INSIDE THE HEAD OF MY OSAGE
My Osage is another bard who's been around for some time now. Wrote many things that I love to read several times. Read and feed please. Let's get to know her.
Why did you start writing?
The first fanfiction story I read several years ago was a violent piece that contained a rape of one of the Xena characters and an unhappy ending. I thought maybe I would try to write something that I would want to read. I'm a romantic.
If you had to do it all over, would you be a bard? Would you write?
Yes, I think I would've liked to pursue a writing career. However, there is a lot less pressure when your livelihood doesn't depend on your creativity. That would be hard for me.
Give us a brief day in the life of Denise.
Well, I'm pretty much your average American woman. I enjoy my family, friends, and dogs. I have a day job. And of course, I have that hearty Xena and Gabrielle appetite.
How do you handle stress?
Playing with my dogs, going to movies, listening to favorite music.
Years from now, how would you want to be remembered?
As someone that other people enjoyed being around. I like making people laugh and feel good. It's fun entertaining people.
What is your pet peeve?
Cell phone drivers.
Who is Denise?
I'm the flip side to My OSage. I'm the one who makes mistakes, the one who worries and has to get up in the morning when the alarm goes off. My OSage gets to make everything work out as we all would want it to.
Do fans expect to much from stars?
Yes, I think so. It's been delightful to write about Xena and Gabrielle, but I don't transfer that over to Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor. I like them as fine actors and I'm sure they're very nice people. But I'm more interested in the characters they portray. I know that they're not one in the same.
What are your feelings on censorship?
Wrong, wrong, wrong… I would hate to have someone tell me what I'm allowed to watch or write. Of course, if I don't agree with something, I do have the choice to not watch or read it. That's a fairly simple solution.
If you can cure one disease, what would it be and why?
AIDS. Because it's the global plague of the present and future.
Do you believe in capital punishment?
Yes, I do. I'm a strong victim's rights advocate.
What is the most sensitive part on your body?
Well now, that would be too much information for the reading public. One has just to read any story of mine to find out my opinion. Geeze, how vague was that….
What do you see yourself doing in the future? Future projects?
I'm hoping to continue writing for the Xenaverse. But I'm not ruling out other lesbian romance endeavors.
How do you handle depression?
I try to stop and do one small thing that will make me happy. Even if it only keeps a depression at bay for a while, it's a start.
What was the hardest thing you ever did?
Give my father's eulogy.
What was the easiest?
Falling in love. It's an incredibly easy thing to do. Staying in love…. now that's the part that takes work.
What advice can you give to future writers?
Not to worry about whether someone else likes your writing or not. If you enjoy writing, do it. If it becomes popular or it doesn't, at least you'll be happy with what you've accomplished.
What has the show Xena meant to you?
It's meant literally the world. I've never before connected with so many people who focused on the intense relationship between Xena and Gabrielle. I've been so enriched by the characters of the show, the conventions, the websites, the fanfiction readers, the other tremendously creative people I've met. My stories have traveled so far across the net. And I've have been thrilled with the ride.
How do you feel about its end?
Saddened to see it end. But I would have been content to let our heroines ride off into the sunset. The killing of Xena did not sit well with me. The brutality was more than I could stand to watch.
What are your dreams? Hopes? Wishes?
I often find myself wishing that my world will stay the same. That those I love will stay in my life and that I'll always be able to do the things I want to do. But I know that no amount of hope keeps things constant. The only thing you can depend on is change.
Who do you trust?
What would you say every writer needs?
A view. Where I write, I can look out my window and see a beautiful tree. It helps me think, it distracts me. It allows me to be mindless for a few moments to let ideas come to the surface. You can't concentrate all the time.
Do you believe in prayer?
Not prayers, per se. I believe in conversations with those who are gone. And I give The Powers That Be a piece of my mind every now and then.
How do you feel about subtext?
Aha! Any one who has stumbled across a My OSage story knows that subtext is the maintext for me. From early on in the series, I perceived the relationship between Xena and Gabrielle to be best friends, then life partners, lovers and soulmates. My stories just make the lover aspect of the relationship extremely clear. They have complete intimacy, total dedication to each other.
What makes your best friend your best friend?
Longevity. Being able to put up with me for years.
What's the most romantic thing anyone has done for you?
