XENA E-XINE MELISSA GOOD ISSUE

THE XENA E- XINE--Dedicated to Missy Good

Volume I, Issue 18 -- October 1, 2000 ==============================================

Dear Xine Readers,

Gather around your computers, kiddies, and prepare your brains for some overt fan Mership. This issue is dedicated to the Alpha herself, Melissa Good. Within this publication you will find all you ever wanted to know about Missy but were too shy to ask. Okay, really this isn't a tell all about the Alpha. In fact, it's just a bunch of pups showing our appreciation for her talents and there really aren't any secrets to be revealed. Got you excited there didn't we? Enjoy the issue, but expect it to be long and probably sent as an attachment to this e-mail.

--The Xena Staff ============================================== Today's special Missy issue includes:

1. Feature Article -- "All Things Good," "A World of Good"

2. Missy quote/Missy Jokes/Missy Poem

3. Featured FanFic and Short Review -- "A Warrior By Any Other Name," "At a Distance," "Home is Where the Heart Is," "Bound," "Winter's Ending," "The Longest Night," "Reflections from the Past," "Darkness Falls," "Leap of Faith," "Promises Kept," "Festival," "Circle of Life," "Dark Comes the Morning," "Tropical Storm," "A Present Under the Tree," "Ringing in the New Year," "Hurricane Watch," "Eye of the Storm," "Tropical High"

4. Missy News With Interview! -- "Melissa Good Achieves A Fan's Dream," "A Chipup's recounting of Missy's Chicago visit"

5. Featured MerLinks -- Dar and Kerry's Photo Album -- Merwulf's Fake Updates & Lunacy's Reviews -- Interview with an Alpha -- Bard's of the Xenaverse Twenty-Seven Grilled Bards And One Reviewer: Rare, Medium And Supertoasty, the Whoosh Interview -- Darkverse -- Merwolf's Cave -- Merpup's Den -- Merpup Webring

6. Xena: Warrior Princess Episode Guide -- "Ties That Bind," "The Greater Good"

7. Fan Comments To Missy

8. Feedback

9. PRIVACY/NO SPAM POLICY!

10. Subscribe/Unsubscribe Information

11. Credits

12. Archives

==============================================

1) Featured Article

All Things Good

E.J. Rain

May 2000

I can think of no other writer--a woman writing about women for women with anything near comparable to her output or--and I'll even dare to use a grandiose term--the breadth of her vision. This simply has to be the most astonishing single example of fanfic in the history of fandom. But it goes beyond mere genre. In Melissa Good's first tale, with delicacy and great detail and precision, she presents our heroines just on the cusp of realizing how deeply in love they are with each other, she catches them breathlessly just before their two year friendship evolves so naturally into physical involvement. And, ironically, her starting point for the emotional undercurrent between them is Steve Sears' great script for "The Quest" ('was it you, or was it Autolycus?') Missy dedicated the printed novel of her first uber, "Tropical Storm," to Steve with Good reason. Written contemporaneously with the series for the most part, she has been perfectly prescient in predicting things that synchronously come to pass and scrupulously wise in incorporating only those elements she deftly chooses from the show. Some incidents remain unchanged, others are artfully redrawn. (and, best of all, not only is this a no Joxer zone, but the fool has never even been mentioned!) Ephiny still lives, delightfully united with Pony (not another centaur! but the amazon Eponin...in the series it seems to be okay for semi-bestiality, a woman mating with a centaur, but not people of the same gender unambiguously in love...) and in later tales which could be seen as taking place in an alternate timeline she has foregone India altogether and traveled her own 'way' allowing the story to take a more natural course if we are to assume (and it's no assumption here, but a beautiful reality) that they are lovers and betrothed to each other. She did not ignore The Rift, but made the whole incident more palatable (less violent) and realistic and continues to delve deeply into the emotions, passions, regret and forgiveness involved, in exploring everything they've come through in order to be and stay together. The cross of The Vision becomes a tree to which a cruelly tortured Xena is bound, The Bitter Suite, a briefly violent heart-wrenching, soulmate-affirming 'discussion' in a cave recounted in retrospect, the henna tattoos of the passage to India become real markers of their eternal fealty to each other, Gabrielle bears the third child in their lives not Xena and it is blessedly all theirs, Gab's killing frenzy in "Ides of March" becomes a true rescue mission of a badly injured Xena as the fighting mad bard literally launches herself over horses on the battlefield to impale the torturer of her beloved. Missy's action (including some eye-bugging horrific details of vengeance...people threaten to tear your heart out, but they rarely do it) and tenderness (those unparalleled "mmm" moments we all know and love), the battles and the love story are always so well balanced. I keep hoping against hope that the subtext has not died an ignominious death unmourned, apparently, by the actresses who used to portray it without a hint of embarrassment and I keep turning to Missy for solace. One would've thought that no one knows these characters better than the actresses who breathed life into them, but Missy does. Where is the subtext? Perhaps the show should have ended with "Fallen Angel" (for that is when it ended emotionally) before Lucy's pregnancy was forcibly incorporated into a highly uneven story arc. So much of the chemistry is gone along with the sense of playfulness between them. In "A Good Day" and "Succession" (both Sears episodes) Xena says she sees how Gabrielle has changed and admits that it's hard for her to face sometimes. And the apparent resultant change in their relationship has been difficult for many fans to take as well. As Gabrielle screams at Xena in "Seeds of Faith," "Don't you dare blame me!" She might as well be yelling at the fans who assigned blame to her during the Rift, e.g., or at the current crop of writers who continued to set her up for blame and to distance the friends from each other. They're caught up in a legendary love story with a life of its own, don't recant and backtrack now and betray the characters as well as the fans. We'll always be fans, but we may opt to skip most of season five in the pantheon of episodes. I believe it was Missy who has been quite correct in pointing out that the girls don't much like each other right now--while they will always love one another--that's a given. What she has given and continues to give to fandom at a near miraculous pace is the real story, the true private lives of Xena and Gabrielle. It's priceless and it's free on the web. No other gay woman writer, no other story cycle, chansons, saga, edda, mythos, etc., no tales of Narnia or Middle Earth have ever achieved any more than Melissa Good with these ongoing interwoven stories. Creating a plausible world without internal inconsistencies--she far outshines the series in this regard. Her work will (and should) be enshrined beside Sappho (or anyone else you can think of) as the exemplar of romantic love between women. And thanks again to Steve Sears for realizing that it is impossible to read Missy and not see that she could write for episodic TV and better than a lot of folks who get to do it on a regular basis. Thanks, Steve, for possessing an educated, discerning, sophisticated palate, and for putting the right thoughtful, subtext-sensitive word in the right ear at the right time. We have a renewed optimism that the new season will bring a return to what is truly the heart and soul of the series, the "ineffable" beauty of that relationship.

