Conversations with Lost Friends
Edith (Layton) Felber

MEETING ONLINE - Tue, 1 Apr 1997

Elaytonfel: My goodness! Do you have a writer alert on your keyboard? Thank you so much, though. Love to hear nice things like that.

Maida: Actually, I came across your name on a membership list, had put it on my buddy list 6 months ago, MISSPELLED! I used to give copies of one of your books, Duke's Wager, to every person I could find who would promise to even CONSIDER reading it.

Elaytonfel: How nice of you! I'm purely tickled. Thank you so much.

Maida: My thanks to you. You can blame me if there are no more copies of Duke's Wager in used book stores.

Elaytonfel: A lovely sort of blame, methinks. Do you like regencies only - or other Historicals as well?

Maida: Indeed, I do collect you. I prefer regencies. A friend, Gayle Feyrer, just published her second historical - a triangle with Robin, Marion and Guy of Gisbourne

Elaytonfel: The Robin thing sounds fascinating - but (don't tell your friend) I hate the thought of Marion nipping off with anyone but Robin. Just an old sentimentalist, I guess. And I wish I had a few extra rooms for my favorite books.

Maida: I have a 40 foot hallway with bookshelves top to bottom on both sides. I believe regencies take up 6 of the columns, alphabetically organized. Helps to be a compulsive.

Maida: You are one of the best writers out today.

Elaytonfel: Wow! That's high praise from a lady who has read so many books. Thank you, thank you.

Maida: Have you looked at Tea with a Black Dragon?

Elaytonfel: Yes - I read Tea, and some of her other books as well. I love fantasy and mystery as well as romance. Something that combines them all delights me.

Elaytonfel: in fact, I just left a birthday mesage for Ann McCaffrey on REALM.

Maida: I thought MacAvoy's later books lost the delicacy of her first. They began rambling. And, yes, Ann McCaffrey's work is stunning. The Ship Who Sang. Now I always look at elevator panels and wonder who is behind it.

Elaytonfel: Did you know she wrote Romances long ago? One of my favorites is a sci-fi romance she did: Restoree.

Maida: I know the book Restoree, but I'm not connecting it with McCaffrey. Did she write it under another name?

Maida: Nancy Springer. The White Hart, etc. Those are very impressive books.

Elaytonfel: McCaffrey? No alias - not that I know of.... Have to read the Springers, they don't ring a bell...

Maida: Do you know the British TV series, Blakes Seven? Tanith Lee wrote two of the episodes. She had a crush on the star of the show and built the hero of one of her stories around him.

Maida: one of her books, excuse me.

Elaytonfel: Wish I'd seen that! My favorite book of hers is Cyrion. A wonderful, but sadly little known book....

Maida: amazing. i don't know it. And many of the columns of the hallway are science fiction.

Elaytonfel: It's yummy! Do try to get it, a strange and wonderful book...

Maida: do you enjoy vampires? I'm trying to remember the woman's name who writes "good guy" vampires. Best line of all time. You know you're having a bad day when you can't wait for the undead to awaken.

Elaytonfel: oh - I kow that one! Just can't remember it.

Elaytonfel: Know that one, I meant...

Maida: Series that became strange with the last one when she had her dead mother in it.

Elaytonfel: didn't read that!

Elaytonfel: Not a huge fan of vampirania, actually.

Maida: Not sure you want to. The author is clearly working out something very important to her.

Maida: I enjoy only "good guy" vampire. Traditional gives me nightmares.

Maida: I'm a media fan and became quite excited with "Forever Knight", a vampire cop in Toronto.

Elaytonfel: Well, the truth of it is that I read almost anything, and remember only the good ones... and since I am a speed reader, I confess many many books I read, I don't read - that is - I don't get beyond the third chapter. I am tough that way.

Maida: I am also a speed reader. I used to head my professional society and was always on trains crossing country. I couldn't lift enough books to make it from coast to coast so had to mail them back part way.

Elaytonfel: Oh - thought I would mention that I will be having 4 different on-line interview/discussions on aol in the next three months. A TRUE LADY (my pirate book) will be being discussed on 4/27 at Book Central - how's that for a plug?

Elaytonfel: Sorry - it's not a Regency. But if it weren't for Georgians, we wouldn't have a Regency.

Maida: Plugs are good. I will make sure to try to be there. Only time I remember a plug being a little wierd was a friend in Ky who used to put ads for her books in Christmas cards.

Elaytonfel: Ads in her Christmas cards? Now that is a little pushy. You write too? she asked craftily.

Maida: Of course. Inevitable. I started writing technical in 72, started writing underground fiction in 85, and when I came out of IBM Research on early retirement, my husband gave me two years to try to make it with screenplays. Got 16 agents to read the first and 6 to offer to represent. Made a BIG mistake going with the NY agent that handled Grisham.

Elaytonfel: ah agents... I could write a book... sigh. But if you got a wrong number, you must try again!

Maida: They signed me to a 2 year, no way out contract. Then they subbed me out to Writers and Artists in Hollywood. Then they became a black hole. NO INFORMATION AT ALL for the whole two years and they wouldn't let me out. At end said they hadn't sold but wouldn't say where any of them went, if indeed they did.

Elaytonfel: You should be out there, hawking that screenplay in the loudest way and polite be hanged!

Maida: That's the problem with being in the delicate field of computer language design. Have never learned to yell too loudly. I do intend to get started soon. It's just that I've been playing with this non-fiction book....

Elaytonfel: Whatever you decide to do, you ought to have a lively agent, I hope you research the next one thoroughly. I've learned the hard way -I've gotten some lumps along the way from not doing that....

Maida: I do web design and just love working with graphics. Writing on the web is very minimalist - it makes a lovely contrast to other work.

Elaytonfel: But now my dh is grumbling rather loudly - I told him that I was just coming on to pick up my mail - and I've stayed on so long. It was wonderful meeting you , Maida -and thank you so much it's been great fun!

Maida: It was wonderful meeting you, too. I have to tell you that I am absolutely thrilled! Mary

Elaytonfel: And I was absolutely delighted to meet you too, Mary. Good luck with the writing, and have a good, good night.....

Maida: To you as well. Good dreams. Mary

WEBSITE OFFER - Sat, 12 Apr 1997
FROM Maida

It occurred to me after we "spoke" through IM to check through the web for lists of romance writing sites. I came across a list of writers that included you and noted that you were not one who had your own web site.

I would be willing to volunteer to make one for you if you would like. I truly am excited by your talent and would be pleased to do this. I believe that you have space available through AOL and I am, by one of my many professions, a web designer.


Mary S. Van Deusen

/&mbsp;- Our small company site
/~maida&mbsp;- My personal site

THINKING ABOUT SITE - Sat, 12 Apr 1997
FROM Elaytonfel

Maida -

Just came on line to pick up mail and saw your email.

Gosh. Sounds fascinating. So I get a Page from AOL??? I access through Sprynet too. (I have two services because it's almost impossible to log on to AOL through AOL from here!) And you'd do it just like that, no strings?


I have a "page" through the Reader's Corner on the Web - (an essay and a backlist) and also have a picture of moi and an interview at Romance, and a picture and a backlist at the regency database at: tomatoweb .com - but come to think of it I have no *page* all on my own, per se. Sounds great.

But I've got about a gazillion things to do this weekend - and don't know when I can get back on line until its over. let's talk early next week, OK?

Thanks for the thought, I'm intrigued.

Edith, really weary after attending a boisterous wedding, and having consumed about a gallon of white wine, and so thinks she's really clever to have been able to even write this!

FROM Maida

No strings. I do volunteer occasionally to do fun things. It makes the other work more palatable. I want desperately to build a website for someone who sells birdfeeders. I just haven't found the right place yet.

I will see which of your books I have, which I hope is most, and that gives me covers that I could scan for the web pages. We do pretty elaborate stuff here so I can easily handle scanning or capturing images off video tape or whatever.

Think of a website as a bunch of index cards scattered across the floor. Any card can connect to any other card. The most understandable structure is a tree - like a family tree.

You could have a small -- i want to say quiz but that's not the right word - the game that everyone plays of obscure details. You could have a list of quotes and see if people can figure out what books they come from. Encourages them to go back and reread.

I'm crashing, too. Our Bichon Frise began screaming just after midnight last night and we got some poor emergency vet up in the night to look at him. We're all pretty wiped out. Puppy is just fine. as soon as the vet started manipulating him to find out what hurt, he stopped hurting. My theory is that the vet is really a chiropractor.

I am thrilled that you are interested. I really do love web sites. They're another art form and another medium to work in. Sort of the opposite end from a novel voice which is so rich. Because it strains the eyes to read a screen, you have to make the page more minimalistic. And because pages take a while to load, you have to use graphics carefully. But they have the added quality that screen colors are almost stained glass in their potential glowing colors.

Talk to you next week. We're doing tax stuff this weekend ourselves. Take care.

FROM Elaytonfel

Maida -

I just drove in from D.C. (that's only part of the stuff I had to do and where those relatives I was going to spend the weekend with were) and am exhausted. But I collected my email, even so. Yours sounded so fascinating!

I will go over all and visit the sites (etc) late tonite or tomorrow - and then get back to you. I want to have all brain cells clicking when I do that though. So. I will return!

Edith, who somehow or other got into the "President's in Town for the Met's game!" traffic mess... aiiiiiiiii..............

FROM Maida

Putting together a website of the proposal now. There are 20 sections to show off and I've got 13 of them in web form. Tote that barge. Lift that bale.

Know what you mean about the traffic. I live a few miles from where the Patriots play football and if I get the dates wrong of home games I can be dead in the water. Always carry an audio book.


FROM Elaytonfel


Here I be, bright-eyed and about as bushy-tailed as I get. This morning I nipped over to see the graphics you set up and I was


Lud! But you made the books look good!!

The first Regency site looked fine to me (but I did view on Netscape)- couldn't get the 2nd one to appear, though. The Fireflower never looked better!! (BTW- I recently found out - did you know - that gorgeous redhead is actually Fabio???? In a wig! Really, it's evidently the only time he ever posed red-headed. Just a bit of Romance trivia for you )

As to your own site - I read through it fast, but I am SO Impressed. You have so many divers interests, and I found so many commonalities...

I too am a Trekkie. (Went to the very first Trek Convention in NYC, too many years ago to admit to). I've never got over the passion - I'm always first in line for the new ones, and can dish Trek for hours and hours.....

And as for doggies....

"To Catch A Swallow" - made me cry - really. I am passionate about my doggies too. In fact, our latest - Abraham (Bernese Mountain Dog) is on chemo - he was diagnosed with lymphoma in December, and no one thought he'd get to January. But he turned ten on Lincoln's birthday (hence the name) is in remission, and we've every hope of keeping him going as long as we can.

And I still pine for Gustave, a preternaturally intelligent shepherd I miss even after almost twenty years. sigh.

Anyway - onward.

As to the site, you surely do know what you're doing, and that is something fine. (BTW - New American Library can be reached at: now, but what it will be soon - now that they merged with Berkely/Random House, I do not know.

I love what you've done, am anxious to see what can be done (Another BTW - I have two kids in Show Biz, and would love to link with them too!) As to your agent problem.... You have to be real careful. Some almost wrecked me along the way.

Oh -and you did write:

>>>looking forward to being in touch with you. I stopped working any further until we talked. I figured we needed enough to see what you thought of it, but not enough for any big investment if you didn't.<<<

Could you tell me how much that investment would be? That would be good to know before we started too.

Edith, impressed to pieces.

TREK AND DOGGIES - Wed, 16 Apr 1997
FROM Maida

>>>I too am a Trekkie. (Went to the very first Trek Convention in NYC, too many years ago to admit to). I've never got over the passion - I'm always first in line for the new ones, and can dish Trek for hours and hours.....>>>

Try the following link:

This is to an illustrated page that shows what a literary music video is. You should actually LOVE this. Take a song whose words bring pictures to your mind. Interpret the words of the song, the poetry, in the context of the video. Most obvious example. Yellow Submarine to pictures of the Enterprise. Frank Sinatra's I Did It My Way to Kirk. The underlying structure of a music video is EXACTLY the structure of short stories. They have points of view and flashbacks and all the rest. They end up being incredibly layered and complex. If you know the show, you can get very deep into these. If you don't, there's usually something pleasant enough at the top to connect with. This is my particular obsession. I have over 300 of them, many of them for Trek. There are copy centers around the US, UK and Australia so I don't have to do my own copying. I just make sure that no one makes any profit anywhere along the line since I am violating copyright to do this. Hoping that protects my rump.

>>>And as for doggies.... "To Catch A Swallow" - made me cry - really. I am passionate about my doggies too. In fact, our latest - Abraham (Bernese Mountain Dog) is on chemo - he was diagnosed with lymphoma in December, and no one thought he'd get to January. But he turned ten on Lincoln's birthday (hence the name) is in remission, and we've every hope of keeping him going as long as we can. And I still pine for Gustave, a preternaturally intelligent shepherd I miss even after almost twenty years. Sigh.>>>

Yes, indeed. We've had cats and dogs with diabetes and we hang in there as long as they do. My Bichon Frise shows the meaning of the name "companion dog." I am intensely invested in him and the thought of losing him does scare me badly.

