Part Two -- Stories 21-40
Intro / 1-20 / 21-40 / 41-60 / Others
21. Baby Makes Three 
     This one gave me a hell of a hard time getting started. I almost gave up on it. But I'm glad I didn't, because it turned out really fun once I got an angle on it. 
     I'd had a scene sitting around ever since I finished Ever After, in which Demona goes to the OB-GYN for a checkup, and I'd joked with some people about what labor would be like for MacBeth. But every time I tried to turn it into a story, I'd get stuck. 
     And then I decided to cross over with ER. At once, everything fell into place and from then on it was easy as could be. Poor Carter having to deal with an apparently injured-then-healed MacBeth, Doug Ross checking out the Weird Sisters ... 
     Needing a reason to get them sent to the ER in the first place, I introduced Bryce Canmore, and hot on his heels was Orpheus Bluestone. Until I wrote this one, I had no idea Matt and Eurydice were going to have a kid. Bryce's remark about his father killing Orph's father was one of those things that just happens and spawns its own storyline. 
     Title: It was almost "Here Comes Demona With a Baby Carriage" but that was too long, so I just chose something a little more manageable. 
     Memorable Line: Never before in history had a man known just what it was to give birth. 

22. Mother's Day 
     Another of my favorites. I had not written much with Fox, but the idea of exploring more of the relationship between her and her mother was appealing (and partly triggered by a mailing-list discussion about the fates of New Yorkers during Oberon's sleep spell). 
     Then some things occurred to me -- Demona and Titania had quite a lot in common, and had probably met before back in the time of Shakespeare (I just know I am eventually going to have to write something set in Elizabethan England). Their conversation over brunch was one I greatly enjoyed. 
     It was time for Jericho to make his debut. Even then, I never expected he would turn out quite so bad. I knew Demona was going to corrupt him, turn him against humanity the way she failed to do with Goliath and Angela, but I had no idea he would get that bad! Honest! 
     In an RPG a few years back, I did a mean thing to the players and trapped them in the fairy realm for what they thought was a week. When they emerged, twenty years had passed in the outside world, and their own children had grown up. One of the NPCs, a woman of odd psyche named Raven (someday, there will be fantasy novels starring her), found herself falling in love with her own son, Shade. 
     So that probably set the groundwork for the direction the Demona and Jericho story developed. Given the gargoyle way of looking at things, they weren't inclined to see each other as mother and son -- Demona's attitude on the whole subject seems more possessive than parental anyway, even in her dealings with Angela -- and were of the same apparent age. Once Demona noticed that Jericho, who was mateless and none too pleased about it, found her attractive, she certainly wouldn't be above using that to help her attain her goal of absolute loyalty. 
     Title: another case of the obvious. 
     Memorable line: "It is my intention to get ... what do they call it? ... shitfaced." "To the Dragon with Goliath and what he will or won't allow!" 

23. Whirlwind 
     I am at heart a matchmaker, and nothing tickles me more than bringing characters together. It was time to mess with Beth Maza's life. And there was never a question in my mind who the perfect candidate was. It made for sort of the flip side of the Jericho thing -- Coyote isn't related to Beth, but looks just like a younger version of her father, which adds a forbidden spice. 
     Speaking of spices, I was planning to introduce the three identical humans with links to the Weird Sisters in this one, and I was going to call them Pepper, Ginger, and Saffron. But then I came to my senses, realizing they'd be the Spice Girls and I would probably barf all over my keyboard. I had prophesied the "Archmage's curse" in Mother's Day when I introduced Gabriel's three mates and it was on my mind nagging me because it was one of those things that wrote itself and I had no clue where it was going to lead. 
     Anyway, I thought better of it, thankfully, and just focused on Beth and Coyote. Wild, carefree outdoor sex with a hint of Native American mythos (of which, admittedly, I know next to nothing). 
     Title: was originally going to be "Mark of the Coyote," to go along with Mark of the Panther and to refer to Beth's cute little tattoo. But I didn't like it. So I wracked my poor overheated excuse for a brain until I came up with Whirlwind. A whirlwind romance, a guy who travels via dust devil ... it worked for me. 
     Memorable line: "My, my, Maza, look what you've got." 

24. Lost and Found 
     I used to not like stories that didn't involve the main clan or characters. I avoided reading fanfic that was only based on Gargoyles but had whole other clans in whole other places with little or no connection to the actual show. Call me a snob, I know, I know. 
     So it kinda troubled me when I would get requests from readers for "more about Aiden," for instance, or other of my own characters. 
     But I finally decided I would take a stab at writing a story set mostly completely apart from the clan yet still connected to it. I watched the Avalon episodes and, as I'd already had Mary and Finella wash up near Castle Wyvern in the 1970's, got to wondering what would happen if they'd had a stowaway in the 
form of a misplaced egg. An egg which would, thanks to the peculiarities of Avalon time, only be of an age equivalent to a human pre-teen. 
     It was right around here that Christi Smith-Hayden introduced her Little Blessings, and got me thinking about hatchlings and what it would be like trying to raise a gargoyle on your own. 
     I loved writing about Angus, the way he wailed with a piece of shell still pasted to his nose, the way he'd lay on the floor to drink milk from an old hot water bottle. And, like every new parent can attest, the idea of a kid that sleeps through, solid as a rock, for hours on end, is a veritable dream! 
     This one is a sad story but also weirdly uplifting, at least it is for me. Here's this woman, Eihblin Driscoll, who has lost everything. Her husband, her son, her brother. She's alone in the world with no one to love, no one to care for. And then she finds an egg, which fills that emptiness. 
     Title: again fairly obvious; his egg had been lost and now was found, but also Eibhlin's purpose and lease on life. 
     Memorable line: She could see the tiny wings sticking up over the edge of the nestlike shark fins as the creature moved and struggled. 

