Whoosh! Issue 62 - November 2001

INSIDE THE HEAD OF WISHES
By Amy Murphy
Content © 2001 held by author
WHOOSH! edition © 2001 held by Whoosh!
3052 words


Introduction (01)
Wishes' Head (02-104)
Wishes' Stories
Acknowledgments
Articles
Biography



INSIDE THE HEAD OF WISHES



Introduction

[01] Wishes is one of the most well known bards out there. The woman just puts out awesome stories and poems.


This uber stuff is hilarious!
The joy of writing was just as fun in the BCE times as the CE times.

Wishes' Head

AMY MURPHY:
[02] Why did you start writing?

WISHES:
[03] I started writing poems and stories in Junior High. However, my first audience for my writing came from the Xena: Warrior Princess fandom. I went to the Xena NetForum as soon as I got online. There I read a fan fiction story and realized that you could actually take characters from a television show and weave them into your own stories. This was soon after Callisto was introduced into the series and I wondered what would happen to Callisto after she had been sent to Tartarus.

[04] In order to answer that question, I started writing my first fan fiction story, Fair Trade. I didn't even know that you could write the story in your word processing program and cut and paste it to the Forum. I wrote each chapter in the posting window, posted that chapter, and then began the next. I was receiving feedback on each chapter while I wrote the next one. I thought this was wonderful! I stayed up all night to finish writing and posting Fair Trade, and two or three Forum members stayed up all night with me to read it. So I guess it would be fair to stay I started writing fan fiction for attention!

MURPHY:
[05] If you had to do it all over, would you be a bard? Would you write?

WISHES:
[06] I wouldn't give up any part of my experience as part of the Xena fandom. Certainly I would write fan fiction. Through writing fan fiction, I met many wonderful people, some of whom have become my closest friends. Through feedback and the pure volume of writing I was doing, I also had a great chance to improve my skills. (No, unlike Xena, I don't have all that many skills.) I hope that anyone reading Fair Trade, the first Xena story I wrote, and Principia, my last Xena story, will think I've become a better writer.

MURPHY:
[07] Give us a brief day in the life of Wishes.

WISHES:
[08] My "day" has recently changed a great deal. After thirty years as a teacher, I have retired. Now my day goes something like this: Get up in the afternoon, hopefully while the sun is still fairly high in the sky. (I'm not kidding.) Feed my cat and my horse and check email while sipping some Instant Breakfast. Work outside, run errands to town, read, do research for future stories, prepare a meal or eat take-out. Do housework, watch television (Farscape, Buffy, Witchblade, Queer as Folk, Sopranos, documentaries) or talk on the phone with friends. (Plan next trip to visit someone!) Write or edit/revise whatever I'm currently working on from midnight until 3 or 4 a.m. At dawn, feed the horse again and then go to bed. No, I am not a vampire. I just live like one.

MURPHY:
[09] How do you handle stress?

WISHES:
[10] Most of the time, I don't act as if I have any stress. However, very occasionally, I yell as loudly as I can and try to put my right hand through doors. I'm trying to substitute other activities for door-punching.

MURPHY:
[11] Years from now, how would you want to be remembered?

WISHES:
[12] I don't expect to be remembered except by those I love.

MURPHY:
[13] What is your pet peeve?

WISHES:
[14] Parents who abdicate responsibility for their children. Children who don't respect their parents.

MURPHY:
[15] Who is Wishes?

WISHES:
[16] Judith K. Parker.

MURPHY:
[17] Do fans ask too much from their objects of affection?

WISHES:
[18] There are many different kinds of fans. Only a few expect stars to be at their beck and call. Fans who think they know stars personally worry me. Of course, in a few cases, I've started to give someone my "you don't know these people, and you will never know these people" talk only to find out this particular fan actually is a personal friend of a featured player on Xena: Warrior Princess.

MURPHY:
[19] What is the most sensitive part on your body?

WISHES:
[20] My ego.

MURPHY:
[21] What do you see yourself doing in the future? Future projects?