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A World of Good

E.J. Rain

September, 2000

Scenes as vibrant and playful and unforgettable as I have ever read in any novel... Who can forget the finely etched portrait of Xena alone at the waterfall before the climactic battle in "Dark Comes the Morning" that she thinks may well be her last and, in a defining moment, a chance to make up to her home village for Cortese. Claustrophobia. Described to absolute perfection. Carried through to Dar in her uber novels. Redemption. The fear that she will not be going to the same place as her soulmate, their near drowning, the vows exchanged. The nick of time rescue and first passionate kiss in the pouring rain in "At a Distance." The sensuous dance in the amazon village. The hayloft. Initials carved. The quarterstaff duel that ends in bed, one of the most playfully sexy things I've ever read. The cleverly conceived tree house rendezvous. Enchanted apples and their mystical seeds. The final battle of wills with Dahok. The seduction of the darkness, the bond they share that centers them both, the dark wolf or panther tamed by the sleek little redgold fox. The priceless italicized flashbacks of which we never grow weary, that fill in every conceivable blank or loose end and flesh out such a rich inner emotional life and landscape for our heroines. And the way so many of these thoughts and feelings and talismans of their karma (the initials, e.g., that Kerry discovers and embellishes) translate to the Miami world of Dar and Kerry. Kerry's gallant rescue by Dar from thugs at a time near their first meeting, Dar's forbidding darkling visage, her flirtation with military training to follow in her navy seal dad's wake. Some of it, a good deal, perhaps, has the feel of auto-bio. How I wish I'd had something of this quality and positive affirmation to read when I was growing up. Missy even provides a previous incarnation. Whither thou goest--where you go, I go. I swear Gabrielle almost said it to Xena in "Motherhood." Missy would've known to write it there. Even in another language ("Reflections from the Past") it is impossible to misinterpret at first glance. Impossible to look at X&G with baby Eve and not see Dori. I may have thought a year ago that I'd be overstating the case to say all of this about any fan writing published on the net, but the work speaks for itself. And it speaks volumes!

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2) Xena Quote/Missy Joke/Missy Xmas Carol

Missy Quote

"Bck"--Dori every time she speaks.

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Missy Jokes

The Top 20 Ways To Know You're a Diehard Merpup

20. You've never actually SEEN a merwolf, but you know they exist!!!

19. You read every post on the pack.

18. You find yourself watching The Crocodile Hunter.

17. You feel the only actresses to play Dar and Kerry in the TS series are LL and ROC.

16. You watch XWP and complain that the Amazons aren't as cool as the ones in Missy's stories.

15. You begin to wonder why Custer's men didn't just grab them durn arrows as they flew towards them at Little Big Horn.

14. Your pets are named after Missy characters.

13. You've read TS the book version and on the Internet 5 times...EACH.

12. You howl.

11. You have every Missy story printed, bound, and catalogued in your computer.

10. You can't see strawberries without wanting to melt some chocolate.

9. You actually have moments of insanity when sleeping on the hard ground sounds romantic.

8. Thai food has become a staple in your diet.

7. You scan the radio waves searching for the perfect Dar and Kerry song.

6. There is no six.

5. You name your baby daughter Dori.

4. You know for sure your next dog will be a yellow lab.

3. Wolves are a theme in your house.

2. You notice every Lexus SUV and Dark green Mustang...and actually look for Dar or Kerry behind the wheel!!! And the number 1 Way To Know You're a Diehard Merpup

1. When eating an apple you are always VERY careful not to swallow the seeds!!!

Missy vs. TPTB (More like an observation really)

The Rift:

TPTB: The Gab Drag, singing, Illusia, instant reconciliation (But I actually liked the Bitter Suite.)

Missy: NO Gab Drag, one hit, no singing, a long period of realistic, and very romantic, reconciliation

Joxer:

TPTB: Won't let the poor sap grow up, he won't go away, he won't go away, HE WON'T GO AWAY!

Missy: Joxer who?

Solon:

TPTB: Those bastards! They killed Solon!

Missy: Followed TPTB (Sigh!)

Tall Furry People:

TPTB: The Monkey God got a few Hindu fanatics all hot and bothered.

Missy: The Forest People are loved by everyone. (Well, maybe not by the people having their arms and heads pulled off, but nobody is perfect.)

Xena:

TPTB: Ex-bad a** warlord with an attitude.

Missy: Ex-bad a** warlord with an attitude, but also with a lot of heart and soul and love in her.

Gabrielle:

TPTB: Ex-Amazon Queen, sort of ex-bard, good warrior and fair leader, "good friend" of Xena

Missy: Still queen, still bard, good warrior and leader, really, really, really good friend of Xena

Amazons:

TPTB: Those Bastards! They killed Ephiny!

Missy: All the Good Amazons are alive and kicking a**.

Amazonettes:

TPTB: Those Bastards! They killed Amarice and most of the Northern Amazons.

Missy: Hot blooded, horny little devils are always causing trouble. But we love them anyway.

Babies:

TPTB: Xena has baby "fathered" by ex-hated enemy

Missy: Gabrielle has baby "fathered" by the pure, sweet love of Xena

The Relationship:

TPTB: Still in the closet

Missy: By the gods! They are doing it the road and scaring the horses!

*Posted to the pack March 27, 2000 by CPT Skip. Thanks for allowing us to publish it in this Xine.*

********************

Missy Xmas Carol

Missy Good Goes To Town

I

Missy went to SM to the con

She and the bards took the town on

They partied all night

Til the wee morning light

Did Lucy, a shower scene and was gone

II

From one coast to the other she flew

Writing updates and comments anew

Her travel was light

No sand on this flight

The pilot thanked her along with the crew.

III

Missy needed a few days to rest up

She was worn out by all her Merpups

They were there, thick and thin

Their praise raised quite the din

And toasted her well at the sup.

IV

To Pasadena next year she may go

Depends on just how the wind blows

And where will we be?

Hearing stories at her knee

That's a no brainer of course, don't you know?

Copyright by ArdentTly

January 29, 1999


3) Featured Fan Fiction

Bacchae2's FanFic Reviews

OK, as an admitted HCNB, I may as well just start out by giving all of Missy's stories five (count 'em) ***** stars (only because I'm not allowed to give any more than that)! The brief synopses "in quotes" are Missy's own. You can find all of the below stories at this URL or you can follow the individual URLs with the reviews. http://merwolf.com/ffiction.html

XENA AND GABRIELLE

"A Warrior By Any Other Name" http://www.ausxip.com/fanfiction/a/awarrior1.html

"Xena and Gabrielle make a new friend who leads them down a very unexpected path."

Hmm. The furry friend is awfully redolent of Vincent, the beast (indeed, said TV character figures prominently on the mock-up cover linked to this site, executed by one of the multitude of adoring DEN-izens of the pack), but Missy says the resemblance is only pelt deep and purely coincidental. I was initially thrown by bringing a new sort of creature into an already established mythos, but once we get to the budding romance and acknowledge the undeniable attraction between our heroines, sigh, nothing will ever be the same. Who will make the first move, bard or warrior? I dare you not to get hooked.

