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SEPTEMBER 04, 2002


NARRATOR:  Sometimes a helping hand is all it takes.


LUCIA:  I couldn't get Ares done today as I promised.  It is not easy to find a good pic of him ready to wink. I hope tomorrow I have it done.


JUDI:  Maybe this will help a bit Lucia <g>




SEPTEMBER 05, 2002


LINDA:  Here's the first title graphic for 'A Muse in the Hand'.  Now I can remove Demi Moore if you all want and replace her with something else - not a problem <g>. Just let me know <s>.


LUCIA:  I am doing Ares and thanks to Judi I think I got him winking, probably tomorrow he is finished.  I would like to know if I can make Xena through Gabby eyes? I read that it will be written and I think that it has to go since we have Gabby through Xena's eyes. Also remember Missy describing it as Xena with blowing hair, that she is like a shinning knight to Gabby. I thought in putting a very shining breast plate on her, what do you think?


MISSY:  I was just working on writing that part right now.

What Gabrielle sees when she looks at Xena is really almost impossible for me to describe - it's hard to say in words what I am seeing when I think of it. Yes, she is Gabrielle's knight, but really, she is more of a paladin in dark armor than in shining, because there is that side of Xena.


LUCIA:  In fact through the text I will feel her better. So the armor is black, I got it! Like an avenger figure with fierceless eyes



SEPTEMBER 07, 2002


NARRATOR:  And the process begins again.  Feedback is critical.


MISSY:  (Final Options)  We just got over a power outage here in Pembroke Pines.  But anyway...

 Final Options


DENISE:  I like this, and I find it interesting that Ares needs a leather glove to protect himself from the chakram's cutting edge.  Will we find out more about why that is?


MISSY:  Well, I think there is two reasons, and it is not really the edge.  First, the chakkie's been with Xena for a long time, and taken on some of her energy. Second, it's combined with good energy Ares never intended for it, but yes, in the script we will hear more about it.


LINDA:  Great start  <g>...makes me want more <g>


CAROL:  Looks good M.  I also like that Ares has trouble holding onto the Chakkie without protection <g>


TNOVAN:  Excellent start Missy. Looking forward to more.


LUCIA:  Nice start, I liked to see Xena kicking stones on the road and I felt very sorry for the eggs Ares dropped, he has no heart that brute!


MISSY:  I just wanted everyone to know from the get go that I wasn't doing to do a very sympathetic Ares in this one. (g)


SUE:  And howsoever glad I am too.  Nice start, Missy.


DENISE:  There goes your shipper fan club. <g>


MISSY:  (G) I am being very explicit in exactly what Ares is after with Xena - that being sex, as opposed to love.


DENISE:  I am thinking he has more to fear from Gab than Xena on that front. <g> But I'm looking forward to seeing this play out.


TNOVAN:  Heh it's about time someone clears that up<G>


SUE:  Mm.  I like. I LIKE!


MISSY:  Here is act one. I decided to end the act with Ares knowing where he has to go, but X and G not figuring it out yet. I want to keep him a step ahead until Xena has to deal with him in Egypt.




TNOVAN:  Well done Missy, smooth like silk.


DENISE:  This is great, and it brings up a question........ Is Aphrodite now a loose end as well?  Do we need to show what happens to her in another ep? Ares is a right proper bastard here.


MARSHA:   I like M. Great start. For the record I enjoy Ares being a right proper bastard.


MISSY:  (My Brother’s Keeper) This is what I was thinking of for the Toris ep.


LINDA:  YES....great stuff.


MISSY:  I think Aphro is a loose end, but I am not sure I want an ep that removes Love from the world.



SEPTEMBER 08, 2002


NARRATOR:  Many times, the same discussion will spill over into a couple of days.  And that allows story ideas for later in the season to grow.


DENISE:  Well, not remove her, per se, but what does happen to her?


SUE:  Since Ares goes over to Egypt to do whatever he needs to get done, have Aphro kinda follow him on the sly and fall for the Egyptian god of love, if there is one, and all's well.


MISSY:  I don't think there is one. (g) That might be a good future ep, though - maybe x and g have to be matchmakers for HER this time


LUCIA:  I like the final scene. It is sensual with a little action <g>


SUE:  Missy was right. There isn't an Egyptian GOD of love.  There is, however, an Egyptian GODDESS of love, Qetesh.  And she was supposed to be the consort of the Egyptian God of virility/fertility, Min.


MISSY:  Okay - if you want to mess with that, I can set up a story line for you from this story. You want me to do that?