Once when I was out of town, a lover built a big redwood deck that I'd always wanted. I got home and found a big red ribbon and bow on it. I was so surprised. We spent many wonderful times on that deck.
Who would have thunk redwood decks would be an aphrodisiac?
What theme would you like to tackle in your next work?
I'm almost finished with a story concerning Xena and Gabrielle going to Egypt. This comes from the invitation extended to them by Cleopatra in the episode THE KING OF THIEVES. After that I may take a look at Varia, the new Queen of the Amazons. She interests me.
What was the last thing that made you smile recently?
A heartfelt, and just slightly off key, Happy Birthday song left on my answering machine by friends.
What made you angry?
The ending of Xena's season finale. I felt that Rob Tapert literally gave a slap in the face to the very fans that made the show possible. I was angry enough to do what many online bards did. I did a rewrite of the ending.
You now have absolute authority over the world. Omnipotent in all areas. (Congratulations) What's your first move?
Thank you… you may now rise…. Oh let's see…. Did I mention that there will be a Season 7 of Xena?
Do you have stalkers? If so, how have you handled them?
Stalking is too strong a word for some of the more enthusiastic readers I've encountered. I understand that the very nature of my writing might lead some to feel intimate with the woman lurking behind the stories. I try to keep it light and humorous. So far that's worked well.
How would you categorize your best writing?
I think my best writing are stories that spring fully formed from my brain, like Athena. And I just try to type fast enough to get them down. I'd say that "Another Amazon Princess, Aphrodite's Gift, The Hero Within, and Why Are You Here?" were written that way.
What stupid thing did you do as a teen?
Drinking. Just like any immature teenager trying things they weren't supposed to try.
What, if anything, can stop you writing, if only for a while?
Lack of time. If I can't stop long enough to think about and feel a story, it all comes to a grinding halt.
In your opinion, do you fit your astrological sign?
Oh yes, I'm a Cancer. The moody Moonchild.
What to you is the worst feeling in the world?
The best feeling in the world?
Contentment. The feeling that you get when you look around your world and think "Life is good… I'm alright."
Favorite song of the moment?
Trisha Yearwood's "I Would Have Loved You Anyway."
What is the first thing you think of in the morning?
That first cup of coffee and taking my dogs out for their morning run are first on the agenda. But then I like thinking that the whole day's before me, full of possibilities.
Is there one part of the writing process where you usually get stuck?
If I get stuck, it's usually over trying to find new motivations that drive characters to do what they do.
What have you tried to change that, successful or not?
I've not found that I can change that at will. Usually some event triggers the solution. Meeting some new friends at the Pasadena Convention this past May propelled me through a recent writer's block.
What does gossip mean to you?
Harmless entertainment, unless it's mean-spirited.
Are people easily swayed by 'hearsay'?
I think people are often not interested in finding out if "hearsay" is true or not. They just take it as fact.
What are your feelings about people who use others for personal gain?
Would "Lowlife Pond Scum" be too strong a description?
What is a hypocrite?
Someone who says one thing and does another. Have I mentioned how I feel about the Xena series finale?
What kind of doughnut do you eat?
Glazed, chocolate covered, preferably Krispy Kremes or Tim Horton's. I mean… occasionally… if I even have a donut…. or two…..
Does the best writing flow for you, or does it come from rewrites?
The easiest flows. But occasionally I've gotten some excellent results from really pulling the story out of my subconscious.
Which part of writing do you enjoy most?
I like the beginning, when there are no limits to where I can go. Nothing is set in stone. And one or several ideas still have a chance to be written into a story.
How often do you think about a piece when you're working on it and when do you think about it?
When I'm working on a story, it's always with me. In the back of my mind or crashing through to my consciousness. Daydreaming allows ideas and dialogue to form in my head.
When someone walks into your bedroom, what are the first 5 things that they're likely to notice?
A framed Xena poster over the bed, a huge waterbed, another framed portrait of Xena, a stained glass of two entwined women's symbols, and a floor to ceiling poster of Mae West.
Is that a chakram in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?
Do you feel in control of your writing, or do you get carried away by your inspiration or characters?
It's a battle of both. I can direct the story to a point. But there are times when the characters seem to have a mind of their own.
If you consider yourself to have a muse, what exactly do you mean?
To a small degree, I do. In my stories I get the opportunity to express what I think and how I feel about love, women, courage, loyalty, destiny, life in general. It's a bit like standing on a tiny little soapbox and presenting my vision of the world.
