Archived Messages from February 28, 2000 to March 10, 2000

Heather Fri Mar 10 23:50:15 PST 2000

Glad to see Jon is back! Heaven is here on earth, and if we waste all our time trying to earn it in the afterlife, we've wasted the time we had to enjoy it here. If only everyone realized that and put forth the effort to make it so. THen it surely would be. No doubts.


How about other topics.

Garden: Buy a huge glass globe-like container, with a small opening in the top, and make your own terrarium with tiny tropicals mushrooms and lichens/mosses and things. Or succulent plants, which are a type of cacti, (like the Aloe Vera) but they are less spiney and have a higher water content closer to the surface of the 'leaves'. Make sure the opening is small so that the moisture stays inside longer, and water it carefully, according to the type of plants you have inhabiting it. Have it in a sunny window. Make it like a whole little ecosystem. Now that's a garden!

You could also try an easier one, and plant bulbs in a container. If you put them in the freezer for a few weeks, in a dark container, you can take them out, plant them, water and set in a sunny window and voila! A bulb gathering at any time of year. Throw out the ruined soil. Root rot in the soil (fungi) will not go away but hibernate as spores for eternity, and when the soil is watered again it will return. Throw that soil outdoors, in the woods where fungi is not harmful. Or burn it. Then cleanse the pots and start fresh. Try growing petunias and impatience outdoors, as well as ferns in shade, or hostas. Try seeds too, starting them indoors in starter trays. Be sure you do this especially if you have squirrels. They'll eat all the seeds or dig them up and they will all fail to grow.

Anyhow, enough of my green, giant thumb suffocating the NB!
We were talking literature. Or I have yet to...

I agree, Americo, and Rachel. This is also how I write. I am writing this novel to bring to light a very dark and disturbing topic, and to disperse the oily devastation. The seed idea is sprouting more and more, becoming a unique plant that will illustrate my entire idea, complete with blooms. In studying nature, we learn that all ideas that are divine will come to fruition in this manner. All we need is a good seed. A soul seed. And it will grow.

Back to gardening in a metaphorical spiral. Onward, writers, and out into the world cast thy deepest meanings.


Arik Fri Mar 10 20:59:41 PST 2000

Americo - Well.. The book is a fantasy book, it is hard to tell you the whole point but it is telling about a prince that goes on a war.. then he meent a magician and a warrior and yada yada yada and the next thing they know is that they have to save the world :-). It is much longer then that and don't worrie.. there are girld and LOVE in this story :-).

Eddie French - The most funny part in the whole story is that I do know HTML... I have a site and once I got money for building home-pages... I did the "/center" thing but I guess it didn't work... how ever a BBBIIIGGG hi to you too.. I dont know you too much but you seems to be a cool guy :-)

"" - Hey, whoever you are :-). I suggest you plante the flower "cats finger" or however it is caled as a welcome sign to our friend Jon.

Teekay AGAIN - What do you meen by that? I'v been up to a nice cup of milkshake (with vodka) and a BIG steak and other things... What are YOU up to sending so much notes in so short time? :-).

Arik Fri Mar 10 20:48:26 PST 2000

Hello guys :-). love to see you. Here is a nice song I read today...

I woke early one morning,
The earth lay cool and still
When suddenly a tiny bird
Perched on my window sill,

He sang a song so lovely
So carefree and so gay,
That slowly all my troubles
Began to slip away.

He sang of far off places
Of laughter and of fun,
It seemed his very trilling,
brought up the morning sun.

I stirred beneath the covers
Crept slowly out of bed,
Then gently shut the window
And crushed his fucking head.

I'm not a morning person.I woke early one morning,
The earth lay cool and still
When suddenly a tiny bird
Perched on my window sill,

He sang a song so lovely
So carefree and so gay,
That slowly all my troubles
Began to slip away.

He sang of far off places
Of laughter and of fun,
It seemed his very trilling,
brought up the morning sun.

I stirred beneath the covers
Crept slowly out of bed,
Then gently shut the window
And crushed his fucking head.

I'm not a morning person.

Trudy Fri Mar 10 20:15:54 PST 2000

Hi all,

I have not abandoned the notebook, though it seems like I've been gone forever. Glad to see Jon has returned. You were missed!

I have been busy writing, but mostly of the non-fiction sort. My first article was published last week in an IT careers supplement that was inserted in the National Post and I have three articles due next week...all to do with computers and Information Technology. Not as nice as fiction but pay's better!

I am also a poster to the BBS writers group online and have taken up the challenge they run now and then in their fiction is to pick a place and make readers feel like they are there. I may post it here when done though right now I'm not too happy with it.

Still haven't done anything with the writers' group but have taken all the comments into consideration and will let you all know what happens.

Ok I'm off; just wanted to say hi.

Happy writing.


Teekay again Fri Mar 10 19:45:00 PST 2000

Just love that name Casius and Calliope and I really like the name of the evil woman out of Xena, can't quite remember it, starts with C ummmm CALISTO that's it.
Just sharing.

ARIK: Hello. What have you been up to?

Teekay. Fri Mar 10 19:38:28 PST 2000

Hmmmm Jon is back already. Maybe I should have read all the posts before I posted. WELCOME BACK KOTTE..I MEAN JON.

Teekay Fri Mar 10 19:32:12 PST 2000

JON,Jon all your problems are solved, you have 25 votes right here. 1 from me and 1 from each of my personalities. BWAAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.

RHODA; At last, at last I have sent chapter 10 back.

HEATHER: I sent yours back last weekend I think. Did you get them or did I have them in Queued messages?
Do you still have your cold? Eat heaps of garlic. De Jevu, Have I suggested that before? Probably. I'm always suggesting it to some one.

ASHLING: I know what you mean, there are heaps of cute sayings I would love to incorporate into conversation. Unfortunately I can't think of any of them right now. Shame really.

I'm going to check out the workbook,
to see if it really is worth a look,
I hope there's something innit,
to make it worth the visit,
coz it takes a rooly long time to open up.

Rhoda Fri Mar 10 19:16:42 PST 2000


I have started my third book. I am about 60 pages into it. It is the one about California during the gold rush. My Irish heroine's husband has squatted on my Mexican hero's land. Her husband dies and the Mexican hero tries to get his land back. I have suspended work on it in order to do this rewrite of THE RELUCTANT BARBARIAN. My two first novels were very ambitious projects. When I started on the first one, I really didn't have the writting skills to do it justice. There is a good possibility none of these dark age tomes will sell, but I owe it to myself to give them the best opportunity because the concept behind these books is very good.

I also have outlines for two other books, both Regency England historical romances. In my spare time I am reading and researching these books. I have endeavored not to be so ambitious for these other books. I don't want to write stuff right now that takes me over a year to complete.


I am glad you are still with us. Sounds like you are having a full life. That is as it should be. Your busy, crowded household sounds like a lot of fun. I am also happy to hear of your daughter's miracle. I will be praying that all goes well with her pregnancy.


If you live in a fairly temperate climate you can plant pansies as Rachel suggested. You can also put out onion sets. You can also plant English peas, lettuce, parseley, radishes, and carrots. Now is the time to start your tomatoes and pepper plants in the window. Another good window flower is the daisey.

Gardening, how I miss it. I haven't been able to have a garden for about three years now because I am always moving in the spring. This year I am moving again to Guymon, Oklahoma. The only way I will have a garden this spring is if I am very fortunate in the speed of trading houses. I hope and pray that the new house will have a tilled garden area already.

My father brought me his family bible. It is very old and dates back to the year when my great grandfather married my great grandmother back in 1877. I got the bible because I am informally known as my family's historian. This book tells quite a story about people I have never known who lived over a hundred years ago. They had four children and two died as babies. Their eldest daughter married, had a baby girl and died six years later. My grandfather was the 2nd born and he outlived all of the family. In the bible are pressed flowers and leaves, an unopened package of flower seeds from 1888, funeral notices, a picture of their baby who died at 2 years, my grandfather's baptismal papers, and some letters. I cannot tell you all how deeply moved I was sorting through all of this. Perhaps someday will come a story out of it all.


Glad to have you back. I think if I were you I would give up on Pussy.

Have a great weekend, all,


Rachel Fri Mar 10 17:28:40 PST 2000

Primrose and Pansey will do well enough. Along with winter Heather. There are others. I think Howard is more of a gardener (smiles).

Good luck

Rachel Fri Mar 10 17:11:40 PST 2000

Fellow "posters",
how are you all?
I need a gardening tip .What can I plant Now? I planted a
few bulbs in December but they havent survived because og the fungus in the potting soil. Now I want to start a container garden.
Jerry ,Where are you?
Allein , how did you spend your b'day?
Rhoda, thank you for missing me.
Rachel, Americo,Randall ... what are you doing about the garden ?
bye and take care.

Rachel Fri Mar 10 16:59:24 PST 2000

Americo - Thank you (smiles).
Take care you

Americo Fri Mar 10 15:53:48 PST 2000

you've put it wonderfully: write around a theme and not around a plot. The story (if needed) will spring up, naturally, like a tasty mushroom after rain. Plots are for mystery fiction and other sub-genres. To be avoided like the plague unless you want to amuse yourself. Plotting is too easy for an artist.

Great contemporary writers can even do without themes and write around language. See what James Joyce did with "Finnegan's Wake". And don't tell me that's just poetry. No, if you need a comparison (I don't need it), it's more like music. Or pure Mathematics. Or computer language, if you like that sort of similes. Poetry is not about language, it's about rythm, the special ryhtm of the soul when it breathes (not the rhythm of the heart, that's for babies). A step forward towards divinity in relation to prose, which is much more earthly — and the earthlier, the better. We are speaking about great literature of course, not about pseudo-literary artifacts to be consumed on airplane voyages. But even on his trip to the moon Jon took "The Death Of Virgil" and not "He only died after the Second Shot followed the Third or Vice- Versa".

Where do I situate myself? In the first group: I still need an idea to write around. Or a feeling. Or innocence and sin... But I envy those who can write about nothing and produce masterpieces. Take Claude Simon, for instance. He wrote books with titles like "The Wind" or "History".

poor reasons for not posting here. I've noticed that whenever an interesting topic is discussed you jump from your sofa, a diaper around your neck. You should also give us a hand. As for your 12th century book: have you got two years (at least) to research your project? If not, leave it to more patient people.

BTW: I do not want to discourage anybody, but if I do, that's all right -- they were on the wrong path or even on the wrong job. Literature is almost as difficult as climbing the Everest (more difficult for those who have not the right ropes, I mean the will and the talent).

Rachel Fri Mar 10 15:26:19 PST 2000

Eddie - It's nice to see you back. I am glad to hear that all is well with you family.
Take care you

Eddie French Fri Mar 10 14:30:30 PST 2000

Hello all,
I know that I haven't been too participative? lately but I do have a reasonably good reason (not excuse, note!)
It's a little difficult for me to get time enough to compose anything which may be even slightly interesting just now. You may remember that Nicki and my two grandchildren are on an extended visit just now. All of my computer equipment is set up in the spare room. Just now my computers are sporting the latest look in babygrows and quite a nice line in disposable nappies (daipers, diapers?.)
It is not a large room and it gets quite tiring climbing over cots, cribs, carry-alls' etc, etc.
By the way all of the family are fine. Claire, Daughter number one, is expecting her first child in May. (A special birth because she has had medical problems and was told that she would probably never be able to bear children) I must get a bigger house some time soon.
I do still read all of your posts and I was just a little too late to vote for the return of Jon. (He got back all the same so no harm done)
A big hi to Arik, Nice try Arik. (Next time just remember to close off your formatting.....(/C).
Come to think of it....I'm quite certain I did something similar once, the notebook turned Italic for a time!
My next book.....
I think that I will just concentrate on getting something finished for now, I have so many on the go that starting another will just mean another tapering manuscript in the bottom drawer...Though I have been plagued with these notions of starting something based around the medieval period Say 12th century or so.....Stop it Stop it!!
Must go, baby Cassius needs to go to bed.

Rachel Fri Mar 10 14:00:16 PST 2000

I feel like I should elaborate (smiles). If I were to write a story it would be about a central idea/theme. Like say the deacy of humanity. Virtue and Vice. That sort of stuff. I would move around the idea. The story would come. The characters would be there to support it, but the story would not be the characters. The story would be the idea.

I hope I am being clear. I doubt it. Ah well (grins).

Take care all


Rachel Fri Mar 10 12:44:10 PST 2000

Americo - My next book (grins). Hum, let me see. I have some ideas bouncing around. What I think I will do is sit down and just write, the writing will take its own direction and it will just happen. My writing seems to grow around ideas. It's like you said, more about theme than plot. Yup, that would appear to be how I write. I have a central idea and a story just sort of happens around it. Heck, works for me. I don't want to get bound up with a plot.

When you first came I really reacted to what you said about plot and character VS langauge. Now it seems that is exactly how I write. I just didn't realize it. I still have so much to learn about writing. But, I think I'm on the right track. Sure, you need a theme, I'll go with that, but a theme is not as binding as a set plot.

Then again, I'm sure some people love their plot. Good for them. We all write differently. If we all wrote the same it would be a pretty boring world.

I hope nobody asks me to elaborate on this, because I really can't. I don't have all the formal literary language. I just know what I know and I know how I write. I can try to make the words for what I'm doing, but they don't always come out quite right. I'm left feeling a little "I'm Tarzan you Jayne" ish over here.

Well, that should be about enough from me for one afternoon.

I have some files to organize (smiles).

Take care you


Americo Fri Mar 10 11:23:39 PST 2000

tell us about your book.
tell us about your next book.
I wonce thought of writing a novel with a subject similar to "Aunt Alice". I failed. So you will likely also fail. But do not give up. (I wouldn't if I had had a challenge such as this one).
tell us about the book you intend to write after you finish the one you are writing.
when will you start a proper novel?

Arik Fri Mar 10 11:06:44 PST 2000

JON!!! (and I wont try the HTML thing)... NICE TO SEE YA :-))))). It is really nice to talk to you... Now I have someone to talk to him about vodka. Americana (once you liked that name), This book is the continue of the first one :-). If you remember that one... if not then you can ask me about it or go to my page that sais nothing about it but still :-). good day to everyone.

Rachel Fri Mar 10 08:54:35 PST 2000

Americo - I am fine, thank you (smiles). It is good to see Jon back. I am pleased. Hey, let him know that I have a bunch of smoked salmon and that I am willing to share (grins). Yum, yum, yummy! Yup, Friday is treat day for me (big bright smiles).

Have a great FRIDAY!!!!

Take care you


Americo Fri Mar 10 08:03:15 PST 2000

Good morning, Rachel. How are you? Nice to see you. Jon is back!

Good morning, Arik! I did what you asked and tried your milk and vodka cocktail. Delicious! Could you please tell us what is the book you've finished about?

Heather, good morning! Hope your sinusitis has gone and you feel great.

People, I'm a bit sort of busy writing but I'm with you all the time in my best thoughts and hope to come to this wonderful place as much as I can. Please be patient with Jon and his antics.

Kisses all around and everywhere.

JON! Fri Mar 10 07:55:22 PST 2000

Good morning, dear Notebookers!
I'm back!

Here's what happened. Fed up with all the noise made around me in my school (St. Jon's School) just because I fell onto the moon, I took one of Pussy's pills and went to heaven. In the beginning I liked it, but I soon realized that I'm too young for such a place. That's where we meet our beloved ones, but all my ancestors went to hell, and I didn't find in paradise any reliable creatures. The Old Boss spends His time sleeping, otherwise he would have stopped the rain in Mozambique (please help Mozambique!). The saints are big bores, except St. Francis, who, however, didn't have time for me because he was always preaching to the fish, and St. Anthony, too much worried with the happiness of girls and marriage in general. So I wrote to A* asking him if I could return to Earth. He spoke to you and here I am -- fresh as new, in the most beautiful community of sinners the world has ever seen. The morale of the story is the following — believe in what you like, it's probably false, but I know for sure; I was there.

Tonight is fulfilment night. Everyone must concentrate on their personal projects and try to put those scattered sheets in order. Howard must write the continuation of his fine novel dedicated to aunt Alice, Heather must finish that difficult third chapter, Rhoda must start a third novel, Allein...
oh, did I tell you that it was thanks to Allein that I got the necessary number of votes to get rid of heaven?
But this cannot be told in public, otherwise the incorruptible A* would send me to paradise again.

PS. No more votes, please! And thanks to all.

Rachel Fri Mar 10 07:51:28 PST 2000

Jon - You get my four more votes. Now that is five. I have told my dog about your problems. She will give you three votes. My fish each give you a vote. All except the bottom feeder. He really liked you because when you were here to visit you did not reach your paw towards him. He gives you five full votes! Then again with a name like suckie, what can we expect (grins).

Arik - Jon Fri Mar 10 03:47:38 PST 2000

Jon... I will vote 5 votes for you ( and I'll try not o screw it) but you know what you have to do....

Americo Fri Mar 10 03:27:52 PST 2000

Message from Jon:

Subject: my wish to go back to Earth.
"I told the Old Boss that it's impossible to get 25 votes from the notebook bunch and explained what sort of people there are there. He was horrified but said He cannot do anything. I then talked to Peter. He suggested that each Notebooker could give five votes each. I explained to him that it was not likely that Rhoda would give me more than one vote and that Howard would probably give me no vote at all. Heather and Rachel would give the five votes but A*, the incorruptible, would probably veto such generosity. As for Allein she has no age for voting (only when she reaches 70 years), and Teekay would probably ask what a vote is. Cassandra would paint a person in the act of voting but would not bother to cast her own vote. Arik would certainly screw his vote. All the other notebookers went fishing, hate me or don't care about votes (pick just one). Peter, though also a saint like me, shrugged his shoulders and went on pouring rain over Mozambique. This is why I hate this place. The saints here only do evil to terrestrials. No wonder, they are jealous aliens. I'm completely fed up with paradise. It's unjust, it's evil and it's a bore. Get me out of here before I kill somebody!"

Cushing: any solution to Jon's plight?
PS. I wrote this note yesterday and fell asleep before posting it. I see now that it has only historical interest, as your generosity is obviously greater than what Jon suspected. I'm going to count the votes and tell him the results. I thank you all for your kindness. I promise that, in case Jon is allowed to come to Earth, he'll behave himself. Now that we seem to have this problem solved maybe we could solving another and more important problem: our collection of short stories SM** needs to be ready for publication befor ethe end of the year. We need many more tales.

Arik Fri Mar 10 03:21:35 PST 2000

Hello People (I'll just pass thrue the HTML part this time). It is better then I thought, to come back :-). I love ya guys. It is really nice tio see you all remember me :-). Poor jon, I liked him a LOT.. he has my vote(but only if he will try the milk and vodka thing first) ... :-). I wrote a new book... and a new song that I will post in the workbook :-).

Cassandra Fri Mar 10 00:29:03 PST 2000

Hi all!

Just sitting around trying to keep myself occupied until I have to call my father at 4am... He's picking me up to take me to the airport today :) What a nice dad, right?

Well, I'll be gone for about a week, do try to get along without me. I know it will be hard, but you all just have to stay strong. And I promise I'll be back eventually. I'll just have a nice little tan and be a lot better rested.

:D have fun ya'll


PS Count my vote in for Jon as well. As long as he can land on his feet when he falls out of the sky I think he'll be alright. :)

Sagebrush Thu Mar 9 21:49:08 PST 2000

WooooHa - I got that vote here for Jon boy let him come home allready!

Anony-mouse Thu Mar 9 20:28:19 PST 2000

A (peep!) little vote for Jon (squeak!)
I'm the one that got away. Jon ate my older sister (peep peeeep!) I couldn't thank him more! (twitch twitch)
Promise you won't eat me, Jon of the heavens?
your friend, (scritchety, scratchety)
one of many doormice

Feed your head.

howard Thu Mar 9 19:11:43 PST 2000

ANother vote for Jon from this corner.