SUE:  Yeah, I think we can do that.  It makes sense for that idea to actually go in with the first block of episodes so we can get it settled.  I wonder if we can put Aphro's dilemma on hold (have you hint at it, then come back to it with the next block of eps) and then use my first idea before it.

For everyone else, my idea was to pick up on what had been started in Fallen, where Xena feels "too old" or "over the hill" in her martial skills, given that she had her chakram taken from her, not once, but now as we see, twice. What I talked to Missy about just as a sounding board, was to do a comedy.


NARRATOR:  And points are brought to the table for clarification.


TNOVAN:  I hate to do this...and I know you've only seen TXS once...but I'm having a heck of a time wrapping my brain around the story your doing and the stuff from TXS....so maybe if I bring this up you can explain it in your script and help me and everyone else whose brains are going to freeze up.

In TXS they were digging in Macedonia, which is north of Greece and West of Bulgaria<G> Certainly not Egypt....And the Eye of Hephaestus is what kept Ares trapped in the tomb... So if you move them to Egypt and don't use the Eye...TXS are moot.

Just curious.


MISSY:  Well, I would like to use the Eye to tie it in - but I need godly adversaries for Ares, and the nearest ones are Egyptian, not Macedonian. Can we compromise? (g) Or - if you want, I can have them separate the chakkie in Egypt, and have Ares take the bad chakkie to Macedonia where he is going to build his new power base. How is that? Do we know where the Eye came from, or was that just a bit of hocus pocus?


SUE:  I know you have some trades going on (not sure all about them cause I haven't read your whole script yet, but....) know how we are thinking about tying 'Dite to one of the Egyptian gods, perhaps in a future episode?

Well, how about another type trade?  Remember that 'Dite and Hephie were married, right?  So how about if 'Dite is kinda scared that her 'bro has gone off the deep end, and offers who or whatever adversary Ares has to fight, her husband's true crowning glory?  The Eye of Hephaestus?

That's how you could tie 'Dite in AND get the Eye in there too.  Maybe?


TNOVAN:  Whatever you come up with is fine by me...I was just having a DUH moment, trying to make it all work in my brain...Just to make sure I had it right I watched TXS this morning. Egypt just wasn't registering for me. I know you can work the script so it all works out in the wash.

LOL we're trying to fix the YAXI's, not make more. LOL I think the Eye was a bit of hocus pocus...it was never explained in TXS as to where it came from...it was just there and Ares says, it's the eye that hold him there and he wants Xena to chakkie it so he can get out.


MISSY:  I don't think I can do it that way - one, I really want this to be all Xena and Gab's deal - and two, despite everything I think Dite really does love Ares, so having her, in effect, be the agent of his eternal lockdown just doesn't sit right with me.


I can have the eye having fallen into the hands of that chickie you dug up - and have Gab know about it because she spent time in Egypt and found out then. So X and G go off to Egypt to get that to lock up Ares at the same time Ares is going there to have the chakkie split - then X and G follow Ares to Macedonia and trap him there.


Okay, then the hocus pocus in this ep will be Xena KNOWING that the Eye can trap Ares, and she goes off to find it.  I don't want to have to go through the mechanics of how she finds out, just that she knows, and says to Gab if they had the Eye, they could do it, but no one knows where it is and Gab says, well, I do. (g)


TNOVAN:  Now here's a thought about the Eye...do with it what you will...but we know it's REALLY powerful so what if it's an artifact left over and Zeus had it made... "just to keep the kiddies in line' threatening to lock them up if they got out of hand.

Ares goes to Egypt splits the chakkie...goes back to Macedonia...to harness the power of this little doohickey dad left laying around...but it backfires and X/G use it to trap him.


MARYD:  If I have the eye in the title graphic would that give the plot away?


MISSY:  No, I don't think so.


SUE:  Just don't forget about the scrolls. <G>  I can just see Gabrielle, with that smug glint in her eye that she gets ("Who's the father?"  "Gabrielle"  "I woulda paid to see that." and that look she gives in OAHAF when Xena pinches Ares' cheek instead of kissing him like he expects), tosses him a bag of her most romantic X/G scrolls and tells him to enjoy his captivity and munch on those for awhile.  Heh.  Fate worse than Tartarus.



SEPTEMBER 09, 2002


NARRATOR:  More work comes to the list for review.  The graphics team uses this for inspiration


MISSY:  (Final Options) Here is act II. I put in the genesis for the Aphro thing later on in the year, and ended up having Xena tell Gab something I hadn't expected. It wasn't the revelation I had in mind, but you know how it goes.


