||41. The Pure and the Profane
I used to say
that Kittens was the best and most
powerful thing I've ever written. But after
this one, I had to
reconsider. This, I none-too-humbly believe,
is a phenomenal
story. Once again, I blazed effortlessly,
and loved every minute
The only time
I had to slow down and actually work at
this one was the sex scene. This one had
to be done just right. I
spent many hours honing those two pages
of tormented lust,
and I am extremely happy with the results.
happy with all of it. The highlights for me
are the abovementioned sex scene, Elisa's
desperate race to try
and save who she thinks is Broadway, Dominique
vs. Elektra in
the basement, and Jericho in the dungeon
-- most particularly
his exchanges with first Goliath and then
Angela and Brooklyn.
There really isn't
much to say about this one except to
go on raving about how much I love it,
so I won't because I'm
sure you get the idea ; )
Title: in Fantasia,
the final segment is Night on Bald
Mountain followed by Ave Maria, and the
announcer calls it
something like "a reflection of the struggle
between the sacred
and the profane." What a great title! But
instead of "sacred," with
its religious connotations, I changed it
to "pure," which fits better
and is also nicely alliterative. In this
case, there's a dual struggle
-- Elektra is given a choice between Broadway
Jericho (profane); Jericho is given a choice
(pure) and Demona (profane).
So many to choose from, but the best is "As above, so below."
42. Tales from the Skiff
I had a lot of
time left to account for, a few adventures
left untold. I was in such a hurry to write
The Pure and the
Profane that I went on and skipped ahead,
telling myself I
would go back and take care of some of
the others next.
The first section,
"Brendan Vandermere and the Temple
of Doom," came about because when
I tried to turn Brendan
into a hero (man, what a chore!), I knew
I had to give him some
interests besides society parties and expensive
cars. So, in The
Horror of Innsbrook, I established that
he was an amateur
Egyptologist, a hobby of which Margot haughtily
Then I thought
it might be fun to introduce him to the
complete anti-Margot (well, that would
be Birdie, so maybe not
complete, but certainly far down
the continuum). Way back in
the early 1990's when I started editing
the facility newsletter,
just for a kick I started running a monthly
"The Adventures of Dakota Jones." It was
an easy matter to
transfer Dakota, fedora and all, into my
fanfic (and made for a
bit of silliness, for of course Dakota
was the original name for
Demona, back when they were thinking of
making the show
more of a comedy).
The goddess Kal-Tet
is completely made up; I once
used that name for a variant of the evil
deity Calaan in my RPG
Hans Runolf is
Inge's brother; they may even be twins. I
put him in there because when writing something
like this, ya
just gotta have Nazis, it's like a rule.
The Orb of Isis was
borrowed from an episode of The Simpsons
For the second
part, "Crossbones," I finally decided to
create a brand new clan (not counting the
Squids). But I wanted
something different. I've always had a
weakness for pirates,
and got thinking about figureheads on ships.
Then I realized I could play with parallels,
which is something I
always enjoy doing.
I could also get
into MacBeth's past. If Xanatos would
make a good highwayman, who not MacBeth
as a pirate? Or
maybe it's just that I have a total lech
for guys in frock coats
and fold-top boots, that could be it.
The idea to open
and close each segment with Puck
doing his Cryptkeeper shtick came from
my pal Denis, who
said it as a joke when he heard the title,
but it was such a good
idea that I just couldn't pass it up ;
) Thanks, bro! It also meant I
had to come up with some puns, and I think
that took longer
than writing the stories!
was joking about telling their
adventures to the clan and once he said
it, I knew it had to be
"Bum-ba-dum-dum, bum-ba-dah, bum-ba-dum-dum, bum-ba-dah-dah-dah!"
43. Three of a Kind
It was time to
stop fiddling around and get this darn
story written. I was not looking forward
to it, but I'd been
foreshadowing it just about forever, and
knew I had to get it
done for better or worse. Since I wasn't
really sure what was
supposed to happen, I just started writing
and let it go where it
Luckily, it turned
out better than I expected. I went into it
worrying and feeling like it was going
to be a chore (and parts
of it were, figuring out all that timeline
stuff for the Archmage's
jaunts for example), but I came out feeling
pretty good about it.
Good, even though
it was tragic and senseless, ending
with three dead gargoyles, three catatonic
and the Sisters confined to live the next
thirty-some years as
silent helpless passengers as Tiffy, Muffy,
and Babs tour some
of the finer realms of psychiatric treatments.
Not to mention
the Archmage discorporated (again) ...
Jack Chalker's "Rules" say to never believe
an evil wizard's
truly dead until he's apparently died a
minimum of thrice, so
lemme think ... 1.) His plunge into the
abyss in Long Way to
Morning, interrupted by his future self;
2.) His flamboyant
magical end in Avalon Part Three ... that
left one more for me to
play with ; ) Guess now he's really gone
I feel really
bad for Gabriel, and for those who have
been wondering about him, I promise, he
will be reappearing in
another story soon. It's been more than
a year his time, a year
spent with Ebon learning to find his way
through grief, so he'll
be ready to move on soon. For Gabriel,
I would like to play
with the "heroic journey" theme, a la Joseph
Title: ever since
I first knew I was going to have to write
this one, that was the title I thought
of it by, of course referring
to the three sets of triplets.
Gabriel telling off Oberon, particularly "And if you can't be a man, pull
your britches up and be a lord!".
debut, I was swamped with letters in
support of him, curious to see how he got
along with the clan.
