Problem connecting iBookG4 to iMac G3


I hope someone can assist me. I'm having a super difficulty trying to get file sharing to work btwn an iMac G3 running 9.2 and a iBook G4 w/ OSX 10.3.7 and without classic environment.
I had it running a couple days ago but can't get it back on.
I'm connecting via an ethernert crossover cable. When I turn file sharing on (via control panels) it says "file shaqring is starting up" and an icon flashes. This just goes on and on and never connects. I've tried it w/ one computer off. I've restarted both computers and tried everything i can think of but it wont work.
is there some sort of trick to it, like a special sequence?

any help is greatly appreciated