25. Love Machine 
     This is the second-tackiest thing I've ever written, but 
this one, I'm also insanely proud of. 
     In my circle of acquaintances ... and this is gonna come 
as a huge shock to you all, I'm sure ... I am the dirty-minded 
wicked one. On one occasion, the gang decided to buy an 
inflatable sheep as a gag gift for a friend, and I was the only 
one who dared go into the shop (Lover's Package; and as it 
happened, it wasn't a matter of me having to dare to go ... 
hell, I had a punch card!). 
     I was also at one time going to become a home-lingerie- 
party saleswoman. Like Tupperware, only lots more fun, going 
around to parties selling naughty nighties, potions & lotions, sex 
toys, etc. But then I got pregnant (not as a direct result, might I 
add) and since I had evening sickness instead of morning 
sickness, it kind of took the fun out of going to such parties. Not 
to mention that it would send a weird message to the 
customers ... 
     Anyway, therefore, when it came time to write the story 
of Goliath and Elisa's bachelor/ette parties, it was no contest at 
all. In fact, much of Love Machine is autobiographical -- Club 
Victoria, with drag queens followed by strippers, is based on a 
place in Portland where my friends took me for my 
     Yes, all of the merchandise Fox shows to Xanatos really 
does exist. No, I do not own all of it. No, I won't tell which ones. 
    Yes, there are places that make cakes like that: the one here 
in Seattle is called "The Erotic Bakery" and the things they can 
do with marzipan would curl your hair (in my defense, I could 
say that I only go there because it's the only place in town to 
buy those "Darwin fish," but I doubt such a statement would be 
believed ...) 
     I am sometimes asked if I have ever gone too far in 
fanfic. And I have to say yes. The end of this story is too much. 
When Jackal's extendo-thingie wraps around Fox's neck ... too 
     I really disliked Jackal and Hyena after Upgrade. I 
thought they became way too comic-booky, too far removed 
from realistic (I thought about writing a naughty Inspector 
Gadget crossover but since I've never watched that one, I 
doubted I could manage). But anyway, that's why I presented 
Jackal in the most ludicrous possible light. 
     This gave me the chance to introduce Godiva (inspired 
in a roundabout way by Galatea from my third-ever fanfic, the 
ST:TNG one called "Fully Functional"), and to do fun things such 
as get Owen plastered and basically show everybody kicking 
off their shoes and having a good time. It was written 
extremely fast. Like Kittens, this one just wrote itself, and was a 
smooth, delightful ride all the way through. 
     Some brave souls have asked me what the rest of the 
joke is, the one that we only hear the punchline, "all I got was 
hand lotion." It is a real joke, so feel free to e-mail me if you 
want it in its full gross glory ; ) 
     Title: this one was a pain in the butt! I couldn't come up 
with anything I liked. I was going to just call it "His and Hers," 
because it was about his party and hers. But I hated it. The 
story was almost done and still had no title. Then I was saved 
by the radio.  Saturday Night Fever, Star 101.5. I walked into 
work that night, got shift report and did my paperwork, and sat 
down to try and write while in the lobby, the residents were 
gettin' down to the disco music. And then ... the song began, that 
five-beat followed by "I'm just a love machine, and I don't work 
for nobody but you ..." and I leaped up and screamed in joy! 
     Memorable line: All of them ...  

26. The Wedding 
     Despite horrible temptation, I decided to be nice to 
Goliath and Elisa, and let them have a perfect wedding. No 
interruptions, no laser fire, no attacks, just a sweet and 
wonderful ceremony. 
     And I got to use what I think is one of my best opening 
lines ever: "Aunt Agnes, this is Goliath." That line is like 
dropping a cherry bomb in an outhouse ... you just hold your 
breath and wait for the explosion. But then, to have further fun, 
I didn't bring on the explosion the way everyone expected. 
Rather than go nuclear, Aunt Agnes starts getting on Goliath's 
case about not being gainfully employed. I love it! 
     Having been so nice to Goliath and Elisa all through the 
wedding, then I got mean and gave them their first almost-spat, 
their guilt-and-longing disagreement about children. This was to 
make it have even more impact when they meet Elektra. 
Instead of seeing her as an abomination, she represents their 
hope made real. 
     Goliath's speech took a long time and choked me up. 
He's normally so undemonstrative that to have him do that, 
express his feelings in front of everyone, was a big step. 
     The goblet they use -- we have one, a gift from Tim's 
parents, two that fit together to make one. It was so neat that I 
had to include it. 
     Title: again, there was never a question of what to call it. 
     Memorable line: "Does changing diapers cross your eyes, mister Goliath?" and His tuxedo exploded off of him in shreds ... 