Here's this poor guy, his whole life (which
wasn't that great to
begin with) uprooted and restructured,
thrown into a castle full
of weirdos. Unlike the other friends of
the clan, he wasn't
drawn into this by his own desires; he
was flung in, and given
the circumstances of his parentage, he
had no choice but to
I didn't want
him to automatically befriend the gargs and
be all cool about it, nor did I want him
to go to the other
extreme and hate them (seems like most
of the people in the
Gargoyles universe are at one end or the
other). He had to get
to know them, and will probably always
be dubious not only
about them but about his mom, himself,
and his place in the
It also seemed
exactly right that T.J. and Birdie would
make a great pair. I don't know why, but
it just did. Yet I would
later find out that their relationship
turned out pretty quirky.
They end up sharing an apartment (Breeding
Season) but I can't
help but think that they're not romantically
involved. If there is
sex going on, it is of the extremely casual
variety. And I don't
even know if there is. T.J. for some reason
wound up striking
me as being ... not exactly asexual
but just not terribly
interested. Then again, his experience
with the Weird Sisters
may have had something to do with it.
Anyway ... here's
T.J., something of a punk and a rebel
but at the same time a decent guy (he is
one of the strangest
characters I've ever created; there is
a real ambiguity to him
about every aspect of his life). He has
simple tastes and needs.
All the guy wants is to hang out and have
The only way I
could think of to find common ground
between him and the gargs was his and Lex's
machinery. But even that isn't quite the
same; Lex is a
technogeek and T.J. is a greasemonkey.
Once he let himself get
involved, then he could find out
that he and Brooklyn had
some of the same casual tough-guy traits.
The story came
about because I had this idea for T.J.
and Birdie to boost a Quarryman van. No
real reason; it was just
one of those things that struck me funny.
So I crafted a story
around it, and involved Lex and Brooklyn
because I don't want
to get too far away from the original characters.
first appearance was in FoxFire; Hotwire
sounds similar and rhymes so I liked that
bit of continuity; plus
it refers to his powers. I was thinking
for a time of calling it
"Hotwire and Jailbird," Jailbird being
Birdie's nickname after her
trip to the slammer for knocking Margot
into a glass-topped
table, and having it be a Bonnie and Clyde,
Smokey and the
Bandit, buddy cop kind of car chase wild
But that was a tad too corny.
"When I mentioned dying for a beer, this isn't what I had in mind."
45. Dear Diary
I had to turn
Aiden into a gargoyle but I didn't want to
make a great big detailed story out of
it. Mostly because I was
psyching myself up to do Breeding Season,
and I wanted to get
to it right away because I knew it was
going to be another great
and epic ride.
But I felt Aiden
deserved a little bit of the spotlight as
she underwent her big lifestyle change,
and the diary format
seemed a good way to keep it short. I didn't
have to do long
dialogue exchanges, no descriptive scenes.
Just her thoughts,
and a chance to explore some of my theories
biology. Such as the unhinging pelvis.
And then there
was the fact that Aiden, being so nice
and such a wuss was going to be
a gargoyle that makes
even the most saccharine interpretation
of Angela look tough.
She can't roar, she can't fight worth a
damn, she's too meek. I
don't know what will happen the first time
Aiden gets in a real
combat (her only previous experience being
in Double Date,
when the extent of her participation involved
Quarryman over the head with her tote bag).
So, ha-ha, I just flew back from Central Park and boy are my wings tired!
46. Breeding Season
It is hard writing
a story that spans several months of
time. Other stuff goes on in the world,
so it can be a hassle
staying focused and not getting distracted
while still addressing
those events and not glossing things over.
Ever since Passions,
people have been after me to let
Goliath and Elisa have a kid. I wanted
to take this very slowly,
very carefully. I had to make sure I knew
exactly where I stood
in my opinions on gargoyle reproduction
and the influence of
magic on crossbreeding. Plus, I didn't
want to rush it. I didn't
want to zip them right from a kiss to bed
to marriage to family.
By the time I
got to this point, many of my fellow
authors had populated their various universes
throngs of little ones. Did anyone still
give a darn how I chose
to handle it? Well, whether they did or
not, I gave a darn.
Even if it is going to be a long time yet
until we actually see the
finished product in the form of all those
As I began writing,
I realized this was going to be one of
those tales that really has it all. It
was funny, sexy, caring,
romantic, sweet ... but it was also dark:
seduction of Angela, and particularly Demona's
that horrifying and intense tragedy did
what I thought was
impossible, making people actually grieve
and feel sorry for
Demona and Jericho, even after all they've
Another one of
those spontaneous plot hooks popped
up in this one, in the form of Goliath's
alchemist mother. I have
already developed several possible plots
which will involve
Hudson and Delilah.
I took some real lumps over
Hudson and Delilah. Some people did not
at all like the idea of
Hudson as a sexual character. Does seem
kinda weird, I admit.
His relationship with Maria Chavez has
never gone beyond the
occasional kiss; they are both just looking
But why the hell
Hudson? From Delilah's point of
view, it made sense. So he's old. So what?
Look at the movies
pairing older actors with young babes.
I just today read that
Catherine Zeta-Jones, who starred opposite
Antonio Banderas in
the latest Zorro movie, is now working
on a project with Sean
Connery and states that he is the hottest
man she's ever met
(tell us something we didn't know, Catherine
So he's old? He's
not dead, for crying out loud! Why
not let him get some action? And then,
just to prove how virile
he is, why not have Delilah lay a record-breaking
eggs? Of course, that part was also inspired
cartoons, in which the male critter meets
a female critter and
then they march across the screen with
a line of little ones that
look just like him ... ; ) Hudson may be
discreet, and as Delilah
has similar coloring, it might take a while
for the penny to drop,
but eventually someone is going to notice.
