Archives Messages from February 16 to February 27, 2000


Rachel Sun Feb 27 22:17:27 PST 2000

Teekay - I'm still up, but not for long (grins). I am tired.

Good night (smiles).


Laura Sun Feb 27 21:05:22 PST 2000

I too am among the awake.

Jerry Sun Feb 27 20:54:54 PST 2000

Oh no, not all, I am still among the watchfull wake.

Teekay Sun Feb 27 20:35:17 PST 2000

It's very, very quiet here. I guess you are all abed.

Teekay Sun Feb 27 15:32:34 PST 2000

JERRY: Bloody know it all. Actually the superior vena cavae would gush blood, but it wouldn't spurt it as it doesn't have the systolic pressure behind it.
I did not know this until 5 minutes ago when I went and checked it out after reading your post.
Man you should have seen the fight the postie put up, even though I told him it was in the interest of literary factuality. Some people!

RHODA: I heard this expression today which made me think of you and your writing. It was 'a heel of bread' isn't that great? A heel. I thought you might find it handy.

Well I'm off to hear a lecture on the heart and blood flow.
How convenient.

Rachel Sun Feb 27 13:21:34 PST 2000

Allein - Thanks for the hugs. I send a bunch right back at yah!

All - Jon went out for a run with me this morning. He tried to trip me twice! What a brat (grins). I responded by jumping in all the puddles and soaking his little cat self (wicked smiles).

When we got back to my place he decided that would be the perfect time for a distance spitting challenge.

That cat can really spit. When it looked as if I had won he really brought up something special. I don't think it was fair. That was more of a hair ball (grins).

Take care all


howard Sun Feb 27 12:08:48 PST 2000

Good grief! Gone for a day, and the place goes to pot! And the wired dreams -- yes, I said WIRED ! Weird, too! Anyone else had them lately? I wondered why, until I saw that Morphius post. Is he for real? Or is he a fragment of someone's imaginary? Still, his dreams were interesting, except that wasn't what *I* dreamed about, M*, I hope you did better with the others.
I'm listening to "Sunflower" by Mason Williams, on his "Music - 1968-1971" CD. It has some of the most bizarre (and mellow) chord progressions I ever heard. Now it's "It's A
Saturday's Night at the World," one of my favorites. Acoustic guitar, backed by an orchestra, and he has a very nice voice to go along with it.
Don't worry, Americo, I also just got a special from one of the clubs I'm in -- four CDs of classical piano. "The Chopin Collection" (the waltzes) -- Artur Rubenstein; "Tchaikovsky: Concerto No. 1" and "Rachmaninoff: Concerto No.2" -- Van Cliburn; "Vladimir Horowitz at the Met" -- playing Scarlatti, Chopin, Liszt, and Rachmaninov; and "Van Cliburn in Moscow" -- playing Brahms and Rachmaninov.
Remember Van Cliburn, Randall? He was from Kilgore, Texas, and I remember when he won the Tchaikovsky Competition -- in Moscow, of all places -- in 1958! It made the average Russian aware that this "depraved" American society could produce something of value. They loved him, and still do. I remember cheering when we heard about it in school.

Allein -- The big day so close!? I wondered why M* had no dream for you, but now I understand -- even the god of dreams cannot compete with what must go on in the mind of a lovely almost-18-year-old girl who is counting the days! Still, don't be in a hurry to kiss them goodbye, for you cannot get them back from the other side of the calendar.
By the way, the 70s *were* nice, but we didn't call them the 70s -- I remember at the time that we called them "now."

Heather -- that sounds like a nice statue, but it's a bit off the mark. According to Genesis 3:15 it is "the seed of the woman" who shall bruise the serpent's head, not Mother Mary. The seed of the woman -- strange way to put it -- every other place talks of a man's seed. Put this way it would almost seem that there would not be a man involved in the conception of this one who has bruised the head of the snake, and will one day crush it completely.

M* didn't mention Litter either. I would have thought his dream would have involved beads and wobbly bits, and a good dark lager. You're slipping, M*!

I must go now -- to visit Alice, and see how she's doing. No, not like that, Jerry, she's my great aunt! :-)

howard -- perhaps I *will* dream of hills tonight -- my wife likes it when I do, as long as it's the right hills!

Allein Sun Feb 27 10:13:38 PST 2000

Hi everyone,
I know I haven't been around this past week. No, I don't have a good excuse - just the truth, which is: I'm the laziest person you've ever met. I have been reading your posts but I'm just too lazy to respond. But, at least I'm telling the truth. :) I do care about you all though.
Ah the 70's - such a grand time. Too bad I missed it.

Rachel - Hi you. (((BIG HUGS)))

Jon - You behave yourself now. I'll give you a kitty treat and a scratch behind the ears.

Well, everyone, I have someplace to go (the spot infront of the TV counts as a place!). :)

Countdown to Allein's 18th birthday: SEVEN DAYS!!! :D

Jerry Ericsson Sun Feb 27 09:50:27 PST 2000

Randell - I had an experience with the horriable smokin dope myself, back in '70 in Nam. Seems that the entire company was gathered in the rear, on stand down, there was to be a company bash, with all the free beer and booze you could drink. This was of course furnished by the officers and NCO's (although god help me, I couldn't understand why most of the time they were on our asses). Just before it was to begin, the First Sgt knocked on my hootch, and politely informed me that I was needed for guard duty out in one of the bunkers on the parimeter. So, dissapointed, I gathered my M-16, and a couple of bandoleers of ammo, and walked out the the bunker to begin my vidgel, accompanied by A fellow named Raska, Can't remember his first name, but he was the Commo head (dope head that is). As the night progressed, we could hear the party in full progress, with loud music furnished by some Phillopeno band, and the shouts of our drunken bretheren. Well around midnight, old Raska said he had had enough of this shit, and we could hear the party was breaking up, as the noise had abbated. The Sgt. of the guard had yet to make his hourly visit, and we had been there several hours by then. It dawned on Raska that the Sgt. was probably smashed like the rest of the company, so he opened his ammo puch, and prducted a small bag of the mellow smoke. He proceeded to roll out a couple of joints, and gave me one, keeping one for himself. He lit up, then passed his zippo to me, and I followed suit. Well I guess it didn't effect me much, as all I got out of it was a slight buzz, and a little dizzy. After a short time, it dawend on me that here we were on guard duty, and polluted, what would happen if some VC would happen to attack. Guess that was the last time I ever tried it, no profuound life changing experience, just learned I would rather have a shot of Johnny Walker Red then dope.


Randall Sun Feb 27 08:38:21 PST 2000

Good Morning all:

What a beautiful day in Texas, clear sky temperatures rising to the 70's. A grand day to be alive, safe and secure deep in the Heart of Texas. Just wish it would rain. An old time Texas rancher leaning over the counter at NAPA Friday assured me that Jack Rabbits on his ranch were moving out! Yep, he said they were headed east, following the moisture.

I asked him how he knew they were moving?

He slapped the counter with a knarled hand and snorted angrily. "Why boy, by cracky, curse my bones if'n I don't know what I seen. Ther' was a hundred or so, with little wagons loaded with all their goods, a'headed east. Pulling out they were, headed to the swamps of Loousania."

He weaved away to the door, fumes distorting the air over his head. A co-worker, equally stunned looked at me. "Man. I wish I could have seen that! Wonder where they got them little wagons?"

I'll leave the chore whether to believe him or not up to you dear friends.

Jerry! My man! Let me tell you about the first time I crossed the line and breathed the sweet fumes of Mother Weed. I was a year or so in the Navy and fallen in with a rough crowd of deck hands. One guy had an old Buick station wagon, worn beyond its years. The starter was shot and we had to push it to get it started. The doors were incapable of closing, indeed one had to be wired shut.

Anyway, dark thirty found us cruising the Hollywood Hills. The Buick was full of sailors and all but me were smoking grass. If you have been in that position you understand I was inhaling as much as they were through the second hand smoke bit.

Finally I accepted a joint, choked, tried again finally managed to inhale a little on my own. Donald, the head rogue in this crowd peered through the smoke and laughed at me. He then said.

"I'll tell you tomorrow what everyone here knows about smoking grass. It's a secret and only thoes who imbide understand."

Now this was in the summer of 1969, only a month after Manson and family murdered Sharon Tate and friends. I shudder to think what we would have gone through had a police car pulled us over. Still youth is filled, FILLED, I say with wrong decisions.

The following morning I met Don in the mess hall. We sat together and I asked him, what was the secret. He grinned big at me and proceeded to outline my future.

"Randall, smoking dope changes people. You will never be the same again, the Texas hick in you is dead. You have crossed the line, walked the wild side. From now on you will always be crazy."

Know what?

He was right! Whether it was the grass or an incident relating to maturity I changed. No, I didn't embrace dope then. In fact, I've never bought any illegal products in all these years. But the change, whether drug induced or otherwise this kid became aware.

Gotta go guys.


Jerry Ericsson Sun Feb 27 08:10:26 PST 2000

Teekay - Guess you caught me, and me an X-EMT too, sorry about that. Of course there are some veins that do spurt blood, for example the superior vena cava and inferior vena cava, which lead from the heart to the body, and are the only veins which carry oxygenated blood. - thanks for the correction


PS Think it was that odar that was getting to my head at the time, you know that smell of burning rope!

Jon Sun Feb 27 06:07:34 PST 2000

I can see you from above, and you can see me from below (if you know how to read). Where am I?

"No Lobster on the Moon", a mystery tale, is
©Writer's Notebook 2000

Teekay Sun Feb 27 03:46:31 PST 2000

Back again, thrice in one day, It’s getting to be a bit like auld lang syne is it not.

RACHEL: Would you believe it, I truly had no idea what a blap was. Of course I ran to
the dictionary but the bloody dog, ...well need I say more. I just decided that that is what
it sounded like. Either that or that fatty, hanging bit of belly skin that some people may
have. So isn’t that a coincidence???

JON: I hope you are not a blap.

JERRY: I read your short story and I fully recommend it for people who are trying to get
rid of their blaps (second meaning.). For fear of sounding like a know-it-all I shall not
point out that it is actually the arteries that spout blood and not the veins.

RHODA: I have done it. You shall get it tomorrow. It was fantastic as usual. Also
could I pleaseread your winning entry?

RACHEL(again): Have just read your story in SM*. I really liked it. I’m so glad it had a
happy ending. I much prefer happy endings.

HEATHER: Pass on that burning piece of rope and stop spitting on the end of it. What
are you trying to do, put it out?

RANDALL: Good news, Rumour has it that we can know God or know all if we only
knew how to meditate. I personally don’t have time to learn how to meditate because I
am spending far to much time looking up words like ‘tit-bit’ and ‘blap’ for goodness

I am going to tear myself away from this computer now and ooohhmmmm do something

Heather Sat Feb 26 23:59:13 PST 2000

Errr, guys, pass it on! Burning rope and the paper it's wrapped in... or warped in.

H a ha h a aa a (can't hold it ---hoooey! bleeeeeeehhhhhh)

An interesting point, Randall, that Set was portrayed as a giant serpent in Conan. In Egyptian Legend (lore?) the serpent was named Uraeus. He was the symbol or embodiment of wisdom and sagacity. And, like a snake in the grass, sometimes one will look forever and not find it, only to decide to give up the search and then step right on it unsuspecting. Something similar to the Garden of Eden again, and still another similarity arises. Between Mary and Isis. Did Mother Mary not step upon the serpent's head? The grand statue of her at the Church of Our Lady here in my city depicts her with a serpent wrapped under her heel. And Isis, well, if I can remember correctly, did she not step on a serpent as well?
More coincedence? I think not.

Set/Seth and Uraeus could represent one and the same entity. By all means it is possible. There are others in Egyptian lore, such as Bast or Hathor, who have been thought to have other names as well. And to an Egyptian of those times, a cartouche was/is a very powerful thing. A name. Carved into stone.

I tend to agree with you on the time/intellect debate, Randall, but have a few twists on that for tomorrow, when I will have slept and can think of how exactly I want to write it all down!

I might be muddling lore, and for that: (I'm tired! Sorry!)

G'night all, and hello, Morpheus. Here I come! Send me dreams of wildflowers, and might I dance there, too?


Rachel Sat Feb 26 22:51:46 PST 2000

Jerry - Hi you (smiles). I just rolled you up a nice fat one. It is full of imagination and fun. Help yourself. Word of warning. Take it easy, my imagination is powerful stuff (grins).

Take care you


Jerry A.G. Ericsson Sat Feb 26 21:25:24 PST 2000

Hark! What is that sultry odar I detect when walking the halls of this great notebook. Alas! It is the burning rope smell, that I once detected while walking late one night through the streets of Sigon. That sultry smell that permiates the waiting room of Madam Chengs house of ill-repute on TU-do street. That one and same smell that once was so detectable in the halls of the baracks of most every army base back in the mid 70's.

I am not sure what the heck you'all been smoking, but DAMN, save me a toke!


Randall Sat Feb 26 21:06:29 PST 2000

Hi guys:

Hope everyone has had a fruitful, productive Saturday. I haven't but that's how it goes and goes and goes.

Heather: I enjoyed your post dealing with Set/Seth. If I remember correctly Robert E. Howard's, Conan was always battling a god named Set. Who sometime took the shape as an immense serpent. Calling Dr. Freud, Dr. Freud are you on the net tonight? Wanna take this one?

Heather, I agree with your assestment of coincidences. I don't believe human existence in general and life in particular is that big of a mystery. However, as imperfect bearers of God's perfect enitity named Soul (Ka) it is beyond our capacity to know ALL or know God. God has laid it all out before us, there are no secrets, no hidden knowledge. The problem is we are incapable of accessing His information...that is plainly before us, in the shape of the land, within the sea and in a child's smile. On ocassion, through genetics a human will step forward and have the knowledge to correctly "read" the universe and appear wise beyond mere mortals. (Jesus comes to mind, since I am Anglo Saxon and He was a Jew.)

*Randall's Disclaimer* I'm not interested into getting into a, "No, Jesus is the son of God!" or "Wrong, He is the son of Joseph." or "None of the above, Jesus is the son of a Roman captain."

But I do believe when seemingly concidental happenings click....there is probably a reason for it. At this point in life I accept the fact that ancient folk, were just as intelligent as us. In their time frame. However, it should be said that who of us could exist in the time of Sumer or ancient Egypt with the knowledge we posess. That would make us appear dumb and inferior to them. So, it is likely that ancient people may have been able to access God's information, while our "modern" technology has blinded us.

Boy, am I off track! Mark it up to being tired and sleepy dear friends. Glad Jon is ok and living well with all of you.

Goodnight all


Rachel Sat Feb 26 20:20:31 PST 2000

Teekay - A blap is a blob (grins). Same thing. You would say "Hey, how about a blap of that potato salad." I think I like your rendition of blap. It works for me.

Morpheus - Hi you, nice e-mail address (grins). I will look forward to my dreams (grins and giggles in advance).

Take care all


Sat Feb 26 20:12:27 PST 2000 you know, like far out man. wow, chill, ya know. Cool dude. I know them dreams man like wow we could be brothers or sumthin, ya know? How about those awake dreams man COOL!

the why's 1.

Teekay Sat Feb 26 20:05:10 PST 2000

RACHEL: Hmmm yes, a very good question indeed. Actually a 'blap' is the term given to cats, and in some cases dogs on occassion when they are run over by heavy, and sometimes not so heavy vehicles. Sometimes a very large man in big boots can have the same type of effect, but the term given in this case would 'blob'. I do believe the word originated somewhere near or within British Columbia, it comes from a very rare language called Rachelism. Of course Rachel you may have meant to spell 'slap' in which case I have absolutely no idea what that means. Bwa ha ha ha haga gagadshaghdshkfg choke choke cough. Smiles and maniacal laughter.

Morpheus rem@dreamscape.web Sat Feb 26 20:01:34 PST 2000

What is this, small creatures? One of my servants, the small clawed one, makes his presence known during your waking hours? Truly this is not a common thing! Does the sleeping one walk? Is there no rest for us to disturb?
My Mary knows well my power, for her creature sprang directly from the dreams I gave her. Her thoughts are kept in the vaults of slumber, guarded by those such as my servant Jon.
He has behaved strangely, this small, bold one, since I allowed him to dream of Pussy. She is but a dream, you know, granted for only a brief moment.
Can you tell what else is but a dream? Is this notebook and all its denizens only a dream I've created to disturb the rest of the one known as A* ?
He is a strange one too, this A*, with his cavalier attitude towards the gods. Perhaps he is only a wisp of mine own imagination, stirred up by my subconscious to fester and grow into an irritant that even I cannot tolerate. No matter, I will deal with him when I awake.
In the meantime I will meet you all in your dreams. You will not know me as Morpheus, but will see me as your grandest fantasies:
Jerry chasing drug dealers (except please go lightly on the ones who provide opium for my dreamers), and drinking Tiger Piss to celebrate their capture.
Howard, dancing naked in the periwinkles, then lying with his head resting on his beloved hills (yes, I caught the hidden symbolism in your song, after all, I was the one who fueled your dreams).
Green-eyed Heather dancing in the nude in doorways (but only for the JWs, because they dream too, and they'll appreciate you more than they'd like to admit).
Randall, riding a twister (just like Pecos Bill)and wearing boots and a ten gallon hat.
Pussy welcoming Jon back home (but only because I gave him the same dream).
And very special dreams for Rachel(who will grin and giggle) and Rhoda, who already dreams of not being called Rhonda, but is too shy and nice to point out the error.
Then an extraordinarily sweet dual dream for Jack (for all the work he does in this place of everlasting twilight),and his beloved Fran (because she deserves it for putting up with him). I can do this because I am the god of dreams.
But no more dreams this night for A* because he has already caused me enough work by dreaming up this unlikely congregation of dreamers (except maybe a small one to let him know just who is the god here).
Good night all,

Rachel Sat Feb 26 19:28:07 PST 2000

Teekay - That sounds like Jon. He left earlier, told me he had to see some people, but that he would be back to help me out.

I am a little worried about his influence on my children. I went out for a walk after he left, when I returned it was to discover that my daughter and her friend now believe that they are cats! They have painted their faces and are doing cat dances all around the house.

Americo - Has Jon ever tried to turn a person into a cat? Hum, maybe I should see if Cushing knows anything about this...

Take care all


PS - I think I like tit bit. Hey Teekya, do you know what a "blap" is (grins and laughter)?

Teekay Sat Feb 26 19:16:56 PST 2000

RACHEL: Look again. When was the last time you espied Jon? There was a bit of commotion in the back yard a short while ago so I went to investigate and lo what did I find but Benji and a cat I can only presume to be Jon arguing or should I say debating about the origin of the term 'tit bit'. Jon didn't exactly get around to introducing himself for when benjii gets on the defensive he has a nasty, nasty habit of cocking his leg and of course you couldn't expect any cat with an ounce of cattishness in them to stick around for that could you.

Rachel Sat Feb 26 17:43:12 PST 2000

Heather - Jon did get to my house. He is still here. He has been working very hard. What a helpful cat (I smile fondly at him). He has now gone to help Dan make dinner. I don't think this cat is evil at all.

Take care all


PS - The lady cat next door has been flirting with Jon all morning and afternoon. She keeps trying to slip into the house. He of course is telling her that he is faithful to his wife. I hope Pussy appreciates him:)

Heather Sat Feb 26 14:54:23 PST 2000

I must have one of Jon's dopplegangers hanging around. He is not the sire of the kittens. But he arrived soon after I
Fed Ex'ed Jon to Rachel! Trudy wasn't home so I arranged for Jon to be delivered straight to Rachel, and then what did I hear but a paw; tap, tap, tapping at my front door?
I haven't opened it yet. I spied him through the peep hole. Maybe I won't chase him away. He'll keep the Jehovah's Witnesses at bay.


Heather Sat Feb 26 14:50:25 PST 2000

Set is indeed the bringer of discord, whom is also known as Seth. His brother was the Godly Osiris, husband of Isis. Set killed his brother, much the same as Cain did Abel, in the story of Adam and Eve. Of course, Isis was able to magically make love to her husband in death and produce a son to carry on the Godship. And later Osiris was brought back from death. There is a lot more to the legends, but I am sure you have found the info at the site. Set is to Egyptians as Loki is to Celts. I wonder that he didn't foul around with your printer! Like you said, he is probably smiling to himself, and chuckling.
Osiris will wipe the smile off in due time. THe symbol for Oriris is a branch with three radiating parts on the top, like the footprint of a bird. It is similar to the trine, in Christianity. Hmmmmmm.
One begins to wonder at these strange 'coincedences'.
And symbology is a very interesting study.

Heather (Hathor)

Rachel Sat Feb 26 12:09:46 PST 2000

Randall - That is a great story! Thanks for sharing it (grins). When I read that I laughed right out loud.

Take care you


randall Sat Feb 26 11:42:50 PST 2000

Hi gang:

I have an unusual story this fine Saturday. I was researching ancient Egypt an hour or so ago for a work in progress. While at THE ANCIENT EGYPT SITE I came across a listing of ancient gods and began printing. I finished several bios, then came to Seth. As quoted ...."Seth is the god of confusion, represents chaos and disorder..."

My 100% reliable printer ... printed out gibberish.

What the...! Check the settings, engage it again. Same thing!

I tried again...same @%$#^&$ thing!!!

Guys, if I'm lying, I'm dying. Four times the printer failed.

Finally it did work, but in the dusty recesses of the Hall of Egyptian Gods I bet Seth is grinning widely. Who knows what activities lie outside the universe of humans? Do ancient God's peer over our shoulder, do they feel the need to intrude into daily lives? Rubbish you say?

How do you know Ace?

I've always felt that humans know nothing, NOTHING, of the universe and others who exist in it.

Or it could have been a hacker in Dallas toying with the system......

Gotta go.

See ya tonight, Seth willing!


Americo Sat Feb 26 11:25:32 PST 2000

Can anyone interpret the teacher's words: "a small step for a woman, a big jump for a man"?
I believe the solution for the mystery of Jon's disappearing lies here.

Jon Sat Feb 26 11:22:11 PST 2000

Unless it's Sabbaths's picture.
(Annonymous in hide and secret)

Americo Sat Feb 26 05:45:38 PST 2000

That's Jon's true and faithful picture!Thanks.

Cushing,Rach, Heather, Cassandra, Litter, Randal, Jerry(s), Rhoda, everybody,

I couldn't read your posts. I haven't seen anything. I'm trying to localize Jon. The world is so big! And there is also the universe to search. Hugs to you.

Message from Jon:

A*, I don't believe Pussy cooked a lobster for you. That's just a dirty psichological trick for forcing me to return. No way.

To the others: I read your posts and smiled. You are all far from the truth. No one has seen me (yet). But that was a good effort on your part. Congratulations for your imagination. End of message.

I went to Jon's school and talked to his English teacher. She received me in her litte office with a window to the moon. She was wearing an astronaut suit, but I could see her pretty face behind her helmet. Her eyes were blue but I said nothing. I told her that Jon had disappeared. She did not say a word.
"Do you know where he is?" I asked. She uttered a word I could not understand because of her helmet. But if I had, I would not reproduce it here. The helmet almost fell from her head when I told her: "He thought you loved him." And walked to the door.

Suddenly she shouted: "A small step for a woman, a big jump for a man."

I jumped and replied: "I had a dream... Ich bin ein Berliner."

I had been caught by surprise and probably did not give her the right answer. But I tried. I at least tried.

That's a strange school.

P. Cushing Sat Feb 26 04:34:13 PST 2000

Apologies dear bretheren for my enforced absence from this esteemed forum.
My work takes me to many exotic locations around this dark world. Although I may not be here in person too often be assured that my heart is with you all always. I will report back as I can to ensure that you are fully informed of my never ending crusade against the dark ones.
It is my sad duty on this occasion to report a gross failure on my part during a recent battle which concerned one of our brothers here on the notebook. You may remember the unfortunate incident which overtook one of our esteemed fellows not so long ago. A certain A*, I cannot speak his full name here lest he guess the truth, was hummm, 'compromised' by an evil monster or two, after which I, at great personal cost, used my powers to erase the memory of these evil deeds from his mind, enabling him to re-join the company of this great place.
I hear the a chorus of 'Failure?' coming down the lines.
Yes dear friends Failure!
My conumdrum concerns the esteemed gentlemans familiar. A furry creature in the present form of a black cat. You see fellow travellers, this unfortunate creature was also compromised on that fateful night, though I planted the memory of his absence from the apartment in A's mind.
The truth is, that in my attempt to treat the unfortunate creature I errr, 'slipped' on some gore which was most inconveniently located just to the side of the makeshift 'operating' table. (Actually A's dining table)
As you know, my work necessitates the carrying around of large quantities of garlic, crucifixs', sharpened axes etc, etc. My most useful tool by far is the old fashioned, yet extremely useful 'Sharpened wooden stake'. It was the latter of these, dear fellows, which happened to be situated in just the right circumstance to pierce the weakly beating heart of the poor creature as I operated to save it's wretched existence.
Yes, it's true, dear jon died that terrible night.
It is my good fortune to know a number of 'good' witches, which believe me is extremely unusual for one of my persuasion. I visited one such and aquired, again at no small cost to my self, a quaint little potion used for the most part in the creation of useful doppelgangers. Now, I do admit that the label on the bottle did indicate that the potion was a little way past its 'best before' date, and therefore was aquired a little cheaper for this very reason, but believe me dear compatriots, I had no reason to think that the outcome would be anything but successful.
Carefully wrapping the rapidly stiffening body of poor Jon in a convenient sack which I first stuffed with fresh garlic, I hurried to my appointment with the witch.
I applied the potion and watched with baited breath as the potion took effect. Before long there was Jon, non the wiser for his little misadventure, with his head down between his legs cleaning his vitals. (As is his wont to do at the most embarrassing moments). To my horror he suddenly began to shimmer as though being viewed through a vague mist. Then, as the mist cleared, I espied another 'Jon', also cleaning away as though nothing had happened!
This happened again and again until at last there was no room at all for the multitude of Jons in my modest rooms. I had no real alternative but to open the door and window and shoo them all out of my home. The last thing I saw was one, no two, then three black tails disappearing into the dark streets.
Be warned dear potentials, be on the lookout for the multitudeness of Jon. He may turn up anywhere! He can be in many places at the same time. Do not be fooled by his comely ways, inside is a heart of darkness, which has incidently, well passed its sell by date.
Until next time.
P Cushing

Jack Beslanwitch Sat Feb 26 02:24:28 PST 2000

Jon: You are more than welcome to come to visit us in Seattle. Point of fact, come and say hello to Sabbath and Marmalade. Sabbath is below. I am sure you two would get along famously. Maybe we should take up a fund raiser to front you a trip on the Concorde to get over here.