27. Fallen Angels 
     I am not at all in touch with popular music. I listen to 
classical, with occasional forays into the mid to late 1980's. 
Billy Joel, Hall & Oates, Stray Cats, Duran Duran ... those are my 
bands. I'm officially an old fart because I hear music nowadays 
and don't get it, don't see what "kids today" see in it. 
     So, when I made Scarlet Angel, I knew they were 
destined to be exceedingly minor players in my universe. Yet, 
much to my surprise, although they'd only appeared in one 
story and been mentioned in a few others, they had gotten 
something of a following. People were sending me lyrics. 
Asking me if they sounded more like (some band I'd never 
heard of) or (some other band I'd never heard of). 
     It was weird. And it made me feel bad, because here's 
all these people liking them, when all along I'd planned to kill 
them off. 
     Did I let that stop me? Nope. 
     I am, as I've said before, a wuss about killing characters. 
I didn't want to give Julianna, Aquarius, and the others the "Vito 
treatment." Not just quick-boom-over. I wanted to make Ebon 
suffer, and I wanted to show just how much Jericho had been 
twisted by Demona's expert psychological manipulation. 
     This story mostly, though, came about because I'd gotten 
this idea in my head about Demona seducing a Quarryman, 
then changing halfway through the act. Like many ideas, it 
wasn't going to die out on its own. I had to write it. But how to 
make it fit? That's how I came up with the memory-drug angle, 
and Gustav Sevarius (who is one of my all-time favorite 
     Now, it stands to reason that the clones were given 
those L.A. area names was because that's where Disney is 
located. But why would Demona choose those names? 
Unless she'd spent some time there. Sigh -- there's another story 
I'll have to write someday. At the time, I was reading "They 
Thirst," by Robert McCammon (one of the best vampire novels 
ever) and it is set in L.A. so I borrowed its brooding horror- 
film castle. 
     By this point, I was realizing that Jericho was much 
more than I'd bargained for. His ... "solo scene," shall we say ... 
proved that. And proved how Demona was getting caught in 
her own game. 
     He had totally taken on a life of his own, and between 
him and Gustav, I had more villains than I knew what to do 
with (and here I was planning to have Thailog go bad again ... I 
wound up having him focus his revenge solely on Demona). 
     Title: multiple meaning. It chronicles Jericho's fall from 
grace (his first deliberate murders and other assorted sins and 
evils). It is also about Demona, how far will she fall to achieve 
her ends? And of course Scarlet Angel, who now number 
among the fallen ... 
     Memorable line: What would he do, she wondered, if he could see her like this? Would he flee from her in shame, or fall upon her with a frenzied lust? 
     Additional silliness: Elaine Kristen is back! I used to play 
the occasional superhero RPG, and she was the annoying nosy 

28. Lead Me Not ... 
     The Thanksgiving waterfight is one of my favorite 
scenes (and even includes a none-too-subtle plug for my own 
book <g>). 
     I had been accused of having all my female characters 
be sexually assertive and multi-orgasmic. To which I replied 
with great blinking innocent eyes, "Are you telling me that's 
not the way it is for everyone?" 
     But it wasn't an inaccurate point, and certainly one that I 
had to take into consideration when it came time for Aiden and 
Lex to go all the way. Because if there is any character who is 
the antithesis of sexually assertive and multi-orgasmic, it's gotta 
be Aiden. This time, I had to craft a scene that was fraught with 
adolescent awkwardness, haste, guilt, and fear of being caught. 
     This story took a lot more planning than I usually do, 
because instead of only involving a few characters, I had 
everybody running around doing stuff. For as long as it is, it 
wound up surprisingly fast-paced and I'm pleased with my 
action scenes (something that usually gives me trouble). 
     I got to have a blast with Birdie, from her brazen visit to 
the men's room to her theft of Elisa's car to her Speedy 
Gonzales impression -- in fact, it was here that Birdie's talent for 
mimicry first showed up. This also marked the first appearance 
of 23rd Precinct studmuffin Rick Alvarez (who is based on a 
character Tim played in my last game, Rick Avery; I have 
written quite a few stories about Rick and his previous 
incarnation, Sir Richard). And I introduced Broadway to 
Elektra. Whew. I was busy. 
     All that and killer unicorns too. 
     Title: originally, this was to be called "Dark Side," and 
Demona was to try and recruit Aiden with promises of power, 
ya know, "come over to the dark side, Aiden." But I just couldn't 
do it. Aiden is too damn nice! She didn't have a dark side! 
The more I wrote, the less the title fit. Then I got to the part 
where Demona supposedly rescues Aiden from her 
kidnappers, and it reminded me of how she tried the same 
thing on Brooklyn. So I recycled the same dialogue from that 
episode, and used the title "Lead Me Not ..." because the rest of 
the quote is " ... into temptation," which was the name of the 
episode ; ) 
     Memorable line: "What bees these mortals fool." and "Uh ... what's this part about a 'chaste vessel'?" 