No, I don't know
what the deal is with Dr. Johnson.
Yes, I think the
Y2K hype is preposterous and silly ... but
all the same, we're buying a gun and laying
in a supply of
emergency foodstuffs ...
Harry the Hammer
(what a name!) uses the phrase "dark
Madonna" to describe Elisa. I borrowed
that from Dean Koontz,
who uses it in The Servants of Twilight.
We're going to have
trouble with him in the future, I imagine.
In Future Imperfect,
Aiden and Lex learned that Elisa
and her unborn child were killed by a renegade
gargoyle. Drawing again from Dean Koontz,
this time from
Lightning and the concept of destiny struggling
patterns that were meant to be, I wanted
to build on that
possibility and therefore it was inevitable
that Jericho should
have the very real opportunity and motive
to do it.
I never intended
for him to actually kill her, though,
and I initially believed it would be because
some nobility buried deep within himself.
Then I got to
know Jericho, and realized it ain't gonna
happen. I had to come up with some other
reason for him to
spare Elisa's life, some way that would
be almost more warped
than killing her in the first place. So
now, from the depths of his
obsessive, jealous, possessive slavish
devotion to Demona, he
has become Elisa's secret protector.
Once again, I
got to borrow Chas, who always conducts
himself with cool aplomb. And Birdie, who
can't resist being a
smartass even under fire. There has got
to be a blowout
between them, Canmore, Margot, and possibly
Brendan at some
Oh, and I screwed
up -- I didn't re-watch Mirror
beforehand, so I didn't remember that Puck
uses the tower atop
the World Trade Center to juice up his
spell. No way T.J. and
Birdie live in an apartment right beside
that so they could get
easily to the roof. Blunder. Sorry.
I thought long
and hard on the matter of Amber. Finally,
I concluded that the mother's race dictated
more of the baby's
development than the father's race did.
As Elektra's mom was a
gargoyle, Elektra is a gargoyle who can
pass for human. Amber
is the other way around, a human who can
pass for a gargoyle.
Her feet will
require special shoes, her wings will have
to be concealed, but she has no tail and
her brow ridges are so
slight as to be almost unnoticeable. I
don't think Elisa will have
any problem showing her off down at the
station (though I must
confess to thinking about the movie Dumbo;
and her wings unfurl out of her blankets,
wouldn't that be
fun to explain!). She'll have a much easier
time denying the day
than Elektra, too, but in the meantime
Elisa can enjoy the same
luxury as Eihblin Driscoll -- a child that
sleeps straight through,
no noontime feedings.
It should be interesting
to see how things go with Rick
Alvarez, because everyone at the station
thinks he and Elisa
have been carrying on a secret affair.
Will Rick risk Goliath's
wrath by acting like Amber is his daughter?
I haven't yet
Title: I think
I was the first one to coin this phrase,
"breeding season," back when I did A Gargoyles
Special. I think I was ... but there
are a lot of things that
become common use. For instance, I know
I was the first to do
the wing joint thing, and the knuckles
against the brow ridges
as a show of affection (based on the fist-to-the-temple
Alien Nation, btw, as is the sexy humming
that takes place in
the rookery). Christi gets all the credit
for the mysterious "dirty
tail trick," though!
The thing about tinted glass, David Xanatos thought amusedly, was how easy
it was to forget it was only opaque on one side.
47. Shameless Plug
I had to. Couldn't
Masturbatory, even! Crossing over with
my own self!
But I had to.
My book, Curse
of the Shadow Beasts, was due out
soon and of course I wanted everyone who
writing to buy it so that I can make money,
launch my career,
become famous, get invited to cons, sell
movie rights, buy a
gigantic house that looks like a castle,
and spoil myself and my
loved ones forevermore. (to order the book,
click here <g>).
Since I wanted
this to be a fun story that didn't give
away too much of the novel, I had to set
it as a slight prequel
and couldn't involve Arien because he's
too darn moody early
on. So I chose Cat's quarrel with the Ferrets
and the matter of
Lord Taron's emeralds, which happen before
the book begins.
The moment I started,
having chosen Hudson and
Brooklyn because I still don't give them
enough screen time, I
realized all the similarities between Hudson
and One-Eye, and
from there everything went great.
Side note: in
the revision of the second and third books,
I noticed that Lord Taron kept wanting
to turn into Xanatos ; )
The opening bit
with everyone coming out of the
Danger Room let me sneak a peek at baby
Amber and show
some of what will eventually become a problem
Goliath is going to dote on that little
girl outrageously. This is
going to leave Angela feeling jealous;
after all, if not for her
influence, Goliath would still be stuck
in that "whole clan
parenting" mindset (or so she believes;
I bet Elisa would have
changed his mind sooner or later).
Title: well, it
was, wasn't it? ; )
"'Get him'," Brooklyn echoed in disgust. "Any time, any world, it's always
the same. 'Get him'."
48. Jericho on the Island
of Amazon Women
When I first set
out to do this one, I didn't know if it
would ever be released for public view.
This came as a source
of great distress to some, who asked what
I was working on
and upon being told that it was a flagrantly
dirty story that they
might not be allowed to read, nearly went
bonkers. I wouldn't
even tell them who it was for, only that
if the person agreed, I
would make it available.
was this -- at the Gathering, I finally met
in person my good pal Jennifer "CrzyDemona"
along with Kenna "Elisagoyle" Street are
the founders of the
Jericho Fan Club.
Jennifer was the
first to send me that bad boy
immortalized in color. Her lechery for
Jericho knows no
bounds, and we had spent a few late-night
jesting about possible permutations thereof.
