Part Four ... other stories 
Intro / 1-20 / 21-40 / 41-60 / Others


1. For It May Come True (TGC rewrite) 
     Overall, most of us considered The Goliath Chronicles 
something of a letdown. Which is putting it mildly. The general 
opinion seemed to be that while there were a few episodes 
that had at least tried and carried some snippets of merit, most 
of the rest ranged from mediocre to just plain reeking. 
     I am not the only writer who chose to pretend that TGC 
never happened (though I did try to incorporate some of the 
events, and held onto a few things such as the Quarrymen -- if 
for no other reason than because the name with its dual 
meaning is just splendid!). 
     A group of us on a mailing list got to thinking we might 
be able to do a better job ourselves. So, taking the official 
episode synopses off the Buena Vista site to use as guidelines, 
each of us chose a story and went for it. 
     It was suggested that I take For It May Come True, 
because I had gotten a reputation as being something of a 
romantic (don't know where that could have come from <g>). 
    At the time, I hadn't even seen the episode because my work 
schedule conflicted with the wee-small-hours airing of TGC. I 
had been taping them, but after watching the first couple, had 
lost some of the eagerness that had initially made me rush right 
home from work to watch. 
     This was a depressing endeavor, because the premise 
had so much potential and the actual episode failed to touch 
on dozens of things that could have made it a wonderful and 
memorable one. I felt, egomaniacally, that I could do better with 
one side of my brain tied behind my back. 
     My biggest problem, a problem that has haunted me 
throughout my editorship of Avalon Mists and my projects for 
TGS, was keeping it tame, clean, and within the boundaries of 
what would be seen on the show. I may have slid over the line 
a time or two, but I tried, I really did ; ) 
     I saved the finished product for presentation at the 
Gathering 1997, when I read it aloud to a small but appreciative 
group (extraordinarily appreciative; they kept listening to me 
even when Greg himself walked into another part of the room 
halfway through the reading!!!). 
     Overall, I am very pleased with this story. Sneaking in 
little in-jokes and references, such as naming the kids Keith and 
Salli, or Owen's Mr. Smithers line, was only part of the fun. As 
with What Might Have Been, thinking through the implications 
and changes was the best part. Such as having Demona be the 
leader of the corrupted clan, Fox and Xanatos not getting 
together, MacBeth locked in the dungeon, Derek never 
becoming Talon, etc. 

Some thoughts on TGS: 
     I am consistently in awe and admiration of the people 
who make this possible! This is a huge effort by many 
talented writers, artists, editors, organizers, and watchdogs, all 
working together to create a cohesive series of stories based 
on Greg's vision. That they have been able to do it so well and 
so long with a minimum of infighting and bloodshed is worth 
an ovation! (Applause sign blinks on and off in the background). 
     We save our highest esteem for those who tackle the 
job we ourselves wouldn't want, and do it well. That's what I 
believe, anyway. These folks work their asses off, and I am 
honored to have been invited to be a peripheral member of the 
     Why peripheral? Well, way back when, I was invited to 
join up. But I am not a good team player. I do not work well 
with others. I am a selfish, demanding, strong-headed Aries who 
always wants things my way. I mix passive-aggressive 
techniques with just being a plain ol' bitch, leaving a trail of 
bodies in my wake. About the only person I could realistically 
collaborate with is my husband Tim, and that's partly because 
he does plot while I do story, and partly because after ten 
years together, he knows better than to get in my way ; ) 
     Therefore, I knew I would not be of benefit to an effort 
such as TGS, except in the capacity of writer-for-hire. Besides, I 
had my own stories happening, and didn't want cross- 
pollination or cross-pollution of ideas. 
     And there was the not inconsiderable problem of S&P. 
Ah, Standards and Practices, the bane of my existence. These 
are the aforementioned watchdogs whose grueling task it is to 
make sure that the writers don't get too naughty, violent, or 
commercial. As you might imagine, we butted heads more than 
a little even over the few projects that I took on ; ) 
     I have actually read very little of TGS, I must confess. 
This is partly due to time and partly due to preference. But I 
don't have to be a dedicated follower to appreciate the hard 
work that has gone into this series. To all of the staff, from the 
planners who brainstorm the initial story ideas to the editors 
who give it the final polish, I salute you! 

The Seduction (TGS Dark Ages project) 
     With a title like that followed by the words "by Christine 
Morgan," I bet a lot of TGS readers were pretty darn worried! ; ) 
     Dark Ages was the spinoff that most intrigued me. Here 
was a whole cast of characters, vibrant and fascinating ... and 
they were all going to be slaughtered in the Wyvern massacre. 
     I think this may be why Dark Ages ultimately suffered 
some popularity problems. Everybody knew that the staff were 
going to kill off a clan that we had come to know and love. 
These weren't just generic background gargoyles seen in 
flashbacks. They had names, personalities, hopes, dreams. And 
they were doomed. I know of several fans who have contrived 
ways of trying to spare their favorites, letting them live on in 
their own fanfic -- fanfic of fanfic, wow! 
     Then there was the name thing. It is damn hard to write 
for characters that don't have any names. A name can sum up 
the essence of a character, is vitally important. Yet the early 
clan didn't have them, except as assigned by Brother Edmund. 
This was a dodge that let the writers get past the stumbling 
block, though sometimes it didn't seem to work as well as it 
could have. Those names were only known to Brother 
Edmund, and thus really only should have been used from his 
point of view. But doing that would have been well nigh 
     In Something Old, Something New, I ran into this myself. 
You can only do so much with "brother," "leader," and 
descriptive terms. It is far easier to come up with names, or at 
least nicknames. Hence Joy and Crimson. But I never did feel 
quite right about it. 
     So, when I took on The Seduction, I wanted to see if I 
could do it without names. And it was a pain in the butt. I did it, 
but not without much gnashing of teeth. 
     Writing to someone else's outline was a new challenge 
for me, one that I initially dreaded and wound up actually 
     Overall, I really like this story. I like the interactions 
between Hudson and his mate, and young Demona's kitchen 
misadventures still make me grin. I liked getting to torment her 
on all sides, the pressure she was under from the second-in- 
command, the teasing she got from her siblings, her own 
internal worrying. I know all too well what that can be like. 

