Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Another year, another Darkover anthology. I tended to write stories for the Darkover anthologies as if they were homework assignments, and I wrote quite a few of them about Hilary Castamir, who was the first Darkover character I identified with. For this story I gave her a friend who was a ghost, and I threw in a reference to the Sisterhood of the Sword, which Marion had created several novels earlier as a precursor to the Renunciates. Because the story is set during Hilary's early years at Arilinn Tower, Damon Ridenow and Leonie Hastur are also characters in it.

"Playfellow" is available for Kindle and Nook.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dance at the Gym

"Dance at the Gym" was written for The San Francisco Chronicle and was published September 17, 1987. To the best of my recollection, it was in the People section. The paper sent a photo to several Bay Area writers and asked them to write a story about it. The word limit was 1000 words; this story is 700. Obviously, I was not the writer they sent this to--they sent it to Marion, who frequently said that she got her best ideas at novel length. The photo sat propped up on the mantel in the living room for several weeks while she tried to come up with something. Then I got an idea, partly from the dances that my boarding school arranged with a nearby military academy (I think they assigned our dates by height) and partly from West Side Story. This was the first piece I wrote under the byline "Marion Zimmer Bradley"--in this case because I was more comfortable with the assigned length. Unfortunately, as her health began to fail, it was not to be the last.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Woman's Privilege

"A Woman's Privilege" was started at one of MZB's writing workshops. She did them almost every year, and I always attended them (I was in charge of the hand-outs anyway). We'd start Friday night with a first sentence, and by Sunday afternoon we'd have the major elements of the story done. Finishing and editing it was done after the workshop, but once the basics were there, the rest of the job wasn't too hard. I don't remember exactly where I got the original idea, but I do remember being in the basement doing laundry when a friend remarked to me that salt water and blood have a lot of the same elements. This story evolved into my first novel, CHANGING FATE, and I've been writing about these characters on and off ever since. "A Woman's Privilege" was published in SWORD AND SORCERESS III in 1986.

"A Woman's Privilege" is available for Kindle and Nook.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Child of the Heart

"Child of the Heart" appeared in the third Darkover anthology, FREE AMAZONS OF DARKOVER. It was published in 1985, which means I wrote the story in 1984. There were quite a few people who complained to Marion about the rule that required the male children of a Free Amazon to be fostered away from the Guild House by the age of five. All of the arguments I heard, however, were from the point of view of the mother. I appeared to be the only one who wondered how the child would feel about it, which is what gave me the idea for this story.

"Child of the Heart" is available for Kindle and Nook.