Queen's Own (Mercedes Lackey newsletter)

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NOTE: This is a work in progress. I'm going to move the zine announcements and fan club stuff to their own pages when I'm finished.

Zine
Title: Queen's Own
Publisher: Queen's Own, the official Mercedes Lackey fan club
Editor(s): Judith Louvis and Sally Paduch (1988-1990)
Judith Louvis (1990-1998)
Robin Ready (1998-2000)
Herald-Mage Journeyman Danya Winterborn (L.A. Malcor) and Healer Adept Moonstar (Kendra Renaud) (2000-2005)
Herald-Mage Journeyman Danya Winterborn (2005-present)
Type:
Date(s): February 1988- December 2015 (no newsletters in 2013 or 2014)
Frequency: primarily monthly
Medium: print, then in May 2000 it went to online
Fandom: Mercedes Lackey, Valdemar
Language: English
External Links: Queen's Own--Newsletters, Archived version
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Queen's Own is the newsletter for Mercedes Lackey's official fan club, Queen's Own.

a banner from the May 1997 issue, artist is Lori Poznanski
banner from the September 1998 issue

Cost

In the beginning, there was no charge for the newsletter. Its cost was covered by donations.

In April 1990, costs had grown too large and dues were collected.

From a 1997 issue: "The $8 fee covers the cost of printing and mailing; I have no objection to your sharing a newsletter."

Title Change

The September 1998 newsletter officially became "Queen's Own: Merging of Ways" when a new editor took over. This was to reflect the broader base of Lackey fans. This title change lasted two years.

In May 2000, it went back to its old title: "We're taking the club and the newsletter back to the old format developed by the founder of Queen's Own, Judith Louvis, only we're doing it online." [1]

Topics and Contents

Issues were usually filled with:

  • updates about Lackey's books and other things for sale
  • excerpts from interviews with Lackey and Larry Dixon
  • excerpts from information from GEnie
  • Lackey's convention appearances
  • info about cons in general
  • submission requests for zines, both Lackey-based and other
  • lists of mentors for other fandoms and subjects
  • much cross-marketing with Firebird Arts & Music
  • a link for Mercedes Lackey's Release Form
  • comments about the very beginning of fans' access to computers, America Online, GEnie...
  • the open letter: I'm about to bring the cold, cruel, mundane world into our fun for a moment
  • fan messages/penpals
  • excerpts of fiction by Lackey
  • at least one example of fanfic (stripped out of the online version)
  • some photos, though many links are broken on the online version
  • occasional art
  • much about fans' personas, role-playing, and becoming Heralds
  • between 2000-03, there were many fan interviews, see Queen's Own Interviews

Regarding the Online Posting of This Newsletter

Regarding the issues below: only the months that newsletters were printed are shown below. Not all of these issues have been posted online.

Much information (dated and personal) has been stripped out.

The online version has occasional book jacket images and photos. It is likely that these were not included in the print versions.

Regarding the Excerpts Here on Fanlore

The newsletters contain much detailed information; what is included below has been chosen with this in mind: is it specifically about fans, copyright, fan behavior, fan rules, fanworks, and interactions with fans.

Excerpts from the newsletters here on Fanlore are only from 1988-1999; this is due to space and time.

All available newsletters can be viewed at: Queen's Own--Newsletters, Archived version.

1988

  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
    • fans could send birthday cards, and anniversary cards to Misty and her husband, Tony
  • June
    • "We thought you might be interested in more Misty trivia so here goes: Misty was born in Chicago, went to high school in Indiana and then to Purdue University, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree; has held jobs as a retail clerk, lab tech, store detective, artist's model, cook, waitress, 'phone surveyor and computer programmer. Misty plays the guitar, oboe, clarinet, and both a soprano and alto recorder; she's a scuba diver and costumer; reads German, ". . . at one time fluently . . . . "; sews, embroiders, knits and crochets; and " . . . because of sheer boredom . . . having taken up a new job here [Tulsa] . . . . " began writing fanfic for SHADOWSTAR, edited by Jean Holmes, in 1982."
  • July
  • September
    • "Misty trivia: Her original nickname was "Dee", but when spending a summer working with youngsters who were supposed to call their counselors Miss, Mrs. or Mr., she became "Miss Dee", then "Missdee", and finally "Misty"."
    • "Beware Thor Records! They have produced a new tape by Kathy Mar called "Plus ca Change" with a song Misty wrote the lyrics for called "Little Green Eyes" and have neither applied for a mechanical license from Firebird nor paid the licensing fee. Therefore, at this time, they are to all intents and purposes plagiarizing Misty's work. Don't buy it!"
  • October
    • "Thor Records has finally gotten its/their act together and is doing right by Misty. However, to those of you who wrote that they're "good guys" some people aren't good guys by choice only by necessity."
  • November