But what's his stand on anchovies?


Jerry A.G. Ericsson Thu Mar 9 18:55:03 PST 2000

oops - this is the place I was talking about

Jerry Ericsson Thu Mar 9 18:52:25 PST 2000

Check this site out, just found it, looks like a nice place to visit, although I wouldn't want to live there.


Ariel Thu Mar 9 18:17:24 PST 2000

I will add my vote.

Allein Thu Mar 9 17:52:16 PST 2000

Allein looks around, checks Jon's name on the ballot then drops it in the box. Looks around again then takes ballots out of her purse - all for Jon and stuffs them in the ballot box. Feeling content, she leaves.

Rachel Thu Mar 9 16:42:38 PST 2000

Jon! You have my vote.

Heather Thu Mar 9 16:37:53 PST 2000

Arik! Nice to meet you.
Backflips and handshakes all 'round. How about a flying handspring and double back flip?
Or a giant swan dive off the ten metre board?

No belly flops tonight.

I don't take tests but challenging me to a back flip is alright.

Jon, you get 2 votes here. One from me, and one from my lonely, love-starved cat you ditched, name Babe. She'll plug you into another 6 or more votes in a few weeks, due to all the kittens she'll be having. You had better come back from heaven or all these kittens will have to be adopted. All of Jon's support checks bounced.
Babe also requests that I ask for her to have Jon's paw. She says that stingy old windbag Pussy never gave Jon what he needed. What cat wouldn't return from heaven for Babe? And a platter of caviar served slightly chilled on her stomach. Cheers, she adds, holding a very fine flute of champagne in her paw. SHe's even put a ribbon on her tail.
So Jon knows it's her in the yard from the air.

I haven't gotten to any SM** additions. Sorry, folks, I'm still half in my sick bed. One half has crawled out to type, the other half complains it's cold out from under the duvet. I am thus divided about getting up. BUt soon, when my inflated sinuses have calmed, I will return to the SM** page and fire off something delectable(?).

Once again, nice to greet you, Arik.

Ta ta for the time being

Jerry Ericsson Thu Mar 9 16:19:13 PST 2000


Arik Welcome back.

Americo, A TEST! Nobody told me there would be a TEST! I haven't studied or anything!

Will be working on a new addition for SM**, hope to have it for you soon.


Rhoda Thu Mar 9 15:59:59 PST 2000


I give you my vote.


Americo Thu Mar 9 14:56:04 PST 2000

Message from Jon:

"Americo: I don't like heaven anymore. Now that Arik has come back could I please go back to Earth? The old boss told me that I could go if I got 25 votes from Notebookers. Could you arrange that for me."

Poor Jon, how is he going to get 25 votes in this stingy place? The answer is "Impossible!", but Jon's request is here anyhow.

Heather, have you got any idea about how to solve Jon's plight?

Howard Thu Mar 9 14:26:12 PST 2000

Hi Arik -- Welcome back!

Not much time right now, as I have to go fix supper, but I wanted to give you all a heads up on the latest news involving Stephen King, and the world of publishing.

Check out
for some interesting info re King's latest book (to be published only on the internet)and re the current status of E-books.

chow, (I wrote it like that 'cause I gotta go fix some)

Rhoda Thu Mar 9 13:52:47 PST 2000



I can see you know enough HTML to be dangerous. That's OK, though, because the Notebook needed a facelift.


Americo Thu Mar 9 12:57:56 PST 2000

How are you? I hope you are well. I am very well and everybody here is very very well. We have been missing you terribly all these months and there was a day when Rachel cried because she could not see you around. Meet Heather! She's our disc jockey since Jon went to heaven. Do you believe in heaven? I did not, but now I do. Howard and Rhoda converted me. Now it's my turn to convert them. But to what? Can you give me an idea?

Arik, I see that the first thing you did after you came from the North Pole was to screw the notebook. Now you owe us a drink. Welcome!

Heather, will you please welcome Arik? He is the finest chap on the block. He is the only Notebooker who passed all his tests to be admitted here. This reminds me that you haven't done any of the tests. Well, you must start with a backflip.
So, Heather, backflip now.

Rachel Thu Mar 9 12:33:42 PST 2000

Arik - Hi you! Welcome back:)

Thu Mar 9 12:19:40 PST 2000

Arik Nesis Thu Mar 9 12:13:38 PST 2000

Sorry guys.. I tryed to do something nice and just screw it, hey? I just have no words..... I am really sorry about that!

Arik Thu Mar 9 12:10:17 PST 2000

Hello All

How are ya all? still remember me? Well... I wasn't here for a long time... sorry, just want you to know that I am alive and I am back :-). Can anyone please Tell me whats new (well, actually new is like half a year) here? :-).

p.s. Really nice to come back here :-)
Heather Thu Mar 9 10:22:08 PST 2000

Yup, that's it!
I will check my inbox in a moment.
Just thought I'd add a wee note that my older brother and I are adopted and my little brother isn't, but regardless of the gene pools not being of the same source, we are siblings and nothing can change that!
Family is who we feel most at home with. And probably most antagonized by, at some time, in one form or another.


Rachel Thu Mar 9 08:57:03 PST 2000

Heather - I just sent off my note again. I sent it to Is that your address?

Rachel Thu Mar 9 08:50:21 PST 2000

Heather - I love all my sibs. I have three sisters and two brothers. It is a blended family my baby sister and I share no blood, but she is my sister. I think family is something that happens in the heart, not in the gene pool (grins).

As for my e-mail I'll send it again.

Take care you


Heather Thu Mar 9 00:47:13 PST 2000

Thank you Rhoda, for your kind words on "A Still Heart". It was a very 'uncomfortable' time of life for me when I wrote the first draft, in understatement. Still makes that same impression on me, rewriting it and sifting through the feelings over the 10 years since.

Rachel, haven't received your email. I'll check again tomorrow!

Jon, I felt your claws whisk by me, earlier. A writer writes, I know. And also, they take a few breaks to deal with living, breathing, and laughing through experience to get better at writing, too. But mostly to make a nice hot cup of tea and relax.

I promise to think of something new and fresh and zingy for the SM** round robin.

Little bros, Rachel: like death if you wear skirts and he brings his little snotty friends home to peek up it. Like antonyms to all of your likes, synonyms to all of your bad habits, and verbs when you would rather be elsewhere.
And believe me, I would rather have been suffocating in space than babysitting him, when I was 12 or more. BUt it was a prerequisite to staying alive, with food and a roof and approving looks from the parental units. I remember ALlein and I talking about it once. He bashed my door in with his hockey stick while I was in my room. I was mad. I didn't have a whole lot of privacy for a few days.

And guess what? I'd let a steamroller pop my skull if it was to protect him. I'd do the same for my kids. But it's a little different. He's my little brother. So grown up now, 21. Who is this dastardly one, Chronos, for letting him turn into a man after I moved away? But he's still my little brother.

Americo, I have heard the call of the cat.
Soon, whiskered one. Soon.


Rhoda Wed Mar 8 19:29:25 PST 2000

It is terribly quiet around here. Everyone is busy or asleep, or speechless.

I would benefit being one of the three.


Rhoda Wed Mar 8 14:42:48 PST 2000

Once again I have to give my regards to the poets in this group. I had not looked through the Workbook for awhile. I went to the poetry page because some of you had mentioned that you had posted work there. What I saw blew my socks off.


I love your style. You can say so much with so few words, very powerful. I caught your theme of vanity versus mortality.


I loved "Oscillation." I had to read that poem over about three times before the meaning struck me. I think there is much to say about poetry that doesn't reveal its secrets immediately at first reading.


You bring a lot of emotion to your poetry. Love the imagery in "A Still Heart." It is not a comfortable poem, but it is gripping.

Poetry is the only form of writing that intimidates me. I appreciate those who can express themselves in such a way.


Where have you been? I hope you are still lurking at least. Say something, please. I miss your contributions.

Happy writing,


Rachel Wed Mar 8 09:43:37 PST 2000

Cassandra - Thanks (grins). It's nice to know I can call for back up:)

Hope all goes well with your projects.

Take care you


Cassandra Wed Mar 8 08:49:06 PST 2000

Hi all,

Well, I've got my goals for my Screen Printing class settled away. Hopefully I turn out some good work, stuff that I can take a picture of and put on my website. :) I need more visual fun on that page anyways.

Any fellow slave to their college is welcome here. I just spent 3 hours around some pretty nasty chemicals in the screen printing studio. But at least I got my screen cleaned off and ready for work. Is there anything more beautiful, shining with more potentional than a blank screen, canvas, or piece of paper? If there is I haven't found it yet :)

I have a younger brother too, so I'll help you in the butt whoopin' department there Rachel. >:) mwa ha ha ha
I actually have 2 brothers, neither of them write or create art, so they're basically useless.

Anyways, I've still got a lot of work to do, and I should get to packing.

may the muse decide you ready to receive its most treasured words...


Americo Wed Mar 8 06:06:13 PST 2000

glad you intend to continue your vignette about the aunt. That's a fine beginning of a story. I'd be pleased to see that you are also able to write middles and endings (I'm sure you are). Hollywood is waiting you. I intend to go there myself. Maybe we can have a drink with some girls (I'll not tell Mrs Howard).

Tonight this notebook wants to see Allein, Hema and Laura. Laura, no Science-fiction stories in SM** please. But all other fiction categories are welcome.

See you later, with a bit of luck.

Jon Wed Mar 8 03:42:35 PST 2000

This is to tell the collaborators of "Strawberries and a Moon" that each of them must contribute a new story as soon as possible, if they don't want the project to be withdrawn and me to tell them some truths about lazyness and procrastination. The fact that A* is rather busy and can't see you so often as he wished doesn't mean you should all go on holidays.

© WN, where only saints go to heaven.

Rachel Tue Mar 7 23:31:16 PST 2000

Damn, I hate when that happens. It is so full of Hooooooha. I can't efen tell yah about it (grins). So, long to short. I hit enter (grins)

soooooo, that should end "any wayyyyyyy" ( kay folkd (betta cover yor ears -grins) Cause I'll kick you ass. Yuh, c'mon ourt an criticize my WNFLISH (GRINSANDMERRYLAUGHTER YOU DOG YOU)!

Bet he bails (what a fricken coward)! Yuh, I'm talking you. Take it up on e-amail mist (grins and merry laugher. Oh yah baby I'm so tough - much more laugher)...

Take care you


Rachel Tue Mar 7 23:24:01 PST 2000

Cassandra - If my baby bro has the guts to rear his head I know it will be in your direction. He will see a fellow sufferer. He is in his millionth year of university (sorry babe). He is here even if he is too afraid to say so. He is a writer, even if he is too afraid to say. He is smart and funny and full of shit... Oh pardon me, full of wisdom (grins and laughter) Make me wrong (grins)!

Sorry all - Hope this isn't too shocking. But I know the boy is lurking and I want him to come out an play (big,brigh smile) "C'mone little bro, I won't tie yah up and toss yah int eh lazy suszan round about I won't toss y ah in the cupbaord, just so long as yah come out and say hi. Other wise. Best you be gone into hiding for I come your wa

Rachel Tue Mar 7 23:12:08 PST 2000

Heather - Hi you - Did you get my e-mail? If not let me kow

Take care you


Byron - My baby bro - Are you still lurking?

All - Yes, my baby bro might visit this page.

Take care one and all!


Rachel Tue Mar 7 23:07:37 PST 2000

Heather - Hi you - Did you get my e-mail? If not let me kow

Take care you


Byron - My baby bro - Are you still lurking?

All - Yes, my baby bro might visit this page.

Take care one and all!


Heather Tue Mar 7 19:48:55 PST 2000

Howard! Thank you for reminding me who authored "Flowers For Algernon". And to my wondrous eyes doth appear in the programming evening on television none other than "Charly", the movie based upon this poignant tale. It interfered with hockey, however, so if it is on again I am in control of the VCR. If not, I will rent it... of course, as movies go, they are usually not nearly as terrific as the book.

But I'd like to see it anyway.

Cassandra, much flash and aperture musings your way. Hope you get the six photographs you plan on. I have yet to finish my latest grouping of mossy stone and statues. I have to wait until spring for the final shots. Seems it is nearly there, and suddenly we get a forcast for snow again. And just when my tulips and crocuses and alliums are sprouting their delicate faces to the sun!


Jerry, nice to hear you are at least lurking, if not posting all the time.

Americo is lurking as well, I can feel his eyes!

Jon, was that your furry tail that swiped me in the night?
Or was it your bushel of kittens come early? My cat is still rankled that you left. Send money.

1965. The year my father graduated from McMaster University. I remember, because his coat from graduating year used to be a favourite of mine to wear! I also thought he had the funkiest belts, shirts and things, and used to 'borrow' them all the time as a youngster. And then, onto the giant cupboard that held the jewels my mother wasn't wearing that day... delicious rumpus I did make, trying all of it on and modelling in her mirrors.

And, not quite so amusing these days is my daughter, doing the same thing! I implore her to ask first. But then again, so did my parents. And with a sigh, I nod to the fact that it is not the worst thing in the world for her to find in her genetic code. Passed along, not borrowed.

Well, no other short shorties to follow mine?
:o( where is all the creative juice that boldly coursed throughout our collective tributaries? I should not want to be the only heart beating in the wait.

I peer over meadow grasses and spy her, flitting amongst the nettle leaves. Shall I net her, or shall I draft poems as I watch her tiny, winged presence? I consider the latter, and yet find my grip upon the handled net is tighter.
I swoop upon her figure in a noiseless arc. Aha! I have caught her mid-flight! But wait. She bites the rope and flies to freedom.
So close. She leaves poison dew upon my plans. But I still have the poetry to give me my demand.


Randall Tue Mar 7 19:10:30 PST 2000

Evening all:

Sorry for my tardiness. I am emeshed in 1965, cause our class reunion is coming up this October. Two fellow classmates are ramroding the show and in hi tech fashion have set up a web site for the 1965 class reunion. Whatta gas!!!!!!!! Classmates from all over the country have been signing the guestbook! Telling of their lives since we graduated.

In fact I have exchanged e-mails with a couple of friends I haven't seen in 35 years!!!!!! It's like a dam has opened up and we are busily swapping tales of our life since then. Whew! The things I have forgotten! Sadly many classmates are dead, two that I wanted most of all to speak with are gone. I would have liked to talked with them again, one more time before we all step into eternity. Not to be however.

Had a horrific thunderstorm in central Texas an hour or so ago. The worst lightning I have seen in years. Thunder claps that would have awaken the dead!!! The old timers say that this indicates a period of drought is over or about to begin. Any moisture is helpful as we are way behind in yearly rainfall.

I'm again searching for an outlet for my work. The contract with my agent sale. No letter explaining why, no phone call, no e-mail, no thank you very much, no words of encouragment. Silence. Well, I'll tell them one thing, if it ever does sell they will be well informed of it's progress! Sour grapes :-) I suppose.

Gonna go, take care all and remember, "A writer, writes!"


Jerry Ericsson Tue Mar 7 17:34:54 PST 2000

Alas! Fair Maiden, you are not alone, Tis I the Lurker, I who reads posts at will, yet only speaks when spoken to. Anyhow, I was just stopping by, couldn't let anyone think the notebook was quiet. Been spending the last couple of days building a computer for my daughter who will graduate college this year. She too is studying the graphic arts and is quite talented with a paint brush also. I have prepared her a machine which will run the required programs, such as photoshop, pagemaker, fireworks and so forth. Her old 233 MHZ machine was just too slow, and her 2 gig hard drive was filled to the top. Her new one, which as I said I was working on, and in fact finished tonight has a 400 MHZ pentium II procosser, a 12 gig hard drive and 128 meg of ram. Put it all together from parts on the auctions on the web. Lots of fun, and got it up and running for under 500 bucks. Put it togather yesterday and installed the software most of today. Then of course, had to put on some games and such just in case she gets bored the last few months of college. You know how that goes, gotta have something to relieve the tension.


Cassandra Tue Mar 7 16:01:30 PST 2000

Is there no one around? Has the notebook been silenced? *gasp* Perish the thought.

Well, I thought of an interesting idea for a photo project later in the year. My Graphic Design class just had a short brush with the 'de Stijl' movement, which specialized in asymmetrical compositions, simplicity in two dimensional design, and it's growing awareness of modern industrial and technological ideas. I'm thinking of appling the compositional and two dimensional aspects of de Stijl thinking to my photography... doing a series of six prints based solely on finding de Stijl in nature...

but if a thought is voiced in the notebook and no one is around to read it...
*crickets chirping*


Cassandra Tue Mar 7 11:49:42 PST 2000

Hi all,

I've got rythmn, i've got music, i've got my guy. Who could ask for anything more... seriously, I meant to start off saying that I just have a few minutes between classes and that I'm trying to set up still lifes in my room so that I can finish this roll of film. It's funny how showtunes just take over your mind sometimes...

Anyone got any weird ideas? Cause I could use quite a few of them at the moment.

It looks like I won't have much work to do over break... so I'll have a full week to lounge, relax, and of course write. With my mother around, it's pretty easy to be left alone with my muse. She writes occasionally herself, so she understands the artistic urge.

Anyways, back to pictures...


howard Tue Mar 7 07:46:18 PST 2000

Heather -- I read that story long ago, and it's one that stays with you. It's by Daniel Keyes.


Heather Tue Mar 7 07:09:22 PST 2000

Did you mention that wonderful pink flesh of Salmon, Jack?
Did you have to? Now I am hankering for a hunk of it.
I was 8 the first time I saw the banks of the Hunter River, far up north in Ontario, where it is cold long into June. I stepped lightly across a jumble of white rock and watched my father and older brother setting up their gear. No hip -waders this time, it wasn't smelt we were after.
He untangled two nets, and set flies on his fishing line, and on my brother's line. It was only later I realized we didn't need fishing poles at all.
I looked into the depth of the river, rushing past me. Under the white froth of the rapids, was a blackness. But it was not shadow, nor rocks. All across the river the blackness moved and took on new shapes. I stepped over a few carcasses of salmon, long dead and gored by birds on the bank. I got close enough to look straight down into the swoosh of water. It was then I suddenly realized that the black shapes were clods of fish. Salmon, so thick and deep that I could walk across the river to my dad and brother on their backs!
My Dad showed me which ones were the males, of which we could take as many as we wished. He told me that the females had to be left, so that there would be lots of salmon next year. I was close enough across the river to hear him, and he netted a female to show me. He tossed her back gently and she was immediately swallowed into the black mass again.
That night we ate salmon straight out of the pan. And in a few weeks, our salmon that we smoked in the shed would be ready. A better feast I could not imagine.

Happy Birthday again, Allein! Glad you can join us for longer if your hours aren't logged.

I must be off to the drug store. It is with disdain that I must blow my nose with more frequency than I sip my tea. Also, I am in the middle of 'The Chrysalids' by John Wyndham. I am studying it for the purposes of improving my writing, of course. (That includes being allowed to enjoy it, since I am not in school!) An excellent book that some of my friends in highschool got to read, but since I had a different English teacher, we read different books. Like 'Flowers For Algernon'. That was a great book too. ANyone else read that one? I should find it and give you the name of the author. Can't think of his name at the moment.

Bandaids for all your bumps and scrapes, and ice for sore writing hands.


Jack Beslanwitch Tue Mar 7 02:06:04 PST 2000

    Cassandra: Yes, it did not happen every time, but the cook did at least twice among the times that Fran and I went to Benihana's. BTW, if you want flames to the ceiling in a Seattle/Puget Sound restaurant (I know, this is a bit off the topic of writing)I strongly recommend 13 Coins in SeaTac. It is 24 hours and has some of the most extraordinary food you can imagine if you like French style cooking. I especially recommend sitting at the counter in these huge plush padded seats with arm rests and watch the cooks perform complete with flames licking to the ceiling as they wave their flaming pans around and lower them completely to the ground lest they start the ceiling on fire.