LINDA:  Oh Missy this is just great. I can visualize everything.  Looking forward to more  <g>


MARYD:  I chose not to use the eye <g> It kinda distracted from what I finally decided on. I do have the eye if anyone wants to see it merged with the title graphic...


MARYD:  I like where this is going Missy <g> Very cool.

DENISE:  This is great, Mar!


DENISE:  This is wonderful, M!  Looking forward to more


TNOVAN:  Looks good Missy. Feels good too...got a nice cadence to it.


TNOVAN:  Excellent work Mar <G>


LUCIA:  Ares is very well portrait, I could see him in flesh and blood. His talking with Anubis was so his style. About Xena's revelation it reminds me what people who follows Alan Kardek (Spiritism) use to say about how the soul suffers when the living keep crying the loss.  They use to say that crying and mourning too much for the person who died is bad for the soul that is leaving.


LUCIA:  I like it very much MaryD! Well done!


SUE:  Missy, in your script, I'm guessing the revelation is as follows:

I don't know if I could have killed him.

No. I don't think you could have either.

Am I correct in assuming you're referring to Motherhood, or are you referring instead to Coming Home when he was possessed by the Furies, or in POV when he was making Eve's life a living hell for his own pleasure? 

I'm not sure where this revelation is coming from. Can you help?


LINDA:  Awesome Mar, and I WOULD love to see the one with the eye please <g>


JUDI:  I like this Missy...very interesting that Anubis was mentioned by Lucy on that show last night <g>


JUDI:  Very nice Mar.


MARYD:  Thanks Linda - I think it makes the graphic too busy - what do you think?


MISSY:  Um… no... The revelation was that Xena prevented Gab from hearing her own dreams, and suffered during them.

This line you picked out was to set up Xena's speech in the third act about now is the time to lock Ares up for their sake.


SUE:  See what happens when I assume?  LOL!  "I don't think I could have killed him" was a revelation to me, cause if it was referring to Motherhood, she sure didn't have any trouble killing Gabrielle under much the same circumstances (stabbing or about to stab Eve...both Ares and Gabrielle were in the same position, so to speak) so it kinda made me wince, which might have been intended.


MISSY:  No, it was a reference to after that - after he gave up his godhood to save Eve and Gabrielle, before Xena lost the ability to kill gods.  (Remember this is the show's Xena we're talking about here)


MARYD:  I have one question about that - how could Xena do that? Was it because of their connection?


NARRATOR:  And sharp eyes catch the boo boos….


JUDI:  Well you also took out the original chakkie which I liked in the first one...so if we are voting I vote for the first one <g> also Mar did you noticed Xena's sword is on the wrong side <g>


TNOVAN:  To be honest Mar...<G>  I had to LOOK in order to find the Eye<G>  So I don't think it makes it too busy...the way you did it makes it look more like the sun rising over the pyramids.


MISSY:  How? I dunno. Xena just does stuff like that. It could be because of their connection - but then, she's died a few times, walks around in the lands of the dead of many religions, kills off gods... you know. She just does stuff. (g)


MARYD:  Nah the original is there - it's the one in the front with the electricity sparking off it. Yeah I did notice it's on the wrong side <g> I have to fix that... <g>


CAROL:  I actually like the second one better.  The bright light you use in the first one tends to draw your attention straight to it instead of the characters.  The eye is more subtle.


LUCIA:  I like this one too MaryD and I think it is okay, not too busy.



SEPTEMBER 10, 2002


LINDA:  This is cool and it's not overly busy but I think your right with the first one. The two chakram’s are more noticeable as well.


LOL…I never noticed that, but then I've done it before myself <bg> once the chakram was on the wrong side and then the other was the old chakram instead of the newbie. <g>  Thanks goodness these hiccups are noticed.


Wrong Chakram <g>

Chakram on the Wrong Hip <g>



NARRATOR:  All the comments pay off.  The various incarnations of the Final Options Title graphic show it’s progression.


MARYD:  I've tweaked it a bit <g>.


First Version

Second Version

Final Version



TNOVAN:  Oh Mar that is beautiful...very nice job of making it all work.


MARYD:  I've transferred both chakkies to the front and then changed Xena's sword <g> Pesky things those chakkies and swords I incorporated the first one with the second one and also changed X&G and the Ares pic...