WISHES:
[22] I want to continue to write. I've had a couple of books published by print-on-demand publishers, and I would like to continue to have books published. I'm working on a science fiction novel and finding that saying you want to write a novel and actually writing one are as far apart as Venus and Pluto. The next time someone says to me, "I've written several novels—in my head", I'll remember that it's possible to write the Lord's Prayer on the head of a pin.

MURPHY:
[23] How do you handle depression?

WISHES:
[24] I let myself get just so depressed, and then I set a limit to it: "You can be this sad until tomorrow at noon, and then you have to pick yourself up." This doesn't mean that I think someone who suffers from clinical depression can pull himself or herself up by the bootstraps.

MURPHY:
[25] What was the hardest thing you ever did?

WISHES:
[26] The hardest thing I ever did was hold my mother's hand while she died.

MURPHY:
[27] What was the easiest?

WISHES:
[28] Falling in love.

MURPHY:
[29] What advice can you give to future writers?

WISHES:
[30] Write.

MURPHY:
[31] How did it feel to be published?

WISHES:
[32] Holding the first copy of my first book was wonderful. I felt that I had followed through with a dream. I also was happy that I could share my thoughts and feelings with other people.

MURPHY:
[33] What has the show Xena meant to you?

WISHES:
[34] I owe my love, many friends, and my writing to Xena. It has given me great times and a lot of laughs and tears.

MURPHY:
[35] How do you feel about its end?

WISHES:
[36] Although I'll miss seeing new adventures, all things end. Or do you mean the final episode? I've dealt with the deaths of several real people I loved. The death of a fictional hero can't compare.

MURPHY:
[37] What are your dreams? Hopes? Wishes?

WISHES:
[38] I'm wrapping up one phase of my life and starting another. When I complete this transition phase, I'll be living in a different country with the person I care the most about.

MURPHY:
[39] Who do you trust?

WISHES:
[40] Myself. Usually.

MURPHY:
[41] What would you say every writer needs?

WISHES:
[42] The ability to sit still for long periods of time?

MURPHY:
[43] How do you feel about subtext?

WISHES:
[44] Love is love.

MURPHY:
[45] Could you or have you ever experienced, you or someone else reading one of your stories aloud in the public? What did / would you feel?

WISHES:
[46] Someone read my poem "My Tribe" aloud in front of a large gathering. I liked it and felt I was among friends.

MURPHY:
[47] What's the most romantic thing anyone has done for you?

WISHES:
[48] Met me at the airport with flowers and a limousine.

MURPHY:
[49] What theme would you like to tackle in your next work?

WISHES:
[50] Loneliness—our alienation from each other.

MURPHY:
[51] What was the last thing that made you smile recently?

WISHES:
[52] My seventeen-year-old Appaloosa mare ran squealing and bucking around her pasture as she did when she was three months old. Like the Grinch at Christmas, I felt my heart grow several sizes larger.

MURPHY:
[53] What made you angry?

WISHES:
[54] Being separated from the person I love.

MURPHY:
[55] You now have absolute authority over the world. Omnipotent in all areas. What's your first move?

WISHES:
[56] Delegate authority.

MURPHY:
[57] Do you have stalkers?

WISHES:
[58] I have no stalkers, thank goodness. Who wants to stalk a little old lady? For a while, say in the second and third season, I did have fans, and it was an odd sensation.

MURPHY:
[59] How would you categorize your best writing?

WISHES:
[60] Everything up to now has been learning.

MURPHY:
[61] What stupid thing did you do as a teen?

WISHES:
[62] Sorry. I was as boring as a teen as I am as a little old lady.

MURPHY:
[63] What, if anything, can stop you writing, if only for a while?

WISHES:
[64] Someone I respect telling me that I should write something "important". Yikes! That guarantees writer's block for weeks.

MURPHY:
[65] In your opinion, do you fit your astrological sign?

WISHES:
[66] Doesn't everyone? Aries, by the way.

MURPHY:
[67] What to you is the worst feeling in the world?

WISHES:
[68] That I've disappointed someone I love.

MURPHY:
[69] The best feeling in the world?

WISHES:
[70] Making someone happy.

MURPHY:
[71] Favorite song of the moment?

