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spring 2008

Howdy Folks,

I see that Shirl has given you the names of the winners of the Nymph contest. So let me give you those portions of the book that I wrote. Even if you didn’t enter the contest, this info might be of some passing interest to you. Then again, maybe not, but I’ll give it anyway.

I plotted the entire book and did a lengthy outline, obviously with key modifications by Shirl.

I wrote the following portions of the Nymph:

--Chapter 1

--Chapter 2

--pp. 105-109 Delilah meets Sky

--pp. 129-131 Sky reveals a general outline to Uncle Horace of how Clint became Lightning Hand

--pp. 181-184 Clint “smokes” dynamite with the Teton Sioux raiders

--pp. 185-189 Sky tells Delilah Clint’s full story

--pp. 222-228 Clint confronts the Liver-Eater

--pp. 226-243 Clint refuses to board the Nymph after the army commandeers it, and Delilah sends the troopers to drag him back.

--pp. 248-253 Delilah seduces Clint when he’s held captive in his cabin

--pp. 292-301 Delilah beats Riley’s gambler in the poker game, and she, Clint, and Horace dispatch Riley and his gunmen in a shootout.

Shirl glossed over our problems with the old Internet server and web host outfits. Good lord, that was a tangle! The people who set up the original website served businesses. So, all of you guys who use things like G-mail, Hot-mail, etc. simply could not reach her through her web page. (Don’t ask. I haven’t a clue why that should be so.) Then, to make matters even worse, the little server she has used for years was bought out by a bigger outfit, which promptly put a very PC (as in “politically correct”) Spam filter on all e-mail accounts. It filtered out messages titled “Nymph Contest,” “Jim’s Nymph scenes,” or “Jim and the Nymph.” I suppose they though this all referred to naked girls or some clown named Jim cavorting with naked female children. We found this out by accident and were able to retrieve a bunch of contest entries from the filter’s trash bin.

But things only got worse when we prepared to change to a new international Internet provider. Thankfully our neighbors and friends have an extremely savvy daughter who is vegging out at home this spring waiting to enter grad school in the fall. Andrea is very good with computers (and good looking), and she volunteered to help us set up, since we would be using the same provider she uses. Well, the process started a bit before seven on a Friday night and we did not get it done until two the following morning. The new system would not allow us to keep Shirl’s old personal e-mail designation of “shenke.” And in an attempt to find out why, Andrea was shuffled around the world from “help desk” to “help desk,” receiving no help. However, she finished the night able to speak Farsi, Urdu, Pashto, Japanese, Kama Sutra, and Runes.

At one point, she and Shirl stumbled upstairs to get some wine (my office is on the lower level in a cubby hole next to the furnace, looks like Dilbert works here. Shirl has a very nice office upstairs with windows and a beautiful view) leaving me to man the phone. Some young lady finally came back on the line and told me that we couldn’t use “shenke” (she pronounced it as “shh-n-key”) because it was an obscene American word. I began to cry. Andrea and Shirl returned to find me sobbing over the computer keyboard. Andrea patted my back. Shirl yelled at me because she was afraid that my tears would short out the keyboard.

So, Andrea started making more international calls and each time got boosted up the ladder of help desk officiousness. Finally, at “tier 3”—honest to god, that’s what they called it, sounds like Pac-Man!—somebody told her that we couldn’t have “shenke” because somebody on their “global” network was already using it, probably one of my very, very distant relatives in Berlin. At two in the morning, we decided to use another designation. By this time, all three of us were crying.

But now, things seem to be okay. Shirl’s new web host, Novel Talk, deals with writers and readers, not corporations. I wonder if the Novel Talks folks will take my newsletters from my jail cell. I know the FBI is going to come after me for attempting to post child porn on the net, what with the Nymph business and all. If the feds don’t nail me, I am certain someone else will for attempting to use “an obscene American word” as an e-mail address. Ah well, maybe the jail cell will be nicer than this cubbyhole office. Maybe it’ll have a view of the exercise yard.


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