Whoosh! Issue 74 - December 2002

INSIDE THE HEAD OF BLITZGAL
By Amy Murphy
Content © 2002 held by author
WHOOSH! Edition © 2002 held by WHOOSH
4523 words


Introduction (01)
Blitzgal's Head (02-175)
Blitzgal's Stories
Acknowledgments
Articles
Biography



INSIDE THE HEAD OF BLITZGAL







Introduction



I hate it when people forget the marshmallows!

Alti had a lot of energy too, but where did it get her?


[01] I met this person on one of the lists and liked her energy. After reading a few stories she had written, I realized that she was a darn good bard as well. So let's take some time out and get to know this nice bard.



Blitzgal's Head


Interviewer:
[02] Why did you start writing?

Blitzgal:
[03] I've been writing ever since I can remember - literally. I remember stumbling across my first story when I was about fifteen. It was one page long, and described the effects of a tornado on a small town. I have no idea how young I was when I wrote it ... maybe ten? It's in my blood. I'll always be a writer, no matter what job I happen to be doing at the time.

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

Blitzgal:
[05] If I could go back to my early days of college I would just take the plunge and focus on writing for a career. It's the only thing that makes me truly content.

Interviewer:
[06] Give us a brief day in the life of Blitzgal.

Blitzgal:
[07] Ha, this is a funny one. Okay, I work at a computer company in Wisconsin. So the bulk of my day is taking care of internal customers at my job. But as soon as I come home I plop myself in front of my home computer and either write or play around with graphics. I like to make desktop wallpapers as well! Then I'll try to make some time to watch a little TV or movie, or read one of several books that I'm usually working my way through at any particular time.

Interviewer:
[08] How do you handle stress?

Blitzgal:
[09] I write! It focuses my attention on something other than the daily grind. I get to escape into my characters and lead a different existence. It's great.

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

Blitzgal:
[11] I'd love to finish off as a recognized author. I wouldn't expect to be some huge bestselling sensation or anything; I'd be happy with a small following. I expect to continue writing for a long time, so will probably have a lot of stuff out there, even if it never is published in the "mainstream".

Interviewer:
[12] What is your pet peeve?

Blitzgal:
[13] Rudeness. I wish people would realize that we're here for a short time, why act childish and malicious to each other for no reason?

Interviewer:
[14] Who is Blitzgal?

Blitzgal:
[15] Hmm, I'm just a Xenite from Wisconsin who turned to the 'Net after realizing that no one around her was as obsessed with Xena: Warrior Princess as she was! Thankfully there are plenty of us out there, and I've made lots of connections. Anyway, I'm a twenty-four year old female living in Madison, WI., with my two cats.

Interviewer:
[16] Do fans ask too much from stars?

Blitzgal:
[17] I'd say so. I love hearing news about favorite shows, movies, and music, etc. But when it comes to the personal lives of celebrities I think we should let them have something of their own lives. The characters they portray are one thing; the actor/actress themselves are something quite different. Everyone needs some "me" time.

Interviewer:
[18] If you could cure a disease, which would it be and why?

Blitzgal:
[19] I'd work on dealing with prevention and treatment for heart disease and other related illnesses. My father died of a heart attack when I was young, and I truly wish there was more we could have done for him to prevent it.

Interviewer:
[20] What is the most sensitive part on your body?

Blitzgal:
[21] I'm very ticklish at my middle. Kind of like the Pillsbury Doughboy.

Interviewer:
[22] What do you see yourself doing in the future? Future projects?

Blitzgal:
[23] I've been toying with a fantasy novel for nearly ten years now. My god, has it really been so long?! I have the characters in my head but keep changing my mind about the story itself. I started writing it when I was a teenager. Someday I'd love to finish it.

Interviewer:
[24] How do you handle depression?

Blitzgal:
[25] Well, I'm a woman, so I eat ice cream or chocolate. Seriously though, writing has to be the answer yet again. But for depression I use a journal. Also called my b*tch book. Sorry, is that too harsh a word? That's what I call it though, because I use it to complain.