Tell the truth--are you your favorite writer, or in your own top five? Why or why not?
Ok, ok. I like what I write. I know that I write the kind of stories that I would want read. I like interesting stories. But I want the whole array of emotions for the characters: friendship, respect, genuine caring and loving sexual scenarios. And I'm happier if I know I'll enjoy the ending. I tell readers up front not to worry. That no matter what happens in the story, everything will work out as it should.
Would the world be a better place if women ran it or would it be basically the same?
Of course it would be better.
What is your favorite spot where you live now?
We have great parklands here in Northern California. And beaches of the coastline are wonderful. Anywhere I can take my dogs.
What books are you reading now? What about it/them is holding your attention?
I enjoy a good murder mystery. I've just started reading Patricia Cornwell's new book, The Last Precinct She always has a lot of attention to detail in her writing. And it never hurts to have an interesting investigator at the helm.
What would your friends say is your worst trait?
Do you type with your fingers on the 'right' keys?
No. I never learned how to type correctly. I use fairly quick "hunt and peck" technique.
What is the longest any plant in your home has been with you?
I only have one, a spider plant. It's been around for about 10 years. Of course, maybe it's just fossilized and I don't know it.
Do you have any particular bedtime rituals (glass of warm milk, etc.) that you follow every night?
I bid my dogs goodnight in the same way, in the same order every night.
If you find a spider in the bathtub, do you help it out or squish it?
I'm willing to help them out. But I'm less forgiving if those guests return.
What was the last thing you bought that you really didn't need? A new VCR.
Have you ever smoked cigarettes-
As a teenager, I tried it. But then athletics became more important.
Who is your favorite Greek God?
Aphrodite, of course. She's such a kick.
Why do fools fall in love?
Because they may be smarter than the rest of us.
How has online writing affected your life and how you see yourself, your goals?
The writing has given me a forum to connect with readers who appreciate or who didn't have access to the kind of stories I write. The experience has made me more open than I was before.
What skill would you like to have that you don't have now?
I wish cooking came easily. It's too hard for me. So I don't enjoy it and I don't do it.
Who is your real life hero and why?
My father. He had a zest for living each and every day.
What fan fiction story touched you so much that you still remember it vividly?
"Wanting Melosa" by Elaine Sutherland. It was so beautifully written and it brought back Queen Melosa, one of my favorite characters, after the series had killed her off.
If you could only choose a single climate with no variation would you prefer it to be sweltering hot or freezing cold?
The cold. One could always warm up in an interesting variety of ways….
What is the first thing you notice about someone when you meet them?
First their eyes, then their smile.
How is $25 well spent?
Taking someone you care about out to lunch for no reason.
Would you rather live in a sociable suburb, or alone in the deep woods?
I'd like a spot in the woods. But can I have a four-wheel drive truck to trek to town once and a while?
What literary character did you most identify with as a child?
Robin Hood. I liked the secretive heroics.
Welcome to Sherwood, babe
What is the source of your inspiration?
My innate belief that love and passion, friendship and devotion are alive and well, both in life and in fiction.
Where do your ideas come from?
Sometimes episodes spark an idea that I'd like to take in an entirely different direction. Or an idea may come from a memory or sparked by a phrase I hear or a sight I see in life.
What do you find most satisfying about your job?
I work in a medical clinic. I like to think that my patients leave feeling that the experience was better or easier than they had expected.
What are the three things you enjoy most about writing?
The satisfaction of starting with a blank page and making it into something entertaining. It's wonderful having a forum to express the ideas that are flying around in my mind. And I really like the responses of the readers who have liked a story. They're all so different.
What were your favorite book, TV show, and movie when you were a teenager and what do you think of them now?
Book: Rita Mae Brown's Rubyfruit Jungle. It was quite an eye opener at the time. It's a little dated now, but still funny and entertaining. TV: I Love Lucyreruns. They still make me laugh. Movie: A Christmas Carol. I'd watch it every year. The 1951 version is my favorite. But even today, I'll watch just about any version of it.
What's your idea of a perfect world?
One where women and children are not raped, murdered or abducted as they are in the real world today.
How real is your fiction to you?
It's real in the sense that it comes from my mind, my heart, my memories and experiences. Yet, what I can do with the stories is such pure fantasy. It's the best of both worlds.