1989

  • January
    • "Since the October fan letter, there has been quite a lot of correspondence and several telephone calls in regard to comments about Misty's relationship with THOR Records herein. That company has paid the appropriate licensing fees for the disputed song and the dispute is resolved. Period."
  • February
    • "the recipe for Misty's Peanut Butter Popcorn!!!"
  • March
  • April
    • "Jean Lamb writes that she has a story in MOON PHASES #11 called "Any Wings to Fly," set in the Darkover universe. It's a tale about what happened when Danvan Hatur first learned that, of all his gifted kin, he would have no laran--ever. "I'm pretty proud of this story . . . . THE RIVALS, an original universe sword and sorcery novel, is still at DAW, and I've submitted a story on spec to Janet Morris for LORDS IN HELL. Wish me luck!""
    • "To those of you who've sent material to Richard Corbin and not yet received a response, we can only say that we've experienced the same. And can only suggest that the world has intruded into Richard's life, precluding his fanzine efforts for the forseeable future. Hopefully, we'll hear from him again soon."
  • May
    • "In April, we wrote that some of Misty's fans had work in the zine MOON PHASES. However, we goofed in suggesting that the zine was available for a SASE. Fortunately, the zine's editor, Nina Boal, took pity on us and sent clarifying material, showing that her Darkover fiction zine varies in cost, depending on the number of pages and how it's mailed, (book rate, first class, to Canada, or [overseas]."
    • an announcement about Mercedes Lackey... Live!
  • June/July
    • "SPRINGFEST '89 was a kick and a half! Dale Jewel arranged for Judith, Sally, and Judith's friend Barbara Fletcher from Philadelphia, to be met at the Jackson airport by two welcomers, a double dose of Dianes, Durham and Wendland. Now that's class! We won't go into detail about all that went on, ('cause we don't have the time, energy, or space,) but we will tell you that we met Marion Zimmer Bradley, Misty's mentor and a truly grand lady; Lisa [Elizabeth] Walters, Mrs. Bradley's aide-de-camp, (secretary just doesn't say enough,) [2] and author in her own right; the one and only Larry Dixon, artist extraordinaire and Misty co-conspirator/collaborator; Grace Lee Whitney, of original Star Trek fame, (and much more attractive in person than she appears on the screen); gamers Steve Jackson and Michael "Scotty" Scott; and--sound of trumpets--our own, very special MISTY!) ... (There was also a photograph of the lady, but there's no way it came even close to capturing the multi-faceted personality of our favorite author.) She is a 5'5" bundle of perpetual motion and energy, (which we found a bit unnerving,) with auburn hair, hazel eyes which sometimes seem green and sometimes golden, and a smile that wins everyone within its reach."
    • some descriptions of The Society for Creative Anachronism
  • August/September
    • "[letter by one of the editors]: Dear Misty fans: This has been a very difficult fanletter to organize and write. That's why it's so late in reaching you, and I apologize if some of you began to wonder what had happened. The fanmessages, which in this combined issue are almost 3-1/2 pages in length, were [even with some almost impossible handwriting and some truly imaginative spelling,], a lead pipe cinch to put together, comparatively speaking. Judith and I found ourselves annoyed and upset by some of our recent mail. Ordinarily we alternate, which works out just fine because we then take turns calming each other down. This time, however, we were both angry at the same time about the same things. And it's taken me quite some time to put things enough in perspective to write about them objectively. I'll start by reminding you of how we, The Queen's Own, came to be. A little over a year and a half ago, [and about 373 members less,] Judith and I, with a skeptical Misty's blessing, sent out our first fanletter. It was the result of our having fallen in love with Misty's concept of Valdemar and its inhabitants, and being absolutely certain that we weren't the only ones. In that wonderful, private place we all have within us, we found a shared delight in the Misty-made world of Companions, Chosen, Heralds, the Queen's Own, and the ofttimes less than common concepts of friendship, honor, loyalty, respect, and the acceptance of new and different ways of thinking, acting, and living one's life. So what's my point? Just this. Each of us, depending upon many variables, has strong feelings, opinions, and convictions on one subject or another, which probably conflict at one point or another with even those of our closest friends. Mature people accept these differences and "agree to disagree" in order to maintain these friendships. In the June-July fanletter, I excerpted material from three persons' letters on the subject of the Society for Creative Anachronism. I did this deliberately to show the authors' different perspectives on this most fascinating and complex organization. A small number of people disagreed with one of the writer's viewpoints, and their response was to write him letters that were mean, nasty, rude, insulting, and otherwise thoroughly offensive. His reponse to them was to write Misty a letter of apology, "in case I offended her," and another to Judith and myself. Misty, Judith, and I were offended, but at the letters he received, not the one he wrote to us. (See Misty's letter on this subject.) I am a strong believer in, and defender of, free speech. But I also believe that intelligent people can disagree without being disagreeable. Think about it."
    • [letter by Lackey]: "I understand some of you wrote some pretty hateful things to one of the folks who did some explanations about what the SCA was all about. I'm not amused. I've been the target of enough hate-mail myself to find the idea of nasty letters pretty darn distasteful. You know who you are, and I think you ought to apologize. You caused him a great deal of distress. UnHeraldic, people. Totally UnHeraldic. What the gentleman wrote was pieced together by Judith and Sally from some of his private letters; they know nothing about the SCA, and to be blunt, I found nothing whatsoever offensive about what was written. The SCA as I joined it was a place to have fun and a place to learn what honor was all about. We took things with tolerance and open minds, in the spirit in which they were given, allowing for possible mistakes in the translation. One of the reasons I no longer belong is because that spirit seems (as has just been amply demonstrated) to have died."
    • Lackey writes an eight-point tutorial for people who want to write for a living, one of the points is: "Nobody is going to "steal your idea," much less your book. First of all, you can't steal ideas; no two authors will do the same thing with the same idea. Secondly, nobody would even consider stealing a book; it's not worth it. A publisher could be wiped out by a single lawsuit." [3]
    • Lackey warns about associating with vanity presses
    • Lackey says: "Artist Larry Dixon has joined my company, High Flight."
  • October
    • "RE RICHARD CORBIN FIASCO AND THE IT-NEVER-CAME-TO-PASS FANZINE "VOICES OF VALDEMAR": Richard wrote to both Judith and myself with lots of ideas and great plans for a Mercedes Lackey fanzine called "Voices of Valdemar". He even had Misty's okay. We told you all to send material to him . . . And he's never contacted us, or any of those who sent him their efforts, since. [The last letter I received was in January 1989.] Sorry, children."
  • November/December
    • "Remember, Misty got her start writing for zines too."
    • "Dear children, one more time! A SASE is a SELF-ADDRESSED STAMPED ENVELOPE you provide. You provide the envelope. You address it. You put the stamp on it. If you wonder why I'm repeating myself, it's both selfish and altruistic in motive. I've been getting some checks which include money for postage for QO buttons. And then I've had to scrounge envelopes and stamps, and . . . . PULEEEEEESE! Others might just cash the check."
    • "NOTE: [in reference to the content of one of the personals.] Please re-read paragraph two on Page 2. PLEASE don't be so self-deprecating, even in jest, children. Many people judge you as you appear to judge yourself. Modesty is one thing. Describing oneself in a derogatory fashion is something else. Others may not understand you're kidding. And you may begin to believe the lie. I sometimes think of myself as a pinch eccentric, slightly quixotic, very imaginative, a bit of a visionary, delightfully creative, and totally unique, but never in psychiatric or negative terms. The power of positive thinking has been proven. Dare to be different! March to your own drum! Be a leader! Head up, shoulders back, chin [and tummy, if you can manage it, (sigh)] in. Be true to yourself! Remember, Heralds are chosen for their singular, uncommon qualities. Believe in yourself!"