Rachel Sat Feb 26 01:24:39 PST 2000

How boring! I come to the notebook and once again see only my own post. I thought that I could find something new and exciting. Nope, just my post. Let me fall over asleep and snore!

Ah well, all seems quiet here. It is a good thing that I have Jon to keep me company (grins).

Take care all


Rachel Fri Feb 25 21:06:04 PST 2000

Americo! I'm not alergic to Jon. He must be a very special cat (smiles). Oh, he tells me to say hello to you. He is a very nice cat. He is reading cat tales to my children. My children love him. Zoe has begun to act like a cat.

Take care you


PS - I shared my salmon candy with him. He says that British Columbia is almost as wonderful as Portugal.

PSS - He cried about that nasty teacher. I think she only did that because she could not best him in spitting. What a rotten woman. I just may need to contact her and give her a good talking to!

Rachel Fri Feb 25 20:01:39 PST 2000

Americo - Jon is safe and sound at my house. He has settled in very nicely. I am sharing some salmon candy with him. He tells me that it is much better than a cucumber sandwich.

He has told me that he will help me to finnish the work that I have been focused on. He wants me to get a good nights sleep.

He tells me that he thinks he will stay with me for the next few days. He is going to act as my assistant until the end of the month (grins). What a sweet kitty he is.

I have explained that if he acts out at all I will slice and dice him into my next stir fry. I think that Jon and I understand one another quite well.

He has laid down the law with my dog Zoe who keeps wanting to play. Each time she galumps up to him. Jon turns his back on her and presents his butt for her viewing pleasure. I think that Zoe has hurt feelings. Ah well, she will recover.

Jon did tell me that he may have to sprint out for some adventures, but that if you needed to contact him you could send him e-mail at my address.

Know what? I think that cat thinks he's going to sleep in my room...

Take care you


PS - How will I ever tell him I am alergic to cats!

Heather Fri Feb 25 19:52:12 PST 2000

Cassandra - Jon also says that he appreciates the petting from all the College girls, and it made him sex-crazy. He just had to hurry off to find my cat, since he had heard I had a lovely female cat, just waiting for his charms.

He says to kiss everyone with a sandpaper tongue, and he hugs all, and will return on his way back, after visiting Rachel and Allein!

Heather Fri Feb 25 19:48:33 PST 2000

I promised Jon that I'd send an email in his name. He is a bit busy mounting my cat at the moment.
He arrived to me shortly before 11:00 pm by Fed Ex. When I opened the box, what I saw was a little black furry lump, half-bent and folded up into a very small box. There were only two breathing holes punched into the box, so his nose was stuck to one of them. I removed him carefully, stretching out his crooked limbs, and he is now siring kittens with my tortoiseshell cat, Babe. She is definately happy, I can hear her from downstairs. She has even given Jon the honour of having half the litter box to himself! But I must say, he was in pretty bad shape. He is a fast recoverer, once I had given him a blanket and some warm champagne to lap at. I bandaged up one paw, but as soon as Babe waltzed into the kitchen he was as good as new!

He admits he likes it here, but he won't be staying long. He promises to pay kitten support, and keep in touch. I am sending him on to Trudy by Sunday, and then she will send him to Rachel, as he now wishes to take a cross Canada trip. Sightseeing, of course. Canada is a beautiful country, and it is filled with the most interesting assortment of female cats! (So Jon says) I certainly hope Americo will appreciate the Fed Ex parcel of kittens due to him in about 8 months! I told Jon I would re-direct his kitten-support cheques to Portugal for him.

Now the two cats are prowling around my velvet sofa! I shall weild my cat-swatter with a vengeance! No one, especially not a cat, will ever sink it's claws into my darling sofa! Sitting is fine. But no tearing!

Must go swat a few paws!
P.S. Randall, Jon says thanks for letting him get munched by that car. Now you owe him a glass of champagne!


Cassandra Fri Feb 25 17:32:47 PST 2000

I've had some "friends" of mine procure that fake birth certificate you need for Jon's presidential run. I'll send it your way FedEx as soon as possible. If you need any driver's licenses and such, passports... legal documents of any sort, don't hesitate to ask. Anything for Jon...

Just remember that he gives me a nice intern position there (and not under the desk like Monica). ;)


randall Fri Feb 25 17:28:24 PST 2000


Please, find Jon and remove him from the USA! Contact the FBI (Fur Bearers Institute) ... League of Lost Kittens ... Long Tails Association ... Alley Kats Of America. BUT FIND HIM!!

The last thing Americans need is another Tomcat in the White House. Good Grief Charlie Brown! How much more can we endure!!! :-) I can see the headlines now. President Jon and Sex Kitten Frolic in Oval Office. Congress to Investigate - Special Counsel appointed. AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

Or, President Jon Spotted Strutting Down Back Alleys. (The Horror----The Horror!) President Jon Hospitalized - Katnip Abuse! Elizabeth Taylor Rushes To President Jon! Barbara Streisand In Concert To Aid Ailing Prez!

"Randall, Randall calm down. How hard can a Portugese cat be to spot. I mean, how many cats are in the Us of A from Portugal? He may come through Houston, up the ship channel. Feline Immigration Officers will pick him up ... won't they?"

"How in the Sam Hill do I know!"

Wait! What was that noise, the noise outside? Screeching tires and a thump, thump. Excuse me please. Better go look.

Uh, Americo ... my friend. Ah, we might have a problem with Jon Cat. Oh boy, uh .... Krapo! Jeeze .... Exactly how tall was Jon ... before?

TGIF Gang!!!!!! Time to kick out the jams, GET DOWN, GET LOUD and GET RIGHT!!!!


Cassandra Fri Feb 25 17:14:11 PST 2000

You can tell Jon that he can visit me if he lands in New York. There's a bullet train that goes from the City to Albany. I could sneak him into my dorm and he could live with a bunch of college girls. Everyone would want to lavish him with attention... scratching his ears and letting him sleep all curled up in our beds.

I'll even let him read my notes and textbooks. He can help me study art history. I bet he likes the renaissance art.

Litter Fri Feb 25 17:10:54 PST 2000

Sorry, that shoud've read the 'Big Easy'


Litter Fri Feb 25 17:02:40 PST 2000

Ah Jon,

Scotland is craggy, yes, but the people aren't dour -- The weather, maybe, but not the people. But, alas, I think you might fall prey to the wild Haggis, which abound hereabouts, lurking in ambush for tourist cats from warmer climes.

US friends -

I may be looking for a little help with things Louisianan and about the 'Big Eas'y for my current work, which is a sort of S King meets Millennium meets voodoo in the bayous and centring on the spiritual rather than sci-fi. Anyone out there have intimate knowledge of Louisiana, in general, and N'awlins in particular? (with a little Red-Stick for background?) I visited these places just over a year ago, alas not at Mardi Gras time :o( but I have many gaps to fill in and I have to justify my flights and accommodation to the taxman.

Music and such whilst writing?

I'm a sucker for sensory input: music fitting what I aim to write about, (Cajun and Z for above); sounds, smells and so forth; watching video of the area I'm writing about, (reminding myself of the sights, accents, habits and so forth); photographs on my screen or taped to the workstation… I find all this stuff a great help and memory aid. Of late I have recently pumped up the heat in my house and put the ceiling fans on to remind me of the heat and hypnotic effect of overhead fans and the way the breeze caused by them plays on skin… OK I'm also sitting half-naked as I'm typing this - not a pretty site but all my family are in bed, probably wondering why they are roasting on a winter's night in Scotland. Oil burnesr are particularly wonderful if you can get the sorts of natural oils such as pine, apple blossom, magnolia and the like.

Contact me in here or by e-mail if you think you can help

Ta muchly,


PS I have a lot of Mardi Gras beads but have yet to approach my wife on the thorny problem of distributing these in the appropriate way - throwing them to ladies who expose their wobbly bits as payment for said beads. Any suggestions ;o)

Jerry A.G. Ericsson Fri Feb 25 17:00:37 PST 2000

Tonight, as I sat quietly absorbed in my writing, Dylan singing softly about Knock, Knock, Knocking on Heavens Door, a cat climbed up on my lap. As I normaly do, I brought my right hand from the keyboard and quietly stroked his back. As I touched his fur, I felt it was not our large golden snow cat, Dysco, but a smaller black cat. He arched his back at my stroking, but as I reached back toward the front of the cat to stroke once more, he bit my hand!
I grabbed him by his scroney neck, and threw him up against the nearest wall. As he was passing me, he reached out with his right paw and combed through my beard, narowly missing my face. The cat bounced off the wall, and slowly got to his feet and walked back over to where I sat before my computer. Then to my surprise, he introduced himself as "Jon", "you know A*'s Jon!"
Well I was amazed, he went on to tell me his story of leaving Portugal in disgrace, a brief stop in London, then on to Texas. I noticed his english was that of an englishman, not American English, as I had expected from a cat belonging to one called Americo. As it has in the past, the british accent was very pleasing, nearly arowsing. After our discussion, I informed him that he would be welcome here, except my cat Dysco was already complaining, and my little terrier was very angery, first we bring in a giant snow cat, then this Jon comes and wants to take over his bedroom. Well there was just no room here, so I sent him away. When he left, he said something about going either to Canada, or Washington. He wasn't sure which way it was to Washington, and haveing lived there, I pointed the way. Although he wasn't real sure if he wanted to go to Washington DC, or the state. I did show him both ways, then pointed North which of course is the way to Canada. The weatherman is predicting a sever blizard for tonight, and I worry that Jon will not make it to Canada before the storm hits. It is over three hundred miles from there to the Canadian border, and the storm warning is for both the States of North and South Dakota.
I certianly hope he makes it before the storm hits, they are predicting ten to twelve inches of snow blown by winds up to 60 miles per hour. This can cause wind-chills to reach colder then 100 degrees below zero F. If anyone knows the wereabouts of Jon, pleas let me know.


Rhoda Fri Feb 25 16:34:54 PST 2000


I haven't heard from Jon since that e-mail. But when he does contact me again and I have some idea where to get an e-mail back to him, I will tell him how much you say you miss him.

I really do not know whom to believe. You say you love Jon, but if I am to believe Jon, I have to conclude you are not fit to own such a fine kitty. And then again, I cannot see you being so cruel to Jon.

As far as Jon being president of the United States. I like that idea. I think he could pull it off and would be better than anyone else in the running. If he comes to live with me, I can be a good influence on him and turn him into a Republican like myself. He will be more conservative than Ronald Reagan when I get through with him.

Actually with Jon's gift for languages and his great intelligence I think he should consider a career as a diplomat. He can represent my country in the United Nations. Well, the USA is the land of opportunity. Jon can do anything he wants when he gets here.

I will send Jon back, but only if he asks me to.


Americo Fri Feb 25 16:04:05 PST 2000


Thank you very much indeed. Your letter was a beam of light piercing the heart of my sadness. As Randall rightly said, you are the greatest and kindest lady in this honorable site. No wonder Jon chose your abode to reside.

Your news about Jon was bleak. My Jon in America! America of all places... What a cruel country my beautiful cat has chosen for his exile. I would resign myself if it were Canada, where Rachel and Heather live, but the USA! The land of Allein, Howard, Jack (and others, equally terrible). My only consolation is that he has chosen your house and your distinguished company. Do you think he can undertand the Texas accent? You have no accent, but Texans have. How will my Jon be able to share his philosophical mind? His English is pure Oxbridge, no one will understand him in Perryton. Not even you!

But why should I worry? He is so smart that he will manage. I can already see him lecturing in some prestigious University of that rich and vast State. He will be a Rector soon, and the President of the USA before the month reaches its end. He will become so proud that he will despise me, and I'll die of sorrow.

Rhoda, send that cat away, send him back to me. I cannot do without him. (I clean my tears at the linen napkin I'm using while having a delicious lobster with Pussy. Cheers, Pussy, to our health, to our divine company, alone, at last, and PUM -- that's the champagne...)

Your friend and admirer,


PS. Should anyone see Jon, please inform immediately. The police, I mean.

Rhoda Fri Feb 25 14:58:17 PST 2000

Americo and friends,

I got an e-mail from Jon this afternoon. It reads:


You have often invited me to stay with you in the States. I might do it. Last night I caught a ship to Plymouth. I have hung around this port all day, and I am bored. All these British cats do is sip milk and cream all day. Cats never get wine or champaigne here. They are all fat and lazy and only talk about horse racing and football.

I had to leave Portugal because my English teacher has humiliated me. Yesterday she handed out a test. When I asked her why she didn't give me a sheet, she told me that I wasn't taking this class for credit and therefore can't take the test. She explained to me that cats do not attend school in Portugal. She told me I was put there by mistake. I was originally supposed to go to the university comparative chordate anatomy class and be one of the cats the young pre-meds cut up for their experiments. I would have been dead already except that they ran out of formaldehyde and so had let me remain alive in order to keep me from putrefying. She said this in front of the whole class! The girls and boys laughed. So, I left.

Oh, I suppose I forgot to tell you. Pussy got so mad at me the other night that she called the animal control department in Lisbon. They got me and put me in the pound. *A never came to bail me out, and the goons at the pound wouldn't allow me a phone call, let alone an e-mail. I spent one night there and then a truck came and took me away and delivered me to the English class. That was how I ended up in school.

Dejected from my humiliation, I made my way back home and told *A my problems. He only laughed at me and said flippantly that I should forget grammer school and settle for an Internet correspondence course. Oh, and he called me an old jailbird and told me that there was nothing more noble a cat could do than donate its body to help in the training of good doctors.

I am finished with *A and with Pussy. That is why I am in England. I hoped to go visit Eddie, but I don't think we would get on together. He might prove to be even more unsympathetic than *A. I would go live with Michele, but I know she never really cared for me, else she would have never left the Notebook. I even thought of seeing Litter, but have decided Scotland is too dour and craggy for me. So I have decided to take the next ship out of here to North America. I don't know where I will end up, but if my ship puts in at Houston, I shall come live with you. If it puts up in Canada, I will go and see Rachel, who is my favorite person on the Notebook. I know she would take me in. But then again she is a great friend of *A's. You don't think she would send me back to him, do you? Oh, surely she would never be that cruel.

I hope you get this e-mail. Tell *A that I still hate him for what he has done to me.


Cassandra Fri Feb 25 14:30:01 PST 2000

Doesn't sound flakey at all to me. I tend to do a lot of associating with artists and writers... sometimes I find it good to wander outside of that realm. My conversation today was with a philiosophy major, about (Oh no..) religion of all subjects.

It was just such a change of pace, to be cliched 'a breath of fresh air'... to be original, a newly cleaned pair of pants just out of the drier all warm and sweet smelling,or a long walk in the evening dusk the clouds swirling in paintstrokes of color on the lavender canvas of the sky.

Back to roaming again... I'll be stopping in here from time to time :)


Cassandra Fri Feb 25 13:57:57 PST 2000

I found a good quote while searching the web for some information for my english paper. I thought I'd share it with you all :)

"Literature is as old as speech. It grew out of human need for it and it has not changed except to become more needed. The skalds, the bards, the writers are not separate and exclusive. From the beginning, their functions, their duties, their responsibilities have been decreed by our species...the writer is delegated to declare and to celebrate man's proven capacity for greatness of heart and spirit - for gallantry in defeat, for courage, compassion and love. In the endless war against weakness and despair, these are the bright rally flags of hope and of emulation. I hold that a writer who does not passionately believe in the perfectibility of man has no dedication nor any membership in literature."
- John Steinbeck's Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech

Well, back to websurfing

Katarina Fri Feb 25 13:56:33 PST 2000

Cassandra: I know what you talk about. I have been feeling that way for over a year now....

The conversation thing. A good, functional conversation can be as exhilerating don't know. But it is! I recently met a local artist whilst out at a pub with my husband. She is rather successful (nationally) and it just made me feel terrific to meet her and talk to her. Probably sounds flaky...huh?


Americo Fri Feb 25 13:03:42 PST 2000

"Good people. Please do not miss me. I'll be back sometime."

This is the message I got from Jon. Hope he did not ran away with his English teacher.

You could perhaps amuse yourselves imagining that you are Jon and writing strange messages as to his whereabouts and deeds. On a condition. You cannot sign with the name Jon. That is his own right.

PS. Of course, you'd need imagination to write said messages. But you have it, haven't you? Cushing!

Cassandra Fri Feb 25 12:42:54 PST 2000

I'm here too, in case you couldn't figure that out from my long drawn out post.

I thought it was a little sparce in here, so I took the liberty of writing about my weird little life :)

Cassandra Fri Feb 25 12:39:39 PST 2000

Hi all...

Have you ever had that feeling, like you were starving for something that you thrive on, but you don't know what it is? Then you stumble acrossed it somewhere in your daily life and just get over taken by it? Your hunger satisfied, your energy rised just by finding it, and being filled with the essense of it??

I woke up this morning in the worst mood. I hoped to wash it off of me with a nice long hot shower. I only found myself still lacking something, sighing... feeling I should return to bed and perhaps find it there in my dreams. Instead I got dressed and headed out to lunch at 1, talked to a few friends, then made my way up to the cafeteria. Sitting down with two people I have only light associations with normally, I got swept into this explaination that one of them was very enthusiastic about what he was saying.

And that conversation was exactly what I needed. I've been craving a good challenging debate lately. One that's laid back, and yet makes me think and analyze my own stance deeply. I didn't realize it until I had to go to class...and by that time, I didn't want to leave the table.

I was starving for a deep meaningful conversation, something I haven't gotten in a good long while. I didn't even know it until I found it staring me right in the face.

anyways, that's my happy spot of the day, tracked down to the precise half-hour to an hour it happened in.

Just wanted to share it with all of you lovely people here. hugs to everyone...

may every moment of your lives be filled with inspiration, may you delight in the small things, and may your muse follow you around loyally like a trained dog. (not a cat, for cats have too much pride to be able to teach them to do your bidding- isn't that right Jon?)


Rachel Fri Feb 25 12:31:40 PST 2000

Howard - Hi! I had begun to think everyone had vanished (grins). Nothing worse than checking the notebook and finding your own post from the day before (laughter).

Fear not Howard, I am here too!

Have a nice weekend you


howard Fri Feb 25 11:54:06 PST 2000

Yoohoo! Is it the end of the world and I missed the call, or has everyone gone for the weekend?


Rachel Fri Feb 25 01:53:03 PST 2000

Laura - Hi you - I'm up and about. I would be in bed most evenings at this time, but I've got work to do (grins). Know how it is when you just have to work, work, work at the writing (grins).

Where are you from? Will you say? How is vipersix? I have not seen any posts form vipersix in some time. I would say he or she, but I don't know if she is and he or if he is a she (smiles) Ahhhhhh, the mystery of the web (laughter). I think that she is a he.

Just to let you know you are not alone. Although, by now you are likely off to sleep.

Either way, take care


Laura Fri Feb 25 00:33:11 PST 2000

Is anyone on this early? probably not.



Heather Thu Feb 24 21:39:06 PST 2000

Kat, I am bogged down at the moment, and looks like this weekend will be fairly booked, but that doesn't mean I won't get to it... thanks for your patience, and I don't mean to be trying it! I should be able to write that shortie soon. It's not the writing that has delayed me, it's the idea itself. If I push it, it won't arrive on schedule.

I've also been peeling my limit in muse-apples. I baked a pie while continuing on my novel, here is a slice for everyone;
Nice and warm, the apples lightly spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon, and a pinch of brown sugar... homemade flaky pastry, and golden delicious apples all tender and simmered in sweetness. And a dollop of pure, homemade Vanilla ice cream on the side. Raise your forks! Plunge!

Now I'll have to bake it in reality!
YUM (it's like OHM, if you hum while you cook)


Katarina Thu Feb 24 20:43:34 PST 2000

Such interesting reflections on music! I have just started listening to classical on my boombox at work and it is very relaxing. Have to keep the volume low though as the bosses think that listening to music distracts one from his work (!).

At home, while I am working, whether writing or drawing, I listen to The Pretenders (I tend towards female vocalists, espcially Chrissy Hynde, Melissa Etheridge, and Tracey Chapman) and Van Morrison (I got hooked on "Tupelo Honey" a while back and now it is like comfort food). My musical tastes have changed over the years. I went through phases where all I listened to was country, then dance music, rock n'roll, then an eclectic mix. Never, ever listen to rap...blech.

My 5-year old is expressing an interest in teen pop music, which I think is adorable. So I watch t.v. concerts with him...Britney Spears and Steps mostly.

Heather...I am awaiting your brainstorm patiently :-) I have been working on some wonderful poetry...I find the weather at this time of year to be very inspiring, for some reason.

Well, night to all and happy writing....


Jerry Lee Thu Feb 24 19:11:09 PST 2000

Yo all,

Jon, It seems that what your English teacher lost in distance, she made up for in accuracy. Wow! Right INTO the trash can?! Every good contest can be judged in at least two different ways, and accuracy is by far the harder of the two skills in my opinion.

Take care,
Jerry Lee

Americo Thu Feb 24 18:55:04 PST 2000

Ladies and gentlemen,

As a compatriot of Jon, I must apologize for his incredible posts. That cat puts to shame 10 million Portuguese who, I can assure you, are good family people and never spit. Please forgive him, he is just a cat enthusiastic about school.

PS. I don't think he could beat me at long distance spitting.

Jon Thu Feb 24 18:49:58 PST 2000


That's what my English teacher also said, but she lost the spit competition.

Must go to bed.



Rachel Thu Feb 24 18:22:24 PST 2000

Jon - I bet I could out spit you any day of the week!

Take care kitty, kitty


Jon Thu Feb 24 17:39:15 PST 2000

I'm so proud! Today we had sports and games at school. I am the spit champion of my class. I managed to reach the board from the farthest wall -- a feat which left the English teacher quite jealous. She only reached the wastepaperbasket. I think she is in love with me, but I'm not quite sure. When I reached the greenboard she said that she was nauseous, which made me ask her if she meant "nauseating" or "nauseated", nauseous being one of these words with opposite meanings. That was when she tried to beat my record and spat into the basket. Very poor show on her part.

Well, must take my beauty sleep for being the champion of something else tomorrow at school.

I love school.


Rachel Thu Feb 24 17:11:33 PST 2000

Heather - Yes, yes, yes! We are different (grins and laughter). I think I like the sound of quality. Yah, that's what it is, it's all quality (grins).

Take care you


Heather Thu Feb 24 15:04:37 PST 2000

Yes, we Canadians are a wee bit different, aren't we?
I consider this an admirable thing. Quality.

I loved your short story, Howard!
Aunt Alice. How perfectly I can envision her surroundings in life and when her apartment was empty.

Litter, you are certainly welcome to use that silly, off-the-cuffer I posted. I was not in the frame of mind to concoct anything else!

Ta ta, kind folk,
I am off to relax and rummage through the idea pile up North, in the brain pan.

Panning for gold, that is.

I'll set my sights on the Yukon. Nuggets all 'round!


Thu Feb 24 14:52:57 PST 2000

Rachel Thu Feb 24 14:50:06 PST 2000

Heather - Yes, must be those Canadian types (grins). We are known for being different... BWAH, HA, HA, HAAAAAAA!!!

About music - I love all kinds of music. Everything aside from rap. I have tried to like it, listened to it, trying to appreciate it, but know what? It just doesn't seem to happen for me. It sort of makes my brain itch. That I assure you is not a good feeling (grins).

When I write I listen to all different styles of music. Not that it really matters after the first few lines of what ever I'm working on, I don't hear the music any more.

When I write I focus out everything else and focus in on what I'm doing. There are only a slect set of sounds that can get through (grins). I hear the phone, but only after a few rings. I hear my children, but only if they are fighting or their tone tells me that there is trouble. The door bell gets me right away. That sort of stuff. Oh and the timer. I set the timer when I need to do things and I always hear it. I have trained myself to listen for it.

I enjoy most music. I love classical.

Well, that will be enough from me. I have work to do (smiles).

Take care all


Americo Thu Feb 24 10:30:03 PST 2000


I found a minute to read your latest piece to SM**, "A World Away". I read the two parts you have published.

"A World Away", with a narrator that is a genetically engineered clone, and lots of futuristic findings, though quite interesting, is definitely not mainstream; therefore it does not belong in SM**.

You write very well and all you need is to make up your mind about the fiction category you want to practise (see one of my posts somewhere on this page, discriminating nine or ten categories, with examples -- it was written with you in mind).

PS. I enjoyed your description of the narrator's meal in the restaurant and I'm looking forward to reading your future production. If you have any questions, do not hesitate e-mailing me.


Words mean that and more. Through them, I can hear your music on this side of the pound... No wonder, both you and me have a sixth sense! Hugs to you,
and to all.

I'll try to come back later, and read all your posts, if slow Internet allows me to load this huge page.

Rhoda Thu Feb 24 09:43:47 PST 2000

I listen to several styles of music whenever I get the privledge to listen to music. Most often I write accompanied to the sounds of Walt Disney and other animated movies because the VCR is usually on in the afternoon when I do my most work. Right now my 5 year old fancies THE SWAN PRINCESS, so I get to write to the strains of "I see him standing and my knees start buckling... She was always such an ugly duckling. Now she's grown up and has become a swan...This is my idea of love." or better yet "Princesses on Parade."

I have a CD of "Camelot" sung by Julia Andrews and Richard Burton. It sits on my desk and I used to play it about once a month. I also listen to Tom T. Hall, though he is a bit hard to listen to while working because his marvellous songs take up to much of my attention. I'll say the same about Marty Robbins Cowboy songs which I used to play when I was writing my Western.

Classical music and instumental works are better to work by. I listen to the "Titanic" soundtrack. I also have some Irish Chiefton CD's and several generic Irish music anthologies. My favorite classical composers at this time are Borodin (also was a chemist, isn't that interesting?) and Rimsky Korsokov. I love the Russians. They are the most imaginative and mind bending. I also enjoy Beethovan and Mozart. Oh and I must not forget, I enjoy listening to the Weavers. It is great to sit at the computer, write and harmonize with these fine singers all at the same time. You should hear my kids yell when I do it too.

Also good to write by is Michael Card. He sings (and writes) inspirational Christian music which is very mellow and very rich and a joy to listen to.

Happy writing!


Heather Thu Feb 24 06:59:29 PST 2000

Randall- very interesting to know that the Mormons of the late 90's and 2000 do not know much of their own history. I was also interested in your account of the upright character of any Mormons you have encountered and/or lived with.

Maybe it was just the Canadian breed? (hahaha right Rachel?)

So, now for other topics.

I will have to go and visit the workbook section and see the new additions!