Somehow we got
talking about tropical islands and amazon
So, with her birthday
coming up, I sat myself down to
give her a present she'd never forget.
I meant for it to be a short
story, but it kept wanting to grow. I had
to strictly curtail myself
from going wild with the amazon culture,
describing their city,
and so on. Someday, I will use all the
material I cut from the
story as background for a game or something.
Two names, Anneke
(the tomboyish huntress) and
Jae'elae (the amazon queen), are deliberate
references ; )
was pure sex with little other redeeming
value, explained away as a dream sequence
in a quick subplot
involving one of Gustav Sevarius' experimental
Jericho was tripping, and whether or not
the female pilot who
appeared in his hallucinations actually
anything to him as
he was lying drugged on her cot remains
to be seen ...
I sent Jennifer
a birthday card containing the URL, and I
understand she received it with some apprehension
quickly turned to gales of laughter. As
she, like me, is a wanton
thing who thrives on attention, she was
quite agreeable to let
me post this as part of my regular fall
Title: there was
no possible other thing to call this one ; )
"Broad of chest, mighty of stature, and more than amply endowed."
49. Ice Queen
This was another
one I'd been putting off and putting
off. Owen's woman Cordelia St. John remained
a lady of
mystery though she had first appeared many
We knew hardly
anything about her. She was the niece
of the Illuminati Grandmaster. She had
once worked for
Xanatos' European division. She was headmistress
Sterling Academy and had a reputation for
being strict and
humorless. She had a zero-tolerance policy
pregnancy among her students, yet she had
borne Owen two
children without marrying him. She knew
about Puck. That was
pretty much it.
For someone to
be that uptight, she had to be repressing
something. But Owen, and even I, didn't
expect just how
volatile Cordelia's history would turn
out to be.
I know why it
happened. A lot of rough times have
been happening in my family over the past
year, and although I
am geographically far removed, I'm still
in touch. I had also
been having some personal stresses (the
book, for one) which
have resulted in depression and mood swings.
story was a form of catharsis.
in here relates to actual events in my
life, I have very strong feelings and opinions
about sex and
family issues (education, contraceptives,
abuse, homosexuality, eldercare, euthanasia,
etc.). I channeled a
lot of my own vehemence into Cordelia's
tirades. It felt awfully
good, although I shouldn't use my stories
as a soapbox for my
own personal beefs and rants. But it felt
awfully good. Did I
already say that?
Like Owen observes,
everyone has a button. Everyone
has something about which they are irrationally
Sometimes for no reason.
case, her reason is her family. Specifically,
her mother and her twin sister. The moment
I started working
on her background, it was the original
can of worms. I felt like I
was taking myself, Owen, and all my readers
on a carnival ride
through Hell. That's why it seemed so perfectly
have Cassandra St. John and her children
be carnies, which
solved another problem that had been bugging
me for months --
more on that below under Cats and Dogs.
It has been pointed
out, and quite rightly so, that the
other plot is horribly weak. Yes, it is.
refers to Cordelia by that term in Sterling
Silver, and it suits her. It is one of
those pairings of words that
works better on paper than said aloud.
Go on. Say it. Ice Queen.
Do you sound like Elmer Fudd at Baskin
The other was outwardly well-behaved, getting
good grades, demure, polite ... but she
hated her mother most of all,
and showed it with freezing contempt.
50. What Might Have Been
Yet another example
of one of those things that must
sooner or later be done. This one was spurred
Jericho's ceaseless bitching and bellyaching
about how Goliath
had selfishly abandoned the eggs, and sparked
even more by
Greg's talk at the Gathering 1998 about
how his choice to be
put under the stone sleep spell was a suicide
In my closing
notes to this story, I said most of what
needed to be said, so there really isn't
much left to do here
except brag about how good I am ; )
favorite moments in this were the
interactions between Goliath and Jericho,
the wedding of
Katherine and the Magus, and the death
it, several people have weighed in with
comments of their own about other changes
through the millennium, and nearly everybody
foreheads and shouted "of course!" just
like I hoped. Success!
case of the obvious.
"I canna call ye Magus in bed."
51. Cats and Dogs
Ever since Club
Gung-Ho, I was wondering what I was
going to do for Wolf's comeback. Then I
realized I had Fang
numbered among the missing as well, since
disappeared at the end of Playing God and
bothered to look for him.
Now, Fang and
Wolf together would make for one crass,
crude, grimy story. I set out meaning to
team them up and have
them escape from a freak show or zoo or
circus, but I kept
kicking the idea around and getting nowhere.
I just couldn't see
them working together.
Besides, I was
having a hard time getting a handle on
the freak show. Until, that is, I wrote
Ice Queen. Then there was
a flash in my mind and I knew what had
to be done.
One of the most
challenging and rewarding things to do,
at least for me, is to take a villain,
reprehensible, and turn things around so
the villain is a victim
of something even worse. Demona's miscarriage
Season is an example of this; I do it in
my books; I do it in my
games (much to the annoyance of my players;
they hate it
when they all of a sudden find themselves
feeling sorry for a
villain they should be trying to destroy).
or something even worse than Wolf
was going to be tough. He was already devolving
into a savage
maneating monster. Fang's job is usually
comic relief; as
Demona said, he's a fool but he can come
in useful. So to take
poor Fang and really mess him up is just
plain mean ... not that
it stopped me.
The St. John kids
turned out to be even more twisted
and demented than I thought. I knew Caleb
was going to be a
sadist, but I didn't know he was going
to be a psychic vampire.