1990

  • January
  • February
    • contains long section about whether referring to one's self as "abnormal" and "slightly insane" is an insult, or something to be proud of
    • "PLEASE JOIN US IN WELCOMING OUR NEW HERALDS! Judith and I have been in a state of near shock ever since the large, thick, brown envelopes containing Herald material started arriving. We are both so inordinately impressed by those who've managed their time so successfully as to have been able to complete Misty's requirements this quickly. [On the other hand, I'm still stuck in the middle of the second draft of my persona. I haven't got "writer's block" and I'm not lazy, I'm just . . . not as organized as I'd like to be.] Herewith, our first Heralds: [snipped]""
    • "There is a computer in my foreseeable future, but the sheer numbers of Misty's fans are growing at such a rate that we are planning to ask for dues later in the year. The amount we will ask for will probably be $10. This money will be used to have the fanletter printed/copied professionally and pay for envelopes [if we continue to use them] and postage. SASEs will only be requested if you want an answer to something or want something returned to you. We are trying to take everything into consideration--from which is more important, Judith's answering mail or babysitting the xerox machine, to can we afford to continue with the growing numbers of fans and the growing size of the fanletter, to whether or not asking for dues will mean some of you will have to drop out. What it's come down to is how to continue having fun doing this. You couldn't pay either of us enough to do it otherwise. So start saving your pennies, nickels, dimes, etc., please."
    • "Is there an outlet for Mercedes Lackey-based fanfic [fan written fiction] and art? You betcha! Specifically Stephanie Wong and R. Nathaniel Waldbauer. [Ed. Note 2002: For current zines that accept Mercedes Lackey-based fanfic, visit [Queen's Own--Fan Fiction, Archived version] But don't ignore zines that will print the fantasy fiction relating to many different/other worlds."
    • "WHEN IT'S A QUESTION OF ETHICS, MORALS, AND THE LAW: We received a letter asking us to put in a fanmessage requesting copies of certain copyrighted tapes. To put it in the most basic of terms, this is illegal. This is stealing. I will not be an accessory to same nor appear to condone it, or anything of that sort, by putting it in QO."
  • March
    • there is a link on "How to Become a Herald": Herald Handout, Archived version
    • "SPEAKING OF FEED-BACK, a number of you have been good enough to write that you not only don't think dues are a bad idea, you think they're a good idea. Some of you even suggested that we should have asked for dues some time ago."
    • "TALES OF VALDEMAR AND BEYOND, Nathan Waldbauer writes, will have a September 1st deadline for November publication. Nathan noted that he's recently received an increased number of requests for his guidelines and some beautiful artwork in addition to written material. Without naming names, [you know who you are,] I hope that Nathan as well as Stephanie will be on the receiving end of some of the Herald material I've had the privilege to see--poems, lyrics, Heralds' and Companions' portraits and stories. ONCE BURNED, TWICE SHY? Don't be! If you were one of those who sent material to the-one-whose-name-will-not-be-mentioned and were disappointed, and have therefore hesitated to even request guidelines from Nathan or Stephanie for fear of being disappointed again, I want to urge and encourage you to lift up your chins, throw back your shoulders, and get out those stamps and envelopes! As Judith says, "There is no failure, only feedback.""
    • a fan's comment: ""If the world is told too often how insane, crazy, weird, etc., a person is because h/she feels they don't think or act like the people immediately surrounding them, some day h/she may wake up to find the world believed them and there may be unpleasant consequences. It could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Besides, if seems almost a mockery of those who really do have mental problems to describe yourself as insane when it's only a matter of loving science fiction/fantasy, or anything not necessarily main-stream . . . After all, if you don't think well of yourself, why should anyone else?""
  • April
    • This is the first issue edited by Judith alone; Sally has stepped down from her duties.
    • "I reluctantly made the decision some months ago that Queen's Own is going to have to ask for yearly dues. The trusty Xerox machine is leaving blothches and blots, blank spaces and spots, and I no longer trust it. Having the newsletter printed elsewhere and collated will save me time (and paper cuts), but I do need help with that expense. This is still a not-for-profit organization, and I expect to manage with dues of eight dollars for ten issues a year. Our "year" will start with the September issue."
  • June
    • "To all of you who enjoy reading Misty's books but have no idea why anyone would want to become a Herald: Relax, you're still a valued member of Queen's Own. We readers and appreciators are important people, too."
  • July
  • September
  • October
    • "The purpose of the Queen's Own newsletter is to keep you all informed of events in Misty's life--new books, convention appearances, new tapes, etc. Well, I have a different kind of event to announce this month. I am very pleased to inform you all that Misty Lackey and Larry Dixon are getting married! The wedding will be a private ceremony in Las Vegas in December. Friends and fans are asked to celebrate with them at the convention Circle Oroboros in Meridian, Mississippi in February. (Circle O is where Misty and Larry first met.) The date and address of the con will be in the next newsletter. Ask Santa Claus for tickets to Mississippi!"
    • SECRET MESSAGE!!! We have commissioned a replica of Need to be presented to Misty at DreamCon 6. Please send a dollar if you approve of that idea. The cost is $450; we have raised only $100 so far. The Pacific Northwest Collegium is providing a plaque and belt and scabbard. Contributors' names will go on a scroll to be presented later. The sword, scabbard and plaque are to be ready by Con time."
  • December
    • "[Mercedes Lackey on GEnie]: "Holy Moly Batman! I made it! Thanks to all who said Hi and Welcome. You have made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside! I think I'm going to like GEnie, now that I'm getting my menus (real hard to do things without menus). In order of occurrence: We have a falcon, a nonreleasable rehab American Kestrel (Sparrowhawk) male named Vincent. We have a falconer who is taking us as his apprentices. This is not a 'royal we,' as Larry Dixon and I are getting Married Dec. 15. I quit the Day Job Oct 15 (and there was much rejoicing)." [4]