Kat - still thinking about the pov stories. I haven't had a chance to write one yet... that's yet. I will.
For SM**. I had an idea but it only involved one character, so I am thinking to either add another character to it, or come up with of another idea.
Muse, don't fail me now, sweet sonnet in my ears.

On playing music, I shall have to discover more musicians to emulate on slide Howard! Your suggestions sound great. I must visit my favourite used CD and LP store and see what pops up. I find the most intriguing selections there.
So far, I have played mostly blues style slide.

Now it's off to the races on chapter 3.


Heather Wed Feb 23 21:16:10 PST 2000

Howard, a very impressive piano teacher by the sounds.
I remember playing 'The Entertainer' for my Kindergarten class, if that says much. I studied music for years, all classical. I started at age 3, as everyone I'm sure wishes for their little one to have the mark of Mozart. Americo, where is your wig?

You must have come through the leap into this life sans songsheets. But not so far from Mozart, only with words. You won't need to worry if you become deaf in later years. Well, neither did Mozart!
Amadeus. Sigh.


Jerry Ericsson Wed Feb 23 21:12:59 PST 2000

Ah, the great religion debate, even that cannot keep the great notebook down.

Myself, I was raised a Luthern, (sort of, my parents were or so they said, we never attended church), and turned to the Roman Catholic faith while in the Army. I guess over the years I fell out of the church, as I never attend, but I do believe in God.

Mormans - I have know quite a few, never have had any problem with them. The JW's have bothered me from time to time, and as I described before I delt with them in my own way, but I have sent many a door to door salesman on his way with much less kind words.

Music - I do like to listen to the classical music when I write, Beethoven, Bach. Once in awile, if I am going to write about Nam or anything from that era, I will put on Creedance, or the Three Dog Night. Love anything by Dylan too. On occasion my taste does go to the old ('60's) country, back when it was know as country and western, Johnny Cash, Whalen Jennings, Willey Nelson and the rest.

Peace to the notebook, while we all have strong feelings on religion, it shouldn't put us at odds with each other.


Heather Wed Feb 23 21:11:56 PST 2000

I can't write when there is music playing. Unless, by chance there are no words to it.
Don't often listen to classical music, but once in a while I make a second dinner for just my husband and I (kids sleeping and fed) and then we burn lots of candles and have dinner with quiet music. The kids like music through dinner too, but there is only so much Disney I can stand. Or Counting Crows.

My 7 year old likes the C.Crows, and she loves Crash Test Dummies. So does my 2 year old. Influence!
I have heard my daughter singing 'Someday, I'll wear Pajamas in the daytime... and measure out the days with coffee spoons and T.S. Eliot..." (Crash Test Dummies, 'God Shuffled His Feet' )

I love Enya, especially the untitled CD
I have a neato CD called "Transmigration of Souls' by Esoteric. No words on any track.
Come to think of it, I have many CD's without words to the music. I might try listening while writing. Until then, it is me and my percussion of keys.

Friendship night it is.
Blessings to you all, hugs all 'round, many cheers, each a decent cigar, a laugh or ten, and a hearty stroll through the great meadow of words we so love. I pick yellow flowers and I see that all of you like butter.


howard Wed Feb 23 19:38:56 PST 2000

I just remembered the name of the city -- Strasbourg. I didn't spend much time there, but it was a pretty place.


howard Wed Feb 23 19:34:32 PST 2000

Americo -- How very strange you would mention Gustav Mahler! I am even now listening to his "Symphonie No. 1!" While he is not my favorite, I do enjoy it. The beginning of the third movement is hypnotic beyond belief! Listen too long while writing and you'll find some strange words on the page indeed! It's strangely reminiscent of a cabaret I visited to the south of Karlsruhe, near the German-French border. I can't remember the name of the city, but there were some interesting sights. Then he moves out of the cabaret to a wooded park, with mountains visible, and a storm brewing. You can feel the electricity in the air (I write this as I listen), as if the whole world was being stirred slowly, almost to the point of dissonance, with several unrelated rythmic themes all coming together to a point of silence.
Then a crash of the cymbals, and thunder, and confusion, souls flying everywhere. But under it all a steady presence, sometimes obscured, but always there.

I still prefer Chopin, Liszt, and Sankey. And my old piano teacher (50 years ago and in her 80s) who studied under Paderewski. She was old, bent, and shriveled, and her fingers were gnarled, twisted like dried twigs, but she played Chopin as if she owned him. Her husband, John Clements, wrote many of the fine old hymns we used to sing in church.

It's amazing what Mahler brings to memory! I'll have to listen to him more -- and perhaps revise my list.

Do you really think the words mean all that much? ;-)


Cassandra Wed Feb 23 18:31:00 PST 2000

Hi all

Just taking a stress break from working with gouache for a little over an hour, and nearly ruining what I'm working on at least 50 times. ARG! If any of you know the medium in which I'm working, it's the most painful, anal rentitive, picky, precise art supply you can work with... at least that I've ever worked with.

On the topic of music:
I listen to a large mix of things. The one album that keeps me from blocking up while writing for my novel is the City of Angels Soundtrack. It's got a great song by Eric Clapton, U2, Alanis, The Goo-goo dolls, Jude,Peter Gabrele, and even a classic by Hendrix.

Otherwise it's a mix of jazz, a little blues (Bonnie Raitt usually), rock staples like REM, U2, Melissa Etheridge, some ska, some classic rock, classical and celtic net radio stations, and the very rare techno college band. My tastes are pretty far ranging.

Anyways, back to my sadistic school assignments...
:) smile, it makes people wonder what you're thinking.


Jon Wed Feb 23 18:22:55 PST 2000

All this is very nice but I need my beauty sleep to be ready for school tomorrow.

I still love school. (I wonder if my English teacher will fall in love with me.)

Americo Wed Feb 23 18:20:26 PST 2000

Music as a topic? Fine. But only, or at least also, classical music, please. I think that the only good thing of the pumcatrapum noise we here today are the titles of some discs. My favorite composer is Mahler. But of course I like Beethoven and Mozart and so on. Actually I was supposed to be the reincarnation of Mozart (yes, reincarnation is a possibility), but the fates got it all wrong at the last moment-- and here I am, just me. Well, it could have been worse.

I noticed that you published another bit in SM** I'll read it even if it has dragons. Just give me some time, please. I've printed near 600 pages since yesterday evening. And I'm reading everything. My eyes ache. I'm always reading, always reading. I should live a little with the other parts of my body as well -- false problem; reading is living, like sleeping and dreaming. Everything is living. There's an extraordinary potential of life on this page.

A true post of yours at last! The one about the tall, thin priest was a remake of an older one. I cannot understand why you were so impressed with the answer of the good old man. But you are also the one who, led by a smell, travel in time. like Proust with the taste of his Madeleine ("À la Recherche du Temps Perdu"). That's nice. One of the things that really fascinates me is the amount of life, sorrow, even pain, and joy, and all sentiments, all feelings, I can detect here. The power of words. This will be a topic for one of these nights. And what writers can do with them.

I had an idea. How about tonight being friendship night? We already have the music!

Randall Wed Feb 23 18:03:46 PST 2000

Evening all:

Hi Rhonda, how you doing lady. In case some of you have missed it...Rhonda is the neatest person on the notebook. And I mean that. Her personality comes through like a searchlight and illuminates the site with grace and style. Rational, thoughtful, considerate, intelligent...I could go on forever. Bless you Rhonda.

Yes, I'm leading up to something. Latter-Day Saints........

In the early 1980's we lived in Sanpete County, Utah which is 40 miles below Provo. Whatever LDS faults, and we all have them...the Mormons I knew, lived with, worked with and worked for were the most stand up people I have ever known. Period. Mormons stick together, always have and family is number 1 in their heart. The Mormon work ethic is awesome and permates their society.

Careful reading of Mormon history...and reading between the lines will bring their character to the forefront. What the Latter-Day Saints, as a people, as a religion have acheived is WITHOUT peer in America's history. Bar none. Not any assembly of persons could have pulled up stakes, left behind a newly constructed church and homes as they did. Their ordeal in Winter Quarters and subsquent trek to Utah in 1847 and Brigham Young's leadership in keeping them together is stunning. No other group in America had the nerve or organization to pull a modern exodous as they did. Not one. They were not moving to another city, with homes awaiting, but across a relatively unknown continent. This feat alone qualifies them for the mantle of remarkable.

There have been many stones thrown at Joe & Hyram Smith, but the end result of the brothers faith and conviction speakes for itself. And that is important. The Mormons moved into a remote, isolated mountain valley and made it a showplace of busisness and FAMILY. A Mormon Elder is reported to have said many years ago. "No sucess at work can possibily compensate for failure at home." That says it all.

But, sadly, the flood of Americans seeking a part ot their lifestyle has somewhat diluted the original goodness. Still under the modern world of high tech and silicone chip that Mormon heart beats, steadily, strongly as it did when Brigham Young arose from his sick bed, peered into the distant valley and said. "This is the place." It was indeed.

No, I'm not Mormon. But, I admire them. if you want to turn the missionaries away, (BTW do you know they pay for mission expenses out of their own pocket?) start to speak of Mormon history. For some reason the ones I've met shy away from Mormon history. And that's a shame.

I talked to two young men last year...mentioned Winter Quarters and they had to ask what I was talking about!

Gotta go.


howard Wed Feb 23 16:53:54 PST 2000

My, we *have* gotten far afield, haven't we? Way out of our "comfort zone," so to speak. It's probably good to exercise our minds with this kind of reflection once in a while, but a mental charlie horse is no fun at all!

I found the way into the Short Story Workbook, and posted that piece about Aunt Alice. It's a bit on the "fat" side -- up to 356 words, but it was good exercise.

Another topic? How about music? Do any of you listen while you write? Does it help? What kinds of music are best for you? Who stimulates what?

"It sure is quiet out there," Erich Remarqued.

Laura Wed Feb 23 15:15:46 PST 2000

Well, i don't really want to talk about religion anymore, but I will get in on the Good/bad, Light/dark debates going on.

As for why some people turn out worse than others I think that their childhood had a bit to do with it, but it also depends on how they deal with childhood. And it is true, even devoutly religous people can do bad things. But I say again that I believe in relationship not religion. A man can be religious and justify murder, but he cannot have a true relationship with God and justify it.

As for light and dark, we all have it within us. Each of us can be mean, spiteful and just plain nasty if we want to. What makes the difference is that we do not do those things.

Ok I'll get off my soapbox again.

Eddie French Wed Feb 23 14:26:24 PST 2000

Your definitions seem reasonably close to the mark to me.
I think that our personalities [with certain exceptions to the norm, ie. Al Bundy etc.] are nurtured more by the little things that happen to us during our formative years,(I'm taking the liberty of extending the 'formative' years just a little for this theory) A few days ago I postulated that those words spoken to me by the school priest all those years ago ended up having a profound impact on my life.
I can think of another, offhanded remark made to me by an adult all those years ago which has stuck with me and helped to form me into the person that I am now.
I had just joined the Scouts and I needed a penknife to slip into my pocket for Scout night.
I saved a little money and eventually went to the shop to buy the knife.
The shop assistant, an 'older' lady, upon hearing my request, looked at me thoughtfully for a moment or two and then turned to a workmate and said:
I think that he looks intellegent and honest enough to be sold a penknife, don't you?.
I can't remember the answer that she got but I got the knife, so it must have been positive.
The thing is, I can remember that tiny incident so clearly. Now I know that in some ways I have spent a lot of time doing my best to live up tho that womans expectations of me.
I bet she wouldn't remember the incident at all.
These tiny, frequent episodes in our lives make us what we are. The dramatic, sometimes tragic episodes have less of an impact in the long term.
In some ways, this goes a little way in explaining the comments Rhoda made earlier today about the 'General' atmoshere that the township which was dominated by Mormons projected. If you are exposed to this kind of 'Praise Mentality' )as opposed to the big stick mentality) then the hoped for positive results can be achieved more frequently.
I am not saying that this will work for absolutely every child, but it has to be a good start in the process of understanding what makes a good child a good adult.

Rhoda Wed Feb 23 14:16:05 PST 2000


Point taken, and I am always glad to listen.


I understand your feelings. You speak from the viewpoint of experience, much more than I have ever had in that area.


I agree, I would love to change the subject, though I helped stir it up.


I think I caught that headache.

Anyone for Quantum Mechanics?


Jon Wed Feb 23 13:21:38 PST 2000

Dear Notebookers,

Today I did not enjoy school as much as yesterday. I'm already looking forward to the holidays. I have some home work to do and neither A* nor Pussy can help . They are not good Christians, I guess.

It says here (I'm reading the assignment) that what distinguishes a good person from a bad person is that the good one has:

-discrimination, which allows him/her to distinguish nicely between similarities and differences;

- diffidence, defined as a pervasive awareness of the limitations of all human reason;

-courage : hearing objections that may prove wrong, but steadfastly sticking to his/her point once he/she is convinced that he/she is right;

- honesty : not exactly what contemporary mortals call "authenticity" but what may be termed truthfulness to himself/herself (which in my opinion is the same thing).

When I read this to A*, he was impressed. But instead of helping me understand this he just shrugged his shoulders and said that I'd better eat some vanilla ice-cream and forget about school.

This causes me a lot of anxiety, as I don't see me with the qualities mentioned above. I've learned them by heart. But I'm not sure I can put them in practice if I don't understand them well. I want to become a good person! Help me with your philosophical comments, and, above all, with your example. My e-mail is the same as A* (but much prettier).

PS. The assignment adds in pencil that anyone possesing those qualities will do very well on the Notebook, but this was probably scribbled by A*, just to tease me.

PSS. The assignment has nothing to do with religion. It's much more important than that!

Cassandra Wed Feb 23 12:41:41 PST 2000

I'm all for changing the subject. Unfortunately I can't think of one at the moment... procrastinating just isn't the best time for coming up with ideas. Too many "you should be doing this.." thoughts are in here at the moment.
*opening skull* shoo! shoo! get out of here!
sorry, they said they don't want to leave... I guess it's pretty entertaining floating around in my head :)


Litter Wed Feb 23 12:21:09 PST 2000

What have you all done to me? Religion, quantum mechanics/superstring theory/Schrödinger's Cat, pithy sayings such as "Or maybe whatever nevermind and onwards." (Can I use this profound saying Heather?)... I'm in philosophy heaven and I have too much of a headache to participate. Arrgggghhhh! (I think that is German for 'oyah', 'ouch' or 'that smarts? Got it from a Commando comic when I was a kid... :o)

All I will say on the subject of religion is that it seems to me that it is the 'self righteous' who are on a hiding to nothing - those who holds themselves up as paragons of piety or virtue are missing something fundamental.

Now, whoever is sticking pins in the head of that voodoo doll, please stop.


Rachel Wed Feb 23 12:19:47 PST 2000

Hi Rhoda - The states haven't cornered the market on Mormans (grins and laughter). We have them here in Canada too. We have all sorts of things here (grins).

I don't want to pick and fuss. I just wanted to make a point and I did. Thanks for listening (smiles).

Take care you


Heather Wed Feb 23 12:18:54 PST 2000

Knew the topic would be a zinger!
Rhoda, thank you for your thoughts. I lived with a family of Mormons for a stretch, as a friend said I could stay with them for a while until I had secured a new apartment. I didn't know they were Mormons until a few days later. They had missionaries following me everywhere, even to work. And they set up discussion periods when I was home, with people from their church to come by and blast me with religious fodder. I didn't like being cornered. Not at all. And they said that their religion was the only correct one. Now, the people who took me in were nice enough, and didn't preach. They were the ones struggling to survive after the church took 10%. And the thing about the religion that makes me wonder is that those followers are not to drink caffeine, (no pop or tea or coffee or chocolate) and must only wear certain colours and styles. Also, they were not permitted alcohol etc. I thought churches were supposed to be accepting of thier members, no matter what they ate, drank, wore or what have you. At least that is what the Lutheran churches are like. Unconditional love.
I have nothing against those who choose to be Mormon. But I don't appreciate being followed everywhere, or hounded into a corner so that I would listen to preaching and their way of prodding you to think they are correct, and the only religion that is. To live in a Mormon's home is far different than being a neighbour. You get to see and know all of what goes on. The friend that was their son who had invited me to stay was not Mormon because he chose not to be. Not saying that you wouldn't know what you are talking about, Rhoda; just that in their house a different light was shed upon life as a Mormon family. They seemed like puppets on the church's strings.

But I should say this - they were very kind to me, and even had their girls share a room and gave me use of the other bedroom. THey were happy to have me, and I paid my rent and phone bill gladly. But I also had to leave sooner than I had hoped, because of the persuance.

Life is beautiful, so long as you look.


Rachel Wed Feb 23 12:10:39 PST 2000

All - Please excuse any spelling mistakes. I was in a rush when I posted (smiles).

Take care all %

howard Wed Feb 23 11:50:44 PST 2000

I guess we're all agreed that our religion (whatever it may be) is a guide or indicator of how we should be living. The quality of our lives and our influence and example to others is proportional to our dedication to our beliefs. The teachings we receive (and believe), then, equip us for life.

That's good.

Life I can handle.

How well does it equip us for what comes next?


that's all,


Rhoda Wed Feb 23 10:57:39 PST 2000


I have lived in a community made up of primarily Mormans. As a whole these people stress hard work, law abiding behavior, and committment to families. That is part of their credo. Yes there are some Mormons I am sure who commit crimes. Bundy the mass murderer was a Mormon. But by and large in areas where there are many Mormons, crime rates do tend to be lower. Another thing is that Mormons take care of their own. If a Mormon family needs financial assistance, the church provides it. I think being Canadian you might not know many Mormons and you don't know much about them. But they greatly stress family values and by and large make good neighbors. Farmington was a great place to raise a family when I first moved there and I attribute that to the Mormon influence. When many other people from other parts of the country moved in, a lot of the charm that had first drawn me to the community gradually disappeared.

I don't think Mormonism or any other religion makes a person good, but certain faiths teach their people how to be good citizens, and I think Mormons by and large have done a great job. They put many evangelical protestant families and congregations to shame in this area.

It is a very popular topic at times to bash people such as Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses. Hardly anyone likes these people who go door to door. A lot of my Christian friends do bash these folks, and I don't like hearing it from them any more than I like reading about it on this Notebook.

I know for a fact there have been several people who have posted on this Notebook who are Mormon. I don't think it a kind thing to make attacks on their religion.

Mormons are not perfect. I am sure there are many who rightly and wrongly do not live by the church's principles. I myself have had to tolerate ignorance and predudice when listening to people discuss my own faith that I am moved to say something when I hear the same thing going on with other faiths.

There are a lot of influences in this society that draw people into materialism and self-gratification often at the expense of other people. I cannot help but admire people whatever their stamp who manage to stand against these pressures.

I am truly sorry if my post disturbed anyone.


Heather Wed Feb 23 10:39:42 PST 2000

Rachel! I agree! You said it, girl!

Heather Wed Feb 23 10:38:26 PST 2000

Cassandra! No offense was taken; what you said has merit, and I was not intending to alarm you!
I see light itself as an energy. Positive energy. Photons.
Without darkness, they would still have a definite purpose. For if it did not shine, well...

And do scientists actually know what photons are comprised of? Other than well, energy? They seem to have no atomic substance. Rhoda?

I'd hate to see poor Spidey with a sign like that!
I agree that heros need the evil ones causing mayhem to keep their evil-fighting jobs, but darkness is just the absence of light. I suppose darkness is used to describe evil so often we equate darkness and evil as being one and the same.
And so often the evil is written and perceived as lurking in the darkness. (well, often it is)...

Here is what Plato said.
(Pardon me if I misquote?)
"The great tradgedy of life is not that children are afraid of the dark, but that men are afraid of the light."

I will have to look up that quote to be sure I didn't miss something in the middle there.

Rhoda - thanks for the info on missions.
Teekay - nice to see you back, earlier in the posts!

take care everyone,
and I will join thee later for whatever we can think of to discuss besides religion! How's that for a nice topic?


Rachel Wed Feb 23 09:57:51 PST 2000

All - Please excuse any spelling mistakes. I was in a rush when I posted (smiles).

Take care all


Rachel Wed Feb 23 09:56:24 PST 2000

Hi Rhoda - I don't want to sound like I'm out for a brawl, but how do you know that the people who beat up people and comit crimes aren't mormon? How do you know they aren't Baptist, Catholic, Buddist, Muslim, How do you know? It isn't something that they tend to post in the newspaper. It doesn't read "Mormon caught red handed in theft. Christian found standing over body of murder victim." I think that we need to step back and see the people, not the religion.

I'm not sure why, but what you wrote really distrubed me. I know you would never do that with any intent. That you are a very nice person, but I just had to say something about that.

I don't like the sounds of it. As if somehow being of a certain relgion would rule you out from being able to commit an unsavory act. People are people and it doesn't matter what they embrace. For all you know the sickest person could hide under the guise of being a good and upstanding member of whatever religion.

Okay, I'll stop. I'm sorry about this, but I need to speak up.

Hope I haven't upset you.

Take care


Cassandra Wed Feb 23 09:32:16 PST 2000

I didn't mean to question you persay, just to communicate my viewpoint. I'm sorry if you felt I was arguing with you

With the whole light thing, I meant that without the dark, what purpose does light have? Without darkness to give light to, it looses a large part of it's meaning. How light is light without dark to temper it?

Light is a subjective word... a light touch, a light color...

Without villans, heros would be out of work(can you imagine Spiderman holding a 'Will web sling for food' sign?). That's what I was referring to. Light 'gives light to', without darkness to lighten... it becomes ineffective.

Anyways, there's a lot of meaningless drivel I have to push through to get my project to finish today. But all the tough work will help me appreciate my spare time more. Just like the darkness gives me more appreciation of the light :P

As far as my Mormon friend goes, I'm not certain she's of the same sect that practices that 10% thing. She had to set quite a few people straight on the whole polygomy thing too... because that's the Mormon fundamentalists. *shrugging* It's hard to keep the names straight, and what they stand for.

:) Have you hugged a fellow writer lately?
*hug* To Heather. Didn't mean any harm. I was just talking for talking's sake. sorry.



Rhoda Wed Feb 23 09:24:06 PST 2000


All Mormons go on missions. At one time it was just men, now it is women too. They usually do this when they get out of high school, and in some cases families have saved for these trips most of the child's life.

I am not Mormon and I have a lot of theological differences with them, but I don't think it is for me or anyone else to judge the merits of their practices. I don't see Mormons out there committing crimes, beating up people, or tearing down society. Most that I know of are hard working, sincere and caring individuals.

(Same for Jehovah's Witnesses)

Rachel Wed Feb 23 07:40:57 PST 2000

Heather - I LOVE vanilla ice-cream. It is the best in my books. If I want anything with it, then I'll add it (smiles). I like to have really good vanilla ice-cream. Not much of it, just a little bit (smiles).

I didn't find what you said offensive at all.

I believe that all people should have the right to choose what they will believe in. The only trick is for them to remember to let other people have same luxury.

Take care you


Heather Wed Feb 23 07:28:17 PST 2000

Light without darkness is still light.
And my favourite ice cream is Vanilla, even though I have not tried them all. This is because of the ice creams I have tried, Vanilla was tops. Chocolate comes in second. I don't think trying butter rocky marshmallow rum nut ice cream will change that, since I like plain, simple ice creams. I might try it. And I cannot guarantee that I won't like it. But that doesn't mean it will be better than Vanilla to me. Vanilla is the plain, simple kind.
And most other ice creams are based on the simple ones. They start off as Vanilla or chocolate, or just plain iced cream, and get flavours and tidbits added.

Heather Wed Feb 23 07:19:44 PST 2000

Hey, I never said devout persons were not nice. In fact, they are usually incredibly sweet and what have you. Sometimes to their credit for converting the most people in a week. Sometimes because they are genuinely great people and the religion they choose has less to do with it than their upright character. The people who have knocked on my door are nice people. But I will not be pressed into a corner, nice manners or not.

I do not hate anyone, religious or otherwise. I do not think a certain type of religion makes a person a jerk. People can do that all by themselves.
I agree about the fact that men/man has tried to form religions to what they perceive God sees as perfect. If one religion is perfect in His/Her eyes, then the rest of the religions MUST be wrong.
Only the Absolute can say.

I hear Buddha and Jesus are very close friends.


Heather Wed Feb 23 07:09:07 PST 2000

Cassandra: But the typeface does not change the words of the book. THAT was my point. It just makes it look different. THe essence of the book is the same.

Also, your Mormon friend probably just belongs to a Mormon church, and does not go on 'missions'. That is where they learn to persuade. I have nothing against the religion itself, but I do not agree with a church that demands 10% of the earnings of those who belong. The Mormon temple in Brampton has a great huge 24 carat gold angel with a flute on top of the giant temple, which was paid for by families who barely made ends meet after paying their 10%.
I think if you want to give to the church, there is nothing wrong with that. But to have a set percentage of earnings?
I myself have researched and tried many different religions.
I suggested a reading list of a number of books way back (archives) which contain many beliefs and concepts with which I have closest ties. I do not follow any formal religion. THe JW's have said to me - 'if you don't believe strongly in only one religion, then you are making things up as you go, or picking and choosing parts you like from different ones.' which isn't true. An analytical mind and discerning heart knows what has the ring of truth and what has been handed down as mere tradition and has much less truth in it.

But I dilute...

My salutes and regards,
and no, I didn't set out to purposely offend.


Rhoda Wed Feb 23 06:29:25 PST 2000

Hugs to Goodweed, another Morman and a wonderful friend!

Americo Wed Feb 23 06:13:30 PST 2000

Good morning, everybody!

Jon is cheating at school. He's writing a test and has used his supernatural powers to ask me for help. He's supposed to comment on the following passage from Thackeray's "Book of Snobs":

You who despise your neighbour , are a Snob; you who forget your own friends, meanly to follow after those of a higher degree, are a Snob; you who are ashamed of your poverty, and blush for your calling, are a Snob; as are you who boast of your pedigree, or are proud of your wealth.

Not having any of the above defects, I don't know how to help him. Perhaps someone else here can. Thank you.

He asked me to announce that today's hug goes to Hootie, one of the sweetest men on the Notebook (now just a lurker). He is a Mormon.

God rest you merry.

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Feb 23 01:05:42 PST 2000

Casandra: the buttons on are in transition, because I am planning on reducing the downloading overhead. I am trying a couple of possible choices that will ultimately become the final result. The point here is that I am working on some javascript that will allow for drop down hierarchical buttons that will allow for a better navigational environment. However, after reviewing things a bit, I have decided to move back to the original until I get the final done.