    Oh, and the other recommendation I will make is Maximillien Bistro in Pike Place Market where you can get the best French Onion Soup I have ever tasted and that includes my very own, which is a complement in and of itself. Speaking of Pike Place Market, timing permitting, when I have my May Social I am thinking of seeing what the prices are at the market. If the pricing is not too great and I can get Copper River Salmon I may make a stab at baking a whole salmon. If you have never tasted this delicacy from Alaska which lasts no more than four to six weeks out of the year, you really do deserve to treat yourself. It is possibly the best sea food I have ever tasted and that goes a long way. Also, check out my Kitchen Sink Rice Pilaff It is without a doubt the best recipe I have ever created and quite colorful as well. Next time I plan to take a moment before everyone dives into it to take a picture and include that with the recipe.

take care

Allein Mon Mar 6 23:22:40 PST 2000

Cassandra - I did force my parents to go there. The first thing we saw when we entered was a fish tank. I told my mom to choose the one she wanted to eat. The food was good but not the best I've ever had. Plus, they only had chopsticks (no forks or knives). My brother and I know how to use chopsticks but my parents don't. Though, last night, my brother was having trouble and decided to use one chopstick and stab his food. I had teriyaki chicken and Makeral (sp?). It was delicious - esp. the fish, but it was a bit salty. Mom let me try some of her Tempura, which I thought was delicious, but she didn't think so.
YAY!!! SPRING BREAK!!! I can't wait till we can chat again - best of all, my parents aren't tracking my time anymore (Mwah, hah, hah, hah!!).
Bye bye,

howard Mon Mar 6 19:33:28 PST 2000

Rosemary -- Welcome! No need to lurk, come on in and get even chattier! No need to worry about Jon, either, I think. I'll wager that he's just lurking himself, sneaking around like all cats do, just waiting for the right time to jump out and scare the bejabers out of all of us.
By the way -- rosemary is my favorite herb. I use it in a very nice white clam sauce recipe, among others.

I'm wondering where Americo has gotten to. I wanted to tell him that I've decided to have a go at a much larger work, based on that "Tenement" vignette that he liked in the workbook. I expect to make out very well in the movie deal.
My wife and I are travelling to the Philadelphia Flower Show this Friday, with someone who knew Aunt Alice very well, and I think we'll have lots of time to talk and take notes. I've already discovered that the old Italian man she had living with her was a professional musician, who had (I have access to them now) a stack of valuable old music manuscripts, including one hand-written violin concerto. I haven't seen that one yet, but I've been promised it's "in the box."

Things like that are sometimes fertile seed, capable of sprouting and growing into strange and exotic fruits.


How will you know when you have seen
a treasure trove from which to glean
a seed, a tiny germ of light and thunder.

A glint of brightness yet to come
so bright you'll stand there stricken dumb
but for your pen, with which to write, to ponder.

How will you rest 'til you have writ
and told the world the pow'r of it
its love and grace and strength - and made them hunger.

If you but keep your sense of awe
and grasp, not drop, the thing you saw
the world will see you stand there, holding wonder.

hjt -- just now

Cassandra Mon Mar 6 19:13:45 PST 2000

Hi all...

I really don't have anything to say, I'm just bored out of my mind doing graphic design work. All these persistant sketches with different colors... yadda yadda yadda...

*yawn* I've got about 2 more hours of this at least before I crawl into bed. I am looking forward to Spring Break so much... but I've got til the end of the week to go. :( Every day seems so long when you have something to look forward to.

*sigh* well, back to boredom.


Heather Mon Mar 6 19:12:36 PST 2000

Good evening everyone.

It is my pleasure to introduce that tonight is short shortie night.

Here is my contribution:

With arms flung wide, he stared up into the shining disk that so brillinatly illuminated the surroundings, burning the tender skin of his face and shoulders. He had wandered throughout the dunes all afternoon without a thought of the suns' hot touch. Yet under its' wide curtain he had found his purpose. A purpose that would course within his blood as well as his plasma did; and carry its' thumping into his heart at every beat. He could love the ball of fire now, pinned in all glory in the blue wash of sky. At last he had understood.

That was 'Ode to Akunatin'.

All are welcome to add your own short shortie stories... even if it is Tuesday!

I have another book to read while setting this cold bug on the run.

Gracious gobs of musings to all


Rosemary Mon Mar 6 16:23:19 PST 2000

Hi again, I'm getting chatty for a lurker.

I don't write romance. I have a young adult science fiction novel and assorted mystery short stories, so far. They often contain a touch of romance, but nothing like the strict rules and heavy breathing of the 'Romance' world. SO, I probably wouldn't go to the romance conference in Nov. even if I was able to plan that far ahead.

By the way, I love the ten word premise and we are going to give it a try at my critique groupe.

I hate to say it, but our Alamo writers Unlimited group may have to disband in a few months. The Pres. and I (Vice Pres.) will have served two terms in April and so far, we haven't been able to bully anyone into running for those offices. (I'm not about to run for President) It's a shame because we meet on a Sat. morning and the other big groupe in town meets on Thurs. evening. That schedule fitted most writers.

I've been trying to keep up but I'm confused about the situation Jon has found himself in. (in which Jon has found himself.) for proper grammer persons. Did he die? If so, who did him in? Poor kitty.

Writing purges the soul,

howard Mon Mar 6 15:52:25 PST 2000

This is only a test of the net
to see if a lim'rick will get
all the way to the host
or will somewhere get lost
Cause I sent it but ain't seen it yet!

(a test, really!)

howard Mon Mar 6 11:24:04 PST 2000

We went to eat at that Benny Hanna's place once too. Took grand-uncle Buford and aunt Abijah. Didn't stay long, though. They took one look at that chef slicin' and dicin', cleavers and knives goin' ever whichaway, and allowed as how "If that grub is still movin' that much that he has to beat it down like that, I guess we don't want it nohow!"


Cassandra Mon Mar 6 08:51:10 PST 2000

You got the orgin of my name correct... at least that's where my mother says she picked it up from. It's discouraging to say the least to know the future and have no one believe you. I, unlike my predecessor either tell nothing of what I see, or tell people the complete opposite. Let them figure it out for themselves :)

I've been to one of those places too. The chef at the one I went to did this amazing trick with an onion... seperated the rings, stacked them on top of each other like a mini-volcano, poured cooking oil in it and down the side... then lit in on fire. I swear the flames lept nearly to the ceiling!

Force your parents to go there sometime. The food at those type of places is incredible... I don't like sushi either. *ick*

Back to work :)

later crazy people


Heather Mon Mar 6 07:46:19 PST 2000

That's suppozed to be two l's in Balloon, and I rescued the King of hearts and the eight of clubs from the drive slot. Phew!
No worries.

Oh, yes - Litter? I may need a favour. I have some dialogue in my chapter 2 which is supposed to be in Scots dialect (haven't decided the locale exactly) but I am having trouble making it sound authentic. Let me know if you have a bit of time and are interested in taking a look.
(Heaving the impressive mountains with a sigh)...


Sticks and stones may break my bones
But whip and chains excite me.

Bwa ha ha ha!

Heather Mon Mar 6 07:39:05 PST 2000

Good mornig everyone,
I have a code. In my noze. Anodder one. I muzt get zome rezt. Honk for howard again, and today I go widout my leadder. It's not comfordable to wear leadder when I'm zleeping. Not even a belt!

Litter, I have a friend with the surname of Clough, (cluff) so I pronounced it right. I like his poedry, and I like ee cummings, too. Anyone read ee cummings' 'The Moon's A Baloon'? It is pretty nifdy. I mighd posd it later if I have rezded enuff. SNiffle Whiffle zipp.

Oh no. All the uncurlig of guotations and eggstra - space - dashig, does that mean I have to chage my ms too? Egads. Not anodder ting to take time away from writig.

I sound like an Otrivin commercial. Time for tissues.
(I'm running) ha ha ha

Hi Jon, nice to see you have been pizzing around in the noteboog. Noteboog! I can't zay zat one either.

Rhoda, I agree, tv saps creativity if you let it. I got rid of my cable and just had movies for the kidz vor a long time. I decided to get it back becuzze we missed X files and tvo kids. And discovery channel. ANd A/E, etc. Tvo kids is a commercial free programming block for kids, with educational shows like sesame street. The kids love Arthur (based on Marc Brown's books) and Magic School BUs , which is science on the roll! (I like it too)...

AHHH! My son just shoved 2 playig cards in my disk drive slot! AH! Time to whip out my tweezers! I've got to nab those cards before the drive is jammed! AHAHAHAHhhh

Ciao, scribblers and scribes,

Rhoda Mon Mar 6 06:30:38 PST 2000

I moved to Houston in 1983, not 1883 actually.

Rhoda Mon Mar 6 06:29:02 PST 2000


I think you are right. The Tocharian thing is speculation. I suppose they have no definite proof who those mummy people really are. But the possibilities are awesome.


When I lived in Houston from 1883 to 1987 I wasn't writing on a regular basis or going to conferences. Boy, if I could only live near there now. I know many people on the Internet from Houston. It has a lively artistic community.

Speaking of Houston, I am planning to attend the Romantic Times Conference there in November (8th-12th). Linda, my friend from Farmington will be there and will be doing one of the preconference programs. This conference goes on so long that I am trying to decide just how much of it I can afford to go to. There is to be a costume ball and I am planning on making up a 6th century women's costume. Is there a possibility you might attend, Rosemary?


Glad you like being here. You certainly brighten up the surroundings, espacially with your limericks. HONK!

Well, my dad is coming for a visit, so I don't know if I'll be around much in the next couple of days.

Happy Writing!


Ashling Sun Mar 5 23:02:13 PST 2000

ROSEMARY: Hope y'all have a terrific time at the Houston conference & make a gaggle of writing contacts!

RHODA: I thought the Tocharians were the folks the Mummies MIGHT be related to ... anyways, glad I could help a bit.

LITTER: Fabulous poems, I love them more than eecummings. Are you familiar with cummings' "She, Being Brand-New"? Thanks for the intro to McGough--did he publish any poems, or just do stand-up routinues?

Got your E (thanks), waiting to hear from another contact who's researching VooDoo, before I write ya back. Hold on laddie afore ya lose yer reputation, ain't Scots s'posed to be a patient lot? Seriously, I'm way behind on my e-mails, partly because I just finished a similiar mss redo--making dashes and uncurling lashes (well, lashes rhymes better than quotes). I shall reply soon.

JACK: You are the victim of a condition know as Computer-Stutter ... be brave--you are not alone.

TEEKAY: Couldn't find a writers' club like mine, so I created it. You can start your own too. Need suggestions or moral support? Just ask ... The Notebook may doze, but we never close. That was the unofficial slogan (created by bored employees) of a convenience store chain ... I've always wanted to work it into a conversation.

Nite-nite or good morning to all, whichever applies. Void where prohibited.


Rachel Sun Mar 5 22:51:08 PST 2000

Howard - You should talk to Calliope if I am not mistaken (grins). It is she who has left you on needles and pins (merry laugher). She won't leave you alone, till she is well done, She won't leave you alone, till she has had her fun (grin wink). You are at her whims, let her be your guide... Na, na Calliope, Calliope is at your side.

Gezz, won't I just feel the ass if Calliope isn't the muse of poetic inspiration. Sure, We aren't talking epic here, but it is nice (smiles).

Take care you


PS - I didn't mind your poem at all. I thought it was sweet for you to think of me (smiles).

howard Sun Mar 5 21:11:51 PST 2000

O My!

Teekay 'twas not malice I vow,
that left you unlim'ricked 'till now
That night I went dry
though in truth I did try,
but 'twas all that my muse did allow.

not again!

Cassandra, old Priam's fair daughter,
some folks don't believe like they oughtter.
You, in fact, aced the test,
and we think you're the best,
and your prophecies do, dear, hold water!

please forgive me!

I just awoke with a rather large lump on my head, and found a note from Mrs Howard that said I should not expect supper tonight, unless I disassociated myself from this limerick goddess that's been commanding my dreams. I was able to purge the last two, and I think she's gone now.
We just returned from a holiday of sorts, spent in State College, Pennsylvania (near Penn State) with our daughter and son-in-law and their family, which consists of three extremely fat cats, and two gigantic purebred German Shepherds, one standard and one silver.

I got no writing done, but spent time with those I love, and that's what matters.
We did watch "Shakespeare in Love," on premium dish tv. That's an awesome movie!
Then we went to church with them this morning, which was even more awsome! Imagine the Creator of this universe allowing a sinner like me into His presence!

For I am not my own, but kept,
held by One who will remain
at once window and mirror,
foundation, pillar and beam.

That's a stanza from a poem I've been working on for several years now, but it will never, ever, be good enough to tell my feelings for my redeemer and friend, and I'll make no apology for that.

Thanks for all the honks! But I really don't deserve them. It's you all who are my inspiration, especially Rachel with her (grins) -- (I was only picking on you for the limerick's sake) and Heather (you can wear all the leather you want, or go without, even!), or my good friend Litter, (I can feel the power in your communion from here). And Rhoda, Teekay, Cassandra (wiser than her namesake, I'll wager), and all the rest...ALL the rest... We've got a good thing going here, thanks to Jack -- and when Americo stirs us up, Good Things come to the top! And even when we disagree, we do it in a way that leaves open channels.
I like it here!


Litter Sun Mar 5 16:05:04 PST 2000


PS Ashling - you should have had an e-mail from me about the Louisiana connection


Sun Mar 5 16:02:10 PST 2000

Hi all!

I've been all wrapped up with spaces between dashes and substituting straight quotes for curly ones, thanks to a pernickety publisher. Fingers crossed…

Allein - Harpy Birfday (sorry spillchicker in meltdown after last edit.)

Heather - you probably know what it was that impressed me by now - sorry I haven't been reading too much of anybody's work - If you haven't, it is a letter between 'C' and 'E'… Memories of my first true love…

Heather again - Ta for your comments. Yes I do have a disdain for falsity - does it show :o) I am somewhat influenced by a poetry school called 'The Liverpool Poets'. (Might not mean anything to those outwith the UK?) The guy who most impresses me is Roger McGough (Not 'Magoo' but 'Maguff') Mean anything to anybody? He used to be in a comedy pop-group called SCAFFOLD - 'Lilly the Pink' anyone? Roger was one of the three in the group, along with Paul McCartney's brother and a little ugly balding guy with a big nose… I can't help thinking that I may be talking to myself here so I'll stop.

Rowhad - you got too much spare time on your hands. (but thanks for my inclusion in your Magnum opus)

Laura - I will get around to one of your 'ten words at random' thingies soon. Maybe?

Rhoda & Ashling - the tv documentary program you are discussing looks, from the script, to be the same program shown on UK tv some while ago as 'Mummies of the Takla Makan' (we got it without all the NOVA advertising.) A wonderful program for a home-grown Celt, like me. (When 95% of my ancestors moved west from the lands of the Danube, moving through France into Ireland and the UK, it seems that some got lost and went east to the Takla Makan desert instead :o) The program is also a good source of research material for a twist to the tale (tail?) of the Celts…

Three Poems from McGough. - Running together of words is a sort of trademark as is his lack of punctuation and capitalisation.

1. at the goingdown of the sun
and in the morning
i try to remember them
but their names are ordinary names
and their causes are thighbones
tugged excitedly from the soil
by frenchchildren
on picnics

away from you
i feel a great emptiness
a gnawing lonliness

with you
i get that reassuring feeling
of wanting to escape

3. your finger
has a familiar ring
about it

He also produces longer poems and has been known to push the envelope to it's limits with subject matter and description.

Ciao for now,


PS 'Bugger Alberti'

Rosemary Sun Mar 5 15:45:35 PST 2000

Hi all,
Just a quick note to say hi, I'm still lurking around and noticed Rhoda say she had lived in Houston.

When in Houston, did you go to the Houston Writers League conference? A friend and I are planning on going in two weeks if she doesn't have to have surgery. It'll be Fri., Sat., and Sun., the 17th thru the 19th of this month. (March) We plan to drive there and check in on Thursday and leave Sunday afternoon. It would be nice to hear from a past attendee about the quality of the conference. It's going to be a good amount of money but I figured it for a one time shot.

Happy birthday Allien and many more. 18 isn't quite over the hill yet. Just old enough to get visions of grandure:.)

Happy writing everyone.

Cassandra Sun Mar 5 15:34:16 PST 2000

Howard howrad owhard whatever :)
I was just wandering in the poetry section of the workbook. Good work on "Oscillation"... it's got an almost Shakesperean feel to it. Most of my poems tend to turn out with a similar flavor.

Oh yeah, and I got my internet connection to work back here in my room (Really you can all stop cheering, I know you positively adore my presense..)But of course, I still have work to do.

:) I'll pop by now and again tonight... Hey, everyone needs a stress break once in a while, right??



Sun Mar 5 15:13:04 PST 2000

p.s. Let me rephrase what I said below. I did find my spelling was fine after I found they had a web page. But also, the central grill I was talking about was a grill at every long table, with a cook at each table cooking for those at the table in a dramatic manner. Very entertaining and fun. Precision of words is what writing is all about and I seem to be losing that skill lately. Take care everybody.

Jack Beslanwitch Sun Mar 5 15:08:12 PST 2000

       Allein: One recommendation in terms of Japanese food is Benihana's. Not sure if I have the spelling right. But it is downtown near where the Fifth Avenue Theatre. Often times when Fran and I go to a broadway musical we will eat there. Actually that is a thought since we will be going to Phantom of the Opera the end of this month. Anyway, they have a central grill where the cook chops acrobatically at steak, chicken and sea food and other with great gusto and fun. The pricing is medium and is a fun experience. Of course, if you have to there are items like sushi and such, but this is definitely fun. Oh, belatedly, happy birthday and glad that things have gone so well.

Allein Sun Mar 5 12:56:35 PST 2000

Hi everyone,
Thanks to all who have wished me a happy birthday. I love each and every one of you. :)
I've been having fun since yesterday. I had a party. We ate pizza and then I opened my presents. I got some pretty nice stuff. My friend, Skylar, got me lots of stuff from Starbucks - a coffee mug, gift certificates and chocolate covered coffee beans - yummy. I also got some cool jewelry, the Tarzan movie, Lotto tickets (didn't win anything), money, and some new books.
Then we hung out up in the rec room. My friend, Mike, who has been suspended from school for the last month for things that I won't get into here, called me and we all spent an hour taking turns talking to him. We gave my friend, John a makeover and the sad thing is that he looks better in my dress than I do! He looked like a bone fide girl when we got done with him. Then we ate cake and ice cream.
Two of my friends spent the night and we watched two movies (South Park and Austin Powers 2) while munching on junk food. We actually got some sleep though and now I'm hyped up on coffee beans. :)
Tonight I'll go to dinner with my family. I want to go out for Japanese food but my parents think all Japanese food is like raw fish and stuff. But, much of it ISN'T raw fish. I swear, if ignorance is bliss, the rest of my family is orgasmic. Pardon my language.
It feels good to be an adult, but that also means leaving my childhood behind and I'm not sure I'm ready for that yet. Oh well, like they say, growing old is manditory, but growing up is optional. :)
Gotta run, peoples,
*hugs* for everyone,

Cassandra Sun Mar 5 12:51:16 PST 2000

Hi all!

I went home for the weekend in a vain attempt to relax... and do not have internet access there (at least not when my computer's still at school). And now with the lovely little black out that we had here at school, the network refuses to function in my room. Hence the reason I now sit in the computer lab typing away madly to those who sent me email while I was gone. *sigh* Sometimes I hate this college.

Go Allein! Go Allein! It's your birthday!
(can you buy porn in Washington at the age of 18?? I know you can in NY ;) Not that you'd want to.)

Well, I must run. I have a horribly boring book to take notes on, and some sketches to get done.