Put a dog page on your site!!

I wrote "To Catch a Swallow" at a foodcourt while I cried my eyes out. I actually walked down a hallway once and overheard people talking about that story. I never had to submit my work. It was well enough known and regarded that I just agreed to write for certain editors. Wendy, who didn't know me well, asked me what the name of the story was. I gave her my working title, "The Dead Dog Story." She blanched and said she didn't think her readers could handle it. The title is from the runs Cory would make on the front lawn of IBM Research. He never did catch them.

Trust me. You'll like this one. Computer graphics and morphing is another hobby.


FROM Maida

The only way I've ever gotten as much done as I have is by trying to balance my enthusiasms with a little common sense.

Therefore I want to build enough for us to talk about, white page syndrome being a problem of webwork as well as writing, and not so much that it would ever bother me emotionally to throw it away if you didn't like it.

I really AM volunteering. It's probably all those old trek enthusiasms, but there is a large focus in my life on enjoying myself. For me, that's by being creative.


BRAINSTORMING - Thu, 17 Apr 1997
FROM Elaytonfel

Mary -

What a lot of material to comment on!

OK - in no particular order then -

I like the idea of a domain name - exactly for the reasons you stated - ease of remembering, accessing. Thus, a portable page is a good idea.

As to the site itself?

Everything you suggested sounded great. I'd prefer not to have a Regency emphasis, because I do a lot more than Regency, and don't want to be stereotyped. And I'd add a Short Story (Novella, really) category, since I've published fourteen of them. Maybe an "Awards" category, since I've gotten over a dozen of those? And since I did an essay on Pirates that's on (which is the Readers Corner) and they linked that essay to all kinds of neat Pirate sites, that would be great fun. And as there's an interview with me on, I'd like that link too. The Regency Novel database has such great reviews of my stuff, so that too. Maybe a Richard lll link because of "Crimson Crown"??? etc... But that's links, which I guess are easy. (??)

A question, though. Might it be fun to have a sentence or two at every "page" that has a book cover, with a little "inside" comment? Like, for instance, a mention of prevailing divorce laws in the eighteenth century for "The Wedding" - or that tidbit about Fabio on the cover of "The Fireflower" there, or the fact that the heroine on the cover of "False Angel" has the wrong color hair (through three reprints too!) put on that "page"? Or is that too much trouble?

As for your proposed book - "How to Slow Down Time" - it sounds Very hot, and I think it will thrill not only the new age audience, but everyone concerned with Time's Winged Chariot hurrying near. (Except it is NOT the book to read at the dentist's. )

I know I forgot to mention a whole lot of other stuff too, but since I got back from D.C. I've been playing catch-up, dealing with family stuff, plus trying to get this novel I'm writing to really fly.

Bear with me, pulease,
Edith, flying herownself

FROM Elaytonfel

Mary -


Only two questions.

Can we ditch the maternal Edith? I'd prefer something more pre-raphaelite - (have yards of reddish hair, and a whole lot of self-delusion going here )

And where would the buttons for "inside amusing/little known stuff about this book" be?

AOL kicked me off line just before... won't mail out mail too well either. Having problems with it... but have to try to tell you that I LOVE THE SITE. Will have my son, the comedy writer who loves the www, look at it today too.....

But in all -

Castles kill me, butterflies thrill me, doggies delight me, star trek tickles me, fantasy is my middle name - add the white wine and chocolate, and you have me cold!

Edith, wondering if you are a psychic - or did my books tell you all that????

FROM Maida

>Mary -


>>>Can we ditch the maternal Edith? I'd prefer something more pre-raphaelite - (have yards of reddish hair, and a whole lot of self-delusion going here >>>

Oh, strange. My hair goes straight to my waist, though it's brown going to grey now. I am a child of the 60's, that is, I'm 52. And pre-raphaelite is one of my FAVORITE art periods. Not sure what I'll find when I look. I get the clip art out of a Corel library.

>>>And where would the buttons for "inside amusing/little known stuff about this book" be? >>>

I only put one button in so far so that we could see what you thought of where it was. I had intended on putting it at the top right of the page but I tried over and over again and couldn't make it look good. I could keep trying.

The button and the page that you can get to from the button is on "Lady of Spirit" page that you get to by going to AUTHOR, REGENCY, SPIRIT The button is BETWEEN the body of text on the page and the little box that gives the book info. It's a doorway through which you see two butterflies.


am so glad. It hasn't been personalized enough yet for you, but that will happen as I get pictures from you and integrate them.

>>>Castles kill me, butterflies thrill me, doggies delight me, star trek tickles me, fantasy is my middle name - add the white wine and chocolate, and you have me cold! >>>

I love castles but I will never be able to get to Europe to see them because I'm afraid of airplanes. I started noticing butterflies when I did that long summer shooting bird videos. Got some butterfly, not much, and a good bit of dragonflies. That stuff is what started me doing my TV show for the year and a half. As my web page says, "My children have four feet and fur." Trek gave me sanity and friends and at least three new careers. The way I honed my writing skills were in trek. It was a place to play and experiment. If you know anything about trek zines, I wrote slash. I always swore that there was a strong correlation between regency and slash. Both were attracted but kept apart because of the "look, don't touch" rules. I collect vintage wine. Fortunately for Paul, I'm a tee-totaler. This means I get to collect it and he gets to drink it. I have some vintage grape juice from Felton Empires - reisling - 1979/80's. We have a wine cellar in the basement. I recently found a very bizarre Rhode Island winery that has a fruit wine that has much of that sweet late harvest white taste. I keep M&M's near where I work. My favorite chocolate is Fanny Mae's. Fannie Farmer merged with Fanny Mae and now I don't have to go to Chicago or Philadelphia to find my favorites.

>>>Edith, wondering if you are a psychic - or did my books tell you all that???? >>>

It's that you ARE a writer, not WHAT you write.

It's not that I have you cold, it's that there is an undercurrent of excitement and involvement in many women who are obsessed to create. We care about relationships and we dream - therefore the fantasy and the castles. The butterflies are probably our grownup, acceptable version of rainbows and unicorns. So few have the opportunity to stand still long enough to really SEE them.

We nurture and need love -- thefore the doggies. Wine and chocolate are indulgences because we are sensual. I actually wore a long white gown with a train that blew in the wind, and walked along Lake Michegan while a man sang Simple Gifts to me. We're romantics. And we're very lucky and very blessed.


re: GETTING ACQUAINTED - Sat, 19 Apr 1997
FROM Elaytonfel

>>>I keep M&M's near where I work.>>>

My main source of calories (sigh)

>>>and a good bit of dragonflies.>>>

Dragonflies are another passion. We put a little fountain in the backyard last year (my anniversary present) and I got to know a dragonfly who started hanging out there. I swear, he came and said Hi! every afternoon. When they sprayed for hemlock parasites, he vanished, and I was SO guilty - but I ought to have known better. He was just laying low, and reappeared a few days later. Dragonflies are bright, inquisitive and just plain wonderful.

>>>And pre-raphaelite is one of my FAVORITE art periods.>>>

You share that with me and Our Susie. Wait til you see her picture. She could have posed for Rossetti! Red-head too. But way better looking than me. BTW - I beat you by a few years - but then, why not - I was a "Beat" in my day But really. Them were the days - all in black in the Village, toting bongos and Jean Paul Sartre, drinking expresso, smoking those smelly Gauloises because they were French, (and trying not to cough) grooving on Kerouac, my guys paved the way for the Hippies... (hint - Abbie Hoffman and I were the same age, she said coyly.)

What fun!
must go, I have a whole tandoori waiting,
Edith, whose appetite seldom needs whetting....


Elaytonfel: I'm on the phone - could you hang on a sec??? Be right with you....

Maida: i'm reading mail.

Elaytonfel: How weird! I went on line and my sister in LA called - and here I was trying to juggle... but I'll speak to her next week... she was just checking in - as she does every three or four months

Maida: i was reading mail that one of my other volunteers just came down on my head. kathy needs help with a Dark Shadows site for her newsletter and fanzines.

Elaytonfel: Haven't gone to the Site yet this evening... but I did write up a page or two today, and if they still look good tomorrow, I'll send them on... a home page and the Author's page.

Maida: oh, great! i've got all but nine books now. But I have no writeups for the short stories.

Elaytonfel: I was just thinking about that! There are no write-ups - that I know of. Would a teaser sentence or two for each work???

Maida: Two would be better. They'll look pretty lonely with one. But after all they ARE short stories.

Elaytonfel: Well, novellas, actually... 60 or more pages each. But OK - I'll do a few sentences for each this week. I'll have to read them again - I do forget names... :-)

Maida: the site is really coming along well. when you have reviews or inside info, the pattern is really simple and fast now. I still haven't worked out the graphic for the personal page. Don't find any copyright free preR. but I do find a dragonfly if I can make something out of that.

Elaytonfel: And I have this neat copyright free page for "Coming Attractions" that I've used for promos - I can mail that too.

Maida: all of this is great. i'm amazed at how fast it's coming.

Elaytonfel: I'll spend some time typing up reviews... or should I just xerox them and include them with the photos when I send them??

Elaytonfel: Got some nice ones ...

Maida: that's fine. i'm a speed typist.

Elaytonfel: ALright! (she said with relief... )

Elaytonfel: I type fast - but inaccurately...

Maida: with the sort of work i do, i long ago learned how to make it easy on my experts

Elaytonfel: Old slap-dash Edith... sigh...

Maida: my typing teacher used to actually stand at my shoulder and BEG me to make mistakes. I was accurate but the emotional cost was absurd.

Elaytonfel: Oh - not me. I'm so casual about everything... but my writing. I'll send you some inside infos too, just let me get over this food fest of a holiday tomorrow...

Maida: everything ready to go for tomorrow?

Elaytonfel: I have a neat one for almost every book, and each ends with a question for the reader. good idea?? Oh tomorrow - I spent the day shopping, I'll spend tomorrow cooking, and the rest of the week like the rest of my life - dieting.

Maida: that idea sounds great. so does the cooking. i have a group of friends that cook together. much fun and lots of new ideas.

Elaytonfel: and lots of new cellulite for me... Lud! I used to have a metabolism!!!

Maida: think of me and my knee. i can't even exercise it off now!

Elaytonfel: exercise? Isn't that a quaint native ritual of some sort?

Maida: i used to actually LIKE walking on a treadmill.

Maida: can i get your address? i want to send you a music video tape.

Elaytonfel: Oh walking. I love walking, and looking and observing... but not as exercise. I am very resistant to exercise. A friend once told met that I was in danger of growing moss on my north side. [Gives address]

Maida: using Felber, I imagine.

Elaytonfel: Layton, or Felber or Layton Felber or Hey You!

Maida: that's supposed to be the dog that answers to that. Oh, one of my friend's mother trained dogs and Lyn as a baby grew up to hand signals.

Elaytonfel: love it!

Maida: she did grow to like dog biscuits

Elaytonfel: I live here on glorious Lunguyland... home of Joey Buttafuco, the Amityville Horror, and Jaws-

Elaytonfel: Land of the Perpetual Mall.

Elaytonfel: (no wonder I write Historicals!)

Maida: what fun. i live in a small farming town of 10K people. most of the town is state forest. the main street is 2 blocks long on one side only

Elaytonfel: oh - that sounds delicious!

Maida: there is no movie theater, no big grocery, no shopping center.

Elaytonfel: (turning sorta green with envy)

Maida: when my mother died, the gentleman across the way stopped to say he was sorry. i asked how he knew. He said the license plate of the mortician's car.

Maida: we have a town square and a bandstand and summer concerts that the kids come to and I videotape and make song videos out of.

Elaytonfel: We gotta store for everything, and a price on everything and crowds and traffic too - and we're only 45 minutes from Broadway - if there's no problems with the Expressway - then it takes a week.

Elaytonfel: But once upon a time, when I grew up here - it was all farms too....

Maida: we have the most wonderful christmas lights and there's a place not far from here that looks like what god would have produced if he had contracted christmas out to walt disney.

Elaytonfel: fight to keep it that way! We didn't - and we lost it...

Maida: we finally agreed to allow in a discount mall but it's at the end of the town right near the highway entrance and everybody was hysterical about it.

Elaytonfel: Our Town looks like George Bailey's after he said he wished he'd never been born......

Maida: i commuted to ny from here for 10 years and Paul for 17 because no matter where my profession sent me and what i did, when i came home here i was just one of the neighbors and i could lay on gail's floor and stare at her ceiling as she'd tell me about her brother.

Maida: this place connects me to the earth.

Elaytonfel: it sounds like a glorious place. Behold me envious, truly

Maida: oh, for one more simularity. my husband is also dr. but of computer science.

Elaytonfel: Mine is a Hematologist. I don't do bone marrows. he don't do love stories. Works.

Maida: i used to sit on the stairs and just break out crying I was so happy. when we moved back for good, quiet nerdy Paul knelt down on the floor and kissed the carpet.

Elaytonfel: oh wow.

Maida: actually, mom died of leukemia and i stayed with her through the bone marrows. read all the instructions on the box. yech.

Elaytonfel: It's a disease they are gaining on....