1991

  • January
    • "To all members: No, you may not become a Guardian, anymore than you can become a Herald-Mage. Let's confine our ambitions to working for Herald/Bard/Healer status. White Winds Sorceresses and Shin'a'in Scouts are also welcome."
  • February
    • "Winds of Velgarth: For those interested in joining a role playing club, loosely based on Misty's novels... with the understanding that this will be a strictly correspondence club. SASE are appreciated. There is no age limit, but participation is limited to the United States."
    • "From Patricia Shaw Mathews and Judith Louvis: We are working together on a fan club for Lois McMaster Bujold tentatively called "Miles' Minions." Lois writes science fiction, not fantasy, but oh, her characters. I especially recommend Warrior's Apprentice, Brothers in Arms, and The Vor Game. If you've never read SF because you think it's all rocket ships and laser pistols, try any one of Lois's books."
    • "Michael Praed has given his approval and blessing to the Michael Praed Network News. If you took a look at Jody Lee's Vanyel drawings and thought "Aha! Robin Hood!" this is the club for you."
    • "Gaylaxicon '91 is July 19-21 in Tewksberry, Massachusetts. It is a small con (about 125 people last year) and it is specifically for gay people and their friends. The Guest of Honor is Samuel R. Delaney, Guest Artists are Hannah G. Shapero and Tristan Alexander....If you are under 18, a parent or guardian must attend with you."
    • [the club's editor]: "I received 84 letters last week alone."
    • "For Whom the Bell Tolls (FWTBT) is a role playing writer's club set in an alternate Valdemar.... Personas must be approved before they can participate. Unapproved personas have a heavy casualty rate. The newsletter, The Haven Herald, lists deaths, births, and other important events of the FWTBT world."
  • March
    • "Harken all Heralds, Harpers and Healers! A new zine called Herald's Haven is being created. It will be a zine for the appreciation of Valdemar and other fantasy worlds."
  • April
    • [Lackey wrote on GEnie, reported here]: "A 'filksong' is a folk song about a fantasy/sf topic. Some are very good. Some are very awful. I started out as a filksong writer. The reason they are called filk is because of a typo. Back in the days of the first LA worldcon, one of the local SF fanzines wrote a general article for neos (people new to fandom--ed.) so that they would know what they would find. This was in the days of mimeographs, and typos frequently were left uncorrected. The writer mentioned people getting together and singing sf FOLK songs, but 'I' is very close to 'O' (as I know to my sorrow) and there was a typo. It stayed. The problem was that it was the silly season, and the LA Times picked up the entire article for the Sunday supplement. Typo and all. FILK stuck."
    • "It has been one year since I took over duties of editor as well as everything else here at Queen's Own. All mail that comes into PO Box 43143 is opened and read and answered by me. Don't think that this is a one-woman operation though. QO has survived because of the help of many members: people like Patricia Riggs, our "answer lady" the "Mailing Day Helpers" who come once a month to fold, staple, stamp and address the newsletters; the Mentors who are slowly being organized so they can help with specific aspects of fandom; the folks who send artwork for the side of the newsletter; Ana Casacuberta and Joanne Mattern who are still trying to organize the files (and me); my family, who are tolerant beyond belief of the way QO first took over the kitchen table, then the dining room, then Mom needed a computer . . . And lastly, all of you, who send me silly cards and cheerful notes and your whole-hearted support. Here's to many, many more years to Misty's writing career, and to her club, Queen's Own. I kept count last month--338 letters received, 280 answered. I thank you for St. Patrick's Day cards, Easter cards, (including one measuring 16-1/2 inches by 2 feet!), and other assorted goodies. Our membership is over the 600 mark, and still growing."
  • May
  • June
    • From Lynn Tucker: "Companions' Grove is a definite go; I'm just waiting for submissions now. A SASE will get interested parties a copy of the guidelines. The sooner I get subs, the sooner the first (uh oh, did I say FIRST?!?) issue can be published, so rev up those typewriters!"
    • "Issue two of the zine Companion's Rest is almost ready... Vicki invites those of you who read #1 to send her suggestions and criticisms. Damien Bunting will edit Issues 3 & 4, so send material to him."
    • "The Herald's Hall of California was the first regional chapter of Queen's Own. Christa Miller sent out a consistently high quality newsletter. Unfortunately for those of us who enjoyed reading the "California Arrow", Christa is gafiating. (To gafiate is to "get away from it all". The term is usually used when Mundania insists on taking up so much of one's time that fannish activities have to be curtailed.) Is there anyone in the California area who would like to keep the chapter going?"
    • "For Whom the Bell Tolls -- Young Queen's Own, the role playing writer's club set in an alternate Valdemar... Leanne Brownlee says: "To all the people who have inquired about FWTBT--YQO: WOW! I really didn't expect this large a response! The amount of mail I get has almost doubled! I am trying to write back to each of you as quickly as I can. Please be patient. I will write. I hope you all enjoy yourselves! Herald-Queen Anastasia."
  • July
    • "Fan messages are for the convenience of those who wish to write to others. The QO membership list is not made available to anyone else, not even Firebird Arts and Music, but please remember that a sample issue of the newsletter is sent to anyone who requests information on the club."
    • "This is a secret!!! This paragraph is not in the copy of the newsletter that Misty received. Queen's Own is presenting a replica of Need to Misty for Christmas. Yes, it is expensive, but if each club member who thinks this is a neat idea sends me a dollar, we can pay for it (and maybe a scabbard). Remember, we want this to be a surprise!!! Don't tell!!!"
    • "Future writers--want to get a taste of the 'real world' of publishing without diving in headfirst? Wolf Raven Press is currently assembling an anthology of short stories set on Velgarth or on original worlds. Stories will be accepted until January 31, 1992."