29. Romances 
     A bunch of little ideas were cluttering my head, so I 
found a common thread, tied them all together, and released 
them as a story in three sections. 
     The first, Girl Talk, came about because I'd gotten some 
pleas from readers for more Brooklyn. When's Brooklyn going 
to get lucky? Which is something I'd been meaning to do, but 
hadn't come up with any good ideas (though there was one 
about Angela seducing him while he's in the driving simulator; I 
don't know if that one will ever happen, maybe, who knows? 
<g>). I get tired of writing the same kind of sex over and over, so 
I am always trying to experiment with different positions and 
acts. And I've always felt that those little talons up on top of 
their wings can be used for something ... 
     The second, Fairy Favours, continued this theme of 
experimentation -- the question had been raised as to whether 
or not the Third Race viewed/had sex the same way as 
mortals. I wanted to get Puck's point of view, especially as until 
Aiden cast her spell, both Puck and Owen were inexperienced. 
It was also a chance to take a look into Owen and Cordelia's 
private life. 
     The last section, First Date , had to be done because I'd 
let Preston Vogel and Robyn Canmore meet at Goliath and 
Elisa's wedding and figured they better go out before too long. I 
didn't have a very good feel for either character, though, and 
don't really like my finished product. Though I did like the 
exchange between Robyn and her brother John, and the 
appearance of Bryce's mother Brianna. 
     Title: half the people who sent feedback about this one 
made some remark about a certain Kathleen Turner / Michael 
Douglas movie ; ) 
     Memorable line: "Owen? You might want to change clothes first. There's a peanut-butter clawprint on your --" 

30. Playing God 
     Ever get in a mood where you feel like making 
     Ever try to take the most implausible thing you can 
think of and make it work? 
     Those two factors made this story. I took the utterly 
absurd idea of bringing the computerized mind of Anton 
Sevarius (saved on disk ever since Kittens) and having him 
possess a robotic exotic dancer. It should not have worked. 
Sevarius as Godiva? Everyone I told about it before I released it 
thought I'd lost my last marble. Yet, somehow, perhaps as 
testimony to my phenomenal skill <g>, it worked just dandy! 
     With Sevarius, who has the biggest God complex I've 
ever seen, I always seem to wax Biblical (as in Sins of the 
Father). Not easy, given that I know so little about it. I had to 
struggle quite a bit to make that pillar of salt business come off 
     Side note -- Shari later told me that there actually is a 
saltwater purification plant, how about that? And here I thought 
I was just making it up so I would have some excuse to get that 
salty goopy residue! 
     I feel bad about Claw ... poor guy has been in a coma 
ever since Jericho slammed his head into the concrete. And 
here I was trying to show a nicer side of Jericho by having him 
spare Maggie and the kids, too ... I was trying to set up for his 
eventual reaction to Elisa's pregnancy, but it would eventually 
not work out exactly as I'd planned (this was back when I 
thought Jericho might still be redeemable, silly me!) 
     The opening scene with Sevarius regaining his form of 
consciousness owes a lot to a John Saul book, Shadows. 
     Title: Yep, ol' Anton's playing God again, and also 
playing God-iva ; ) 
     Memorable lines: Fang's -- "Helloooo, Nurse!," and "Do I get 
fries with that shake?", and Gustav's -- "You look like Succubus 
Barbie," and "The words for which you are searching, young 
Jericho, are homina-homina-homina." 

31. On the Rocks 
     What's the deal with this one? Why was it removed? 
Who is Spider Robinson, and why did he make you take it 
     These are some of the most frequent questions I get. So 
here is the deal: 
     Spider Robinson is an author who has, among many 
other works, written a fabulously funny series of books and 
short stories revolving around a bar called Callahan's Place. His 
motto is that shared pain is lessened, shared joy increased, and 
he comes up with some of the most appalling puns anyone has 
ever or will ever read. In his bar, there have been aliens, time 
travelers, transvestites, talking dogs, telepaths, immortals, a 
refugee from a mirror universe, and a bunch of good people 
who take it all in stride. 
     I set myself to a challenge -- could I write a crossover 
that would do justice to the flavor and feel of Spider's stories? 
What would happen if I dropped a gargoyle (literally; leaving a 
hole in the roof) into the bar? It was convenient enough, 
because the bar is located in New York anyway. 
    I decided to give it a try. With the help of a book called 
"Too Much Saxon Violence," and after reading all of the 
Callahan's books back to back, I put the recovering-amnesiac 
Ebon/Thailog smack in the middle of things. 
     It turned out fairly well, I thought, and I got some 
positive feedback from people who were familiar with Spider's 
work (and inspired quite a few who weren't to go out and buy 
his books <g>). But it turned out that someone who knew 
someone who knew Spider read my story, and word got 
around, and as Spider has a no-tolerance policy of fanfic, he 
requested that I remove it. Nothing personal against me or my 
writing; he hadn't read it or anything like that; it was just his 
     Title: a pun, of course, relating to drinks and to 
     Memorable lines: lots of the puns in here are real groaners, 
but I can only take credit for the rock ones and the final one. 