Elaytonfel: But I can't even watch my dog get shots....

Elaytonfel: Big Coward when it comes to watching procedures...

Maida: i worked on a multimedia project to put computers into the homes of leukemic children. i'd never worked with human beings, only with things. you can't not care when you come into contact with people like that.

Maida: i am too. but you do what you have to do.

Elaytonfel: Always. My husband had a lot of health problems in recent years... you cope...

Maida: my vet comes to the house instead of my going to an office (All My Patients Are Under the Bed). When she takes blood I hold the dog tightly and squeeze my eyes closed.

Maida: I am SO sorry about your husband. That is major stress.

Elaytonfel: Well - hell - I seem to live at the corner of Sturm and Drang... you get to know the neighborhood.

Maida: I keep telling mine every day how much i love him because the nuns in my high school always told us a guilt story about a girl having a fight with her mother and coming home to find her mother dead. I WILL NOT BE GUILTY!

Elaytonfel: I WILL BE GUILTY! I always am, came with the territory in my family. If you weren't guilty, you weren't good.

Maida: Actually, I try very hard not to. Because I don't have children, I have a chance of getting away without a lot. I am massively patient which helps a lot.

Maida: Mother was wonderful at teaching me to be easy in myself. She gave me so much, especially me.

Elaytonfel: Lucky lady! I think I'd be nervous if I didn't feel responsible for most of the world's ills...

Maida: That's partly why I hope this time book makes it. So much of it is really about her and what she taught me.

Elaytonfel: I hope it makes it too - but you do know- quality has very little to do with it. These days, it's "marketability".

Maida: But you have children -- hostages to fate and to the future. You care because the world you see is the only environment you have to give them.

Maida: If it makes it it makes it. I really am easy even with that.

Elaytonfel: Mary - as for guilt? I feel guilty when it rains. It's a personality thing.

Maida: Maybe it balances out with people and you're carrying mine.


Elaytonfel: Yiiii! 8 of the oclock? You are a Circe.

Maida: what fun!

Maida: go have a lovely evening and kiss hubby for me too.

Elaytonfel: Give yours a big huggie too... Will send you stuff when I can tomorrow - midst the paring and chopping, stewing and roasting - have a loverly night now!

Maida: show off your web site. people will love it and you'll get tons of advice.

Elaytonfel: Oh - tomorrow nite - you bet!!!!! Anbd I'll start emailing the immediate world this week too!

Elaytonfel: I have writerly friends who will Expire from envy!

Maida: yes they will!!!!

Elaytonfel: See you soon!

Maida: bye

Elaytonfel: Nite!

FROM Elaytonfel

Mary -

Lucky for me that one of the many jobs I had before I began writing novels was writing blurbs for other people's novels. I haven't lost the skill!

Last nite, I sat me down, and blurbed up all the short stories -1-2-3! (Well,actually, 1-9) Here they are, plus stuff for the Home page and Author Page,

Am I not wonderful?

Now - back to cooking....

Edith, preening

LOOKING AT RESULT - Mon, 21 Apr 1997
FROM Elaytonfel

Couldn't help it! Scootched over and took a look - even though company's coming in 2 hours, and I am NOT ready.

Oh my

just Devine!

How'm I gonna write that new book if I'm in love with a website?

Will show everyone tonight, start emailing the glad news to others tomorrow... how long can it stay up where it is?

Will start compiling pix too.

Mary - you are a ONE!

Edith, so tickled

PLEASED YOU LIKE IT - Mon, 21 Apr 1997
FROM Maida

>>>Oh my just Devine! How'm I gonna write that new book if I'm in love with a website?>>>

You've given me so much enjoyment with your books that I am very pleased to be giving back some of that joy. But think about what I said before. You've written with so many voices for so many purposes. Now that you are an intimate part of this web world, think about it as a medium. It's not going to be the computer people who push this new form to its boundaries. It's going to be the creative types who understand that you approach watercolors in a different way than you do oils. That's the next frontier for this form.

>>>how long can it stay up where it is?>>>

I don't mind leaving it for awhile, but it does bite into my allocation of webspace. But a few weeks are fine. And remember that we can't send it to the search engines until you have a permanent location for it.

>>>Mary - you are a ONE! Best, Edith, so tickled>>>

All I can think is how incredibly lucky we all are to be able to do what we love. Hope you have a great evening with your family and friends. Mary

PLEASED YOU LIKE IT - Mon, 21 Apr 1997
FROM Maida

Found Bound by Love in a secondhand bookstore today, so it has joined its brethren. It had a review phrase on the back cover so I made a review page for it.

Think there's nine to go.

Oh, did you notice the bookends? /maida/friends/edith/author/list/list.htm

And don't tell me you like Chinese art! After 3 1/2 years of physics at University of Chicago, I switched into History of Art and took another 1 1/2 to graduate in that. I loved French Impressionism because it was the first time I ever sat in a class and cried for the beauty of it all.

But I really didn't have a strong background. I took a graduate seminar in Ancient Architecture and the teacher began talking of the Erechtheion. I asked what it was and she really made fun of me for not knowing. She said EVERYBODY knew what the Erechtheion was. (It was the building on the Acropolis with the women as pillars to hold up the porch roof.) I was so upset that on the way back to the dorm I stopped three strangers and asked them if they knew what the Erechtheion was. No one did.

who loves telling stories

RANDOM THOUGHTS - Tue, 22 Apr 1997
FROM Elaytonfel

Mary! My kids loved the page!

they adored it!

they just left, full and happy and so impressed ..... so I was just sitting here by the computer...

just musing re: the page....... some random penses....

-could we put the name "Edith Layton" somewhere on the Home Page? Over the Castle maybe? Maybe in a banner or something, but someplace noticeable, to let folks know immediately where they are??

- I was thinking it might be easier for me to just fax you the reviews for the books... I could mail the pictures, but fax the text?? Do you have a fax? I do, she said smugly. 516-YES I FAX. Isn't that neat? Took us hours to figure it out after we got our number. Only problem is that it's so neat, no one remembers the numbers anymore, and telephone operators do not deal with letters so we have to pick up the receiver and tick off the numbers one by one, corresponding to the letters, for them. Well, who cares? I like it!

- How do you get a "counter" on a website? Do you even need one? Is it just an expensive gimmick? Or par for the course?

- I may have to look for another internet provider, because I am getting so vexed with Sprynet, can't reach them. Just e-mailed them though. You're doing SO much, I hate to use up your webspace too! Would like to get the page a home.....

-Oh - and while I remember - I recently found out that in their May issue, Romantic Times nominated me for another award - winner to be announced at their convention next year. it's for: "Lifetime Award for most Innovative Historical Writer". Doubt I'll get it, I'm up against folks with bigger print orders. but it's a nice thing. Should we put it in as a nomination, or let it go? my eyes are blunking out, I am getting sleepy, sleeeepy.....

now I lay me down to sleep....

a chatty email follows - tomorrow AM when I'm feeling chattier -

Edith, putting off putting the dishes in the dishwasher, and falling asleep with her head on the keyboard.....

(yikes! I ws too tired to even send this last night!)

re: RANDOM THOUGHTS - Tue, 22 Apr 1997
FROM Maida

>>>Mary! My kids loved the page! >they adored it!>>>

I am SO pleased! I love it, myself.

>>>-could we put the name "Edith Layton" somewhere on the Home Page? Over the Castle maybe? Maybe in a banner or something, but someplace noticeable, to let folks know immediately where they are??>>>

Oh, that makes me feel SO stupid. Of course we should.

I have the new "You." Instead of earth mother, you get to be goddess. I even changed the hair color to red. Mary

CLUTTER - Tue, 22 Apr 1997
FROM Elaytonfel

>>>Oh, did you notice the bookends?>>>

Love them madly! So elegant.

I love antiques of any sort, but am not huge on Asian art. Too minimalist pour moi, I think. Too tasteful too, I guess. I confess - I love clutter and wretched excess. That's why I like Victorian art, and the Englishy habit of acquiring things for the pure fun of having lots of things. My poor husband prefers modern and clean lines. Ha. I'd go bonkers in a clean room, I think. Or else, I'd keep sitting there, writhing within, trying to keep from tacking up something - anything - on them clean white walls.

>>>She said EVERYBODY knew what the Erechtheion was. (It was the building on the Acropolis with the women as pillars to hold up the porch roof.)>>>

Go know! I was passionate about Greek/Roman art/history/mythology too in my youth. (those mosiacs, those statues - I love sculpture too, such a verbal art form) But I dint know that! Color me illiterate, I guess.

Edith, excessive in everything

re: CLUTTER - Tue, 22 Apr 1997
FROM Maida

>>>I love clutter and wretched excess.>>>

Our correspondence continues to grow more and more strange.

I am a clutterer. My husband prefers neat, clean lines. Unfortunately for him, he's married to me. I have actually had one guest ask me to draw a map of our home for him. Our 40 foot long hallway of bookshelves on both sides is not just filled with books. In front of the books are "things." Everywhere in the house are "things." People who visit tend to just ignore me and wander around discovering "things."

I always thought of it more as Mondrian than as Victorian. Patterns on patterns on patterns on patterns. When we broke through the outer wall of the house to attach the addition, I discovered I had placed the addition so that we entered into a load bearing wall separating the living room from a small room off the kitchen. So we jogged into the little room. The night the carpenter tore apart the walls, I was cleaning up the mess in the little room and noted that the studs that had been beneath the walls were wonderfully aged and the new studs of the jog were yucky fresh. So I stained them walnut. By this time I was in love. The studs on one of the walls were criscrossed with horizontal pieces that made perfect shelves! I called the carpenter and told him not to put up any drywall in the room. I was going to keep it as is. He laughed.

I came home the next day and found drywall on all walls. I sat down and cried. And then I called the carpenter and made him come and take them down. So now I have this little room with an entire wall of "things."


re: CLUTTER - Tue, 22 Apr 1997
FROM Elaytonfel

I'm so pleased your house is as strange as mine. The greatest compliment I ever got was from someone who marveled, "Everytime I come here I notice something I didn't see last time!" It would give some of my friends hysterics to hear that, but I was so flattered.

Oh - And I'll mail out the various reviews tomorrow - the photos will take longer as various family members vote for their favs. My daughter got an attack of the NOT ME'S! A strange thing for a performer, but I expect it will pass. She is a creature of sudden enthusiasms - I wonder where she got that from??? She muttered something about how primitives feel cameras will steal their souls, and she is afraid the Internet will do the same. I know that's not it. No matter, I will contrive.

I have your mailing address, right? I'll search my back email.

Edith, not working but not playing - caught between Spring Fever and Guilt, as ever...

re: CLUTTER - Tue, 22 Apr 1997
FROM Maida

>>>She muttered something about how primitives feel cameras will steal their souls, and she is afraid the Internet will do the same.>>>

MOTHER WOULDN'T ALLOW HER PICTURE TAKEN MUCH EITHER!!! She would chase street photographers down the street. I got it so badly that at my first wedding I said no photos. I got out of the car to meet my new father-in-law. With camera. I got back into the car and said I wouldn't get out until the camera disappeared. They were FURIOUS all through the service.

OTHER NEWS - Tue, 22 Apr 1997
FROM Elaytonfel

Oh - also wanted to tell you I am so excited!

NEWSDAY today ran a half page article with color picture about my boy - Adam. He's a comedian/improv/writer/performer now based in NYC... (used to perform in Boston)

Sort of a "local boy starts making good" article. Would you like me to mail a copy to you? (as if you'd say "no" even if you were only going to line the bottom of your canary cage with it ;-)

Which reminds me - Did I tell you? I adore canaries. But when my last one died - at 14 - my husband put his foot down... no more. Just because I used to keep the cage in the bedroom. (and he got tired of hearing dawn breaking)

But somehow, someway, someday I'll get me another, she promised herself, on her knees in the carrot patch, in front of the ruins of Tara......

Edith, trying to make you feel sorry for me...

re: CLUTTER - Wed, 23 Apr 1997
FROM Maida

>>>NEWSDAY today ran a half page article with color picture about my boy - Adam.>>>

Yes I most definitely want it. I bet I can do something with it for the site. >>>Which reminds me - Did I tell you? I adore canaries.>>>

These conversations with you get funnier and funnier.

Paul's objection was that I tried to raise baby birds that fell out of the nest in the dining room. We ate standing up in the kitchen or around the bird cage. In fact, I just got a middle of the night email from a stranger in FL who saw my website and wanted to know if I had any advice for her on raising a baby blue jay she just found. We stretched soft window screening in a circle held at the top and bottom to hula hoops. We hung that from the dining room chandelier. The bird when little stayed on an inverted large flower pot and, when bigger, had a wide plastic hanger suspended from the chandelier to play on.

I took up videotaping birds maybe 3 years ago. I have SO much logged footage you can't imagine. In the midst of that terrible heatwave two years ago I balanced at the tip top of a ladder and leaned over into a camera whose tripod was extended all the way with each leg set on the top of a larger inverted flower pots (invaluable things, those flower pots). And I stayed up there until I got the first baby emerging from the nest and the first flight.

Did I mention I have almost unlimited patience?


