by Inlander Staff & r & Papers Due Nov. 24 & r & For the 10th year, we're giving writers a chance to wax eloquent about the fictive joys of living in the Northwest. So hie thee to thy laptop, devise a tale of 3,000 to 6,000 words set in the upper left corner of these United States, and postmark it by the date indicated.

(Gentle advice: Nostalgic but gratuitous references to the Crescent will not by themselves guarantee you admittance to the Inlander Hall of Fictional Fame. Don't -- like some of last year's entrants -- write a typical story and then plug in a lot of allusions to East Sprague and the Looff Carousel. Won't wash.)

Your reward? Not just 15 minutes of fame, but an entire week of having your story on Inlander racks everywhere (Dec. 22-28), followed by $100 to spend at Auntie's Bookstore and a chance to show up in a tweedy coat and do a reading there on Jan. 11, 2006.

Go, Average NBA Teams! & r & Nate McMillan will be on the wrong team's bench Friday night. He played 12 years for the Sonics, coached them for four and half years. Now he's coaching for Portland. It just ain't right.

The chief Trailblazer is Zach Randolph, who led the team with nearly 19 points and 10 rebounds last season, but Portland has a very young backcourt: Sebastian Telfair, 20, and Martell Webster, 18.

The Sonics have had good preseason play from Luke Ridnour (10 points and 5 assists), Rashard Lewis (nearly 16 points a game) and Nick Collison (with a team-leading 6.5 rebounds per contest). And the team is touting Ray Allen as on-track for another All-Star season (23 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds per game).

But Nate's going to be coaching against him.

Spokane's annual NBA preseason game is on Friday, Oct. 28, at 7:30 pm at the Arena. Tickets: $8-$75. Call 325-SEAT.

Songs of Stevenson & r & Reportedly, the standouts Sunday evening at the Civic's nearly sold-out self-benefit, Jekyll & amp; Hyde: The Musical, were Troy Wageman in the title role, Abbey Crawford as Lucy and Max Mendez as Gabriel Utterson. But kudos to the entire cast and to both director Yvonne A.K. Johnson and musical director Carolyn Jess for creating a fabulous one-night production.

No Roaring & r & We are determined that at least one part of our paper this week is not going to mention The Lion.... This is that sentence.

Cheap Skate Tuesday @ Numerica Skate Ribbon

Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Continues through Feb. 22
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