Cassandra Tue Feb 22 21:33:21 PST 2000

Ut ohh, you mentioned typefaces... Sometimes a typeface does have a lot to with the book. A clear typeface helps readability and understanding of the words in the book. A gimmicky typeface will draw away from the book's flaws (a book shouldn't have to rely on such a type face).

In such ways religion helps people with limited understanding of their spiritual "place" by providing a compass. How can you truely know what you believe, without first exploring the beliefs of others? What your place is in the world until you know the world of places you can be in?

I myself have looked into countless religions before settling on my own particular blend(and I'm not quite settled yet :P). It's quite like ice cream, you can't know your absolute favorite flavor without tasting them all. There could be one out there you like better that you just haven't tried yet. And in such ways I keep my heart and mind open... because there are so many different flavors of the spiritual, and I intend to explore as many as possible weighing their strengths and their weaknesses when applied to my tastes.

And so I think religion is necessary, whether you think it an evil or not. (without dark, light cannot function)

:) but this is just me wandering off topic...

Good night all


PS I have a Mormon friend too, and she's as accepting of everyone else's beliefs as the next person. If she weren't she wouldn't be my friend. All my friends are accepting, and compassionate, and they come from many different faiths and walks of life. Which I wouldn't have any other way. :)
Contrast is a wonderful thing

"You laugh at me because I'm different. I laugh at you because you're all the same." - an apt quote written on a friend's message board.

howard Tue Feb 22 19:22:30 PST 2000

Heather -- Dunno about the pizza in SM* but I've been toying with one called "Pot Roast" for a little while.

May have to work a guitar in there too -- I'm listening to a new CD I just bought (from Amazon) by a guy named Brooks Williams. It's called "Little Lion" and it's great! All acoustic, and SUPER! Songs like "Goodbye Walker Percy," (you should hear the slide guitar on this one), "Water Song," "Belfast Blues'" and "What Wondrous Love."

Also got one by Mason Williams (no relation, remember "Classical Gas?")and that's good too. Mason also wote the Smothers Brothers theme for their show. One of the best cuts on the Mason WIlliams "Music" CD is "I've Heard That Tear Stained Monologue You Do There By The Door Before You Go." Additionally, there's "Saturday Night at the World," "$13 Stella," and "The Last Great Waltz" (she had three legs, he had only two).

I'm in "axe heaven!"

Just remember...if the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off.


Heather Tue Feb 22 18:52:40 PST 2000

can you write an SM** story about that pizza, Howard? Sounds too good to be pizza.


heather Tue Feb 22 18:51:22 PST 2000

not meaning to be cryptic, that was to be 'the book'
not 'the a book'. I am leaning towards gross mishandling of the keys
and so I will say goodnight! And tomorrow is another (night) day, possibly the one I will get on to writing another short story by. SM**? Maybe.

Heather Tue Feb 22 18:47:47 PST 2000

I didn't see the clip about the ich ein Berliner jelly donut
on the History channel yesterday, but a few years ago.
Don't recall where now.

Good points, Howard!

Religion has as little to do with spirituality as the font/typeset of the a book.

Or maybe whatever nevermind and onwards.


Howard Tue Feb 22 18:16:55 PST 2000

Miscellaneous ramblings ...

Dunno about on TV last night, didn't see any. I heard the "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech when it happened, or just shortly thereafter, by tape delay. When I arrived in Germany in 1964 they were still talking about JFK, and that speech was part of the mystique of the man. You would not believe the number of Germans who said they were there to hear him in person!
The first German I spoke with when I got to Bremerhaven asked for two things: Marlboro cigarettes and Kennedy half-dollars.
Speaking of those, according to a coin collecting friend of mine, 64 Kennedy halves are now worth $32.00!


Laura -- You're absolutely right on with your definition of religion. It's mostly man's idea of what he wants God to want. According to the bible, God wanted a relationship, and man gave him religion. The way I see it, man has an idea that God is not pleased with the religion thing, but he figures there's safety in numbers, so he tries to drag as many as he can into it with him, even if they don't want to come.


Has anyone tried to post to the short story workbook lately? I can't get there at all. I was able to post to the poetry section, but not to the short story section.


I just had one of the best pizzas I've ever tasted, at a local Italian ristorante. They laid the pizza dough on the grill, and cooked it on one side, then flopped it over and started the other side. Then they topped it with chopped fresh tomatoes, basil, roasted whole garlic cloves, and two kinds of cheeses. A light dusting of crushed red peppers on top, a pint of Honey Brown lager to follow it, and it was one primo feast!

gotta run,
remember: The things that come to those that wait are the things left by those who got there first.


Heather Tue Feb 22 17:51:42 PST 2000

I have seen the same clip of the Prez saying he was a jelly donut, and I laughed until my head hurt.
My mother's side of the family is German, but our family has been in Canada since quite a while before the first world war, both my Great Grandfather Neeb and my Grandpa Allemang fought in Canadian troops. My Grandpa A lost his eye to schrapnel when he landed on the beaches, WWII. My Great Grandfather was killed in the first WW. My father's Dad fought on England's side, being in the RAF, WWII. Both of my grandpa's lived. I was never allowed the priveledge of hearing very many of their war stories, not that they told them much anyway.

My mother's side were all Lutheran. I went to Lutheran church since I was eye to eye with the common garden worm. But since age 17, I haven't been inside one much. But I am more spiritual than ever. Because I let it come from me, rather than going to a building to have it come AT me. Or after me.

I have had a rough brush with Mormons, too. Boy, they have even more persistence and cunning than JW's. Smooth talking never was an attribute of Jesus. I said so (and more than so), and went into the pool hall. Pool halls were against their 'religion' and they couldn't come in. (Jesus certainly didn't avoid those places. In fact, he found many followers that way)
But I saw the Mormons' faces through the window, and I had to chew gum and turn away to stop from laughing. THey were beat. They knew it. They left.
Another of their tricks was to give you a gift, and say "Don't open this unless you decide to quit ______ (fill in the blank) and get baptized."
Well, I didn't and wouldn't quit being myself. Nor would I be baptized twice. That, in grammatical terms, is like
"I can't not do it", a double negative. I figure it's like undoing your first baptism!
I opened the parcel anyway, and the 'bribery gift' was a creepy black journal with just empty lined pages in it, and my name was in gold lettering on the front. That was the last time I told a religious zealot my name.

So, away from this topic, as I do not wish to inflame any hairdo's, etc...

Let's have short shortie night again soon, Americo!

And on the topic of angels, yes, i believe in them, however, I do not see them as many films portray them, NOR do I think the tabloids have accurate photos. (hahahahha)

Lift your eyes beyond limit, and there you will find yourself.

Cassandra Tue Feb 22 17:49:02 PST 2000

Well, you learn something new every day. My teacher was from somewhere in Southern Germany... we didn't learn much about the jelly doughnuts of Berlin :)

Normally it'd be Ich bin Berliner... the ein was what goofed it up, and the Boston accent didn't help either. Some translater should've gotten fired over that one.

Anyways, my art history test got delayed until next Tuesday, cause the teacher heard that there was a big graphic design project due. She's a young teacher, normally the old craggy ones wouldn't care. My photo teacher also let us out early, so I got my first roll for this project shot.*yippie* All in all, things are looking up. :)

'later peeps


Jon Tue Feb 22 17:43:50 PST 2000

My first day at school was gorgeous and Iv learnt a lot. Cant miss it tomorrow. So, to bed. I guess its enough of a blabber for one day. Please note how my English improved.
PS. Hope A* doesn't get involved in this chat about religion!

Eddie French Tue Feb 22 16:21:06 PST 2000

I don't really want to get into the 'Religion' debate but I want to share this. It is just one of those moments experienced at a young age which sticks with you for the rest of your life. (Now there is a good subject, please tell us of these golden moments in your early life)
I have a few of these vivid memories. onre of them was at boarding school. It was a catholic school and the priest (I can't even remember his name) was so tall and thin that he walked with a permanent stoop. I can see him right now, lurching across the yard in his black cape, bible clutched in a huge knarled fist.
During a discussion about the virtues of being a 'good catholic', I asked him what it was that God wanted from us.
His reply has stayed with me, word for word, since that day.
He said to me:
The most religious thing that I do every day is to get up out of bed, I would give anything for just an extra half an hour between my wonderfully warm sheets. But I force myself to rise and go to the chapel to prepare for morning Mass.

This simple statement had all of the answers for me.
Religion is inside you. It's how you feel inside which makes you a good or a bad 'Christian'. You can't hide hypocracy from yourself! He made me lose the guilt which I felt whenever I missed Mass on a Sunday, or missed confession on Saturday morning. The rigid doctrine of the Catholic religion can quite easily spawn the worse sort of hypocritical church goers. I don't need to parade my Christianity for all to see. It's inside. It's in the way that I treat myself and my fellow man.

We all have these tiny moments from way back which dominate our personalities. What are yours?

Eddie French Tue Feb 22 15:59:39 PST 2000

Sorry Allein,
Looking back, it was you who posted the correct answer about the berliner.
Go to the top of the class.
And take the rest of the afternoon off.

Eddie French Tue Feb 22 15:51:40 PST 2000

Yes, Cassandra is correct. (Thanks for stealing my thunder)
The German language is heavily dependent on emphasis, and the same word can be used in different ways.
The berliner is a type of donut.
A Berliner is a person.
Hard to spot the difference if you are not German.

Allein Tue Feb 22 15:41:01 PST 2000

Thanks to all who gave me support. I was really upset last night, but I realize now, that being friends with him is better than nothing. We still might go to prom, but if not, I have a group of girl friends who are going, so I can go with them.

Heather - Luckily, I didn't BUY the dress, just found it. But I wish I had bought it, because it's so beautiful. But, I am losing weight and if I continue losing weight, it might not fit by prom, but we don't want to get a size smaller, because if I didn't lose weight, then it would be too tight.

Cassandra - Berliner is the name of one type of jelly doughnut (found in Berlin, of course), while Krapfen is the name for all doughnuts collectively. I know, my teacher gave a half hour lecture on it - I phased out after about five minutes.

Jerry - I watched that too, with my mom. Pretty interesting - especially about the big cheese wheel. I never much cared for cheese, but that was kind of a neat fact - incently, I got that over my trivia e-zine either yesterday or the day before, so I knew the answer.
Well, gotta run,

Jerry A.G. Ericsson Tue Feb 22 15:24:20 PST 2000

Cassandra - I saw it on tv last night too, the History Channel History quiz on presidents - that is what they said Kennedy said when he made his famous speach in Berlin. Who knows - they could be wrong too, it wouldn't be the first time someone made such a mistake on TV now would it?

Cassandra Tue Feb 22 14:23:58 PST 2000

Where did you hear that from? I'm a jelly donut?! I'm fairly certain that the word Berliner is not mistakable for the german word for jelly donut. The word for doughnut in german is Krapfen.

What he said was certainly grammatically incorrect, but not mistakable for anything other than badly spoken German for "I am a Berliner."

Gotta run


Jerry Ericsson Tue Feb 22 12:54:15 PST 2000

Religion - not an easy topic for discussion on such a forum, or any forum for that matter. I have spent countless hours discussing that very topic with many a soul, both here and while in Viet Nam. Came to the conclusion, that everyone has their own beliefs, some may lean to Catholic, some Luthern, some Jehova, some whatever, but I have never met anyone who blindly beileves what the "church" tells them to believe. Maybe I have just run with a more cerebrial bunch.

Anyhow, back when I was a police officer, I had to respond to hundreds of complaints about the wittnesses, moonies and even a self proclaimed orthodox catholic bunch that ended up being a group of defrocked catholic priest/pedephiles. This has left me detesting anyone who darkens my door with any kind of brief case, or bible in hand, and I usually let them know (sometimes politely, sometimes not depending on my mood) that I do not like their unwelcome presence on my doorstep. Yes this even includes the occasional door to door insurance salesman.

Guess that is just the way I am. I didn't mean to offend anyone, I strongly believe that each and every person in this complicated world has their right to believe in whatever god or goddess for that mater that they wish.


howard Tue Feb 22 12:12:42 PST 2000

Americo -- JFK's pronunciation of that "Ich bin ein Berliner" statement came across a bit differently than he intended. He thought he was saying "I am a Berliner," but the Germans actually heard "I am a jelly donut!" It was one of the cute, embarrassing, unforgettable moments in history.

Laura Tue Feb 22 11:46:56 PST 2000

I really wish we would get off the topic of religion. But since you asked, I am not religious. Religion is man trying to get to God of his own perfection which isn't possible. I am a Bible believing Christian and I will make no bones about it.
But really, three days on Religion. It isn't that I am sensitive about the subject but I know that there will be a lot of misunderstandings if we don't get off of the topic.

I don't want to offend any of my friends here at notebook so I will stay respctfully silent about the rest of my beliefs unless asked.

Ok, that's all for my soapbox. Now that that's out of the way can we move on to a new subject? Religion is too inflamatory.


Heather Tue Feb 22 11:35:03 PST 2000

I love many of the posts that have been written here!
But alas, Americo, I can pledge no particular allegiance.
There are too many to choose from. A very many good posters at this illustrious site.

(How's that for undecided?)

Religion? Do we have to?

I only detest the fact that JWitnesses that feel the need to disturb my very precious quiet writing time, and that they make me feel that I have to pretend I'm not home. (And the car is visible in the driveway but I don't care)
This is because if I answered the door I would not be rid of them for ages! And I am not converting, nor do I feel I want to listen to their interpretation of the Bible for aeons. I have a Bible, and a mind. I can read it myself if I wish. And come to my own conclusions.
I don't need a building with a steeple on top to be spiritual. And I don't need a genre of religion to believe.

There, I have finished for the afternoon.
Now, back to taxi-ing the kids. Got to fly!

Laura Tue Feb 22 11:34:07 PST 2000

Hey everyone, just thought I'd pop in to say hi. Keep your eye on the SS archicve, I may be posting a short short soon. The title is The Wanderer. (I'm not posting it now because I don't have copy on disk and I don't want to retype right now.)

Laura Tue Feb 22 11:33:48 PST 2000

Hey everyone, just thought I'd pop in to say hi. Keep your eye on the SS archicve, I may be posting a short short soon. The title is The Wanderer. (I'm not posting it now because I don't have copy on disk and I don't want to retype right now.)

Americo Tue Feb 22 11:26:22 PST 2000

Rachel and Heather & all, Whose posts do you love? Don't tell me Jon has been posting again! I'll kill that cat.

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. How's life treating you? You did not discuss the topic of school to my heart's content, but what could you do? Like me, you hate that sacred institution. Only Jon loves it, but he only went there once.

Is there anything interesting we could discuss tonight? How about angels? Do you believe in angels? Who's you favorite angel? My favorite angel is (no, I do not believe in angels).

Attention, Heather and Jerry Ericsson. Besides a pagan, a catholic and many other things, I am also a Jeovah's Witness. Like Kennedy in his Berlin address, on a historical occasion, Ich bin ein Berliner-- which means, I'm always at the side of the minorities and of those who need me. Seriously. All persuasions are equally good (or equally bad); all of them must be respected. Including the Druids, of course.

And yes, I'll go to heaven, as I am just and good and like vanilla+ chocolate ice-cream.

See you later, perhaps.

Heather Tue Feb 22 10:24:10 PST 2000

Thanks, Litter, for the low-down on Druids! I haven't done more than a toothpick's worth of research in that area.

Americo, charming one. Teach us a class while you are at it. On anything your heart desires. And we promise to leave your heart intact.

Cassandra, much luck and speed be with you. As well as your muse.

Rachel, thanks for the treat of laughter!

To all, a happy Tuesday.
Just passing through, fellow scribes.
I'll be back to type later.


Casandra Tue Feb 22 10:14:20 PST 2000

forgot something earlier...

I saw that you changed the buttons on why? Was it just an abitrary choice, or did you have to for some technologically related reason? I thought they were nice before, with the serif text with it's yellow just like the title. :) There was a kind of unity amongst the design.

And on Druidism, I have a friend that's Druidic... now I don't know specifically what she believes, but I think it's best not to get picky about the definitions of religious words. Word meanings change over time... as do religious practices. All I know is that she's a nice person, and that's all that matters to me.

I guess I can't complain though, cause after the short story I wrote the other day (that will be posted in the workbook sometime soon)... I can't exactly condem poking fun at people's religions.

*guilty smirk*


Litter Tue Feb 22 09:54:51 PST 2000

Heather, Panic not – despite what the summer solstice loonies at Stonehenge would have you believe Druids at the priestly class of the ancient, pre-Christian Celts. The ‘New Age’ movement and others have hijacked Druidism and distorted it far beyond what it was. There are many priest in UK Celtic heritage based churches that still see themselves as Druids in the proper sense of the word…

From the Oxford English Dictionary, the definitive work on this side of the pond:

Druid /"dru:Id/ n. & a. Also d-.

M16. [Fr. druide or L druidae, druides pl. f. Gk druidai f. Gaulish druides.]

A n. 1 A member of an order of priests and teachers among the Celts of ancient Gaul, Britain, and Ireland, later reputed to be magicians and soothsayers. M16.

On the subject of weather, I had to go to the US to experience the extremes of several kinds of weather: The power of the sun and the high cloudless skies of the Arizona desert; Thunder storms and rain like I have never before seen, in Colorado; rain and flash-floods of unbelievable proportions in New Mexico. Everyone else was complaining bitterly about the weather and I was stock-piling information, sensations and memories for future use in my writing. This included being glued to the windscreen of my brother-in-law’s RV for an hour with a video-camera in hand, filming lightning strikes, whilst everyone else was hiding (except the driver :o) I have, somewhere, video footage of lightning hitting an oncoming car. The people inside must have got one helluva fright but I understand that the shell of a car acts as a Faraday Cage, diverting the discharge to earth without harming those inside the vehicle.
A very long-winded and self-indulgent way of saying that, while we may not be able to do much about the weather, we can use what we experience to add depth and realism (vicarious in some cases) to our writing. Everything that happens in my life, good or bad, gives me experiences to draw on that others may not be familiar with.
Ciao for now,

Cassandra Tue Feb 22 09:08:12 PST 2000

Hi all,

Having a helluva day and it looks like one crapper of a week... I've got a project due and two tests on Thursday, plus I have to shoot a roll of film and get it developed before then so that I have something to work on in the Photo lab. *groan* Can someone shoot me now before tomorrow comes and the noose tightens a few inches? Please? Come on people... work with me here...

Too bad about the boyfriend, but you can always go Doe (the female version of my friend Renee made that one up). Basically a large group of my friends decided to do that my senior year. I had just met my first boyfriend (don't get me started) so it was too short notice for him to go (and he was cheep, so). Anyways, I had much more fun with my friends then I would ever have with a boy following me around... having to make small talk the entire time and make sure that I act lady-like *bleech* and behave myself. *shrugging* I'd rather dance my butt off without a care in the world for 3-4 hours...and sit around complaining about all the slow stupid songs. :)

I like butter brittle too, but it's not my favorite. My favorite would have to be Chocolate Fudge Brownie from my good friends Mr Ben, and Mr Jerry. :d yummy

Have to eat lunch, then get to work on shooting pictures.


Rachel Tue Feb 22 08:47:22 PST 2000

Americo - I love you posts!

Allein - I send you hugs.

Heather - Bwah, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!!!! Just thought I would put that in for your enjoyment (grins).

Take care all


Jon Tue Feb 22 08:01:42 PST 2000

Previous post my copyright ©

Tue Feb 22 08:00:49 PST 2000

I'm so happy! Today was my first day at school. Pussy told me that they use books there, so I took my CatsEnglish Dictionary with me. I sat very quietly at the front desk and was greeted by the cheers of the boys. "We want to eat his heart, we want to eat his heart!" they shouted. I knocked down two or three of them and the class began.

It was an English class, and the teacher was a darling. But when she said, "Don't let childhood traumas effect you, they're not your fault, you are only responsible for what you did," I raised a finger and, respectfully, corrected her. Affect and not effect, I said. She got all red in her face and asked me to take her place. So I gave my first lesson. The three boys I had knocked down behaved themselves. The girls I had not knocked down giggled a lot until I said that I had had an Irish nanny that taught me sexology. At that point they became curious (not curios) and I explained to them the basic facts of life. Everyone loved the lesson and the teacher promised me a vanilla ice-cream next time. Now I'm preparing a new lesson for tomorrow.

I love school.

PS. Rejoyce! A* gonna fishing.

Suzan Stadner Tue Feb 22 00:14:45 PST 2000

Wanted: Seriously good comedy writer for pilot. Good pay---at some point---probably. We hope. We plan. For now, we're all working on spec.
Let me hear from you. I'm waiting.
Suzan Stadner,
writer/host "The Suzan Stadner Show"

Laura Tue Feb 22 00:10:26 PST 2000

Hey everyone. Just lurking around. I might go see if I can repost the second part of "A World Away" which the computer ate. (I guess it didn't like it, it didn't ask for seconds.)

Heather Mon Feb 21 23:13:21 PST 2000

Excuse me, Jerry, I meant Druid. Not Celt.
Where did I leave my rubber mallot?

Heather Mon Feb 21 23:11:02 PST 2000

Americo, genius friend, your posts are pure you.
What else could they be?
Little Jon, you are lucky Americo hasn't gotten you fixed. You are up to no good at the keys, wee Cat. Better get eyes like a chameleon.

Heather (goodnight, all!)
HERE IS A WISH FOR THE SAFETY OF ALL THOSE IN TORNADO ALLEY RIGHT NOW. May you be safe, and just get watered on so the grass grows very green in your pastures. And if the grass starts looking mighty fine farther away from Tornado Alley, i also wish for you to move. But most of all I wish you safety. And a sturdy toilet in case the above wish has little effect. At least you won't have to crap your drawers if all else fails. (Is this a bad time for a joke?)
Blessings to you!

Heather Mon Feb 21 23:05:08 PST 2000

Allein, I hope you feel better in the morning.
Stay friends with the guy if you can, and if you two can't, then just keep your eyes peeled for someone new.
You will have no trouble finding another boyfriend. Just give yourself a little while. Sorry that it happened right after you bought your dress. Don't let that spoil your night!
I didn't go to my prom (I was in the U.S. for senior year)
because my ride couldn't make it. His motorcycle broke down a day or two ahead of the planned 'grand entrance' scheme. So we all went elsewhere instead. Two girlfriends and I were planning to go in tight black dresses and American Paratrooper boots, and have our guy friends drive us up to the front entrance on their Harleys. Too bad my date's was on the louder side of broken. It would have been fun. We were only planning to be there for an hour anyhow. Not the prom queen types.
I wore those boots a lot in senior year, and in the last few years I find out I was ahead of the fashion. This is interesting, yet good. Now I'll be ahead again.
Got you all wondering? No, I'm not typing in the nude. Yet.

(more evil titilations on this end) BA HA HA HA HA HA

Heather Mon Feb 21 22:52:41 PST 2000

Jerry - living across the street from them! YIIKESSSS
I thought it bad enough they come by every week or two.
I would just have to mow a pentacle (NOT a pentagram, folks) into the lawn if I were you. They will not go near people who they think are witches. Great line, saying you are into Celtic (Norse) gods!
That was brilliant! And I see it worked! Less trouble than the mowing idea.
I should think of something for their next surprise visit at my house. They seem to think persistence will get me. But it won't. They always knock on the door when I am in the middle of writing. I don't feel the need to be in a stupid cult (that's what I think it is), nor do I like being perkered with flyers and nuts at the door.
Usually I use the peep hole to confirm that it's them again, and I don't answer, but I will have to devise a little something to keep them away for good...
Perhaps I'll answer the door in the nude! That might shut them up for once. Imagine, a JW, knocking on the door and then not having a thing to say!
(RUN AWAY, WITNESSES, or witness more than you bargained for!)

HAHAHHAHA (to use copyrighted laughter:) BWA HAHAHAHHAHA!


Allein Mon Feb 21 22:03:02 PST 2000

Howard - I have the weather channel. I also had something like it when I was little - we called it a window.

Well, after I find the perfect prom dress, my boyfriend broke up with me. I'm upset, but we're still going to be friends. I put off really liking him or even loving him for a few months because I was afraid he might break up with me. Then I finally allow myself to be loved and he goes and does this. Since we're still friends, we might go to prom together, but I don't know. If not, I'm hoping to go with a group of my girl friends, or with a guy friend.
I'm off to bed.

Jerry Ericsson Mon Feb 21 21:12:37 PST 2000

OOPS, sorry for the double post, don't know how that happened for sure.

Jerry Ericsson Mon Feb 21 21:05:10 PST 2000

BTW thanks for the kind comments on my last contribution to SM.

Made another trip south to Rapid City with the wife today. No improvement on that front. The Dr gave her another month off work then come back and if it isn't better then they will do an exploratory. It was a glorious day for a trip, the past week has been one of very cold, snowy - over five inches on the ground. Yesterday it began warming, up in the 40's today, when I was listening to the weather at 6:00 AM they said it was 51 degrees in Rapid City. 12 degrees here. So off we went, it got warmer and warmer as we went south. We saw several bald eagles on the trip, hundreds of antelope in the prairie grass, many other birds of prey most sitting on the fence posts watching as we drove by. There were phesants running along the road ditches, twenty or so mule deer off in the distance. All seemed to be enjoying the brief reprieve from the cold. This being a holiday for schools and the government (presidents day for those non US) Rapid City was filled with school kids enjoying the weather, we found it to be over 70 degrees down there. The wife was with the Dr. only a few moments, then came out with the news. Then we were off, to the mall. My daughter being off from college accompanied us, and we had a nice tour of the mall and the hobby mart. She found her painting supplies about half the price she was paying up in college, so stocked up. (My daughter is quite an artist very skilled in oil paints) Then the trip home, just like the trip down filled with fantastic sights and wild-life galor. Were it not for the reason for the trip, it would have been most enjoyable.

Jerry Ericsson Mon Feb 21 20:50:33 PST 2000

BTW thanks for the kind comments on my last contribution to SM.

Made another trip south to Rapid City with the wife today. No improvement on that front. The Dr gave her another month off work then come back and if it isn't better then they will do an exploratory. It was a glorious day for a trip, the past week has been one of very cold, snowy - over five inches on the ground. Yesterday it began warming, up in the 40's today, when I was listening to the weather at 6:00 AM they said it was 51 degrees in Rapid City. 12 degrees here. So off we went, it got warmer and warmer as we went south. We saw several bald eagles on the trip, hundreds of antelope in the prairie grass, many other birds of prey most sitting on the fence posts watching as we drove by. There were phesants running along the road ditches, twenty or so mule deer off in the distance. All seemed to be enjoying the brief reprieve from the cold. This being a holiday for schools and the government (presidents day for those non US) Rapid City was filled with school kids enjoying the weather, we found it to be over 70 degrees down there. The wife was with the Dr. only a few moments, then came out with the news. Then we were off, to the mall. My daughter being off from college accompanied us, and we had a nice tour of the mall and the hobby mart. She found her painting supplies about half the price she was paying up in college, so stocked up. (My daughter is quite an artist very skilled in oil paints) Then the trip home, just like the trip down filled with fantastic sights and wild-life galor. Were it not for the reason for the trip, it would have been most enjoyable.

