Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Our Fathers' Gold

"Our Fathers' Gold" was written for the anthology SPACE OPERA, published in 1996. I took the anthology title a bit more literally than most of the authors and wrote about staging an opera, Das Rheingold, in space. I had spent seven years as a supernumerary (the equivalent of an extra in a movie) at the San Francisco Opera, and I had been a Nibelung (dwarf) in Das Rheingold twice, so I was familiar with both the opera and the challenges of staging it. Anyone who has ever heard Anna Russell's marvelous rendition of the plot of Der Ring des Nibelungen (a four-opera cycle by Wagner that must be heard and/or seen to be disbelieved) probably remembers that at the end of her account she points out that the whole thing could start over again. So I made my protagonist a daughter of one of the Rhine-maidens and got her involved with Hagen and Loki, which is more than enough trouble for a girl to be in.

"Our Fathers' Gold" is available for Kindle and Nook.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Midsummer Folly

"Midsummer Folly" was written for the anthology IN CELEBRATION OF LAMMAS NIGHT, published in 1996. It started with a song called "Lammas Night" written by Mercedes Lackey, and each contributor to the anthology wrote a story based on the song. It was fun, because the song set up the basic conditions of the story but ended just as the heroine had to choose which of two spells to use. Lammas is a pagan festival midway between the summer solstice and the fall equinox, hence the "Midsummer" part of my story title.

"Midsummer Folly" is available for Kindle and Nook.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Trees of Avalon

"Trees of Avalon" was written for the anthology RETURN TO AVALON, published in 1996. While there are many great characters from the Arthurian legends, I didn't choose any of them for my protagonist. I've always loved trees, and I wondered how the tree that Merlin was imprisoned in would feel about having him there. So I wrote a story about that from the dryad's point of view.

"Trees of Avalon" is available for Kindle and Nook.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Prince Among Frogs

"A Prince Among Frogs" appeared in Marion Zimmer Bradley's FANTASY Magazine, issue #30, published in January 1996. As I mentioned previously, I don't write nice linear sequels; this story is a sequel to "Weather Witch" (from an earlier issue of the magazine), "Things That Go Grump in the Night" (from the anthology THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT), and "Dragon in Distress" (SWORD & SORCERESS 12), none of which is related to each other until characters from each story find themselves together in this one.

While the frog prince is a classic, the idea of having one spend the day watching television was inspired by the ex-husband of a friend of mine. I was having lunch with her parents one day after the divorce, and I blurted out, "He'd have been just as much use to her if he were a frog!" Sad to say, they agreed with me.

"A Prince Among Frogs" is part of my collection MAGIC IN SUBURBIA, which is available in paperback, Kindle, and Kobo formats. It is also part of the collection THE PRINCESS, THE DRAGON, AND THE FROG PRINCE, available for Kindle and Kobo.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Blood Calls to Blood

"Blood Calls to Blood" was written for CHICKS IN CHAINMAIL, the first of Esther M. Friesner's Chicks anthologies, which was published in August 1995. The ideas came from several places: the local Renaissance Faire, where one actually could buy chain-mail bikinis, my experiences in the Citizen's Police Academy run by the Berkeley Police Department (if your local PD runs one, I highly recommend it), and life with a professional author--and her library. PSYCHIC SELF-DEFENSE is a real book, and the instructions for making holy water are on page 176.

"Blood Calls to Blood" is part of my collection MAGIC IN SUBURBIA, which is available in paperback, Kindle, and Kobo formats.