Title Illustration for Chapter Two suggesting a relationship between the platonic solids and gaming dice.

Introducing Sacred Geometry in a Gaming Context

Back in 1990, my late husband taught classes on the beauty of sacred geometry. He believed if one is to come into resonance with the universe, one must be able to accurately visualize the dance of Platonic solids and know how they fit and transform into and out of each other. Coming into congruence with sacred geometrical shapes and knowing how to visualize them at will is great knowledge sought after by those in the know.  In esoteric circles, the novice must appreciate the profound relationship between sacred geometry and the proper creation of a magic circle.

For my husband’s classes, I created all his hand-outs, including ton sacred geometry. For his publications, I created educational illustrations exemplifying the concepts of sacred geometry.

OphanicGeometry01

The above illustration is the first page from our chapter on sacred geometry [“The Ophanic Revelation” (c 2006)].

The classic five Platonic solids are 3-dimensional polygons that have a sequential relationship to one another (known as duals or congruency). Congruency occurs when one polygon–with its unique shape, size and facets–can be transformed into the next polygon simply by changing it’s placement by flipping or rotating them. The five Platonic solids are the tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron and icosahedron. Goethe once wrote, “geometry is frozen music.” What an beautiful way to describe the elegance of these patterns.

Because of my familiarity with sacred geometry, I was fascinated to encounter a client, from the unusual venue of gaming, who was conversant with the Platonic solids. In his text, he addressed the five Platonic solids and supplied an illustration of the same. I wondered to what degree he was acquainted with the forms. In my role as his book’s designer, I expanded on his seed idea. Instead of all the solids appearing at once in a single chapter head, I assigned one geometric solid to each chapter in the book. As there are only five solids, I had to add an additional polygon for chapter six and chose a star-tetrahedron. To pique the interest of the inquisitive, I added a small splice of text revealing the symbolic meaning represented by each Platonic solid.

Continue reading

The medieval layout template created for Mythos Arcanum is phi-inspired.

Just Finished Designing a Book based on the Golden Mean

How delighted I was to discover a client who genuinely wanted to base the layout of his book, Mythos Arcanum, using the proportions of Phi. Most people are not acquainted with the power of Phi and why it is important. Throughout history Phi has been identified as the golden section, golden mean, golden number, golden ratio, golden cut, and the divine proportion. According to science, Phi represents a canon of Beauty.
What’s so special about Phi? The divine proportion is fractal and arises from the division of a straight line into two segments so that the ratio of the whole Continue reading

Surfing the Apocalypse

Escaping Reality

Escaping Reality

As regards the collective conscious, it’s best to meditate on how and in what direction the major sweeps are moving and notice what appears within its eddies. When adopting the long view of time, it becomes easier not to get as caught up within the drama of the different energy swirls. Once there, it takes more effort to escape the toroidal motion of the force. We are all navigating the time swirls. If we are not mindful of where we are going, we are apt to slip and fall inside a downwardly-moving conical spiral.

The key to knowing how not to fall victim to circumstances beyond one’s control is to become self aware. I’m not merely talking about being mindful of current events, although that’s helpful too. It’s as simple as to become aware of the symbols which suddenly turn up in ones life, especially Pay special attention to synchronicity. When I encounter moments of synchronicity happening around me, I first take it as a sign that I’m moving in the right direction. For content, I read the symbol. If I heed the action required to enact the meaning of the symbol, I can avoid, mitigate or enhance the probable outcome.

This is a part of my spiritual knowing. If I read the symbols coming into my life correctly, I am being lead to revisit my early days as the first female artist working in the genre of role-playing games (RPGs). I have been doing this mildly in the last few years but stepped it up since the death of my husband last year.  I have been trying to fathom why it is important to connect with gaming and have finally come to an understanding.  Continue reading

New Responsibilites

May 20, 2015

It’s too early to determine the sex of the just rescued black kitten. I’m calling him/her Ebony who appears to be only three weeks old. Ebony’s fuzzy long kitten hairs are stunning as the tips of the hairs seem to be tinged with silver. I don’t know if that is only a property of a newly born kitten’s coat or if it will remain this way. The kitten’images eyes are a blue color. I think they just opened. I tried unsuccessfully to photograph the hapless little one with my iPhone. The result was always blurred. I came across this  pic that greatly resembles Ebony, sans hat.

 

There are a few amazing things about this tiny, little fella. First, it’s the loudest darn kitten I’ve ever heard. Wow, does it have a set of lungs! But the crying saved its life. The plaintive sounds coming from a certain spot inside a long vertical, metal gutter were loud enough to get the attention of the maintenance man at work. The night before, it had rained so it’s likely a torrent of water washed him into his predicament. How long was this poor, nearly drowned little kitten trapped inside his metal prison before its cries were heard? To top it off, the sun was hot enough to greatly increase the temperature inside the metal gutter. The traumatized little one surely possesses a great will to live.

