Toy Soldier, Spelljammer, and Chasing Fireflies

Hello, Toy Soldier fans!  Things are stirring in the ashes of the Toy Soldier Saga, which you may have noticed I have not done much with for the past couple of years.  This was due to frustration at constantly being derailed at every turn.  But I think I have a new approach that you all might appreciate.

First of all, I have revamped my Patreon account.  I explain all about it here.  Essentially, I’m now asking for funding by creation instead of per month.  This means you only fund the projects you want to fund.  Check out my rewards sidebar; I’m looking to focus primarily on the writing projects, and right now my fiction is in the forefront.

Second, A Few Good Elves is undergoing a major edit for publication on FanFiction.net, with possibly other platforms to follow.  Rumour says that the DMsGuild is opening up to Spelljammer products soon; if it does, I’ll try to work in the Toy Soldier Saga.  Patreon support would help me to pay my editor to make a better novel for you to read!  The beta version is available at the above link; help me make it better!

Third, when that’s done, I hope to, with your help, create a full audiobook!  I intend to have music, sound effects, and possibly even voice actors.  But this is all dependent on Patreon support!  I can’t do this without your backing.  If you want to see it happen, consider becoming a Patron and supporting me by project.  If you don’t want to be a Patron to my current fiction projects, you can still Follow my Patreon page to keep up-to-date!

Fourth, with your support, I’m going to finish and fully edit the Toy Soldier Saga over the next few years.  I need your backing to make it happen, since there will be FIVE (not four, five!) books to edit and I have to pay the editor.  That’s five books to make into audiobooks as well.  And I have also been looking at some of the alternate Spelljammer type products out there.  If I can’t get Wizards of the Coast to allow me a platform to produce a professional publication for the Toy Soldier Saga in the Spelljammer setting, I will adapt it to another one, possibly Starfinder.  I think it’s too good of a story to keep down.  I hope you do too.

Which brings me to the fifth announcement; I have been invited to participate in an anthology!  It’s a summer romance anthology to be titled “Chasing Fireflies.”  At first I was hesitant because I’m not really a romance writer.  But then I had an idea about Shaundar and Y’Anid.  And I thought, “Why not?  Space opera and romance; it worked for Lois McMaster Bujold!”  So a Toy Soldier Saga story is going to be published in a romance anthology: release date July 1!  Here’s my blurb:

Interracial romances can be challenging.  So can love in wartime.  But what happens when the races in question are two different species who are ancient enemies?  And what happens when being true to love denies duty, and being true to duty denies love?  Which would you choose?

If you want to see the story without buying the anthology (which will be available in print and e-format,) you have to become a Patron at the $2 per creation level, which is my beta reader level.  And you’ll have to do it before the end of April. 😉

And last, Survivor, my short story in the Toy Soldier Saga that happens near the beginning of Brothers in Arms, is up for consideration in a reprint anthology.  I will keep you informed.

So, a lot of big things happening all at once!  If you want to make the Toy Soldier Saga happen, this is your time and your chance.  Will you lend me a hand?

Big Changes to My Patreon!

Diane Morrison

Hello all!  As you can see, it’s been a while since I posted anything here.  To be honest, it was because I was getting quite discouraged.  I wasn’t seeing a lot of Patron support, and I kept receiving criticisms that I should separate my geeky and fiction writerly stuff from my Pagan stuff, because people might want to support one thing but not the other thing.  This made me sad, since I was asking for monthly patronage in general, and seemed to me a general rejection of my person, no matter what side you wanted to butter that bread on.  Also, to do that and create individual Kickstarters for things kind of defeated my purpose.  So for a while I gave up.

But I think I have figured out a way to accommodate this desire from my would-be Patrons, and that is to charge by creation instead of by month.

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Updates: Support Me at Patreon!

At the suggestion of some friends, I have created a Patreon account!  Patreon is essentially like Kickstarter in that it is crowdfunding, but in this case it also hearkens back to the old patronage system.  I’m asking my supporters for a monthly contribution to help me create my creative works, in return for perks and bonuses.

Of particular interest to Toy Soldier Saga fans:

  1. Even a $1 pledge gives you exclusive access to my Patron feed.  You get first notice for everything I produce: writing, music, YouTube videos, columns, books; you name it.  You also get exclusive behind-the-scenes information and patron-only video content.
  2. $5 gives you one of two options: a) In addition to exclusive access to my Patron feed, I will send you a free song of your choice.  I will need to know how to contact you. b) In addition to exclusive access to my Patron feed, I will send you a free e-copy of my fan-fiction book “A Few Good Elves.”  You will also be eligible to receive my print fan-fiction books when that milestone is reached.  I will need to know how to contact you.
  3. At $25: In addition to exclusive access to my Patron feed, and eligibility to receive my print fan-fiction books when that milestone is reached, I will send you mp3s of all of my current Pagan or filk music (please specify). I will need to know how to contact you.  Anyone who pledges at this level for at least three months will also receive mp3s of either the Gallows Hill goth rock EP (for the “Pagans”) or the Avalon Burning gothic metal EP (for the “filkers”).