May the muse smack you upside the head with inspiration


Rhoda Sun Mar 5 10:32:24 PST 2000


There is free TV most places in the United States. If you live in a fair sized city (40,000 or more) or live in a major metropolitian area like most Americans, you generally have access to all three major networks plus some independants and public broadcasting. In rural areas, like where I live, you must have a fairly good sized outdoor antenna to pick up any television. Everywhere I have lived in the past 13 years has been like that. You think some of your fellow Austrailians in the Outback have it rough, I think I have it almost as rough, and then again maybe not. So when you live in isolated or mountainous areas like where I used to live, you must have cable if you are to get a decent signal. Essentially without cable or a big antenna you get no TV. We do have a VCR. We rent movies on occassion (and I can get only recent releases, no masterpiece theatre offerings, BBC productions or A%E productions, too highbrow for this part of the country). I also have a large library of tapes I have bought over the years and we watch them.

Oh well, we might not have the finer trappings of civilization here in Perryton, but we have wide open spaces, one of the things I missed when living in Houston a life time ago. Seriously, for television viewing around here, cable or satellite is really a must.


Rachel Sun Mar 5 07:52:38 PST 2000

Allein - HAPPY BIRTHDAY:) I send you very warm hugs.


Pussy Sun Mar 5 06:26:51 PST 2000

I'd like to invite all the women of the NB for a nice cup of tea this afternoon at 5 o'clock your time — in honor of Allein and as a token of gratitude for the wonderful posts she has been offering us for more than a year. I'm particularly fond of her funnies, but I understand that A* and J* like her other delighful posts better. Males can also turn up, but I'm not sure that the cake I've made will be enough for everyone. So perhaps they could bring the cheese and drinks. (No dirty jokes allowed).

Jon Sun Mar 5 06:25:28 PST 2000

Only Allein could have made me spring up from the bliss of heaven to come to Earth, dust off the old Mac of my neighbour, and send you my best birthday greetings.

And now, back to heaven. This place is nice but a bit egotist for my taste. Only good people are here, which makes me look askance at the old boss, a rather stingy fellow who can't afford Internet in the place. The only advantage over other decent places I know is that there are no sadists here. They are all in hell and everybody pisses from high into their dirty mouths. I'm proud to inform you that I'm the champion of this difficult sport. It's approved by the old boss.

Americo Sun Mar 5 06:24:19 PST 2000

Good morning, Allein, and happy birthday.
I've tried to buy you a present but haven't found anything worthy of you. So I thought of an advice for the year and for life: give yourself entirely to those you love, but always save the best waltz for those who love you.
So the words are dedication and gratitude. I wish somebody had taught me that in your age.

Teekay Sun Mar 5 03:03:44 PST 2000

Hi everybody,

ALLIEN: It really was your birthdate here when I started celebrating and there’s still
almost 2 hours to go. Enjoy, enjoy.

RHODA: This may sound like a dumb question, but do you have to pay for all the TV
you watch over there? In Australia pay TV is a fairly recent thing, but there is still the
choice of good ‘ol free TV (adds and all of course.) On free TV there are only 4
channels. Might not seem like much, but most times I think it’s over plenty. Except on
Sundays when every channel plays sports.BLECH!

ASHLING: Your writers group sounds like such fun. I wish I knew of one here.

HEMA: Where have you been?

HEATHER: You’re right HOWARD’S a genius. HOOOOONK!!

Had to leave of pretty quickly before as there was thunder and lightening about, no rain

Goodnight all and ALLIEN have a great day.

Rhoda Sun Mar 5 02:13:13 PST 2000


I checked out the URL and read the entire transcript. It did not disappoint. I must admit the mummy pictures grossed me out. I don't think I would have ever made a good archeologist or anthropologist. But the reading was excellent. I also did get a name for these people, by the way, Tocharians. Thanks for the help.


Sun Mar 5 01:21:47 PST 2000

p.s. I need to proofread what I write before I hit the Publish My Message button. Disregard the twisted syntax.

Jack Beslanwitch Sun Mar 5 01:20:01 PST 2000

I just wanted to say that the Writers Group I did participate in when I had time and was one of the founding members many years ago, is called Writers Cramp. It has or, I should say, it did have three graduates of Clarion among its members and the person who is hosting it is a Writers of the Future winner. The setting is a bit chaotic. They have two kids and that lends something to the mix. Still, it is good vibrant group with a long of good advice and critique. For those in the Puget Sound area that one a speculative fiction group this could be a possibility. Just wished I had time to both write and to go to a group. I have promises for myself and hope that I can fulfill them. We will see. Still, I recommend this for others.

Ashling Sun Mar 5 00:32:41 PST 2000

Hmmmm, in my rush to stop writing About writing & go create fiction--I nearly forgot to say:


Also -
TRUDY: My writing club runs its critque sessions much like Jack's group, in that the writer stays silent during the crit. This eliminates defensive explanations of what the writer "meant to" say. Show us on paper.

We meet in the coffee shop of a major chain bookstore for 2 or 3 hours once a month on Sunday afternoons. Everyone's already eaten lunch, & we take a break midway to get another cup of coffee or soda & make a dash for the bathrooms.
There's only 3 of us & we've voted to never expand beyond 4 or 5 members total. We have no genre restrictions, but after a few months quit allowing poetry ... realizing unless you write poetry "full-time" you can't give an adequate crit. Currently all 3 of us are working on mainstream novels--The Muses were feeling awfully generous to introduce all of us--
sometimes it works out that way. Don't hesitate to e-mail me direct, if you have more questions.

JACK: Thanks for the detailed description of your crit group, else I would have babbled on through the entire weekend.


Ashling Sun Mar 5 00:09:28 PST 2000

JACK: :-) :-) :-) back at ya! The html codes I learned on another message board don't seem to work here, so realize I'm t-h-i-n-k-i-n-g BIG smile.

RHODA: Hopefully the above URL will take you where you need to go. If not, type in
then type Celts into the site's search engine--you'll get 6 choices--click on the 1st one--Nova & presto, before you can say, "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto" ... you'll be reading a transcript of the PBS program, "Mysterious Mummies of China."

I don't have this doco in my home-taped collection ... from a quick skim, it doesn't appear they've named the clan, but believe they MIGHT be related to the ...(long name starting with a T), the folks that built temples and whatnot alongside the Silk Road. I've bookmarked & will read later, if you wanna discuss anything via personal e-mail. Meanwhile, give your husband a hug from me, for the "heads up" on this info.

Is everyone having a productive weekend, writers?


Rhoda Sat Mar 4 22:33:27 PST 2000


Happy Birthday!!!


I manage to waste a lot of time without TV. Not having it hasn't made a big difference with me. I got rid of it two houses ago in order save our family $35.00 a month. For all that money, there just wasn't much on that I liked to watch. Our cable company would get rid of my favorite stations or split them up with something else. The primary reason for not having it was my children, espacially my oldest son who was addicted to cartoon network. He would spend hours in front of that station in a catatonic state soaking up all kinds of violent content that was really too old for him. At the same time my daughter, who was only 8 at the time got turned on to shows like Beverly Hills 90201 by her baby sitter. I would turn the channel to something I thought suitable for them, leave the room and return five minutes later to see the cartoon network on again. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of good programs on cartoon network, but my son wasn't too discriminating in what he would like to see.

A few of my friends were going without cable at the time and mentioned that after they eliminated the cable their children were more active and more motivated to do hobbies and games. I have found this true in my children's case. In their spare time they read, play with toys, play outside and entertain themselves. One of these days when the wee ones are a little older, we will buy a dish. I never want to go back to cable. Since the United States Congress did its thing several years back and regulated cable companies, cable has become more expensive while the offerings have become increasingly dismal. I think satelite dishes are the way to go because you have some flexablity in choosing the stations you get.

Here is a a bright, loud, happy HONK, HONK, HONK, for Howard!!!

Jon being a cat has nine lives. I hope he hasn't used too many of them up. I miss the little guy.

Hema Ati,

Glad to know you have been here all the time.

Happy writing,


Trudy Sat Mar 4 18:53:48 PST 2000

Thanks Jack for that advice on writers groups.

Been pretty quiet around here this weekend, hasn't it? What a change. Anyway once again I'm procrastinating but wanted to say hello.

And since it's very nearly here Allein, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!

I'm sure there'll be a party here all day tomorrow. I'll bring my gift then.

Later all,

Teekay Sat Mar 4 18:11:16 PST 2000

ALLIEN: HAPPY BIRTHDAY. It is my nieces birthday today also. MANY HAPPY RETURNS!!!!wHoooeeehoeeeoee.Yaaaaay.

HOWARD:you are a divine,
were you thinking them up a long time?
I'm sorry I didn't feature,
you nasty,mean creature,
didn't mean it, but it needed to rhyme.

HEATHER: My sister had her wisdom teeth out and now she a bumbling stuttering idiot. Hee hee.

RHODA: A lot of the time I think it would be fantastic not to have T.V. but I must admit I would definitely miss 'just shoot me' which is the best TV programme in the world.
Also I guess not having the distraction of TV you'd be spending your time doing much more productive things.

HOWARD again.: I'm going to find & read that BIG BAD MEN thing.

Rhoda Sat Mar 4 08:32:14 PST 2000

Correction. These mysterious Celts lived in the desert until 800 AD.

Rhoda Sat Mar 4 08:29:39 PST 2000


Thanks for the comments on Chapter Nine. I'll get Chapter Ten out to you tonight.


My husband watched the most extraordinary documentary while he was away in Dallas. You see, I don't have any television, so we never get to see anything unless we are travelling. It was on PBS and it was about these Celtic peoples who had settled in the desert of Western China in about 1800 BC. They lived there as a distinctive people until 800 BC. I don't know if you remember the discoveries about those almost perfectly preserved mummies they found out there in those caves a while ago, but those mummies were these people. Some of them were seven foot tall and many had red hair. They also made wool tartens with distinctive patterns on them similiar to what one finds in the Scottish highlands. I figured that if anyone here had heard about these people it might be you because you are so interested in Celts. If so, what are the names of these people because I would like to know more. I have no way to identify them and my husband missed the name in the documentary. If anyone could help me, please do. Some more noteworthy information is that these people practiced a religion much like hinduism and the women wore the red dot on their foreheads. In other respects the religion was also like the pre-christian one practiced in Gaul, Britain and Ireland.

Even in this age of science and information, the world is full of mysteries and mind-blowing discoveries.

Well, I must run and fix some breakfast for the kids.

Happy Writing,


Rachel Sat Mar 4 07:39:16 PST 2000

Laura - Hi you (smiles). Hum, maybe I still have not done this right. It's a little hard for me. My house is often busy and when I do something like this it is off the cuff. I don't have a lot of time to sit and consider the posts (sighs). Wish that I did. My personal projects tend to keep me busy. I just put in the word and the meaning from the dictonary, hope that covers it.

Take care you


Heather Sat Mar 4 00:23:54 PST 2000

Well, I must have been asleep when Laura explained the assignment! A stunning revelation. I AM sleepy!

Hema, it is great to see you back. I have missed your happy presence.

Howard, howrad, owhard,(must have hurt), wradoh:
Like I said, you are a mental giant. Wunderkind, prodigy, master, aptitudious one, 'savant' guarde. Brilliant, whiz Captain, Einstein of the quill, Intellectual of the letter-kind, Limerick Maverick, suave poeteer.
Don't get bashful on us with all the compliments. They are well-deserved.

A goose fleshy poem. A web-footed arrangment of words.
A gaggle of goods.

Honk if you think Howard is tops!

And Litter will be fascinated with these 'new peaks'.

A salute to all, illustrious ones. I shall hit the mattress and possibly cause a large crater. I feel heavier than Mercury's gravity I'm zzooo tirezzd.
And in one month I get general anaesthesia to remove my wisdom teeth. The rest of the day is slated for sleeping. I can't wait. I haven't had teeth (kidding!) such rest in a long while. My body's getting too used to not sleeping and this must be altered. Can't go and condition myself to qualify for "Longest period of time without sleeping"
in Guiness Book of Records. For then I might have to be taken away to a white padded room. Who can sleep when there's that much white? Like a blank page.

Ok, fetish farm, (whooops, am I on the wrong website?)
Off to bed
I'll climb out sometime tomorrow night and say hi.

My regards, and if I didn't respond to everyone, I will try later,,,,zzzzzzzz

Laura Fri Mar 3 23:36:41 PST 2000

Aaaaaaaaaaarg!. Try this again.

HHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeellllllllllllllllllllppppppppppppppp!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What can I do this page is taking so long to refresh that I am having trouble posting.

As for why I didn't repeat the dictionary definitions rule for the assignment is because I have been Persona Non-communicado. (In other words my modem has been acting up.)

Laura Fri Mar 3 23:30:56 PST 2000

Help!!!!!! it is taking forever to load the notebook. Whatever can I do? (hint hint hint).

As for the assignment. The reason I did not repeat myself a third time about the definitions being literal dictionary definitions, was because I have been offsite. I was having problems with Ao(hel)L.


Rachel Fri Mar 3 20:15:44 PST 2000

Hi Hema! I wondered where you had gone too. Glad you are lurking (smiles).

Hema Ati Fri Mar 3 20:01:34 PST 2000

Good to see the posts.I have been a passive participant.
(?) Happy B'day Allein!
Hi Heather,Teekay, Rachel,Americo,Jerry, Jack and

Rachel Fri Mar 3 19:04:25 PST 2000

Hi Howard - (smiles).

owhard Fri Mar 3 18:47:36 PST 2000

Variation on Feathered Improvisation:

A wonderful bird is the goose
Flying high in the sky o'er the spruce
And we plodders below
Are disheartened to know
That the stuff that we stepped in ain't mousse!

Limericks Are Us! :-)

Americo, master of Lit
who for us has no shortage of wit
when we crank out the shorts
or the scifi of sorts
He says "No, dears, they simply don't fit!"

Help me, I can't stop!

A comely young artist named Heather
would have us depict her in leather.
when the thought made us chuckle,
she tightened the buckle,
And tickled us all with a feather!

Oh Please!

A Scotsman we know, name of Litter
writes words that do sparkle and glitter
but when writing on tits
calls them wobbly bits
And avers that a D-cup won't fit her

I probably should stop now

That Rachel, with (giggles) and (grins)
keeps us writers on (needles) and (pins)
our nerves are rubbed raw
waiting for a (GUFFAW!)
That will set our computers in (spins!)

I think I got a virus


Howard's had way too much fun
And he don't even know when he's done
I don't think it's the pills
that's caused all of his ills
He's out now, he'll wake up on Sun.

(Mrs Howard)

Teekay Fri Mar 3 18:18:10 PST 2000

HEATHER: Oh. I thought you meant like bIG BAD MEn. What a silly billy .
and No, Laura stated that you had to use the dictionary meaning in the story. Close but no malboro.

CASSANDRA: Sorry I thought it was Laura who posted the question, but you got the name of the person who answered it wrong. "Tis I Teekay. Forgot to add my name. If you really were referring to Ashling and I've missed something then just ignore this post.

ALLIEN: I'll be the first to start celebrating your birthday as you will be 18 here in 11 hours.

RHODA: Have checked my email, where is chapter 9 hmmm?


Rachel Fri Mar 3 16:31:37 PST 2000

Laura - Yah should of said something (grins).

THE CHURCH OF THE WATER BUFFALO - (I'll try this again - grins)

Water buffalo, burden, nimbus, yammer, conference, hostile, aim, stifle, fingerprint, overdub. Taken from Webster's New World Dictionary

The yammering of the conference members ran through the building. The hostile feelings that had been held in check were now given free reign. One voice would overdub the next as they rallied to make their suggestions on how to stifle the new religion that had been born. But the could do nothing, the story of the water buffalo with the nimbus and his great deeds had spread far and wide. He had been destroyed but his mark had been left like an indelible fingerprint on the minds and souls of those who had come in contact with him. It had been the burden of the conference to deal with this. Their aim had been to disprove all that he could or could not stand for and they as the greatest conference of schools and churches had failed.

It all began with a crowd of yammering townsfolk. They had come to shout, yell, etc. In general to gain the notice of the conference, which as an association of schools, churches, etc. As a gathering of the best minds known to these people should be able to unravel what the water buffalo and his nimbus, that thing of beauty that appeared as a halo around the head of a saint could possibly mean. The townsfolk wanted their wisdom, but these people had none to offer.

The knowledge that they did not know made the conference members grow hostile towards this water buffalo. Their thoughts turned unfriendly; antagonistic. It became their aim, intention to rid themselves of this burden, this heavy load, as of work, care, etc. They did not want it! They began to formulate a plan.

A man with who could not leave a fingerprint was brought in. Long ago he had burnt and filed these away so as, an impression of the lines and whorls on a fingertip, used to identify a person could never be taken from the scene of one of his jobs. His job was to eliminate problems for the conference. To stifle; to suffocate, smother, to suppress, hold back, stop any thing that could threaten his grand and glorious conference.

The conference and their eliminator did not succeed. The story of the water buffalo and all he had done did not die with him. The stories, passions and convictions of the followers of the water buffalo grew and flourished.

Today when the conference went to play their anthem, it was to discover that it had been overdubbed. Yes! The people had made a recording of sounds, music etc, superimposed it on another recording. Not just any other recording. The recording of the anthem of the conference of hypocrisy. Their voice, their song, their words and values were broadcast to the nation. They got their words across without the death of any member of the conference of hypocrisy.

And thus a new religion was born. Yes! We of the Church of the Water buffalo greet you.

Jack Beslanwitch Fri Mar 3 13:20:24 PST 2000

     Trudy: Starting a writers group. OK, here are some thoughts that you might want to consider. You can run it tight or loose. Either way can work, but as your group grows larger it is important to have a degree of discipline.

      In this I am going to use as an example the Clarion method for critique which is what I use or, rather, used when I was attending the local writers group I prefer in our area. This method involves having all stories passed out the previous meeting. Each person gets a set amount of time to critique and the the person being critiqued does not speak except to direct questions for clarification. Then the writer being critiqued gets his chance to respond and a broader discussion can ensue.

     Another issue that you will have to consider is what kind of writing you are critiquing and your writers are comfortable with. In our own group we were largely speculative fiction, either science fiction or fantasy. Some other genres, such as romance, were tried a time two, as was poetry, but we discovered that we were less than endowed for doing a credible job of critiquing outside our area of interest. In some measure how the critiques will be conducted will improve if you have a strong group, especially if the writers in your group have been published or gone through something like Clarion. In any case, what you want is a group that can spot items that would not fly in the current publishing climate. What is bad writing, plotting, characterization. Also, silly things when mundane writer attempts, say, attempt to write science fiction or a fantasy novel without having read the genre and try to reinvent the wheel and do so badly.

     Oh, another item that we did that was somewhat helpful. We kept food, drink and the more social aspects of the group until after our critique period. This kept us down to business. This is especially important if your group grows, as in the Eugene, Oregon, writers group, that I have heard of did, to fifty or twenty. Other thoughts are asking yourself if you will have a minimum production rate of those participating. This gets dicier when you have a really really good critiquer who never produces much. But it might be kinder to require production if nothing else to make sure that all are in fact writing.

Well, that got a little long winded. Hope this helps.

Cushing Fri Mar 3 12:23:23 PST 2000

Have no fear dear denizens.
Jon is not gone, merely resting.
Duplicity is a weary busines, Give them a day or two to gather together a plan of action.
Your doubts concerning the multitudeness of Jon remind me of the once popular belief in the singularity of man.
Jon is with you now, you just need to see.

Rachel Fri Mar 3 12:19:21 PST 2000

Allein - Happy almost birthday(smiles and a hug)!
Take care you

Here publisher, publisher, publihser. I got a nice juicy manuscript for youuuuuuu. C'mear, c'mon (grins and laughter).

rowhad Fri Mar 3 11:45:55 PST 2000

Cassandra -- That was a tupoglaphicla eorre! It was *not* a Freudian slip! I never wore one of those in my life! Or any other kind, either.