I knew Corrinne was going to be a slut,
but I didn't know she
was going to be a bloodthirsty were-leopard.
powers came as a surprise to me.
And Morgana ...
I could have kissed myself when I made
Morgana, for I'd been mulling over what
to eventually do with
the legend of Morgan le Fay; I had decided
long ago that she
was the human sorceress who originally
used Hecate's Wand to
wreak havoc on Avalon. I wanted to bring
that more into play,
so having the St. Johns be directly descended
from her set
things up for a nice showdown in years
to come between the
cousins Patricia and Morgana.
I don't like Jackal
and Hyena very much, have I
mentioned that? ; ) But I was trying to
get this story started, it
was going nowhere, and I knew I had to
come at it from an
outsider's point of view instead of starting
actually within the
carnival. All my attempts at beginning
with Wolf or Fang failed
miserably. So, hoping I wasn't making a
big mistake, I decided
to try it with Hyena.
To my surprise,
it worked quite well.
This story is
vulgar and violent to the point where
several readers were shocked. But most
came to realize that I
was choosing to write that way on purpose,
to reflect the vulgar
and violent mindsets of basically my entire
cast. In fact, I personally
really dislike that style of crudity, so
it was something of an effort.
It struck me as
ironic and funny that in the weeks that I
was working on this one, there came a discussion
comment room about killing off characters.
I knew I was going
to do it, not just one but two of the originals,
in a really grody
"Fighting Like Cats and Dogs," but it was
too long and clunky and dorky-sounding.
So I cut it down to
just plain Cats and Dogs, and carried the
theme throughout with
the doglike Pack members and the catlike
Fang and Corrinne.
the antagonistic exchanges between Wolf and Fang,
and ... I know I'm mean ... but the part
where Wolf stubs himself.
52. The Scottish Rogue
It may be known
that I have a great weakness for things
piratical ; )
This story was
selfish. Birdie Yale is the closest thing I
have to a Mary-Sue (an extension of myself
for purposes of
wish fulfillment or vanity). And Birdie
nailed my personal #2
Gargoyles hunk, MacBeth (Goliath is #1,
the living crap out of it -- she's had the
hots for him since Sterling Silver, he
would probably appreciate
a voluptuous woman, etc. But basically,
even though it fits well
into my ongoing story structure, I did
it because I wanted to,
and because lately I'd been getting requests
for more Birdie
but delightful research this time. Under
the Black Flag is one of the finest pirate
histories I've ever read,
full of great info. GURPS Swashbucklers
is likewise an
excellent resource. They even agreed on
nearly all the points,
which was nice.
I get a giggle
out of paralleling the Pirate Clan with
Goliath's clan. In the first draft, I had
Reaper yell at Bloody Pete,
"You are the betrayer?!" but I edited
it out because I thought it
might be a touch too blatant. I did use
the heartbroken "My
angel of the ..." line and the roar, and
would have used the one
about being denied everything even his
revenge if I coulda
made it fit ; )
Tourmaline and the other Avalon
dissidents leave, they may well run into
the Pirate Clan. Brand
and Tourmaline, maybe? Brand and Hippolyta?
Before I can do
that, I'll have to work out these differences
day and wood-by-day gargoyles.
Yes, Tag and Bonita
Alvarez are the ancestors of Rick
was the name of Tim's character in an
RPG I ran. There are a lot of in-jokes
sprinkled throughout this
tale that are just for him. Bloody Pete
was the name of his main
adversary, Ione was a wench whose company
Alistair was his faithful sidekick, and
Benedict's bane in life
was his rich old rat of a father.
Yes, Brendan did
meet Dakota again. No, they didn't
wind up in a hotel room. Yes, I will eventually
write more about
I'm going to have
to do a story set in Elizabethan
England because of this. But I will want
so much to make it a
Blackadder crossover ... and I don't know
if I can pull it off.
Title: that was
MacBeth's nickname way back then, as
established in Tales From the Skiff, so
I knew it would be the
title for the one about their history.
MacBeth and Birdie in the bar, esp. --
"I'm beginning to think
you've seduction in mind."
"What gave me
"Your hand on
my thigh, for one.".
53. Dark Beauty Part One:
Funny how things
happen ... I mentioned the character of Ventura
just in passing a couple of times, but
everyone who knew me also
knew that I could never be able to let
her just be dead and gone
without ever having any 'screen time.'
And of course,
they were right. I'd always intended to bring Ventura
into the spotlight. Even before Jennifer
sent me the pic ; )
intended for Ventura to be a fairy-tale heroine type, with
Gabriel going on his own version of the
heroic quest to rescue her. But the
more I thought about it, the more I wanted
to do something different. I
already had too many sweet, nice she-gargs.
So, with Ventura,
I decided to make her insanely violent, a kick-ass
killing machine, but at the same time,
kinda hot. Always fun. I'd recently
re-read Dean R. Koontz's novel Mr. Murder,
which is the story of a
psychotic clone seeking to kill and replace
the original. It was time to start
picking on Angela.
Then I got carried
... because, you
see, I'd also decided to pick on Angela with Amber. Sibling
rivalry, jealousy. After all Angela's hard
work to get Goliath to accept the idea
of fatherhood, he goes and starts doting
utterly on Amber.
I got to do lots
of exciting things in this one. Chase Brooklyn all over the
place, attack the castle, and generally
It got kind of
complicated because everybody got into the act -- T.J, Birdie,
Sevarius, Ebon, Gabriel, the whole gang.
The whole reason I sent the Xanatoses
on vacation was to get at least some of
the cast out from underfoot. But then I got
to insert a little Rugrats moment, which
Lex singing the
'little green gargoyle' song.
it for all of them. "Wow."
to play defense."
