Whoosh! Issue 66 - March 2002

INSIDE THE HEAD OF MIST
By Amy Murphy
Content © 2002 held by author
WHOOSH! edition © 2002 held by Whoosh!
1906 words


Introduction (01-03)
Mist's Head (04-65)
Acknowledgments
Articles
Biography



INSIDE THE HEAD OF MIST



Introduction

[01] Over the years, I have noticed a figurehead in the Xenaverse. Her name is Mist. Mist's non-stop caring for people and charities can humble the strongest of wills. The Sword and Staff cause shows a great deal of what being a Xena fan is all about. Granted the Xenaverse can have its low points, but when the dust settles, you can see that more then anything, people care. And Mist is there to help, to record, and to facilitate.

[02] Over the years I have watched people pray, love, care, and give. This is the Xena fan. Mist is hard working and keeps the spirit and soul going in us all. We are all thankful for all the blood sweat and tears she gives.

[03] Mist's e-mail address is MistNY@aol.com. Sword and Staff's website is located at http://sword-and-staff.com.


Renee asks Mist if she needs a sidekick, since Gabrielle is without a mentor at the moment
I hope she'll autograph this scroll for me!

Mist's Head

AMY MURPHY:
[04] How did Sword and Staff start?

MIST:
[05] Sword and Staff was an offshoot of something else. I was treasurer for the New York City XenaFest committee. At our first fest we raised $4,500 that we tried to donate to Hale House here in New York. I had several conversations with someone from that organization, but he was rude and rather obnoxious in his behavior toward me in particular and Xena fans in general. He refused our donation because he said that they "Did not want to be associated with a bunch of Amazons." Needless to say, I was taken aback by the comment and the fact that the donation was refused.

[06] After stewing privately over the experience, I finally put the topic forward on a couple of the Xena mailing lists where we discussed the rather horrendous perception people had of Xena fans. The perception was so bad that many fans would not even admit to watching the show because of the reaction they got from other people. It was really quite bizarre.

[07] I decided to start Sword and Staff as a way to improve the public's perception of Xena fandom as a whole. At the beginning, I expected that Sword and Staff would track and publicize fan donations. However, that mission evolved into something far more over the years. Soon online auctions and online donations drives became commonplace. Participation grew as time went on, and somewhere around mid-1998, Sword and Staff pretty much took on a life of its own.

MURPHY:
[08] Describe the Xenaverse in your own words?

MIST:
[09] Wow! That's a loaded question. The Xenaverse could best be described as a large, dysfunctional family. There are so many great people and groups out there, but sometimes they have problems relating to each other, or even conversing civilly.

MURPHY:
[10] Have you tried charity work with other fandom?

MIST:
[11] No. Not before Sword and Staff. However, since Sword and Staff came into its own, I have provided advice to fans from other shows and a couple of celebrity fan clubs that wanted to organize events pretty much like ours. It's great to see that kind of expanded community involvement in other fandoms resulting from Sword and Staff and what Xena fans have done.

MURPHY:
[12] What was the best experience you've had so far?

MIST:
[13] I have had a number of them. Getting letters from family members or friends of people we've helped is always great. Most times what we do is faceless, that is, we don't know who we are helping. But in several instances, individuals have contacted me to let me know that what we did mattered to them or someone they care about. That makes all the work worthwhile.

MURPHY:
[14] What was the worst?

MIST:
[15] Just putting up with some of the politics that are part of the Xenaverse. I really don't enjoy pettiness, and unfortunately there is always an abundant supply of that.

MURPHY:
[16] Did you ever have that days where you wondered why you are doing this?

MIST:
[17] Oh, good lord, yes. More than a few.

MURPHY:
[18] What made you go on?

MIST:
[19] Knowing that what we're doing matters. Many people benefit from what Xena fans do through Sword and Staff, and that makes it all worthwhile. Besides, I'm too stubborn to quit.

MURPHY:
[20] If God granted you the ability to cure one disease, what would it be and why?

MIST:
[21] Cancer. I have seen the devastation it visits on individuals and families.

MURPHY:
[22] Tell us who Mist is.

MIST:
[23] I sometimes wonder who Mist is as well. Like many people, too often I find that I'm a mass of contradictions. But in the real world, I'm a single mother who works as a university administrator and sometimes college history instructor. In my spare time (that time away from my daughter and work), I organize Sword and Staff activities and try to visit with family and friends.

MURPHY:
[24] Give us a brief day in the life of Mist.