32. Flashie Thing 
     Guess which movie I'd seen recently? ; ) 
     In previous stories, I had let fall a few hints about Matt 
Bluestone's family. There was a mystery around his father's 
death, something that had no doubt contributed to Matt's interest 
in conspiracies and cover-ups (I'm big on motivation; figuring 
out why someone does what they do or why they turn out a 
certain way). 
     This was one of those nice and tidy occasions when a 
problem created itself and then solved itself. I wanted Matt to 
be immune to the effect of the neuralyzer, and I wanted a good 
reason why his father had joined the MIB. Suppose Dad, like 
Agent K, had seen something? But they couldn't just erase him; 
it was a case of kill or recruit. Like with Aiden's magic, though, I 
wanted to have at least a halfway sensible explanation for his 
immunity. "He just is," didn't do it. 
     Luckily, I had Gustav Sevarius, the memory and mind 
control expert! I also got to sneak in a few more Stephen King 
references, particularly from Firestarter -- Dr. Wanless and the 
Shop, the setting in Vermont. 
     And all of a sudden, here's Rick Alvarez, insisting on 
being more than just an eye-pleasing background character! 
Ooh, the letters I got over him making flirty at Elisa! How dare I 
even hint at the possibility of maybe there being a thought 
along the lines of giving them that sort of complication! 
     I have not done much at all with Bronx; it was nice to 
get him out of the castle for a change. 
     Title: at first look, that seems like a hell of a weird 
choice, but the moment the MIB come into play, it is of course 
totally self-explanatory. 
     Memorable lines:  
     Maria Chavez steepled her fingers beneath her chin. "All right, what does he think it is this time? The Rosicrucians? Elvis? Jim Morrison? The six thousand Kennedy assassins?" 
    Elisa  couldn't quite meet her boss' gaze. "Aliens." 

33. Broadway Goes to Avalon 
     I thought it might be fun to do a little world tour of my 
own. Elektra was hoping that Avalon would send her to find 
Jericho, but capricious isle that it is, it had a few other things in 
mind for her first. 
     Elektra owes much of her development to Stephen 
Sobotka. He, intrigued, asked to include her in his own fanfic 
universe, and showed me just what potential she had. She is a 
fascinating character, trying to come to terms with her lineage 
and fearful that others will scorn her (in a way, she is the 
opposite of my fantasy heroine Cat Sabledrake, who is a 
human/elven crossbreed but doesn't try to hide it and is much 
more in-your-face). 
     I knew that before Elektra could fully accept herself, 
she had to share the truth with her clan, and her half-sister 
Princess Katherine. Their reactions would shape how she felt, 
mattering more to her than the enthusiastic acceptance she 
found with Goliath's clan because they were still very new to 
     There is something inside us that wants to prove 
ourselves to the people we grew up with. No matter how 
popular and successful someone might be, unless it matters to 
the ones who shaped our self-image while we were young, it 
leaves us with a twinge of never quite being good enough.  
     Look at the interactions between David and Petros 
Xanatos, for example. Here's D.X., one of the richest and most 
powerful men in the world, but he still feels a need to prove 
and justify himself in front of his father. 
     Anyone who's ever gone back to their hometown, class 
reunion, or family event determined to "show them" knows just 
what I'm talking about here. So does anyone still haunted by 
the memories of childhood taunting and bullying. 
     I was also eager to have the chance to get to know the 
Avalon Clan a little better, and stir up some dissent among 
them. Eventually, I know Tourmaline is going to persuade some 
of her fellow dissidents to leave Avalon, and I can't yet even 
begin to imagine how well she, being sort of Jericho's ex- 
girlfriend, is going to get along with Demona ; ) 
     Title: derived, of course, from the TGC episode 
Broadway Goes to Hollywood; and another of those cases 
where that was the title all along and I never had to think about 
     Memorable line: "At least if she chose a mate, she could breed ... she's no barren mule!" 

34. The Wreck of the Margot  
     I finally figured out who the humans were that went 
along with the Weird Sisters and Gabriel's mates. I've always 
responded strongly to books in which the "in crowd" of rich 
snobs act all haughty on the outcasts -- comes from being a 
lifelong outcast, not that there were any rich snobs where I 
grew up. The idea of the superficial, painfully shallow society 
brats gave me Tiffy, Muffy, and Babs. 
     Muffy, btw, is the nickname of warrior babe 
extraordinaire Maureen Birnbaum; if you have not read any of 
George Alec Effinge 's stories, I urge you to do so because they are a laugh-til-you-pee riot. As for what my Muffy's real name is, I 
don't think I've mentioned and I don't think I've decided. 
     Christi Smith-Hayden created Chas, and the moment I 
first read about him, I knew he was exactly right. I'd never 
given any thought to the rest of Birdie's family, just that her 
aunt was Margot. But Chas, preppy-boy Chas who gets along 
with and is bemused by his wild sister, was perfect. 
     Like in Playing God, this was a case where I wanted to 
do something absurd and make it work. I wanted Broadway 
and Elektra to have a third party on the boat for a variety of 
reasons -- as a chaperone <g>, as an outside voice through which 
I could show their relationship, and to have a human there to 
do the daytime watch. I wanted the absolute last person 
anyone would expect, and to make that person turn out 
halfway heroic and decent. I chose one of the least-explored 
characters from the show, Brendan. 
     Now, because I wanted Birdie and Margot to be blood 
relatives, yet they had the same last name, that meant Margot 
had to keep Yale as her maiden name. So Brendan needed a 
snooty-snotty-old-money name of his own. Hence Vandermere. 
     I loved slipping in a few cameos from diverse and 
oddball sources -- Frasier, Rugrats, etc. (which reminds me, I 
know that a few writers were discussing doing Rugrats 
crossovers; could you just see Angelica and Alexander 
     Poor Brendan. Umpteen cars wrecked by gargoyle 
activity. I thought it would be fun to get real extravagant and 
destroy his yacht. But of course I had to have a reason, so that 
brought the hijacker/robbery plot into play. And then I just 
thought it would be funny to have Dracon and Brode, once 
they finished beating the hell out of each other in prison, team 
     That, by the way, would not happen ... the way they 
got put in the same cell. Oh, the guards would have talked 
about it, joked about it, wished for it to happen ... but they 
would have known they couldn't really. Or at least I'm 
assuming they have to follow the same general guidelines we 
do at my work, in which we can't put the worst residents in the 
same room and hope we wind up with one fewer (the 
Thunderdome model of case management <g>). 
     I got a little carried away with Brendan's family, but it 
was fun to play with the rich dysfunctional people. Clive (what 
a name! I love it!) and his trophy wife Ginny and of course 
bitch-princess Tiffy and her FoxFire gown; Margot's emeralds. 
     Here was an example of how I would go back, find a 
loose end from a previous story, tie it up, and make people 
think I'm way good -- I'd introduced Mr. Harmond in Playing 
God, when the gargs saved his car from going into the sinkhole. 
And I had Julianna of Scarlet Angel, who'd come from old 
money but was estranged from her family. So I made her his 
daughter, and bingo, it looks like I'd planned it that way all 
along ; ) 
     Title: when I was in school, we all had to memorize a 
poem and I got stuck with The Wreck of the Hesperus. A line 
from it will appear later as one of Gustav Sevarius' mind 
control code phrases, as a personal in-joke because he's the 
memory expert and that's all of the poem that I can remember. 
Naming the yacht the Margot just made it a title that 
automatically has a hook, making the reader think, "what? 
The Margot?" 
     Memorable line: "Large prawns do not qualify as finger lobster." 