54. Dark Beauty Part Two:
Then I went and
wrote myself into a corner. I wasn't at all prepared to write
an immediate follow-up to Part One, but
I had to. All I knew was that it was
supposed to be the story of how Gabriel
rescued Ventura, and she escaped. But
to make it a good story, there had to be
more to it than that.
Dean Koontz and
John Saul to the rescue again. I'd read Sole Survivor and
Shadows, and that combined to inspire me
with the idea about a place where the
colleagues of good old Gustav Sevarius
were trying to create psychic powers in
Which was where
Thailog sent Ventura to get her out of the way, because, like
Xanatos, he was loathe to waste resources.
I like the idea
of the 'contentment' drug. Being a fairly cynical person by
nature, one without much faith in humanity
in general, I could see plenty of
real-world practical applications for such
a thing ...
I also wanted
to play with Ebon's memory a bit. Memory is such a fickle thing.
Poor guy really wouldn't want to
remember all the vile things he did as Thailog;
he'd redeemed himself.
And because I
couldn't resist, the lady pilot who may or may not have done
something naughty to the delirious Jericho
in that naughty Amazon story made
another appearance ... if she reminds anyone
of anyone, I'm sure it's purely
coincidental ... NOT. ; )
This one was a
real change of pace from Part One. I went from a high-energy,
intense series of chase and battle sequences
to a really creepy trip through a
house of horrors.
cruelty to children is one of the things that totally pisses me off,
so several times while writing, I was furious
at the doctors and scientists. My own
fictional creations, and I was furious.
The more I wrote, the more certain I became
that I couldn't leave those poor kids in
But that opened
a whole new can of worms. Ebon and Gabriel, trying to take
care of a bunch of kids? And not even normal
kids, kids with weird powers and
emotional problems. Two Gargoyles and a
Baby, sort of. But I couldn't leave them
there. It'll be interesting to see how
they cope with their expanded clan.
Angela's fit of
temper at the prospect of reforming Ventura and inviting her into
55 (A). Masks
55 (B). Demon Whispers
I count these
as one because they're both so short, not because they're connected. In
any way except the obvious -- they're both
naughty. In fact, the second one is downright
These came about
because of the debut of the Adult Gargoyles-Fans site. To get
people interested, I wrote a special dirty
story to help launch the site.
And then, in a
move that has gotten me some anxious e-mail, I decided not to post
either of them to my own site. Wanna read
them? Gotta go to the adult site.
Masks is an adaptation
of a stroy from the "Big Book of Urban Legends," one
called "Sex with the wrong partner."
In the story,
a woman wants to test her husband's fidelity, so she pleads illness the
night of a costume party, then after he
leaves, she dresses up and goes and tries to
seduce him, to see if he'd do a stranger.
But when her husband comes home, he tells
her that he was bored and loaned his costume
to another man, so that he could go play
poker in the den with some other guys who
had no dates.
Which seemed like
a perfect game for Fox and Xanatos to play. But, clever as Fox
is, her hubby often gets the upper hand
-- "You sent OWEN?!?"
is evil. Quite probably one of the most evil things I've ever written.
I'm not really sure what made that idea
lodge in my brain, but once it was there, I had to
do something with it or it wouldn't give
me any peace.
Plus, of course,
I'd been getting some shit lately from another of the Prude Brigade,
and that always spurs me to write something
even worse. Sort of the "I'll give you
something to cry about" school of fiction
What I liked best
about Demon Whispers was the prospect of writing it all in that
unusual style. All a monologue, a la Dolores
Claiborne (today, June 20, as I write this,
I saw in the paper that Stephen King was
struck by a van while walking down the road
-- get well soon, SK!!!).
And it's always
interesting to check in with Demona and Jericho again ... I love
seeing just how far that bad boy will go
to please his loving mother ...
There's a rumor
that this story may be read alound, or possibly even presented
as a piece of performance art at the Gathering
99, but I'm sure that will forever
remain just a rumor ...
This one is for
all the parents who've ever suffered with cranky, sick, teething,
colicky, or temperamental kids. When they're
good, they're very very good, but
when they're bad, they're horrid.
Little Amber Maza
is hell on wheels, in this case literally, from the viewpoint of Quarryman-in-good-standing
and all-purpose fanatic Harry the Hammer.
I feel obligated
to apologize to Thomas "Green Baron" Forsyth, who is such a
good sport about setting me straight when
I put my foot in my mouth when it comes to
dealing with religion. The one time I go
and present a strongly religious character, he's
a nutcase ... sorry, Thomas!
Harry was partly
drawn from many of the clients I've worked with. But, crazy as he
is, there must be something going for him
... and he'll find out in a future story that he
was more right than he thought ... though
not about Amber.
I had a hard time
coming up with a title for this one. It was mostly written (the first
20 pages) in two nights, and there I was,
right near the end, with no title.
Finally, on the
night I finished it up, I settled on this one and figured it would do.
Good enough. I wanted to have it done and
posted before the Gathering and our move
and general life craziness set in.
I enjoyed this
one quite a bit, especiallyt the interactions between Harry and
Dominique, Elisa and Tony, the poor clan
and Amber, and Xanatos and Kurt Masters. I
even got to use that Dumbo imagery, which
had been in my head ever since Amber was
From the Department
of Weird Coincidences -- someone (I forget who and couldn't
find the e-mail, sorry!) pointed out that
Elektra means "amber" in Greek, and wondered
if I'd done it on purpose with the amber
pendant and all that ... nope, it was just another
of those strange things!