MORE STUFF - Fri, 25 Apr 1997
FROM Elaytonfel

Mary -

Forgive me for not emailing sooner, I've been sullking - my horrible lawyer neighbor won her variance and will be moving her horrible house closer to mine, so that it overhangs and towers and overshadows my garden. She won - in defiance of all Oyster Bay Township tradition and all good sense! Now my garden is kaput. My privacy is zero there. Where's the fun of gardening under watchful hostile eyes? Appealing the verdict will take much dinero, and I have no real chance of winning. You can't fight city hall out here in the burbs, and I guess she's 'connected'. It's so unjust! It makes me so angry! So of course, since I can't dry up her cows, as my Granny used to do to troublesome neighbors I take it out on myself.....

anyway - I know you're real busy now with the new Video! Exciting stuff??

Just a few things - did you get my mailed packet? I'm starting to send our URL to folks I love and trust... one long time fan suggested a line or two about authors I love? I dunno - could get me in trouble with any friends I forget.. what do you think?

Have a happy one, I'd be frolicking but my nose is falling off - even though I have fortified myself with all the latest in allergy meds. (Did I mention that I have suffered from allergies all my life? Now - can you relate to that? At least, I'll bet I sneeze louder.) But this week is pollen city on Lunguysland.

Edith - who sulks loud, like she does everything else...

NEIGHBORS AND SLIME - Fri, 25 Apr 1997
FROM Maida

Not an exciting video but $4500 for what is frequently less than a month's work. Not enough to keep us eating, but enough to help with the salads.

That is horrible about your garden!! I love being out in the garden and there's enough privacy that I can walk the dogs in my nightgown in the backyard. If someone put up a several story building overlooking the yard I would be MISERABLE! In our town, we have town meetings and they announce anybody's intention to violate zoning so that we have time to show up and argue. I do hate to suggest it, but you really might consider moving.

There is only so much time we have, and any time that we spend unhappy is that much wasted. If you can imagine yourself coming to terms with the sight of your neighbor's house, then you have a chance of being at peace. If you think that the sight will only distress you, then it doesn't sound so good for your blood pressure or your long term happiness. The only important thing is that you and your husband be at peace with yourselves. Wherever that is.

>>>one long time fan suggested a line or two about authors I love? I dunno - could get me in trouble with any friends I forget.. what do you think?>>>

Not a chance in hell! All your instincts are right on. You can say the genre you like to read, and how excited you are to actually read books by people you know and care about, but that keeps it general enough that nobody can get upset by it.

Allegies. How about the time I brought a bouquet of wildflowers to a male friend. Goldenrod. Ah, well. As an infant I had enough allergies to cause mother to keep my hands in gloves to keep me from scratching up my face. She used a black lotion on my face and called me "Mamadoll." Now the only lingering things are penicillin and sulfa allergies and a continuous post nasal drip that they don't bother looking for the source of but, rather, just treat the symptoms.

I told my agent that I was leaving. That was SO hard.

From Brian:
I read your SLOWING DOWN TIME web page and agree with you that it's simply a matter of preferences. However, had I seen it in its present design, I think I could have sold that in a day. Little hardbound books are very big, and most publishers I can think of would want to rush this into print before Christmas, and then keep it going as a mid-list item. However, I won't do anything about it if that is the project you are using to troll for a new agent. Remember, you're invited to bounce any offers off me, and I'll give you a straight opinion.

A nice man. I'm glad we're able to part professionally amicably.

Haven't heard back yet from a different agency. Cross your toes for me. Crossed fingers make it too hard to type.


MORE ABOUT THE GARDEN - Fri, 25 Apr 1997

Elaytonfel: wow! you surely do impress me!

Maida: tell that to my panting fingers.

Elaytonfel: sorry, sorry, sorry

Maida: are you feeling any better?

Elaytonfel: aiiiiii - I dunno... I am so chagrined, it's the injustice thing, I guess. Still believe in fairy tales....

Elaytonfel: The woman lied and lied to the zoning board. I would have been afraid to be struck by lightning - but she won!

Maida: i'm not impressed with your town boards. was there some politics there you didn't know how to properly kowtow to?

Elaytonfel: probably. And she was a lawyer....

Maida: you were dead. you had no chance.

Maida: I suppose you could begin holding Big Band concerts in your garden.

Elaytonfel: she also claimed she needed to make her house that big because she was expecting a baby - and I just found out that other neighbors are laughing themselves to jellies - because she aint!

Elaytonfel: I am thinking of renting a brace of Rottweilers... and letting them stay in the garden all day...

Maida: How about a ghetto blaster and a belly dancing class in the garden?

Elaytonfel: good - that's good...

Maida: a small group learning to play musical instruments of some very patriotic music.

Elaytonfel: Yes!

Elaytonfel: the bagpipe chorale

Maida: yes

Maida: a bagpipe class!

Elaytonfel: that made me grin just thinking of it. I love it... Hey! Maybe I can learn to play the bagpipes!

Maida: Grandchildren (rent them) with a LOT of drums.

Elaytonfel: I shall learn to play "Swanee River" on the bagpipes, accompanied by the banjo.

Maida: Everybody needs to play the bagpipes. Explain it's for the historical romance you're writing.

Elaytonfel: thank you Mary, I love it.

Maida: My pleasure. It's these warm thoughts that help us get through the days.

Elaytonfel: My daughter does play the musical saw for her comedy revue...... makes all your fillings rattle.

Maida: I don't see what people have against revenge.

Maida: Doesn't she have friends who want to learn how to do it?

Elaytonfel: I will ask her - I love revenge - except I so seldom get it...

Maida: You have to be real subtle. Like saying that YOU think you're pregnant and you have a craving for bagpipes and pickles.

Elaytonfel: ummm, I want revenge - not hysterical laughter

Maida: Don't you think your neighbor would really ENJOY being laughed at?

Elaytonfel: still - that 63 year old woman in California is LOTS older than me....

Maida: I started thinking what a good idea. I kept that thought for about four hours before I remembered that I had been fixed.

Elaytonfel: Well, I dunno if it's a great idea... I hate the thought of people using walkers to get their maalox and ensure in the Maternity ward....

Maida: Did you hear that that lady's mother is still alive?

Elaytonfel: yeah - but ... I don't know... I think we have to learn to leave youth to the young... there's plenty good about old - we just have to discover what it is again...

Elaytonfel: Half the women I know are running in to get themselves surgical youth -

Maida: i've had a good time getting to my age. I'm not ready to go backwards quite yet.

Maida: I can just see the first signs of aging in my skin. GIve me a couple more years and maybe it will depress me too.

Elaytonfel: And I know if I go get something nipped or tucked the surgeon is going to sneeze just as he's about to say "What a great Job - Wachoo!.. Oh... oh dear...."

Maida: My grandmother had two burn marks on her face from doctors who tried to remove moles. I'm not much into changing what's there. My husband, however, has started talking about dying his hair and having the bags under his eyes removed. I just tell him I'll love him whatever.

Elaytonfel: Oh - dying hair! that's fine. I've been doing that so long my cerebellum is probably red by now

Maida: Paul, for the very first time, suggested I might think of dying mine. I fear the kid is worrying about getting older.

Elaytonfel: It makes me feel good. And you know? It's weird, but it makes the hair feel softer too...

Maida: My college roommate visited and said Peter Pan should have known me. He would have felt a lot better about growing up. I refuse to admit I'm an adult.

Maida: Because we don't have children, this whole house is a toy room for us.

Elaytonfel: I'm all for that. That's great. Your house sounds wonderful -

Elaytonfel: My desktop is all toys.. I claim it's because I work alone.

Maida: The back room of the basement is my trek room. It's where I keep models of the Enterprise, life size cutouts of McCoy, and all my dirty Trek pictures.

Elaytonfel: Dirty trek pictures! My pointy ears are standing up.

Maida: I wrote underground women's erotica. Won best dirty novel some years back.

Maida: I only found out years later that my 3rd line manager had told the IBM VP that I worked for about my "hobby". Luckily, he was amused.

Elaytonfel: Please email me instanter and tell all- 'cause I've just been IM'ed by the lady running a workshop I'm giving here on AOL Sunday, and I have to leave for the City at 7:30. Please forgive me!!!

Maida: Go

Elaytonfel: Blessings on thee, Mary - I await your email - I need titilation (Gawd, I can't even spell it!) in my life - don't we all!!! See you soonest....

Elaytonfel: thank you .... have a glorious nite now!

Maida: I will send all.

Elaytonfel: :-)

ONSITE - Sat, 26 Apr 1997
FROM Elaytonfel

Mary -

Sorry I couldn't chat longer last night, but we had to rush into the City to see son Adam's review last night. (it was great) I came home late and got up early, because Spring was shouting outside my window. So what was the first thing I did? Go for a walk? (Me? Do you jest?) Plant something? (Not likely with the neighbor slime problem I have in my garden now) Walk the dog? (Alas - he's getting sick again - lethargic, tired, so sad. Thursday the vet said it might be cumulative from his chemo - or his lymphoma may be returning - and I guess I do not want to talk about that now). So how was I to feel happier today?

I went to the site you are building.

It did the trick.

Made me very happy, indeed. I see what you meant about it being a work in progress, it's fascinating to watch it going up - Like watching a skyscraper being built. I'm learning a lot about the potential of this media just by watching. (Are you tired of people telling you you're right?) real quick - aside from some silly typos which are naught - I found only two problems so far.

Otherwise - pure bliss.

Oh - One thing for sure, I love the idea of providing links. It works like crazy! I'll find more. Someone just sent me one yesterday and I just checked it out and it's Great! I want to add it to The Crimson Crown instanter! Wait til you see it - I'm convinced you'll love it as much as I do! And that's a lot. I want to move into my computer more than ever now.

With music too, no less.

Let me know what you think,

Edith, trying to get happy about something other than her webpage...

ONSITE - Sat, 26 Apr 1997
FROM Maida

>>>we had to rush into the City to see son Adam's review las tnight. (it was great)>>>

That is so wild that you can actually watch the little kid you diapered up on a stage in front of people. Incredible!

>>>Made me very happy, indeed.>>>

And THAT is what it's all about! In my world of me, I feel a deep gratitude for my life and my friends and it is essential to whoever I am that I give back some of what I've gotten to others. It's a variant on the person who gave me a dime to make a call and wouldn't take repayment but asked me to pass it on. I am not a religious person. I have to make up my own definitions of what is right and wrong to do. And, somehow, sharing my skills with others and encouraging their growth into what they want to be is my way of "passing it on." One of my web pages,
includes the aphorisms I was taught and the words that stuck to my backbone along with the cookies. The one I remember most was the one that said to do whatever good you can do now because you will not pass this way again. I am so happy for the places I have passed.

>>>I'm learning a lot about the potential of this media just by watching. (Are you tired of people telling you you're right?)>>>

Never tired! Actually, the real excitement is that I'll see one thing and you'll see another. As each of us pushes and pulls and warps it into our "thing", it becomes something new for the rest of us to play with and gives us yet another chance to push our own envelopes. When you're ready to let me teach you, just tell me.

>>>Edith, trying to get happy about something other than her webpage...>>>

I put in priority mail two 30 minute music video tapes and the laid out version of 20 of my "marker events." The document is a very strange animal but I think you will enjoy it. Paul said that he had always wanted to lay out a book. And so now he has done so. It is a very funny feeling to be writing naked without a character to hide behind.


x - Sun, 27 Apr 1997

Elaytonfel: great! I already gave them the website but they may have forgot!

Elaytonfel: (Meant to call you "mary" - but forgot - the Maida sound so right) forgive me, do :-)

Maida: you don't have to call me mary; i'm at peace with maida online.

Elaytonfel: :-)

Elaytonfel: I hope folks do drop by the site, it was good to see you at the chat

Maida: thanks edith. i'm glad i got some counters in at least.

Elaytonfel: I hope we get lots of comment, I'm also going to start emailing lots of writerly types...

Maida: I hope the site works out great for you!

Elaytonfel: After I take Abe to the vet for his chemo tomorrow, I'm going to the local office and signing up with Specnet. Then I have to get off Sprynet, and on Specnet. I am going to be SO confused!

Maida: According to a new Harris poll, doctors, scientists, teachers, engineers and members of the clergy are the most prestigious occupations in the eyes of Americans. They are followed by police officers, military officers and -- in a finding that may surprise some -- members of Congress.

Maida: At the bottom of the prestige list are union leaders, entertainers, athletes, artists and accountants. Harris has been conducting the prestige poll since 1977.

Maida: reading news as well

Elaytonfel: Mary - you are too too much :-)

Elaytonfel: show off!

Maida: would you believe i'm typing with my toes?

Elaytonfel: yeah, actually, I would.

Maida: knew you had a great imagination

Maida: did you enjoy the session?

Elaytonfel: I like to talk to readers, I wish they'd been more forthcoming, though.

Maida: i had THREE of the people iming me during your talk to ask about books

Elaytonfel: what books?

Maida: regency readers not into historicals, actually

Elaytonfel: see?

Maida: lovers of Duke's Wager

Elaytonfel: yes, I'm glad everyone loved it - I did too - but you have to move on - and they can't seem to get that!