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"At a Distance"

http://www.ausxip.com/fanfiction/a/ata1.html

"Gabrielle is recalled to the Amazons, while Xena decides to spend some time at home. The separation proves... illuminating."

This one is a bonafide classic. On everyone's top ten list of best Xena tales or amazon stories. The hearts in question grow tremblingly fonder the farther apart they are forced to be. Gives new meaning to the willingness to climb mountains and ford rushing streams for one's beloved. Gab takes her queenly duties very seriously and Xena plays the dark knight coming to the fair maid's rescue to the hilt...and then some. Occasion for dancin' and singin' in the rain if ever there was one. Unforgettable.

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"Home is Where the Heart Is "

http://www.ausxip.com/fanfiction/h/home.html

"Gabrielle's father sends for her - but all's not what it seems in Potadeia, and Xena decides to find out why."

The very modern and topical subject of physical abuse rears its ever ugly head in this one. How Missy can extrapolate the full blooded characters of Hecuba and Herodotus from their negligible appearance in the pilot episode is truly remarkable...especially since some further character development in "Family Affair" years later would show her not at all off the mark in her perceptions of Gabrielle's mother and father. Or, as with so much in the Missyverse version of things, do we refuse to see the characters in any other fashion, but that which she has wrought? And, just as in that episode, it becomes a wince inducing matter of taking the lover home to meet the hostile folks. Gab's angry dad is determined to marry her off again and to get Xena out of the picture and his daughter's life...by any means necessary. And Xena does her level best not to kill her lover's da. Though her righteous anger on behalf of her bard makes that outcome a decided possibility.

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"Bound"

http://www.ausxip.com/fanfiction/b/bound1.html

"Xena and Gabrielle decide to pay their friend Jessan a visit, but as usual, unexpected things seem to happen."

Perhaps my favorite of the Xena tales. The one that begins to explore in depth the quite literal bond between these soulmates. Think Imzadi (for all you Treksters out there in the audience.) The warrior's deepest fears are exposed. Will she ever find redemption, or will they be parted for eternity? You will never find a better description of claustrophobia anywhere. If the Merwolf does not suffer from the malady or know someone very well who does and is able to describe it to such perfection that it makes you experience the feeling itself then she is simply an extraordinarily empathic personality. (That Trek reference isn't far off the mark.) Some classic hurt/comfort in this one. Xena's soul searching and psychic pain will break your heart.

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"Winter's Ending"

http://www.ausxip.com/fanfiction/w/winter1a.html

"Home at last, Xena and Gabrielle find that trouble follows them even there, as Amazons, Hercules, and some very unexpected guests liven up their winter."

Sigh. Does is get any better than this? The story opens with a wonderful homey portrait of the bard lying before a blazing fire in their cozy cabin working on her scrolls. Missy continues to fully flesh out the characters of Cyrene and Toris, Xena's mother and brother, amazon Ephiny, and to create fascinating new characters all her own such as the precocious Xena in miniature wannabe Cait, a fierce young amazon. Xena fights, bests, and rescues Herc. And don't we just love the way she broke 'the news' (about herself and Gab) to Herc's companion, Iolaus, the clueless? We'd pay money to see that little scene performed live. Meanwhile, Gab is kidnapped along with a troop of amazonette girlscouts in training and Xena becomes desperately fearful of reaching her in time this time. (To the Spoiler goes the victory: The bard's would-be rapist suffers a fate worse than death when the raging warrior gets her powerful hands on him.)

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"The Longest Night"

http://www.ausxip.com/fanfiction/l/longest1a.html

"Friends and relations gather in Amphipolis to celebrate the Winter Solstice, and a long-awaited joining."

It's party time. A sublimely romantic wedding scene as our girls join their hearts, souls and lives before all their friends and relations and seriously consider settling down for good in their comfy cabin in Xena's hometown...but, of course, trouble will just come to them in that case. I was almost apoplectic when Missy's plotting threatened the honeymoon, but it's really all been pretty much honeymoon with them from the start. Everybody say, "mmm." An amusing Steve Martin/John Candy gay panic moment when Herc and Io discuss the ramifications of their relationship in relation to what they now know about X&G. The tendrils of the elements implanted through the first dramatic spate of tales become increasingly intertwined. The dark power that threatened Herc in the previous tale makes a reappearance and targets Xena, the forest dwellers remain strong allies and further alliances are being formed among the centaur and amazon camps that will set little Amphipolis in good stead when all the vultures come home to roost. These stories are interconnected and must be read in order.

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"Reflections from the Past"

http://www.ausxip.com/fanfiction/p/past1.html

"Xena and Gabrielle while away the long winter days translating a set of old scrolls that hold a story strangely familiar to them."

There are so many wonderful present day ubers out there, but leave it to Missy to give us a prior incarnation of our heroines. Xena plays translator of some ancient scrolls found in a cave as we learn of a pair of women, castaways from a far off land, seemingly celtic/viking, who rely upon and comfort each other, save each other's lives and fall deeply in love. A bit of a change of pace, surprisingly heartfelt and a very accomplished, mature performance from our beloved novelist. To quote my own precious soulmate in the matter: "I was impressed at how well Missy was able to weave the sub-tale so seamlessly with the X&G, showing growth in both relationships despite the difference in their time lines and the circumstances of their mileiux."

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"Darkness Falls"

http://www.ausxip.com/fanfiction/d/dark1.html

"The Rift behind them, Xena and Gabrielle start down the long road to reconciliation as they rebuild their lives."

Heartwrenching stuff abounds. Slowly, painfully, delicately they put the pieces of each other's shattered hearts back together. Missy's rather optimistic path for our girls was waylaid just a bit by what has come to be known (and despised by some) as The Rift. I find it a powerfully passionate poetic mythos in the hands of the right authors. She doesn't gloss over it, nor does she wallow in it. This is truly bittersweet, as the friends had hurt each other with words and mistrust far worse than any personal physical injuries. It's a matter of post traumatic stress, and let's remember Gabrielle was raped and her partner will always feel the guilt of not preventing that event which then led to so much tragedy for both of them. And who says Missy doesn't go all the way with a love scene...you're just not reading carefully. She doesn't need graphic detail to make it deliciously erotic. She is a skilled enough writer not to need to do that.

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"Leap of Faith"

http://www.ausxip.com/fanfiction/l/leap1.html

"A delayed trading caravan draws Xena and Gabrielle's attention, with results neither of them expected."

Gab goes undercover to rescue a kidnapped and badly abused Ephiny from a vicious, seemingly unreformable young woman named Paladia, even offering herself in place of her friend. While Xena leads a pack of skeptical amazons, still angry in the aftermath of what she did to their queen, to the rescue. Will she win them over by making that extraordinary, superhuman, quite literal leap of faith in order to save her beloved yet again? Love can indeed move mountains. Especially when the lover is Xena.