Yes, Albert the
janitor is an homage to Alien Nation ; )
“You’re not dealing
with Elisa Maza the cop,” she said, voice both low and fierce.
“You’re dealing with Elisa Maza the mother,
and if I don’t get my daughter back in
the next five seconds I’m going to blow
your teeth out the back of your goddam head!
Do you understand that, Tony?”
57 The Guardians: Alchemist
What fun to play
with the future! And when I could play with the future and the past
at the same time, who could ask for anything
The trouble with
writing about the future, though, as I've already said, is the risk of
trapping myself. The Guardians series is
the actual future, not a possible one like the
one Lex and Aiden visited. So whatever
is the past to those people has to be true.
Now we get to
see Amber Maza as a grown-up, pretty much just as feisty and stubborn
as she was as a kid, but with the extra
added problem of not really feeling like she knows
where she fits in. Unlike Elektra, Amber
is fully aware of her half-and-half heritage. She's
different from the other human kids in
her generation because she ages a little bit slower
than them, different from the hatchlings
because she ages faster (and had a ten year head
start while they were still in the egg).
But even with all of her troubles, Amber grew up as quite the young woman.
quick-thinking, a tad on the impulsive
side, but fiercely loyal to her family. When her
father's life is on the line, she will
do whatever she has to at whatever the cost.
It was also intriguing
to see the adult version of Alex (and just what did happen to his
parents? How has Xanatos attained his goal
of immortality, and what was the price?
Heh-heh-heh, only the Shadow knows!) and
Patricia. Looks like Brendan and Dakota
are still around too.
Fun to know that Demona's still up to no good ... and it looks like
Jericho's out of the
picture by then, and oh, what is in store
for her to break every last thread of love between
Demona and Angela? We shall see ... actually,
we shall see not too many stories down
But the most fascinating
character of all was Old-Mother. Lori Summers e-mailed me
a fic-snippet which featured a future Amber,
and spoke of how she had inherited a
measure of inner serenity from her paternal
grandmother. I loved the idea, and it got even
more fun when I decided to let her develop
that trait by the example of actually meeting
the gargoyle in question.
she had a name, it would have been Dierdre, the Lady of Sorrows. A
long and often-sad life, pitied and considered
barren by her clan. When her only egg, laid
late in life, was all that she had left,
she broke tradition and paid special attention to her
son. She was a character who rose admirably
above her personal tragedies to come out
of it a bastion of quiet strength.
Her acceptance of Amber erased any lingering doubts that Amber might
have had as
to whether her crossbreed status would
have been abhorrent to the old clan. In the short
time they were together, Amber learned
Amber also picked up a raving crush on the Hudson of the past, which
I just could not resist doing. Hudson as
a handsome young stud ... way to go! The past was
a lot of fun. Little Goliath throwing mud
at little Iago for picking on a certain brother and
sister, lusty Prince Corwin (one of the
Avalon Clan would eventually be named after this
uncle of Malcolm). Amber playing with the
hatchlings, including Elektra's mother and
I'm glad Old-Mother wound up visiting the future. I hope to eventually
more of her experiences in upcoming stories,
and then maybe have some fun getting her
safely back home.
Alex hammering the table and yelling "Bullshit!" -- Greg at the
Gathering 99 ; )
"It's ... a fist!"
Ever since her debut appearance, swinging her tail at Goliath's bachelor
party, I have
been regularly implored with letters wanting
to see more of Godiva (uh ... that didn't
sound quite right; we saw everything in
Love Machine already ... but I digress).
Having the ghost of Sevarius inhabit her wasn't good enough; folks
wanted to see
Godiva in action, the special kind of action
for which I've become notorious.
I initially set out to write a naughty Godiva story, plain and simple.
But it just wasn't
working. She was a robot, an android, a
machine. I didn't want to re-hash my Trek-fic
Functional" and give her an aware personality of her own. Someone needed
in and help out.
Not Sevarius. That would be just too creepy. And good old Anton,
although he was
once married and fathered a son, just didn't
seem a very sex-oriented person.
Then I batted around the idea of letting Birdie take her over by
teaming up with T.J. as a sort of half-assed
pair of superheroes. Rejected that one
right away, let me tell you!
So there I was, mulling and mulling, and then I decided to have
someone else take
over the Godiva body. Thus was born Sabra
Indrani. Sabra was always her first name; I
never had to think about it (similar things
happened with Jericho and Elektra and Tiffy
Vandermere; the name's just there sometimes
and there's no way around it). Indrani was
plucked from my Character Naming Sourcebook
(a Writer's Digest Book Club selection;
if anybody wants to join this really great
club, let me know so I can send you my "refer a
friend" postcard and get some freebies!
But the more I wrote, the more Sabra turned into a complex and troubling
Not someone resigned to her disability,
not someone bravely struggling to do the best she
can. Not a noble character. She was bitter
to the core, hated the world and everyone in in
and particularly herself. Given the chance
at a new body, a sexy fabulous voluptuous body,
she never looked back. So what if it meant
becoming a gargoyle, an outcast, a monster?
From Sabra's point of view, she already
was an outcast and a monster.
Sometimes stories don't go the way I intend, and this was a severe
supposed to be a light-hearted sexual romp.
Turned dark. Way dark. Like a drug, the
Godiva bodyand the power of sex became
addictive and overpowering to Sabra.
