Site Archive.

All right, then, let's blow the dust off and crack the cover. (Achoo!) Here are bits of old website, now retired and Frankensteined together with little regard for modesty or aesthetic principles. Courtesy of Yours Truly.

Archived Updates

Update - February 14, 1996

Please Note: This site is currently under heavy construction, and will remain so until the end of time.

This site is dedicated to the life, angst, and works of Wendy D. Isdell, author, poet, artist, scholar, linguist, and lots of other nouns. If you know who I am, congratulations! You are one of a select few. I know from experience that you probably either love me or hate me. If you don't know who I am, don't worry. After you play with this homepage for a while, you will.

Update - March 1, 1998

Grand Opening. Welcome! Come in and bring along friends. Whether you know my name or not, you may find items of interest here. Read the guestbook, see how writers live, and explore links to other parts of this virtual universe we call the World Wide Web. Plus--for a special treat--you can catch an exclusive sneak preview of some unpublished Isdell works! (Yay.) So sit back, pour yourself a cup of hot chocolate, and welcome into my Home, Home on the Web, where the Jeers and the Anecdotes Play. Hope you like it!

Update - September 15, 2001.

Out of Print?? Yes, folks, sad to say - The Chemy Called Al is going out print. Why? Who knows? If you're curious, write the publisher:

So what does this mean for the future of Chemy? Well, you won't be able to locate it in most stores, find it online, or see advertisements for it. In short... nothing profoundly new. It may subsequently appear as an e-book and/or print book under a different publishing house. Join my mailing list (right) and I'll keep you posted.

Update - March 20, 2002.

Look, I'm not the only famous one in the family. Here's a photo of my sister playing at Carnegie Hall.

Isn't that awesome? Lara uses a viola bow like I use a pen-- as a deadly weapon. Er, I mean, a fine, artistic instrument.

So, what's happening in my life? Well, my birthday's coming up, end of March. Another year, another dried-up grocery cake. Thus the days crumble into sugar-laden calories and deceptively colorful frosting....

Truth to tell, it's one of those obscure ages somewhere between early twenties and not-quite-thirty. An odd desert (or perhaps dessert, lol) of "what am I doing with my life?" and "just you wait, Britney Spears. You'll look like me some day." (Not, mind you, that I looked like Britney Spears when I was her age. But it's the catty principle of the issue, you know.) Now, if only I could have the body of Britney and the readership of J.K. Rowling. Oh, wait a minute. I forgot to turn off the ImpossibleFantasy Machine. *Click.* There we go.

In other news, for those of you who follow the updates, my health has taken another turn for the worse. Why is it most artistic people I know are plagued with unusual conditions no one can identify? Without adequate health coverage, however, no one will be identifying this one any time soon. If anyone's out there with a leg in politics, we need to fix the U.S. healthcare system. Fast!

...Not that it matters, however--science has not yet caught up to the particular micro-ecology of my body. I seem to produce diseases for which they haven't found names (much like the Amazon, I suppose). Call me JunglePen!

I hope everyone out there is well and at peace. I've been working very hard on this website overhaul, and hope you like the new look. Updates will follow soon. In the meantime, as always, feel free to drop me a line with questions, comments, or-- god forbid!--typos you've found. Take care.

Update - July 8, 2002.

Well then, there have been plenty of developments in WendyLand. First and foremost, I have relocated. This was due in part to my Significant Other's job, and due in part to the "neighbor" (I use the word loosely) who used to reside nearby. I won't bore my readership with details (well, all right, email me and I might give you the juicy bits) but suffice to say that racist drunks and open-minded writers do not mix.

Yep, Frost was right. Good fences do make good neighbors--or at least, farther away ones. There isn't wall enough in the world for some of them.

I've moved - New house.
In other news, Free Spirit has decided to pay me! The monies overdue for both Chemy and Gebra were remitted about a month ago for the pay-periods of approximately October 2000 through April 2001. Better late than never, right? There was no correspondence attached, so I'm not sure if it will take another year to get the royalties for this period. I did notice a new signature on the bottom of the checks, which makes me wonder whether the change in staff had something to do with it.