Interviewer:
[26] What was the hardest thing you ever did?

Blitzgal:
[27] Bury my father. It definitely made me grow up fast, and I can see the impact his death had on the way I look at the world, which in turn affects my writing. It's been almost nine years and it's still hard.

Interviewer:
[28] What was the easiest?

Blitzgal:
[29] Getting through college. I thought it would be so difficult, but school is a breeze next to going to work every day!

Interviewer:
[30] What advice can you give to future writers?

Blitzgal:
[31] Practice, and read a lot. My father started me reading when I was very young, and I continue to do so to this day. It helps your vocabulary, your writing skill, and helps inspire new ideas. So read!

Interviewer:
[32] How did it feel to be published?

Blitzgal:
[33] I've published one science fiction piece online, at an ezine that is no longer in business. But it was the first money I actually made at writing (not that much, don't get too excited). So it was special to me, kind of a confirmation that there were people out there who think I have something to offer the reading world.

Interviewer:
[34] What has the show Xena meant to you?

Blitzgal:
[35] Every Saturday for the past four years (I got hooked during Season Two), I've been sitting in front of the television set, remote in hand, in order to record each new episode of Xena and also edit out the commercials in order to fit as many episodes on each tape as possible. I think that is a pretty good description of my obsession. Xena embodies so many qualities of a true hero - strength, self-assurance, and a strong moral compass. It has been a *great* escape these past several years.

Interviewer:
[36] How do you feel about its end?

Blitzgal:
[37] Sad. I am one of the few people I think who agree with Rob Tapert in the idea that the ending was exactly the direction in which the show had been heading since its beginning. It was a gruesome thing to watch, but striking as well. Anyway, I have all six seasons on tape and have already started rewatching the entire thing from the first episode! I'm on season two right now.

Interviewer:
[38] What are your dreams? Hopes? Wishes?

Blitzgal:
[39] I dream of being able to shuck my nine to five job, go out to the country, and write every damned day. (Sigh) That would be the best job in the universe.

Interviewer:
[40] Who do you trust?

Blitzgal:
[41] My mother. We've grown to be friends after I escaped my teenage years, and I tell her everything.

Interviewer:
[42] What would you say every writer needs?

Blitzgal:
[43] A dictionary and access to a library. I research to excess no matter what I write. Besides, it's always interesting to know some background information about the world you're describing, even if it's one that you made up yourself.

Interviewer:
[44] Do you believe in prayer? Explain.

Blitzgal:
[45] I believe that people need something to believe in. Whether it's spiritually, or even scientifically, I think humans feel adrift unless they have some way of explaining the world around them.

Interviewer:
[46] How do you feel about subtext?

Blitzgal:
[47] I used to be clueless about this. I can't believe I ever overlooked it. But I truly think that Xena and Gabby are life partners in every sense of the word.

Interviewer:
[48] What makes your best friend your best friend?

Blitzgal:
[49] We have no secrets, and can cry together without being ashamed of it.

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

Blitzgal:
[51] Man, this one is hard. You know what, I have no clue how to answer this one! How sad is that?

Interviewer:
[52] What theme would you like to tackle in your next work?

Blitzgal:
[53] Right now I'm working on my first uber piece. It's really interesting, and flowing pretty well. But it will take some time to finish.

Interviewer:
[54] What was the last thing that made you smile recently?

Blitzgal:
[55] A friend of mine sent me a postcard from Seattle which she was vacationing out there. It was a Xena postcard. She knows me so well.

Interviewer:
[56] What made you angry?

Blitzgal:
[57] It was something really petty at work, actually. Someone wanting me to finish their work for them because they didn't feel like doing it. I hate that.

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

Blitzgal:
[59] I'd stop people from hurting each other so needlessly. I'm definitely not a devotee of Ares.

Interviewer:
[60] Do you have stalkers? If so, how have you handled them?

Blitzgal:
[61] I had a guy who followed me around in college, but it was a crush type of thing. He was harmless. Otherwise, I go about pretty much unnoticed.