    • "From Lynn Tucker: "Companion's Grove is a fanzine dedicated to Mercedes Lackey's world of Velgarth, focusing primarily on Valdemar. The format will be 50 to 60 pages--I need more submissions, especially illustrated stories, songs, and poems. The deadline is December 1, 1991 for a February 1992 publication."
  • September
    • the club had over 800 members
  • October
    • "The four chapters of Bardic Voices: The Lark & the Wren that many of you received in the mail is called a teaser book. It's a form of advertising and, in this case, a thank you from Baen to all Queen's Own members who can be reached by surface mail. I hoped it would be viewed as a pleasant surprise. If anyone objects to my making your address available to Baen, please let me know, and I will remove your name form future mailings. Baen does not have the QO membership list; I am printing labels for them as needed. As I said, it's Baen's way of showing their appreciation to Misty's fans. There will be more goodies in your mailboxes from time to time."
    • "As Larry described it via GEnie on September 11th: 'The closing went smoothly. To insure it would be fun for all, Misty went in a black suede skirt and blue satin and lave top, with her Aussie Digger hat, and I arrived in a white tux-and-tails. The paperwork took about half an hour, and the jokes lasted another half hour. The moving has begun! And yes, for those wondering, I *did* wear my black sequined shoes.' Misty and Larry have yet to spend a night in their new home. They signed the papers, moved their belongings, and left in their RV for Contradiction and a bit of visiting, expecting to be back home about now. They travel with laptops and conscientiously write, write, write, even when on the road."
    • "Attention Writers, Artists, Poets, and Bards, you are needed. The Waystation, a fanzine dedicated to the people of Valdemar, needs you. Now accepting Herald based and 'original' fantasy submissions. For guidelines, send a SASE."
    • "Do you write poetry? Do you have doubts as to your ability? Well, we don't. Join Dreamscapes, the Queen's Own poetry club. Here's your chance to display your talent. Send a SASE."
    • "Our oldest zine is Arrow's Message. Both its artwork and prose have been consistently above average."
    • "Why hasn't your fan message or Herald acknowledgement appeared? Maybe the post office lost it, or the cats ate it, or there are fifty others that arrived before it did, or maybe--I can't read it or I decided it was inappropriate. If you write to me, especially in pencil or in tiny handwriting, and I have to puzzle out the words, the letter goes to the bottom of the pile. Easy-to-read fan messages and Herald material always go in first. I'm not being mean; I have vision problems. Puzzling over illegible handwriting gives me a headache. Too many headaches and nothing gets done. Don't threaten me because something you sent hasn't appeared in the newsletter. Sending me $8 for ten issues of the newsletter does not buy me! If you are unhappy with Queen's Own, I will quickly refund your money and delete your address. I decide what is appropriate for the newsletter. This is not a lonely hearts club, nor a forum for the weird and outre. Queen's Own exists to bring you news of Misty's books and convention appearances, to open doors into other aspects of fandom, and to permit you to correspond with other readers. Local chapters allow you to make even closer contact with fellow fans, and zines and other projects allow you to show off new skills. If what you consider "fun" I consider to be in bad taste, you will be ignored. One last bit of nagging--Stop freaking out the Mundanes! When you attend a convention you are a representative of fandom. It may amuse you to frighten a maid or waitress, but it certainly causes the rest of us problems. (See Misty's Children of the Night, pages 10-11.) I worked very hard to convince a maid at Contradiction that we were harmless folk who just liked to dress funny and play pretend. Remember, if the staff of a hotel decides SF/F fans cause problems, conventions will find themselves without homes. If you consider simple courtesy a compromise of your individuality, stay home!"
  • November
    • Queen's Own Newsletter--November 1991, Archived version, includes a photo of Larry and Mercedes and "Need" -- the sword
    • "An Ontarion and Quebec Chapter of Queen's Own, tentatively called The Valdemar Web, is being formed in Ontario. If interest indicates, all Canadian Misty fans will be included. We'll have book and movie reviews, "fan messages," and space for reader poetry and other messages. The newsletter will have a definite emphasis on Canadian writing talent. Formal dues and number of issues are still undecided; the faster we receive input and interest, the sooner we can project a first issue release date. My partner in crime is Jennifer Kolpannen."
    • "The Ohio Chapter of Queen's Own, The Herald's Companion, has a new fearless leader and address. Write to Karen Bertke."
  • December
    • "A sample Queen's Own newsletter is mailed to anyone who asks for information on the club, no matter what the address. We're now big enough to attract a few crazies. Most of us are good people, BUT, re-read Tarma's story of the Snow Deamon. Do not assume that because a person is a QO member he or she has your best interests at heart. Do not participate in chain letters, fund raisers, or anything else that makes you feel uncomfortable. I have strong opinions--that doesn't mean I know what's right for you. Investigate on your own, make your own decisions. Be careful out there! If I am not printing your address correctly on the newsletter label, LET ME KNOW! If I get a newsletter back, I delete you from the membership list. I received a request for help on forming a local chapter from someone who did not include a SASE, did not write her return address, and signed the letter with just her first name. How I could go through the membership list looking for that first name, and then I could try to match addresses with the stamped postal code, or I could go through the files and compare handwriting. But I won't. Come on, you all, I'm drowning in paper. Be considerate! (or be ignored)."
    • "Please "pay" for your fan message by answering at least one of the messages that appear in the same issue as yours. You may write to as many pen pals as you want without ever putting in a message yourself."