WISHES:
[72] "O Canada!"

MURPHY:
[73] What is the first thing you think of in the morning?

WISHES:
[74] That it's time to go to bed.

MURPHY:
[75] Is there one part of the writing process where you usually get stuck?

WISHES:
[76] The beginning... no, wait... the end... uh... I guess I would have to say writing the middle...

MURPHY:
[77] What have you tried to change that, successful or not?

WISHES:
[78] I try to just write and realize it not only doesn't have to be perfect the first time, it will NEVER be perfect.

MURPHY:
[79] Does the best writing flow for you, or does it come from rewrites?

WISHES:
[80] Good question. With poetry, the best writing flows. It's just there. With stories, my writing is improved by rewriting, especially by cutting, cutting, cutting.

MURPHY:
[81] Which part of writing do you enjoy most and why? (e.g., Taking the original notes, final rewrites...)

WISHES:
[82] Research. I love to do research for a story I'm planning. There comes a point when I have to cut off research and actually write that first word of the story.

MURPHY:
[83] How often do you think about a piece when you're working on it and when do you think about it?

WISHES:
[84] I don't think about a story when I'm engaged in a physical activity, such as working in the garden or cleaning my horse's stall. However, when I go back to the story, I'll often find that I have a solution for a problem that seemed intractable before I left it alone. I often can't get a story out of my head when I'm trying to get to sleep, but that isn't WORKING on it. That's worrying about it.

MURPHY:
[85] Tell the truth—are you your favorite writer, or in your own top five?

WISHES:
[86] I'm not even in the top 100!

MURPHY:
[87] Why or why not?

WISHES:
[88] Because the other writers are better.

MURPHY:
[89] Would the world be a better place if women ran it or would it be basically the same?

WISHES:
[90] Women don't run the world already? Huh!

MURPHY:
[91] What is your favorite spot where you live now?

WISHES:
[92] My favorite spot is under my grape arbor. The light under there diffuses to a golden glow, and, when the grapes are ripe, it smells like you're inside a jar of Welch's grape jelly.

MURPHY:
[93] What books are you reading now? What about it/them is holding your attention?

WISHES:
[94] I'm reading Philip Gerard's Writing A Book That Makes A Difference just in case I decide to write that "important" book someday.

MURPHY:
[95] What would your friends say is your worst trait?

WISHES:
[96] My friends don't think I have a worst trait. They're wrong.

MURPHY:
[97] Do you type with your fingers on the 'right' keys?

WISHES:
[98] Yes. My high school typing teacher might catch me if I do it wrong.

MURPHY:
[99] What is the longest any plant in your home has been with you?

WISHES:
[100] I have a cactus that was around when I was a little kid. Now that's OLD!

MURPHY:
[101] Do you have any particular bedtime rituals (glass of warm milk, etc.) that you follow every night?

WISHES:
[102] Nope.

MURPHY:
[103] If you find a spider in the bathtub, do you help it out or squish it?

WISHES:
[104] That spidah is going for a swim.

Wishes' Stories

Fair Trade?
In order to escape the punishment she most fears in Tartarus, Callisto promises to team with Xena for one mission.

The Serpent Trilogy:

Lair of the Serpent
An old acquaintance of Xena's asks her to kill the monster that is terrorizing his neighbors. Not knowing that this adventure will test her relationship with Gabrielle, Xena agrees.

Valley of Regret
Xena, gravely wounded in her battle with the serpent, seeks help from the priestesses of Demeter. Gabrielle suspects the cure may be more dangerous than the malady.

Friends of the Goddess
Xena and Gabrielle gather Demeter's forces for a battle against the armies of The Serpent. Their most challenging war is not of this world.

Dedication
This very short story explains how Xena was dedicated to two rival deities.

Old Woman
An old woman passes on stories of youthful adventures with a friend.

The Gabrielle Stele (also here)
Janice Covington and Melinda Pappas must outwit and out-fight grave robbers and Nazis to learn about Xena's and Gabrielle's adventure in Egypt—and to solve the mystery of Janice's father's death.