Interviewer:
[62] How would you categorize your best writing, and give the URLs for them if posted?

Blitzgal:
[63] That's funny, I always like what I'm working on at the time the best. I truly like a short fiction piece called Schism the best though. It's the one that was published online at the now defunct ezine. It's not up anymore. But I'll give you the address for my fan fiction, which will be updated as much as possible. It's http://www.angelfire.com/scifi/blitzgalpapers/fic.html

Interviewer:
[64] What stupid thing did you do as a teen?

Blitzgal:
[65] I was pretty straight laced as a teen. Kind of boring, actually. The most trouble I ever got into was fighting with my mother. Otherwise, throughout high school I was pretty depressed, and spent most of the time by myself. I tried to be the invisible girl, and was good at it. I definitely think that staying in my shell during those years was stupid.

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

Blitzgal:
[67] I'll get frustrated with where a story is going and toss it aside for awhile, sometimes for months at a time. Other times the muse just escapes me, and I have nothing to write anymore.

Interviewer:
[68] In your opinion, do you fit your astrological sign?

Blitzgal:
[69] Definitely. Capricorn is the workhorse of the zodiac, serious and pragmatic with a dry sense of humor. That's me to a T.

Interviewer:
[70] What to you is the worst feeling in the world?

Blitzgal:
[71] Letting someone down after I've made a promise to them.

Interviewer:
[72] The best feeling in the world?

Blitzgal:
[73] Finishing a story. (Sometimes it takes me awhile)

Interviewer:
[74] Favorite song of the moment?

Blitzgal:
[75] (Hanging my head in shame) Survivor by Destiny's Child. But don't tell anyone. :)

Interviewer:
[76] What is the first thing you think of in the morning?

Blitzgal:
[77] My cats ... they're always whining at my bedroom door to let me know it's time to get up.

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

Blitzgal:
[79] The end! I'm so good at beginnings, but then get stuck and have to wait to figure out where the story is going. I start with characters rather than plotlines and so sometimes this really makes things slow. Not much I can do to change it other than just write as much as I can.

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

Blitzgal:
[81] First draft always sucks. That's a hard and fast rule for me. I repeat words ad nauseum, and always have to go through again and figure out what needs changing. I'll rewrite four or five times before letting something go, and even then not be completely satisfied.

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

Blitzgal:
[83] Working my brain around what's going to happen. I play scenes visually in my head before I write them down.

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

Blitzgal:
[85] Constantly. At work, in the shower, watching television. I'll get a piece of dialogue in my head and have to write it down before it escapes me.

Interviewer:
[86] When someone walks into your bedroom, what are the first five things that they're likely to notice?

Blitzgal:
[87] My computer right inside the doorway, the ugly loveseat I sit in to read, piles of books everywhere, posters of Xena on every wall, and the fact that my bed is never made.

Interviewer:
[88] Do you feel in control of your writing, or are you carried away by your inspiration or characters?

Blitzgal:
[89] Oh, my characters are very much alive. They do whatever they want. But I just go with the flow. The one that I've known for ten years is almost like a voice in my head. Think I'm crazy now?

Interviewer:
[90] If you consider yourself to have a muse, what exactly do you mean?

Blitzgal:
[91] Sometimes the creative juices are flowing, and work is good, but sometimes it's just not there. No matter how hard you force it, you can't write a decent sentence.

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

Blitzgal:
[93] No way. I just tell stories. Great writers are Shakespeare, the Brontes, Dickens - and Stephen King. Had to throw him in there, he's my favorite. I'm just the lady who tells stories around the campfire and hopes no one falls asleep.

Interviewer:
[94] Would the world be a better place if women ran it or would it be the same?

Blitzgal:
[95] Absolute power corrupts absolutely. I totally believe that.

Interviewer:
[96] What is your favorite spot where you live now?

Blitzgal:
[97] I still live in the first apartment I ever had, and I'm comfortable here.

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

Blitzgal:
[99] Tropical Storm by Missy Good, Homicide by David Simon, and other miscellaneous works. I just started reading fan fiction actually, and am totally enamored by Dar and Kerry. They are so cool. http://www.merwolf.com/ Otherwise I love true crime stuff.