Her seduction of Jason (there's a lot going on with him; more on
that in later stories),
her encounter with the clones ... and speaking
of which, gotcha, I was sure nobody would
fall for that since I'd pulled basically
the same stunt in The Pure and the Profane when the
Quarrymen smashed Hollywood ... her disturbing
relationship with Demona and Jericho ...
all of it adds up to a really strange series
I still don't know what it is about guys and the idea of two girls
... but damn, judging
by the letters, that scene with Demona
and Godiva in the bathtub struck a collective
nerve like nothing since the idea of MacBeth
Another weird develpment in this one involed T.J. His experience
with the Weird
Sisters must've warped him more than I
thought ... he's never seemed all that interested
in girls since, his relatiopnship with
Birdie is occasionally flirty (on her part) but platonic
... he strikes me as being oddly asexual
(odd as hell in my world, lemme tell you!). But in
this one, he was actually repelled, grossed
out, beyond uninterested and into the realm of
anti-sexual. Not sure what's happening
with that boy; I will have to keep an eye on him.
On an additional note, the early parts of this story were
tough for me because I know
very little about computers and technology.
Thank you, Tim, for making sure I didn't put
my foot in it too badly!
Also, the "Obi-Wan
is Hot!" site mentioned by Lex does exist; Birdie and I have a lot
in common and it was a treat to be able
to poke fun at myself when T.J. was appalled at
the story ; )
For inspiration on certain scenes, thanks go out to Star 101.5 and
Night Fever" disco tune program.
"Don't call me
do a friend a favor for his bachelor party, and --”
“You louse!” Punch to the
stomach. “You cad!” Clout to the head. “You rotten
no-good son of a --”
59 Beth of Both Worlds
This has got to hold some
sort of a record for the longest-put-off thing I've ever written.
Unless we count ElfLore
Book I, which was about 1/3 done when Becca was born and
then I only looked at it maybe four times in as many years. But
for the record, ElfLore
Book I is now actually finished, thank you, thank you ::bows::
Way back a lot of stories
ago, I wrote Whirlwind, in which Coyote invited Beth to a bring-your-own-mortal
party on Avalon. Then, for funsies, I threw it open to the rest of my
fellow fanfic authors, inviting them to submit their own versions
of such a party. Pick a fae,
pick a mortal, and have a good time. The results would be posted
in Avalon Mists.
Grand idea! It worked wonderfully!
Quite a few people joined in, sending stories ranging
from the touching to the hilarious. And while everyone was having
such a good time with it,
I was able to think about other stories and neglect my own ideas
of how said party might
have gone. Beth and Coyote were far from my mind, and getting further.
Then the deadline for Avalon Mists was upon me
and I realized no one had sent a Party
on Avalon story for that issue. Whoops! I had to scramble, scramble
fast. I knew the title
(yes, it's a groaner, whaddaya gonna do?) and had a very vague basic
premise in mind --
Beth Maza is called upon to save not only Avalon but Earth as well.
Considering how little preparation
went into it, I am very pleased with how this one came
out. It's not great, but it'll do.
Beth and Coyote happened
back before I knew where the Demona and Jericho storyline
was going, sort of my first foray into a quasi-incestual relationship.
He's not her relative, but
he looks like her father ... very Freudian, a little weird.
I still think Oberon's a
twerp ... that might come through just a wee bit in some of my stories
So I'm writing along, trying
to think of how Beth can save the cosmos, and it just wasn't
working out. She wasn't seeming much of the self-sacrificing type,
and Coyote was bound
and determined to interfere. That paved the way for the division
of her into two seperate but
shared selves, Beth and Mai. She hasn't yet told anyone about that,
not even her sister. It's
all too hard to explain.
Because this one actually
took place back before Elektra left Avalon, I was able to let her
be a part of it. And I got to play more with Corwin, who is probably
my favorite of the clan
left on Avalon.
"Everything I Need to Know
About Life, I Learned on Avalon,"
"Coyote, explain yourself!
Does this little bedwarmer of yours bear your seed?”
60 Revenge of the Amazon
I could not believe
it when I went back a year to see how many stories I'd written
between the first appearance of the Amazons
and this birthday sequel. Twelve! Only
twelve! What the hell had I been doing
with my time? Prior to that, I'd been averaging
two stories a month!
I realized that in the intervening time, I had also written an entire novel
Roses), most of another (ElfLore Book I),
a few Silver Flame stories, and my Star Wars
fic. I reasoned that under those circumstances,
I could forgive myself ...
any rate, here it was September again, and I'd gotten quite a few wondering
over the last year, wanting to know just
what had really happened between the lady pilot
and the drugged, hallucinating Jericho.
thought it was time to set the record straight. And the title, naturally,
without question. But I needed a few more
Amazons, and as most of them had been
figments of Jericho's imagination (helped
along by pin-ups), I needed some "real" women.
Did I have any Amazons in my cast? Why,
I sure did ... well, one Amazon and a Valkyrie ...
I went back to Club Gung-Ho, picked up Tora Hawke and Inge Runolf, and
the mayhem got underway in earnest. The
woman of many aliases, code-name Golden,
wanted a re-match. That meant capturing
Jericho. That meant catching him alone.
those who are curious to know what was going on in Birdie's apartment,
for future stories (Aiden will explain
a bit about her part in The Boy With the Healing
Hands, and we'll backtrack to Birdie and
MacBeth in Puck Teaser).
story was on the rushed side ... I'd mistakenly believed the birthday girl's
day to be the 11th when it was really the
16th. It could have been a bit more polished. But I
like Wcky's recounting of what happened
... it was interesting to do it as a conversation
instead of a flashback. I liked dragging
poor bewildered Aiden into the middle of it.
For the record, the line about the pogo stick
was deliberate ... ; )
"But for all his faults, he has one very large
redeeming feature ... two if you count the tail.”
“I’ve had a lot of practice satisfying demanding