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.