Elaytonfel: Other regency writers have the same problem with readers...

Maida: i think the answer is the difference between being a reader and a writer. A WRITER has to move on. A reader doesn't.

Maida: I think by the nature of the beast, you move from one group of fans to another. It would be nice to have them all come along, but at least the total number keeps growing.

Elaytonfel: right. That's true. You are right,I hadn't thought of it that way.

Maida: You just can't drag them with you. But remember they'll read and reread the ones that you wrote before.

Elaytonfel: But see, I loved Heyer's regencies, and love her Georgians too...although, to be honest, I didn't care for her mysteries as much.

Maida: i didn't like her georgians either

Elaytonfel: And if they reread me, it's only the used bookstores that are thrilled.

Elaytonfel: Oh come on! The Masqueraders was nice, wasn't it?

Maida: financially. but they talk and they tell their friends you are a quality writer. That was EXACTLY what someone imed to me and I said I couldn't remember it.

Elaytonfel: The girl posing as a boy, and the big sleepy eyed hero. A neat little book, it was.

Maida: now i love that scenario but i'm still not remembering it.

Maida: georgian was a bit freer, shall we say

Maida: i like society to set up some of the barriers. i still think duke's wager was so finely drawn that it is a classic for the ages.

Elaytonfel: OK - she kept tipping her glassof wine into her sleeve so she wouldn't get drunk (that did bother me) and she ahd a brother posing as a girl? And that sly father who got them all into trouble all the time? The brother had been a jocaobite and was on the run, thus the girl disguise?

Elaytonfel: Classic! (wow) Thanks. It took 2 years to get that classic into print.

Maida: none of it is ringing a bell. i don't pick up a book if it says georgian. i really might not have it.

Elaytonfel: In fact, I'm not sure if the Wager would be printed today. they're more conventional in many ways now - the pubs.

Maida: look back at what you did. you used such control in your language and your situations. you set up knife edges for them to walk

Maida: even your ending, when she loses and that makes her win. brilliant!

Elaytonfel: gosh. thanks. But as I said, I dont know if they'd let me get away with it now. They would say the language is too flowery, the intro too long -

Maida: the language was controlled!!!

Elaytonfel: Yes, but difficult. There is much resistance to difficult language these days. Which includes arcane words and loong sentences. Trust me.

Maida: the thing that was completely out of the ordinary was to make both men have greys instead of black and whites. the concept of hero moves up and down. I do trust you.

Maida: and the fact that jason may have been ruined by syphylis. THAT i have trouble imaging you got through the censors.

Elaytonfel: No, I only meant that publishers are playing it much closer to the vest these days.

Maida: that's what i thought you meant.

Maida: that book could handle a talk all by itself. there was such complexity in it, such philosophy

Elaytonfel: Well, there was some stuff I Couldn't get through. That little orgy Jason was almost involved in - with the two girls? ---well, originally he was almost involved in one with a girl and a boy....

Maida: that is funny!

Elaytonfel: that, the pubs would NOT allow.

Maida: were they upset at the sexual disease aspect?

Elaytonfel: And he didn't even actually do it, you see. He was just momentarily diverted by the idea.

Elaytonfel: nah - the disease thing slid by, I don't think they really noticed.

Maida: he was more playing mental games with his friend wasn't he?

Elaytonfel: absolutely, he was bored, and jaded and was ruining himself in mind games as well as other ways. MAIDA: and when do you EVER see a heroine agree that she has passed the line of survival.

Elaytonfel: mmm?

Elaytonfel: I don't understand...???

Maida: sorry. he waited for her to give in. most regencies would let her triumph over his waiting. here it was her giving in that made her win. Wonderfully complex.

Elaytonfel: Jason was a neat man. I did love him, really.

Elaytonfel: He and Warwick Jones are spiritual kin.

Maida: Think you'll ever move out of historicals?

Maida: the drawing you sent me

Elaytonfel: Probably one day... I did do another book, a set of five stories that become even more of a novel than "All Seasons" - and it's contemporary. Want to hear someting maddening?

Maida: yes

Elaytonfel: Well, that book went out to several pubs. No one disliked it. No one had ONE bad word to say about it. One editor said she was so tired, because she stayed up all night reading it.

Elaytonfel: But no one would publish it. There didn't know how to "market it".

Maida: But there is a HUGE contemporary romance market.

Elaytonfel: Yes. But this was/is a weird format - the stories become a whole at the end. And it is also romance that is tinged with fantasy. maybe it was before it's time - like the Wager was. I wrote it 3 years ago. Maybe I'll give it to my new agent and see what happens??? ELaytonfel: I could read you though... MAIDA: nothing was on my side. MAIDA: i thought closing it out on my side might help, file shorter and all that stuff ELaytonfel: Oh - I was talking to thin air! Well, I do that a lot. ELaytonfel: The counter is wonderful. MAIDA: that's what dogs are for MAIDA: don't know what we'll have at your new provider. MAIDA: the counters are specific to the provider MAIDA: oh, how did you feel about the link info I sent you? ELaytonfel: I'm going to have to get it clicking. I'll start emailing everyone with a webcrawler, and i will put it in the next book. ELaytonfel: The link info was great, I'll send you more links, the way I should. MAIDA: for the new domain name, right? MAIDA: i really meant the link word ELaytonfel: Actually, I have a 12 page short story coming up in Romance Forver, that I did as a favor - and I'll ask them to put in the website . MAIDA: that's the sort of thing that will help. ignore the last message. it executed my html again MAIDA: sending to the search engines is a whole big deal ELaytonfel: You - I should have the domain name soon, and the issue is coming out in July. MAIDA: you need to have short and longer versions of what a search engine would say about your site when they returned it from a search. ELaytonfel: I'll ask Hilary to put it in the Signet Christmas collection too. ELaytonfel: how do I do that??? MAIDA: excellent! MAIDA: when the time comes, i'll show you step by step ELaytonfel: So I'llhave to register the name tomorrow - they said they could get it for me in a week! MAIDA: excellent again! MAIDA: oh, send me an audio tape and we could put your dog barking on the site. ELaytonfel: And, I will, I will get thosephotos out to you by tomorrow - I was going to do it tonight, but there were way toomany things to do. MAIDA: know the feeling. we went to see The Saint and then just went driving up and down country roads. MAIDA: oh and bought LOTS of herbs ELaytonfel: mmm, dog barking? Great idea.. how was the flick? ELaytonfel: Oh - if only I had my bamboo up - I plant herbs every year! MAIDA: wonderful. they made this strange connection between simon templar as a child and the saint of the present day. very lovely and probably not at all like the books. ELaytonfel: My inspiration? the great herb garden at the Cloisters. MAIDA: i have ALWAYS wanted a bowknot garden. ELaytonfel: now - if I could pipe in gregorian chants too... MAIDA: I went to a catholic girls school. even heard a mass in southern latin. ELaytonfel: (envy) MAIDA: it was really funny MAIDA: i still sing to myself sometimes from the songs i learned in choir. MAIDA: you are going to learn ALL about me tomorrow. ELaytonfel: Catholic schools give such great all around educations. I went to a public school. Well, it is odd for a jewish person to have Catholic envy,but you guys have such good schools! ELaytonfel: We, however, have great food. ELaytonfel: and lots of neuroses. ELaytonfel: and guilt. Let us not forget guilt. MAIDA: i was raised in a jewish neighborhood in chicago. went out of it to go to catholic high school. i was so envious of my friends getting to go to a community center. MAIDA: my college roommate was jewish but she married a really strict husband so we gave her a hannaka bush to sleep under for her last christmas before marriage. we forgot she was allergic to trees and grass. MAIDA: i was the bridesmaid at a jewish wedding - the kind where fred stomped on a flashbulb wrapped in a hanky. we were afraid the rabbi wouldn't let us if we told him i wasn't jewish. ELaytonfel: I was raised sort of like a Druid, however. I know, I know, I don't look Druidish. MAIDA: i became an atheist when i was 17. MAIDA: not a real comfy position as a senior in a catholic school ELaytonfel: I had no religious training, and have worked my way up from Atheist, to Agnostic, and am now a Deist. MAIDA: what catholicism does to you is teach you that women's place is in the home while the man goes out. they teach humility instead of self worth. ELaytonfel: I studied all religions,looking for a home. MAIDA: you're lucky. i became an atheist from a class in apologetics. how to make a case for the catholic church. there just was no logic there. ELaytonfel: And what I found is that at heart, all good religions are the same. MAIDA: i studied eastern religions and carried my Gita around in my senior year. ELaytonfel: Oh my Eastern days! MAIDA: i still can't believe in a god, but i want to be a good person for myself. i think i am a harsher judge of myself than any god could be. ELaytonfel: The thing is, I am at a point now, where I believe God isn't harsh. So you know I'm not affilliated with any religion. MAIDA: anyway, tomorrow arrives my 20 marker events which is about who i am and when you get my package of slash writing, watch the mccoy character. that's where i usually do my philosophizing. i do morality plays in erotica. MAIDA: god just doesn't make sense to me. MAIDA: oh, but you'll LOVE the last song on my camera tape. it stops abruptly near the end but it's a religious song about space and earth and it's done to my town and to Picard. ELaytonfel: Can't wait to receive the packet! And so far as God goes - i do believe he does.. I just stillhave to find out where...exactly... MAIDA: i believe in people. ELaytonfel: behold me anticipating! MAIDA: it is a very short step from watching music videos to being consumed by them. ELaytonfel: I can't wait! But I also believe I'd better get over to them photo albums, and get some pix sorted out. MAIDA: and talk about seeing your heros in one place! MAIDA: i'm crashing too. talk to you later. MAIDA: night ELaytonfel: Night, Mary, it's been grand!!! MAIDA: yep, as usual. ELaytonfel: :-)

BAMBOO AND SENILITY - Sun, 27 Apr 1997
FROM Maida

>>>I have to think about stuff a loooong time before I do it...>>>

I do the same thing. I fight Paul tooth and nail because he wants me to learn in HIS time not in mine. But I have faith now that there will be a time when I will be ready and that gives me more confidence. I do a lot of my work subconsciously. I concentrate very hard on something and then try to let it completely go. One day it will be time, or the answer will come, or whatever it is I'm going to need.

>>>It's part, I think, of being a control freak. >>>

You, too? Me, too! That is probably why I've never taken alcohol or drugs. I really am scared at the idea of losing control. Giving over control is a matter of trust. It took a while to learn how to work collaboratively with someone. It also took a while to accept that finished products of group work didn't have to match my vision. I think one of the reasons I like writing scripts is because it lets me show off that I finally do understand collaborative work.

>>>But I brought them up to do what they had to do - so that they won't turn forty and freak out, thinking of all the things they never got to do. (A curse of some of the people I know)>>>

I have friends like that, too, and I really can't understand them, love them as I do. They always talk about what could have been, what their lives would have been if they had done this or done that or stood up to their parents or whatever.

I have done some good and some horrible things in my life. But for me to wish to change them is to wish to change who I am today. And if I do that, I can't like myself very much. So I've learned to accept exactly who I am and to know that I am the way I am because all of the good and bad things. Sometimes I just feel like shaking these friends, but I know you can't. You just keep supporting and encouraging and hope that they find their own way.

>>>Now I look back, it was pretty amazing to bring up a girl in my generation with that kind of mindset.>>>

One of my other great joys in life is to introduce people to one another. When I used to head my professional society for computer programming languages, I was always doing that. Today I try to figure out who to friendship match with who. Or whom, as mommy would say. If a particular were not so technology phobic and was online, I would definitely get the two of you together.

>>>I am much sunnier today - our little IM chat really helped enormously.>>>

I am so glad. But you will find, occasionally, that it really is a pain in the ass to know a Pollyanna.

>>>But if you plant it in a container, or with a steel barrier - it>>> just grows up and onward... blocking out ghastly neighbors, however tall their houses.

Yes, I did know that. But think about this. If you can build your garden very carefully so that there is a steel barrier in FRONT of the bamboo and none in BACK of the bamboo, where will this weed start breaking out? Why in your neighbor's yard!

>>>thinking she should maybe get a Panda too????>>>

YES!!! YES!!! YES!!! YES!!! YES!!! YES!!! YES!!! YES!!!

>>>and have us shouting and running, and then driving after him>>>

That brings back the most terrible memories. One of the reasons I bought the house that I did was because it had front and back porches to use as safety hatches for leaving the house. Doesn't work. You have to remember to close the door behind you before you open the door in front of you. Have I mentioned that Paul's favorite "joke" is to ask how he's going to know when I'm senile?

My personal theory is that Abraham read the NY Times article on the 63 year old mother and decided to father a litter in his old age. If he's fixed, I bet he doesn't know it!


re: BAMBOO AND SENILITY - Sun, 27 Apr 1997
FROM Elaytonfel

>>>Yes, I did know that. But think about this. If you can build your garden very carefully so that there is a steel barrier in FRONT of the bamboo and none in BACK of the bamboo, where will this weed start breaking out? Why in your neighbor's yard!>>>

Oh Lud! This is Creepy!!!!! just exactly and precisely what me and the good ol' doc want to do! Scary!!! But at first I said it was toooo mean. But now, as I watch their Xanadu going up..... And wait until I tell yu the plans he has for this fabulously Funny idea I got while IM'ing you - if it can work, I'll tell you first. It's nothing dreadful or illegal, just gloriously funny! Fight rats with laughter, I say.