1992

  • January
  • February
  • April
    • "To those of you who enjoy communicating via computer, are you aware that Prodigy calls itself a "publishing service" rather than an information network? Prodigy is owned by Sears and IBM. I've been told that everything on the network is censored. If they don't like something you post, they'll pull it out. Even private e-mail is read. Supposedly the Prodigy software accesses your hard drive for anything new and uploads it for Sears and IBM employees to investigate. Misty asks that you not discuss her universes on Prodigy. Because it is a publishing service, your writing about Valdemar and Heralds is probably a violation of Misty's copyrights."
    • "First, news for club members: SUPPORT OUR ZINES! Remember, all you would-be writers, Misty was first published in fanzines. Send your stories, poems and especially artwork to our zines! Second, if you're interested in starting your own chapter, write to the already established chapters for ideas and advice. PLEASE, SEND A SASE WHEN YOU WANT INFORMATION FROM ANOTHER MEMBER OR FROM ME!"
    • "A new role-playing chapter of Queen's Own called Chronicles of Valdemar has begun. The cost is three dollars for ten issues. If interested, write to Herald-Queen Myravel... and she'll send you an introductory letter, persona sheet and a copy of the newsletter."
    • Two pages of excerpts from Burning Blood by Kiri Namtvedt, from Arrow's Message Vol. 3 Issue 1 accompanied this issue of the newsletter. Because the material is fanfiction, it was not reprinted it online.
    • contains detailed instructions on becoming a Herald-Mage or a Guardian
  • May
  • June
    • "If you want to write about Heralds, Healers, Bards, and Blues, join the Writers Collegium of Valdemar, a writers circle set on the world of Velgarth. This is not a fanzine but a group of like-minded writers. For guidelines, please send a large SASE to Jacqueline Moikeha."
    • "A new role-playing chapter of Queen's Own has been introduced, and we're now stably in place. Dues for Chronicles of Valdemar are now $4 for 10 issues. Send a SASE to Cathy Timura."
  • July
  • September
    • much about SASE and manners: "Fandom is for fun, but it's also a lot of work for some of us--and it's expensive! Why is it necessary for you to take time to address and stamp an envelope to yourself whenever you write to a zine editor, mentor, convention committee, or me? We get ten to thirty letters at a time. Having to find an envelope, decipher and copy a scrawled name and address, AND pay for postage on ten to thirty letters a day would take the fun out this real fast. Help us to be efficient, we'll all be happier."
  • October/November
    • "By the way, Misty and Larry were not at WorldCon in Orlando, but someone wearing a badge with the name "Mercedes Lackey" was. If you have any information on this woman (imposter? coincidence?), please let Misty know. You can write to Misty and Larry at their business address."
    • "I hope you like to plan ahead. We're going to have a "Misty-Con" sometime in August of 1994 in Nashville, Tennessee. The con, called High Flight One, is being organized by the Misty fans on GEnie. Misty and Larry will be Guests of Honor, and Ellen Guon plans to attend. The GEnie group invites you all to think of this as your convention; this is the first official Queen's Own con. We need your help to make it work. Buy a pre-supporting membership now for just $5; reserve a dealer's table for just a $10 deposit. Ideas for programming are welcome. Send your financial and moral support, and your ideas."
  • December
    • contains a long letter from Lackey about creating fanworks in her universes, see I'm about to bring the cold, cruel, mundane world into our fun for a moment
    • "A bit of nagging: Misty's books are FICTION. Fantasy/Science Fiction books are for fun and relaxation, not instruction. They are not intended to be magic handbooks. Di Tregarde is a witch and Andre is a vampire because it makes an interesting story; Misty is NOT suggesting you change your religion or your diet. Here in Mundania is where we live and make our most important decisions. FANDOM IS FOR FUN! Please don't let it become an obsession."