********************

"Promises Kept"

http://www.ausxip.com/fanfiction/p/promises1.html

"Back on the road again, Xena and Gabrielle find that trouble is not about to leave them alone, as Xena receives a summons from an old comrade at arms, reminding her of a favor owed."

So, Gabby wants to have a baby, and we know, whatever Gabby wants, Gabby gets. She arises to a unique (but, as it appears to turn out, unnecessary) solution to this conundrum (I won't give that one away) and is determined, hopefully, to get it right this time. A child that will belong to both of them...to assuage the pain and guilt over the children they lost. Hey, what's with the penguin Missy?

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"Festival"

http://www.ausxip.com/fanfiction/f/festival1.html

"Xena and Gabrielle head for Amazon Country, to join them for the festival of Dionysus. It's supposed to be a nice, peaceful interlude, but as you know, Amazons + Gabrielle = TROUBLE."

Will Xena ever feel at home in the amazon village? Can she ever consider herself one of them? And vice versa? Even as their queen's chosen consort and champion...or will there always be too much bad blood between them for that? Charming how the budding Cait/Paladia romance mirrors X&G on a smaller, cuter scale. And Ephiny and Pony are still working gamely at their relationship. That makes three joinings now for our girls: the crystalline beauty of the cave ceremony with the forest people (a relic that once again pops up in the lives of Dar and Kerry), the simple, sweetly straightforward binding in Amphipolis and the more primitive ritualized ceremony of the amazons. Thrice wed. Charmed. As Gabrielle with child.

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"Circle of Life"

http://www.ausxip.com/fanfiction/c/circle1.html

"After the bard's close call with Death, Gabrielle and Xena settle down at home in Amphipolis to await the birth of their child. But things never go quite as planned, and when Amazons, forest dwellers, and enemies are involved..."

I was admittedly skeptical about birthing another baby with these two, but Missy has made the character of Dori (and character she is from the day of her birth) a surprising charmer, a pleasing amalgam of her mommies. Trouble is her middle name and she will never lack for adventures, an inherited trait. The birth scene is surprisingly delightful in its simplicity and ease, one of the sweetest, amusing, and most touching I've ever read. How do you do it, Missy? We'd swear you'd given birth as well, or vowed to experience it to get it just so very, very right.

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"Dark Comes the Morning"

http://www.ausxip.com/fanfiction/d/morning1.html

"Xena and Gabrielle have settled contentedly in Amphipolis, and are enjoying their new baby daughter, Doriana. Or are they? Life is, as Gabrielle well knows, a series of tradeoffs. To achieve one thing, you often have to give up something else."

Parts 1-27 (!) A year in the making. Yes, this is Missy's longest tale, by far. A riveting, page-turning (or -scrolling), battle-filled, dark, triumphant, love conquers anything and everything reaffirmation of a passion that can transcend anything gods or demons or mere mortal men hurl in its way. The woman's writing and storytelling skills become more accomplished with each new tale. This one even manages to sock away Dahok, if not summarily, then with some finality. Worth waiting for. Brings the season three arc full circle, a great coda to the series and to Missy's Xena sagas (if, heaven forbid, she should never write another.) Has epic written all over it. As fine as any (and better than most) sword and sorcery saga published in hard covers.

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DAR AND KERRY

"Tropical Storm"

http://www.ausxip.com/fanfic4/tropical1.html

"This is an Uber-Xena Fiction. That means, no Xena, no Gabrielle. It's just about two people, whose lives collide in contemporary Miami, and how they cope with that. This is not 'in place' of my next X and G story, btw.. it's a filler while I'm waiting for more of the 4th season to air. The printed version has all the names right. (g)"

This is the one that started one of the greatest uber phenomenon in the Xenaverse. We meet Dar and Kerry in this touching story of soulmates finding each other. It's hard to not fall in love with these two. Everyone wants to be Dar because she's Dar or they want to be Kerry because she HAS Dar. A great story that will want you wanting more. If you haven't read TS, you need to stop what you're doing and start reading it NOW!

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"A Present Under The Tree"

http://merwolf.com/Christmas.html

"A short Christmas Visit with Dar and Kerry"

Dar and Kerry's first Christmas together. The romance continues to blossom and there is a new addition to the family. Dori? Hey! Wrong story! This answered some questions still hanging over from the end of "Tropical Storm."

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"Ring in the New Year"

http://merwolf.com/ringing.html

"A short vignette with Dar and Kerry, and some jewelry."

With the New Year comes solidity and affirmation of their love. Short but an adorable read. A few hours (or less) and you'll be through this story wanting to hurry up and get to "Hurricane Watch."

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"Hurricane Watch"

http://www.ausxip.com/fanfic6/hurricane1.html

"Well, that was a long break. (laugh) Dar and Kerry are back. This is a sequel to Tropical Storm - and is set in more or less the same time period. It's the end of January, and things are not going smoothly for our uber friends at work. Dar and Kerry are trying to balance the stresses of their common workplace, with building a life with each other in their off hours. That's not easy, and just when they start getting things in order... well, that's what the story's about."

As with the previous stories in this series, I found myself unable and unwilling to stop reading. I had to know just what was going to happen next. Missy does a great job at hooking and pulling you in so that all you think about are Dar and Kerry. You see their love really find its ground in this one, and Dar kicks ass. What more could you want? Okay but you'll just have to use your imagination for that.

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"Eye of the Storm"

http://www.ausxip.com/fanfiction/e/eye1.html

"Yep.. Dar and Kerry are back. It's been a few months, and things are settling down. Or are they? No matter what, life around these guys is never boring. More corporate intrigue, and personal discoveries ahead as Dar finally has to deal with issues long buried, and Kerry faces the consequences of her own actions."

You'd think after the previous stories that it couldn't get any better. Well, it does. Secrets are revealed as things start to heat up at EDS and we find some interesting things about Dar and Kerry (as if they aren't interesting enough as it is). Families are brought together and pulled apart and reformed. I absolutely loved this story! These women truly get under your skin. while reading this, I had a sudden urge to ride a Harley.

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"Tropical High"

http://www.ausxip.com/fanfiction/t/tropicalhigh1.html

"Dar and Kerry find life getting ever more complex as Dar gets involved in an investigation of the military, and Kerry takes on new challenges at work. Old memories flare up, and Dar questions youthful choices as her past causes Kerry problems in the present."

This still ongoing story keeps the ball rolling in the lives of Dar and Kerry. Since it is not finished yet, all I will say is that they continue to get better and better!

Star Rating

***** It's Missy. `Nuff said!

**** It is worth your while to read.

*** It's better than getting punched in the face by Xena.

** Maybe a go-round with Xena isn't a bad idea..

* Shoot me...shoot me now!