Interviewer:
[100] What would your friends say is your worst trait?

Blitzgal:
[101] I tell jokes at inappropriate times, and my humor can be mean. Capricorn trait!

Interviewer:
[102] Do you type with your fingers on the right keys?

Blitzgal:
[103] Oh yeah. At my last test I scored 66 WPM.

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

Blitzgal:
[105] I got rid of all my plants when I got my first cat. He kept trying to eat them. So, less than a year.

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

Blitzgal:
[107] Close all the windows, get a drink, brush my teeth, clean out the cat litter. Like clockwork.

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

Blitzgal:
[109] If an open window is available, I let it out. Otherwise if it's not bothering me I just let it hang out where it wants to and eat all the bugs.

Interviewer:
[110] What was the last thing you bought that you really didn't need?

Blitzgal:
[111] I shop for DVDs, books, and video games like crazy. I think the last four hundred dollars at Best Buy was money I didn't "need" to spend.

Interviewer:
[112] Have you ever smoked cigarettes?

Blitzgal:
[113] Nope. My dad did, and I never liked them.

Interviewer:
[114] Who is your favorite Greek God?

Blitzgal:
[115] Diana (Artemis). I love the story of the hunter she turns into a stag.

Interviewer:
[116] Why do fools fall in love?

Blitzgal:
[117] Oh, who can explain love? We've been trying to for centuries, I'm not going to start now.

Interviewer:
[118] Do you keep a diary and if so what do you call it? If so, what effect has it had on your writing?

Blitzgal:
[119] My diary is called my b*tch book. I write nasty things in it that I don't dare say out loud to other people.

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

Blitzgal:
[121] Well, we're definitely moving in this direction. I think more and more "mainstream" authors will use the web. It's cheaper, and also allows any writer to have an avenue.

Interviewer:
[122] What skill would you like to have that you don't have now?

Blitzgal:
[123] I'd like to be physically stronger. I'm a wimp.

Interviewer:
[124] Who is your real life hero and why?

Blitzgal:
[125] Real life heroes are all around us. I'm constantly amazed at the way everyday people will jump in to help someone if they see something wrong happening. Makes me feel stronger about the human race in general.

Interviewer:
[126] What fan fiction story touched you so much that you still remember it vividly?

Blitzgal:
[127] I once read a story about Gabrielle meeting Callisto as she walked along a path one day. Callisto was trying to torment her but Gabrielle let her know that Xena had died, and since Callisto was immortal she'd never be able to see her again. That was such an interesting story.

Interviewer:
[128] If you could only choose a single climate with no variation would you prefer it to be sweltering hot or freezing cold?

Blitzgal:
[129] Freezing cold any day. You can add as many layers as you want, but can only take so many of them off.

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

Blitzgal:
[131] The way they greet me. If they come across with attitude right away, it makes me wonder how they look at the world.

Interviewer:
[132] Have you ever done something that accidentally caused something bad to happen to someone?

Blitzgal:
[133] Nope.

Interviewer:
[134] How is $25 well spent?

Blitzgal:
[135] Dinner and a movie with a good friend.

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

Blitzgal:
[137] In the woods!

Interviewer:
[138] What literary character did you most identify with as a child?

Blitzgal:
[139] Ramona, by Beverly Cleary. She was a little hellion just like me.

Interviewer:
[140] What is the source of your inspiration?

Blitzgal:
[141] I get inspired by impressive music, or a great scene in a movie or television. Sometimes I'll see something in real life that gives me an idea too, or dream a story.

Interviewer:
[142] Where do your ideas come from?

Blitzgal:
[143] Many my stories evolved from dreams that I've had.

Interviewer:
[144] What do you find most satisfying about your job?

Blitzgal:
[145] Being on the run. I don't sit at a desk at my job, so I can come home and sit at the computer and not get a stiff neck.

Interviewer:
[146] What are the three things you enjoy most about writing?