Jerry A.G. Ericsson Mon Feb 21 20:23:02 PST 2000

Heather, you went after the jehova wittness, way to go, I had some living acorss the street from me last year. In fact their church bought that house, and moves them in regurlarly. Now I am a good neighbor, I waved at them regularly, as I drove past, if they were outside. Then one day, they came a'calling. When the nice young lady rang my bell, I could tell she was on a mission from god, as she was dressed in her sunday best, and it was only saturday. She introduced herself, as so and so from acorss the street, and began her spiel about thier mission. Now when she asked me what religion I was, I replied that I was a druid. She told me that she had never heard of that religion, and asked me if we believed in god. I told her that I believed in many gods. "In fact," I told her, "my religion believes that all earth is sacred, we worship the trees and the grass." "Quick!" I said, "you are standing on my grass, you are bing sacrelitious!" She moved off the grass and back on the sidewalk. Then she looked at me like I was crazy, and excused herself. I haven't had a visit from that church since, even though they have had a couple of other members living in that house since.

Jerry A.G. Ericsson Mon Feb 21 20:10:00 PST 2000

Talk about tornados, when I was in law enforcement, I spent many many days up on a hill just out of town, watching the angry sky for tornados. Saw quite a few but never to to close to them. Then last summer one came within a mile of town. Our basement is a simple dirt dugout, not a lot of proteciton, so we ran to the neighbors basement, where we were welcomed with open arms. (have great neigobors). The twister missed town, but the accompaning hail did thousands of dollars worth of damage to our cars and roofs. Lucky I had insurance, we now have new shingles on the house, and new paint on the vehicles. When they all clear was blown, we walked through the back yard and home, water was over our feet, and in our haste and in the 60+ mph winds, my cane got in front of my wifes feet, and we both went down. We were all wet, but no major injuries. I do remember though back on the farm, when a twister was near, dad would send us to the old root celler, he would stand in the doorway of the house and watch the storm coming, and in his alcoholic daze would curse the sky shaking his fist daring it to come and get him. It would scare the hell out of us kids, but the storms never hit the farm. Then about four years ago, one did hit the old home place and destroyed what was left of it. There is still part of the old house standing, but the barn garage and steel buildings are all gone.

Butter brickle ice cream is my vote for tops.

howard Mon Feb 21 19:53:47 PST 2000

Heather -- you've got me going now -- poetry again! I just posted one in the workbook, totally unrelated to anything we've been talking about.

Randall/Rhoda -- I've only seen one (baby) tornado, and that was right here in Endicott, NY, near where I work. It was just a little one, but I think it will be quite enough for me, thank you very much!

We've been watching the storms develop down there, and will be praying for y'all!

Come to think of it, we never had this kind of stuff til we got that fool Weather Channel!


Randall Mon Feb 21 19:46:22 PST 2000


My location has had only one bad toronado, and that went north of town in 1976. I saw the cloud earlier in the day, from where we were working, 50 miles away. It was and still is the largest thunderhead I have ever seen. I would surmise that it was a hundred miles long and extended 60,000 feet into the atmosphere. It was a blue/black giant!

The alert siren is only a block away from our house. When that sucker goes off it packs enough wallop to awaken the dead! Now I know how the Iraqui's felt when their air raid sirens went off during the Guly War!

Our kids, at 2 and 3 also know what it means. One night my boy was in the bathtub as a sudden storm developed. I was standing in the hallway looking out the front door when three things happened within seconds. #1 The siren went off. #2 The lights went down as well. #3 Two little wet arms wrapped around my leg. There is NO way he could have covered that distance in as quick a time as he did. I have studied the event carefully over the last several years and come to the conclusion that...somehow he was able to pass THROUGH the walls like Captain Kirk beaming aboard.

Well, I'm off to bed girl. Stay alert, you guys are in the zone tomorrow, more so than us.


Rhoda Mon Feb 21 19:21:48 PST 2000


Don't get into the guilt thing. I know you haven't forgotten me or my story, and even if you have, I'll still be your friend. Get to it when you can. I will have more chapters for you when you are finished.


There is nothing more terrifying than hearing those horrible sirens go off. It happened twice when I lived in Dumas which is 80 miles southwest of here. My husband wasn't home either time. The second time was the worst. It was ten o clock and hailing outside. My babies were in bed asleep and I was just lying down to bed when the sinens went off. The bedrooms were on the 2nd floor of our townhouse. So with heart racing, breath coming in gulps and my stomach in knots I roused the kids and tried to get them downstairs as fast as I could. The wind outside was probably about 60 miles an hour and torential rains were falling. About half way through this process the electricity went out. The children were terrified and so was I. We had a little half bathroom under the stairs and I figured that was the best place. Only trouble was that the children didn't want to be there and I had an awful time keeping them there. Besides that it was so small we really had to cram in there.

I simply wasn't prepared. I had to hunt for the radio and the batteries to put in it. When I got it working and found the local station, I heard was that three gigantic tornados were coming toward Dumas. Did we pray? You bet, at least I did. Fortunately the twisters veered off and we were spared. Still I will never forget that night. We had a tonado watch all through the night and the winds, rain, thunder and lightning were horrendous. We all slept downstairs, at least the kids did. I was too terrified to sleep, read or do anything but listen to country and western music on our local station.

It is so blasted dry here now that I would love a thunder shower, but in this part of the country weather can be quite violent, so I am careful what I pray for.

Rocky road is the best ice cream. Also good is capacino chocolate. I like everything coffee flavored except coffee.

I got to go get my beauty sleep. I have a big day tomorrow. I am taking a skills test in the hope that I can help count the census. Just think, my big break! I can be a government employee, at least for a little while. Watch out, world. The census today, the IRS tomorrow.

Happy writing,


Lynn Mon Feb 21 19:10:31 PST 2000

Everyone -

Good evening!

Laura -

I received your e-mail. Thank you. Expect to hear from me this week.

Allein -

Wish you the best with the Prom. Dressing shopping is fun, but can sure be challenging. I was looking for a dress for my sister's wedding this weekend; she has requested royal blue. Royal Blue is not plentiful.

Americo -

Some of my best memories are of school. In high school, I was lucky to have teachers that wanted us to stretch our minds, not conform. Needless to say, it was marvelously chaotic. If you truly support the idea of teaching youth by trapping them in movie theaters, may I suggest taking it a step further? Strap them into virtual reality helmets and force it into their brains that way.

Nothing can replace a caring human being when it comes to sharing knowledge and, much more importantly, challenging individuals to grow. I will not pretend that I would go back to being sixteen, way too many other things going on at that age. But, school has been a positive experience on my life. I hope to take another class this summmer, FOR FUN.

Have a good evening!


Randall Mon Feb 21 18:58:20 PST 2000

Evening all: Bathrooms and Tornados ... and why not?

It's a beautiful spring night in Texas, though February is on the calendar. The forecast for tomorrow (Texans take note!) is for THUNDERSTORMS...strong thunderstorms. For the unfortunate who live in Tornado Alley that means, it's time to ready the flashlight, batteries for the radio, clean out the closet and most especially...clean the bathroom floor.

Most veterans of summer's horific storms are well acquainted with bathrooms. Dad used to keep checkers in his, a couple packages of crackers, kersone lamp, blankets, pillows and the Bible. Seeking sanctuary in bathrooms are a rite of passage for younger denizens of TA. If religious I might seek safety in a local church...but only if it had an inside bathroom, clean floor and free of tile and glass.

As youngsters, my brother and I found that it was possible to cozy up to the toilet bowl like an old friend. That's where the pre-cleaning comes in. Bathrooms are stable in, but the worst of Tornados, because water lines in the walls holds everything together. Oh, cellars are okay, but rare in Texas where highwater tables and bedrock lay only feet below the surface. Our folks and often times neighbors would crowd in as the night grew blacker and the wind howled like a train. Dad would be by the door, mom next to him, others scattered in the bathtub, in the middle of the floor. Kids got the toilet bowl position. When Dad remodled the bathroom many years ago, I felt like I was losing an old friend as he heaved the bowl away.

I remember Dad cracking the door one night as a violent gust of wind rocked our house. "Shhh, I hear something," he whispered and just then I accidently engaged the flush valve. Broke the half dozen or so folks up into hysterical gales of laughter and releived the tension. From then on I was always placed AWAY from the valve.

So the next time you hear of F5's clearing land remember that many Texans are gathered in bathrooms. Church is just church, but the real protection as tornados dance the night away is in the common old bathroom.


My earliest memories are of the family gathered 'round the toilet bowl...praying.

Americo Mon Feb 21 17:02:07 PST 2000

I'd better invent a story. No. here's a list of the fiction categories, so that you know what you are doing. My suggestions to instant writing appended.

1. Mystery - Eddie disappears. Allein disappears.Who's responsible? A* is the obvious suspect. But the suspect is never the criminal. So? I myself am already intrigued. Do not forget the hook.

2. Suspense/Thriller. At a school there's a legend that one day one pupil will learn to read. The legend is so old that no one believes in it anymore. Till one day an extremely intelligent young woman appears. People in the village fear that the young person will bring to the community the unhappiness of creating the bad precedent of reading. Only A*, the teacher, solves the problem. But the price is high.

3.Contemporary romance. F* falls in love with a cousin. A* gets control of the situation when he saves from tragedy the plane where she was travelling. F* cannot resist A*s charms. She writes an elaborate letter to the cousin and he kills himself. She cries but recognizes a transcendental hand in this sad ending of the relative. But will she accept such an impious person as A* for her husband? (I myself have serious doubts).

4. Historical romance. French Revolution. Robespierre spreads his terror. A* is intent on having the man guillotined. A pretty girl appears. She sings the Marseillaise. A* gives up thinking of politics. He marries the girl and they go to America, where A* dreams of becoming President. The rest is known History. He does not become President.

5. Science fiction/Fantasy. In 2341 A*D (A's Date), two-headed man from a distant planet ... (the usual). A* solves the problem.

6. Horror. As in "My Honeymon with the Monsters". A* lets Cushing solve the problem so that he get the drinks.

7.Mainstream. A* solves the psychological imbroglio.

8. Historical Fiction/Western. No problem.

9.Children/Young Adult. The title is "Back to school". The only problem A* cannot solve.

Mon Feb 21 16:42:04 PST 2000

Teekay Mon Feb 21 16:41:42 PST 2000

School. Oh to be back at school.

Teekay Mon Feb 21 16:40:15 PST 2000

Hi All,

Have any of you seen Ab. Fab.? Absolutely hilarious. If you need a good laugh then go out and hire the videos.

RHODA: I have not forgotten. Bwah ha ha ha ha ( what a relief.) I haven't turned on the home computer yet. I feel like such a shit.


Woodrow Wilson.

Jon, CEO Mon Feb 21 15:58:50 PST 2000

Jon speaking.

How come you people are not discussiong school? I love school. I've never been to school but I'm thinking of taking a course. What do you recommend? Nothing literary please. I hate books.

Shall I need books in the school?

Better think of something more interesting.

Okay, sorry to interrupt. See you sometime.

Jerry Lee Mon Feb 21 15:11:54 PST 2000

Yo all,
Thanks to you all for your compassion. The dreadful thing in all this is the (confirmed) experience of my sister. Not only for the obvious, but for watching my adulation of he who brought such horror into her life. When I bring myself to contemplate the whole scenario, the thing that makes it worse is my open-sleeved love for him and the idea of her thoughts as she witnessed that love. We talk of broken hearts, but the real thing is not a concept and the pain of it is palatable.

Anyway, back to the present.

Cassandra, I will take your advice on color schemes. It is always the fool that overlooks experience.

All, thanks for the positive comments on my little site, I do appreciate it.

Take care,
Jerry Lee

Allein Mon Feb 21 14:56:59 PST 2000

Hi everyone. You don't need to worry, for I am back. I've been away this weekend and got back last night. We went to Westport and Chehalis. They are both tourist traps, but Westport is the place of my character, Chélon's birth. I created him three years ago while camping with my friend and her family. Some of the shops were closed on account of it is winter and some got closed a long time ago.
At Chehalis, we went shopping at the outlet mall. I didn't get anything, but saw a lot of nice clothes - not nice enough to pay the prices they asked for though.
Today, Mom and I went shopping for a prom dress. I saw a lovely one at JCPenny's. I hope it's still there when I decide to get a prom dress. The top is covered in small sequin beads and the bottom flares out and it is a light blue. With a silver tiara, a diamond choker, gloves and silver shoes, I'd be the belle of the ball. :)
I should go and check my e-mail now. Just dropped in to let everyone know I'm okay. *hugs* to all.

Eddie French Mon Feb 21 14:41:26 PST 2000

Allein even!

Eddie French Mon Feb 21 14:40:05 PST 2000

No need for all that, old man.
If you like, I'll say that Jerrys' site is really nice!
Jerry...Your site is ace!!
There....No need to kill me now Americo!
Come to think of it......Where is Allien?

Cassandra Mon Feb 21 14:00:34 PST 2000


The thing that makes the white notebook paper backround work is the hint of blue in the lines playing off of the yellow in the text. Believe me, I've taken countless classes in color (Color Theory was a bore, and we're constantly getting color pounded into our heads in every design class). You could find a better use of that blue though... I think patterning and text is a bad idea though, they'll compete for attention. Something a little more subdued, that plays off of the yellow text though would work. But please, please, don't go for yellow. Try a dark blue, and bump the text to white... if that doesn't work, experiment until your eye finds something more harmonious. Most people have a decent color sense. But if you want to keep the title type yellow, don't turn the backround yellow.

Or you can ignore my advice... all I know is that what I've been taught for 2 years *shrugging* I could be wrong.

'Later people
Have you hugged your muse lately?


Heather Mon Feb 21 12:09:53 PST 2000

Allein, where are you?

Heather Mon Feb 21 12:08:55 PST 2000

I am thinking of a new idea for SM** right now...
and Kat, get your typing fingers ready for the POV story project...
and anyone else who wants to can jump in... or create a new one...

but i must rest and go to work and then come home first, before I can sit down and write it.
Ha ha
I tease you all


heather Mon Feb 21 12:02:10 PST 2000

how did that happen? I had to scare away some Jehovah's Witnesses at my door, I cam back and posted my bit on the NB only to find I already had! Whooooops.
Pardon, I ask!

And what to my thrilled eyes doth appear, but Americo,
writing that his favourite ice-cream flavour is Vanilla!
So is mine. Oh, Vanilla, you are the gentle rich. You are the cream of nature. You are the breath of sweetness and the touch of loveliness.
Sing Vanilla, sing.


Heather Mon Feb 21 11:57:01 PST 2000

Jerry, just read your story...
Can you describe what the texture of the heart would be, the taste of the fresh blood? The sensation of biting into something beating and quivering in your hand? It was superb and then the eating of the heart was too short!
(Ok, we need not dwell on that - goosebumps flying up both arms now... what you wrote will be fine!)


Americo Mon Feb 21 11:54:16 PST 2000

Vanilla is nice. Mainly as smell. It's a smell which we also feel in our papillae. A smell we taste and eat. My favourite ice cream.
Yellow is perfect. This page is cream. Sometimes gets yellow. And red in the eyes. When I don't see around some people I like, the page becomes absolutely firered, or it is the fire of my eyes?
School. Books about school. School and books? Incompatible. School is about memories. About, oh, I hate school.
The short-story of Ericsson is perfect. More details and it would get the rythm of a novella. It allows the reader to create a little. That's a good shortie.
Only defect. It reminds me too much of "A Dinner with Father". But it's all right.

WE want more! we want more! we want more!

Heather Mon Feb 21 11:34:10 PST 2000

Jerry, just read your story...
Can you describe what the texture of the heart would be, the taste of the fresh blood? The sensation of biting into something beating and quivering in your hand? It was superb and then the eating of the heart was too short!
(Ok, we need not dwell on that - goosebumps flying up both arms now... what you wrote will be fine!)


Heather Mon Feb 21 10:49:07 PST 2000

Come to think of it, I don't enjoy orange (firey, pumkin orange) or brown (walnuts, Ford Fairmonts, Imitation panelling) either. But certain shades of both are not so bad, like melon orange, (the inside of a honey-dew), the hue of a Halloween decoration after years of age, the orange that's mixed with red to make a tomato.
And brown, those shades of cinnamon are terrific, the spicey hint and the shimmery value. Chestnut, like a quarter horse. Dark beige, like wet sand at the lake, red-brown like a good cup of coffee with a little cream and chocolate sprinkles. Pine colour. Dark, rich blackish brown like the sheen of a Natives'hair. Or grey-brown, like the bark of an ancient tree.

Hmmm. Just not the colours of my mother's kitchen, dated 1973.


Heather Mon Feb 21 10:39:54 PST 2000

I would have to say yellow reminds me more of school than white does. Yellow walls (that light institutional hue) and yellow desktops (almost the colour of egg yolks, boiled) and yellow chalk brushes. Sometimes even yellow chalk on dark green blackboards (I know, a greenboard). Yellow bricks on the outside of the school too.
And yellow the hallmark of 'classy' decorating in the early 70's, especially when mixed with orange and brown, and the yellow is that imitation gold shade. BLEELCHCHCHCH
I think I'm feeling a little sick - don't like bright or strong yellows to this day. Sunflower yellow. Fire hydrant yellow. Road hyphen yellow. Don't even like the word yellow!
Primary yellow, with a tinge of green, like a golden apple with a few bad spots. The yellow feet of a dead chicken.

No yellow allowed. White is better than yellow. Unless it is white that can never be touched with the ink of words. And then yellow would have to suffice.

But make it calm, pale, butter yellow, please! Vanilla.


Americo Mon Feb 21 10:21:15 PST 2000

I agree with Howard. If instead of the white you choose any other colour (no lines, please) the site will be all right. But white!!! That's the colour of innocence, purity, virginity, all the great evils. And reminds me of school. The white of the chalk, the white of the Physics teacher gown, the white of my soul. Oh, no! Give me at least yellow. Yellow is a step forwards towards civilization and the school of the future.

Americo Mon Feb 21 10:14:56 PST 2000

Today's topic is school and the ideal education.

Those who still remember Allein, will probably agree that school should be abolished. School is where the youth learns all the vices of the contemporary world. (insert the vices here). And the place where he/she forgets what they learn at home ( read this sentence again and you'll understand what I mean -- the style was imitated from the best writers of the Notebook, educated in the best coleges the old educational system).

And why is this? Because children are intrinsically bad and vicious. While at home they can still be disciplined by a good whip (cat o' nine tails recommended), but when they are with the other ruffians there's nothing poor teachers can do.

Solutions and other remedies.

Schools should be transformed into cinemas where young Americans should be forced to watch good European movies (Portuguese movies recommended, take a book and a candle to read during the best scenes). The role of the teachers should be to stay at the doors — with the help of the police — to avoid youngsters running away from the movies. Also to shoot at parents who would not agree with this new method of education.

In my opinion (and Jon's) this is the only way of forming the younger generations for the 21st century democracy. Other opinions can, however, be freely stated here. They will be hardly accepted, but it's always good to try.

PS. P Cushing cannot take part in this discussion, unless he pays the drinks.

howard Mon Feb 21 09:56:59 PST 2000

Jerry Lee -- Your website is fine. Americo may have good taste, but he has no eye for color.

As for your apology for 'venting' -- don't apologise for that. Those things need to be brought into the open sometimes, just to let off the pressure.

Just be sure of the source. I know a man whose family and life were destroyed when his daughter suddenly "remembered" sexual abuse she had suffered as a young child. They went through years of pure hell on earth. The whole family -- immediate and extended -- as well as friends, church, even the person who held their mortgage, was devastated. Then, years later the daughter began "remembering" that these things really did not happen, but were only imagined. Eventually she confessed that she had said what she said out of anger at having been told she could not have something that she fancied. He forgave her, but the damage was irrevocable. Some of those involved have passed on, and parts of the healing will never take take place without them.

I am not saying that this is the case with your family, but I'm writing this as a reminder to all of us. For those who've never been close to a situation like that it may make for good reading, but the closer you get to it in reality, the more it hurts.

Perhaps instead of the white you could choose a subtle mauve...


Cassandra Mon Feb 21 09:31:45 PST 2000

Hi all,

I think any violent tendencies... or lawlessness that still survives inside of me is taken care of by my writing. The darker instincts poured out into maniacs and psychotics. I can break any law in my own worlds, kill any character that displeases me. Such cathartic release leaves me a mild mannered person in every day life.

*shrugging* Can I help it if I'm passionate about my writing? Including the villans?

Well, I have tons of work to do. So, aufweidersehen.


Americo Mon Feb 21 05:55:30 PST 2000

Jerry Lee,

I made my second visit to your website today. Why did you change from that beautiful lemon yellow to this notebook white? I don't like this thing now. It reminds me of school. I hate school. I hate school. I hate school. Please give me the yellow again.

I'm really furious with you. And I think I'll kill Eddie.

Jon Mon Feb 21 05:23:00 PST 2000

Today's hug goes to Jerry Lee. No one can be a great writer without having something interesting to say and the guts to do it.

And by the way, I repeat that your site, Jerry, is a splendid one. I did not see anything "horrendous" there (I like yellow, and Eddie needs to calibrate his lousy monitor).

Americo Mon Feb 21 05:18:16 PST 2000


The youngman knows exactly what he must do on the ceremony of his Ordination* . Following the teaching and example of his reverend father, the new priest will sacrifice a human victim to the gods, so that the crops grow and the women bear children. He will walk to the top of the pyramid and, after prayers, will plunge the golden knife on the neck of the prisioner. Then he will open the victim's chest and, after carefully withdrawing his heart, will eat a large chunk of it. The heart tastes good: it's tougher and sweeter that snake's flesh. Quite naturally, the young man will develop a taste for it, so much so that such a treat, like any excellent food, will become associated in his mind to the sound of the populace's cheers.

Another great tale of master Ericsson, a man who may have discovered his genius when he decided to contribute to "Strawberries and a Moon", like Rachel found the profundity of her vocation when writing to "Shadows in a Dream". Who's afraid of the collaborative projects of "The Writer's Notebook?" Thanks for the splendid present, Jerry Ericsson.

*A better title than "A Pound of Flesh"?

Heather Sun Feb 20 23:46:35 PST 2000

Who we are is who we choose to be.

Heather Sun Feb 20 22:44:42 PST 2000

I don't think 'lack of character' has anything to do with upbringing, necessarily. Upbringing exerts influence on a person's actions only if they allow it. Some people just made a choice at a point in their lives - some chose while they were very young, others in adulthood - to have that lack.
A subconscious choice? Maybe.
Those who choose to keep their 'character' no matter the hardship have been rewarded with the fact that they have a deep and valuable character within them. It is so much a part of them that it would appear to be their very soul. Perhaps that is what the soul is. After all, they say the soul is the root of consciousness in a person.
Now, I'm certain those who choose this 'character' over lack thereof KNOW that, somewhere at their core.
The character-less knew too, but denied it. And who but the character-less themselves are they hurting? No one but.

We can make this into a spiritual conference, but that does not change the ring of truth.

Do you hear it, too?

I think all of you do. That's why you are here.

Think about it.

Sorry for my crypticity.
Americo will understand. Possibly even Jon.
Hi, Litterali; haven't formally introduced myself. I'm


Laura Sun Feb 20 21:31:24 PST 2000

Anyone out there?

Katarina Sun Feb 20 18:13:39 PST 2000

Hey all...a beautiful, velvety snowy Sunday here in the midwest....

Litter: I agree with you. I think you cannot BLAME your upbringing for what you become, I just think it plays a big part in who we are. And I love the fact that your wife choose to end the cycle. I have used that very same term in reference to my father's dysfunctional behaviours. Break the cycle!

And Jerry, I know exactly what you speak of when you talk about making the choice to become a decent human being or becoming one of the "bad guys." I think I always knew I was going to be on the right side of the law, but I experimented quite a bit on the other side. Nothing major, mind you, but I want to know what things were like when I was young. I am, in my soul, an adventurer, and am glad that I did what I did, before settling down to become a wife and mother....

Well, I better tend to the young ones. They need nurturing you know. What would the world be like without mothers? Hmmm, Americo?

Love to all,


Litter Sun Feb 20 09:54:58 PST 2000

Hi All.

Jerry Lee, I really don't know what to say regarding your experiences but I reckon that, deep blue funk or not, you shouldn’t feel the need to apologise. Experiences such as yours are valuable, if uncomfortable, insights into what can and does happen in the real world. It also seems to me that experiences such as yours are more common that would like to accept as more and more people feel able to come forward.

Katarina, I think it is important to realise that upbringing and social conditions during the formative years CAN but does not inevitably HAVE TO effect the way people behave in later life. I worked with convicted criminals for 6 years, before being forced to retire through illness, and many of my ex-clients could not blame their upbringing for their criminal activities. Some were genuinely traumatised, but saveable, others were really only using their upbringing as an excuse for lack of character and wrong life decisions and some actually had very caring parents
Jerry Lee could have continued the cycle of abuse, but chose to break the chain instead. A great many people choose this course. My wife was emotionally abused as a child and made to feel worthless, even in adult life, by her mother. She could be cold and abusive to our kids but instead deliberately and consciously avoids the kind of reactions and behaviour she experienced at her mother’s hand. In actuality she chose to be a nurse, specialising in paediatric nursing so that she could help redress the balance and provide ill and abused children with care and hope. It is all down to choices – whether or not we choose to capitulate and perpetuate abuse or show character and break the cycle by positive action, which is what Jerry Ericsson also chose to do.

It annoys me when those who really need help are tarred with the same brush as those that use excuses for a lack of character.

Howard, I’ll have some of whatever you are drinking/smoking/ingesting :o)

Ciao for now,


Cassandra Sun Feb 20 09:32:14 PST 2000

Hi all,

Just stopping in for a little morning dose of notebook. :) Not matter how deep blue funky this place gets it's still got a place in my heart.

Interesting that you mention logos *guilty smile*. Cause in a few short years, I'll be one of the conditioners, creating symbols that immediately call to mind whatever I was assigned to communicate.

My Photography teacher likes harassing the Graphic Design majors here, telling us that we're "polluting human consciousness with imagery"; to which I always reply, "you're just jealous cause no one sees your images."

