A Study in Creative Mythological Dreamscapes
by DARLENE ©1995/2018
I was within a creative whirlwind in the early years of TSR, Inc. (the company of Gary Gygax, one of the creators of the fantasy role-playing game, Dungeons & Dragons). At the time, I was a young freelance artist living in Lake Geneva, occasionally working on assignments for TSR’s divisions. I was considered a “lesser” artist. But what I possessed the others didn’t was my unique feminine viewpoint.
I well remember the year 1980, because that was the year “The Story of Jasmine” Illustrated Fantasy Adventure was first published in The Dragon magazine. The “Story of Jasmine” would only run for a year. Even though my contract had not been renewed, Jasmine had been born and she refused to leave my mind.
The creative focus on the “Story of Jasmine” as it unfolded took years to unwind itself, resulting in scraps of dialog on hundreds of sheets of paper, numerous paintings and drawings, and a fantasy-role-playing card game. Jasmine was a constant companion who told her story to me for over a four-year period. When I moved out of Lake Geneva and refocused my attention as a MFA candidate in Graphics Design at Indiana University, that connection had gone deep underground.
* * * * *
I wrote the above in a notebook I just found, dated 1995. At that time, I must have started the process of collecting the isolated bits of Jasmine writing I could never bear to throw out. Now, 23 years later, again I think about the story Jasmine told me — the story that manifested in my mind every night for around 1500 days, somewhere in the vicinity of 38 years ago. For whatever reason there may be, Jasmine came to me. For whatever purpose it may have, I now choose to share her story and that of her companions.
All those years ago, the story unfolded in my mind like a dream. The story was not linear. The narrative began somewhere in the middle. Characters I had no clue about would speak dialog. I did not know who they were or how they connected with each other. After about a year, I began to write things down and put them in order. This resulted in “The Story of Jasmine” mentioned above, published between 1980 and 1981. The copyright is still mine.
Likewise, the writings offered here are not in any particular order. Yet I start with the snippets collected in that 1995 notebook, which was somewhat organized. It is my intent to offer different snippets daily so you can experience the story like I did. Enjoy!
Note: All illustrations and images accompanying this narrative belong to me. Most were created many years ago and have been repurposed for this share.
Of course all writing and art is ©2018 DARLENE.
Looking forward to learning more about Jasmine. I started reading Dragon with issue 56, so I must have just missed your 12 issue series. I am hoping I can register for your Jasmine card game event at GaryCon X.
Me too! Stop by my art booth, if you will!
I definitely will. You were kind enough to sign several things for me last year. Do you still produce copies of the card game?
Yes, I will have copies available for sale from the original run from 1982. My sister found some in her basement and so Whoo Hooo!
What an awesome find! How much are they selling for? (just to make sure I bring enough $)
Well, yes–it IS an awesome find, thank you. And it’s a collector’s item as well! Since
I’ve found some new ones, for GaryCon, I’m going to reduce the price by 1/3 ($50.00).
That makes the game $100.00 The cost may sound dear to you, but it will help me to
stay alive 2018 (I have no income, am on a shoe-string budget, & have health issues).
Yeah, I know–the usual complaints of old people…
But play the game with me, have fun, and see if it is worth it to you. OK?
I am planning on registering for your Friday afternoon game – so I look forward to meeting you again and learning to play.