Trudy -- I did the first story as assigned, except that someone else picked the words. The second was for extra credit. But I'm only auditing the course anyway...


Jerry Ericsson Fri Mar 3 11:36:05 PST 2000

Howard - Them geese fly fast. Just came back from a quick trip down to the local lake, saw bunches of them all around the lake. No open water yet, but the rivers are flowing, guess that is good enough for the geese. Looks like spring is just around the corner. Up in the mid 60's here in Dakota.

Trudy Fri Mar 3 10:29:30 PST 2000

Question for all of you,

I am planning on starting a monthly writing group in the area where I live and am looking for suggestions about what people like or dislike about writing groups. Also any suggestions you can give about getting a group going, if any of you have done that in the past, would be welcome.



ok IT outsourcing trends...they are on an upswing. ok now I just need 995 more words....hmmm

Trudy Fri Mar 3 10:26:31 PST 2000

Hello, here I am once again procrastinating...I mean researching and writing a story about IT outsourcing trends...what could be more exciting? Anyway, Heather, I had agreed with you about the writing exercise but then went back to Laura's original post and found it said, "Choose ten words at random from a dictionary and write a one page story using all of them, and the dictionary definition of them."

hmmm guess I better get at that again...well maybe IT outsorucing trends does sound interesting...


Ariel Fri Mar 3 10:24:03 PST 2000

To the one with no name - It is indeed Goethe. Jon was good enough to point that out to me. We have been have a splendid time.


howard Fri Mar 3 09:56:56 PST 2000

Heather -- I know what you mean -- I thought one of them wild geese wanted to buy my truck the other day -- put a rather large deposit on it...

Improvision on a Feathered Theme:

Geese are very large birds,
Making very large turds,
And they honk
and they gaggle
and hiss.

But in overhead flight
They're a beautiful sight,
Just don't stand
they don't miss!


Cassandra Fri Mar 3 09:42:01 PST 2000

Oh yeah, and I like the change of name's on your post...
Howrad.... :) How Rad is Howard? *snicker*

Cassandra Fri Mar 3 09:39:49 PST 2000

Hi all!

You were right, Botticeli painted Primavera first. But you got the person that asked the question wrong :P It was I, who kicked butt on my art history test(100!) on Tuesday, that gave that little triva question. :)

Well, I just woke up not more than 15 minutes ago, lazy bum that I am (it's past noon here). God I love sleep!

Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you, Happy birthday dear Allein, happy birthday to you! And many more.... 18 is a very special year, it's the last year where people will let you act like a moron and just blame it on your youth. Once you hit 19 they start expecting you to make something of yourself. So go out and cause a little trouble for me. ;) Just don't get caught.

My art history teacher made us read book 2 of Alberti's On Painting for our test essay. I ended up with a 3 page essay on how Michealangelo's set up, and the composition of the center aisle paintings on the Sistine Chapel ceiling compared with Alberti's treatise. I'm telling you it was an absolutely thri- *snore*

Thank god our Photo teacher doesn't make us do assignments like that.... maybe I just have to wait until I have to take studio Photography. *crossing my fingers* Well, if I do, I'll just give them that idea, and they'll think I'm genius. :)

my stomach informs me that it's time to masticate and injest some food.

Later people


howrad Fri Mar 3 08:51:05 PST 2000

Heather -- I don't think 'awesome' was in there-- the words were:
Languid, slosh, subvert, embellish, rancid, scuff, whittle, abolish, gorge, funnel

that's all.

Heather Fri Mar 3 08:07:21 PST 2000

Litter, I didn't get to put a comment in the poetry critique page about your poems, but I liked them very much. A strong sense of language, and unusual ways to present it are yours.
You have a disdain for falsity, whether it be physical or otherwise. Bravo!
Isn't it ironic that we fiction writers have such high regards for truth?


Heather Fri Mar 3 07:34:30 PST 2000

Ok, Allein, I am serving vodka on the rocks now: glurgle glurgle, tinkle, ahhhhhhh. Oh, yes, and I'll have a Bloody Mary. Fit two celery sticks together and you've got nature's straw. Not very airtight. But I'm allowed to slurp. Make that with clamato.
Clamato, or is that clamAto?
You say clamato and I'll say clamAto and we'll take a vote. Ballot box is an empty kleenex box, so no crying if we lose. Who, BTW, was the prez. candidate a few years back who couldn't spell potatoes? And did anyone see Letterman? Please, please, make someone else the President! Gore (was it?) made an absolute ass of himself. Does he have Alzeheimer's or Dementia? It is possible (seriously, I'm not making a joke) and that might explain his aimless talking. I think it was Gore - but since I don't have to follow the candidacy, I can forget and be forgiven! Ha ha...

Either way, McCain is at least aware of what is going on, even if he flirted with Neve Campbell. Heck, I probably would too. Ain't she famous?

All joking aside, far aside (it's over there by the bar, with Allein and myself, right now)
no matter who you vote for, you realize it is out of your hands as soon as you do? You help pick the man, but then after that you just have to pray it was the least ruinous choice. Because you know darn well that on the campaign trail, they appear on their best behavior. After they're President, the first few months are fine, but then they start to relax and their more accurate selves come out.
Am I right? And look at Gore. He doesn't even look good on the trail.

Perhaps next term you could find it in you to elect a woman. It's the only alternative, folks. Nothing else has worked!
But please, not Hillary. She can sit in the Senate nest, but not the Oval Office. Someone might decide to get a digital camera! ANd hide it under the desk. Better than shady real estate deals, but please.

Well, I am just postulating and being rediculous. I am not attempting to fire anyone up, oh, no. Au Contrare, mes amis. Wanting honesty in the political fields. Most nicely equipped fields I've seen. Are those orchids indigenous? What about those passion fruit vines?

And since when did fields have all these 007 gadgets? Over there, by the ... ummm, the alien landing pad.

Nanoo nanoo

Heather Fri Mar 3 07:12:24 PST 2000

THe hidden words in Big Bad Man, by Howard
are languid, subvert, slosh, embellish, and I think the last one is rancid. THe only one noticeable (ok, unhidden) is whittle.

Bow to the awesome Howard.

Also, the words randomly chosen from the dictionary don't have to include the dictionary definition in the story, but they have to be utilized in keeping with the same meaning as the definition.

Good morning all.

I have cleaning to do. It's sleepover night on Saturday for my daughter and two friends. That means all the paper bits my son is ripping and cutting at his table right now will have to be eradicated. Sorry, my man.

Does that mean I have to tidy up MY desk?

Oh, where do they learn it from? I wonder.

Apples and snakes and gravity. Darn you, Newton. The apples that have fallen around here don't get picked up immediately. They just look so nice on the floor.
WHat did snakes have to do with it? Sigh. Wish they ate apples.

I like my apples pied.
And just to be cute I use 3.14 of them per pie.


Allein Fri Mar 3 06:46:43 PST 2000

Heather - Actually my birthday is Sunday, but what the hell, we can celebrate at the virtual bar now if you want. :)

Fri Mar 3 05:51:01 PST 2000

Hi everybody,

Guess LAURA didn’t have the heart to repeat that you needed to include the dictionary
meaning of the random words in your story..and you all though t it was just soooo easy
didn’t you?

LAURA: He painted Primavera first. (this is a very non educated stab in the dark.)


ARIEL: Isn’t it Goethe? Am I being anal?

AMERICO: Could you please bring Jon back I know you have it in your power to do so.
It is not the same without Jon.
What is your book actually called? I want to read it and name drop.

HEATHER: What is the hidden word in BIG BAD MEN? I looked and I looked and I
looked and then I squinted up my eyes and looked. Please tell me.
I’ll send your chapter 2 back tomorrow.

Well it’s time to call it a night,
‘a night’

Heather Thu Mar 2 22:05:28 PST 2000

One redeeming quality of geese: They don't fly over my house now, we are not quite close enough to the river.

Ah, but they do litter a lot at the park. And I don't mean food wrappers. Hungry anyone?


Heather Thu Mar 2 22:02:44 PST 2000

Howard, one point to whit; with geese flying vee formation over your house, it is quite certain that your roof and gardens must be rather - uhhh, polka dotted? Foul fowl bombardments, if you catch the whiff.

When I lived near a murky lake in highschool years, (Heart Lake, no less) the geese would waddle through our yard and back, for some reason or another, leaving evidence of their path in smouldering, mucid green wads. I had the alarming chore of lawn mowing, and I was thankful it was a ride-on device. Believe me, you would thank the Almighty too, that mounting the mower removed one from the surety of becoming splattered with what I decry to be worse than slipping in pig dung. Month old pig dung. For that matter, ancient pig dung!
Geese are rather large birds. (Hence, rather large shit) They also hiss. Yes, I said HISS! And I have been chased by a herd of them. Nasty, spiteful feathered beasts. With beady little eyes. But they honk, and once in a while appear almost cute. So long as they keep flying, that is.

It's such a shame it's illegal here to shoot them. The only time I truly like goose is piping hot, with a mushroom gravy.
Ahhh, spring indeed! Mushroom season soon.

And now, ranting aside,
What did you mean by your comment, Litter?
I am curious. Did you mean the poetry?
Which reminds me, Howard, I forgot to find a poem to post for you. Maybe that's good though, since much of my poetry isn't exactly cheerful.

Happy Birthday Allein! (Tomorrow, right?) Can we go to the virtual bar, now?
The first round's on me!


howard Thu Mar 2 19:40:21 PST 2000

Today is special! We heard geese flying overhead, heading northwards. Springtime is on its way!
In their honor I've posted to the poetry workbook a poem inspired by their song a few years ago. We're fortunate to be right in one of their main flyways, so we get to see them all the time. Sometimes we can hear their joy, and they're so high that we can't see them.

Also did a haiku:

Geese honking northward
One leg of vee is longer
More birds on that side


Litter Thu Mar 2 17:11:39 PST 2000

Hi All,

Just a quickie visit tonight as my wife has been hiring me out to her friends and colleagues as some sort of computer Guru. Typical, just when I get a set-up I don't feel inclined to change for a long long time, she insists I start upgrading every other PC on the planet… (Well that is how it feels.)

Strange how words from the past appear at random, sparking of a whole train of thought… I refer to Alberti (Leon Battista) - perhaps I should explain? When I was a photography student we were frequently shown the work of other graduating students to give us an idea of the standard and topics expected. Well, probably the funniest of these presentations was from a student at a college of the 'Artschool' persuasion, who, it seems, was coerced by a tutor into doing a series of 8 pictures based on Alberti's 'De Pictura' (On Painting), which set forth for the rules for drawing a three-dimensional scene on a flat surface.

Now, perspective falls kinda naturally to the lens of a camera (you would think) but it can be 'pushed' or 'pulled' by judicious use of different lenses… Anyway, this particular student produced a series of *7* pictures which observed perspective in a visually dynamic way. Good stuff. These were duly attributed as Alberti 1, Alberti 2… all the way through to Alberti 7. There was a real change of pace for the last photo (which, rumour had it was substituted, by the student, for the original Alberti 8.) The final pic was a complete contrast (bad 'in joke') and was entitled - 'Bugger Alberti'.

The student still got his pass. I think that the panel thought the same as I did, but I wished I had got there first - The perfect end to a relationship with a tyrannical tutor :o)

Heather, I'm impressed :o&

Howard - tomorrow is another day. But then, today was another day yesterday…



Jack Beslanwitch Thu Mar 2 17:00:03 PST 2000

Ashling: :-)

Good productive time writing for you and everyone else.

Personally, I am trying to finish some web design responsibilities and climb into a book on Macromedia Flash in my spare moments. Hope everyone is having a good time.

Since we are writers, I do not see any problems with a literary shade such as Jon taking time from heaven to come and haunt us. He might even give us some divine wisdom on being better writers. Then again, he might be more like puck or coyote and tweak us when we least expect it.

Squirrelmunk Thu Mar 2 16:54:28 PST 2000

thanks for the clarification. I saw Buffalo and thought of Matt. (it's his home town ::grin::)

remember "Smile! I'm wearing underpants!" ~me


Ashling Thu Mar 2 16:13:12 PST 2000

LITTER: Not read the Notebook in weeks ... Why did you ask for Louisiana residents? A previous joke, or need help with writing research? I had relatives in New Orleans for 30 years. Before you choke on your foot again - most of them died a few years ago. One remaining cousin moves a lot & we haven't communicated in 5 years or so. I have visited the lovely city of N.O. a few times & might be able to help--if you are seriously interested in Louisiana.

Long-time-no-see, so I'm glad to know you're still among the writing.

ALLEIN: My, how time flies when you're writing on a novel ... Seems like just a few months since I wished you Happy 17th ... What an exciting time of life you are approaching - I wish you all the best!

RHODA: No potatoes!?! Not even in Ireland? My poor deprived ancestors. Whatever shall I feed the heroine in my next novel? Celtics cannot exist on oatcakes alone.

I entered the first 50 pages of my mainstream novel in a university sponsored competition for a Fellowship ($5,000 award!!) for 1st novels-in-progress. If I'm one of the semi-finalists, I'll send in another 50 pages. Only learned of this competition last week & had to create a two page outline of the entire novel on the fly. My working outline is a bare skeleton with no teeth, and many aspects have changed since I first began writing.

Warren, a member of my writing club, has recently acquired an agent to represent his newly completed novel. Warren said the powers that be expect a novel's ending to change over time, but to convince them I was capable of finishing what I started (and therefore worthy of the $5,000 investment)--the ending in my novel outline should be detailed, not vague. "Kill 'em all & short 'em out later."

So, I slapped words on the page & was astounded to discover a highly interesting plot show up ... If the novel actually stays to that course, I'll be thrilled. Got my entry postmarked and mailed last night, an hour prior to the deadline. I'm feeling quite pleased with myself ... it's been Light Years since I submitted anything. Rhoda, you & TRUDY keep the pep talks coming on rejection letters--I always n-e-e-d the encouragement. Well, I'm off to compose overdue e-mails & attack chapter 6.

Good to see everyone ... May the Muse be With You.

Thu Mar 2 15:29:37 PST 2000

Heather Thu Mar 2 14:20:16 PST 2000

Ingenius. Howard, I read it again and I had missed one word that you incorporated with skill! It was the first one! Languid. Worked into 'pLAN GUIDo' you monster!
That bent my brain. I spied slosh and subvert earlier.
whittle - very creative use of that too!
OK everyone, spy the words in Howard's BIG BAD MEN.


Heather Thu Mar 2 14:12:39 PST 2000

Everyone who misses Jon must say so!

He was a valuable part of the NB.
I hope he knows it.
An invisible hand to his ethereal fur.


Heather Thu Mar 2 13:15:32 PST 2000

Good one, Howard!
That is an even bigger challenge - to have them in the story in the order they were listed...

Thanks for the good vibes, Rachel!
Howard, how's the neighbour's dog?

Been a long time since I had the warped pleasure of hearing a dog gag.

(that was half a joke, fellows)

Cassandra - happy to hear the long dark night is over.
I would love to sleep til noon tomorrow. Have some shut-eye for me, will you?

Morpheus, strike me with your starry mallot!


howard Thu Mar 2 12:17:10 PST 2000

I forgot to tell you that they're all in the order that you listed them.

howard Thu Mar 2 11:42:52 PST 2000

Heather -- I tried with your last list, but some of the words are hard to work in. How's this?
Big Bad Man
"Here's the plan, Guido, we'll get that Oslo shipping company to load the sub vertical milling machine. Then we cal Clem Bell. Is he still with us?" The fat man with the smelly cigar looked around the diner impatiently. "Fran! Cider and donuts over here now!"
He turned back to the mean looking men at the table. "Or is he still bent out of shape 'cause someone took his cuff links?" He took out a big knife and started to whittle his initials in the wooden leg belonging to the woman at the next table. "Try to abolish honest smuggling, will they? Well I'll teach them something, or get busted in the attempt!" He turned to his girlfriend, hiding under the bar, "We're about to have some fun, Nellie!"

howard (I think I used them all)

Cassandra Thu Mar 2 10:58:36 PST 2000

Hi all,

Well, half of the pain and torement are over with. Now I have only to sit through my art history class, and a photo critique. I'm planning to squeeze one more thing I need for class right after photography... or perhaps between the classes... it's going to be tough, but it'll get done.

And then I will get sleep... glorious glorious sleep. This week has been devoid of it, and I'm looking forward to just curling up in my bed, closing my eyes and not waking til noon on Friday.

Hopefully things will be alright.

Gotta run.. luv ya all

Heather- thanks for the support... and I'll try that liquid frisket sometime in the near future. (I think our teacher mentioned it very lightly in passing last semester when she did the demo, but that could only be the lack of sleep distorting my memory.)



Rachel Thu Mar 2 09:39:32 PST 2000

Howard and Heather - Hi guys (grins). I am not feeling grumpy. I feel great! I have been out for a run in the pouring rain. I intentionaly sprinted through as many puddles as I could (ack, what a mess I was when I got home - grins). Anyway, just wanted to send you both some bright smiles and positive energy.

Better brace yourselves 3, 2, 1! Blam! I just splattered joy all over the both of you:D

Hope your days improve.


PS - I dreamed of Jon last night. He was dancing under the light of the moon. That cat can really shake his tail!

Heather Thu Mar 2 09:14:04 PST 2000

You are indeed grumpy, Howard!

I will send vibes your way.
ANd possibly a poem.

That means - oh, no... I will be searching through my hoards of papers.

I'm headachey at the moment. Seems my eyes are tired of moving and sensing light patterns. Maybe I will rest them.
Languid, slosh, subvert, embellish, rancid, scuff, whittle, abolish, gorge, funnel...

ah, not today.


howard Thu Mar 2 08:05:49 PST 2000

Yes, thanks to Laura for that exercise! I enjoyed it too!

Feeling grumpy today, so I won't stay long. Usually when I get to feeling low, and need cheering up, the thing that works for me is to go out on the back porch and whistle. The neighbor's dog hears it, and runs like mad until he hits the end of his chain and gags himself, and just lies there trying to hang on to his breakfast...

Heather Thu Mar 2 07:18:54 PST 2000

Cassandra - liquid frisket is quite cheap, and if you goof it up you just let it dry and peel it off where it went awry, then put it on again. I use a teeny tiny brush for fine detail, it goes on almost like paint. Just be sure to close the bottle when you take out what you need, or the whole top will dry into a skin. (ech!) It also smells revolting at first. Then, after you have inhaled enough while you concentrate on dabbling with it, you will not notice the stink. (no, it's not toxic, just smells that way)
I use the stuff that is lightly tinted blue, so you can see it on white paper. Or any paper for that matter. ALso, use a brush that you don't mind sacrificing to the goop gods.

Try and find it in the art supply store, it is usually kept right with ox gall liquid, paint thinner, gum arabic, etc.
I am not surprised your teacher didn't tell you about the frisket. I'm sure she wants everyone to suffer through doing it the hard way before you find shortcuts. IT's like learning to divide and multiply before you are allowed to use a calculator...

So, I've enjoyed the dictionary word stories! Thank you to Laura! I think this assignment did us a world of good. Nice, fresh daisies for a winter table.

Speaking of winter, this past week has been pure spring, and my garden bulbs were tricked into sprouting. Now this morning there is a fresco of snow. Drat!
So that little rodent was accurate on Groundhog day. Fire him anyway!


Cassandra Wed Mar 1 23:24:46 PST 2000

Well, it looks like crap compared to the other things I did last semester, but it's done and that's the important part right now.

Our teacher never told us of liquid frisket (?)... or the rubber cement eraser trick. Unfortunately I have neither of those supplies (cause we weren't told to buy them), and won't be able to get them for a while. My first priority is to get a new ruling pen, and more illustration board. (I swear she makes us do these things out of sheer sadism, she must be stopped! No one ever uses these pieces in their portfolio. They just like jerking us around, keeping us off of the computers as long as possible and making us slaves to the department.)