What Disney character do you most identify with and why?
Dumbo. Those who loved him always believed in him. With that kind of confidence, one can do anything, or at least try. Everyone should have people like that in their lives who make them feel that way.
Who do you read for inspiration?
Karin Kallmaker. She writes lesbian romance. She was one of the first authors I read who depicted healthy, loving, sexual relationships between women.
What's your favorite website?
Well, Whoosh, of course! Are there other ones? I do like Mary D's site and Sapphic Voices. I also spend time on the many Xena sites that provide video, pictures, sound wavs, and by all means, fanfiction.
When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a barrel racer in the rodeo.
Barrel racing at the rodeo
What are the limits in sacrifices for true love?
In fanfiction there are no limits in sacrifices for true love. But in real life it's a lot more complicated. I think most people would like to believe that they'd do or give anything for the person that they love with all their heart. That belief alone should count for something.
If you could interview your favorite author, what questions would you ask?
,a href=" http://hometown.aol.com/__121b_s1q8GkzrodpnY1dnYZcpzwwwbknzOEsI+IDMfFJNj2A= " target="_blank">Karin Kallmaker. I would want to know how her story ideas come to her and how she continues to create characters that are easy to care about.
What makes a great kisser?
Someone who really pays attention to the person they're kissing. Someone who is willing to be both strong and gentle.
What have you learned from your animals?
Persistence and patience.
Does our society glorify violence to the point we have become desensitized to it and the consequences?
Yes, I think so. What used to shock me years ago, doesn't today. And yet, at the same time, there is so much more brutality in the violence depicted today.
What is your motto?
Be happy with yourself today. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is promised to no one.
What do you think we take too seriously as writers?
Sometimes I think we take ourselves too seriously. I'm just a regular person, writing stories online that people seem to appreciate. That's really as big and as small as it gets.
What questions should I have asked?
I think you missed my shoe size… but other than that, I think we covered it all.
Getting the correct shoe size is serious business
MyOsage address: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Beyond Melosa's Shadow"
Melosa is gone, leaving a beautiful, grieving lover behind. When the amazon turns to Xena for solace, and possibly more, Gabrielle realizes she doesn't want Xena to find another lover. And Ephiny hopes for Xena and Gabrielle's happiness. But what about her own unfulfilled desires?
To appease Artemis, Aphrodite agrees to bring Gabrielle and Xena together romantically. But her plans go awry when Xena refuses to co-operate. Aphrodite then decides to give the stubborn Warrior Princess a unique gift.
"That One Afternoon"
Here's your answer to what really happened between Xena and Ephiny during the episode HOOVES AND HARLOTS.
"A Nice, Quiet Evening?"
A nice, quiet evening turns into something very different when a surprise attack catches the bard off guard.
Gabrielle's temper gets the best of her when Xena's flirtations with a local barmaid cause a chain reaction that have both women finding out more about themselves than they could've imagined.
In Amazonia, Gabrielle begins to experience some very vivid dreams that are keeping the Warrior Princess awake. And Xena may have to stay awake until she can understand the meaning of the bard's erotic dreams. Or until she can deal with her own unsuspected feelings.
Just as Gabrielle and Xena decide to explore their relationship beyond friendship, they get a vivid reminder from Xena's past love. Will Xena want to return to her past or finally let it go and embrace her future with Gabrielle?
"Why Are You Here?"
Wouldn't it be great if circumstances allowed Xena and Gabrielle to realize their true feelings for each other from the beginning? Let's see, shall we?
When she switches bodies with Xena, Callisto cleverly issues a challenge that will test the love between the bard and her warrior.
"The Hero Within"
Together for ten years, Xena and Gabrielle enjoy a rich, fulfilling life. Can an evil rogue amazon seeking revenge shatter their utopia?
Sappho has a problem that Aphrodite thinks Xena can solve. But the solution may be unacceptable to Gabrielle. Beware of passionate women on the Isle of Lesbos!
"Another Amazon Princess"
Let's step back again to a time where Gabrielle is a content, competent Amazon Princess and Xena is every amazon's fantasy. Can they can ignore their instant mutual attraction? I think not…..
"The Warden's Wish"
Memories from Shark Island ignite unexpected reactions when Xena and Gabrielle encounter the former warden, Thalassa.
Different ending for Xena.
Thanks to Kamouraskan for the beta.
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 various issues
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)