Whoosh! Issue 66 - March 2002

INSIDE THE HEAD OF AH- LADIS
By Amy Murphy
Content © 2002 held by author
WHOOSH! edition © 2002 held by Whoosh!
2761 words


Introduction (01)
Ah-Ladis' Head (02-112)
Ah-Ladis' Stories
Acknowledgments
Articles
Biography



INSIDE THE HEAD OF AH-LADIS



Introduction

[01] Ah-Ladis has two especially wonderful fan fiction pieces out there. When we go into someone's head, we see who the whole person is and not just the bard. We all have some type of tale in life and it is nice to see the human side of things.
After one too many jokes at Gabrielle's expense, the 
bard writes Xena out of the next several scrolls
What are 'frames'? Heck, I don't even know what a 'website' is!

Ah-Ladis' Head

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

AH-LADIS:
[03] As far as writing fan fiction goes, I stumbled upon it quite by accident! I was searching online for a Xena website and came across Obsession. Obviously, with a website name like that, how could I resist? When I saw that it was a site to post fan fiction, I thought: "Fan fiction? What the heck is that?" The idea seemed strange to me. Why would anyone want to make up stories based on already established TV characters?

[04] After reading them [fan fiction], I soon realized that the possibilities were endless! One could make Xena and Gabrielle say anything you wanted them to say, put them in any situation. Spurned on by the stories I'd read, I made up my first Xena fiction and nervously sent in Part 1 to 'Obsession'. I felt that if nobody liked it I wouldn't have to finish.

[05] About 2 weeks later "Obsession" posted Part 1 of "Make A Wish". All of a sudden, I started getting emails telling me in varying degrees to FINISH it! That was so exciting, and after almost 3 years of getting fan mail, it's still exciting and wonderful for me.

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

AH-LADIS:
[07] Yes, I absolutely would! It's an interesting experience being able to move readers, to entertain them with your words. I love being able to tap into my head and pull out things that are impossible situations in everyday life.

MURPHY:
[08] How do you handle stress?

AH-LADIS:
[09] Like most, I try to keep myself busy: immerse myself totally in what I'm doing. If that doesn't work, sometimes a crossword puzzle or two will take the stress down a few notches.

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

AH-LADIS:
[11] As someone who has touched a few lives and written stories that were vivid and memorable.

MURPHY:
[12] What is your pet peeve?

AH-LADIS:
[13] Where writing is concerned: stories with horrendous grammar and no continuity.

MURPHY:
[14] Who is Ah-ladis?

AH-LADIS:
[15] My real name is April Hladis, born at the end of the baby boom-born and bred in New York. I've written a few things over the years, but my fan fiction is the only thing of mine out there. I work from home and enjoy a reasonably active life.

MURPHY:
[16] Why did you stop writing?

AH-LADIS:
[17] The inspiration I got initially from the show waned about 2 years ago. I hated the direction -- if you can call it a direction -- the show was taking. The obvious negative change in the relationship turned me off to the show completely, so I stopped wanting to write Xena stories.

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

AH-LADIS:
[19] I've been working on several story lines of my own that have nothing to do with Xena and Gabrielle. Time has been the problem with finishing them.

MURPHY:
[20] How do you handle depression?

AH-LADIS:
[21] A big cup of steaming hot tea with milk and honey and a favorite old movie in the VCR. Bette Davis or Joan Crawford do very nicely.

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

AH-LADIS:
[23] Keep at it, don't let anyone crush your vision, and save often!

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

AH-LADIS:
[25] It was like a good friend to look forward to seeing every week. It changed things in my life via writing and meeting all kinds of people over the Internet I never would have known without that show.

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

AH-LADIS:
[27] It was hard to believe that it would end. I knew Xena had to be killed off in some way, though she had been killed and brought back so many times. I wondered how the writers on the show would handle it. But, they killed her off -- not in a well thought out way in my opinion, but they did it so that she'd stay dead. I wish that it had been a better storyline. The whole thing felt awfully rushed to me.

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

AH-LADIS:
[29] I don't have an original answer to this question, but I'll say it anyway: To have my works published.

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

AH-LADIS:
[30] Inspiration, imagination, and a good spell checker!

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

AH-LADIS:
[32] Subtext is necessary if you're going to make certain relationships believable. We all know what was going on in the bat cave when business was slow, now don't we?

MURPHY:
[33] What makes your best friend your best friend?