At any rate, it is Officially Summer and, incidentally, Officially Pretty Darn Hot. At moments like this, I regret the stiff winged hairdo I adopted in the 80s, and its subsequent mischief to the ozone layer. (That's all right, who needs trioxide anyway? What--all life needs it, to survive? Argh! Darn you, Extra Super Hold Spritz!)

For those of you following the storyline, my health seems to have improved with the move. I'm not sure yet whether it's the warmer weather or being away from the higher pollution of Northern Virginia. I suppose, as the days grind themselves down to darkness, we will all find out the hard way. Incidentally, Happy Solstice to all my nature-friends out there. And Happy Independence Day to everyone else.

Update - 2-6-2003.

Well, the first soft touch of Spring has finally come to Virginia. It's a bit earlier than I'm used to, however, I am living approximately two hours south of where I used to, which translates to a significant difference in weather, or so it seems. The phenomenon can be seen most clearly if you hop in a train or car in New York or Boston, and ride to Virginia or beyond (as I did often during my undergraduate years). You begin in harsh winter, often with a biting wind amplified by tall, tightly-spaced towers and unforgiving concrete. As you drive south, however, you can literally watch the seasons progress as in one of those time-elapse videos. Trees grow red at the tips, then swell to buds, tiny green points and finally full leaves. The ground grows thin green stems which erupt half an hour (and half a hundred miles) later into swollen clusters of bright croci, daffodils, tulips, and irises. By the time you step off the platform at Washington DC, or Fredericksburg, or Richmond, Virginia (historical sites, all) the air has taken on a softer note, shifting its harsh cacophony to a balmy lullaby. You emerge from the car not only miles from where you started, but a season or two ahead! I am forever amazed at what an incredible difference a few hundred miles can make.

In other news, Free Spirit surprised me with a second royalty check. At this rate, they will be caught up in, oh, three to five years I suppose. To put it politely, I neglected to mention them as a source of income on my recent mortgage application. The blank said, "reliable income," after all.

And so begins the biggest quest I have faced to date: the Hunt For a House. Odd sport, that. It requires huge quantities of patience and an even bigger gun. It's fairly dangerous, too. Once those houses start stampeding, let me tell you, it's hard to make them stop!

At any rate, hopefully before this July I will have a new, "permanent" home. (I put that term in quotes because my nagging pessimism tends to remind me that everything is ephemeral--and, by the way, my coffee is half gone.) With that venture, no doubt, will come a whole new category of things about which to complain. So look for it in upcoming Updates! Farewell for now.

Update - 2-14-2004.

Yeah, yeah, I know. It's been forever since I've done an update. Well, I've been busy, and with good cause. My house-hunt was successful; I caught one and hung it out to dry. It fought like a sailfish trying to get away, too, but I won in the end, oh yes, I outwitted that pile of timbers, concrete, and asphalt tiles. Yes I did.

Now all I have to do is tame it! o.o;

There's something special about owning your own place, knowing that no one-- not even your grandma--can tell you what to do with it. Sure, it's one thing when you're renting, but you can't make big changes. Plus, you wouldn't want to, because you'll only be there a little while, right?

So, I finally have my own place. I can paint it any color, plant anything, add on siding or wallpaper or even a cupola (whatever that is). When it all boils down to the very essential meaning of it all, I can always look back and say... man, that's a lot of #$@% work!! But anyway, I have a garden at last, some rosebushes, some fruit trees... all the things I've always wanted while renting but have been unable to acquire. I have peace and quiet (for now, no thanks to the county Planning Commission). I have my own lawnmower, a shed, and a little cathouse out back (for cats, people, not ladies of creative tax evasion). So far I like it, my kitties like it... heck, even the houseplants seem to like it. They've grown greener and brighter since moving out here, and perhaps so have I. (Wait... no, that's just highlighter. Never mind!)

I like this place. I like the people. I like everything but the county government, which thinks a racetrack for modified sportscars is a wonderful thing to put in a neighborhood. And hey, since they're picking yards... why not pick the lot behind that nice writer with the incomprehensible, rambling website? Sounds like a good idea, doesn't it?

...Okay, who just nodded?   You--out of my website!

But other than that, things are kinda groovy, all in all.