1993

  • January
  • this issue contains some positive PR for Lackey, most likely in response to the long letter in the previous issue
    • "There have been some grumblings in fandom that Misty and Larry no longer have time for their friends and fans. There are always a discontented few who are jealous of the success of others. And as Larry wrote last month on GEnie, "At a convention, many of the folks attending have codes of honor & guilt that psychologists might politely term `aberrant.' I have encountered a bootlegger who feels it is his deity-given right to make knockoffs of anyone's tapes if they refuse to sell him the rights. There's a female fan artist on the circuit now who plagiarizes 80% of her work. A couple of months ago, a dealer in Oregon was physically assaulted for allegedly giving a dollar's incorrect change; the assaulter was not expelled from the convention, even after the police came. Several people in San Francisco area fandom are being tracked by police as poisoning suspects; two artists I have met on the circuit are tax evaders & travel under aliases (present whereabouts unknown). "Every extreme can be found at a convention. We appear at them for the 90% who are fine people, but we take no chances with the other 10%!..... Nothing is harmless; believing your surroundings are Perfectly Safe only means the predators have to work less." - Larry"
    • "As a sample of how most of us view Misty and Larry, I'd like to share a letter and con report Susan Stewart of HobbiTxail Inn sent me after ICON 17. "It was a delight to meet Misty and Larry," Susan wrote. "They are refreshing people in a world of author's oversized egos and sense of importance. I had the pleasure of sharing a meal with them (where the waiter was decadently and appreciatively overtipped) and spent several hours chatting about their varied interests beyond their careers. " . . . All in all, the two of them were friendly, easy to talk to, and attracted crowds wherever they went." Here is Susan's review: "Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon once again proved to their fans what friendly, charming and accessible folks they are at ICON 17, a science Fiction and fantasy convention in Iowa City, Iowa, on October 2-4, 1992. Organizers of the event attribute the record attendance (over 500!) to Misty's popularity, but Larry's presence and personality were a wonderful addition. "Arriving in their motor home, `Battlestar Cadiliactica', Misty and Larry put the finishing touches on the outline for their final Valdemar book Friday afternoon and, after a rush trip to the local Kinko's Copies, faxed it to their New York publisher just in time for the convention to begin. The festivities started with both being inducted into Overdressers' Anonymous, a zany group of fandom dedicated to the proposition that `if it's worth dressing for, it's worth overdressing for', by the organizations' co-founder and Fan Guest of Honor Rex Bryant. As any of the fans that have met them can attest -- they definitely qualify! They also took part in an QO panel describing their shopping excursions (and Larry's sock collection) while being dramatically dressed in black sequins (for her) and a white tux and black bolo tie (for him). {I hope Larry was wearing his sequined sneakers - Judith} Convention attendees were treated to a reading and four separate autograph sessions, several lasting an hour or more as people got to talk to both Misty and Larry. During a couple of these, several lucky fans had the added delight of having Misty's `Little Girl' parrot fly over and land on them, `forcing' them to stay around even longer, as the bird was tethered to Misty's wrist [snipped] Thus began what appears to be an ongoing love affair between Misty Lackey, Larry Dixon, and Iowa fandom, despite the infamous pollen count. Everyone here is looking forward to their eventual return!"
    • "Queen's Own has over a thousand members. Like conventions, we are attracting a few who think fandom is for exploitation and manipulation. Do not assume that because a pen pal is a Queen's Own member he or she is automatically one of the good guys. Follow your instincts. If a penpal makes you uncomfortable, end the correspondence. Writing in persona is fun but carried to extremes it's scary. Some of you are mixing Kethry's White Winds sorcery with Diana Tregarde's paganism and "casting spells" on anyone who annoys you. Get a life, guys and gals. (If you want to know about the real Wiccan religion, send a SASE to [redacted]. The founder of Circle, Selena Fox, is a legally recognized Wiccan priestess and Nature Spirituality minister. I met her at an ecology seminar and was much impressed with her gentleness and enthusiasm.)"
    • "I badly misjudged the interest you all would have in the release form mentioned in the last newsletter and so I've included a copy with this issue. You may make as many copies of the form as you wish. Remember, you need a release form for EVERY story set in Misty's universe that you write. After you sign the release, mail it to Highflight. (The February newsletter will be the usual six pages.)"
  • February
    • "Coming in April is Rediscovery, a novel of Darkover written by Misty and Marion Zimmer Bradley. Misty says: "I think Marion's 'Darkover' is a classic. An absolute classic. Certainly it's an incredible honor that she trusts me with it. There are a million stories in there . . . " The ad from DAW says: "Now, with nearly 20 Darkover novels in print, Marion Zimmer Bradley has combined forces with Mercedes Lackey to write the story of the rediscovery of Darkover by a ship from her mother planet, Earth - the book Darkover fans have been clamoring for decades!"
  • March/April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • September
  • October
  • November/December