MIST:
[25] Wake at 6:30 AM. Shower and then get the baby dressed and ready for her day. I get dressed and ready for work and off we go. Rev up the car, drop the baby at Grandma's house, and I'm off to my office. I work till noon, and then eat while I answer Sword and Staff mail. Then back to work till 5:00. Walk back to the car, drive to Grandma's and pick up the baby, get home around 6:30 PM. Fix dinner for the baby and make sure she eats. I then fix my dinner and sit on the floor with the babe, and eat while we play. At 8:00, I get Jamie ready for bed, and I watch some TV while she falls asleep. Then it's time for Sword and Staff business - either packing up items to be sent out, or updating the website, or logging in donations. Then it's off to bed. Could be 10:00 PM, or it could be 2:00 AM. Definitely not a brief day.

MURPHY:
[26] Have the events of September 11th 2001 changed you in any way?

MIST:
[27] Very much so. I was on my way to work and saw the second plane hit the building. I saw both towers collapse. I don't think anyone could witness that and not be changed.

MURPHY:
[28] What is the greatest gift granted to humanity that we take for granted?

MIST:
[29] Our health.

MURPHY:
[30] What's your motto?

MIST:
[31] I have several. First is, "Be careful what you wish for. You might get it." Another is, "No good deed goes unpunished." But my all-time favorite is "People who live in glass houses should get dressed in the basement."

MURPHY:
[32] What did the show Xena mean to you?

MIST:
[33] That is very hard to define, but I do know it allowed me to meet some really great people, many of whom I consider friends. And it allowed me to do something I never thought I could do. The show and the Internet were what made Sword and Staff possible and that organization has far exceeded any ideas I ever had for it.

MURPHY:
[34] What do you like about conventions?

MIST:
[35] What I like most about them is getting the opportunity to see friends and spend a few days just enjoying them. Convention weekends are always incredibly rewarding for that alone.

MURPHY:
[36] What do you dislike about conventions?

MIST:
[37] What I dislike about the official conventions is that they are "canned." If you have been to one, you have pretty much seen them all. There is very little variation or creativity in the programming or the events. They are also incredibly expensive - too expensive for what they are. I think you have far more fun and inventiveness at the fan-run events. You may not get the cast members appearing, but the event itself is always far superior to the official conventions.

MURPHY:
[38] Do you think fans are necessary?

MIST:
[39] Sure. I think they are a necessary element of any successful show. And they make or break a performer, that's for sure.

MURPHY:
[40] Do fans expect too much from stars?

MIST:
[41] Some do, yes. However, I find that most fans respect the celebrity's privacy and space. But unfortunately, a few fans are always "in your face" where celebrities are concerned, and I think they ruin it for the rest of us.

MURPHY:
[42] What's the worst thing you can take away from a person?

MIST:
[43] Dignity.

MURPHY:
[44] What would be the best thing to take away from a person?

MIST:
[45] Envy and jealousy. Nasty emotions, those.

MURPHY:
[46] What figure in recent history sparks your imagination?

MIST:
[47] Hmmm. Tough one. As an historian of sorts, I could probably name a dozen. But just one is tough. If I had to name two, Bobby Kennedy and Gandhi come to mind.

MURPHY:
[48] What is the nicest view, nearest to where you live?

MIST:
[49] The New York City skyline. It is now also the saddest view.

MURPHY:
[50] What did you want to grow up to be when you were a child?

MIST:
[51] Rich and famous. I never did figure out what I wanted to do to get that way, though.

MURPHY:
[52] What is your most cherished memory?

MIST:
[53] The first time I held my daughter Jamie.

MURPHY:
[54] What can make you want to toss the computer through a nearby window?

MIST:
[55] Spam. Spam messages sometimes outnumber my regular mail. How insane is that?

MURPHY:
[56] What pets do you have/have you ever had?

MIST:
[57] At the moment I don't have any pets. I've had two cats, Ziggy and Mistoffolees. Ziggy died in 2000, and Mistoffolees died in 1994. I also had a Yorkshire Terrier named Pennie sometime back.

MURPHY:
[58] Which of them do you remember the most fondly?

MIST:
[59] They were all special for different reasons. I don't think I like one above the other.

MURPHY:
[60] What is your favorite meal to prepare for someone else?

MIST:
[61] Anything Italian. I love to cook.

MURPHY:
[62] What attracts you most to a person? Honesty, humor, or body language?

MIST:
[63] Integrity and a sense of humor are very important to me.

MURPHY:
[64] What question should I have asked?

MIST:
[65] I think you've about covered everything.


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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