Of course I joke, but it's true in a sick way. The work of the designer goes immediately out into the public eye. Other artist rely on show, which may take years to get, and not make much money. It's kind of the same way with writers too, those who cater to the commercial trends of the moment sell work... whether it be complete drivel or the next "great american novel".

Thankfully my school is teaching us to be adept designers, creating not only memorable, but artistically sound and elegant work. No offense to the untrained designers out there, but more often than not their work is artistically weak. Which is a Huge reason I have to redesign my website. It's not artistically beautiful, not yet anyways.

Anyways, to stop my tangent, and not have *A* complain about women's small talk... I'll bow out gracefully, and go get dressed.

:) Later all

Heather Sun Feb 20 08:36:51 PST 2000

Hi Jerry Lee;
I didn't think you went too far. In fact, I welcome your openness on the NB. (Probably because I have said things that were pretty dark blue funk as well, and have been very attentive to what others here share of themselves). Thank you for your honesty.

Jerry - have taken Psychology as well - 101 and 1001. When a psych teacher gives those assignments, it is also the teacher's way of finding out what lurks in the student's minds and hearts; and to what degree they are affected. One can tell by your report that you are an adult child of an alcoholic, or have had close ties to the subject matter. Can you remember what other students' subjects were? Most of them probably chose topics close to home as well.
The depth that you researched your topic and were able to discuss on paper showed the teacher how well you were able to come to terms with it. When a person is in the depths of such turmoil, he/she may not be able to do such a project. They might choose a topic far from where they are emotionally in that case. Do you agree?

Psychology is certainly a fascinating 'thing'. As some might have guessed, my short story "A Taste For Pavlov" was actually written about Pavlov himself, as a young man, going to visit a seer woman. He found that after the fright of visiting her, and what she said, that he could no longer eat pickles! And this, in turn, led to his discovery of the nature of 'classical conditioning'. Now, that is just fiction on my part - I do not know whether Pavlov realized he experienced what he later dubbed conditioning or not, and I have no idea what spurred him to begin his research.

But we have all been conditioned in a myriad of ways. For example:
When you see an "M" with rounded tops, all by itself on a post,(even if it isn't yellow) what comes to mind immediately?
McDonald's! And what do you feel like? Eating a hamburger. Or french fries.

Or when we see even just the hint of a familiar logo - we don't have to see it as it usually is, just an outline and our minds immediately land on what the logo is, and many times we also associate something to go with it. Such as personal experience. If we knew the McDonald's sign, but had never tasted their food, we would still associate the sign as being theirs.

For another instance, if I were to see a certain bottle of triple X sherry, flashes of Moss Military Park in Toronto would come to me. And of someone I detest now, getting drunk and causing more than mischief, nearby to a baseball dugout fence and the benches.
Not that I would want to remember that, and I do not drink such abominable stuff. But if I were to see the bottle, that is what my mind would rest upon for a moment.

So, Notebookers, do not let rejection slips falter your sure footing. Do not let them pile up in your mind, nor heart. Do not let them find vulnerable, tender places within to demolish. Only allow them to remind you that you must keep trying, keep researching those who would like your work. Keep your self-worth intact! There will be a publisher who wants your work. It just might not be now.

And our children. Beware of what ways we condition our children! Most of us have been conditioned in negative ways. Try positive on for a while and see the results. Much happier.

Anyhow, my regards to all of you,
and keep writing. May the muse bless you with kind words for your soul, and many words for your pages.


Jerry Lee Sat Feb 19 21:55:45 PST 2000

Yo all,
My previous post was written in a the midst of a deep blue funk, I guess I just needed to vent. I'm sorry if maybe the vent was a little too big.
Let me assure you all that I am neither an alcholic nor am I planning to take out anyone from a tall tower somewhere. The thing that changed me into a decent member of society was a simple piece of logic; If left unchecked, selfishness will destroy even the best of us.
My writing is typically prone to expound joy, hope and deeper understanding even though sometimes I'm sure I should be writing darker subjects. (They say to write about the things you know best.)
You are all somehow dear to me, and plese forgive me if I went off the deep end a bit. I guess the subject of the discussion just got me going.
Take care,
Jerry Lee

Jerry Ericsson Sat Feb 19 21:54:43 PST 2000

Americo - left you a little gift in SM** Hope you enjoy it. Also I just remembered I forgot to name it, I think
A Pound of Flesh might be appropriate.

As always, I am seeking input from all in the notebook as to what you think of it, ways to improve etc.


Jerry Ericsson Sat Feb 19 19:27:52 PST 2000

I can agree that upbringing CAN effect your life as an adult, however it doesn't have to. Certianly there are effects from bad upbrining, in my own case with alcoholic parents, I can see the effect. In Psyc 101, I had to do a report on a topic of my choice and with that in mind, I chose of course adult children of alcoholics. Did lots of research, and my eyes were opened. The research correctly predicted psychological problems in the children, that I could identify as myself, and my two sisters. However there does come a time in each persons life where they must make a decision, to be a good person, or not. To be a law abiding citizen, or a criminal. I can pinpoint my decision, as I am sure most can. There was a time when I flerted with crime, along with my cousins. I was lucky, on the right day at the right time, I met my wife, and as we were on our first date, my cousins were caught. Another good reason to stick with the good woman.

Katarina Sat Feb 19 19:05:34 PST 2000

Jerry: I have to disagree with you when you say that our present personalities, and those of criminals, etc., have nothing to do with the way we were raised. I believe just the opposite. I have done a lot of reading about serial killers, esp Ted Bundy, and they have researched his childhood and those of other serial killers. I think the way your parents (or caregivers) treat you, and don't treat you, has a very big effect on the way you turn out.

My parents were pretty decent parents. They did the best they could with four kids. My mother stayed home while we were young, then went to college and became a teacher. My father was a pretty unemotional father however, (he did not have the best childhood, but no physical abuse...just a mother that cared more about the next boyfriend, than about him) and never us gave any positive feedback, even to this day. Ergo, I am insecure and seek reassurance at every turn. I don't know why. I am very talented and educated (I can write that, but don't necessarily believe it all the time.)

That is a good topic, you know. How our childhoods affect us as adults....

I am reading "Black and Blue" and it is a pretty good read. I love it when you read something, and sit back and go, "Yeah, that is really true." LIke in B & B, Anna Quindlan writes..."I like country music because it makes you cry. And no one knows that you are not really crying about the music..."

I don't know what to say about Jerry's post. God, it made me feel sad and I want to say something comforting to Jerry, but what could I say to make it all better? Nothing, I think. Just know that there are others out there who have suffered the same abuse and they have survived. Be a surviver and be the better for it.

Love to all,


Cassandra Sat Feb 19 17:14:56 PST 2000

I empathize with you. We all have our family skeletons.

My pain is not comparable to an offense warrenting prision time, or rape, or blackmail, but it still haunts me. My father used to belt us, bear bottomed... with his black leather belt. Given, at the time we might have misbehaved, and deserved punishment of some type, I'm not completely against coporeal punisment. The thing that dogs my mind, following it, a stalker's shadow, is that I found out a few years ago that my father is a sadist. He gets pleasure out of domination, and causing others pain. That knowledge forced me to reassess my past, and ask myself whether he had derived sexual pleasure from discplining me... or whether I had been hit harder, or he enjoyed hitting me more than the boys... because of his sexual preference.

Other than that, my father is a good man. He took us places, carried us in his arms when our short legs tired.... He was a model father aside from that. Eventually the question will be asked, when I'm older, and further removed from the pain... for now the theme has shown in some of my poetry, and prose. Child abuse is a hard thing to forget, and something that needs to have more attention drawn to it.

Anyways, I've got a nasty little headache here, but I'll check back in later.:)

may the tears wash away the pain, may strength and intelligence over-run past mistakes, and may the muse bless us with words adequate to open eyes and hearts.


howard Sat Feb 19 16:09:14 PST 2000

This is a test. It's only a test. Its only function is test. Testing, testing, is this thing on? Whoosh WHoosh. HREEEEEE! Turn the gain down a little, Frank. No, not *little* Frank, *A* little, Frank! Temperamental sound techs anyway! No, I wasn't talking to you, but now I am. Did you recharge the batteries for this wireless mike? No, Mike, I'm not talking to you either -- go back to sleep! No, I didn't say *sheep*! Yes, I know you're from New Zealand, and you miss your wooly friends.
Never mind!

Laura Fri Feb 18 22:41:12 PST 2000

Aaaaaaaaaarg! The SM archive locked up my computer before I had a chance to post part two of "A World Away," the notebook keeps refusing to post my stuff, and I have a six page paper due on tuesday of which I have four paragraphs. Aaaaaarg! I say it again, Aaaaaaaarg!

(ok, now I don't have to kill anyone.)


Laura Fri Feb 18 22:29:34 PST 2000

Aaaarg! I just finished writing the second part of A World Away for SM and my computer hung and trashed the whole thing. Aaaaarg! and I say it again, Aaaaaaarg!

Ok, now I don't have to kill anyone.

Laura Fri Feb 18 22:26:46 PST 2000


I was just finished writing part to of A world Away for SM and my computer froze destroying the work. Aaaaaarg! and I will say it yet again, Aaaaarg!.

Ok, now I feel better, now I don't have to kill anyone.

Jerry Lee Fri Feb 18 20:59:22 PST 2000

Yo all,
With all the talk about childhood effecting our writing, I feel like I have been effected more and more these days by that time of my life. In the past, I always said that no matter how bad a childhood was, there was no reason for abherrent behavior. It seems like all these mass murderers blame a harsh childhood for their actions. "Sissys!"
I look on my own early years and think it couldn't have been worse, how short-sighted. Two years ago when I was 37, my childhood got worse.
"How can that be?", you ask.
It was then that I learned a dreadful truth.
My tender years were miserable, a new stepfather nearly every year, all of them drunks with attitude. One was even sent to prison for what he did to me. (A long story)
The one solid thing in my life was my grandparents. Fine, southern folks with a hand on the Bible and a nice word for all. They were my foundation. When I was living far away, they would be what I based decisions upon. The grown-ups that I was with would not do at all for this.
So, with the love I had going to these folks all my life, I was absolutely devistated to learn that the revered Grandfather of my youth had raped both my mother and my sister. Both ware 4 years old when it happened.
Sound bad? The selfish nature of human-kind gets worse...apperently my mother sent my sister in with eyes wide open as to what would occur for her own ends. You see, my grandfather had something that mother wanted. I don't know what it was, but she got it, and then held it over his head like the sword of Damacles for the rest of his life, getting anything she felt like having from him for not letting out the family secret.
I tell you this for catharsis. I tell you this because we are remote to one another here. We know one another well enough to tell this kind of thing to each other while still retaining the capacity to pass each other on the street with no recognition.
I tell you this because a man is the sum of his experiences.
It is this type of thing that leads our fingers to the keys to write the depth of ourselves in black on white. For others to learn? For others to beware?
I am not as bent as I should be, my personality has been formed by learning how NOT to behave and by intillectualizing the rest. I thank God for my IQ. I thank God for the ability or at least the willingness to pass along those things that I have learned in a harsh youth.

Take care,
Jerry Lee

Laura Fri Feb 18 20:42:29 PST 2000


every time I move this page I have to refresh or it all prints out on top of itself.

I really hate being on the internet at school.

Americo: Just FYI, the Dragons are aliens, they are a race of shapeshifters. They are supposedly where a lot of our ancient myths came from

howard Fri Feb 18 19:47:08 PST 2000

I suppose you've all heard about the dyslexic, insomniac agnostic who lay awake all night wodering if there really is a dog.


Lynn Fri Feb 18 17:25:03 PST 2000

Laura - Great! I'll check it out this weekend.


Cassandra Fri Feb 18 17:14:54 PST 2000

oops, that's fire engine red lipstick...

Cassandra Fri Feb 18 17:12:58 PST 2000

Thank god!

On the topic of religion:
If there is one... ;) just some agnostic humor for you.

On the topic of odd people:

You should meet my grandmother on my mother's side. She collects witch figurines, and commonly is compared to both Glinda the good witch (in the wizard of oz) and Betty Boop. She wears bright blue eye shadow and red engine red lipstick when she goes out... and is fantastically silly. She's also very catholic and has angel ornaments hanging from her chandelier (sp?)

People, in my experience, are the most fansinating thing this world has to offer. As written in Les Miserables "The mind's eye can nowhere find anything more dazzling or more dark than in man; it can fix itself upon nothing which is more awful, more mysterious or more infinite. There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky; there is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul." (speaking of which, I should finish reading... that's the next book I'll locate)

just hanging around here, if anyone's bored I'll be around...



Rachel Fri Feb 18 16:53:54 PST 2000

Americo - Thanks for the hugs (smiles). That was all a long time ago. My son is now 8 years old. He is healthy and fit and full of life (smiles).

Litter - It is so nice to see you back!!! I'm glad I stuck around too (grins).

All - There is so much interesting talk going on here. I wish I had time to post more, but I don't (sad face). Yah, I'm sure you're all cryin the blues over that one (grins and laughter).

Take care all


Rhoda Fri Feb 18 16:44:27 PST 2000


I've been hoping you would come back. You have made my week-end with your post. Welcome back!


No, no! Fabio will never grace the cover of one of my novels. I do not write the bodice-ripper sort of thing. I have been told I do not even write true romance. Consider Valerie's Song a love story. In technical terms it is mainstream historical. I can't abide most romance novels either. They bore me to tears. There has to be something else in a book other than romance to interest me. The romance has to be in context of something over and beyond the characters involved. So please, do not think I write in the same vein as Beatrice Small, Nora Roberts, or any of that crowd. My novels are not racy enough. My characters are not exclusively wrapped up in each other. They are busy doing other things like surviving to the next day and fighting to save civilization as they know and love it.


Cassandra Fri Feb 18 16:43:41 PST 2000

Hi all! Just buzzing around like a bee today from all the adreneline I got from working out, then taking a nice hot shower... turning to to cold and stepping out. Then I ate dinner, so I've got all sorts of chemical reactions happening in my body right now... Feels fan'frickin'tastic.

On the topic of religion:
Angnostic but thouroughly spiritual... I find wonder in the smallest of things this fine planet has to show us. Like the snow falling outside the window, sure it's keeping people from getting places, but it's absolutely gorgeous... the lights shining down on it... colors fading from yellow streetlight ignited flacks to the deep blue sky tinted ones. Every color in between is lit on each snowflake. I love it!

Anyways, I have great respect for those with faith. It's hard for me to keep such things, I have a doubting mind full of ifs. But all my devout friends, of which I have a lot, respect me greatly. (either that, or they give a great show of it :) They know that although I doubt their god and their savior I still live a reasonably good life. I treat others with respect. And as long as they leave me to find my own path, I will count them as my companions.

On the topic of romance novels:
*Bleech* Sorry, just my humble opinion... I've read a few good ones, but the majority seem to me, like some excuse to but Fabio on the cover or swoon over moody inflated creatons named Blade, or Slate. The main femal characters are often weak willed ninnies named Lily, or after some exotic flower.

I actually had a ver good romance-satire novel that would snap some heads back and be quite taboo. People have had such lovely reactions when I've told them of it... so I will keep the idea secret and work on it in my own due time. For when it springs forth finished it will have more poingnancy. <--- On showing people work only after you're done... and continues:

My mother is one of the only people to have read just about everything I've written for my novel. She asks all sorts of interesting questions... makes me think through paying more attention to the details and atmosphere. I might let a few others read some of the rescent revisions(wink Allein..wink Sqrl), as that my mother is in Florida for the winter.

I started writing a poem for her in English class today. I'll finish it in a moment... but on the topic of English class today I netted another A for my review of the teacher's poetry book. Woo Hoo! For once I actually like an English class!

anyways, I ought to do some work.
I'll stop back in later tonight... *hugs* for everyone. I don't sanction my affection like Jon. (no offense good man, you get a hug too)


howard (the captain) Fri Feb 18 16:13:56 PST 2000

Hey Litter! It's great to see you back! No, I never did get to the moon, but I *have* been mooned on occasion... but never strawberried. Unless you count the time when Great Grandma Sherman got caught betwixt the currant bush and the chicken coop fence. No, that was currants, and she jumped right over the bush when the banty rooster buried his spurs in the southern-most part of her anatomy (she was bent over, facing north, and up against the fence when he spotted her). We had chicken and dumplings *that* night fer shure! Almost choked on 'em too, what with all the laughing.

I was gonna mention my great aunt Alice -- actually Great Grandma Sherman's sister. 'Way back in the early part of last century (does *that* sound funny!) Aunt Alice ran a bordello on one side of town, and Dora Warren had one on the other side. One house catered to the mayor and the police chief, and the other did business with the fire chief and half the town council. They would occasionally switch clients, but Aunt Alice also was a seamstress, and worked for all the wives of these men.
They (the wives) would find a dress at Hill's, or McLeans, or Fowler's, then buy it and take it to Aunt Alice. She would take it apart at the seams (literally) and would make a pattern from the pieces. Then she'd sew the dress back up again, and the woman would return it with some excuse to get her money back. Then Aunt Alice would proceed to make an identical dress from the "latest pattern" and the woman would be happy.
The way I heard it, these ladies knew perfectly well what Aunt Alice did at night, but didn't mind, as long as it kept their husbands off their backs (or whatever it kept them off of).
I wrote a vignette (that's a *real* short story, Americo) about it just for practice a few years back, and one of my writing teachers at college wanted me to develop it further, into a series of shorts, or even a novella. I might, someday.
I'll post it in the Short Story worshop for comments.

Aunt Alice died when I was in my late teens. Even at the time of her death her beautiful red hair went clear to the floor then back up to her knees. She used to wrap herself in it and dance nude on tables in one or two of the more exclusive clubs in town. It was always beautiful, and some people wanted it to make wigs after she died.
Another thing about her -- she knew her bible, and had great portions of it committed to memory.
A strange lady, but we loved her for all that.

Heather Fri Feb 18 16:10:44 PST 2000

Hello, Friday night bunch.
Romance novels...can't say I've read many of the 'North American' types. Don't enjoy them; at least not the knarly kind with fantasmo paintings of two entwined lovers on the cover. Any of those I have bothered to open and glance at threw me off immediately in grave disdain.
Rhoda, what I have read of 'Valerie's Song' did not evoke memories of said romance books. But I did not find myself as swept up in it as someone who reads novels of that sort often. Same thing for most scifi (thought not all); I find I can not give most of it my fullest attention. That is just my taste, it is not meant to offend anyone. We all have our own bent.

Well, after spilling many guts earlier, I am a little spent and need a hug. Jon? No claws please.


Americo Fri Feb 18 15:35:12 PST 2000

You ask me what science- fiction is. I regret to inform you that I don't know. Probably something about aliens, or people in the future. I don't know. Could the science-fiction writers please help Laura on this interesting topic?

If your dragons are people, then they are very well in SM**

I saw that you published another story in SM** Well done, Laura. Please continue it and finish it and, in the end, I'm sure it will be read and enjoyed by many Notebookers.

Litter Fri Feb 18 15:01:40 PST 2000

Hi all,

Back to see what is happening after my recent sojourn. Lots going on it seems, some of it pretty heavy and some of it very inspiring.

Rachel – so glad your passing, and that of your firstborn, were only temporary. What an experience to draw strength and direction from…

Laura – just a suggestion but wouldn’t it be better if ‘Prometheus Bond’ was well posted rather than reposted badly… ;o)

Howard/Captain Ears – Did you ever get to the moon???

Y’all, most definitely our life experiences give us colour, background and insight, not all of it comfortable or benign, which we use in our writing. Almost every interview with successful writers I have ever read has advised to build on what you know. Anything else is vicarious at best (as with sci-fi, and I lurve writing sci-fi!) or falsity and dishonesty at worst. (I’m talking here of experience rather than the specifics of a situation.)

As for myself, I come from a family with four siblings, each with a strong right leg and a weak left -- from a family so poor that we could only afford one shoe for all us kids, which we took in turn to wear to hop to school. (Yes, it was a right shoe…) The worst day was when they came to repossess the wallpaper we had bought at the second hand shop. Our house DID have a roof, but the walls also got repossessed :o( OK, my family was poor but maybe not THAT poor.

My muse and I are now going to get mellow on some rather special malt, so I shall leave it at that and see what everyone else has to say. Like they said in the song: ‘Wide-eyed and legless, I’ve gone and done it ag-eyi-enne…’


“If you don’t day anything no-one ever listens.”

Laura Fri Feb 18 13:49:25 PST 2000


Upon re-reading your post, I must ask one question. What is science-fiction to you? What is your definition? The mainstream definition is something that theoretically could have, should have, or will happen given certain circumstances. That is the fiction I write.

"PS, if you want to know about Curtis'culture, (rememberence,) read Prometheus bond. I guess the simple fact of the matter is, I do not see anything wrong with the stories I put in SM but you run it so all I would like to know is, what is science fiction in your view?"

Laura Fri Feb 18 13:40:06 PST 2000

Lynn, Prometheus has been reposted (All of the prologue and Ch 1 in one post.)

Laura Fri Feb 18 13:28:55 PST 2000

My profoundest apologies, unfortunately tones do not transmit well over E-mail or Chat format. There is a clarification here though. You thought my "dragons" were creatures, here is where I must set you straight.

"Dragon" is a family title in my stories. The man to whom it referrs, Alex Trenton, is called "the Dragon." "Ne'Helatu" in his given tounge. The Dragon is not literal, it is a name given to the members of the ruling clan wich is given by the family crest "Dragon" Alex and Maria are people as are the rest of my characters. I do not have any fantastical characters.

Dragons are more suited to fantasy, I admit, but all I did was borrow the name from the Family Crest. Please remember that these are People. They are not beasts.

Again, my sincerest apologies. If I said anything else to annoy you, I'm sorry, I have had a bad week.

Americo Fri Feb 18 12:44:38 PST 2000


Topic religion.

Topic romance/novel,

I think that, before discussing romance/novel, men and women romancers/novelists, it's vital to have a clear notion of what we are speaking about.

The terms romance/novel are interchangeable in some cultures, distinct in others, and a lot of confusion in yet others.

In Portugal or France (probably also in Spain, Italy and other Latin countries), "romance" is the word that translates the English "novel". We do not practice (at least openly) the third rate kind of literature which in England is called "romance", and which is basically a conventional love-story.

"Romances" in France or Portugal are "Ulysses", "War and Peace", "Madame Bovary", "Lady Chatterley's Lover", "The Great Gatsby", "Shadows in a Dream", "For Whom the Bell Tolls" etc., ie., great literature having man/language/love/sin/innocence/all the great problems of Man/ as main theme. It's the only literature serious writers care about.

Any of the books mentioned above should be called "novels" in English-speaking countries (not "romances"). However, the Americans (and I have the impression that Canadians also) seem to be a bit at a loss with the words "romance" and "novel". They mix up the two things, mainly when the theme of love, which is incidentally the theme par excellence of all great literature since immemorial times, is also dealt with in a novel. I think I know why this happens, but, to simplify matters, let me call your attention, and the attention of all Notebookers of now and yore, that the Webster's Dictionary (in all its good editions), is perfectly clear about the difference between "romance" and "novel", and explains succintly but clearly the origin of the word "romance".

Without clarifying those two concepts, it is useless to discuss some of the most interesting subjects that have been arisen in latest posts, not only of yours but also of other illustrious members of this forum.

Jon asked me to tell here that today's hug goes to Howard. I insisted that it should go to Rachel, for one of the most impressive posts ever published on the Notebook — the one about childbirth —, or to Rhoda, for maintaining a high level in our discussions, but Jon is the most stubborn individuality I've ever met, and the CEO of all of us. So, to Howard.

Jack Beslanwitch Fri Feb 18 12:29:19 PST 2000

Well, good bye all. I am off to the Tri Cities area for the weekend and will be largely cut off from the internet. Have fun here and I will look forward to perusing all the many posts when I get back.

howard Fri Feb 18 12:04:43 PST 2000

Rhoda -- You're absolutely right about Grey, Faulkner, etc etc. They were indeed romance writers. Hemingway, Richard Powell, Tolstoy, Hugo, were also excellent romance writers. But does romance always equate with romantic love in literature? I think there's another definition that people miss when they hear the word romance.
In other words, Zane Grey wrote westerns (romances) with very well developed romantic elements in them. Edison Marshall wrote historical novels -- romances again, and he added romantic elements that would boil your coffee!
But I would also classify Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath" as a romance, even though it was not very "romantic." It was more of a 'quest' novel, like "Don Quixote"
Gotta run -- they just told us to go home early because of the weather.

C U Later

Rhoda Fri Feb 18 11:03:55 PST 2000


There are a number of men writing romances under women's names. I remember back when I was a kid in the early seventies my mom and I found this wonderful book in our local library called TREGARON'S DAUGHTER by Madeline Brent. It was fabulous. It was a gothic romance. We read all of her successive books. Somewhere during the late 70's Ms. Brent disappeared, as did the whole gothic novel genre.

I read an article about Ms. Brent in Romantic Time's Magazine a few years ago and learned that she was actually a he. And he was darn good! Actually men have written good romances over the years and have gotten credit for them. There is the Polish man (I couldn't spell that guy's name if my life dependended on it) who wrote QUO VADIS. That is a beautiful love story. There is George MacDonald and Lloyd C. Douglas, whose stories oftentimes had a romantic elements to them. I also remember Frank G. Slaughter whom I thought could write a tolerable love story. Zane Grey did a good job at it too.

I do think it takes a special type of man to do a love story well. Such a man has to have some understanding of women and has to have an appreciation for them as people. I'm surprised how much literature I have read by men, famous men, who don't have a clue.

Actually to my knowledge none of the well-known greats in modern romance are men. I could be wrong, but I cannot think of any. In strict romance writing I think men have an uphill battle.

With all due respect to Americo. I can't see him writing a romance. I could be wrong. Americo, how about it?


howard Fri Feb 18 09:35:05 PST 2000

Heather/Rhoda --
It's funny, but I have an article at home that I saved in my etcetera file (got one of those? every writer should have one). Anyway it was about a Romance Writers conference, and it stated that a good share of the more successful romance writers are actually men, writing under a nom de plume.
There were a couple of very interesting interviews.
So it seems that some of us "real men" can do the romantic thing too.
Shucks, that should be no surprise -- we have Americo, don't we? He appears to be real!



Rhoda Fri Feb 18 08:51:18 PST 2000


To answer your question, my father has never said he would not read what I've written. It is just that when ever I have offered, he has changed the subject. He rarely ever says "no" to me.

