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Include misunderstanding

Well, I figured out my previous problem of getting wmk to traverse
directories, use the -a switch RTFM eh? Well, now something weird is
happening. in my root directory, I have the files.

index.wml -- the index page
3col_template.winc -- this is a template for a 3 column page layout
left_nav_bar.winc -- the left column for the page
right.winc -- the right bar for the page.

there are a number of variable defined in the .wmlrc file as follows:

-D SUBJECT_LOC="Page Title"
-D META_KEYWORDS="keywords"
-D NAV_BAR_COLOR="FFCC66" -- the bgcolor for the left bar
-D PRIMARY_HILIGHT="FF6600" -- prominent hilight color
-D SECONDARY_HILIGHT="FF9933" -- secondary hilight color

I am substituting the variables using the <get-var MAIN_BODY_WIDTH>

I have a directory below root called "mats" which has the files

index.wml -- the index page
left_nav_bar.winc -- the left column for mats pages
right.winc -- the right bar for mats pages

the index.wml for mats starts with
#include "../3col_template.winc"

Everything works perfectly in the root directory.

when wmk enters the mats directory, as I expected, when I run wmk it
includes 3col_template.winc from the root directory and
left_nav_bar.winc and right.winc from the *mats* directory. The problem
is, once it reaches the left_nav_bar.winc include which is inside
3col_template.winc it stops replacing any of the <get-var VARIABLE_NAME>
tags, nor does it replace the {#BODY#} segment. What is going on here?

all the files are almost identical, as far as I can tell the problem
comes from the fact that some files are in a different directory. Can
anybody tell me what I'm doing wrong?

Also, is there a short tutorial on how to build a multi level site? I'm
trying to convert over a completely established site to wml, and I have
a very short time period to do this. most of the docs don't cover
anything about building a site, just individual pages, and the stuff the
does go over site creation is either too basic or way over my head. It
would be really great if there was something that gave a step by step on
how do define universal variable, that apply accross the entire site,
and local variables that apply to only a certain directory or file. I'm
looking at the example of the wml site, but so for it is too complicated
for me. I don't understand much of anything that's going on in there.

Thanks for any help you can give,

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