Another amazing thing is this kitten’s ultra-sharp, micro-needle claws. They are the sharpest I’ve ever encountered. Although translucent, the prickling little claws are capable of some surprising damage.

May 21, 2015

I have never before had to feed and care for an orphaned kitten as its primary provider. I found using an eye-dropper for feeding to be minimally effective and that using a little bottle created for this purpose to be much better. Every three hours, sometimes more, I have to prepare a formula, heat it for 4 seconds in the microwave, place it in the bottle and get it in the right position inside the mouth. It’s an exhausting commitment.

My other cats are not sure they like what they see. I’ve had to reassure them they are still loved and cherished. Nothing’s changed. It’s only a mild inconvenience. From the first moment it came into the house, the little one loudly announced its presence. I knew it was crying for a mama who would never come. My two older cats regard the little black kitten as a hairy little monster who is being disruptive. They can barely tolerate the change in the status quo.

I’m reassuring my beautifully proportioned Tuti, young hyper-active Russian Blue fireball (who, age-wise, would translate into being a super confidant teenage girl) that before her is an entertaining toy that’s just not quite ready. “You are bored with your old toys,” I tell Tuti, “and you need something more challenging than just bugs and lizards. It will be Ok, just wait and see.” So far, she’s not buying it.

I’m not sure how my big ole boy, Lennie, a neutered male ginger (who would translate as approaching grandpa), is reacting. He did not like the din of the kitten’s cry. Lennie’s been attentive. He’s usually been in the same room as me, watching as I feed it. The kitten no longer cries for his mama in the same way it did before. I suppose that means I’ve been accepted as the mama. Lennie is more tolerant now that the awful sounds have subsided but he remains distant and unapproachable. I wonder if Ebony could stir the memory of Fred, Lennie’s old buddy and pal. Before Fred’s unexpected demise, he and Lennie were inseparable.

May 22, 2015

I noticed Ebony attempt to scratch behind his ear with his hind foot. He fell over. Ebony’s still learning coordination. This kitten is willful and strong. Though its cries were loud at the beginning, his little purr is soft, precious and delicate.

May 23, 2015

I think Ebony is a male. Today he’s learning depth perception. I watched him stare at something. With eyes fixed upon it, he’d move his head back and forth, up and down, then reach out to see if he could touch it. I also noticed him focusing his gaze upon his front paws while he purposefully moved them in front of his face. Is he trying to judge spacial relationships? Fascinating.

 

Darlene's lettering

Darlene answers a Question involving Letters

Question from Martin: Wanted to contact you concerning the lettering in the original TSR Deities and Demigods, particularly the Melnibonean lettering. I want to create a font based on the style. Any information would be appreciated.

Dear Martin,

Ah yes, I remember that one!  It would certainly be a challenge to recreate as a type font.

Like some Greek and Celtic characters, the “o” is based on a diamond shape. The alphabet’s main feature are its huge triangular serifs that taper down to a point. I based the idea partly on the cuneiform writing of Mesopotamian clay tablets. There was also an Anglo-Saxon manuscript I saw once at the British Museum which had memorable tapered finials. Those scripts were my inspiration. I seem to remember I did an entire page using a script like that. I believe it was in “White Plume Mountain,” one of my first commissions for TSR back in the late 70’s.

Hope this helps. I would be interested in seeing your results.

D

 

Sister Diana and Brother Bert with me at GaryCon at the end of March, 2015

Appreciating GaryCon VII

My Reflections upon GaryCon VII were written on March 30, 2015 and posted in Facebook. I repost my words here, to remember:

“Even though Wisconsin was as cold as I remember, GaryCon VII was warm and inviting. Welcoming all who arrived stood a life-sized Sheldon wearing a GaryCon VII t-shirt. I intended, but forgot, to have my photo taken with him.