35. Menagerie 
     There are some things that almost have to be done in 
the course of a long-running show. The body swap, the 
shrinking ray, the evil parallel universe, that sort of thing. And 
the turning of everyone into animals. It was time for another 
screw-up courtesy of Aiden Ferguson. 
     But just the screw-up wasn't enough. I had to torture her 
a little more on top of that, because Aiden is such a delight to 
torture. Bad enough the only person she can call for help is her 
wiseass friend Birdie; someone else had to find out what she'd 
done to make her feel really terrible about it. 
     The person least likely to understand, from Aiden's 
point of view, would be Petros Xanatos. Writing Broadway Goes 
to Avalon had made me think about Petros and also about 
Titania, and I came up with a devious idea to bring them 
together. It seemed like just the sort of thing Titania would do. 
     Choosing animals to represent everyone was easier 
than I'd thought. I especially liked how they had to trap Hudson 
the bear in the pantry once their animal personalities started 
asserting themselves. 
     Aiden still needed help getting out of this one, and so 
did I. I was stymied for quite a while until I thought of the 
London Clan. I apologize for the fog -- I'm told by someone who 
lives there that it is not foggy all the time, contrary to popular 
belief (and I hang my head in shame; I should know better; it 
doesn't always rain in Seattle either but that's something they 
say on purpose to keep the evil Californians away). 
     Title: Zoo was too short and didn't have the right feel. 
     Memorable lines: Birdie often gets the best ones -- "You're 
all so, like, heraldic," and "Yee-es! Another magical blunder from 
the people who brought you Owen-and-Cordelia-in-love!" 

36. Club Gung-Ho 
     I did more research and worrying over this than 
anything I've written since college. 
     People ask me why I write fantasy. I usually say 
something about how it has to do with my aversion to writing 
things technological. Dean Koontz researches guns until he's 
blue in the face so that he can write about them with authority, 
and more power to him; I hate doing stuff like that. In fantasy, I 
can explain things away as being magical or the will of the 
gods or somesuch. Not so in modern or sci-fi. So I generally 
stay away. 
     Why, then, did I write this? Well ... a long time ago I had a 
very weird dream about a commando-training resort. Not at all 
the usual type of thing I dream (don't ask, that's impolite <g>). It 
stuck with me after I awoke, until I jotted down some notes 
with the idea that it might eventually make a cool article for a 
gaming magazine. I failed to follow through. But I hardly ever 
throw anything out, and realized it might make for an 
interesting story. 
     Hudson, like Bronx, is an oft-neglected character. I 
wanted to see what the old soldier could do when faced with 
the soldier of tomorrow. I pried his hiney out of that easy chair. 
But just Hudson wasn't enough. It needed more. Needed conflict 
on a variety of levels. 
     I knew from the start that this was going to be an Arnie- 
esque high-body-count boomfest, but to do that I had to have a 
villain. Better yet, a band of them, but with a darker Predator 
kind of touch. Enter Wolf, his mutations having accelerated to 
the point where he was subhuman. 
     I am very remiss in my knowledge of recent history, 
especially the Vietnam era. Most of what I know comes from 
other movies and novels. I hope I didn't botch anything too 
badly in the references to Wolf's and Kostas' past. 
     So I had my bad guys. I had my good guys -- Cannonner 
and Tora Hawke (the token chick). I had my scores of extras to 
rack up the dead tally. I had my hero, Hudson. And, damn it, it 
still needed something more! It needed enforced cooperation to 
forge two who might otherwise have been enemies into 
grudgingly respectful friends. 
     Jericho. Of all Goliath's clan, Hudson was the one who 
would to Jericho seem the least threatening. Maybe because he 
was old, maybe because Demona herself still admires and 
respects Hudson. Also, Jericho desperately needed a father 
figure but his utter loathing of Goliath gets in the way. It also 
gave me the opportunity to have Jericho run into a few humans 
he could at least tolerate. 
     Trouble with this story was it needed all the latest (and 
yet-to-come) high tech weapons and gadgetry. I wrote with 
copies of GURPS Special Ops, High Tech, and Ultra Tech sitting 
at my elbow. I stressed. I sweated. I felt very much as if I was 
walking blindly through a room full of pits. 
     But once I felt I'd gotten all that stuff as right as I could, I 
went on a spree of gore and bloodlust that was really kinda 
fun in a disturbing way. 
     Yes, Clarence was the same Clarence who designed 
Godiva ; ) 
     Falling from a high place -- they always do. Well, not 
always, but a lot. And it does make for a nice ambiguous fate 
(as well as leaving the hero's hands relatively clean). Even then, 
though, I knew Wolf would be back! 
     Title: that came right from the dream, what can I say? 
     Memorable lines: When his head came off, whoever had done it gave a mighty pull, and that [spine] must have just slithered out of him like a strand of spaghetti; also "Luck, my furry grey ass." 