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4) Good News

Melissa Good Achieves A Fan's Dream

Written by: Lady Adrell

E-mail Interview by: Sue Winter September 25, 2000

In the five years "Xena" has been on the air, there has grown a large following on the Internet. This portion of the Xenaverse has spawned many celebrities out of regular fans. One of the more noticeable names among these celebrity fans would have to be Melissa Good, also known as Missy or Merwolf. Missy gained her celebrity when she started writing "Xena" fan fiction during the Third Season of "Xena" in 1998. The other Xenites loved her portrayal of Xena and Gabrielle so much that they began what is known as the Merpups, a group of dedicated fans of her fan fiction. As with everything, it started out small but strong with just a few people. As time went by and more and more people were introduced to Missy's work, the Merpups grew in number. Several mailing lists were dedicated to Missy the Merwolf, called the Alpha by her Pups; the MerwolfPack being the most prominent. Not only are Missy's "Xena" fanfic stories coveted by fans, but her two uber characters Paladar (Dar) and Kerrison (Kerry) have themselves become a major focal point for fan praise. From the first introduction of Dar and Kerry in "Tropical Storm" to their latest adventures in "Tropical High," fans clamber constantly for more. The popularity of Missy among Xenites is so great that her Dar and Kerry series, "Tropical Storm," is currently in the works to become a TV series. In a recent interview by ChiPup Sue Winter, Missy was asked about her fanfic and the Merpups:

Sue: "I'm sure you never thought that Dar and Kerry would make the impact they have with fanfic readers. Everyone loves them. What are your feelings about Dar and Kerry? They're your characters of course, but now it appears as if they belong to everyone as well."

Missy: "(g) Oh yes - it's funny the responses I get sometimes. To me, the characters are fairly real people, with likes and dislikes and histories of their own - but the sense of reality perceived by readers is amazing sometimes. I get mail scolding me about everything from what they eat, to what cars they drive, to how much they do, or don't, give to charity. If I have one or the other articulate a political, or moral position - I get mail on how wrong that is, or why they should believe differently, or what causes I should have them champion. On one hand, that's sort of disconcerting, because the characters are who they are, not literary agendas, but on the other hand, it's very humbling to know they're real enough for someone to either take offense on their behalf, or be offended by something they did. "

Sue: "Do you plan on continuing the Dar and Kerry series even after XWP ceases production? (It has, after all, taken on a life of its own!)"

Missy: "Sure. I intend on continuing the X and G series after XWP ceases production. I like writing. Dar and Kerry are also part of their own production - and being prepped for an ongoing television series which I've written the pilot for."

Sue: "I know you have said that your stories write themselves and that the characters let YOU know what they are going to do and say. Does this account for your apparent lack of writers block?"

Missy: "Possibly. (G) Spending time writing either D and K, or X and G is like spending time visiting with old friends. It's just fun, and I enjoy doing it."

Sue: "What do your colleagues at EDS think of your second career? Do any of them read the Dar & Kerry stuff? Or try to figure out which character they are?"

Missy: "Sure, some of the folks here have read TS (and laughed their butts off) But I don't generally make a big deal of my second career - I kinda had to tell them about the Xena scripts because some of them are fans, and I figured they'd notice the screen credits, but I'm notorious enough around the office so that I don't need any more attention. (g)"

Sue: "How much of Dar is autobiographical? Of course, we know about the computers, but how about the Navy background, scuba diving, etc."

Missy: "Nah - neither Dar, nor Kerry is autobiographical - I use my own interests and habits and give them to the girls because it's easier on me that way - but the characters themselves are not based on anyone in particular. I do scuba dive. (g)"

Sue: "In the X&G saga how much is clever reworking of details from the show (especially since The Rift) and how much, overall, has been sheer prescient luck when you hit upon themes, plotting, symbolism, dialogue that has been used or will be used in the series?"

Missy: "Well, depends on if I wrote it before it showed up on the series or not, doesn't it? (laughing) Some of the things in the X and G series are definitely taken from the show itself. Some of the things that have shown up on the series are logical extensions of who the characters are- though sometimes I get startled, like when Xena is revealed to be claustrophobic. It's a mixture - I try to study who the characters are, and do stories based on that - and inevitably, there are going to be things in my 6,000 pages, and their 100 plus eps, that are going to mesh by sheer coincidence."

Sue: "We've seen Dar's warrior side and we know Kerry has Gab's negotiating skills, but when are we going to see some bardic skills emerge in Kerry?"

Missy: "She's a poet. (g) She just is very shy about sharing. Maybe she can work on that."

Sue: "Do you know if ROC and LL have read any of your uber stuff? Any X&G? Are they aware of the huge internet presence of their fans?"

Missy: "I don't know - I never asked them about that. I do know some of the staff has been to merwolf.com - but what they chose to read I have no idea. I would guess after the last letter campaign to Studios USA, that they possibly have some inkling of the large online presence, but you never know."

Because of his involvement with the online "Xena" fans, former "Xena" Writer and Producer Steve Sears became friendly with Missy. While talking with "Xena" creator Robert Tapert about possibly having a fan write an episode for "Xena's" Sixth Season, Steve mentioned Missy's name. Missy contacted Rob and after several weeks of meetings and writing samples, it was all set for Missy to write her Xena script. The Merpups promptly flooded Steve Sears and Robert Tapert with gifts in appreciation for giving Missy the opportunity every Hard Core Nutball dreams of. The episode was titled "Legacy" and had Xena and Gabrielle helping Nomads in Africa fend off those pesky Romans. It was soon after the finishing of "Legacy" that Missy was offered another episode to script. This episode, entitled "Coming Home," was chosen to be the Season Premiere airing in the week of October 2nd. Missy was given the chance to visit the set for the taping of both episodes. Due to other commitments she could only make it to the taping of "Coming Home," which started shooting in August. Sue asked Missy about her experience working on "Xena."

Sue: "Now that you are an official script writer do you have any desire to write for other shows? Will your association with Tapert, Sears, et al provide you with such opportunities?"

Missy: "I have no idea. I'd welcome the chance to work with either Rob or Steve any time again - but moving to LA and taking up the true, very difficult, and very risky business of professional scriptwriting is not something I'm in a position to accomplish at the moment."

Sue: "Once your episodes air, will you be at liberty to fill us in on some of the details of your NZ visit?"

Missy: "Nope. (g) Other than everyone was very nice, I had a great time, and NZ is gorgeous."

Sue: "Was there ever a moment on set when you stepped back from the situation and thought to yourself that you were sitting there talking to LL and ROC, not only as a fan but as a peer, and then went totally nuts inside?"

Missy: "No - not really - because it was all so interesting, I was too engaged in observing, and learning what was going on."

Sue: "What does it feel like to have your dreams suddenly come true and what is the biggest direct impact it's all having on you?"

Missy: "Well, to be honest - I never did dream of being an author, or writing teleplays, so it's hard to say how having that happen to me has changed anything. I'm happy beyond all measure that I got the chance to write the scripts, I'd do it again in a heartbeat, I'm crazy about the entire Renpics staff - but through it all I've also had to go about doing my regular job, and living my normal life. Sometimes, the surreal factor did kick in, like when I'd be attending writer's meetings, and work would call asking me to troubleshoot something, but mostly I just end up looking at the Legacy pictures up in my cubicle, and just shaking my head in disbelief."