 

Milestones:
  1. $100 per month: I will do a small, private print run of my fan-fiction books as I complete them.  This will help to cover printing costs and the cost of hiring an editor.  These will only be available to current Patrons as a special gift.
  2. $500 per month: I will make a radio play of my fan-fiction series the Toy Soldier Saga, including hiring voice actors and technicians. (Yes Cliff, that means you!)

Yes, this is my way of getting those print books out to you without challenging Wizards’ copyright.  Technically the borrowing of fan material like this is still not allowed, but note I’m not making any money on the books, nor do I intend to: this will be my way of personally thanking my Patrons, and they are gifts or milestone goals for Patrons only.  I was inspired to this idea by the plethora of amazing, professionally-produced Star Trek movies available through Kickstarter programs.  They are all not-for-profit endeavours, supported by fans and even the original Star Trek actors.  I figured this wasn’t any different!

In other updates, “A Few Good Elves” is currently undergoing a professional edit, and will be made available in chapters on FanFiction.net, where many other fanfic writers have tracked the interest of the professionals.  If I do, and if Wizards does decide they want to publish the Toy Soldier Saga, I will take it down everywhere it has appeared, so this may be your only opportunity to pick up the original.  Note that because of FanFiction.net’s policies, my infamous Chapter 15 will *not* be available on that site, and there may be other “edited for content” cuts.  I will let you know as soon as it’s posted!

In further updates, I have indeed decided to go ahead with Book Five, “The Mandate of Arvandor,” and am actively working on a promo Machinima video for it (which also helps me to clarify my thoughts and visualizations.)

Now, how’s the writing going?  Slow.  Slow because I find myself faced with the David Weber dilemma.  I am in position where it’s important to explain the nuts and bolts of the goings on of the War, but I want to avoid the tedious infodumps that Weber is infamous for.  Finding that balance is delicate, but I am plugging away at it.

That’s all the news that’s news for now. 🙂

Back at the Keyboard

Hey there, Toy Soldier fans!  After a long absence due to NaNoWriMo followed by a new job at Patheos.com as a professional blogger, then a new job working behind the counter at the bookstore where I read Tarot, and a heaping huge case of writer’s block, I am pleased to announce that I am back at the keyboard!

I will be carrying on with Brothers in Arms but I will not release anything at this point until the whole novel is finished, since there’s been so many re-formats and changes.  It’s not fair to you as the readers.

In other news, I’m going to be submitting A Few Good Elves to a friend who is an editor, so be prepared for a cleaned-up version in the near future.

Also, I am in the process of creating a Patreon account.  This is big news for those of you who want to support my work but know that as fan-fic I am limited as to what I can do with it.  You can offer to pledge monthly to help me create my projects.  I am thinking that I might make the Toy Soldier Saga (possibly even a print version) available as perks for supporting my Patreon campaign.  They would therefore be free gifts that I would providing to my supporters and not a commercial venture.  I do have other things that will be commercial ventures that the Patreon campaign would be supporting, such as Etsy creations, a steampunk serial series I am working on, and a new album with professional-quality recording.

But I’m still working out the details of that, so stay tuned!  And thanks for bearing with me all this time.

Snuff Facts

The elves in my stories use snuff as an alternative to smoking pipes in the phlogiston; so here’s some basic information on it.

Smoking Jacket Magazine

By Jan Sieslieng

What is Snuff ?

Tobacco leaves from the finest fields are carefully picked, dried and grounded into a powder.

Once the tobacco is ground, various essential oils are added for developing a blend in a variety of snuff tobacco flavors.

The finished snuff tobacco product is stored in airtight packaging to ensure that the flavors are well penetrated into the powdered particles. Once it is matured it is ready for use.

Snuff tobacco products are available in a number of forms ranging from dry to moist and coarse to fine. Meant to suffice individual requirements, one can pick a snuff tobacco product that stays in harmony with their individual needs.

Nasal Snuff

Nasal snuff is a finely ground flavored tobacco taken in the non-offensive form of a simple sniff into the nostrils. As snuff is becoming so popular, many have questioned its health issues. Like any tobacco…

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Toy Soldier Saga Blog: 2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 22 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Thornworld!

A view from the roots of Garden, with the moon of Thorn in the background; by classic Spelljammer artist Jennell Jacquays.

Wildspace: The Spelljammer Fanzine

Thornworld Thornworld by Jennell Jacquays. Copyright (c) 1994. Used by permission.

From Jennell Jacquays:

So here it is, the painting that a number of my fans have been asking for … Thornworld, a Spelljammer themed scene for the cover of a Dragon magazine back in the 90s. My original intent for the painting was more complex, but deadlines pushed me toward a simpler rendering. If I can find the original sketch, I’ll attach it in the comments.

The painting is rendered in acrylics.

Thornworld Sketch

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Gallery

Gallery: Scro of Dukagsh

This gallery contains 40 photos.

These pictures have all served as sources of inspiration for my image of the characters.  Source: Google, DeviantArt, Elfwood, Tumblr, Wizards Forums.  If you know who the artist is who created any of these images, please let me know so … Continue reading