37. The Horror of Innsbrook 
     Tim was big on Lovecraft in college. I'd never read any, 
nor played Call of Cthulhu with his group. Even now, though he 
hasn't played in years, he has all the books, a T-shirt with an 
airbrushed Cthulhu on it, a Cthulhu-fish bumper sticker (like the 
Darwin fish, only with tentacles), another that reads "Cthulhu for 
Prime Minister: this time vote for the Greater of two Evils", a 
wood Cthulhu sign that I had one of those carve-it-while-you- 
wait guys do at the mall (and did he look at me funny? you be 
the judge), and last but not least, a Rancor (is that what it's 
called? the big ugly monster that Luke fights in the pit in Return 
of the Jedi) with wings and gross rubbery fake worms bristle- 
drooping out of its face. 
     So, eventually, I gave some of the Lovecraft books a try. 
Not bad. Some great word use and word creation. I never did 
buy the whole business about his monsters being symbolic 
representations of the female genitals, or whatever the hell that 
was all about. Pretty good reading. 
     Much later, thinking about where I could send Broadway 
and Elektra, it occurred to me that introducing some hideous 
shambling monsters might be fun. A Cthulhu crossover, why 
not? I steeped myself in Lovecraft, reading nothing else for a 
week straight. And then, when my dreams were getting way 
too weird and even my waking thoughts were affected, I sat 
down to write. 
    Another challenge. Could I capture the Lovecraftian 
style? He is one of the most imitated authors ever, but often 
one of the least-successfully imitated authors. Now I know 
why. That is a lot harder than it looks! 
     Then I had to decide why I was sending the travelers 
there. It was primarily Elektra's quest, so it had to have 
something to do with her. Thanks to Lovecraft's own stories, I 
knew his yucky oceanic fish-beasts often liked to mate with 
humans, but it was the bad side of such crossbreeding. 
     A warning for Elektra ... that was kind of grim, was there 
nothing hopeful? Then I came up with the idea of denying the 
day. Gargoyles turned to stone, humans did not, how about a 
middle ground? That was the lesson Elektra could learn, so 
that when she had her inevitable confrontation with Demona, 
she'd be able to deliver one whopper of a surprise. 
     Title: I wanted something that sounded suitably 
Lovecraftian, and that was. Anyone reading that title would 
have a pretty good idea what they were in for. 
     Memorable line: Now I remembered! Now I remembered the truth of my father's death, how he had raged and threatened my mother until she buried in his head the bloodied cleaver that she had just used to sever the malformed and vestigial wings from my back!  

38. Xantasia 
     After the last two, I really needed something light and 
     At the time, I was running an RPG for Tim in which he 
was playing a young nobleman with a secret life as a pirate 
and occasional highwayman (this character of his, Benedict 
Tate, is mentioned again in The Scottish Rogue). I was also 
reading an anthology called "Highwaymen!", in which several 
authors had taken their inspiration from a beautiful and 
haunting poem by Alfred Noyes. 
     And it seemed to me that Xanatos would make a 
great highwayman! I toyed with having it be a past-life kind 
of thing, rejected that idea, and then thought it was time to do a 
"holodeck episode." Then it became something of an in-joke, 
because Riker once fell in love with a woman on the holodeck, 
so I decided to put a little stress on the Xanatos marriage by 
introducing Jacqueline. 
     In the second part, I returned once again to Disneyland 
simply because I love it so and wanted the gargs to have a 
chance to enjoy it. I sent Broadway and Elektra there so they 
could have a nice date, a fun evening out with some friends, 
and they could also get a pointed hint when they witnessed 
Lex pop the question. 
     Title: Xantasia itself just seemed like one of those things 
that someone would have gotten around to saying 
eventually, like Xanadu and Xanatopia -- the man has such a 
colossal ego! The first section, "Though Hell Should Bar the 
Way," is a line from that aforementioned poem; the second, "Another Double Date," is a reference to the last time Lex and Broadway went out, though with Aiden and Birdie. 
     Memorable lines: He was used to non-projectile weapons, and the recoil very nearly knocked him off his horse; also "That's Aiden! And she's with some guy!" 

