Books & Media
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The Shieldmaiden Blog

Jun - 14


The past month has been a whirlwind of activity – since making the decision to run a crowdfunding campaign to fund the publication of my book, preparing for the campaign, and continuing my work schedule on the book, have demanded almost all my time. Here’s what I’ve been up to…


As a way to create something beautiful for backer rewards for the campaign, I’ve been working on a new devotional artwork. In the illuminated manuscript style of the Book of Kells, a detailed ink painting of the Morrígan and Her “Peace to the Sky” prophecy poem, on authentic calfskin vellum. Followers of my social media feeds have been seeing process photos as I go along through the design, sketching, layout, and inking phases of the piece. It remains in progress and I’ll continue posting updates as I complete it. Here’s the current progress:

illuminated vellum 9 square

From this artwork, prints, cards, and downloadable versions will be made for backers of the crowdfunding campaign. I’m also going to do a one-color t-shirt with the image of the Queen from this artwork.

It’s been and continues to be a joy to work on. Something I’ve discovered is that working on vellum is amazing. As a friend put it, it’s sexy. The vellum is warm to the touch and has a silken texture, like – well, like skin. It shifts and stretches in response to the warmth of the hand and the moisture of the ink. It’s translucent, letting light softly through, highlighting ghostly tiny veins that appear and disappear. Colors sink in to its layered surface and seem to glow with life.

I hope to have the opportunity to show this piece to at least a few of you in person before it goes – it really must be seen with the eyes as the photos do not do it justice.

The Campaign

We launch June 10th – next Tuesday night. The campaign will run 36 days, closing on July 15th. And there’s a launch party you can join in on – either in person in Oakland, or remotely via the internet.

A preview of the campaign is up at – and I want you to take a look and give me your feedback on the campaign before we go live!

Bearing in mind that this is a draft page and still may change, what do you think? Like the backer rewards? Which is your favorite or the one you’re most likely to choose? Have suggestions about rewards I should consider adding or changing?

And YES, there will be a video! My dear friend, Coru co-priestess, marketing empress, and Wild Hunt writer Rynn Fox is finishing editing on the video now, so we will have that up on the campaign page within a few more days and certainly before launch.

Book Progress

While all this is going on, I’ve continued to keep my time commitment to working on the book. I recently got access to some excellent UC Berkeley library materials and have been delightedly chewing through them: a tantalizing compendium on ancient Celtic cursing practices; analytical materials on Irish poetic forms including the poems of the Morrígan; a treatise on Indo-European heroic frenzy and the Hero’s Light… and SO. MUCH. MORE. I really could disappear for weeks into these books.

The book itself is taking shape, and I feel a stronger than ever sense of momentum with it. I’m looking forward to the time soon when, post-fundraising campaign, I’ll hopefully be able to cut back on my third job and devote that time to writing, writing, writing.

I can’t wait to share all this with you. In Her glorious name!

20 comments on Three…Two…One…

  1. Anna says:

    Are you interested in any Morrigan inspired, devotional poems for inclusions in your book?

    1. Morpheus says:

      Hi there,
      Thank you for offering. Since this book is not a devotional anthology, it won’t really be a suitable place to include devotional poems from others. A devotional anthology was just published by another group, Neos Alexandria. Too bad I didn’t connect with you a bit earlier as I could have recommended to submit your poems to them. You may like the anthology, anyway:

  2. Jack says:

    Congratulations on reaching 75% of your goal in 2 days! Outstanding!

    Will the dates & time for the Q&A sessions be posted somewhere? In the meantime, can we post questions here?

    How do we get vblog updates?

    1. Morpheus says:

      Hi Jack,
      I’ll be posting dates and info about the Q&A sessions and vblog updates directly to the backers via email. That will start happening shortly after the campaign ends. So, if you’ve backed the campaign at a level that includes participation (I believe that’s available at $35 and up), you will get notifications from me as soon as those sessions are planned.

      1. Jack says:

        Awesome! Thank you!

  3. One question: where did you find vellum? I’ve been dying to illuminated script on it but have not found any.

    Good luck on your project.

    1. Morpheus says:

      Hi, Edward! Nice to hear from you. Vellum isn’t the easiest to find – I had to do a bit of searching and certainly couldn’t find it locally. The company I ordered from is Pergamena: They seem to be pretty much the go-to source. I found a couple other people selling it online, but none that looked as professional, and all of the websites of folks who do illumination seem to recommend Pergamena. I had a good experience ordering from them. Don’t expect to receive it in a flash – I get the impression that they process and stretch the material by the order, so it took them a couple weeks to get it to me. Very worth it though. It’s a lovely material and I’ve been really enjoying working with it.

      I’d love to see what you create if you start working with illumination! Keep me posted. :)
      Thanks for the well wishes on the project.


  4. Jack says:

    Congratulations! The campaign and the perks are excellent! Well done!

    The only thing I would recommend adding, either as a perk or something you make available in the future – is an audio version of the book read by you (either an abridged or unabridged version). For people like me who spend hours a day commuting to work, audio books give us a great way to make that time worthwhile, and I’m sure I will want to read (or listen) to this book more than one time. I also like audio books because the author’s voice can breath life to the topic she is writing about; her voice can convey the author’s passion, wonder and excitement for the subject matter.

    1. Morpheus says:

      That’s a great idea, Jack. I’ll definitely keep it in mind as a future project once the book is done!

  5. Asa West says:

    I’m so excited! I can’t wait to contribute.

    Also, I’m a librarian at UCLA, and I’d like to humbly offer my services if you need access to any more research materials. I could search our holdings and databases, email you scans of any print materials you need, etc.

    1. Morpheus says:

      Thank you so much! I will definitely keep your contact info in my back pocket. :)

  6. Helen/Hawk says:

    Lovely perks. It occurred to me that you might want to put a $50 one between $35 & $85. Add the “6×9 fine-art card of THE MORRIGAN’S majestic “PEACE TO THE SKY” Prophecy ” to the perks of the $20 donation.

    In fact, I’m noticing that the $20 donation is the only one w/ the card. From a perk POV, I miss that in the larger donation categories. ‘Cause it’s something special.

    1. Morpheus says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Helen! Good to know what folks like, and I will look at making that option more widely available.

  7. Kayote says:

    Did you consider offering some of your talismans as rewards?

    1. Morpheus says:

      That’s something I am considering, Kayote. It’s mostly a question of time investment, but if there’s a lot of interest, I could do a special run of talismans for the campaign. Thanks for the feedback!

  8. Misha says:

    Ooooh! Great perks. Please tell more about the ultra-rare hand-bound artistic edition of the book: details on how will it be made? Can’t wait!

    1. Morpheus says:

      Hey there! I’ll see about getting Amelia, the book artist, to give me some more detailed verbiage about the hand-bound books. Glad to know people are interested in them!

      1. Misha says:

        Awesome. Very exciting! Another thought: would you consider including patron URLs in the supporter credits? Might be a kinda groovy added perk, especially if the eBook has live, click-able links.

        1. Morpheus says:

          I think I probably won’t put links in the book, since it then becomes problematic to keep them updated. But since I will also be putting backer credits up on a thank-you page on my website, I can definitely add links there! I’m always glad to help spread the word about the awesome things people in my community are doing.

  9. Vivienne Moss says:

    Love the perks. The 350 is my favorite though I will probably have to with the 85. Can’t wait for this book!

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