Rhoda Fri Feb 18 08:48:39 PST 2000


I couldn't imagine my father reading a romance any more than I could imagine John Wayne reading one. My father isn't as crusty as John Wayne. Actually he is a very generous, caring, and perceptive individual. There just isn't a sentimental bone in his body. Extreme displays of emotion make him very uncomfortable. So he would never read a romance or a love story. He does read mysteries and thrillers and legal suspence drama type of stuff. My dad is definitely a man's man.


Heather Fri Feb 18 07:59:23 PST 2000

Rhoda, my brain sleeps. I suppose what I should do is ask, rather than suggest.
Did your father say he isn't comfortable reading Romances?

Ok, that's where I will leave off.

Heather Fri Feb 18 07:53:25 PST 2000

Rhoda! I forgot to add that I am sorry for your loss, and I had a feeling when I read your post that your mother will know what you have written. Things can be known, even across the boundaries that we, as incarnate, think to be impermeable for the most part. I know this sounds corny and airy fairy, but that's the impression I got.

I don't think my mother reading my novel will aid our understanding of one another, but God Bless her, she certainly surprises me a lot. I can't give her enough credit.

Perhaps your father will surprise you if you have him read your novels. He may not react how you expect. It is good that you have interested parties to read your work.

My husband hasn't read any of my short stories from SM** even though I printed them out for him. He supports me, and is happy for me when I finish a chapter, or especially difficult part/piece of writing. He has said he will read my novel 'when it's finished.' There is some deeper reason behind his apprehension in reading my work, but I must be patient to learn of it. He said too, that he would not share something he had written with anyone before it was finished.
And probably not after, either!
I think he wants to have as little influence on my writing as possible, so that it comes purely from me. I am influenced by him regardless. In ways he may not see until/unless he reads it! But I know what he meant by that part - because suggestions and such that he might make could influence me to change something that otherwise I would leave as is... (A very wordy explanation, and still my poorly made point might not shine through...sigh)
So I have my friend Karla to read it, give critique. And some of you, dear NB writers!
It is a very personal thing, this writing and having other eyes read it, other minds comprehending our thoughts. A scary vocation. Like painting. Letting the world see an inner part of yourself, let loose without protection, security. Does anyone else feel vulnerable like that?

Maybe you all do!

Heather (long winded wine sipper, wishing for a picnic at the moment).

Heather Fri Feb 18 07:34:49 PST 2000

Rhoda - a very wise point. (or two)...
I know my children will understand things I have written, if they choose to read it later on. I can't say whether or not they would like it. THat is their opinion to make, far into the future. They are much too young to read it even soon.

Howard, you read Angels on Street Corners in SM**. Hannah in the story is me. Was me. I never did meet anyone named Leanne. But there certainly were a few extra-kind strangers.
One day, in freezing rain, I was standing outside a subway entrance, getting coated in ice. I couldn't play an instrument in that weather, so I just stood there, asking for change. I had nowhere to live at this time, so had also lost my most recent job. I couldn't afford the permit to play an instrument indoors, in public places.
An older gentleman stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, and turned to glance my way. There were many others rushing past. He had a black umbrella. He stood, fishing through his pockets for a while, and I didn't think he was in any way looking for something to give to me; he had not really looked me in the eyes or acknowledged me, and he stood about 10 feet away. Then, when I thought he was going to keep walking, he turned and came towards me, thrusting the umbrella forward for me to hold. Then he pressed a $50 dollar bill into my hand. Before I could even thank him, he was gone. I went to call after him that he'd forgotten his umbrella, but he had blended in with all the other business men and women, dressed in fall rainjackets, most of them in black or dark colours. Or he had disappeared.
Sometimes I think he could have been an angel; I have read a few stories (supposedly true) about angels appearing to help people on occasion just as if they were a physical person as well.

There, now you know. So, Jack, a question that certainly brought the truth out into the light among NBer's is indeed a great question to ask. Americo will be jumping for joy.
Truth and openness hurrah! I thank everyone on the NB for your candor and grace, and for sharing of yourselves.

If anyone is wondering how I got out there on the streets in the first place, or how I 'escaped', when so many do not, I am willing to answer your questions, although it is a rather long story. I will try to be brief! (de-briefing?)

Allein, my great friend who had the heart trouble had a room full of stuffed animals like your bear from every trip to the hospital,and she named every single one. I dont know how she remembered their names she had so many!
The first one she ever got was during her first open-heart surgery at age 5. (She missed Kindergarten, so that's why we were best friends from grade 1 on...)
The stuffed animal was a great big pink elephant, which she named "Ellie", and was always her favoutite. In grade 8 after I moved away, I made a stuffed parrot for her in home ec. class, and when she was in Toronto again for surgery I went and visited and gave it to her. For the life of me I can't remember what she named the parrot! Wish I could.
Arnold is a cool name for a protective bear, since Arnold himself is perfect playing protective roles! He pulled off Kindergarten Cop to my surprise. And I think he is a lot like that in reality too. But I haven't met him, so that is merely an assumption, from reading a few things about him. One of my friends just loves him and has his face plastered all over her room.

And on we go into another weekend!
Happy Friday, friends and fellow key-pounders.
Take care of your souls, bodies and minds.

Rachel Fri Feb 18 07:31:55 PST 2000

Allein - Thanks you. You are a special person too (smiles).

Rhoda - I'm glad I stuck around too (grins).

Heather - It wasn't terrifying, not at all. It was lovely. It was only frightening up to the moment that I let go and gave in then it was all fine. I wasn't upset, I just felt as I said comforted, unconcerned. The light didn't come all at once it sort of filtered in getting brighter and brighter drawing my attention away from the room. It muffled the sounds. I didn't hear a voice saying "GO BACK" or anything like that, it was more just that I knew I had to go back. The light was brilliantly bright, not glaring, very soft. It almost seemed to have a texture to it, the space around me seemed to have thickness. It isn't an easy thing to describe.

Howard - My life has been special since then. I value it much more. Yet I'm not afraid to loose it. I know that when it is my time I will go. That nobody is letting me leave before my time is due (grins). This experience gave me the strength to reclaim my joy for living. It didn't happen all at once, it was like the light, it just sort of filtered into my life and now I get to live with this every day. There are times when I will let the world get me down and things will dim, but never for long.

The childhood thing - Mine was far from perfect. Some would even say my childhood belongs in a volume written by Stephen King (grins). Still it is what made me who I am and I would not change a thing. If I were to change my past it would alter my present and who I am. I would change nothing.

Take care all


Rhoda Fri Feb 18 06:33:18 PST 2000


Would that my mother were still here to read my work. She was an English teacher and an avid reader. She really knew how to proof-read. She had strange ideas, however. Shortly before she died I took up writing again. She told me she didn't care to read what I had done. Why was that? It hurt my feelings. She also told me that if I didn't include explicit sex scenes, my writing would never sell. I have to think that if she had lived and had seen that I was serious about my writing that she would have come around and read my work. I would give a million dollars to come up with a way my mother could read the books I've written.

My father, a left-brained retired chemistry professor, is welcome to read anything I have written. Only thing is, he doesn't read that type of book and he would feel awkward doing so.

I think the tricky thing is whether or not to let our children read our stuff. I would let my 11 year old daughter read THE RELUCTANT BARBARIAN, but I don't think I would feel right about her reading VALERIE'S SONG. I think she would need to be older because I do go into some gory and unpleasant subject matter. I do hope that whenever she is able to read what I have written that she finds the writing and the subjects consistent with the upbringing I have given her. I know a few people who compromise their beliefs in order to write a book they think they can sell. I hope I am never found in that situation where I have to sheepishly explain that to my child.

Well, I must run.

Happy writing,


howard Fri Feb 18 06:21:25 PST 2000

Hi --
Parts of my life were woven into "Annie" and "Late For Supper," and you've seen another part of it in the vignettes about my dad.
It's been rather mild, I guess, with only the occasional wild animal attack (a monkey, really) and the trauma of being called "Captain Ears!" each morning as I climbed on the school bus. Oh, and there was the time I fell off the school bus too, but it was nearly stopped, and all I got was a classic case of road rash that didn't bother Floyd (the driver) a bit as he chewed me out for standing too close to the door.
"Captain Ears" came from an appearance on the TV Ranch Club in '51 or '52 (I was 10 or 11). Cowboy Bill would interview each kid and ask what they wanted to do when they grew up. There were always the requisite firemen, policemen, mommy, teacher, etc, but when he came to me I said that I wanted to travel in space and go to the moon and to Mars. I was fascinated even then by Science Fiction and the possibilities of space travel. He just looked at me rather strangely, and moved on to the next (hopefully more normal) kid. Well, everyone in school watched that show, and I caught flak from all directions for a long time. Even from some of the teachers.
The monkey? Dad took us to the James E. Strates Shows carnival. In one of the tents they had a spider monkey running around a roped-off ring begging for peanuts. When he got to me (I was 4 years old at the time) he jumped onto my shoulder and bit me right on the bridge of my nose. Bad monkey! DEAD monkey! I don't remember who took the initiative, but he expired shortly thereafter -- caught a terminal case of looking back over his shoulder (if you catch my meaning). I don't know which bothered me most - the blood running into my eyes, or seeing and hearing his demise. I don't think it was my dad that did it, either, but one of the carnies.

Enough for now, more later. Maybe even the account of my great-aunt, who ran a whorehouse in Binghamton about 80 years ago.

Allein Thu Feb 17 23:06:26 PST 2000

Rachel - I'm so glad you survived, you're such a special person in my life. *hugs*

As for my childhood - I've had a pretty good one. Sure, I got spanked by my parents, but I know they love me. I don't agree with spanking as punishment though - except as a last resort. My mom always threatened us with (and sometimes used) the wooden spoon to spank us. My dad always threatened to use his belt but never did - he tried once but missed me - though he had good reason. Being woken up at 6:00 AM while your kids are jumping on the bed isn't exactly a good thing.
I remember the most traumatic thing was getting hit by a car (yeah, I know, that explains a lot - ha, ha). I still have the teddy bear that I got at the hospital. It's white and named Arnold. After Arnold Schwarzenegger I think. I think I named the bear after him because he's always strong and protects people in the movies. This bear still gives me a sense of protection - even now when I'm almost an adult.
I've gotta go - it's past my bedtime.

Heather Thu Feb 17 22:21:24 PST 2000

What I should say in conclusion, is that many things influence my writing. A large lot are past experience, childhood included.
To respond to Cassandra's thoughts about scientific left brained family members surrounding on all fronts, believe me I lived through that. Everyone, with me as the exception to the rule, was difinitively left brained math and science orientated. I was/am strung between both extremes, and still wonder at it. My birth mother is an artist. Makes me wonder, too, what is truly inherited through genes, etc... and what is aquired through environment? (Rhoda, give us a thought on that conundrum!)
(Now, of course, I must check to be certain that left-brain pilots are the scientific types... )

My parents did/do their very best to understand the artist I was and am. It was/is still a challenge for all of us.

Now a question: Will we be glad to have our parents read our books? Or will we shudder and hope they don't discover us to be the black sheep we feel like at family reunions?
I ponder. Simply because I am unsure of whether I want them to read it! I know my mother was interested in reading what I have so far..
speaking of that, I need rest if I want to write more tomorrow! Please forgive my malfunctioning fuzzy logic! (photographer joke)


Heather Thu Feb 17 22:00:36 PST 2000

Jerry, you show us new meaning to the words 'well adjusted' and brave. What your childhood has been like would have blown apart many lesser minds and hearts. You have prevailed. My hat goes off to you. I sing anthems.

My childhood was nothing horrid or frightening, unless you call a wicked thunderstorm that broke windows the height of terrifying. Well, in comparison to most childhood days of mine, it was a pinnacle.
A few minor things come to mind - slamming my finger in my Dad's truck door (I had locked it first) and having to rip it out, along with the fingernail... My parents had already gone inside and I didn't feel like waiting...
I was spanked once for taking caterpillars into the family room and letting them go...
I was taunted and teased by a fair number of classmates all through school for being a weirdo and a brown-noser and a sporto and an art-freak, etc... And someone once claimed I couldn't match colours when I got dressed. My mom liked hand-me-downs, being a frugal lady. And to this day I study colour with great attention and intensity.
I only recently realized it might stem from that one incident! A comment, never forgotten. I remember feeling mortified, and looked at my clothes. I was sure they matched. I even remember what I was wearing to this day, and the colours.

So, there are a few things that hurt from that time period, but nothing like what you have gone through, Jerry. And many others....

As I think I once said, it was my teenage years that began to knife my soul. My very very close friend was killed on the highway right outside my highschool, and in front of my eyes. She and her boyfriend ran across the highway and a Mack truck hit them going 80 to 85 kms an hour. (For those using Imperial measurement, that is somewhere around 60 miles an hour??) I was a lifeguard (as my job) at the time, and a fellow work friend and I had to try to recussitate her and her boyfriend. He lived. She died almost instantly. THe back of her skull had been blown open and it was all over me.
My best childhood friend, that I had known since grade 1 died when she and I were 21. (Allein will remember this was my friend with the heart trouble who weighed only 65 pounds at age 20, and she was 5 feet 7 inches tall)
And the first man to ever propose marriage to me killed himself by eating a bullet a month after I moved away.
That is a short list.

OK - deep breath inwards... that is still nothing in comparison to fighting in a war. I will (hopefully) never know that horror.

Rachel, your description of the near death experiences of you and your son were riveting. What a terrifying and yet beautiful experience. So hard to get a handle on the right words, please don't get offended! I have never had an NDE myself, and don't wish for one, but experiencing it must have been absolutely...
well, are there really many words for it? I am so glad things turned out perfectly well. Also, I want to know more about what the light was like!

Americo and Rhoda - I agree with most of what was said about taboos/sexual revolution.
And my grandparents had a good laugh at my expression when they told me how my father was conceived on an ant hill. Grandma got up from the picnic under the tree (and the hot sex) to find ants running all over her! ("I wondered what the prickly feeling was from, but passed it off as Grandpa and the roots of the tree!") They are now in their 80's. Are they still up to the ol' deed? They smile a lot, if that's a hint. I guess if I asked they would tell, but do I really want to know?

I think it is true that writers feel the call to break taboos often times. Not that it is a requirement, but it certainly has prescedent.
I myself think MOST taboos are for hurdling. How and when are left up to Fate, Nature and Chronos. Some taboo things I steer clear of, since I am allowed to. Like Rhoda said, there are some things too ugly to even think of mentioning.

I want to reply to more, but this is getting longggeeerrr
Sorry, thinking cap has twisted and is falling offfff

Rhoda Thu Feb 17 21:41:56 PST 2000

I just noticed I have put a lot on this Notebook today. I think it is time I go to bed. Forgive me for being so longwinded.


Rhoda Thu Feb 17 21:27:36 PST 2000


I have been attacked by my conscience. I feel in one of my previous posts that I might have sounded a little harsh to you, and I did not wish to do that.

To be fair to you, I think we have different ideas about the meaning of being religious. I will explain why I think the term uncomplimentary. Jesus was hated most by the religious community of his day. It was the religious leaders who tried to trap him and who eventually put him to death. These people had a real problem with him. On the other hand those who followed him would not be considered religious. These people were simple fishermen, tax collectors and ex-prostitutes. I don't think much has changed since then. Sometimes religious people can be the most harsh and hateful people around, and believe me when I say I have met my share of them. As has been mentioned here before the worst horrors of civilization have been committed by religious people, Christian and otherwise. By religion people can justify the most heinous crimes.

This is not to say that religious people are bad. I just don't think a person's degree of religiousity puts them any closer to heaven than anyone else.

I understand how you might think that I consider myself religious. I talk about my faith all the time. But I have a hard time not doing it because my faith is so much about who and what I am. I have never at any time meant to imply that because I am a Christian that I am better than those who are not. I am not better than anyone on this Notebook.

If I found the cure to cancer, I hope that I would be willing to share that secret with the whole world so millions of sick people could be healed. Well, to my way of thinking, I have found something much better and it is very hard sometimes not to talk about it. At the same time I have met Christians that have really offended me by pushing their views down everyone's throat. I find some of these folks to be very arrogant, and they give all enthusiastic Christians a bad name. Perhaps sometimes in my zeal I have come off that way, and apologize if I have.

So, Americo, if you say you are religious, I will in no way dispute that. You are who you want to be, and I respect you for it. Just don't think that I believe that I have cornered the market on virtue and goodness. You and I both know that I haven't. I have shown the weak, emotional, blindsided part of myself way too often on the Notebook and in other areas of my life to ever allow myself to believe that.

I don't ever mean to come off combative toward you. Sometimes I perceive you as provoking and when I am in a mood to be provoked, I come flying to the Notebook with an answer to your provocation.


Jerry Ericsson Thu Feb 17 20:39:32 PST 2000

Jack - as to your topic, does one's childhood effect his writing. Absolutly! My early childhood memories involve a farm with no electricity, no running water, no insulation in the walls. A bedroom upstairs where at night, I could see the stars through cracks in the roof where the shinles had been blown off by some distant storm. Christmas was a time not of joy, but of fear and dissapointment as it began as a gathering of relatives, and ended in an all out brawl between my father and his brothers, all of whom were alcoholics. Of no money for gifts as there was a need for more booze for the celebration. Of countless beatings of my mother, by my father when he was drunk, which was every day and every night. Of long fear filled trips home from town, where mother and father had spent many hours in the bar, and father drove home totaly drunk, sometimes in the ditch, sometimes on the road.
When at last my sisters came of age to attend high-school, we moved to town, and things improved. We had a home with electricity, a TV and at long last, I found friends and an escape from the insanity that was home. Today, I find that I can call on those feelings, and put them down on paper. I can write believable stories filled with fear and escape. You bet, upbringing can have an effect on writing. It is just finding the courage to call up those feelings and allow them to escape on the page that one must find.


Thu Feb 17 20:26:10 PST 2000

Rhoda Thu Feb 17 19:58:57 PST 2000


I will consider your thought that a good writer must not consider any taboos. However, I don't think such a person exists or ever has. I have never met a person or read a writer so above it all that he or she doesn't have taboos.

I think there are always subjects we as writers have trouble discussing. I must be honest and admit I have my list of certain subjects that I will not bring up in my writing. There are certain topics just so ugly, I have no desire to study them or write about them. That is personal preference.

I think you err when you refer to the writer as some super person engaged on a great search for the truth. That would be nice, but the fact is that writers are talented people with their own set of imperfections and blindnesses. They are not necessarily wiser, more open-minded or more honest than anyone else. I would have to say, though, that only Shakespere comes close to that ideal. To my estimation he is the second wisest man in the world next to King Solomon.

Artists have a tendency to see their vocation as something above the ordinary. The artist is important and has a place in leading and guiding others to truth, but oftentimes, he is no more qualified to do so than a pastor, a stateman, a college professor, or a scientist.


Rhoda Thu Feb 17 19:47:08 PST 2000


I accept the notion that you are the most religious person on the Notebook if that is your wish. Please, do not think that I ever claimed to be. I might have strong beliefs, but that doesn't make me religious. In fact, I would rather not be thought of as religious. The term does not have the best connotations to me. Just remember that to be Christian is not necessarily to be religious. There are Buddists, Muslims, Catholics, Hindus, Pagans, and other Christians much more religious than myself.



Americo Thu Feb 17 19:24:52 PST 2000

I'm quite impressed with the quality of recent posts, inclusive those of tonight. There cannot be taboo topics for writers, on the contrary, dealing with taboos is our job and our privilege of free citizens in a free society. I agree with Rhoda that sexual liberation might have taken away some mystery from the relations men-women, but I would not like to go back to the time when sex was a taboo word and making it a sin or something like that.

Once a 90 year old lady described to me what she did when she was a girl. I blushed all the time and she made fun of my ignorance of some "facts of life", as she called the most incredible things my red ears had the privilege to hear. Our grannies were much more active and imaginative than some of them like to give the impression they were. Otherwise they could not have those beautiful girls and boys who were our fathers and mothers. They knew it all, those little "innocent" maidens. Terribly luscious people, our grandparents. God bless them.

And on another occasion a 90 plus year man I met in a bus told me that, with that age, he made love everyday and had two mistresses. And asked me not to tell it to his wife because she was "terribly jealous and possessive, and wanted it all just for herself, the bitch." I did not ask him about his childhood, but knowing children very well I did not want to become even more shocked than I was already.

These two stories are true and I'm being serious. Truth is very different from Tv series about families. It's rather painful (and boring) to see how the powers that be insist on depriving us of reality. And reality is divorce, sex and sin. Most of us are provileged enough to be living in an easy environment. Ignorance of the ugly aspects of life makes us blind and egoist.

I've been thinking about my persuasion recently. Yes, have to be a Catholic.Strict catholic education, so must be a Cstholic. Don't think that's important. What I'm sure of is that I'm probably the most religious person on the Notebook (sorry, Howard and Rhoda, I really have to be the most something in everything...), and I'd like to call your attention to the fact that life is really hotter that some people think (or pretend to think). My favorite literary subjects are innocence, death, and sin.

I forgot sin in a previous post. This conversation will help me know me better as a man and as a writer. God bless you.

PS. Quicly written post, a bit incoherent perhaps, but sincere as always.

Americo Thu Feb 17 17:59:02 PST 2000

Laura, I was not hostile at all in my post of Feb 17, 8:56. On the contrary. I started it with a (smile) and finished it with the best kisses I could get, so that you could see that I am a loving person and a great admirer of yours. Please read it again, and you will see that here is no reason for you to be mad at me.

As for your question. You asked me "to explain myself" about what I meant with my post of 21st December. Well, that was a long time ago. But I went to the archives and read it with the utmost patience and attention.It means the following:

Laura, you published a tale with dragons in SM**. I explained to you, on that occasion, that tales with dragons were not, unfortunately, and to my greatest chagrin, adequate to SM*. That's a collection of mainstream short-stories, about people. Stories about dragons are best in other sections of this site. I don't know the site very well, but I was told that there are Notebookers who love them and know where it is. They will be delighted to read all your stories with dragons, I'm sure.

As for the meaning of SMX****. That likely means SM* Extra, that's to say, a collection of the short-stories that will not fit into SM**. In other words, a collection in which your stories with dragons could fit very well. That collection will be the greatest project this site has ever seen, but I have to think about it first before asking Jack to please launch it.

I hope I have explained myself very, very clear this time. In case I haven't, please do not hesitate asking again. I am a very busy person, and must confess that I sometimes do not find time to read all the posts and cannot therefore answer them. But I love being useful to talented young ladies like you. So, if I happen to, inadvertently, skip any future post of yours, please e-mail me or something, and you'll see that you'll get answers to all kinds of doubts you may have, inclusive about dragons.

Cassandra Thu Feb 17 17:36:33 PST 2000

I think it's helped make me a stronger person, that's for sure. And I think the kind of muddled misunderstanding I had to put up with from two brothers and a father who are all scientific minds... with only my mother to support the instinctual creative urge. I think a lot of my differences with the majority of my household kind of pushed me into escaping through books. I read so much when I was younger and had the time... and then I would write. I wrote poems at the age of 5, stories all throughout gradeschool, I stopped at one point because one of my brothers found one of my poems and I never heard the end of it.

Eventually I let them have their fun, and hid anything I wrote from them, and just about anyone in general. My mother eventually asked me if I still wrote (this was during my parents' divource I think). When I said yes, she asked me if I wanted to go to a summer writer's conference with her in Saratoga for the week. I wasn't really too sure, because I had grown deathly afraid of criticism... so when she said I could just go for the weekend I agreed.

I think that's when I kind of re-discovered my mother as a friend. I mean, before she had lent support and everything, but she also used my close ties to my father to insult him using me as a go between. I think that's when she realized that using me to remind my father of his faults was wrong, and that she was, in effect pushing a relationship with me away. That's when she wrote the poem about me that's on my webpage... although loose and informal, the message is still one of admiration, and I keep that poem nearby usually.

Anyways, to make a long story short, without it, I wouldn't be who I am... I wouldn't write what I write... and I wouldn't know where to draw opon those emotions from. Sheltering taken too far is suffocation.

I'll be hanging around tonight...
Good writing all!


Rhoda Thu Feb 17 13:40:13 PST 2000


I am so glad you didn't pass on and that your baby came into the world all right. Obviously, there is much of life ahead of you and many things left for you to create and experience. I would imagine that after that incident, you have a window into life that the rest of us lack. No doubt that has helped you to be the special person you are and the wonderful writer you are coming to be.


There are taboos in this world, but different ones than the 19th century ones. I agree with you. It is not as interesting to read and write stories in a world where supposedly everything goes. As far myself, I wouldn't return to those old days for anything where normal and natural functions of life were downplayed and where sex was looked upon as something dirty and only necessary for the procreation of life.

On the other hand, the sexual revolution has done its harm by taking the mystery and spirituality out of sex. There was fertile room for conflict and tension when people were taught to fight against their baser instincts. Now our society teaches that if you feel like doing it, do it, and there are many people so jaded that nothing of human experience shocks or outrages anymore. Maybe that is why so many people no longer read.


I would wish every person a happy childhood. Nothing is more tragic than to come from a violent home. I haven't had that experience, but I am surpised how many people have.

Childhood is a strange thing. I remember it fondly at times, especially in light of my supportive and loving family, but the rejection and humiliation I suffered in school stays with me, and I think has helped me be the person I am. Hard times if we see them in the right light and not let them embitter us, make us stronger people. I think in some of us, it fosters creativity. I think that has been the case for you.

Happy Writing!


laura Thu Feb 17 12:55:17 PST 2000


I know you think it is funny to put down us women for "talking about nothing" as you put it, but it means a lot to many of us. It is how we figure out who everyone is and how they think. Also, you discount what we talk about as if it were of no importance and yet you failed to notice that a good deal of what we were talking about had to do with writing of some form or other. It would be appreciated by this woman at least if you would not get on your soap box here. Here, we are all equal. If I chose to come in using a male psudonym would you be as hostile? I think not.

I would also appreciate an answer to my question that I started the Notebook with.


howard Thu Feb 17 12:23:52 PST 2000

Americo --
Dunno about great novels, but if you want taboos there was a scene in "Mandingo" where the birth of a child (to the plantation owner's wife) was eagerly awaited, then when it turned out to "have a touch of the tar brush" the attending physician said "Oh, it just passed away," then went out on the front porch to watch the master empty his shotgun into the slave responsible.
Then there's mythology, where the god Chronos (there he is again) hungrily awaited the birth of his children, and devoured them on the spot to eliminate successors before they knew that they had something to which they could attain.
And in Science Fiction wasn't there a child born in "Dune" that caused quite a stir?
There're a few more, but I must return to my regularly programmed day of labour.

And Rachel -- That's a beautiful account! I keep hearing more and more of that sort of thing. It makes the rest of life (following the incident) rather special, I've been told.


