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Sketchbook HarvestNanofiction

55 Fiction Contest Submission Cover Letter

"Dear Steve!" the author wrote, "I love your 55 Fiction concept. I call 'em Nanofiction, and I publish one every week in my webzine, (My friend Number 12 does, too.) Enclosed is a printout of my archive, for your consideration..." Shortly after reading this, Steve became a regular reader of the WWN.

#12's Nanofics

New this week:
Radiation: Divine Creator


I'm trying to remember how to fold the back wing and landing gear of Dad's airplane.

Cool Words

weasand (weez'und, wiz'-und) n. throat; gullet; (also) windpipe

Haiku Reviews

The Pest :-(
John Leguizamo
puts on quite a show, but not
much of a movie.

Daddy-O's Reviews

The Beach Boys
an american family

Although I prefer Beatles to Beach Boys, I wanted to tune in for this made-for-TV two-parter, to learn the story behind the music. Now I know that, as with Sgt. Pepper, marijuana helped fuel the creation of what was (arguably) their greatest album, Pet Sounds. And again I have to wonder why something that seems to inspire such beauty is so vilified by our culture. The film (which for Wonder Years fans features Kevin Arnold's mom as Brian Wilson's mom) definitely increased my interest in their music; but it made me even more interested in a group I'd never heard of before: Phil Spector's Wrecking Crew.

Tirade's Choice

The Funky Pez Dance of Love
Fruits of Chaos
#12's Webcomic picks
Snail Dust

Thursday, March 16, 2000
by the Wunderland Toast Society

What's New?

What's Going On? GTS, QMS, & 39-C

Well, it's another busy week here at the lab. Next week we'll be going to GTS, the GAMA (GAme Manufacturers Association) Trade Show, which of course means we're busy this week getting ready for it. (It also means that next week's update will be delayed a few days. Sorry...) Having just gotten back from Toy Fair, a lot of our prep work is already done; but having decided to add Paper Icehouse to the product line, we've needed to pull together a new ad slick (among other things). GAMA is being held in Las Vegas this year, so hopefully we'll also be able to ride a few roller coasters... expect a full report next week.

Last December, I mentioned that Green Bean (Alison's Quaker parrot ) had attempted to gnaw his own leg off. It's a problem we've been dealing with ever since. The vet originally sentenced the bird to a couple of weeks in a miniature version of those plastic "Elizabethan" collars they put on dogs to keep them from licking their wounds; but even though his leg has long since healed, we've never been able to release him from the collar, because as soon as we do, he just wounds himself again. But lately a new wound on his neck has forced us to take the collar off, which of course just made everything worse. In desperation, Alison turned to the internet, where she discovered a very enlightening page. Turns out this is actually a known problem for this type of bird, so much so that it has a name: Quaker Mutilation Syndrome (QMS). Unfortunately, it's not well understood, it doesn't have a cure, and yes, it can be fatal.

Luckily, the page offered suggestions for another type of collar, one which promised to both protect his neck and keep his beak away from his legs. Not only that, it would also allow him a far less awkward and more mobile lifestyle, an important consideration given that he may be confined to the collar for life. We quickly put one together, using a one inch segment of 3/8" Foam Pipe Insulation, and it works great! The only problem was his immediate tendency to pick away at the foam, but after wrapping the new collar in surgical tape, that problem has been solved too. He can still damage himself a little bit, but this is a much better solution than anything we've had so far, so we're happy.

Beyond all that, I've mostly just been working obsessively on Secret Project 39-C, and I'm happy to say, it's really coming together. The subject matter is still confidential, but I'll give you a couple of hints about the project nonetheless. 39-C will be our third card game, and if cashflow permits, it will be our big fall release. Although I previously had some more elaborate production ideas in mind, it's shaking out to be just a thick deck of cards (along with some sort of user-provided score-keeping system). I think that 39-C will join with Fluxx and Aquarius in about the same way that Aquarius is vaguely kinda sorta like Fluxx. Over the weekend I built the first functionally complete prototype deck, and I've been re-tooling it based on local playtesting results all week. And although I still have a lot of polishing to do, I'm happy to say that it works! At least so far. Anyway, that's all I have to say about that right now.

AndyAll Hail the Internet!

New Iceland cartoonthe story so far

Thought Residue
Over the long haul, writing a cartoon is like doing improv. When you start, you have no idea where you're going, you're just making up stuff as you go along. But as soon as you do, you start to establish facts and make decisions that will affect the storyline forever. So you learn to plant seeds and toss in hooks that you'll figure out how to use later on.
A Guy named King reports that the ink on the Q-Turn nickels isn't permanent. They won't stand up to furniture polish!
Target is currently running TV ads promoting a compilation of Top 40 Hits called "Positive Interference." The ads feature a very old Barney Fife getting agitated by the music, ending his rant by saying "and I gotta tell ya... I like it!" But as I remember it, nothing sours music faster for a young person than hearing an old person claim to enjoy it.

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