Blitzgal:
[147] Freedom to create new worlds, escaping into other people's lives for a bit (even if they're not real), and entertaining people.

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

Blitzgal:
[149] Favorite book was The Stand by Stephen King. Still is, I think. My favorite television series would have to be 21 Jump Street (Hey, I was a teenage girl - Johnny Depp was hot) and my favorite movie was Beaches. Umm, 21 Jump Street would probably make me laugh now, but Beaches still makes me cry.

Interviewer:
[150] What's your idea of a perfect world?

Blitzgal:
[151] Everyone has enough to eat, and no one wastes their time hurting other people.

Interviewer:
[152] How real is your fiction to you?

Blitzgal:
[153] I live with it every day, but have a clear grasp of reality. I think deep down I know they are all just stories.

Interviewer:
[154] What Disney character do you most identify with and why?

Blitzgal:
[155] Mickey Mouse. He was always funny but modest at the same time.

Interviewer:
[156] What's your favorite website?

Blitzgal:
[157] Yahoo Groups, just because I'm on so many mailing lists.

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

Blitzgal:
[159] I wanted to be a cop. Until I grew up and realized I'm too much of a wimp to handle it.

Interviewer:
[160] What are the limits in sacrifices for true love?

Blitzgal:
[161] The law. People use "true love" as an excuse to do stupid things. Don't become a criminal for anyone else.

Interviewer:
[162] If you could interview your favorite author, what questions would you ask? And, WHY?

Blitzgal:
[163] I would interview Stephen King, because Shakespeare is dead. I doubt I'd ask him anything that he hasn't been asked a million times before. I'd love to know where he gets his characters though. They are very real.

Interviewer:
[164] What makes a great kisser?

Blitzgal:
[165] Ha! This is just like writing. Practice.

Interviewer:
[166] What have you learned from your animals?

Blitzgal:
[167] Tolerance. You can't deal with cat puke on your carpeting right after you've had it cleaned without learning to control your anger. And unconditional love. They don't ask for much, but they give everything in return.

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

Blitzgal:
[169] Oh, yeah. Violence has its purpose, but we almost never show a person's personal responsibility for his or her own actions.

Interviewer:
[170] What is your motto?

Blitzgal:
[171] Live and let live.

Interviewer:
[172] What do you think we take too seriously as writers?

Blitzgal:
[173] Whether or not someone is in the "mainstream". I think online authors are still looked down on, as are people who write because they have to, but don't make money doing it.

Interviewer:
[174] What questions should I have asked? Then answer them.

Blitzgal:
[175] Wow, you were thorough. I still have to go through and make sure I answered them all! It was fun though, thanks so much for inviting me to do this.



Blitzgal's Stories

Blitzgal's e-mail address: xencall@yahoo.com

Convergence--An original virtual series starring characters played by Claudia Black and Marton Csokas can be found at http://www.womenwhoroar.com/convsindex.html

Blitzgal's fiction can be found at: http://blitzfic.tripod.com

Blitzgal's Fiction:
Shapeshifter
Xena and Gabrielle discover an interesting creature with very familiar ties as they travel through a haunted forest. Rated general for all audiences.

Big Top Xena
Xena and Gabrielle go to the circus! Of course, violence and mayhem ensues. Rated general for all audiences.

Xena: Warrior Bacchae (Buffy Crossover Fiction)
Unfinished Xena/Buffy crossover fiction in two parts. Xena and Gabrielle, both Bacchae after not defeating Bacchus back in Girls Just Want to Have Fun, meet up with Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the present just as she is busy dealing with Glory and her new sister.

Schism (My only published work-not Xena related however):
Imagine a future where humans as we know them are forced to live confined, and strange creatures rule the outside world.

Thousand Lights, Vigilant
Will be on my website ASAP.



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, 61-66,68-74





Biography

a woman of mystery Amy Murphy
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 has 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 (24/124)
Favorite line: "I Have Many Skills" Various episodes
First episode seen: TITANS (07/107)
Least favorite episode: LYRE, LYRE HEARTS ON FIRE (100/510)

 

 

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