Cassandra Thu Feb 17 12:09:35 PST 2000

I couldn't agree with you more. Everything worthwhile that I've gotten out of life has taken anguish and hardship.

As far as my childhood... the scars are still fresh in my mind. I haven't glossed over the "golden years" quite yet. I guess that brings a certain outlook on trust, and the more idealistic vision of family and friends that takes place in my prose writing. One thing for sure, my childhood helped a whole lot in me being able to write violent fight scenes well. With all the stapler-throwing, head clocked against kitchen counter action that happened in my house, it'd be just wrong for me not to understand the pain, or the simple dynamics of a fight scene.

I think a sadness, a trapped mentality pervades most of my poetry, which leads me to think that also came out of my childhood. I had good times too though, wiffleball, and badminton on the lawn... my older brother buying us 10 cent popcicles after school. It depends on the time of day, and my mood on what part of it I focus on.

So like me, my past was mixed, a balance of good and evil so throughly mixed that I bewilder those daring enough to try understanding. :)

*rubbing my nose against the side of your face* That's hello in Cat, if I'm correct. Thanks for the hugs. :)

Later people, time for Art History

Americo Thu Feb 17 11:51:55 PST 2000

I wonder whether there is any great novel in which the birth of a child is an important element. I'm thinking of a book of Doris Lessing (cannot remember the title) in which a child acquired an extranormal dimension, but that is different. I mean a novel with a great chapter describing the birth of a child. If there is not any, we must write it right away. Only recently has society allowed writers to describe some things. I would like to live in the 19th century to break all taboos. I would have been misunderstood of course. But it would be worthwhile. Living now, there is not very much I can break (sigh).

Rachel Thu Feb 17 11:26:17 PST 2000

Sorry, hit enter some how. Let me finnish up.

I was not worried. I knew he would be fine and he was.

My second child was born very easily. No problems at all. The total even took just under four hours. That's pretty good time for giving birth.

So that is me and my birth story.

Take care all


Rachel Thu Feb 17 11:24:30 PST 2000

Hum, so the childbirth is still a topic.

The birth of my first child was not easy he and I both passed for a short time. We both came back. I thought about writing this when somebody talked about a near death experience, but I didn't. I guess I could now.

The birth was not easy. It stretched over a three day period, but I only count the last 6 hours. That is when everything happened. I guess everything really happened in the last 30 minutes.

That was when it all went downhill. When my baby and I both started to fade. I was exhausted, used up. The hospital was busy, the delivery suites crowded, people on stretchers in the hall way sort of busy.

I got a suite, it was nasty. I remember watching my sons heart stop beating and that was it for me. I sat up and let out this awful cry and then fell back, gave up and let go.

It was like I blinked and in that second all the pain was gone. I was standing beside myself and felt nothing, just a sense of peace. I saw everything happening, saw myself laying so still on the table heard them saying that they were loosing me. My husband was shoved into a corner. People rushed in with carts. The room around me grew very bright, but not a glaring sort of brightness. I felt happy. The voices and noise of the room seemed to be getting more distant. Then I knew I had to go back, knew that my baby would be fine. There was the blink and I was back. I took such a deep breath and startled the people in the room half to death. Somebody said "She's back." I remember just feeling so rejuvinated. I didn't feel any pain at all. I felt like I had enough strenght to give birth to 20 babies. It was amazing. I said "lets do it" I also pointed to the surgeon and told him that there would be no more cutting. A few minutes later I gave birth to my son. He was lifeless, blue and grey. He was rushed from me. It took a few minutes for him to be revived, but

Rhoda Thu Feb 17 11:05:09 PST 2000


I was directed to that site by a friend of mine several weeks ago. It was a lovely story, and yes just like the simple-minded American housewife that I am, I cried as I read it.

That was an impressive picture of the hand sticking out of the abdomen. I stared and stared at it hardly believing what I was seeing.

Cloneing? No way. In nature, only simple life forms reproduce asexually. Sexual reproduction strengthens the species. To clone life would to go against nature and would screw up the balance of life on this planet. Furthermore, I believe that life matters are much more complicated than we think. We in our human arrogance we believe that we have discovered the secret to life through DNA. I think we are still in for a few more surprises (and I say this from the viewpoint of my scientific training).

Childbirth is painful. I remember being so tired during my labors that I just wanted to run away and hide and pick up the process later when I was better rested. I look at each one of my "babies" and I hardly remember the pain. I would do it all over again for each and every one of them if I had to.

I think the pain is part of what makes our children so valuble. So often we take life for granted because it is so common. We see life all around us and we forget that life is not an easy thing to create or to give up. Life is something that has to be cared for, nurtured, suffered for, and sometimes died for. Considering how precious a thing life is, it is no wonder to me that someone is required to bring it into the world with much suffering and pain.

Anything worth having takes effort both to obtain and to substain. That goes for a job, a relationship, our writing, and anything worthwhile. I think the reason that America is such a disposible society full of so many bored and rudderless people is that our prosperity and our technology have made it possible for certain people to have to go through life and not have to make any extraordinary effort to eat, clothe themselves, procreate or whatever else. People are not required to take care of anything, thus, nothing is worth very much. We discard broken T.V.'s and VCR's, computers, cars, etc. More and more many of us are tempted to also discard anything else in life that takes effort and risk such as broken relationships and broken people (the handicapped, the poor, the elderly and unplanned children).

I don't like pain anymore than anyone else. But consider our literature. Who wants to read a story in which there isn't pain, challenge or conflict? The ending of the book means nothing unless we identify with the hardships the characters endured to make it happen. The more poignant the struggle, the more meaningful the book. I think of childbirth that way. And men, you might not endure childbirth, but I am convinced you get yours in several different ways. You fight the wars and still run the world (or at least that is what we women allow you to believe). Furthermore, I think fatherhood is as challenging an occupation if not more than motherhood.

We are all in it together,


howard Thu Feb 17 10:07:22 PST 2000

Jon -- I didn't expect that you'd be very much impressed by the "evangelical blahblah" , and I didn't steer you there for it, but for the picture, and its connexion to the topic at hand. Miracles of modern medical technology -- I wonder where they'll go next? Would a clone be any more or less painful to deliver, I wonder? Whose health insurance would cover such a thing? Are we in the U.S. the only ones privileged to have such blessings? And is it a mere subset of USians that can enjoy them?
And how would you answer any of these questions (and more) if you had just been told that you have about six months to live?

Jon Thu Feb 17 09:06:16 PST 2000

Oops,"absence from" in the post below, please. A* always gets his prepositions wrong. Forgive him.

This is to tell Howard that we (all the family) visited the site he kindly indicated yesterday. The photo is far from being "the best in the century" and the evangelical blahblah is dispensable. But we were moved to tears by the little hand of the baby grabbing the loving hands of the doctor. The translation into Portuguese is a good, but yet precarious, effort. I finished by preferring the English original, using my CatsDictionary of course.

The thread on childbirth was not very good. We must come back to that soon. Rachel said it all: "OUCH!"

The hug of the day goes to Cassandra.

Americo Thu Feb 17 08:56:31 PST 2000

Good Lord!
Heather, Lynn and Laura, you took advantage of my absence on the Notebook last night to give vein to your feminine tendency to talk about nothing. Now we must come back to serius stuff. (A kiss to you all).
What's the topic? Childhood is my main reference as writer. I had a happy childhood. My first thought when I woke up was, "who am I going to play with today?" It still is.
As a child I tended to believe that the adults were not sincere. They were rather hypocritical. And I hated their kisses. I thought that they only kissed me to please my parents. I liked to make fun of them. Sometimes I was cruel to them. I also thought that they were not so intelligent as me. I still think that. But (surprise, surprise) I am not proud or vain at all. I look at me as a drop in a beautiful ocean. I love the ocean much more than the drop, which will perish sometime (in the very far away future), but the ocean will remain, a fabulous miracle. Innocence and death, these are main my subjects.

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Feb 16 23:25:48 PST 2000

p.p.s. Not sure how many unintended mispellings and grammatical ooopses I did in those last two posts. Hmmmmmmm. Is ooopses a real word? Yaaagh. Take care.

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Feb 16 23:05:50 PST 2000

p.s. Also, this is to note that Strawberries and Moon now has a blank slate and there are now two archives for it. I will next be moving on to the Novel, Short Story and Poetry Workbooks. These I will not announce. You can just expect them to be archived and shortened in size.

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Feb 16 22:45:00 PST 2000

    Given the back and forth, I guess it is time to try to restore some focus and maybe inspire some discussion that relates to the Writing Life and the elements that help get our words and ideas from gestation to printed paper or screen. By this I am going to ask some questions that might inspire some discussion is the visitors of the Notebook.

Well, that might give a few possible brought jumping off points for the discussion of the writing life and getting from where we are to where we want to be.

Laura Wed Feb 16 22:25:18 PST 2000

Heather, you still here? I can't stay on long. Is it just me or is this place a ghost town tongiht? Where is everyone?

Laura Wed Feb 16 22:21:17 PST 2000

Hi, I'm back. I had to change computers.

Heather Wed Feb 16 20:17:30 PST 2000

I can chat and post at the same time... besides, I am a faster typer than my buddy - problem is i am having clumsy fingers night, and can't seem to spell! (speeel, whatever)

Laura Wed Feb 16 20:13:48 PST 2000

Well, Bye for now, will be on later. . .

Wed Feb 16 20:13:36 PST 2000


Just kidding. I am really signing off now. Night!


Heather Wed Feb 16 20:13:16 PST 2000

that was supposed to be big vinyl versions of a CD, not 'bit'... Do I need a spa day or what. No, don't reply, I know I do!
Heather, First Aspect of Fate, the Weaver.

Wed Feb 16 20:12:47 PST 2000

Sorry, Americo.

Laura Wed Feb 16 20:11:56 PST 2000

Jack? Heather? Lynn? Amrico? Anyone here?

Heather Wed Feb 16 20:09:56 PST 2000

Hi, you two!
The weather is chilllllllly
About minus 15 degrees C.
All the slush froze into lumpy ice bumps. Not so good for the radials.
It snowed just a tiny bit of that totally dry snow, the flakey, blow it from your hand all over your friend's face light and fluffy snow. Yesterday was really heavy wet snow, and I had to go and buy an ergonomic shovel so I didn't throw my back out!
Man, shovelling snow makes one feel old right around the next morning when you can't get out of bed save for rolling out and asking for a hand!
Need A535 rub...wahhh wahhh

I smell Bengay! (It's an Eagles Concert)

Howard! I have that Bill Cosby routine on LP!
I also have Steve Martin on LP
Yeah, you young ones, bit vinyl versions of a CD.
And it is true, you can melt them down and get alcohol out of them. Learned this in the big bad city, by people watching and listening to them talk in run-down coffee shops. (I have always been a people watcher)
Also where I learned that people really DO drink Aqua Velva.(and even Lysol, folks, and cough syrup...) They stick the Aqua Velva in the snow and when the perfune freezes, the alcohol won't of course, so they stick in a straw and tada - the most disgusting alcohol source on Earth I imagine - second only to vinyl LP's!
Why am I telling you this? sigh. I go off, most days. Catch me, I fell sideways.

now I'm chatting with a friend on icq - so I will say sayonara for the time being...
Maybe this is why I'm scattered on occasion: Things fly at me from many directions,and I have to use both sides of my brain at once.
Maybe I am just bi-polar. Nahhhhh
A writer is all. Weirdo! (hey, quit yelling at me, me)

don't ask, I won't tell anyway


Laura Wed Feb 16 20:07:38 PST 2000

Hey Jack,

About the Java chat, no can do from this computer. All chat rooms are behind a firewall. Anything that requires a Chat program is cancelled. It just gives me an access denied you are behind a firewall message.

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Feb 16 20:05:53 PST 2000

Laura and Lynn: If you have JAVA enabled browsers, you might want to think about using the JAVA chat room. It is located at

Also, just found out that Fran has secured the time off so we can go to Hawaii this Summer. Now all we have to do is get through our scuba diving training. I am definitely looking forward to diving in Hawaii and getting lots of good photographs to go along with the photographs Fran took snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef off of Australia. Now all I have to do is come up with some cheap plane tickets and we are off and away.


Laura Wed Feb 16 20:05:03 PST 2000

Me too, I mean I hope the rain lets up. See you, feel free to E mail me.

Heather, you still here?

Lynn Wed Feb 16 19:59:09 PST 2000

Okay. I just looked at the clock (always a mistake). I should get moving. Got a class to teach tomorrow. (Did I mention that I am an engineering instructor?) Need sleep.

Hope the rain lets up soon.

Laura Wed Feb 16 19:55:32 PST 2000

Speaking of Prometheus, to tell you how old that post is, I'm up to about one hundred pages of Manuscript. (TDS of course.)

Lynn Wed Feb 16 19:55:16 PST 2000


Wandered over to the Seventh Dimension. Found your stories. I'll check 'em out. Don't worry about other questions. I think I can figure it out from here (provided my head is screwed on).


Hi! I was beginning to think that Laura and I were on our own tonight. Glad you dropped in. How's the weather?


Laura Wed Feb 16 19:52:30 PST 2000

Hi Heather. We are discussing our stories in the Novel Archive.

Laura Wed Feb 16 19:51:35 PST 2000

I mean make. I'm typing faster than I'm thinking.

Laura Wed Feb 16 19:49:26 PST 2000

Easy mistake to read.

If it is Prometheus then "In 2150. . ." is the beginning. If it is SotS, I can't help you, I barely remember how I started it myself.

(New post, I started it in the Novel Archive without writng it down first. If you have any more Questions about SotS I would be happy to answer them until someone else comes on or I have to go.)

Heather Wed Feb 16 19:47:14 PST 2000

Hey there, chat happy people!
What is new in the sci-fi worlds?
Ha ha a corny joke, I know...
Lynn, still have to get back to reading the part 1 of your story - read part 2 but thought it was part 1 (yeah, sometimes I skip over title-ings) So I will have to get back there and read... read. read.
I have decided to keep every word from my so-far chapter 3. Teekay, If you're out there, your critique helped a lot! I have pencilled in a number of changes that will take effect later, when I am having a tough go somewhere and need something different to write.
The NB helps with that too - adding inspiration and a change of pace where otherwise would be none.
Kudos to Jack and Americo, who keep us on our toes, and the NB in tip top form. If Jack wasn't so good at being web-master, he would have all the time in the world to archive all of our writings! Take his busy-ness as a great sign!

I must check in the most recent archive for any messages I didn't get to read tonight...

And Jon - quit using my slippers as scratching posts! I am not pleased, especially when I am wearing them!


Lynn Wed Feb 16 19:44:54 PST 2000

Thank you. Just as an FYI, the split was not intended. I could only post so much text, and honestly wasn't thinking about making the split where it made sense in the story.

As for your comments on sentence length, right on. First thing I'll work on in the edit. Planetary description, yeah. I hadn't consciously thought about putting it in. Probably why it isn't there.

Appreciate your feedback. Feel free to e-mail me direct with comments, if it gets lengthy.

My first read on your piece was not performed well. I read through your postings backwards. No idea why. Knew I was reading them in reverse. So, a re-read is required for more detail.

Laura Wed Feb 16 19:38:22 PST 2000

Excuse me, I mean Jim Byrnes played "Uncle Mike" Burroughs from Wiseguy and Joe Dawson from Highlander.

Laura Wed Feb 16 19:35:12 PST 2000

That is funny.

If you want to find my stuff. One of them is called The council(it is the oldest) and the other is A New Understanding. It is my attempt to explain how A character from wiseguy happened to appear on Highlander as a main character. (Jim Byrnes played both Uncle Mike Burroughs, and Joe Dawson from Wiseguy and Highlander (respecively)).

Laura Wed Feb 16 19:32:09 PST 2000

Yes I have read it. I will give you a more precise rundown of things later, but most of what I caught on the first read was little things.

Firstly: Kudos to you on evoking the universe I could actually see the world. It would help though if we had a little more planetary discription. The Political situation is crystal clear but the planet seems hard to remember.

Also, you need to change the beginning of part two. If that is a scene break (Between one and two,) it helps if you start off with the name, "Burke. . . He. . . He. . .Etc."

You also use too many short sentences. If you use medium or long sentences, you can shorten them in times of tension so that the reader is unconsciously tense during those times and then go back.

Kudos again. This is my short critque on first read.

Lynn Wed Feb 16 19:31:54 PST 2000

Babbled about myself enough. Tell me about your FanFic.

Lynn Wed Feb 16 19:31:05 PST 2000

I already bookmarked the site. I'll check it out.

Want a good laugh? When I write take-offs, I have a tendency to take a slightly more minor character and bring them to the front. What's so funny about that?

Nothing, except my latest piece centered around *groan* (embarrassed to admit it) *groan* Ham Tyler. Developed a new character to be a love interest for him, if you will.

I wouldn't say it's bad. I would say, it fits the existing characters, but goes in a different direction.

Lynn Wed Feb 16 19:26:24 PST 2000

That's okay. I'll read the rough. If you decide to re-post be sure to flag us, then I'll check it out.

So, did that comment mean you've read my posting? If so I would welcome any criticisms you have. This is the first time I have ever put my work out like this and I'm hoping for feedback. I have chapter 2 completed as well, but I wanted some response to 1 before I posted 2.

Also, I haven't got the slightest idea for a title, and I am working on Chapters 3 and 4. Hoped to have a working title by now, but nothing.

Laura Wed Feb 16 19:21:13 PST 2000

I loved "V" Sci-Fi channel plays it about once a year. I know what that is. I think there are a few Highlander"V" crossovers at Seventh-dimension.

Lynn Wed Feb 16 19:19:41 PST 2000

Well, I guess I have written a little FanFic without knowing it. I hate to date myself tooooo much, but I have written some stories from "V". If it doesn't ring a bell, the original tv movie and the second tv movie are out on video. Not sure if I recommend them, but there was some social commentary in that screen play. The original drew parallels with Nazi Germany, the third reich, etc.

A couple of the characters really appeal to my muse. If you are familiar with series, I'll tell you which ones.

Anyway, I have several short stories, all incomplete, following that series.

Laura Wed Feb 16 19:18:59 PST 2000

Prometheus bond (the original version) starts on: Fri Nov 19 15:05:58 PST 1999. I warn you, it is very rough and it is also not going to make sense without reading what comes after the part I posted.

Wed Feb 16 19:15:13 PST 2000

Prometheus Bond is my first Novel. But I have been writing about this universe since I was in High School. I don't stick to the genre stricktly speaking. I like action/adventure/sci-fi.

But from one writer to another, you are doing well.

PS Prometheus bond is way back in the Novel Archive some where. It needs to be reposted badly. I have changed it since. But The story is not related to Song of the Stone. The stories are from the same universe and the characters will eventually meet, but not until "SotS" is finished.

Laura Http:// Wed Feb 16 19:11:17 PST 2000

Fan generated FICtion. is where the term comes from. You take a character from a show you like and you use the character as if you were writing a story that might become an episode. You have to follow any rules set out by the show universe. It is a fun way to keep in practice. My favorite fanfic is Highlander: The Series.

I have two very old stories archived at the site I gave you but I really need to re do them. I don't publish much of what I write. I mainly republish.

Lynn Wed Feb 16 19:11:03 PST 2000

Where can I find it in the archive (dates)? I'll look for it, and then ask any questions I have.

On a more personal note, how many sci-fi stories have you written? The one I'm working on is sort of sci-fi, and the first I have ever tried.

Laura Wed Feb 16 19:08:16 PST 2000

Curtis is from my other story Prometheus Bond." It is somewhere in the archive. Well, about eight years after my main character (Curtis) leaves Gen-Tech (local bad guys) he meets up with Thompson/Nacrev. Who is going by the name Marcus Thompson.

What else do you want to know?

Lynn Wed Feb 16 19:06:35 PST 2000

No. Tell me about FanFic?

Lynn Wed Feb 16 19:05:58 PST 2000

Glad you mentioned Curtis. I read the posted "Song of the Stone". Would love to have more background on it. I planned to give you some feedback tonight, but chatting with you has been fun.

Laura Wed Feb 16 19:05:47 PST 2000

Hey Lynn,
You ever hear of Fanfic? Know what it is? Ever try to write any?

Laura Wed Feb 16 19:04:05 PST 2000

You can say that again. The crazy drivers just seem to wait for rainy days to drive.

Lynn Wed Feb 16 19:02:49 PST 2000

Ah, yes. Well, for what it's worth (which I admit, ain't much) I was born in Pennsylvania and spent some "weekends on the Jersey shore" (to quote a Billy Joel song). And what song is that? Allentown, where I was born.

I can almost relate to the weather forecast. You see on the tv that it's snowing in Denver (it is often a lie!). Actually it's snowing in the mountains twenty to thirty minutes away. In Denver, nothing. But, I digress.

We have sunshine most of the year, when it does rain it really brings everybody down. And the drivers get nuts.

Laura Wed Feb 16 18:58:31 PST 2000

As for my musical tastes, I love anything from Christian rock to jazz and blues. But I have to say that my favorite artist is Jim Byrnes. I am having such a hard time finding his music but he plays a blues melody that would make the most macho man cry. He is a really good inspiration for some of my Novel characters. (like Curtis who is usually getting the short end of the shaft.)

Laura Wed Feb 16 18:55:50 PST 2000

Typical tourist sentiment. The sea is twenty minutes away. The funny thing is I think that San Diego county is the only place where you get four different forecasts for the weather. (Coast, inland, mountain, desert.)

Lynn Wed Feb 16 18:51:40 PST 2000

Vactioned in San Diego once. Beautiful. It rained most of trip (five days), but I still loved it. Do you get to ocean much? That's the thing I remember most about California, the ocean. *Sigh!*

That's my favorite sound, ocean surf. I have a cd of just the ocean surf and one with the surf and some classical music too.

Change of topic, what kind of music do you like? I am all over the board. Like classical, love jazz, default to pop, periodically listen to oldies. Only thing I'm not really into is rap.

Laura Wed Feb 16 18:48:07 PST 2000

San Diego California. (Actually El Cajon, a little town within San Diego county. East county. We are very wet here. Two weeks of clouds and four days of rain.)

Lynn Wed Feb 16 18:45:57 PST 2000

Worth a try. That's okay. I am planning to spend some time here tonight, so we can post for a while if you want.

Where are you?

Laura Wed Feb 16 18:44:17 PST 2000

Sorry, No can do. The firewall keeps kicking me out. Blasted school computers.

Wed Feb 16 18:40:01 PST 2000

Let me see if the firewall will let me in.

Lynn Wed Feb 16 18:38:55 PST 2000

It isn't raining here. It's supposed to snow tonight. I am in Colorado, south end of the Denver Metro area.

Lynn Wed Feb 16 18:37:56 PST 2000

Good for you! I have been wishing that I had followed my intuition and studied english. But, then again, I wouldn't be me if I did.

Have you ever used the chat feature? We could try chatting instead of posting?

Laura Wed Feb 16 18:36:11 PST 2000

Where are you? is it raining there too?

Laura Wed Feb 16 18:35:04 PST 2000

My major is English with an emphasis in Creative writing. I have had three roommates and only my first one worked.

Lynn Wed Feb 16 18:31:08 PST 2000

Been there! My first roommate and I were not compatible. She complained that all my friends were loud, that I was loud, and that I was inconsiderate. Needless to say, I was never there either! Hid anywhere I could. Of course, I spent almost all my time doing homework anyway. Yuck!

What is your "official" major? I graduated with an Electrical Engineering degree. Don't ask me why. All I can come up with is "because."

Anyway, I have no words of wisdom on roommates. I moved out of that situation.

Laura Wed Feb 16 18:30:33 PST 2000

What is this no man's land? Should we call ourselves the Amazon Writer's society? (I don't quite fit the build nor am I that brazen, no amazon here, just a cowardly writer.

Wed Feb 16 18:22:47 PST 2000

I live in a dorm with a roommate I almost never see (except when she complains that I am keeping her up at night.) Right now I'm in the library. I have to run cables all the way across my room to access the internet up in my dorm so I take refuge in the library. (I still love my own computer better. She has a 56k.)

Lynn Wed Feb 16 18:20:47 PST 2000

Greetings! Are you in a dorm or an apartment complex? When I was in an apartment complex, I was a lot lonelier. The dorm was, well, different.

Laura Wed Feb 16 18:17:18 PST 2000

Hi I'm here. Just wanted you to know you were not on alone. I was in the Notebook archives.

Laura Wed Feb 16 18:15:56 PST 2000

I was reading through the archives of the Notebook when I came across the post that you wrote on:
Tue Dec 21 10:37:44 PST 1999.

I missed the original post because of Christmas break and would like to know what you meant by it. (Especially the SMX**** remark)I do write Science Fiction and am slightly offended at the remarks you made. Please explain yourself.

Lynn Wed Feb 16 18:15:55 PST 2000


Hi! Just got here. It is boring posting to yourself. If you are still on, say hi, and we can chat. If not, well, I guess I am posting to myself.


Wed Feb 16 17:55:24 PST 2000


I just wanted to remind folks that I have added a search capability for the Archives. This is a rather nice keyword search ability. Do your search and then do a find in page search. Let me know if it works for you.

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Feb 16 17:50:30 PST 2000

Americo: Point well taken. I have to apologize that my cable modem sometimes lets me forget how fat the Notebook actually has grown.

All: I have archived the Notebook and will shortly archive and leave as essentially tabula rasa the Novel, Short Story and Poetry Workshops. If there is anything from the last month I will leave those, but otherwise things will get pared down. I still want to get the details of the new PERL Script worked out so those three can be better served and faster loading as well as providing a nicer interface for critiques. However, I just do not have time at the moment. I am getting ready to head out to RadCon, a local science fiction convention in the Tri Cities area here in Washington State over the weekend and tomorrow I am going to the official send up for Windows 2000. Take care everyone and sorry if I chopped off and archived your treasured words a little too abruptly, but this leaves this as a tabula rasa. Take care.

Oh, p.s., if anyone else from here is going to be making an appearance at RadCon, please drop by the Westercon 56 Bid party that I will be hosting Saturday night, right after my panel that I will be on discussing Virtual Sex. Not sure what to do with that subject, but we probably will have fun with it ;-).

Laura Wed Feb 16 17:50:05 PST 2000

Just wondering if anyone was out there. It was cold and lonely here at the college. Too much cloudy weather and rain makes me gloomy.

I posted something to SM a few minutes ago. It is only partially finished, and written in ist person POV. The speaker is Curtis, the boy from "Watch-tea and Ashcakes" and "Rememberence" (Pardon the spelling it is forty degrees in this library. It is hard to think or type.)

Just hoping someone will post something while i'm still here. It is boring posting to yourself.

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