....VIPER SIX....

Cassandra Wed Feb 9 10:12:59 PST 2000

All this fighting in the notebook... tisk tisk *throws pillow at Allein* Think fast!

Well, I don't have classes for the rest of the day, so after lunch I'll devote some time to photo work, and some time to Graphic Design. Hopefully I'll have a good few hours to write... *sigh* the life I lead..

Later all!


PS... this summer's project is to beef up my webpage, cause if I try to do that now I won't have time to either write or sleep. And those two things are important to me. :)

Hema Ati Wed Feb 9 08:49:56 PST 2000

Americo, you have hit the nail on the head , and have driven it home!All the things that you have said were the things I have been wanting to say.wish you had criticized my poem and my response to "How important is sex in fiction?".
It is because of criticism that I looked for a site like this and expected to improve my skills.But the scribes were not responding. Hope you would.
AND YES , YOU ARE SO RIGHT about the home pages.

Most of them contain details of the person's life..
Wish ahome page could become something of a discussion group ,with notes posted by people in response to a given topic.
Keep up the good work.Hema

Americo Wed Feb 9 08:29:55 PST 2000

I have a dream. To make of this site the best meeting point for writers in the Internet.
How can this be achieved?

Technically. Some of us have a page. Most of them are crap. A little picture with biobiographical data and samples of the works of their authors. And their hobbies. This is not Internet. It's KIndergarten. Improve your page and then post here the link to it. This link should be visited by the denizens of the Writer's Notebook. I'm going to visit the pages of the Notebookers. I'll tell you if I find any worth visiting.

Notebook. We've made a little progress last year. When I came here people were afraid. They discussed interesting things, but they were afraid of telling the truth. It was a page with controversial values: patriotism, family, Christianity, good manners. I respect them all, but I have a critical attitude towards them all. The only value of a writer is truth. This being a complex thing, we've matter for discussion here. The progress I see in the Notebook is in the realms of patriotism. I believe we are more civilized now. The other aspects still need some brushing up.

Writing. Our main objective. All the people that post here regularly are writers in the sense that they have a passion for writing. This is not enough. We must improve a lot in this field.

Criticism. Indispensable for good writing. It's regrettable on this page. No truth, no critical sense, nothing. I have tried to improve things, but I am not basically a critic, and I need you. Stop saying hypocritical clichés without any substance, and help your fellow writers by reading their works and telling them your impressions. Do not deceive them. Be friendly but not false.
Tonight is "Wahlpurgis Nacht". Everyone is invited to come here and tell us their deadly sins. My deadly sin is a passion for truth. But I don't know what truth is, and may make horrible mistakes in this area. Help me to become better and to help our beloved Notebook to improve.

Heather Wed Feb 9 06:57:02 PST 2000

Hi, Jack!
Sounds like you are as busy as ever.

Rachel, we can try the POV double story soon - right now I'm so tired I must catch up on rest. If my wee guy will nap too, that is.
Editing whips me. (Well, editing into the far corners of the night does...)
And Katarina, or anyone else may join the pov story idea, the post about has just been archived...
Maybe pairs of writers can try it, if more than just two of us want to give it a try.

Well, usually I am not so tired but
too many late nights this week zzzzzzzzzz

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Feb 9 02:23:28 PST 2000


The dolphin is in honor of David Brin, who will be the guest of honor at Norwescon 23 and the web page I am doing for the convention.

Wed Feb 9 01:59:20 PST 2000


I took a look and realized just how big the Notebook had gotten and quickly decided to archive it. Bon Appettit.


Jack Beslanwitch Wed Feb 9 01:56:57 PST 2000

Just got watching the recorded episode of Buffy the Vampire Killer (OK, I'll admit it, I am a great big fan). I do have some questions re I am doing some considerable thought. I have added an advertisement that potentially will prove monetary for me. If any have an interest in Writer's Digest, please consider ordering via the link. I also, am considering setting up an bookstore as part of I know, it is almost becoming a cliche, but wanted input privately about possibly additions to include. I am thinking of both an extensive Author bibliography bookstore and a Writer's Resources Bookstore. It will take time and I will be soliciting additional input, but wanted to get some ideas.

Also, I have a story in the works for SM that I have about a quarter done. I need more time to consider it. It involves the grandson of someone whose father walked on the moon. He carries his ashes to the moon, because NASA and the rest of the human race took that long not to return to the moon and burries his ashes along with a toast of Shiraz wine and cheeze in the airless environment of the moon just beyond the tourist barriers of the Eagle spacecraft so that his grandfather can experience walking ont he moon and sharing a meal on the moon with his grandson. Mind you, the grandson is visiting as a tourist, not an astronaut and it was only commercial space travel rather than NASA that finally got off their dead asses and got man to space. That is the pretext of the story.

Oh, and another bit of discussion. I am in discussion with someone about possible doing an online version of a print clubzine for speculative ficton and science articles. Talk with you about this more as I have more information. Take care.

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