LINDA:  NICE tweak Mar <g>


JUDI:  Oh I like this one the best Mar, very nice.


MISSY:  Hey Mary... I really like this. That's a really nice picture of Kevin.


 LUCIA:  Just perfect MaryD! <g>



SEPTEMBER 11, 2002


MISSY:  (Final Options) This is act III. I am going to try and finish up act IV tonight - but the coverage is a bit distracting and I am watching a totally fascinating special on CBS. If I don't finish it up today, I will tomorrow.


WHOOPS! I left a scene out of that last act - it's just before Xena's last scene with Ares - it is  the scene were Gab finds the eye and trades her tattoo for it.  I will send that one in a bit.


SUE:  ROFL!  That's the dry Xena humor I've been missing!


MISSY:  Yeah, Xena's been pretty pithy this time out. (g)


LINDA:  Very nice Missy. Like the scenes with the rats <bg> 



SEPTEMBER 12, 2002


NARRATOR:  The staff gets tweaked just like the audience does.


MISSY:  (Final Options) Missing scene --This goes right before the last scene with Xena and Ares. (g)


TNOVAN:  Oh well now that's a really cruel image to leave me with at this time of night<G> Great bit though and I really do thank you for that mental image<G>


MISSY:  (g) I thought it was a fun place to leave it. Let the audience wonder until Gab tells Xena she ditched the dragon.


LINDA:  Excellent and a great place to stop. That should keep them wondering for a bit <g>


DENISE:  I am liking this.  Lots of good clues and questions scattered throughout..... Nice work, M!


MISSY:  (Final Options) Here is the first half of act IV - I got home late tonight from work. The only thing left after this is the end sequence, where X/G lure Ares into the trap in Macedonia and seal him up with the Eye.  I will try to send that tomorrow am.

I put the last scene in because I wanted to clear the air between X and G before the big fight scene.  I am going to have Xena walk into the temple and challenge Ares - the tomb has to be underground - so I will have the altar open and have Ares back Xena down the steps, so that he
thinks he's bringing her into his lair - and that is where he'll be trapped. Is that okay with everyone?


JUDI:   I like this M and THANK YOU for getting rid to that damn dragon... I hated that thing.  <g>


LINDA:  This is great. What I would have given to see this on the telly. It would have been an excellent episode. <g>



SEPTEMBER 13, 2002


NARRATOR:  YAXI’s get fixed, and issues get solved. <g>


LINDA:  Here's the second title graphic for 'A Muse In The Hand'.  TN - if the title is to be different just let me know and I'll fix it <g>


MARYD:  This is cool - Ares is not the daddy and Gab loses that blasted dragon (even though I thought it was cool <g> that it all glowed and stuff).


TNOVAN:  Looks great Missy, just one question. Are they going to reconstitute the Eye when they get back to Greece?  The one in Ares tomb was like 3 feet high by 5 feet wide. Striking it with the chakram was how it's activated.


DENISE:  So far so good, M... um, where is the good half of the chakkie?  Did I miss that?  Otherwise, I am enjoying this ep.  It woulda been fabulous on film.


CAROL:   I thought Xena didn't know for sure about not coming back until much later? Otherwise M, very much enjoying it!

You had them give it to me because you knew you wouldn’t be around any more and you thought it would help me.


Xena is silent.


MISSY:  It will grow. There is no easy way for them to get it/carry it otherwise.


Ares has it - I will have Gab go get it while Xena and Ares are fighting.


I think Xena knew, in her heart there was a good chance she wasn't coming back even then. There was always a chance Gab would not get the doodad and etc.


LUCIA:  Here goes Xena Through Gabby's Eyes.  I am here in Maringa till Sunday so I couldn't work much on the artwork. I will revise it when I got back to my computer.


MISSY:  (Final Options) Next two scenes--Only the battle scene left to do. It takes the longest, because it's just all action.


DENISE:  Oh boy........that had to hurt.


MISSY:  (G) It will make the payoff (Gab handing her the good chakkie at the end) all the more warm and fuzzy.


DENISE:  Oh yeah, cause that comes from a blind corner. Especially given how kinetically smooth their relationship was for us in S7, and knowing their new bond makes it that much harsher.  It's a good thing you do W&F so well. <g>

I still like the part about doing it for THEIR own good the best, though. 


MISSY:  Well, we wanted a little more conflict between them this season, without it being a rift. So... but that is why I had Gabrielle smile and look at Xena, where Xena can't see it. So the audience knows that Gabrielle meant something quite different than what Xena thought she did.