>>>That is probably why I've never taken alcohol or drugs. I really am scared at the idea of losing control..>>>

mmm, I'm with you on the drugs... but... I love drinking wine Saved my life, I think. .I used to ahve this terrible colitis - but the wine staves it off, and I love getting silly before dinner. Just wine, though. The hard stuff takes my head off.

FROM Elaytonfel

How swift is our Mary! How fleet her fingers!

wow - you are fast, girlfriend.

But, I am too - she said with a smidge of pride.

herewith some other neat links!

*they really, really are... I am astounded at how many great things I found once I really went looking.

I'll save some for the "Favorites" page - but these can go with Historical Insider info to give them more zing...

Isn't this great? I'll be sending more insider text too. And them photos go in the mail tomorrow night - or I won't let me eat dinner.

Edith, in out of the Spring for a while -

FROM Maida

>>>or I won't let me eat dinner>>>

How bizarre. I make myself do things by bribery as well. Paul would never think of doing that. Is it female linked?


x - Sun, 27 Apr 1997
FROM Elaytonfel


It was SO good talking to you last night, it's scary how fast you're becoming a fast friend! I'll bet that happens a lot with you, though.

I didn't get to send the photos to you yet. I went through the albums last night and had a revelation! I don't like my pitcher took! And here I thought I was so vain! (Maybe that's why?) And I never had it done professionally - I lie. I tried. But when I see them hauling out the old throne back wicker chair, and saying "smile" with that dead look in their eyes, I am outta there. So I'll sent on what I find, and hope you can creatively use what you get. Disregard the numbered dates on some, or crop them out, they are a wild assortment because we lost the instructions to the camera, and can't figure out out to change them. So one week they are dated 1985 - the next 1994 - and none are true. Inscrutable, our camera.

Susie agreed to post a pix, and that's good. And - oh - if you don't mind, could you send them back when you're done? I can't find the usual set of duplicates (I think the kids come and spirit them away for their own purposes - but then, I hate to admit I forgot where I put them)

I will attempt to write some super prose to go with them.

But first I have to finish Chapter 13 - I must! And then take Abe in for his bi-weekly chemo. And then go sign up with that new server, and file for my domain name. And then have dinner, and then...

Oh what a mad round of jollity!

And that's not counting the fun of showering and brushing my teeth.

But I will get them out today - or tomorrow.

And then I must write a Whizbang promo for the site to post to two Romance groups. I'd like to get it out by the end of the week, so folks can come look by the weekend.

But I'd also like to see a moom pitcher, or rent the two I've been dying to see and missed in the theatres: Emma, the movie, and Al Pacino's "Richard the Third".

I'll send some more insider info that I wrote last night to you separately. When I try to make the email too long, AOL freaks and hollors: "error type two" - and destroys the whole post. Then truly , my words are writ on ether,

Edith, hearing them hammering next door, seeing the workmen capering across the rooftops as they blithely build their wretched second story, keeping the blinds tilted so they can't peer in, and feeling my temperature rising... sigh.

Re: Things - Mon, 28 Apr 1997
FROM Maida

>>>It was SO good talking to you last night, it's scary how fast you're becoming a fast friend! I'll bet that happens a lot with you, though.>>>

I understand that I am a bit of a weird one, but some of that tracks to my being Midwestern. Chicago people reach out to one another almost all the time. I didn't understand this until I moved to New York and felt so isolated and miserable. I still didn't understand what was happening but I started feeling as though I were a "bad person." Then I went to visit mother and walked a block and a half to the grocery store. And ended up counting 13 people who acknowledged I was alive. People make eye contact while they standing side by side on a curb, as they pass each other crossing a street. There are smiles and acknowledgements and a connection that says you are alive.

Living now in the East, I find that my openness is a bit nervewracking to people when they first meet me. The next thing that seems to happen is that they become aware that 1) I am relatively non-judgemental and (2) I am truly interested in every human being with whom I come in contact.

This usually results in people finding themselves more open with me than they are with others.

As to friendships, I am discriminating. I will give a great deal to people who even drive me crazy, but there still has to be something that draws me to the person. Maybe it's some quality that I have to respect and something that I can get from them that helps me better be the person I want to be.

I have found everything in life gets better as I get older. That might be because I haven't yet arrived at an age when things will begin to fall apart. But, for now, it seems true. And one of those things that are better is my ability to reach out and touch other souls. It brings me a very deep happiness.

>>>I don't like my pitcher took! And here I thought I was so vain! (Maybe that's why?)>>>

I feel the same way. What drives me crazy though is that I am able to get phenomenal pictures of other people and doctor them up to shed pounds and wrinkles, etc. But no one ever does it for me. I sit here and suddenly think, then why don't I do it for myself? And the answer is that it never occurred to me. Click. Reset brain. Ah, well.

If we ever get together and you want me to try with you, what I do is capture off video tape. As a video producer, I do a lot of directing of talent so I am pretty good at getting people to assume the look I'm after. Then it's just a matter of finding one out of thousands of possibilities. And I don't use wicker chairs. I'm more likely to use a plain background and add fantasy.

>>>And - oh - if you don't mind, could you send them back when you're done?>>>

No problem.

>>>I'd also like to see a moom pitcher>>>

"So would I," she says, blinking question marks.

>>>feeling my temperature rising...>>>

Can't you make her into a female villian in one of your stories? That always makes me much happier.


Re: Links, links! - Mon, 28 Apr 1997
FROM Maida

>Do you like GILBERT & SULLIVAN too? I was in Princess Ida after I graduated from college. Chorus only. I was living with a gentleman who is still a good friend and he was one of the brothers three. He never could remember his lines and so we sang them together over and over again. Mostly, I remember, in the shower. /97 One of the first times I REALLY learned to love music outside of what I sang was watching the Mikado with my grandfather when I was quite small. I became obsessed with it and sang from it all the time. My favorite was And I said little dicky bird why do you sit Singing willow, tit willow, tit willow It was so beautifully sad it made me cry. My high school group did G&S but the year I was eligible to be in it we did Babes in Toyland instead. Oh, I need to think and try one on you! Of course. Stained glass! I love Pittsburgh because there is so much stained glass there it has a separate category in the phone book. I bought a lovely lamp from a store that builds windows for churches. Paul just got me another little one for Christmas. I have some replica windows and a modern chunk design from a store across from Chartre. I collect Christmas ornaments and went to a store after the holiday and found a HUGE stained glass ball in a corner. I offered them $90 and they accepted! You can't imagine what it was like to get it home. It was actually a stained glass hot air balloon with a little glass basket suspended from the bottom. It's too big for anywhere in the house now but there is a 10' ceiling in the unfinished library (a HUGE room) so I'll put it there someday. Oh, and the Tiffany exhibit was one of my strongest memories. Mary

Cannot wait!!!! - Mon, 28 Apr 1997
FROM Elaytonfel

Scratch the motion picture show for us tonight!

We just got our Mary-Pack!

I thumbed through the book - and had to stop myself - I've got so much to do today... ... but tonight, I'm going to kick back, read the book (which looks incredibly marvellous, BTW) and then view the videos!


Oh also BTW - didn't sign up with SpecNet after all. - went to pick up installer discs, since they were nearby - and discovered they were setting up in an abandoned pizzeria in a local shopping center - between "PEARL NAILS" and "CARVEL". I peeked inside - a few crates and boxes and one person kind of mooching around. Everybody has to start somewhere, but my confidence was shook. Didn't even go in - beacuse I figured if they go-belly up I'd have to get someone else all over again, and soon.

So will try a net search for a provider, as you did, and see what I can come up with.. also will check Thursday's TIMES which is usually the Science/Computer edition.

Now - to work, and then tonight - to play Mary's videos!


Re: Cannot wait!!!! - Mon, 28 Apr 1997
FROM Maida

>>>peeked inside - a few crates and boxes and one person kind of mooching around.>>>

You are so SMART for checking them out in person. I tend to be very trusting and it would never have occurred to me. Then I wonder later why the gardening service that took my chunk of money only came when the grass was a foot high.

Favorite gullable story: 17 year old drives along outer drive with brother who is visiting Chicago in late spring. "Oh, look Mary, they're raising the boats in the harbor." Mary looks and asks what brother means by this. Brother explains that boats are waterproof and so, to save them from winter storms and damage, they are sunk in place in late fall.

19 year old drives past the yacht harbor with new husband. "Oh, look Bruce, they're raising the boats in the harbor." >>>to play Mary's videos!>>>

I do so much hope you enjoy them. The one marked camera has 3 bird videos, one of photographs of my grandfather, the lab at which I worked in NY, mother through pictures and thingies, and a religious video of my town and Picard. I love this singer, Julia Ecklar. She is a Star Trek fan whose friends got together and bought her a backup band and a recording session. I saw her at a Blakes Seven convention with the star of the show up all night listening to her sing and crying his heart out. She also published one of the pro Star Trek books. I vaguely remember she might work for a coroner's office in PA.

The one on TV shows is a mixed group from different TV shows, including 2 from Star Trek. I do a lot of funny ones and some sad ones. I've made over 300 over the years and they sometimes take over my soul. People watch them over and over again and know them by heart. They use them to deal with emotional problems and watch them till they wear out. I really still don't understand what it is that is so compelling about them, but I am hooked. One of my favorites on that tape is Leader of the Band for Spock and his father.

Have fun!


The Mary Festival - Tue, 29 Apr 1997
FROM Elaytonfel

We really did have the Mary festival here last night.

First, I read the book.

I really can't see how you can fail to publish this.

It speaks to a whole generation, and speaks of a blissful state of mind and acceptance of life. I had fun looking over your further list in back, and recognized some of my own tactics. Given my unquiet state of mind these days I don't know how many new things I can try - but I'd like to think I will someday find the time to slow down time. It's a wonderful concept. I'd push and push to get this going, because I think it's a winner.

The tapes were fascinating.

The video clips tickled me. Well, you know I'm a Trekkie, after all. But I think the fun comes from that shock of recognition, and the tweaking of remembrances - like - "Yes! Right ! I thought that then!". I knew the Man from Uncle, and yummy Harrison Ford, of course. But where I don't know the shows, it did loose some relevance for me.

But the Mary videos! They floored me. I loved them.

The birds were wonderful. I found myself saying yes - exactly - how wonderful to see this from so close! The artistry of the camerawork coupled with the appropriate music - the obvious love of Nature - made them a delight. (But where is Autumn? You had Winter, Spring, Summer - I wanted to see the animals and the sites in a glorious New England Autumn.)

The personal videos moved me very much. And that's astonshing, given that I had no biographical material to touch base with. But the beauty and emotion certainly came through. I must tell you I had tears in my eyes watching your tribute to your Mother - and found myself wishing I had known her - and found myself thinking that any woman who could leave such a legacy - a daughter who loved her so much - must have been some other kind of woman.

So Bravo! I hope you make many more personal videos. They have enormous power and poetry.

That said - I'll UPS them back to you this week.

And thank you very much for sharing them with us.

Edith, who really enjoyed last night's entertainment.

Oh - and - Tue, 29 Apr 1997
FROM Elaytonfel

And did I mention that Norbert watched the videos with me, and really enjoyed them too? He's a tough act. But the personal videos really resonated with him. He's not a bird watcher, but he put down his medical journal to watch, and stayed hooked throughout the tape.

His own personal background is astonishing, and one he seldom talks about, but the montage of photos and the music fascinated him, and he started asking me about the people. I couldn't answer his questions, but the fact that you raised so many questions is wonderful. Those videos find echoes, Mary. They are strong.

Again, bravo!

Re: scary! - Tue, 29 Apr 1997
FROM Elaytonfel

>>>Oh, I need to think and try one on you! Of course. Stained glass!>>>

!ummmm.... I have lots of stained glass - old. We have an old church window with a pelican/phoenix? feeding it's young (symbol of eternal life) in our bedroom - shadowboxed so we can light it at night.

Another from the same church showing Noah's dove with a sprig of olive in its beak in the upper hall.

Those are the best ones. But we have others.

A piece from an old house in the kitchen, and we don't have curtains there - just more stained glass(very simple) panels that I designed to match the older piece - as well as a loong panel that went over a transom, mounted in the family room. An old oilskin paper painting (it glows when light hits it - but is deteriorating, alas - I think it was a kind of faux stained glass popular in the old days) inside a panel over the front door - two simple old stained glass windows propped in the windows... well, you get the idea. Luckily, we were given or bought these pieces when we first moved here years ago - when they were dirt cheap, or considered old-fashioned. Not like now.

Now the prices stagger me!

One of the reasons I could never live in LA is because I'd worry about my stained glass. (the other is because my sister lives there I like to be the Wicked Witch of the East, and I leave her the entire west coast.)

But the stained glass thang - creepy, huh?