Sue: "Having now met LL and ROC in person, do you find yourself seeing YOUR X&G or D&K characters any differently?"

Missy: "(g) Nope. Lucy and Renee are talented actresses. Xena, Gabrielle, Dar and Kerry are fictional characters."

Sue: "Having your chance to write two scripts for Xena I'm sure it must seem very surreal to you. Five years ago did you ever dream that you would not only become a celebrity with online Xenites but also be in a position to meet and write for the stars of a show you love? Can you describe your feelings about this?"

Missy: "Without a doubt, I never even considered anything of the sort. Even now, I sometimes just shake my head, and find it very hard to believe any of this has happened. It's a very surreal feeling."

Sue: "How is your Mom handling your new-found celebrity? Does she have any idea how big a deal this is?"

Missy: "She loves it. She's read both scripts (she likes CH better than Legacy) and she's anxious to see them on TV. She's told every relative I have, or may possibly ever have in the future about it."

With "Coming Home" and "Legacy" due to air in the next few months, the "Tropical Storm" series still in the works for TV, and her fanfic writing still going strong, Missy has no plans of stopping. Long after "Xena" has ended and gone into reruns, the Alpha will still be hard at work cranking out some fanfic story or two.

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A Chipup's recounting of Missy's Chicago visit

Sue Winter September 26, 2000

On an absolutely gorgeous recent weekend in Chicago, Sept. 15-17, the sun shone radiantly on Missy Good and some 40 merpups as they made their way around some of the sites of the city. Missy had come to visit with the Chipups and assorted pups from around the country, and the visit turned out to be a rousing success! I, unfortunately, was unable to attend all the activities planned for the weekend, but will briefly recount what went on in my absence. On Friday, Missy and the pups visited the Field Museum taking in the famous T-Rex skeleton, Sue. That day they also visited the Adler Planetarium and had dinner at the Mashed Potato Club. Yep, the only thing on the menu is mashed potatoes created in various ways with various toppings! But, extremely satisfying nonetheless according to many pups and a marvelous, and filling!, time was had by all. The next day started with a boat cruise on the lake along the downtown lakefront, taking in the Chicago skyline. A "beautiful" and "stunning" experience say those who were there. With temps in the 60's and with a chilly breeze Missy (from tropical Miami) managed not to freeze and enjoyed the sites very much. Then the group had lunch at the Billy Goat Tavern, of SNL fame (cheezebourgers, cheezebourgers!) where Missy seemed to get quite a kick out of the local color. They then took in Navy Pier, filled with much shopping and many amusements. That night was the infamous video night, which is where I finally joined the party. It was, to say the least, a very raucous and informative evening. I'm going to have to, sigh, stick to only relating the raucous part though, as that's the only part of the evening I'm allowed to repeat here! Suffice to say we all learned a lot about various things in the Xenaverse. At any rate, the evening took place at Timothy O'Tooles, a very nice and accommodating tavern where we all had dinner in a private dining room before the festivities began. Then we all watched a fabulous collection of Xena music videos, various interviews with Lucy and Renee, some sketches from Lucy's appearance on SNL and some clips from Xena (nearly exclusively subtextual!) put together for our viewing pleasure by Di (who's wonderful fanfic can be found at www.dsbauden.com and who unfortunately couldn't join us for the evening). The videos seemed to put everyone into a festive mood and much merriment ensued for the remainder of the evening. Quite a number of pups gathered around the bar and drank round after round of buttery nipples (shots of Bailey's and butterscotch schnapps). They toasted various things such as "to subtext!" and "to Gab's abs!". Much laughing, back slapping and flirting went on as even the pups who didn't join in on the buttery nipples caught the sense of fun that permeated the evening. Missy seemed to be relaxed and in a very good mood herself that night, setting the tone for everyone there. This was the first time I'd met her and I found her to be very down to earth, personable and really just a big ol' fan like the rest of us. Her astonishing success hasn't gone to her head at all, and she remains as in awe of it as we all are. Imagine if you can, having the type of success Missy's had - every fan's dream - and keeping a handle on all of your runaway emotions. Missy's managed to do just that, as well as remain as friendly and approachable as ever. Quite honestly, if there's anyone in the Xenaverse who deserves this kind of success it's Missy, as she's able to keep all the hoopla in very humorous and humble perspective. She's just a fan and she knows it. It was a truly wonderful and enlightening experience to finally meet her. The next day, Missy's last in Chicago, the pups took in Disney Quest, but mostly just relaxed (recuperated!). That evening I joined them all for some Thai food at a restaurant near Missy's hotel. After dinner we adjourned back to the hotel. We sat in the bar for a bit laughing and talking while some folks played darts and Missy put her feet up and typed away at her latest update for "Tropical High". I have to say, as an avid Missy reader, that it was something of an out of body experience to be sitting with the Bard while Dar and Kerry's latest exploits spewed forth from her as she carried on conversations with the rest of us! Fascinating - it's true what they say, real story tellers can write anywhere, at any time and under any circumstances. All in all it was a wonderful and successful weekend. Many thanks to Chipups Dave and Marina for organizing the festivities. Also thanks to all the pups and their friends who made the weekend so much fun. And especially thanks to Missy for making the whole thing possible by simply showing up! It was all such a good time that we'll just have to do it again next year. See ya' then!

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The First SoCal Pup Meet

Lady Adrell October 01, 2000

My better half, our good friend Dr. Rachael Jones, and myself headed to beautiful Dana Point on Saturday to attend the much awaited Southern California event. As it is with all Pup events, the welcome was warm and inviting as we arrived at Merpup Ruth's gorgeous home. We were greeted first by Merpup Dee and then by the warrior of the hour, Xena. A cardboard cutout of Xena is always a necessity when pups gather. Sparing the description of the fabulously decorated home, and fully loaded weight room, I'll get on to the fun of the evening. The evening started off slow as gradually more pups showed up. Approximately twenty in all. People milled about inside and out as the food was made its way to the patio tables. Food is a good ice breaker at parties. It allows people occupy themselves with something instead of feeling that they have to say something. In which case the conversations became more relaxed and everyone got a bit looser. Another good icebreaker is the "Xena" theme song, and it's just darn fun to listen to! Merpup Ruth had a nifty pool table set up in her living room, which got some good use for a good long while. I did play, and in a game of doubles I triumphantly lost the game by making a stupid shot that swiftly sank the eight ball. I need to brush up on my pool sharking skills. What gathering is complete without door prizes? That's right, Merpup Ruth was gracious enough to raffle off some of her extra Xena merchandise. Did I mention already that Merpup Ruth has a shrine set up to Xena? No altar or blood sacrifices--I think--but she was a definite fanatic. Gotta love it! Gotta love that she would give items to us when she could easily sell them. We came away with a Gabby shirt and Doc came away with the much coveted Xena socks. No Xena collection is complete without the socks! Some of the other prizes were trading cards, a mouse pad, and magnets. For some reason, the Doc was a very popular and sought out woman. My better half and I are convinced it must have been the socks. Pointers to those of you who are dating; buy Xena socks! Once the door prizes were given away, we all moved into the den for the video watching. Missy's Merpup Breakfast speech in Orlando in May was first on the list of viewing items. She recalled her experience with landing the RenPics job and what she had to do to come up with the finished product. She also announced the direction "Tropical Storm" was going to take. There wasn't anything new revealed to us that we hadn't already heard months ago on the pack posts, but it was amusing to hear it from Missy herself. She was clearly excited about what was happening in her writing life. The second video shown was the music video tape showed a few weekends ago for the Chicago pup gathering. Merpup Helen requested the tape so we could enjoy it too. It arrived in time for Saturday. The tape contained an hour or more footage of various music videos, interviews, and clips of different shows, including some SNL (Saturday Night Live)skits. It was at this point, after the ending of the second video, that most of the pups headed home. The late hour and the long drive, that most of us faced, made it an acceptable time to make an exit. We stayed through the till the end of "The Quest," which Merpup Helen had not yet seen. I feel it is always good to leave on an Amazon high, so to speak. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, and as the "Xena" Season Premiere airs this coming Saturday in LA, tentative plans to meet again have been made. There truly are no other fan group like Xenites. Compound that with Missy and the Merpups and you have a recipe of commodore and friendships that will last for years to come. I'm proud to call myself a Merpup.