Now all that's left is cleaning it off with an exacto knife and cutting it to size.... I just finished a short paper for art history on Leon Battista Alberti's treatise On Painting. What a thrilling page turner! Now come the sketches, and then either reading or sleep...

Thanks a lot, I'm just crawling the walls from stress and lack of sleep :)


Heather Wed Mar 1 21:43:23 PST 2000


I remember my graphic arts prof showing us the 'Ontario Hydro' logo. It is genius. Then he said, " I want every logo/design/etc you create to be this ingenius. Our first assignment will be..."

I understand that the things you design are to grab the public's attention. And what your teacher said is true of most graphic art - any small errors will be noticeable. But there are ways around this.
Also, I just wanted to say, illustration board is so impossible to work with unless you use the scrumbling technique with a dry(ish) brush, in acrylics. And of course, that is quite the opposite effect you are so arduously struggling to achieve.
May your hand be steady.


Heather Wed Mar 1 21:35:32 PST 2000

Cassandra - I know, I have had to stay in the lines of dictatorship colouring books too. I just decided to stop using that type of lettering and go with the 'expressive'!

I must have had a teacher with less of a bent towards the whipping post. I await the day you paint all across lines and to your heart's content.
Gouache really sucks too, I must admit, if you are trying to keep it contained. It has a natural flow, and it wants to soak into the neighbouring paper. Have you tried masking off the letters with liquid frisket? Or is that not allowed? I use a chunk of a rubber cement-like eraser to remove it and there is no evidence it was there. Then you would be able to paint without a worry that it will go over the lines, and come out with perfect strokes in the gouache.
It's a watercolour 'trick'. You can use the liquid stuff over top of previous washes too. So long as they are perfectly dry. It is a pain to go around every single letter with the Liq. Frisket, but probably less time than 4 hours?
I hope that helps you! If not, you can throw your brushes at me.
Keep us posted on how it goes. A star has winked at me and I think all will be well.


Jerry A.G. Ericsson Wed Mar 1 21:11:32 PST 2000

Ok, let me get this straight, now our next assignment is to write a book by the end of the year? Any topic OK, or does it have to deal with a special topic. How about a collection of short stories? Or does it have to be a novel?

Just thought I would ask.


No I don't hate cats, and the guy who threw the cat out of the car turned out to be one of the best cops I ever had the pleasure to work with. The last time I saw him, I hired him to represent me before workers Comp, and we won the case, so he turned out to be a very good attorney too. He just didn't like cats very much. Another of my officers found it interesting to remove the cages from the chamber before the cats were dead and beat on the cage with a flashlight, because when we were in training, they told us that one of the after effects of an attempted suicide by carbon monoxider poisoning was a terriable headache. He would then put the revived cat back in the cage and finnish the job.

Cassandra Wed Mar 1 20:28:06 PST 2000


I am not remarking on artistic merits of gouache painting. I'm speaking of accurately rendering typefaces with gouache and ruling pen on illustration board. One mark outside the lines that I can't remove quickly and I have to start the four hour process over again. We don't paint, and Graphic Design is not for my own personal purpose. The purpose is to design pieces that communicate an idea cleanly, graphically, immaculately... so that it's readable by anyone. Flaws in the piece distract the viewer's eye... or so I suppose is the teacher's arguement.

Anyways, I'm pulling an allnighter because of said gouache... my ruling pen crapped out on me so I have to do it using a tiny brush and pray that I can make straight lines... I'd like to pass the class so I can get my degree, in which case I can make art however I damned please.

Thankfully I have my screenprinting class to offset the Nazi-like graphic design stuff. My screen painting teacher referred to what I called "messy" as "expressive". :) I like her already.


Heather Wed Mar 1 20:04:41 PST 2000

When I said 'Past masters' I was referring to painters or sculptors from art history, not Rachel and Howard! (et al)
Not that they are not masters... How about page sages?

Hi TRUDY! Great to see you back again!

Rhoda - thanks for your words. I haven't been rejected, yet, that is. My work isn't near ready to be sent out. I guess it was anticipatory fear.
I won't know how I will react to rejection. (From a publisher, everyone! Wise asses!) I hope that I can be as cool headed about it as you are. And positive! Give Rhoda a great big hug everybody, for bucking up and having amazing perserverance!
And another congratulations for winning the competition!


Heather Wed Mar 1 19:55:42 PST 2000

Cassandra, painting with gouache is still painting. And if what holds top priority in your mind happens to be the teacher's nitpicking over technique, then you may tend to over do it. Technique can be learned, just like writing. But I could copy Rachel or Howard all I like. I will never be them and my words will never be theirs. What I consider to be Masterpieces are not made by imitating techniques or styles of past masters.
True technique and talent comes from within you. It is how your hand moves your brush to achieve the image in your mind upon the grounds. It is how you stroke the medium into taking it's place upon the stage and acting out the play.
It is the idea with which you began to paint, and the idea that wants to come forth.

In the end it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks of it, as long as you like it. When I paint to please only me, it is strange how others flock to it. When I have painted to please others, my work goes unnoticed, unappreciated, etc. (I know I say this and still, I understand the pressure you are feeling...)
So aim to let go of trying to please your teacher. Forget the techniques of the masters of art history. Listen only to what noise you make in your soul, and if your brush listens too, it will be very active, yet silent. This is the best way to generate ideas to put on canvas too.

I must shut off the world around me to create. Otherwise I pick up too much and in effect, my work is not pure. This pertains much more to painting. Words are different. Words describe, express, blend and portray, but they do not make the picture with their singular letters.(except Haiku?) The shape of an 'o' does not tell us anything about an octopus. But the painting uses every line to bring a detail out, set a backround. The eye sees it as a whole, an object, a blend of colours and textures. The mind sees it as a story.

Graphic design is telling a story too. Whether it is to sell something, stand for something, or represent a thing or a company, it has to tell us something. Say what you really want to say, and without fear of a bad mark, and your teacher will see the confidence in your strokes. Gouache should never be nitpicked over. If you have done more than 5 washes, you have flooded it and it will be contrived. Relax!
Graphic art is nothing to look down on. I know, I had a hard time with it as well. I hated it for ages. And then I started looking at it in the same way I saw sculpture and painting and illustration. We are telling a story, a feeling, giving colour to the spirit of our inner most selves. Feel free. Even if you have little time. It's the quality of that time that matters.
My best work comes when I trust myself. It is always the first draft, too. If I have botched the first one, I won't try to fix it. I will start with another angle. Another medium, another something.

Well, my best of the muse to you, Cassandra,
I don't mean to sound condescending. This is just how I work best and what I have learned from the years I have stood on this Earth. I wonder what I will think in another 30 years? Boy, my legs are tired. Got to sit down.

H a ha haaa.
Who said D-Cup? I thought you were calling me.
Natural that is.
No silicon valley for this woman.
Unfortunately, gravity works on all tits. Not just the fakes.


Trudy Wed Mar 1 19:52:38 PST 2000

ok I lied, I thought of something else when reading Rhoda's tales about rejection letters. These types of stories always remind me of my very first one which I was sooooo excited about because it came back with a lovely hand written note from the editor encouraging me to write more poetry and submit it to the magazine but at this time it was not what they needed. He gave a few tips on strengths and weaknesses and I was delighted. My room mate at the time thought I was insane until I explained about how if you received a handwritten response it meant you showed promise, because you didn't get the usual form letter.

Of course many years later I found out that the magazine I had submitted to never sends form letters. They always gave some kind of constructive criticism to submissions. Even so, I still have that first rejection letter, in a file with all the others...and a few of them are handwritten too.

Sweet dreams of mail boxes full of acceptances!


Trudy Wed Mar 1 19:42:37 PST 2000

Well, this little exercise was harder than anticipated....I didn't like my words at all but didn't here it is...

allegro, pyridine, sidereal, monkey, hard (solid in substance), nomenclature, trice, dream, sciata, hovel.

With his eyes closed and head resting on the back of his favourite chair, Dr. Johnson relaxed as the andante allegro of Hendel's Organ Concerto no. 6, op. 4 played in the background. He could faintly smell the lingering scent of pyridine on his lab coat, but was too tired to get up and remove the offending piece of clothing. He thought about sidereal time because his student assistant had been trying to grasp its meaning all afternoon. He shook his head and tried to escape the thoughts running around in his mind. He tried not to think of his assistant as an annoying little monkey, but realized now that the picture was in his head it would be hard to think of the lad in any other way. It was nomenclature for the doctor; once a monkey, forever a monkey. In a trice he would change his mind about which student assistant he had chosen, but it was a dream to think he could go back. Dr. Johnson shifted in his seat. He had hoped to get more comfortable, but instead felt sciata discomfort. He opened his eyes, wishing he lived in something more than a hovel as the concerto came to an end.

And with that bedtime story I'm off to bed! night all!


Rhoda Wed Mar 1 18:02:44 PST 2000

In tribute to my Romano-British characters we had Cornish pasties tonight for supper. Actually my characters would not have eaten such stuff since the potato was not available back in the 6th century. My characters are all aristocrats and none have ever worked in the mines and would not have needed this type of food. No matter, we honored the Cornish anyway--past, present and future..(Burr-up!)


There is nothing more wonderful than finishing something. It is euphoric. A couple of days later when the sparkle wears off, I get a bit depressed because I have a hard time fixing my energies to something different.

Fear of rejection has never been a big problem for me. I have been rejected so many times, it is really no big deal. I treasured my first rejection because I knew I would get it when I sent the work out. I merely viewed the rejection as the end of a process that was very important to my success, submitting. The rejection is the material proof that I got the thing in the mail and someone looked at it. When you consider the fact that for first time novelists, the vast majority get rejected, than you shouldn't be so surprised when it happens.

I do get frustrated, very much so. I can go months putting out material and get a long line of rejections, all form ones. I can count on one or two hands the numbers of rejections I have ever got actually written by the person the work was addressed to. Very few times do I ever get feed-back of any type. That is hard to bear.

What is bad is getting some high flying editor or agent show an interest in your work and then reject it. That hurts. What also hurts is to get your work trashed in a contest. That has happened to me, and that was very hard to get over.

But you must keep trying. Most great writers have gotten rejected, some for years. You must begin somewhere, and you must be honest enough to realize that your first novel or your first article is probably substandard anyway in light of all the competition. That's OK. You get better over time. You learn your craft, and someday you get your break (I'm still waiting for mine). None of that can happen unless you submit your work.

I haven't been on since this morning, and I got overwhelmed reading the new posts. I had better finish.

Happy writing,


eddie french Wed Mar 1 17:05:04 PST 2000

Really stange things happening here tonight!!!

Americo Wed Mar 1 16:58:09 PST 2000


You asked about my thesis. It's called English references in the fiction of Eça de Queirós, and analyzes the literary and heterogeneous incidence of England and English writers on the works of Eça de Queirós, a 19th century Portuguese novelist.

Good night, everybody.

Jon's widow and family Wed Mar 1 16:54:33 PST 2000

Jon's widow and family thank all those pure souls who regretted our beloved Jon's painless voyage to heaven. Gratitude and ungratitude have always walked side by side. This family in mourning only care about gratitude, and forgive their ugly sister; but will not forget.

Cushing Wed Mar 1 16:29:10 PST 2000

worry not about the constraints of your inept mortal visage!
Spring is upon once again!
I have seen many springs. I hope to see many more.
My work can not be constrained by the eternal wanderings of this solitary globe.
While darkness exists, I live!
I cannot subscribe to this provincial attitude which insists that 'we' strive to attain publication of our works in this year of our lord two thousand and zero years!
My work will be complete only when the forces of evil are banished from the dark streets and alleys of our personal living quarters!
Upon the attainment of this paradoxical paradise on earth I will publish.
Until then, I hope to beguile you all with mere snippets of my adventures in the dark realm.
Once, long ago, I was an innocent. The recantation of my simple life entertained you to no small degree.
I am still the same person, though more adept in the ways of darkness and human existance.
My words go unheeded. I have tried to warn you of the comely ways of the multitudeness of Jon, yet you choose not to hear. It is to my complete despair that I read of your unsuspecting associations with the results of my serious error in the treatment of the unfortunate Jon.
See here in these manifold manifestations of all human error the results of blind exceptance born of the limited perception of the human mind.
You are not to blame, any one of you!!
You do not have the insight born of generations of battles well fought with the forces of evil.
Though you may know me, you are unsure of your knowledge!
You are confident of your ability to handle these strange events.
Your confidence blinds you!
You place these events comfortably within the scope of your limited experiences.
Look deeper.
Look at Jon,
Look deeper!
What do you see now?
I am here if you feel the need.

Allein Wed Mar 1 15:39:07 PST 2000

Sqrlmunk - No, it's just the animal. I posted a couple of days ago why that's my favorite word at the moment.

Rachel - I haven't ever heard of that song.

Rachel Wed Mar 1 13:55:56 PST 2000

Alline - I'm getting along pretty well (grins). How about you? I send you hugs as well. Hey, did you ever sing that song "Buffalo gals won't you come out tonight?" We used to sing that in school.

I better dash. You know, things to do, people to see (grins and laughter).

Take care you


Squirrelmunk Wed Mar 1 13:05:07 PST 2000

I still have your Christmas card sittin on my desk! ::smacks forhead:: I'm really far behind. Also, you said Buffalo, as in Buffalo, NY? or am I missing something by not reading all of the posts?
(sorry, I am reading in between studying for a major exam)

Ariel Wed Mar 1 12:28:58 PST 2000

In memory of Jon and in celebration of his new existence.

Gothe wrote -

Roses that daze the eye,
Sweet fragrance bringing,
Fluttering, floating by,
From the spray winging.
Life new-breathed in a sigh,
Buds gently springing,
Swiftly your blossom show.
Burst, Spring, into green,
In amethyst glow,
Let Paradise be seen
By him who sleeps below.

Live well always and forever


Allein Wed Mar 1 12:12:05 PST 2000

Here I am! :) BUFFALO!! Okay, I'm over that now. :)

Rachel - Hiya! *hugs* How have you been?

Jon - *scratch behind the ears* for the cutest kitty in the world.
Bye bye,

"Life - Sexually transmitted and always fatal"

Countdown to Allein's birthday: FOUR DAYS!!!

Americo Wed Mar 1 10:34:07 PST 2000


The topic is works in progress. Literary works... Can't be more specific.

howard Wed Mar 1 10:00:49 PST 2000

Hi Trudy! Welcome!

Cassandra -- Yes, that's the place, only without the P (they got municipal sewers now)... It's Binghamton. Or, as Ronald Reagan put it when he visited here, "Bimmingum."
Right now I live about 25 miles north of there, just outside the small village of Lisle.
I grew up in Vestal, and my class went down to the Vestal Railroad Station (it's now a library) to see the Phoebe Snow when she passed through. I think it was her final run -- have to look that one up. I'd not thought of her for a long time until I saw Heather's post (thanks, Heather!).


Rachel Wed Mar 1 09:34:14 PST 2000

Trudy! - Hi you (smiles).

Trudy Wed Mar 1 09:27:28 PST 2000

Hi all,

I've been away and having returned am now trying to catch up on all the posts and think of something witty to say. Alas I'm not that witty, but the stories coming from Laura's writing exercise reminded me of another writing exercise we did at a writers workshop one time. The instructor had us write down five words, any words, out of our head. I think mine were horse, table, chair, balloon and I can't remember the other one. After we did that we had to write a sex scene using all those words. There were some funny stories. I'll have to try Laura's to see what I come up with. A wonderful way to procrastinate the article I'm supposed to be working on!

Heather, Usually I have so many other assignments when writing articles I'm elated to finsih that last sentence. As for my fiction writing, my short stories are always works in progress so I never have to say this is it...even when sent to potential publishers, there are always ways to imporve my stories so I keep going; and the publishers must agree as they've never published anything. As for my novels, they've never been near enough to finished to think about it...I'll have to let you know when I get there (100 yuears from now!)

OK going to go have lunch then get at the to do list. Happy writing all! It's nice to be back.


Rachel Wed Mar 1 09:17:51 PST 2000

Heather - I can relate to what you are saying about the not wanting a project to come to an end. I know that feeling. The hesitation and uncertainty of approaching publihsers. All I have to say is don't let yourself get sucked into these feelings. Push on and dive into the publihsing end of things. Do not wait, do not hesitate. Publishers are only people.

I send you a very encouraging smile and tell you "Go for it!"

Take care you


Cassandra Wed Mar 1 08:49:17 PST 2000

Hi all,

On the topic of literary subjects:
I rarely have time to read aside from the short breaks I get from college (about one every 3 months). So other than the repetitive crap I have to deal with about Grahphic Designers and Art History, I can't particpate in any such discusions. And no, I can't change that, I got 4 hours of sleep last night, and probably won't visit dreamland tonight. That is solely for my classwork, I have done nothing for myself but eat and bathe and take "sanity breaks" for the past few weeks.

Sometimes just posting here takes up valuable time.

I don't paint. I'm a Graphic Designer, the anal artist. If I ever tried doing gouache work with my eyes closed I'd be drawn and quatered... If the work I did were for my eyes only I would love to meld with the canvas, but unfortunately I get graded on technique.

Do you mean Vestal New York, down near Binghampton? I've got a few friends here at college who are from out that way.

sorry if this post comes off as having a wee too much attitude... I'm stressed close to the breaking point.

(walking that very fine line between genius and insanity)

howard Wed Mar 1 08:30:40 PST 2000

Heather -- Phoebe Snow? I remember hearing her back in 1952, as she made her way through Vestal on one of her tours. Sounded rather lonesome, too -- and lost. She was rather pretty in her own way, with her rounded form and her bright eyes (especially the one in the middle). Still, I much preferred her older siblings. For all that they smoked and snorted, they were truly noble. Their symmetric beauty was inspiring, and their songs sank into the soul, crying at the same time loneliness and freedom. Men were willing to live and die in their service, and loved them.
Would that they were still here.

Americo -- What is it that you would like to discuss? There are so many facets to this literary gem, catching the light and bending it to reflect back different visions and colors to those who take a second glance. Depending on illumination and perspective this same jewel can appear cheap and tawdry, or one can see it as priceless. Can you be more specific?

Litter -- "Storm in a D-cup?" I wish *I'd* said that!


Heather Wed Mar 1 08:10:50 PST 2000

Does anyone here fear the ending of their book or article? Anyone afraid to type that last sentence (a fitting phrase) because the fear of rejection looms so near? ANd a completed manuscript means the next step is sending it off.

ALso, anyone know what revere screws look like and where to find them? Sometime this year I will be constructing the cover for my manuscript, and having this info now won't hurt.
Yes, Americo, I accept the challenge to have my book finished this year. I know, spring is near. I have got to get on with it!
Chapter 3 is half done. I am going to work on it all afternoon. Tonight I admit, I will be going to sleep early. Last two nights I have been up far too late, the music of typing keeping my ears happy.
For the first time in a long while I put in 5 CD's and set it on spiral, and listened to music with words while I wrote! I had to keep it quite low volume, but I enjoyed it immensely. Thanks, NBer's, for reminding me of this joy.
I have far too few hours to be solitary, so these should be well spent.

'You cannot save time up to use later, but you can spend what time you have wisely'. And so, on that sobering note, I am off to write, be it mere crumbs of the cake that come forth, or sweet gobs of icing.

A slice for everyone.



Heather Wed Mar 1 08:00:37 PST 2000

Americo, I would love to discuss actual writing, the many-tiered process of composing and refining literary work;
and have asked some questions so far since arriving here in the NB.
I should like to know what the topic of your thesis is, too.
So, where do we start?

P.S. Jon is out chasing 747's in his newly fitted wings. He already lost his halo. I fear for his gown!


Americo Wed Mar 1 07:29:13 PST 2000

Unable to bear the burden of earthly glory, Jon went to heaven. He will accept prayers and perform miracles. Let us hope he will behave himself there.

His name has been given to his school, which is now called St. Jon's School.