Re: scary! - Wed, 30 Apr 1997
FROM Elaytonfel

>>>Have you heard the terribly sad story of Tiffany's home?>>>

Heard, and seen. We live in the township of Oyster Bay, a few miles from where his mansion was, and have met lots of people through the years who have sad Tiffany estate stories to tell. One of the worst? An old man who told us how he earned money knocking the glass out of Tiffany fixtures so that the metal could be melted down for the war effort. He still felt bad about it. But he needed the money. I really don't think he ever forgave himself - and it wasn't because he realized how expensive the lamps had become.

>>>How about kaleidescopes?>>>

Oh please. This is getting TOO scary.

of course, of course I collect them.

Doesn't everyone?

A way to fracture reality and make it prettier? What Romance writer wouldn't relate to that?


another! - Wed, 30 Apr 1997
FROM Elaytonfel

No sooner did we mail out the packet to you this morning then the incoming mail brought a gorgeous picture of Jeanne (Adam's girlfriend) in costume - a shot from "WISHBONE" (the PBS series) - from when she played Joan of Arc in that episode. It really belongs in the castle - so I'm sending it out to you right now - in an regular letter envelope.

So, expect a big brown jiffy-pack of books and stuff, and an envelope of Our Jeanne as Joan of Arc.

Edith, going off to mail the letter, and see what Springtime trouble I can get into now....

Re: another! - Wed, 30 Apr 1997
FROM Maida

>>>Now - all that's lacking is inside info on the Regencies, right? Or wrong?>>>

I'll make you up another tape with kaleidoscope and stained glass music videos.

I will have you know that I have never in my lifetime come across a kaleidoscope video. Oh, something that I am looking for if you ever come across strange stuff. I deeply love carillon music - the big bells played with a wooden peg keyboard. I have looked for years to find tapes of such but have never seen any. Have you? Best I've ever done is taken a camera crew to North Carolina and videotaped the bellringing there with the permission of the bell ringer. Gee, I forgot all about that little music video. Wonder if I still even have a copy. University of Chicago would do bells and call/response brass from the windows of the carillon tower. Magnificent!


DONE! - Wed, 30 Apr 1997
FROM Elaytonfel


I finally finally got offa my duff, got stuff together and mailed it out this AM to you - (Well, Norb did, on way to work) So please to look for it soon.

Pictures and copy and stuff... whew!

What with researching bamboo and contacting landscapers, mailling out stuff that my agent suddeny calls and asks me for, doing proofs on the short story and trying to write the book.... stuff keeps happening.

But at least I got that done!

The other problem is that Spring Fever has seized me by the throat. I want to do Something - but nothing seems to be the thing I really want to do. The apple tree is blooming, the earth smells like heaven, I am stricken with

Spring Fever!

Edith, who has seen a crocus and a rosebud....

Re: DONE! - Wed, 30 Apr 1997
FROM Maida

>>>I want to do Something - but nothing seems to be the thing I really want to do. The apple tree is blooming, the earth smells like heaven, I am stricken with Spring Fever! Best, Edith, who has seen a crocus and a rosebud....>>>

Two suggestions which don't help with the problem of being overextended:

  1. Pluck from your garden or the grocery enough of the brilliant hued flowers to make a good handful or armful. Arrange them as if thrown on one of your antique tables or sideboards (I am assuming you have one or the other). Take a portable lamp that can cast a strong light that isn't even and throw it across PART of the table so that you get a range of light values. (You can make a partial screen by bending aluminum foil to block part of the light close to the bulb so that the shadow is fuzzed by the time it hits the table area. Add a colored glass vase to the arrangement, as if waiting for the flowers to fill it, and try taking photos at various settings. Essentially, redoing old oils in film.
  2. There is a new nifty in the plant stores. I'm noticing for the first time the use of mosaics set into stone for an accent block sunk into the dirt. I build "areas" all over my house and yard. One of those stones might make a lovely centerpiece of a small area.

What I want to do is run an extension cord outside and do some writing on the patio.

I found an upside down nest in the yard this morning, turned it over and saw broken blue eggs with wet yolks. How terribly sad. But it means it must be time to start staring at trees and figuring out where have all the birdies gone. My totally illegal dream has always been to have a crow. I've heard they are quite intelligent and affectionate. Paul says we don't have them in the yard because we don't keep roadkill there. By the way, do you know that there is a roadkill society that meets for a pot luck dinner once a year?


Re: scary! - Wed, 30 Apr 1997
FROM Maida

>>>Oh please. This is getting TOO scary.>>>

Okay, let's try poets. This usually divides the crowd. My two favorite poets are Ferlinghetti and Matthew Arnold. I just finished typing in a large amount of Summer Night for a page "Host a poetry reading." I told you that I actually walked in the wind along Lake Michigan in a floor length white chiffon dress with a train blowing behind me while Richard sang Simple Gifts to me. He also used to quote Matthew Arnold to me by the hour. I was 17. For my 50th birthday, Paul set up a surprise party and people showed up from California and Chicago and Maine, etc. He had sent Caren a pack of my pictures of family and friends. She put them together in a large digitized photo with a quote from Matthew Arnold at the bottom.

From: A Summer Night Matthew Arnold

But the same restless pacings to and fro,
And the same vainly throbbing heart was there,
And the same bright, calm moon.

And the calm moonlight seems to say:
Hast thou then still the old unquiet breast,
Which neither deadens into rest,
Nor ever feels the firery glow
That whirls the spirit from itself away,
But fluctuates to and fro,
Never by passion quite possess'd
And never quite benumb'd by the world's sway?
And I, I know not if to pray
Still to be what I am, or yield and be
Like all the other men I see.

For most men in a brazen prison live,
Where, in the sun's hot eye,
With heads bent o'er their toil, they languidly
Their lives to some unmeaning taskwork give,
Dreaming of nought beyond their prison-wall.
And as, year after year,
Fresh products of their barren labour fall
From their tired hands, and rest
Never yet comes more near,
Gloom settles slowly down over their breast;
And while they try to stem
The waves of mournful thought by which they are prest
Death in their prison reaches them,
Unfreed, having seen nothing, still unblest.

And the rest, a few,
Escape their prison and depart
On the wide ocean of life anew.
There the freed prisoner, where'er his heart
Listest, will sail;
Nor doth he know how there prevail,
Despotic on that sea,
Trade-winds which cross it from eternity.
Awhile he holds some false way, undebarr'd
By thwarting signs, and braves
The freshening wind and blackening waves.
And then the tempest strikes him; and between
The lightning-bursts is seen
Only a driving wreck,
And the pale master on his spar-strewn deck
With anguish'd face and flying hair
Grasping the rudder hard,
Still bent to make some port he knows not where,
Still standing for some false, impossible shore.
And sterner comes the roar
Of sea and wind, and through the deepening gloom
Fainter and fainter wreck and helmsman loom,
And he too disappears, and comes no more.

Is there no life, but these alone?
Madman or slave must man be one?

Plainness and clearness without shadow of stain!
Clearness divine!
Ye heavens, whose pure dark regions have no sign
Of languor, though so calm, and, though so great,
Are yet untroubled and unpassionate;
Who, though so noble, share in the world's toil,
And, though so task'd, keep free from dust and soil!
I will not say that your mild deeps retain
A tinge, it may be, of their silent pain
Who have long'd deeply once, and long'd in vain--
But I will rather say that you remain
A world above man's head, to let him see
How boundless might his soul's horizons be,
How vast, yet of what clear transparency!
How it were good to abide there, and breathe free;
How fair a lot to fill
Is left to each man still!

Poetry - Thu, 1 May 1997
FROM Elaytonfel

>>>This usually divides the crowd>>>

Alas! It doth.

I used to love poetry - I used to Write poetry!!

But in recent years, I've grown too unquiet. My center is not still enough for poetry anymore, I've lost that peacefulness and can't read it - or is it that I can't bear it anymore? Not in the way people usually mean. Poetry can be too painful for me, I can't handle it just now - note, I don't say "anymore", but now, no

But poetry goes a long way - the poetry I did read keeps echoing through my thoughts, and I've been accused of letting it sneak into my writing, patterning, writing by sound - you know.

In fact, and this will give you a giggle, my license plate reads: "A POETIC"

Re: Poetry - Thu, 1 May 1997
FROM Maida

>>>I used to love poetry - I used to Write poetry!!>>>

I've always wanted to but only have in the last two years. It's one of those things on my "life list" that I desperately wanted to check off and then one day I could. >>>But in recent years, I've grown too unquiet.>>>

You see, Matthew Arnold always comes through.

The Last Word

Creep into thy narrow bed,
Creep, and let no more be said!
Vain thy onset!  all stands fast.
Thou thyself must break at last.

Let the long contention cease!
Geese are swans, and swans are geese.
Let them have it how they will!
Thou art tired; best be still.

They out-talk'd thee, hiss'd thee, tore thee?
Better men fared thus before thee;
Fired their ringing shot and pass'd,
Hotly charged -- and sank at last.

Charge once more, then, and be dumb!
Let the victors, when they come,
When the forts of folly fall,
Find thy body by the wall!

I can't handle it just now - note, I don't say "anymore", but now

I don't tend to read complicated poetry. Many of the things I like are things I learned in grammar school. Like song lyrics, certain lines of poetry pop up in my mind and I find I'm reciting to myself or singing to myself. Then when I stop and think about what I'm saying or thinking, I find that there is some relevance to what is then happening. What I can't get into is poetry that is just complicating my thinking rather than clarifying it.

I think of poetry as an efficient way of condensing emotion. There are different problems I am dealing with at different stages of my life. A poem that would come to me at one stage, might not be remembered for years.

The two that come to me from grammar school are High Flight and The Road Not Traveled. >>>I've been accused of letting it sneak into my writing, patterning, writing by sound - you know.>>>

I do know. I was actually TAUGHT to write with rhythm back in '73 when I first wrote scripts for animated movies. I remember walking into my boss's office for help and explaining, "I don't know what the words are, but the sentence goes, "dah, dahhh, dah da da da dahhh". I tried to push the poetry out of my writing because I thought of it as something that I only used in slash writing. With this book I've basically thrown out what I've been taught about consistency and straightforward and all and just wrote what I feel like writing. Now let's hope that works.

I spent the day out photographing for my second set of 20 things. I photographed immense trout at a fish farm, TV guides, a bin of oranges at the grocery store, old buildings in town, a divided forest path, a battery with screwdriver, etc.

I am enthusiastically looking forward to your package. Can't wait to see the photos to try to see how to integrate things in.

Was out at some consignment stores to find old photos and came home with:

  -- an atlas from 1914
  -- a book of music terminology from 1926
  -- an old metal pencil sharpener in the shape of a cash register
  -- a Russian plate
  -- a demitasse cup and saucer
  -- a watercolor painting from 1920

When unquiet fills your soul, it's time to SHOP!

>>>In fact, and this will give you a giggle, my license plate reads: "A POETIC">>>

That is absolutely hysterical! I hope you get some nice young men shouting limericks to you at stop signs.


Re: Poetry - Fri, 2 May 1997
FROM Maida

I cannot TELL you how much I enjoy making fun of things, especially me.

What I included, I think, were 3 pieces of wonderful portrait art from a woman who runs a NYC branch library, is the "science fiction librarian" for NYC, and is a great fan of yours. Arleen Geller.

Part of what really excites me about Trek fandom is the supportive environment that allows incredibly talented people to grow. I can remember when Arleen had never drawn a human face because she was convinced she would fail. Her elephants, however, knocked your socks off. Now she KNOWS she is a good portrait artist. I did all my learning in fiction writing under the supportive arms of some wonderful writers.

>>>But slash stories just may not be my thing. I would hate to disappoint you, though.>>>

We still have some getting acquainted with one another to do!

I am truly a child of the 60's in that it would never even occur to me that it was important that you DID or DIDN'T enjoy it. If you do, then it's lovely that I've introduced you to something that you like. If you don't, then it's still lovely that I've introduced you to a concept, slash, that you had not heard of before and that might kick off some philosophizing for you of women and romantic writing, an issue I would assume you take quite seriously as a professional in your field.

As for the fact that the writing is MINE, I truly honestly mean it when I say that it affects nothing between us if you do or don't enjoy it. I care far more for honesty in understanding someone else than I do for politeness or a fear of hurting me. I really don't get hurt. It has taken FOREVER to get Brian to trust me that he can say anything he wants about what I write. The reason I probably don't react is that I have so many years of having my work criticized because the end goal was the best product possible. I was once the first speaker in a church in DC talking to an audience of about 200 experts in my field who were paid to sit there and tear all the speakers apart. The first thing I said when someone asked a question was, "You'll have to be nice to me. I throw up, your know."

I know down to my toes that I am a very good writer. (And, by the way, you write rings around me!) I am not threatened by people's reactions to my writing. I'm not the slightest bit threatened because you're a better writer. I take those things as very simple facts of life, much as knowing that grass is occasionally green. I am almost totally fixated on using information constructively, not on questioning myself about my foundations. And that, by the way, is one of the other things I can thank my mother profoundly for.

Also, I'm not at all hurt if you DON'T read the material after glancing at it. I always think in terms of giving people OPPORTUNITES, not things. Paul and I argue about this all the time.