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SIX DEGREES OF "XENA" NEWS

Where's Sheena?

Lady Adrell October 01, 2000

There has been much speculation over Steve Sears' new series "Sheena, Queen of the Jungle" staring former Baywatch Babe, Gena Lee Nolin. Fans have been anxiously waiting and wondering when we will finally be able to see Steve's latest project. I received an e-mail from Steve recently explaining how production has been going and why there has been little to no advertising so far. Production is currently shooting the tenth episode and is "moving ahead full steam." Steve goes on to say, "Gena is an absolute dream, as are the other members of the cast. John Allan Nelson, who plays Matt Cutter, and Margo Moorer as Kali, Kevin Quigley as Mendehlson... I'm truly lucky to have ended up with all of them. And that's not just publicity hype! I had my reservations, yes, but not anymore. It's a tight group." The small budget has not hindered the tremendous efforts of Steve or the rest of the cast and crew, who he calls "amazing." The promotion of the show has not been in Steve's schedule. That is being handled by Columbia Tristar Distribution Television. He speculates "they are holding off a lot of it until after the Olympics. In fact, one reason we are airing in October is to avoid competing with the Olympics." He assured me that we will likely hear more news about the show as Gena is now touring to promote "Sheena." For those of you wondering why Steve himself has not cleared up the speculation about "Sheena's" demise is simply lack of time. He has to fly from LA to Florida, working 19 hours a day to make "Sheena" something he and everyone involved with the show can be proud of. This is a main reason for his lack of presence on the Net and why he hasn't kept fans up to date with airing or production information. Steve wanted to make one thing very clear to fans. "We are NOT Xena. We may be better, we may be worse, but we certainly are not the same." Thanks to Steve Sears for clearing up the confusion. We look forward to seeing the finished product.

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5) Featured MerLinks

Dar and Kerry's Photo Album

http://members.nbci.com/Ciegra1/Album.html

Some great manipulated pics done by one of the MerPups. Some very nice quality pics.

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Merwulf's Fake Updates & Lunacy's Reviews

http://www.mathematik.uni-marburg.de/~jaskadan/m&l/

While waiting for the cliffhanger of Tropical Storm, these fanfic fake updates began and have grown into what it is today.

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Here are some other interviews with Missy.

Interview with an Alpha http://209.132.25.91/merpups/shrine/interviews/missybio.htm

Bard's of the Xenaverse http://ausxip.com/bards/missy.html

Twenty-Seven Grilled Bards And One Reviewer: Rare, Medium And Supertoasty, the Whoosh Interview

http://www.whoosh.org/issue25/wilder2r.html

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Darkverse http://ausxip.com/dak/index.html

MaryD's information site about Dar and Kerry.

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Merwolf's Cave http://merwolf.com/

If you don't already have this one bookmark, imprinted on your brain, and tattooed n your arm, then you must NOT be a Merpup.

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Merepup's Den http://merwolf.com/merpups/

The second stop on the Merpup Net Adventure. Don't know who the Merpups are? Here's a good place to find out what they are all about.

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Merpup Webring http://nav.webring.yahoo.com/hub?ring=merpupring&list

Just to save time and space I'm adding this link to the webring that hold the notable Merpup sites.

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6) Xena: Warrior Princess Episode Guide by Bacchae2

Episode Twenty-two "Ties That Bind" and Episode Twenty-three "The Greater Good"

"Ties That Bind"

The daughter also rises. Xena's 'father' is introduced. This time it's Gab trying to selflessly say goodbye...so her partner can reconnect. Tommy Atkins is a good casting choice as the warrior's da. This one I figured out. [Spoiler here. That he's really Ares...but isn't that 'really' the case anyway? What we thought we may have found out at the beginning of the great season long arc of year three in "The Furies?"] Even though they cheated and have Ares in two places at once. Can he do that? He's a god, but he's not omnipotent, for god's sake. Good-hearted Gab standing up to Xena, even striking her, and getting through the madness of blind rage, and even though Ares loves to push buttons and often knows just what cards to play, Xena figures it out again and beats him. But not without her faithful companion who will not leave her dark side manifest no matter what. Gab is magnificent, feisty as hell and fearless, she has a great role model.

Subtext Rating: The moral of the story--we are 'family'--I got my sister with me. Yes, "stronger than blood ever could." The ties that bind them.

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"The Greater Good"

A classic. A truly great ep. Starts out as a comedy, gets darkly deadly serious. Dealing with loss, or not being able to deal. Speaking of role models--Gab comes into her own masquerading as Xena. (Callisto's intro via poison dart and shots of flesh clad in leather.) Gab is too cute in Xena's outfit. She comes back brimming with self-confidence and finds Xena gone. And mourns her so beautifully and quietly. What a touching, heartbreaking scene. Perfectly played. On pure instinct. And then takes her staff and goes alone into the woods and loses it. Magnificently. As fiery as her hair is red (in this ep). She really gets her Irish up. This is, obviously to anyone watching, a very special relationship. Salmoneus sees it clearly and tries to temper the apparent soul-tearing depth of the blow, gently urges the onlookers aside so that these women may have their last moment of privacy. These two love each other very deeply. It's a beautiful thing. We know they'd do anything for each other. "Going to get all soft on you." "Wouldn't want that, would we?"

Subtext Rating: Speak loudly and carry a big stick. Size doesn't matter, it's knowing what to do with it. Your beloved partner dies, you whack the living hell out of the nearest tree. With a passion usually preserved for...well, passion.