Reprisals (TGS Gargoyles project) 
     Christi made me do it. 
     She flattered, bribed, and browbeat me into taking this 
one on. I was hesitant -- I hadn't even been reading most of the 
stories, and here I was supposed to do the season finale? 
     But she was persistent and made me offers I couldn't 
refuse, so I agreed ... and then I got a look at the outline. Aye 
caramba! A veritable truckload of characters that I knew nothing 
about! The Ultra-Pack (and here I was, having hated Jackal and 
Hyena ever since Upgrade)! Building up to an apocalyptic war! 
     I knew I was in way over my head. Way, way over. My 
initial submission, the first draft of the opening scene between 
Demona and Canmore, just about gave the S&P people cerebral 
hemorrhages because of the gore. Thus began a lengthy ordeal 
that sorely tested my faith in myself and my ability to keep my 
     Among other things, I got raked across the coals for 
Broadway's question to Angela about Mavis making a pass at 
her, and Lex's "incredibly rude gesture involving both hands 
and his tail." Those both stayed in, but boy was it a big to-do! 
     To this day, I get angry letters about Lex. How could I 
do that to him? How could I strip away all his hope and leave 
him wallowing in freakish misery forever? Hey, I cried in 
protest, it wasn't my idea! I just wrote from the outline! But 
still, wow, the guilt! Some people came across like I had ruined 
their lives forever, they were never going to read another line 
of TGS, they couldn't believe I did such an awful thing! 
     Wow. All that, and S&P was worried because I made 
some mild joke about Mavis? 
     To further complicate matters, I was supposed to have a 
couple of co-writers, who assured me that they would take care 
of the Unseelie stuff. They knew the scoop, particularly on 
Maeve and Umbriel. Hakuna matata. No worries. But then time 
went by and time went by and I wound up having to muddle 
through on my own (with a couple last-minute tiffs, snags, and 
to-dos that sent me scurrying for cover while some of the staff 
duked it out). 
     Because of my opinions on Jackal and Hyena, I had a 
hard time with their scenes. Their fight with Lex was supposed 
to be serious, and I just could not do it. I wanted it quick, 
cinematic, and over fairly fast. I wound up coming out of that 
with one of my favorite images, that of Hyena rising from the 
fountain like Venus. I was really proud of that one. 
     I could not have done this without Patrick. This man 
saved my sanity. Usually "editor" is a word spoken with the 
same tone as "lawyer" or "scumbucket," but not Patrick. 
Supportive yet firm, like one of those expensive mattresses on 
TV (I mean that as a compliment, Patrick, honest!). When I was 
out of line, he told me so as kindly as possible, when I was 
way out of line he smacked me around like I deserved, and 
when he believed in me he went to bat for me and stood his 
ground against the fire and fury of all others. I love ya, man! 
Signs and Portents (TGS Pendragon project) 
     I wasn't planning to participate this season. I had too 
much else to do, and still was reeling from the furor over 
     But Stephen cajoled me into at least taking a look -- talk 
about persistent, this guy tried so hard to get me to agree to a 
collaboration that he deserves a medal (or a psych eval; I kept 
telling him what an impossible-to-work-with harridan I am and 
either he didn't believe me or he has nerves of steel ... or he's a 
masochist <g>). 
     While the collaboration never worked (I out-stubborned 
him, which was not easy), I did take a look at the posted list 
of TGS episodes, and found one that instantly appealed to me. 
In high school and college, I got into reading Tarot cards and 
was pretty good at it ... someday, if I can't make it as a writer, I'll 
hang up my counselor hat and go into business as a psychic 
advisor. So when I read the outline that had Una consulting the 
cards, my imagination was sparked. 
     And as I read on and found out there were basilisks 
involved -- well! The middle book of the ElfLore series is 
supposed to be called Knight of the Basilisk, so I knew all 
about them already. And then the confrontation in the chicken 
coop ... the chance to write slapstick with King Arthur ... I 
couldn't resist. 
     I immediately went begging to Kathy, who had written 
the outline, and when she agreed, I got writing. Well, first I got 
out my deck and figured out what cards I could use to make 
Una's reading meaningful and effective. 
     Sharp and Peake ... these two appear as DSA agents in 
the Leigh Nichols (pseudonym of Dean Koontz) book 
     Really bad joke that nobody ever got ... or if they did, it 
killed them so they could never reply ... the original name of 
the farmer in the outline was not Cabot. I gave the other name 
to the vet so I could use Cabot. Henry Cabot. The action takes 
place in Henry Cabot's henhouse (and don't forget the gangly 
red-sweatshirted Fred who knew the job was dangerous when 
he took it ...) 
     Henry Cabot Henhouse III was the secret identity of 
Super Chicken ... "when you find yourself in danger, when 
you're threatened by a stranger, when it looks like you will take 
a lickin' ... there is someone waiting who will hurry up and 
rescue you ... just ca-all for Super Chicken (buck-buck-buck- 
buck) ... just ca-all for Super Chicken! (buck-awk!)" 
     Oh, I'm so old, nobody remembers that but me, Super 
Chicken and Tom Slick and all those cartoons ... 

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