Tune in next time for your future installment of... Cliched Phrases and Sadly Outdated Slang, by Wendy Isdell.

Update - August 7, 2004.

There's good news for you diehard fans out there! The Chemy Called Al will very soon be back in print. This decision follows much thought and soul-searching (a process much like easter-egg hunting, except without the pretty colors).

Chemy was originally written to be the sequel to A Gebra Named Al, but you don't have to read one to understand the other. Each stands by itself and has a separate story-line, with a few characters in common.

Chemy will be back in print on Friday, August 13, 2004. You will soon be able to order it HERE. (A fact especially handy for any triskaidekaphobic* fans.)

* - triskaidekaphobia: a really long word invented for high school spelling tests, created from letters cut randomly out of a Greek textbook. (I'm kidding. Don't write that down. It's actually a fear of the number 13, particularly Friday the 13th.)

So that's all the news for now. Thank you, to all who wrote in asking where you can get a copy of Chemy. With my compliments, I now have an answer.

Update - October 17, 2005.

Another year has gone by, filled with flowers, squash, and drought in that order. Between the Japanese beetles, disease, and lack of rain, my garden didn't produce that much--but I did get squash of many varieties. For the first time ever, this year I have actual pumpkins. There's something oddly satisfying about decorating your porch with pumpkins you grew by yourself. (Now, if only I can figure out how to prepare and puree them for pies!)

The days seem to have flown by faster this year than any year-to-date. My older relatives tell me time does that; the older you get, the shorter the days seem. I think it's a very nasty trick, myself. Someone ought to have a stern talk with old Father Time.

As the weather turns cooler, my thoughts turn to woodsmoke and the crackle of flames filling my home. (Too bad I don't have a fireplace! --Just kidding. I'm not that bad of a chef!)

I haven't been working on any new projects, lately. I've been very tired, and distracted by gardening. (Curse those Japanese beetles!) Hopefully this winter while I'm shut-in from the cold, I will pick up my trusty pen--or keyboard, as the case may be--and get back to work.

That's all for now. Thanks for reading, and take care!

Update - November 29, 2009.

Yes, it's been awhile. A *long* while, since I wrote my last entry. I apologize to my readers; my health has not been so great. Don't worry, it's not a fatal disease or anything. (You ever notice how life itself is a terminal condition? lol) I just feel very, very tired and sore all the time. That makes it hard to focus on things like blogs and websites.

I've been spending a lot of time in Second Life, which is an online place for people to gather. I call it my Second Addiction, chocolate being the first. :) Second Life is geared for grownups but I think they still offer the "teen grid" for persons under 18.

The basic account is free, but they soon hook you with shiny things to buy. You can get hair, clothes, jewelry... just about anything for your avatar. ("Avatar" is what they call your character, the person you are there.) Most of that is not free though, alas. Luckily I'm teaching myself to make my own.

The entire setup is a great way to escape from "real life" though. So that's pretty much... all I've been doing. Just surviving, and living an imaginary life where my real one can't go. :)

P.S. - Oh! I almost forgot the most important part. The Teacher's Guide for A Gebra Named Al is coming back in print. I am working on it right now, in fact. It will be available very soon.

Update - August 5, 2012

Hello, readers and friends! Yes, it has been ages since I updated this website. But I have been busy installing new gadgets like a guestbook and links to social media. Click the links above to make links in your favorite site: Facebook, Google+, and so on.

(Apparently the place where I hosted half my prior gadgets closed, during the time in which I was goofing off working hard on other things. Oops!)

So stay tuned! More changes to come soon. :)

Update - April 5, 2017

Greetings, everybody! Well, it's been awhile. Time to update the website again? Maybe not yet--I have plenty of book projects brewing.

First and most importantly, A Gebra Named Al is on the way! I am working on the files right now. Don't worry, this will be the original text that you all know and love, not a highly-edited version. (My mom convinced me not to change it too much.) Also, once that's done, I will be able to release an accompanying Classroom Guide that makes sense.

Second, if you are looking for more frequent updates than this website (notice that the post prior to this was five years ago), please peek into my Social Media links on the contact page. I talk more frequently there.

Anyway, please stay tuned--books are coming! :)