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7) Fan Comments To Missy

First off....Missy Good.....Tha Alpha One is one of the best uber writers I have ever had the pleasure of reading....from her Dar & Kerry series of Tropical Storm....Hurricane Watch and Eye Of the Storm to the new series Tropical High....Missy has always held my attention from beginning to end and wanting for more. I can't wait to see the eps she has written for XWP however being here in England looks like I will have to wait another 2 years being as they just started Season 4. Keep up the great work Missy and as always I look forward to your next adventures with Dar & Kerry. --Lauri (Critter)

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What can I say? Thank you for giving the little people a voice, when we come together we are mighty. Thank you for your FF. It was wonderful to see an online bard write for the real thing. Thank you for Dar and Kar! Most of all! Thank you for Dori! Love that baby! --MURPHY

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Missy, I live a very busy and hectic life, having my own business and 3 children and other sundry tasks and events that I am responsible for. Your stories provide an absolution from my everyday drudgery and the characters are so real, that I honestly forget that they are works of fiction. You have an incredible talent, that makes my day a little brighter, a little more exciting and definately more fun and interesting. Thank you so much for sharing that part of yourself with us. --sklouise

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Missy, You are a very gracious lady. You share with us without reserve and brighten our days. You take us from the valleys of life to the mountaintops of joys by sharing your stories. Thank you for allowing us to be part of the journey you are on. --Marilyn

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Missy Good's stories kept me from going under this summer. My mother spent six weeks in the hospital and I read every single story while sitting in her hospital room. It preserved my sanity and let me escape to a place where I felt part of a unique community. Thank you Missy! --Lisa Keeter

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8) Feedback

Comments on the Issue 17

Once again, another first rate Xine. Ardently certainly set herself a bold challenge for her article: To psychoanalyze Xena's personality and its development. The result was quite interesting and thought-provoking. I agree that Xena's violent and rage-filled side is still inside her and has the potential to reemerge; the episode "The Price" was all about how this very thing happened in response to the threat of The Horde, and how it took Gabrielle's living example of determined and brave compassion to bring Xena back again. I do also think that there has always been innate goodness in Xena too, though. This is something Lao Ma recognized in the flashback story in "The Debt". Also, while I agree that Xena has an innate fire and passion within her, and was undoubtedly born an extraordinary person, I think her becoming an evil warlord was a combination of nature *and* nurture. I personally don't think she would have turned evil if not for the bad things that happened to her and her village. It's even possible that had her village never been threatened, she might have gotten married and lived a so-called normal life, though I'm sure her husband would never have been a true soulmate, and it would have put her in the position of living a life not really true to her nature--as many people do. Had Xena not turned evil, I think, and had she been given the opportunity and exposure to their way of life, she might have found fulfillment as an Amazon--though I think she would have been more like Melosa or Ephiny than like Valasca. Had she been born a man and not had the bad things happen to her that did, she might have made a career as a professional soldier and risen to a position of command--but as a woman, even in the Xenaverse, women warriors are still the *exceptional* women, like warlords (Xena, Callisto), Amazons (Ephiny, et al), rebels (Bodicea), religious crusaders (Najara) and the like. The "regular" armies of city-states and empires are still all male in the show. Anyway, it's interesting to speculate on how Xena's life might have gone had things been different, but I do agree that the path of the warrior is her true nature--just that it does not have to be an evil path, as that of a pillaging warlord is. So Xena has carved a new and special path for herself, that of hero. With a lot of love and help from Gabrielle, and the prior love and guidance of Lao Ma and Hercules as well. And, in my opinion, that inner part of Xena that *is* naturally good. Lady Adrell, your report of a petition for a seventh season of Xena does not surprise me, though I will under no circumstances sign such a petition myself at this point. I did participate in the "Save Xena" campaign during season five--the campaign not to extend the show, but to restore the characters, relationship, and story quality to what it had been in prior seasons. I most certainly would not like to see another season like season five. However, there do seem to be many indications that Rob Tapert is determined to not repeat the mistakes of season five, that the relationship and characterization will be back, and that we will see less emphasis on huge, grandiose plots like the Twilight of the Gods and more focus on human-level stories. Also, original headwriter RJ Stewert, who was gone for most of season five, will be back hands-on, writing and supervising scripts again. And then there's the promising addition of Missy Good to the rank of Xena writers. Ultimately, what will really make me happy is an all-out commitment to wrap up the series this coming season in style, with a sincere commitment from Tapert, RJ, Lucy and Renee. I think we stand a good chance of getting this, but I think extending the series for yet a seventh season or beyond would be to again risk the loss of commitment and talent that ruined season five. The Cyrene parody was quite amusing, but does this mean there will be offspring of Xena's mom and Joxer? Does this make Joxer Xena's stepdad? The mind boggles! Finally, fine subtext episode reviews again, Bacchae. I'd forgotten about "The Prodigal" until you mentioned Meleager. An amusing, though not great episode. Still, I've always liked Tim Thomerson, the B-movie actor who played Meleager. And of course, "Altared States", is indeed the Holy Grail of season one subtext episodes. A delight in many ways. And yes, Gabby is exceptionally lovable in this one. --Brian Davis

If you have any comments, suggestions for content, or articles to submit to this Xine, then please contact Lady Adrell at exine@exine.tvheaven.com (We are accepting submissions for featured articles. Send to above address.)

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9) PRIVACY/NO SPAM POLICY! NO SPAMMING OR LIST SHARING!

You can rest assured that your subscription email address will be kept in the strictest confidence. We do not divulge, nor make available to any third party, our subscription list. Your privacy is paramount to us! Therefore, it receives the respect it deserves!

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10) Subscribe/Unsubscribe Information

If this Xine was forwarded to you and you would like to receive your own free weekly copy; you can subscribe at http://exine.tvheaven.com or send a blank email to: xenaexine@listbot.com PLEASE NOTE: You are receiving The Xena E-Xine because you subscribed at http://exine.tvheaven.com, or you requested to be added to our subscriber list. To unsubscribe, send a blank e-mail to xenaexine-unsubscribe@listbot.com

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11) Credits

The Xena E-Xine Staff:

Chief Editor/Head Reporter/Writer: Lady Adrell

Editor/Head Writer: Bacchae2

Assistant Editor/Research: Cindy

Writer: ArdentTly

FanFic Critic: Staff

Interviewer: Sue

Website Analyst: Staff

Episode Guides: Bacchae2

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12) Archives

To read previous articles, please go to:

http://exine.tvheaven.com/archive.html

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Disclaimer #1:

No Missy Good characters were harmed during the production of this Xine. There was however a serious rift between D&K and X&G because the latter did not have access to the internet.

Disclaimer #2:

Missy Good's characters are all fictional and any resemblance between them and folks you know in real life is merely a symptom of your obsession with all things merwolf-related!

Disclaimer #3:

Missy Good was not harmed in the production of this Xine but several pieces of leather furniture were sacrificed under the pretext of 'story research.'

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