39. FoxFire 
     Inspiration comes from the weirdest places ... 
     I'd known for a long time that Fox had a very 
complicated past. A teenage runaway, headed to L.A. to try and 
become a star -- a lot of young girls get eaten up that way. 
Rebelling against her father, she wouldn't realize she was 
mostly destroying her own life with parties, drugs, promiscuity, 
and so forth. She had overcome it, put it behind her. What if it 
came back to haunt her? 
     What if Fox had borne an illegitimate child and given 
him up for adoption, never to think about him again? And what 
if he somehow tracked her down? (the issue of rights, child vs. 
parent, is something that interests me; I have pet peeves about 
courts deciding abused children should go back with their 
parents solely because of the biological bond; that case with 
the little girls switched at birth, etc., so I also follow stories 
about adoptees and whether their right to know outweighs their 
mother's right to privacy). 
     But Fox might be hard to track down. She would have 
been under an alias anyway. I was mulling all of this over for 
several weeks, wanting to upset the Aerie Building applecart 
with the introduction of a twenty-something guy who'd grown 
up under drastically different circumstances. 
     So I'm watching Pop-Up Video on VH-1, thinking about 
what sort of circumstances I wanted for this kid and how I was 
going to get him in touch with his mom. Then the video for 
"Gimme All Your Lovin'" comes on ... 
     Here's a kid, growing up in a dying desert town (that 
video was filmed in Lancaster, my home town <g>), and along 
comes this amazing car and out hop three hot babes. 
     It was like getting whacked between the eyes. The 
Weird Sisters as the ZZ Topp Eliminator girls! Because, of 
course, Fox's son would be just as much fey as Alexander, so 
Titania might have an interest. 
     Then things got even more bizarre. Is it just me, or does 
everyone portray Oberon as a buffoon and Titania as the 
true power behind the throne? I wanted to make him do 
something for a change. So he concocted his whole elaborate 
scheme just so he could give Titania her grandson. 
     T.J. turned out to be a neat character. His electro-kinetic 
powers, which work only on metal and electronics, have 
proven to be quite useful. And his attitude, about striving so 
hard to be a normal person despite all the evidence to the 
contrary, combined with his bitter-yet-touching reactions to Fox 
and Alex, make him appealing. 
     One thing I like best about this story was Xanatos' 
discovery of Lydia's true identity of Titania. It put him in a 
situation where there was no one good choice, which is 
something I love to do in my RPGs because I believe that most 
of the time, that's how it is. Eventually, though, Fox is liable to 
find out, and then it's going to hit the fan big time. 
     Title: Fox's design company is FoxFire Fashions, so 
when I wanted a story to focus on her, it seemed like the right 
     Memorable lines: "Calling a woman plump might have been flattering a few hundred years ago, but ..." and "Next time I ask you to do a background check, would you please be thorough?" 

40. Lyre, Lyre 
     It took me so long to write this one that I was beginning 
to think I'd never get around to it. I'd first come up with the title 
way back when Orpheus Bluestone debuted in Baby Makes 
Three, but I'd been putting it off because I didn't want to write 
myself into any corners. 
     That's the thing about setting stories far ahead in a 
timeline. If I later come up with a brilliant idea, but have already 
made it impossible, I want to pull my hair out in clumps. Future 
Imperfect was only a possible future, so that was okay, but 
this was a lot more risky. I didn't want to give too much away, 
and I didn't want to state something as history that I might then 
need to change. 
     Remember at the Gathering when Greg was talking 
about the Archmage? What a great character he turned out to 
be, what a nifty idea Greg had for him later ... but he was dead? 
Getting out of that required some fancy footwork on Greg's part, 
involving the Phoenix Gate (and sometimes I think I'm the only 
one in the world who grasps the concept of that sort of closed- 
loop time travel without having a brain meltdown). 
     I wanted to avoid, if possible, setting myself up for that 
kind of trouble. Yet I also wanted to drop some tantalizing hints 
-- Amber, for instance, who appears in daylight and is Orph's ex- 
girlfriend, and yet it isn't for several more stories that I reveal 
that Amber is Goliath and Elisa's daughter. 
     I also held back because I knew I had to kill Matt 
Bluestone, and it has been my experience that killing my 
characters is one thing; killing Greg's can get me neck-deep 
in all sorts of hot water. 
     But I did it, and then as I was doing it, I realized that 
Eurydice was going to go with him. I really like that scene. 
     Then something else occurred to me as I was doing 
some math. Jon Canmore's kid was due now too, which let me 
make a lifelong link between Bryce and Orpheus. 
     Orph's power of suggestion also let me do something 
else that needed doing. I'd been really getting worried about the 
Demona situation. Before 2031 when she and MacBeth were 
fated to get together, she needed to have a change of heart. But 
lately in my stories, she'd become really twisted. I had to have 
some catalyst for her change. Orph saved my bacon, lemme tell 
     Title: I never even saw the Jim Carrey movie; I don't 
much like anything he's done since Once Bitten. But it was just 
right for a story about the guy who inherits the Lyre of 
     Memorable lines: "There will always be a Guardian." 


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