AH-LADIS:
[34] Sharing, caring, feeling safe and good in their company, and of course, lots of laughs.

MURPHY:
[35] How would you feel about someone else reading one of your stories aloud in the public?

AH-LADIS:
[36] Wow! Having my words read to an audience would blow me away! I know I'd probably be hiding somewhere in the back cringing a bit, but enjoying every minute of my fifteen minutes of fame.

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

AH-LADIS:
[38] Oh, that would be giving it away. Let me just say that I hope it's original.

MURPHY:
[39] Do you have stalkers? If so, how have you handled them?

AH-LADIS:
[40] Over the Internet, yes. I tried to handle it courteously and if that didn't work, I just ignored them till they got bored with their creepy behavior.

MURPHY:
[41] How would you categorize your best writing, and give the URL's for them if posted?

AH-LADIS:
[42] I wrote only two Xena stories. "Make a Wish" is set in a modern timeline that switches back and forth to ancient Greece -- what is known as a partial UberXena. It's about a young woman who is dying and escapes to a fantasyland in her mind. The way that she handles her illness changes the life of the dour nurse hired to care for her.

[43] My second story "The Burning Candle" takes place in ancient Middle East. Xena has an accident that leaves her with the mind of a child. Slave traders bound for Baghdad capture Gabrielle and the now childlike and totally dependent Xena. How will Gabrielle save herself and Xena from the slave market and bring back the Xena she once knew and loved?

[44] Both stories can be found at: http://www.xenafan.com and http://www.ausxip.com

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

AH-LADIS:
[46] Yes, to some extent, though I do lack the more obnoxious traits: Aries. Nuff said.

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

AH-LADIS:
[48] Without hesitation: ANXIETY

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

AH-LADIS:
[50] Joy.

MURPHY:
[51] Is there one part of the writing process where you usually get stuck? What have you tried to change that, successful or not?

AH-LADIS:
[52] I often get stuck on getting the sentences to sound just right when I should just keep typing. I haven't been successful in changing this habit.

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

AH-LADIS:
[54] Rewrites, rewrites, and more rewrites!

MURPHY:
[55] Which part of writing do you enjoy most and why?

AH-LADIS:
[56] Getting the ideas and visualizing the action in my mind, then managing to pull it all together. I'm living in the fictional world I'm creating as I'm typing.

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

AH-LADIS:
[58] It invades everything, even when I'm squeezing loaves of bread at the supermarket.

MURPHY:
[59] When someone walks into your bedroom, what are the first 5 things that they're likely to notice?

AH-LADIS:
[60] In the wee hours, (1) My bedroom is cluttered; (2) I'm sleeping; (3) I'm probably snoring; (4) My blanket is twisted around me; (5) I look as if I'm not breathing when asleep

MURPHY:
[61] Do you feel in control of your writing, or do you get carried away by your inspiration or characters?

AH-LADIS:
[62] Sometimes I do get a little carried away, but that's the fun of it.

MURPHY:
[63] Tell the truth--are you your favorite writer, or in your own top five? Why or why not?

AH-LADIS:
[64] Okay, this is my moment to be modest...actually, I'm a bit too critical of my writing to consider myself in a top five. Such a 'girl' answer, no?

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

AH-LADIS:
[66] I believe too much power can make either sex nutty. I can think of a few female bosses I could've lived without very nicely. Yet, it would certainly be interesting to see a woman in the oval office for once.

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

AH-LADIS:
[68] My living room.

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

AH-LADIS:
[70] I'm hopelessly hooked on the "Strangers in Paradise" series of comic books. Did she just say COMIC BOOKS??? Oh horrors. :) But seriously, it is like the Xena show set in our timeline: what the Xena show should have been and more. These characters drawn and written by Terry Moore predate Xena by almost 2 years. It is really worth a peek by anyone who is an avid Xena fan.

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

AH-LADIS:
[72] I don't write back to them as often as they want me to. I said time was a problem...

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

AH-LADIS:
[74] You betcha.

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

AH-LADIS:
[76] Unfortunately I go for the squish method.

MURPHY:
[77] Have you ever smoked cigarettes?

AH-LADIS:
[78] Stupidly yes, when a kid. I thought it made me look older, now I believe it just made me look ridiculous. I quit them for good sixteen years ago.

MURPHY:
[79] Who is your favorite Greek God?

AH-LADIS:
[80] Hecate (pronounced Heck-ah-tay). She is one of the Titans and is usually found at night haunting the crossroads. She may be moody, but she's never boring.