>>>And I did rent and see EMMA last night.>>>

I haven't been to the video store recently so I hadn't realized it was out already. I will make sure to take a trip over and get in line. My store is lovely in that they will reserve for me and call when it comes in.

Serious is nice and all that, but two of my favorite movies are Homeward Bound and Groundhog Day. If you fastforward through the people in Homeward Bound, the dogs and cat have some of the tightest and cleverest dialog I've ever heard. As for Groundhog Day, it has one of the most impressive structures I've ever seen.

All my best and, hopefully, my comfort.


JUST HANGING OUT - Fri, 2 May 1997

Elaytonfel: HEY!!!

Maida: GREAT!

Elaytonfel: Just read your email!

Elaytonfel: Thank you for understanding, I have this Horror of ever offending anyone...

Maida: hope you don't mind me being so fond of "meta comments." i'd analyze my dinner if i had time.

Maida: oh, no. I have EXACTLY the same personality.

Elaytonfel: did you get my packet yet???

Elaytonfel: I insured it and everything

Maida: haven't been out to the po yet. i did my foot in on a dog bone.

Elaytonfel: ouch. Broke anything, I hope not?

Maida: No. Just bled a lot. But Paul got to clean up the carpet.

Elaytonfel: you're the second friend to do herself in this week!

Maida: I can drive. I just have to wear one shoe loose.

Maida: What did the other one do?

Elaytonfel: Joan Wolf fell offa horse. Broke a rib or three...

Elaytonfel: but she's game...

Maida: Oh, yuck! I'm afraid of horses. They're so BIG.

Elaytonfel: now I'm going to worry, all things come in threes you know, and I don't have THAT many friends....

Maida: Something flips me back to small childhood when uncle took us to visit a friend with horses. I became terrified.

Elaytonfel: me too. I admire horsies. But we don't understand each other..

Maida: I tried taking lessons but they understand my fear and try to shove me into fence posts.

Elaytonfel: I must tell you my most recent horse riding experience someday -

Maida: I really look forward to meeting you someday.

Elaytonfel: out in TEXAS last year... me too! Love to meet you, I really would.

Maida: Think about visiting sometime and I could teach you something about video editing. We have a guest room with a king size bed.

Elaytonfel: Wait til you see the stuff in the packet - you'll want to come to NYC to see really talented Felbers!

Maida: That is SO GREAT that your kids are in the Business.

Elaytonfel: And hey - maybe next time we go up to Boston, (where Norb consults with some of his doctors).....

Elaytonfel: Aint so great when you wonder if they'll make it or not....

Maida: Oh, I have something I bet you'd like. A Bichon Frise which is a 3 dimensional art canvas. I cut out his snarls so he won't get upset.

Elaytonfel: Being good is no guarantee of success in the Biz - just like the book biz, I guess....

Maida: Yeah, but the real definition of success is how you feel about yourself, isn't it?

Elaytonfel: Oh - how you feel about yourself - on that scale my kids are wild successes. But I'm crass I'd love for them to have much money too.

Maida: By the way, I think being in comedy is a marvelous way to being at peace with the world. I can't think of anything better than to laugh at things.

Elaytonfel: I agree. It pleases me very much. But it Kills me when someone who makes automobile widgets has a trillion dollars... and someone so much more bright and talented has to squeak by... in any creative field...

Maida: Brian is getting antsy now about the book proposal. Just sent me email "Slowing Down Time - The Pervert's Guide." I've gone through your pamphlet and am generally encouraged that you might have something here.

Elaytonfel: ha! You sure do!

Elaytonfel: Do you feel he can't place it well???

Maida: Remember that bible bit about it being hard for a rich man to fit through the eye of a needle or something like that. There is nothing that will stay with them longterm as much as your love and support and belief in them. The money is just extra.

Elaytonfel: about the success thing - Iknow, iknow...I just want everything for them.

Maida: But how can you NOT love someone who says they fell in love with your query letter.

Elaytonfel: An agent I had was such a sweetie, with such a tumultuous life - and I did like her - but she practically ruined me.

Maida: Because she didn't do the work while dealing with her tumults?

Elaytonfel: yes. And because she plain didn't know that many editors or the market. Writing is a business - I have to keep remembering that myself.

Maida: Brian just ends up in the hospital with them not sure he's going to live. Again.

Elaytonfel: that's terrible.

Maida: But at least I know where to go to ask how this medicine interacts with that medicine.

Elaytonfel: [g]

Elaytonfel: We are pricing bamboo, btw - found such online sources!

Maida: Wow!

Maida: How fast does it grow?

Elaytonfel: that ghastly woman is building even more, and everyone says she is "connected" to the zoning borad, so it's our only recourse.

Elaytonfel: In season - I hear - a foot a day!

Maida: Oh, yes!

Elaytonfel: I love bamboo. And you can eat it too!

Maida: What you need now are some plaster of paris Panda Bears amongst it all.

Elaytonfel: You harvest little bits of it each spring. Try that with hemlocks and you get more than a prickly tongue.

Maida: Wait, that sounds like something in a Chinese dish I should remember.

Elaytonfel: yes - one and the same - bamboo shoots!

Maida: Do you know that blowfish they eat in Japan, they actually TRY to get enough of the poison to make your lips tingle. The trick is getting just enough.

Maida: I can't believe I know somebody who can harvest their own bamboo shoots. God, that's worth it all alone!

Elaytonfel: some Japanese foods are really sick... I had a Japanese daughter in law for a few years, and even she was scared by some of it.

Maida: We don't have good sushi places around here. When we go back to Westchester, Paul goes to a place there.

Elaytonfel: She took us to a "authentic" restaurants and some of the dishes scared me to pieces. But I love the whole bamboo sub-culture and I find it is a huge one.

Maida: Everything has a subculture!

Elaytonfel: We're experts in Japanese foods now. SO many good ones in NYC.

Elaytonfel: And lots here on LI too - since so many Japanese are sent here to work in the States for a few years.

Maida: I almost never go into the city. When I chaired that professional association I used to have to walk 3 blocks to the headquarters from Grand Central Station. Always been scared of NYC. Not scared of Chicago at all. Must be that Chicago is home.

Elaytonfel: NYC has an attitude that's frightening, but it is such a good place. I went to school there, and think of it as my hometown.

Maida: I think home always feels safe.

Elaytonfel: of course, it's always changing. but it's really a conglamoration of little hometown neighborhoods.

Elaytonfel: You have to go to some of the street fairs, and see what I mean. If you ever come here, I'll show you a NYC tourists don't see...

Maida: Brian just sent this list.

1. Psychoanalyze a pet owner

2. Spray pain a snoozing senior

3. Make fun of the polar bears at the zoo

4. Write a sermon

5. Preach it to autistic children

6. Wear your neighbor's underwear

7. Steer a blind person into hedavy traffic

8. Put out a cigar in a beggar's cup

9. Decorate your pastor's door with used condoms

10. Feed your neighbor's dog ipecac

Elaytonfel: wow. that is good.


11. Punch tiny holes in condoms with insulin needles

12. Light a non-smoker afire

13. Drive the school bus to the town dump

14. Urinate in gas tanks outside a funeral

15. Paint on mustache on your lover's diaphragm

16. Torch an antique car

17. Shoot a songbird

18. Steal a bicycle

20. Set bear traps for hikers

Elaytonfel: 11 - plant bamboo on your property line ....

21. Sneeze into an urn of cremated ashes

22. Lace the hunting area with razor-steel wire

23. Burn down a day-car center

24. Burgle a convent

25. Play out of tune with the band

26. Boo the high school athletic teams

27. Sell liquor and cigarettes to minors

28. Crochet a swastika

29. Burn a cross on your neighbor's lawn

30. Vomit in the deli


31. List Mom's faults for Mother's Day

32. Ask your parents what they were thinking at your conception

33. Fire a BB-gun at passing police cars

34. Kidnap the Fire Department's pet Dalmatian

Maida: That's it. You must see now why I love this man.

Elaytonfel: I do. !! I wish he did have contacts - he sure does hae a soul.

Maida: Yes, he does. That's because he's a writer first and an agent second.

Maida: He sent out Christmas cards that had the diagram for his quintuple heart bypass on the front. Inside it said, at least it wasn't cancer or aids.

Elaytonfel: and that, my dear, is why he's not more successful. The most successful one are either 1) salesmen/women or 2) editors

Maida: YES!

Elaytonfel: I learned the hard way.

Maida: Better them than us.

Maida: I'm learning. I'm learning.

Elaytonfel: writers tend to get too creative. Agents have to be pitchmen/women

Maida: Whereas I panic when I'm on stage. Whenever I ran a conference, I put somebody else in the front of the room and I watched from the back.

Elaytonfel: same principle - best real estate agents are not architects

Maida: Absolutely. But we feel most comfortable talking to people who understand us.

Elaytonfel: I learned to get over a lot of stage fright. Still get scared, and obsess about it beforehand, but I do fine once I'm up there now.

Maida: I turned down one agent in NYC because he was SO high pressure he scared the daylights out of me. His writeup says he takes 2-3 new clients a year. He thought he could sell my vampire script to Fox for a TV show.

Elaytonfel: Agents still scare me. I know they work for us. But I so need approval!

Elaytonfel: I had one like that. He and I didn't get to know each other becuase he was so hyper he intimidated me too much. Still, I know writers who have done well with him.

Maida: I approve of you. You write like an angel with an attitude.

Elaytonfel: (Can I use that on a book jacket sometime?)

Maida: Anytime!

Elaytonfel: Can't wait for you to get the packet - stuff I guess you haven't read there too...

Maida: You keep control in your writing. That's part of what makes it so good. You know how far to go and when to stop. Mother always claimed it took two people to do art. The artist to create and the other person to say when to stop. I think you have BOTH people inside yourself.

Maida: I'm very much looking forward to it. I'll go to lunch and start reading there. I can't figure out where I got the Christmas 7.

Elaytonfel: thankyouthankyou. But the trend is to more, more. Which is hard, but I try. By more - I mean more description for those who don't get it right away... I will contrive.

Elaytonfel: I think you'll like The Gingerbread Man... it's your kind of story...

Maida: I did misinterpret right away.

Elaytonfel: I lead you down wrong paths sometimes, because it's fun when you look back and see why....

Maida: I play in music videos too. I like knowing that there are layers and levels that most people never see.

Maida: I would doubt very few people who read my slash realize that they are little morality plays.

Elaytonfel: ah subliminal suggestion - the core of really good stuff everywhere...

Maida: And then there are the writers who assume they're writing to idiots (which may, unfortunately, be truer and truer), and have to hit us over the head with baseball bats.

Maida: When I read a book that's filled with speech tags, he said, she emoted, he, cutting out her larynx, I want to throw the book against the wall!

Elaytonfel: Recentlysaw "SLingblade" and mentioned to someone who loved it that I realized the reaason one scene scared me so much, even though nothing had happened to do it, was that it deliberately referred to Frankenstein. She had been scraed, but hadn't realized why until I metnioned it. That's good subliminal!

Elaytonfel: been 'scared"

Maida: Fascinating!!

Maida: I can't watch or read much horror because I still get nightmares.

Elaytonfel: I was unduly influenced by the first book on subliminal suggestion I read

Elaytonfel: Haven't seen horror movies since I got big enough to decide what I wanted to see in the movies.

Maida: Every night, Paul and I lay in bed and fall asleep to Get Smart. I don't really use it at all. I'm going to have to think about that real hard some night before I fall asleep.

Maida: use it - use subliminal stuff

Elaytonfel: I think most writers do - whether they mean to or not. I mean to, though. ,g>

Maida: Now I am absolutely fascinated and have to spend some time thinking about all this. What a great gift you've just given me!

Elaytonfel: Good! That makes me very happy!

Maida: That's what we're supposed to do!

Elaytonfel: The book - writ years ago btw - was "Subliminal seduction".

Elaytonfel: Showed how Ad agencies use it.

Maida: that's it. that's where i first heard about it.

Elaytonfel: Now, rather than subliminal, think "evocative" and you'll see poets have been doing it for ages too!

Elaytonfel: But if by referring to something that affected you deeply, you can bring it into your work.... The trick is to be subtle.

Elaytonfel: Yi! Do you realize we've been chatting for oer a half hour???

Maida: Oh, a horrible story. Was talking to someone about one of my slash stories. Explained that what it was about was from high school/college days.

Maida: No. Let me finish this one and I'll off to the po.

Elaytonfel: finish away, behold me fascinated.

Maida: I said what it was about was touching SOMETHING you didn't want to touch. And wasn't that a universal experience of women. She said, yes I know. Didn't you know I used to live with x? The sort of statement for which there is NO reply.

Maida: I'm off to the po.

Elaytonfel: [giggle] thankyou! That's not horrible - that's funny...

Maida: It was for me. For her it didn't sound so funny.

Elaytonfel: (I like it)

Elaytonfel: Have a good day, Circe....

Maida: I just SO MUCH like making fun of our traumas and our emotional stuff.

Maida: Who was the muse of writing?

Elaytonfel: (making me stay on line so long)

Maida: I got that.

Elaytonfel: Erato - Circe was an enchantress.

Maida: Oh, and I'm sure I saw her in Hercules.


Elaytonfel: of course, of course.


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