The Xena Kore (also here)
Janice and Mel travel to England to meet Janice's runaway mother and find old and new enemies.

The Prize (also here)
England's secret service sends Janice and Mel to Transylvania to track down rumors of a mysterious Nazi weapon. Espionage meets the supernatural in the land of the vampire.

Time Changes (also here)
What if Xena never met Hercules and continued her warlord ways? In this story, the gods tamper with time, and Xena and Gabrielle meet in very different circumstances than in "Sins of the Past." Will they be enemies? Or soulmates?

Retirement
In this lighthearted short, short story, Xena and Gabrielle contemplate life after the trail.

The Last Day
We expect to recognize the last day when it comes, but perhaps it will come without our realizing.

The Truth
Xena and Gabrielle in an after-school special?

Solemn Industry
In this story that takes place between "Destiny" and "Quest," Gabrielle performs a "solemn industry" for her warrior.

Simulacrum (also here)
The play's the thing. Gabrielle finds that sometimes nothing is what it seems.

Home Fires (also here)
What makes a home? In a village plagued by an incubus, Xena and Gabrielle battle undead who make the Bacchi seem cuddly.

Signals (also here)
Xena and Gabrielle travel to a kingdom that is trying to end religious hatred. This story proves that Xena and Gabrielle don't always get their signals straight.

Battle (also here)
This novella finds Xena and Gabrielle reincarnated as Elizabeth and Caroline. Elizabeth is a political prisoner subjected to cruel treatment in a government research facility. Caroline is her keeper, assigned to make Elizabeth cooperate. Living in a future not too distant from our own, these women must decide what freedom and humanity are worth.

Greece: The Musical (also here)
A bit of silliness inspired by Lucy Lawless's performance in Grease.

The Wound (also here)
Crippled by a battle wound, Xena considers herself a liability who will eventually get Gabrielle killed. The women journey to Adja Ka, the bone woman, who may hold the key to Xena's recovery—or to her death.

The Loyal Warrior (also here)
Queen Thalia has always trusted her beloved consort Memtholope in peace and in battle. Then, when the Queen announces her plan to end the encroachment of Greeks on Amazon lands, Memtholope speaks in opposition. Has Memtholope become a traitor? Or is she still Thalia's loyal warrior?

The Edge of the World
During the late 1800's, a group of women and children is rescued on the high seas. One of their number tells the story of their shipwreck and their life on an island. However, her story may be more interesting for what is left out than for what is included.

Satisfaction Guaranteed
There isn't someone for everyone. But what if there could be?

Principia
Was meeting up with Xena a good thing for Gabrielle? Xena isn't sure it was, and she sets out to remedy the situation.

The Dreamer and the Dream
In a future world, some people are born with the ability to make their dreams come true. And the authorities do not think this is a GOOD thing.

Beyond Redemption
What if one lifetime isn't enough time to earn redemption for one's sins?


Published Works

Stone Pillars, A Book of Poems (Troubadour Books, RAP)
A collection of poems inspired by the Warrior and the Bard.

Four from Wishes, a Collection of Stories (Xlibris)
Contains the published versions of "The Edge of the World," "Satisfaction Guaranteed," "The Dreamer and the Dream," and "Battle."


Acknowledgments

Thanks to the Bardic Circle for a few of the questions. Thanks to Kamouraskan for the beta.


Articles

L. J. Maas and Murphy Wilson [Amy Murphy]. One Step Beyond ... Uber, That Is. WHOOSH #49 (October 2000)

The "Inside the Head of…" series in Whoosh issues #58, 61-


Biography

a woman of mystery Amy Murphy
Twenty-nine-year-old Amy Murphy resides in Indiana, and is an avid reader of Xena: Warrior Princess Fan Fiction. If it exists in the Xenaverse, chances are she's read it! Murphy has also tried her hand at writing FF, turning out two very nice pieces that reside on a couple of web sites throughout the Xenaverse.


Favorite episode: IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE
Favorite line: "I have many skills" (various episodes)
First episode seen: THE TITANS (07/107)
Least favorite episode: LYRE, LYRE HEARTS ON FIRE (100/510)

 

 

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