By: Genus (aka Christa Weber) Stoners of the year of 2001: Wear wrist protection. If I could offer you only one tip for the Stone, wrist protection would be it. The long-term benefits of wrist protection have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now. Enjoy the fun and excitement of being a newbie . Oh, never mind. You will not understand the fun and excitement of being a newbie until youíve reached the Lodge. But trust me, in 6.378 years, when the game is complete, you'll think back to being 2/56 and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how much fun the Sorry, No page really was. You are not as thickheaded as you imagine. Don't worry about the puzzles to be released. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve a Movement puzzle by conventional means. The real troubles in your life are apt to be Closes that never crossed your frazzled mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 a.m. on some Tuesday morning when you have a really big project due the next day. Research on a puzzle every day that scares you. Tell others. Don't flame other people's posts. Don't put up with people who flame yours. Try to go out at least once a week, the Stone will be there when you get back. Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with every other person in the whole big enigma. Remember nudges you receive. Forget the pointless banter. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old notes. Throw away your disgusting take out pizza boxes. Stretch. Don't feel guilty if you don't know how to begin a puzzle. The most brilliant people I know didn't know at 22/56 where to go next. Some of the most brilliant 56/56ís I know I still don't. Get plenty of sunlight. Be kind to your computer. You'll miss them when the aliens do come and take you. Maybe you'll finish, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll solve a puzzle first, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll quit tomorrow, maybe you'll find those Abject people and throttle them, damnit, agh! Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your solving skills are pretty much the same as everyone elseís. Enjoy your search engine. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own. Post. Read the Black Book, even if you don't get it. Do not watch television. It will only take you away from the Stone. Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll know the answer to that really hard puzzle. Be nice to your siblings. They're not going to help you otherwise. Understand that friends come and go, but the people on the Stone will love you forever . Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the more involved you get, the more you need the people who know you from the Stone. Go to a Gathering once, but leave before it makes you weird. Go to Journey expedition once, and leave if you find the piece. Search. Accept certain inalienable truths: The aliens are coming. Atlantis is real. You, too, will find the answer. And when you do, you'll fantasize about when you were naive, and not a slave of the Gornots and their Fantastic Super Alliance with Abject. Respect the Stonekeepers. Don't expect anyone else to give you answers. Maybe you have a Stonemate. Maybe you'll have a surragate stonemate. But you never know when either one might stop playing. Don't screw around too much on the commons or people WILL flame you. Be careful whose nudges you take, but be patient with the Stonekeepers. Puzzle are often in the form of tedious busy-work. Often the puzzle is a way of taking information, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth (about $19.95) But trust me on the wrist protection.
You can e-mail me at: Genus77@hotmail.com (Nudges, and whatnot)