“My beret’s off to Luke, Ernie and Dale for their excellent organization of this grand event. You all do Gary proud and I am very pleased to have been a minute part of it. From what I could tell, a grand time was had by all. I’d like to call out some people (in no particular order):
“To Luke, thanks for your kind generosity with my host regarding accommodations;
to my hosts Carlos and Amanda Roo, everyone owes you a debt of gratitude as I would not have been able to attend without your gift of an air ticket and I’m doubly glad you did so well in your tournament;
To Cindy, your daughter is beautiful and talented–she must take after you,
to Lloyd and Zach, I’m glad you were my neighbor and I appreciate you lending me your art materials and I admire your fearlessness;
to Jeff, so sorry not to have connected more with you than just that short moment by the stairs… Vlee Vlee;
to Mike, thanks for bringing me up to date and for the lasagne at The Pub;
to Jim, you are looking well and so I’m glad you are on the mend;
to Tim, thanks for the pizza, the drive to Delavan to reminisce and recharge and for always being encouraging;
to Frank, thanks for your gracious self, your precious smile and for the personal tour;
to Stefan, you are one amazing, talented and entertaining dude and I’m so glad you liked the commission once you saw the art printed out–as we now know, it’s often deceptive if one only views art electronically–and good luck with the video, you deserve it;
to Lawrence, I got to sign several White Plume Mountain modules which I haven’t seen in an age and I do believe the calligraphy was my very first published TSR commission;
to Diesel, I’m glad to be getting to know you and your wife Lisa better and look forward to being with you again in Texas,
to Barbara, so great to meet you in the flesh… I consider this to be the start of a beautiful friendship;
to Steve, although you’re an old goat, I will probably be doing more maps for you;)
to Skip, you are looking good and I’m sorry you had to leave so soon but your excuse was totally understandable so thank you for compassionately caring for the poor feline critters who brave their way to your doorstep;
to Penny, thanks for grabbing my attention–it’s great to finally meet you in person and ditto about the cats
to Dan, you are quite the bard and I’m sorry we did not get a better opportunity than to meet in passing as you were performing and I was leaving… maybe we’ll meet, anon;
to Dave, you are still an incredible listener, a caring friend with a gentle soul–bless you;
to Harold, I never knew you with a mustache but I’m happy you are involved with the Breadloaf Bookshop, one of my favorite haunts as I used to man the shop from time to time so I’d be happy to help you out graphically should you ever need it,
to Heidi, congrats on your first DM session and I love to read your Facebook posts;
to Steve and Kiff, it was great reconnecting with you two and I appreciate the cc tip;
to Elise, you’re still looking great and I’m sorry we didn’t get a better chance to talk;
to Scott, thanks for the soup and for the conversation on Saturday night;

to my my sisters Dawn and Diana and my brother Bert for stopping by to say “Hi.”
and finally, to my loyal fans for their interest and anyone else I may have neglected to list, thanks for all kindnesses… ”

Btw–I was given the title, “Our Lady of Gaming” seven years ago at the last Gaming Convention I attended in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin when Gary was still alive. It is with pride that I adopted the same designation at GaryCon.

Our Lady of Gaming

 

 

 

Subtlety and Nuance in Letter Design

I just found myself reading some movie credits solely to see the typography. I’m always looking at type. I’m interested in how someone solved the usual typographic problems. I’m genuinely appreciative when someone gets it right.

How great is the role of nuance? Getting the relationships just right enhances communication. Beauty speaks. Nuance is altering–minutely–by nano degrees, a letter’s shape and contour. Nuance is the difference between a sparkling result or an average one.

 

 

The Importance of Finishing

Among the things I learned from my late husband is the extreme importance of finishing things. I’m thinking in terms of creativity and writing. Over a long period of time, I witnessed a repeating pattern in my writer husband. Always, in the beginning, he would be enthralled with a great idea for a book. As the excitement or the newness wore off, invariably so did his interest. Often, when he would be more than half-way through, he would get inspired to begin anew. Then, he’d go along at a consistent pace and maybe get a little further along before stopping and determining the material of the book actually required a different treatment. Usually during the third version, I’d discover he’d abandoned it completely in favor of chasing after another idea for a book to write. I never knew him to revisit any of his nearly-completed manuscripts.

Perhaps some people cannot finish things for reasons of their stars, up-bringing or life lessons. One thing is for sure: there is no sense of accomplishment when you are a great starter but do not finish the race. I recently observed this same tendency in my sister who had recently been bitten by the writing bug. She would stop before she started and rewrite. I don’t know how many different versions of chapter one she’d rewritten. Too many. I advised her to silence the critic/editor inside her head. Insist that internal interfering and disruptive editor go take a hike. Now is the time for the writer in her to flourish, unimpeded.

After listening to her other concerns, I knew she was making her doubts interfere on another level. She was fretting about marketing and self-publishing and what if this and what if that… Daunting, that is how she described what she was going through. No wonder she felt depleted, low-energy, disheartened and uninspired.

I advised her to allow herself to remember the reasons why her book was important to begin with. I said, “Reconnect with that impulse to create and allow the purity of your original motivation to allow your genius to soar. Do not concern yourself with practical matters. That comes later, much later. For now, write the book. Work on your craft. Persevere. When you feel resistance, push against it to achieve success.”

The process of writing a book is arduous. The task is long and challenging enough without the extra stress of worry. Fire that critic inside you if he tries to usurp the creative process. Silence any dissenting voices. Banish any doubts. Make no room for negativity. Concentrate on recovering the joy in the doing. Then bless the world with your creation.

I write this as a recovering procrastinator. I write this for the times I’ll need to be reminded that the way out of the unproductive, maze of self-doubt is simply by finding joy in the doing.