MURPHY:
[81] Do you keep a diary? If so, what effect has it had on your writing?

AH-LADIS:
[82] I used to keep a 'journal'. I haven't written in one for several years. It had an enormous influence on my writing. I guess it was good practice for what I've produced so far.

MURPHY:
[83] How has online writing affected your life and how you see yourself, your goals?

AH-LADIS:
[84] It's made quite a big difference! Where and how else could I have met so many people from around the world? It's really been so fascinating. It's a huge thrill for me to read a new fan email every time I get one, really. It's made me feel that I must be able to tell a good story and actually be good at it.

MURPHY:
[85] What is the first thing you notice about someone when you meet them?

AH-LADIS:
[86] Their eyes, and if their clothes match. Weird, but true.

MURPHY:
[87] Would you rather live in a sociable suburb, or alone in the deep woods?

AH-LADIS:
[88] Preferably in the woods, but it would be too dangerous with all the kooks roaming about these days.

MURPHY:
[89] What literary character did you most identify with as a child?

AH-LADIS:
[90] As a little kid I absolutely loved the fairytale, "Rapunzel". I know it sounds like a classic case, but I so wanted to be the prince. Need I say more? :)

MURPHY:
[91] Where do your ideas come from?

AH-LADIS:
[92] Most of the time my ideas just come to me from something I've read or seen. I think to myself: "Suppose I do it this way?" and I try it. Sometimes it's a compilation of things I've experienced in my life.

MURPHY:
[93] What are the three things you enjoy most about writing?

AH-LADIS:
[94] The three things I most enjoy about writing: (1) Getting an idea (2) Breathing life into the characters (3) Emotionally moving readers with what I've written

MURPHY:
[95] What were your favorite book, TV show, and movie when you were a teenager and what do you think of them now?

AH-LADIS:
[96] I really loved the Foundation Trilogy book series by Isaac Asimov. The Carol Burnett Show on TV was a fave. I have to say that both have held up pretty well.

MURPHY:
[97] What's your idea of a perfect world?

AH-LADIS:
[98] One that's free of terrorists.

MURPHY:
[99] How real is your fiction to you?

AH-LADIS:
[100] While I'm writing, very. When I read the finished work I sometimes can't believe that I wrote it. The dialog and characters are so different from who I am in life.

MURPHY:
[101] When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?

AH-LADIS:
[102] An Olympic ice-skater. I thought they looked so beautiful gliding across the ice.

MURPHY:
[103] What makes a great kisser?

AH-LADIS:
[104] Someone who is gentle and not sloppy about it.

MURPHY:
[105] What have you learned from your animals?

AH-LADIS:
[106] That you can get almost anything you want by just crying for it. :) I have cats.

MURPHY:
[107] Does our society glorify violence to the point we have become desensitized to it and the consequences?

AH-LADIS:
[108] Sure, just look at what's going on now.

MURPHY:
[109] What is your motto?

AH-LADIS:
[110] If you can't fight, wear a bigger hat :)

MURPHY:
[111] What do you think we take too seriously as writers?

AH-LADIS:
[112] Ourselves mostly.


Ah-Ladis' Stories

Ah-Ladis' e-mail address: ahladis@aol.com.

The Burning Candle
Xena is on an important mission when she is pushed off her horse and falls down a rocky slope. When Gabrielle finds her hours later, the Xena she knows has vanished and in her place is what everyone else calls an "imbecile" - Xena has reverted back to the innocence of a child. Soon after, they are both captured and taken through the desert to be sold off as slaves in Baghdad. How Gabrielle is able to escape and then returns to rescue Xena is an exciting, well told story that has a special place in my heart 'cause Gabrielle gets to be the hero - and excels at everything that makes her just so Gabrielle. From Bards, Books and Reviews.

Make a Wish
Terminally ill girl named Jenny is transported in her dreams to ancient Greece where she meets Xena who is tormented and blames herself for Gabrielle's death. Reviewed by Lunacy http://lunacyreviews.com/authors/AH-Ladis.shtm, where Lunacy wrote, "An emotional story which links the life of a grieving Xena with a young, terminally ill woman living in the present day who as if by magic finds herself traveling to the Ancient past and giving two hearts cruelly separated by Fate the chance to meet again. Well written and poignant."


Acknowledgments

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
Thirty-one-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 fan fiction, 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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