His last wish was a little sun your way.

©Writers Notebook, the place where time and space are discounted on the IRS.

PS I wish you people talked about literature and mainly about what you are doing in that field. I am writing a book based on my thesis and answering questions related to the fact that it's now five years since I've published my latest book — an eternity. People want to know if I am still alive, an uncomfortable question.

Heather Tue Feb 29 23:05:53 PST 2000

Cover your ears, Jon; Jerry has just told of cat holocaust.
What a sick individual that cat-tosser guy was. And an attorney. He'll see a big sign painted with "Karma" coming to slap him across the jaws in the near future, rest assured.
I might just paint it myself.

Cassandra, many have been forged into artists by the squint of tired eyes, and the burning ache of limbs too weary to hold a brush. You have entered sacred ground, take a deep breath. Paint with your eyes closed. Let the canvas become your flesh. Nothing you could paint will be wrong. Have confidence in the spark. It ignites many works of art. And many of these works are lit in the wee hours before dawn.

Does anyone get 'Saturday Night' magazine? Check out the article in this months' issue on spraypaint artists. A tumultuous theme runs deep here.

Flag is waving... time to submit to rest.

Heather Tue Feb 29 22:56:39 PST 2000

Howard, with mirth; the feather from my quill I bequeath thee, patron saint of the Notebook.
Your story beat the Fife out of the Drum.

Ahhhh, the sweet lilting and deep soul inherent in the voice of Pheobe Snow abides me at this hour. The air is alive with the throaty elixer of poetry.

(Reminder for self: I must set foot in the poetry pages before I fly...)

Here's a tender morsel or two of food for thought:

"Fiction: 'Fact, distorted into truth.'" --Edward Albee

"Pen: 'Wit's plough'" --John Clarke

Doesn't the adjective 'pedagogic' sound like something entirely sinister and horrifying? Oh, yes. That's right! It is.
But for all it's worth, Laura's sampling of her classes' assignments was a nice breath of fresh oxygen. Keep those brainstormers ripping the roof off this virtual cohabitat!
...At the risk of appearing pedantic, I must really check into Litter's new posts! I shall have to fetch my teething ring.
I am beginning to feel like a nursing infant among the likes here.


Laura Tue Feb 29 22:45:02 PST 2000

Is anyone else still among the insanely awake?

Cassandra Tue Feb 29 22:34:36 PST 2000

how weary my bones at the ripe young age of twenty
how foggy my mind with chemicals too creul to mention
how covered my hands in color layers mixed to mud
how scrunched my eyes attempting to keep conscious
how hated my art, my major at these wee hours
how little sleep will I get
how much waits for me
how loud can someone scream
at 2am...

Jerry A.G. Ericsson Tue Feb 29 19:41:47 PST 2000

Americo - I have this friend, well actually he used to work as my assistant Chief Of Police, when I was the Chief of the small ND city of Bowman ND, who can take care of Jon for you. For years, we had to set traps for cats in the City, as many went "wild" when turned out, and never came home. Their howels would keep the people up and they would complain. We had live capture traps, and when captured, we would transport them to the local dump grounds, where the City crew had prepared a gas chamber, which was used to "dispose" of the unwanted animals. The chamber consisted of a discarded deep-freeze with a large hole near the bottem. This hole was large enough to insert a flex-hose that was attached to the exhaust of the patrol car. When the cage was occupied, we would transport it to the dump, place the cage in the deep freeze, attach the hose and sit in the car, playing CCR on the tape player, while the exhaust did it's job on the cats, then take the cage to the dead animal pit and drop it inside. Now my assistant really hatted cats. It was his dream to take one of the cats out in the patrol unit, and drop it out the car window at a speed of sixty miles per hour (about 88 KPH for those of a metric mind). The idea of the test being, will a cat land on its feet at such a speed. One morning, when I came to work, he told me he had tried it, and in fact cats do land on their feet at a speed of sixty miles per hour. He said that once they land on their feet, they begin to tumble, then skid off the road. I couldn't believe it, he had tried it. I asked him to tell me more, and he began with "Do you realize how hard it is to get a cat off your arm when you stick it out a car window driving 60 MPH down the highway. At any rate, if you want Jon disposed of, I know where he now lives, in fact he has shown his true colors. He is an ATTORNEY! How much more evil can one person get, not only disposing of cats, but engaging in one of the most evil practices in the world, that of practicing LAW. (This is a true story)

howard htuckey Tue Feb 29 19:35:43 PST 2000

Ok, Heather, here 'tis:
They Wept At Dawn
The soft gray light of dawn illuminated the Third Reich's showpiece of defense, situated at Pont du Hoc, on the Normandy coast. From the air the area was a mosaic of sedate farmlands preserved by a strange code of ethics, interspersed with the scars made by the Nazi death machines. These seemed to abrade the solid stone of the cliffs, to settle into the very gates of Europe, defying those who would soon attempt to establish a beachhead on the narrow strip of sand below. Too soon would echo the dissonant chatter of the machine guns, punctuated by the all too frequent screams of men, as they felt death tear into them.
And at the top of the hill, waiting for the certain silence that would follow, was a place reserved for those who would fall there that day, June 6, 1944.

Rachel Tue Feb 29 19:13:57 PST 2000

Litter - Good night.
Take care you

Litter Tue Feb 29 19:07:55 PST 2000

Couple more poems in the workbook, inspired by Hollyweird and Las Vegas

3.00am now going to bed



Cassandra Tue Feb 29 14:24:22 PST 2000

Kicked the test's butt! whoo hoo hee hee!

Have you ever read Michealangelo's poem about painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling? My teacher handed it out in class today. It's pretty funny, all he does is gripe about it... how his back hurts, and the paint drips on the floor. :)

Catch you all later, got Photography to go do...
gotta love the darkroom.


Ariel Tue Feb 29 12:30:28 PST 2000

Jon - You know exactly who and what I am. I wish you well.


Americo Tue Feb 29 12:20:38 PST 2000

Good morn... what time is it? Just got up from bed.

I'm going for a walk with Jon. He is just trying to call your attention. He is well. He has just taken one of Pussy's pills. He does that from time to time. Most people do the same. I do the same. Allein does it all the time. I miss Hema and Viper Six.

I would like to know what are you writing. This is a serious question. This year everyone here must publish a book, at least finish one. So, hurry up. It's almost spring!

howard Tue Feb 29 12:17:52 PST 2000

Cassandra -- Donatella you art teacher I said it, but I think I remember seeing that Donatello actually sculpted three "Davids," the earliest in 1408 or 1409. Then Michaelangelo comes down from the ceiling one day, high on paint fumes, and says "He'sa did three? I'ma doin it once, an I'ma doin it right!"
The rest, as they say, is hysterical...
vellum at eleven..,

Jon Tue Feb 29 12:12:50 PST 2000

are you the angel Ariel? Am I already in heaven? Oh, I'm so happy!

Ariel Tue Feb 29 12:10:42 PST 2000

Concerned one - Do not worry for us. I have taken Jon to bathe his limbs with dew from Lethe's lea. Maybe I will find success where Chusing could not. This dear kitty needs some peace.


Pussy Tue Feb 29 12:08:53 PST 2000

What have you done to my pills?

Tonight is fun and games night.

Tue Feb 29 11:48:25 PST 2000

No! Don't be soft on the critter! He has enough brain to analyze his situation without distracting walks in the meadow! But if you must...

Just don't get jumped by dopplegangers!

Heather Tue Feb 29 11:45:39 PST 2000

Rachel - I am just as afraid to clean out my husband's pockets or hockey equipment bag. Now that's mucidity. Especially if I've washed those bank slips in his pockets that he saves for me to grumble over.
Or the cat. Let's see, could she possibly be better at missing the linoleum and puking on the carpet? Or how about this: she let one wicked wretch go two feet from her litter box. Can cats not aim? Or maybe she didn't want the mucid stuff in her precious sand box, where her better halves lie?

(MIS-Quote by Jeff Foxworthy: "Cats always seem to wait until you've gotten into bed for the night, and then there they go, choking and coughing up hairballs at the other end of the house. Honey? Remind me to put my slippers on in the mornin'!")


Nevermind, my friends. Ignore that, or face the probability of not being able to swallow dinner!

My apologies, but not my eraser.

Ariel Tue Feb 29 11:42:27 PST 2000

Jon - All will be well kitty. Come with me and walk in the meadows. I will sing to you and you will sleep. When you wake you will find that the world is not so bad as you had thought.


Rachel Tue Feb 29 11:31:01 PST 2000

Heather - (grins and laughter). Make that mucid not musid :D

And yes, I do think it is sad that a word would be edited out of the dictionary. What is with that? Who did they ask before they started with that? Hum...


Rachel Tue Feb 29 11:11:45 PST 2000

Heather - (grins and laughter). Make that mucid not musid :D

And yes, I do think it is sad that a word would be edited out of the dictionary. What is with that? Who did they ask before they started with that? Hum...


Rachel Tue Feb 29 11:09:36 PST 2000

Heather - Hi you(smiles). I am having a cleaning day. I am afraid of the childrens bathroom... What if there is musid stuff! I am afraid. I am very afraid (grins).

Take care you


Heather Tue Feb 29 10:58:39 PST 2000

I don't believe Jon! He wants to be petted and fawned over.
Perhaps the Doc he should see is a CatPsychologist. Is that the Doc Kwinkidinks that you speak highly of? Dr. Katvorkian is out of town, sorry Jon, you are just going to have to 'suffer' through breathing and awareness. You could always quit school and work on the farm like my grandmother did... catch mice in the barn. Have a candle lit dinner in the hay loft.

Bravo, Rachel! Ingenius ways to include all ten whopper words. I felt like that in highschool. Most of the time. Didn't we all?
Let's see - mucid...
it is defined in my old 1935 dictionary as "(adj.) musty, slimy, mucous. --mucidness, n."

It was probably so rarely used of late that it was decided not to be included in modern dictionaries. What a shame! A word should never be edited from a dictionary, easily to fall by the wayside, forgotten. It just might be the perfect one to grace a very important sentence that the world will benefit from by it's reading.

mucaloid is possibly its replacement. mucoid. Or how about GROSS. Valley girls have changed the usage of that one.
(Allein can laugh, yes I was much older than a toddler in the 80's! No! Say it isn't so!)
I am caught in the act of rambling.
I bow my head to my illustrious friends. Except poor little Jon, a cat in a predicatment.

Anyone can lead you if you follow. You don't wear a leash, do you Jon?


Cassandra Tue Feb 29 10:56:06 PST 2000

Close but not quite... Donatello's David was in 1428, Michaelangelo's in 1505. Or so my art history book and teacher tell me. :) But you were right, Donatello's was first, and I think more accurate to the biblical character. Michealangelo's love of the muscular human form led his to be a more idealised Classical Greek type of sculpture. The only connection to the biblical story being the rock and slingshot in his hands.

Anyways, thanks for the praise. Funny you mention it, cause for "Canary" I took some words straight off the top of my head and wrote the poem to include them. I think my mom will like it.

I'll get to read/show her it when I visit her in Daytona for Spring Break.

catch you all later

another triva question:
Which did Botticelli paint first: Primavera, or the Birth of Venus?

Rachel Tue Feb 29 10:28:58 PST 2000

Americo - Quickly! Jon is trying to kill himself. You will need to call an ambulance. His frail kitty self would appear to be unable to cope with the stress of being a celebrity. You must find a way for him to come to terms with what he has become. Maybe Dr. Kwinkidinks can help with this...


Jon Tue Feb 29 10:17:37 PST 2000


Nope. I only saw there some Cocca-Cola cans and a box of condoms, too big to be yours. I offered them to A*. Sorry.

People: if you want to send me messages, make them brief. I've taken some pills and I'm going to die.

Neil Armstrong Tue Feb 29 10:16:18 PST 2000

Dear Jon,

did you by any chance find a box of cigars I left on the Moon in 1969?

Jon Tue Feb 29 10:14:57 PST 2000

I'm in a deep blue funk today.
Received with cheers and applause at school. In his address to greet me for my voyage to the moon, the headmaster announced they are going to erect a bronze statue of me on the playground. Good idea, as I hate queing to go to the WC.
I had to knock down three boys and seven girls. They wanted me to autograph their notebooks. I told them I hated heros, but they insisted and I had to knock them down. The English teacher did not spit today.
I'm fed up with school.
What have I done? What have I done to deserve such a miserable life?

howard Tue Feb 29 10:10:51 PST 2000

Cassandra -- Donatello sculpted "David" in 1408-09, while Michaelangelo wasn't born until 1475.
BTW, I liked your "Canary" in the poetry workbook.

Your poem too, Litter -- of course why wouldn't I? I know that poet! :-)

And Chris, if you're still lurking, your poem was strange, indeed. Beaded seat covers, Sears Tower, and JWs - a very long stretch! But I think I liked it.

Heather - I was afraid I'd get lost in the dictionary, just jumping from one word to the next. I've made it a practice that whenever I look up a word I also read every definition on that page, and on the facing page. Then again, I was afraid I'd cheat...
I'll go with your first list, but not for while -- my employer is demanding some ROI.


Rachel Tue Feb 29 09:15:01 PST 2000

Heather - I liked your story too (smiles). I decided to give your words a go. The only one I didn't find in my dictionaries was mucid. I went with mucidine - A sort of fungus forming moulds and mildews. (Sounds yummy - grins).


School, school, how I hate school. Yuh, yuh, I know. It's the place to go during your formative years. You need a full compliment of subjects in order to pursue further education.

But, between you and I, I'm not big on tactics for how to get ahead in school. I just want to have some fun. I swear it up and down, it feels like an aeon when I have to sit through some of those classes. I wonder if they will ever end. There are days when I honestly think that I will faint dead away from boredom, and then somebody will need to run for the smelling salts.

So, instead of letting myself faint from boredom, I invent ways to keep myself busy! I go off into the land of all things imagined (this isn't really very good for the grades - grins). Yes, my own imaginary escapes. There are days when I will imagine that I can actually see the mucidine forming its lovely moulds and mildews. I will imagine it creeping along the window ledge. The imagery of this is really something. A hell of a lot more entertaining that listening to my teacher drone on about the characteristics of tellurium (groans).

Other days I will spend time looking out the window to select just the right icicle to take my own life with, so that after lunch break I don't have to come back to classes (grins). Sometimes I will pick the icicle for somebody else (bwah, ha, ha, ha)!

There is always the ever-attractive option of playing with an elastic band. I will stretch it and stretch it to test its elasticity. That is all fun and games, until it snaps. That is the part I don't really enjoy. It kind of hurts.

Ah well, I don't have a choice. I have to go to school. If I don't, my parents will kill me. It's as simple as that. And despite what I say here, I kind of do want to have a life one-day. A life outside my parents home. That means I have to carry on.

Further to that, if I want to have an enjoyable life. Not only do I have to continue with school, but I have to do well. Damn, this just isn't fair!

Cassandra Tue Feb 29 09:10:50 PST 2000

Hi all...

I find it kind of weird but for every 10 words people pick, there are at least 6 or more I use in everyday life... I guess my friends have a reason for stopping me in the middle of an explaination. My friend Renee and I used to remark on the polysyllabic verbiage illicit in our youthful conversations. But as my spelling is not the best, such words sedomly find their way onto my NB posts. :)

And it's fun being ambi, that way if someone says something offensive you can just switch the hand you're writing with, and slap 'em. That way no one eludes you, or prevents you from getting your work done. :D

study time for Art History test...yippie!

triva question:
Can anyone here tell me who sculpted their version of David first, Donatello, or Michaelangelo?

Later gators

Heather Tue Feb 29 07:30:47 PST 2000

Whooops. Just read over my story I posted and found some errors. ley was supposed to be key.
I think I spelled floundering without an 'n', too.

oh well.

chalk it up to lack of sleep. Was on the phone last night for three and a half hours with my best friend! And then I went to the NB and saw the project.

Hey, Kat! Use that story as the Point of View project we have been planning to try! Now you can write from either the driver's pov, or the pov of the limo gentleman.
OK? (you can always say no, too, and I'll try again with another story...)


Heather Tue Feb 29 07:21:45 PST 2000

How about some picked from my big ol' dictionary...
maybe they would make a story without so much self-mutilation on the writer's part?

Here we go with ten more: (warning, some may be words we have yet to utter once in our lives!)

tactics, icicle, tellurium, elasticity, formative, imaginary, smelling salts, complement, aeon, mucid

uh huh! these I think are even worse! Not more than one that I've never needed to use in speech previously. And that was mucid. I like it.

Howard? You might want to pick your own... it's looking like science lab in my dictionary.

I picked uranium too, but picked again since I already picked tellurium, another element!

Happy writing, all!

Heather Tue Feb 29 07:10:25 PST 2000

Hey everyone!
Good morning.
I picked the ten words from my Thesaurus, at random.
Honestly, I didn't think I would be able to use all of them in the story, but it just went that way. I didn't premeditate what I was going to write either. If I did, the ten words would be even more obvious in the story. Isn't part of the point to make it so that if someone did not know what the ten dictionary-picked words were, they wouldn't be able to tell? That is, indeed, a challenge.

Forgot to say Rachel, that I really liked your Water Buffalo story! I don't think I would have been able to find a way to use Water Buffalo as well.

A very fine suggestion, Laura! Let's see everyone else's, now! (Rachel and I can sit back and watch the scramble)

Come on...
any takers?

here are ten words for you Howard:
(freshly picked from my magical Thesaurus)

showpiece, mosaic, ethics, reserved, beachhead, sedate, abrade, dissonant, frequent, tear(to rip, cut, slash, shred, fray, tatter, etc...)

uh, whoops. I picked some hard ones...
Don't have to use 'em Howard!
Why would you not be able to pick them randomly?


howard Tue Feb 29 05:34:42 PST 2000

Americo -- Thanks! I appreciate that, coming from you especially. But how do you read a story by mistake? By the way, I already have been given immortality -- could I have a nice wheel of Brie, a loaf of French bread, and a bottle of good port instead?

Laura -- I don't trust myself to pick ten "random" words from the dictionary. Could you pick them and post them here?

Rachel -- Hi right back!


Rachel Tue Feb 29 01:39:11 PST 2000

Heather - My ten words were random from the dictionary. Is that how you got your words? If I had selected my words from my mind I am sure I would have created a better story (grins).

Take care you


Rachel Tue Feb 29 01:37:39 PST 2000

Night all


Rachel Tue Feb 29 01:37:33 PST 2000

Night all


Heather Tue Feb 29 01:23:07 PST 2000

Picking ten words...
here we go. I may have to obliterate this from existence later, but for now:

interloper, cyborg, brighten, flounder, courtly, slouch, humble, rumpus, elated, abstract.


I broke into a run across the pavement. I saw him slide into his black car like a cyborg performing a ballet. I just made it to the passenger window of the limousine when I was greeted in a most courtly manner by his attendant.
"You there, interloper! Stay clear of him, I warn you!" his voice jarred me from my purpose for a few precious seconds.

I knocked on the window. I couldn't see through the dark mirrored glass. All I saw was a warped reflection of my face, ogling me.
I cleared my throat, feeling humble in the presence of his strange gaze. "I know you can hear me," I said through the barrier. And then suddenly I was floudering for words.
Then the window opened just a crack, and I felt myself brighten.
The attendant got into the driver's seat with a determined look on his face. He was watching me as he turned the ley in the ignition, but the engine of the limousine stalled.
"Hello," I knocked again. I kept my eyes on the eyes of my reflection. And I smiled.
The window opened a second inch. "Get in," he said.
I heard a click, and the sleek black door opened. I peered inside the vestibule of the car's interior for a moment, and then slid into the seat offered. I shut the door behind me.
I sat down in a whole different planet than the rough, hot pavement and the smell of rust and oily gears that was unabashedly my perfume.
The leather let me sink into a deep slouch, the soft yield of the cushions was enveloping. There was a fine quality about the air, even, that circulated inside.
"I didn't mean to cause a big rumpus," I said, looking for the first time directly at him, knowing he was looking at me.
He did not reply. Instead he poured a glass of wine for himself, and then nodded to me, asking if I wanted some.
Standing by the front hood, the attendant was talking on a cell phone, his arm gesturing in abstract shapes and movements as he did.
"I am simply elated with the developments of today," my host laughed, and then took a large swill from his glass.
"And how's that?" I asked, looking down into my glass to see my reflection again, in the dark liquid of the wine. My hands left oily residue on the crystal.
"I have the best mechanic in all the world inside my
car as my guest, and right now, outside, my driver is frantically searching his directory for one," he replied.
"Cheers," I said, and raised my glass.


There we are! A new wierd story for the NB. Goodnight, fair ones, Morpheus is flying among your dreams now.

Rachel Mon Feb 28 22:34:23 PST 2000

Allein - Hi you. Thanks (grins).

Howard - Hi you.

Take care all


howard Mon Feb 28 20:27:08 PST 2000

Rachmaninoff just ended, back to the real world (timer ticking again)

Thanks to the internet I just found out that the new meds I've been taking for the past week are not recommended for
patients with diabetes, increased interocular pressure, prostate problems, and a couple of other things that I've been diagnosed with. It can cause convulsions and cardiac collapse in these patients. I believe I'll have a chat with my doctor...

Heather -- no brilliance here, only reflections.

Litter -- I know what you mean about foot-in-mouth, and I've been on both sides of it. I wore a jacket and tie to work one morning, and one of my mates asked "Who died?"
When I told him "My uncle, and the funeral is this morning" he turned several shades of pale, went positively slack-jawed, and started mumbling something that sounded strangely like a cross between Harry Krishna and a coon hound with dyspepsia! I ended up taking him out for a cuppa, and finally got him past the drool-bag stage.

Yes, sometimes we do offend, unwittingly, and we feel badly about it, and we should definitely be sensitive to those around us. But is it possible to go through an hour, let alone a day, week, month, (yeeeou get the picture) anticipating the effects of our every word on our every listener? We'd never get anything said or done!

I've found that those who are genuinely, even deeply, offended by something we say, write, or do, are the most likely to accept a genuine apology, because they're probably (like that woman you mentioned) more sensitive to that sort of thing to begin with. They're not interested in *sharing* their pain, only in knowing that we understand it.

Please understand that I'm not talking about setting out purposely to offend -- like the late Sam Kinnison, or Howard Stern, or some of the other so-called "shock jocks" that foul our mental gutters in the name of free speech and enlightenment. There *are* limits.

On the other hand, there are those who live to be offended, just so they can sound off, and try to make the offender just as miserable as they claim to have been made -- and even moreso. You know, the kind who seem to be saying "Slap me again so I can scream louder, so that everyone in the county will know you've twisted my knickers, and bullied me, and mainly because I love to hear myself foam at the mouth!" Sometimes I do try to accommodate them...

Of course there are those in the middle who don't know whether to be offended or not, and that's the group I try not to tweak too harshly. Most of them can run faster than I.

Enough ramblings for one night, and now it's too late to pick ten words. Can I do it tomorrow, Laura?

Where's M* ? I need him.


Allein Mon Feb 28 20:23:05 PST 2000

Rachel - YAY!!! BUFFALO!!! That's my word lately. It all started when Fred Meyer had a buffalo sale (buffalo meat) and so, trying to be funny, I asked Mom if we could get a buffalo. She just laughed. My dad said: "Only if you clean up after it."
Okay, I'm back to being mature now. No I'm not. BUFFALO!!!

Rachel Mon Feb 28 20:03:55 PST 2000

Laura - It was fun.

Jon - Good night good cat (smiles and scratches behind your ears).

Americo - Good night (smiles).

Take care all


Laura Mon Feb 28 19:50:29 PST 2000

Rachel, that is more or less the idea. You don't have to stick with those ten words but you have to use all ten in context of the dictionary definition. It is fun and it got me a couple of good stories. One of which was the story I intend to post.


Americo Mon Feb 28 19:49:15 PST 2000


Although the "Short-Story" section of this site is not my domain, I read (by mistake :—) your "Aunt Annie" —— and I would like to congratulate you. That was not indeed time discounted on one man's life, but on the contrary, time credited on one man's immortality.

To all Jon's fans: he asked me to apologize ("formally", he said) for not coming here to say good night in person (in catson). But he is a bit fatigued from his voyage back from the moon, and needs his beauty sleep. But he said that he will dream good things about you all, including Rachel.

Heather Mon Feb 28 19:21:10 PST 2000

Artery of the Vain! I love it, Teekay! I'd go in at least once, just to see inside the beautician's shop! (Not that I need a mud mask, get enough flung at me by small children at the park, and in-law's dog, running ahead of me in muddy, squelchy grass)
In the artery of the Vain. Definately a name for a beauty shop. Or a decorated mirror shop.

I will send you the chapters, Teekay, since I got the "subtle" hint...

Litter - social work - I almost went that road myself. We shall talk photopraphy soon. Smile; I'm taking a light reading.

Howard, you are too brilliant for... and I'm running out of sp


howard Mon Feb 28 19:01:36 PST 2000

The gods do not subtract from a man's life span the hours spent fishing...
or writing...
or listening to Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 2

good evening,

Rachel Mon Feb 28 18:51:26 PST 2000

Laura - I decided to give this a try. It is far from a flawless story, but is this what you had in mind?

My words are: Water buffalo - burden - nimbus - yammer - conference - hostile - aim - stifle - finger print - overdub


There was once a magnificent and gentle water buffalo. No burden was too great for this beast. Where ever he went good things happened. It needs to be told that around the head of this mighty beast shone a beautiful nimbus.

This caused the people who saw him to yammer. Such a nimbus could only be a part of a holy and sanctified being. The people decided to bring the case of the water buffalo before a conference of churches. The wished to seek the wisdom of the conference.

The conference members did not want the burden of deciding what the nimbus meant. They grew hostile towards the water buffalo and what ever it might or might not represent. It became their aim to stifle the spread of the story of the water buffalo.

That very night, they found a man with no fingerprints to eliminate the water buffalo.

The conference members did not succeed. The story of the Water buffalo and all he had been and done did not die with him. The church could not overdub or dismiss the stories that grew.

And thus a new religion was born. Yes! We of The Church of The Water buffalo greet you.

If I have that wrong, just have a laugh about it. It didn't really take that long so I probably didn't do it right (grins). That was kind of fun. I really didn't want to stick with the word Water buffalo (grins) or overdub, or nimbus.

Take care you


Teekay Mon Feb 28 18:15:11 PST 2000

How about a beauticians called:
Wouldn't do much business, but what a cool name.

Teekay Mon Feb 28 17:45:12 PST 2000

She sat in front of the computer, trying to ignore the pangs of hunger that ripped through her belly. Not too long now, not too long and she would go and buy lunch, but first there was something she had to do. She could leave it until later, but then the essence of what she had to say may have gone.
"AMERICO," she thought." Oh God, AMERICO, I can't do this I am far too hungry and I don't have enough time, Although I do have time to read HEATHERS chapters." she thought. A thrill ran through her in anticipation of reading HEATHER'S work. She was curious too about the snake and Mary thing that HOWARD and HEATHER had been discussing. She guessed she would have to back track through the posts to find the imformation she needed.
She though of ALLIEN. How glad she was that ALLIEN had made the choice not to smoke. If only other teenagers would make the same decision instead of being dragged into making bad choices through peer pressure.
The phone shrilled. "Oh no," she thought " I hope it's not too lengthy, I really must eat." She raised herself from her seat and gave silent thanks that JON was back and was not a blap and she wondered who it was that Benjii was talking with if JON had been on the moon.
Never mind, it was time for lunch.

HEATHER: By the way I love the name of your art group. Especially because of the meaning behind it.

Jack Beslanwitch Mon Feb 28 17:27:19 PST 2000

Point very well taken about things getting a little large here. I have been rather swamped with work or I would have gotten to this earlier. In case you were wondering, how does 300k sound. Oh, and glad to see that Jon made it back to Earth. Surprised, you did not bring back some cheese ;-)

Litter Mon Feb 28 17:09:51 PST 2000

Hi Y'all

Nobody from Louisiana/Baton Rouge/N'Awlins here? Shame…I need help. (At least that's what my wife tells me.)

Heather, we need to talk photography some time - I hold a degree in the 'art' so, typically, went into Social Work as a career… (Want some proof - paraphenyline- diamine may develop something worthwhile {:o)

Howard, I remember using that ambidextrous jokette a while back on an e-mail list only to find I was publicly pilloried for my lack of taste. I didn't realise it at the time by the respondent in question has a young child born without a right arm. Reminded me of another time I went into a clients house, whilst I was a 'Financial Consultant' and said something to the effect "What's up - you look like someone's just died?" In fact it was her father who had just died and I just wished for a hole to crawl in to. Fortunately I had a good rapport with that particular lady and she was more upset about the way I felt for saying it than for what I actually said.

This brings me to something that a well-known UK poet once told me during an interview with him. He said that poets should be prepared to push the boundaries and tackle even the most sensitive issues, BUT, in doing so we have to accept that we have an responsibility to be sensitive to the feelings of some of the people who may hear or read what we write. You know the sort of thing - a graphic description of abortion meant to shock as, say, a part of an anti-abortion campaign… Just maybe there is someone listening to you who was forced or coerced into such a situation (whilst under age or not in control) and who now is guilt-ridden about it. He doesn't advocate not writing but rather that we think long and hard about how we present something, and that we should also be prepared for any fall-out afterwards.

I dare say most of us have been there in some form or another - it is not very pleasant! Also, it probably applies more to live performance than to written work, as people can chose not to read something but, once seated in an auditorium, can do very little to avoid hearing what the performer has to say.

Any thoughts or opinions on this?

Back to being ambidextrous. I too am ambidextrous or, to be more precise, bi-lingual ambidextrous -- my right hand writes in English but my left hand writes a sort of scrawling ancient Sanskrit script…

Morpheus at work again, but probably not the Morpheus that you know :o}

Ciao for now,


Laura Mon Feb 28 15:03:54 PST 2000

Hmmmm. Literary topics. COuld you choose a more broad topic? Could you possibly be more nebulous. Well, I have a literary challenge for you all. (And I may try it too.) Choose ten words at random from a dictionary and write a one page story using all of them, and the dictionary definition of them. It's harder than you think because they all have to make sense in context. (This was a recent assignment for one of my writing courses.)

Rachel Mon Feb 28 12:49:06 PST 2000

Americo - I will bring the beer (big smiles)!


Americo Mon Feb 28 12:00:01 PST 2000

I'm so glad Jon is back!

I saved some lobster's legs for him. Can anyone else provide the beer?

Tonight will be literature night. Only posts about literature will be admitted. Or writing a quick shortie or something. Only Jon is excused, as he wrote such a thrilling tale over the weekend.

I am also excused, as I have thousands of letters to read and other stuff to answer. And I am Jon's best friend.

Jon Mon Feb 28 10:40:00 PST 2000

I'm back!!!

I'm back to earth.

Here's what happened. I was called to my teacher's office, the one with a window to the moon. She was dressing an astraunaut suit to protect herself against her students' spits. When she saw me she gave a small step in my direction ("a small step for a woman"); I thought she was going to kiss me and jumped out the window (a big step for a man) . I fell onto the moon. Once there, I amused myself spitting to the earth. The rain you saw over the weekend was my spitting. I decided to come back to earth only today because I was missing Pussy's lobster. There is no lobster on the moon.

Ain't a genius?

"No Lobster on the Moon", a mystery tale, is the latest of
©Writer's Notebook, the place where Jon charms the gallaxy.

Rachel Mon Feb 28 09:40:01 PST 2000

Hi all - I see the ambi thing here. I am ambi. I can write with my left or my right. My left hand printing/writing is easily readable, a little scrawly, but it smooths out quickly. I can do the switch hit thing, shoot baskets left or right, play darts left or right (grins). I can't really think of anything that I do exclusively with one side. I just switch it up to suit my position and needs at the time.

Take care all


howard Mon Feb 28 09:39:58 PST 2000

Heather -- Mouth paint? Have you ever heard of, or seen Joni Earickson-Tada's work? She is a quadraplegic, paralyzed when she dove too deeply while swimming. She was a teenager when it happened. Now she paints, writes, sings, etc etc. Quite an inspiring young woman!

My, this *is* turning into the Heather-Howard confab, isn't it? Everyone else must have slow modems!

BTW -- Did anyone respond to that post by Suzan Stadner earlier on this page? I did, and got one message back asking for more info. Maybe I gave her too much, 'cause I haven't heard from her again.


HeatherrehtaeH Mon Feb 28 09:25:56 PST 2000

Howard, you are funny indeed!
My husband wrote in mirror image until about grade 1 or 2 when he was told if he didn't correct it he would be in big trouble. He is still ambidextrous. He writes with his right, throws and catches with his left. And uses either to draw.

I am right handed out of simple training. I can not write with my left to scrawl a doctors' note, even! Cassandra, talent talent!

BUt I can draw with either hand, or even mouth paint. I tried it once when my wrist was sprained.


Heather Mon Feb 28 09:22:18 PST 2000

Howard - another thought - just because the statue depicts Mary stepping on the serpent doesn't mean it's accurate! Forgot to tell you that... I might be interpreting the presence of the serpent incorrectly...?

assumptions, assumptions. Forgive me of the blemish.


howard Mon Feb 28 09:12:43 PST 2000

Ambidexterous? Did someone say ambidexterous? I'd give my right arm to be ambidexterous!

Cassandra Mon Feb 28 09:05:59 PST 2000

Hi all,

It looks like I didn't avoid the stress of last week, I just delayed it. Unfortunately I'm not in the best of health, and am also quite busy with school work. I should be in a 3 ring circus juggling assignments like I am.

You know, of any profession, the majority of left handers turn out to be artists? Heck, I guess I'm in the right profession then. I was technically ambidexterious until I was in first grade. So what does that mean? I'm a scientific artist? or an artistic scientist? I can still write with my right hand... it just looks like a doctor's note. :)

*yawn* well, it's time to go film...

Enjoy your freetime (lucky bums)


Heather Mon Feb 28 08:27:09 PST 2000

Hi Howard!
You got it right with the second one. Left eye. The right brain controls the left side of the body. SO the left eye is controlled by the R Brain, and the R brain is the creative side. (so it is said, anyhow)
A different way of seeing...

It sounds sinister! That is partly why it was chosen.. All five of us had to brainstorm and come up with an idea. I speiled out 'Oculus Sinister' after a few first weak ideas. We all agreed on it and I drew the logo. I have always had a thing for eyes!
Maybe the dark alley is an idea - you know how people have a seemingly natural attraction to the murky, gloomy and morose. Look at A*, and he's proof. AN oculi Sinister ideed.

howard Mon Feb 28 08:13:01 PST 2000

Heather -- Oculus sinister? Evil Eye? (or Left Eye). Sounds like a shop at the end of a dark alley, with cats and owls, and strange characters lurking about.

Where's Jack? This page is getting really really big.

Where's A* ? Or is it M* now?

Where am I?


Heather Mon Feb 28 07:59:14 PST 2000


Sorry everyone!

Ta ta for now,

Heather Mon Feb 28 07:55:03 PST 2000

Hello there, fellow scribblers! It is monday morning, 10:00 here. Teekay - I have made some changes to chapter 1 and my chapter 2 has been finished for a while (two weeks?)
would you perhaps like to read them for me if perchance you have some time? A few hours?
I am half way through chapter 3 and things are getting stranger and stranger.
But this is good.
I must not produce a boring piece of writing. That would just not do. WHoops! I just smacked the CD ROM with my knee and started Karmageddon! Go away, foul game!

I missed all these posts and had to catch up!
Howard, I shall have to dig around a bit and find where it was stated that it would be Mary who stepped upon the serpent. I am sure that the Catholic church here would get its' facts straight before commissioning the beautiful pristine marble statue from Italy. She most definately has a snake under her heel. I know, since I have many frames of her, from all angles, in my black and white (and some colour) photopraphy collection.

Not to get away from the topic at hand, but...
There was a certain incedent to do with that statue that I will tell you of. It happened when I was photographing the Mary statue on a brilliant fall morning, the sun just risen past the treetops when you stand directly in front of her. She is indeed almost page white, not a dark straition in her marble to be seen. Her eyes are open, looking down right at you as you stand there. I was focusing on her face, constucting a good shot composition, when through my viewfinder, what to my amazed eyes did I see? Mary, in flesh tones, as lifelike as if a real person had moved the statue out of the way and stood in her place while I peered through the camera. Now, I didn't hesitate to take my eye from the viewer, and for an instant, she still looked like she was a living person. She even had colour in her irises! But her robes remained white. Then I looked through the viewfinder again, and all was as it was before. I thought it had just been the sunlight, warming the marble into a rose-peach hue. But it would have been impossible - the sun was behind her, not in front. And the sunlight had not bounced from the mirrors, inside the camera, of that I was sure. THere were no sunspots. And so I took several photos, at different angles.
I used the rest of the roll, and walked back to the car. I sat there for a while, thinking about it. Not long after the incedent, I had a dream that Mother Mary came to visit us in our new home. We hadn't moved in yet, since the closing on the house wasn't for another few months. But there she was at the new house, radiating brilliant light, in blue robes, smiling at me. She never said a word to me in the dream.

I will have to look into the serpent thing, and see why and where the idea came from. There has to be a reason why the statue has the serpent under her feet!
Maybe others will know something about it too?
Thanks, Howard, for relating the quote about the woman's seed (well, it has to be called hers, since it was immaculate conception, and no mortal man was included to call it 'his seed'?) Just a guess. Of course Jesus is the one who will come back to crush the serpent (satan) in the end, going by what I know of Revelations. (Lake of Fire)
But Mary must play a part of this as well? Perhaps the story comes from a time before Jesus is slated to crush its' head? I think Mary stepped on the serpent and it bit her. I will have to ask around (including here) and among those at home. It is certainly a scintillating topic.

Not to return us to the topic of religion - can we focus on legends and such without getting our fur up? (Jon, I see your post beneath, and mine is above. You are still here)

I always love to hear what others know of legends. (what else can they be called?)

P.S. Teekay! It was canoeing, and I had to spit on it so it wouldn't be an unsmokable rope before I passed it to you! I promise I didn't hawk on it in vain.

(VEINS...Arteries... I think I should like to name an art gallery that. The ARTERY) Two of my good friends are opening a gallery in about 4 months and I am happily going to have a part of it. Perhaps I could persuade them to consider that title!)
Together we form Oculus Sinister Art Group. Anyone like to figure out what the meaning of that name is?
Oculus Sinister. Anyone like to guess why we chose that name for an art group?

Allein Mon Feb 28 06:33:12 PST 2000

Teekay - Yes, here 21 is the legal age to drink and buy alcohol. At 18 you can buy tobacco products and lottery tickets. I'm going to buy lottery tickets on my birthday, but I'm not going to use or buy tobacco. Chewing or smoking tobacco gives you cancer plus it makes you smell bad - I know, I have friends who smoke. And once you start, it's really hard to quit (one of my friends has tried about five times). I hear that of everyone who tries to quit, only 13% actually do for good. So, this is why I plan not to smoke.

Teekay Mon Feb 28 03:11:43 PST 2000

JERRY,LAURA,RACHEL: Thank goodness. It is now 10.05pm Monday night and I just thought I'd check the posts and there you guys were 'SOB' I was sooo happy. I'd been checking them all through the day at work and there was not a peep. It was really very lonely.

ALLIEN: What fun. I remember 18. In Australia it is legal for 18 year olds to buy alcohol. Which I think is rather stupid. The legal age for that in America is 21 isn't it?

Well I think I shall go to bed very soon. I wish you all a good night and pleasant dreams.

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