1994

  • January
    • ""Modems of the Oueen is the official universal online chapter of QO. If you have a computer and a modem, come join the fun! We have multi-author interactive stories, weekly real-time chats, and occasional visits from Misty, Larry, Mark, Josepha, Holly, and Ellen."
    • "From AJ Potter: "The first issue of NINE ABOVE! appeared on schedule! This is a newsletter for Tanya Huff enthusiasts, sanctioned by the lady herself. I got a great response from QO members, but I know there are more of you out there who read Tanya! Please join us. The second issue is due out in January, and I have copies of the first issue for anyone who wants to check it out!"
  • February
    • ""Heralds Hearth" is a newsletter for Misty fans mainly from the Wyoming, Colorado, and Montana area."
  • March
    • "Larry came to chat on GEnie on February 18th and David Dean is sharing some of that conversation with us: LARRY: "Misty & I were flattered the other day when someone on Internet commented that High Flight fans are among the most considerate and courteous in all of fandom. It made us feel very proud that we have attracted such people."
    • "It was reported online that "Misty doesn't require any other dues but can't afford the postage of sending newsletters out..." Get a life, guys! Do you think Misty has time to write AND run QO? What do you think I've been doing for five years, just signing my name? And this nonsense came from someone who claims her chapter is closer to the official QO than the other! Reports of "My Collegium is better than your Collegium" are annoying. It's a big sandbox that we're playing in; if you don't want to share your toys at least don't pick on the other kids. (And get your facts straight before posing as an authority. It's not wise to annoy Herald Housemother.)"
    • "Modems of the Queen, the GEnie chapter of QO, is now providing a service to computer users who aren't on GEnie. It's an online equivalent to the Fan Messages section in this newsletter. Send a brief description of your interests; include the name you want to be called by, but NOT your snailmail address or phone number. In return you'll get a list of everyone who's sent in their info. (Modems of the Queen members will also get to see the list.)"
    • ""Wanted by established short erotica writer making the transition: A few serious writers to form a critique group through the post. Must be open-minded about long alternate realities/histories and warped view of Judeo-Christianity as well as momentary lapses into English. Vanyel aficianos preferred. Writing credentials and location (US preferred) not important, ability and perseverance are." [sadly, the info on this zine has been stripped out of the online version]
  • May
    • "This is a hard paragraph to write. I'll probably think of six ways to say it better as soon as this goes to the printer but here goes: I have removed [Terry C] from the mailing list. He is an inmate in Pelican Bay, a maximum security prison. According to the official I spoke to, Pelican Bay is where California sends its worst criminals. Terry is NOT there by mistake. Under no circumstances are you to share a newsletter with Terry and for your own safety, I suggest that you cease corresponding with him."
    • "Southern Hall's newsletter, Southern Arrow, makes no more sense to me than usual (minotaurs? thundercats? Klingons? Fuzzies? What universe are you guys in, anyway?) but everyone seems to be having a good time. To find out how to join the fun, send a SASE to Southern Arrow c/o Ananayo & Nesbit."
    • "A recent copy of Northern Arrows, the newsletter of The Forgotten Waystation, featured a recipe for Gully Dwarf Stew, poetry, art, music reviews, and more. Send a SASE to Amanda Gifford."
  • June
  • July/August
    • "Southern Arrow, the newsletter of Southern Hall has experienced some technical difficulties, resulting in the absence of several issues ...but they're still around! Magpi and Owl ask for patience and forgiveness from their HaPlsibs. Appropriate measures will be taken to insure that an issue will be out in late July."
    • "NINE ABOVE!, the official Tanya Huff newsletter, is in full swing and growing quickly! Past issues have included interviews with Tanya, book reviews, Tom Cruise roasts, and casting nominations for the BLOOD books! Want to put in your two cents? We'd love to have it."
  • September
  • October
    • "I've just been introduced to The Parallax Society, a fannish organization with the motto "Fandom should be a hobby, not a way of life." YES! Dues are $15, and you receive an annual subscription to their newsletter The Converzence and a membership certificate and card. In The Convergence you'll find information on other fandoms, TV shows, movies, novels, art."
    • "Bright the day! Have you ever wanted to show your Velgarthian rank to the real world'? But, didn't have the uniform to do so? Here's your chance to show your 'colors' to the world! Beaded Feathers and Hair Combs are now available in the `colors' of Velgarth, i.e. Herald, Bard, Healer, Tayledras, etc. For more information, please send a SASE to Silverstorm k'Treva."
    • "Heralds' Revel is a newsletter that seeks to recreate the sharing of ideas and entertainment found at a true Heralds' Revel, as seen in Arrow's Flight. Heather Wegemer invites you to provide the entertainment, in the form of prose, poems, art, photos, recipes, whatever you wish to share."
    • "Looking around the clearing I was soon surrounded by monstrous warhouses. Walking around in gaily colored clothing and long dark braids, a young man smiled a toothy smile and handed me a parchment. I unrolled it and read the top. It read "Under Kal'enel's Care" and was filled with poetry, artwork, letters from others and the locations of traders. I realized I had finally reached my destination, the Dhorisha Plains: home of the Shin'a'in. For more info send SASE to Stephanie Anderson."
  • November/December
    • "ATTENTION all lonely Misty fans stranded in the far southern way-stations of Australia and New Zealand: I am currently compiling a newsletter to link all interested in Mercedes Lackey and her worlds. If you would like to contribute or receive a copy of the pioneer newsletter Oceanic Arrows, please write to Nancy Ford."
    • "Bored? Lonely? Modems of the Queen, the GEnie chapter of Queen's Own, can relieve you of your spare time while providing you with dozens of people to chat with about Misty's stories. We have an extensive Bulletin Board, an intriguing File Library, weekly Real-Time Conferences, and a friendly attitude. GEnie's Science Fiction & Fantasy RoundTables are just crammed full of other neat stuff as well."
    • "For information on joining The Westerfield Club, the official fan club of The Adventures of Brisco County, send a SASE... If, like Herald Housemother, you miss Brisco and the gang, write to John Matoian. It was fan interest that brought back Alien Nation in a two-hour movie; let's see if we can do it for Brisco."
    • "As of last month, QO had 9 members in Australia, 1 in Belgium, l in Bermuda, 31 in Canada, 19 in England, 2 in Finland, 5 in Germany, 2 in Ireland, 6 in The Netherlands, 4 in New Zealand, 2 in the Philippines, 4 in Singapore, 1 in Sweden, and 1 in Wales. We truly are an International club."
    • "DO NOT USE QO ADDRESSES FOR CHAIN MAIL LETTERS! I don't care if the letter's sender wishes me only good luck, it annoys me that you think I have time to "make six copies of this letter and pass it along to your friends." Chain letters are NOT real mail, they are trash."
    • "Sorry guys, there are no shape shifters, changelings, transformers, or Mighty Morphin Power Rangers in Valdemar! The rules are simple: You may NOT be related to any of Misty's characters, you may NOT be royalty; you may NOT invent gifts, you may NOT be Kestra'chern, you may NOT be a Herald-Bard-Mage-Healer-Hawkbrother-whatever combination, and you MUST stay within the proper timeline. I salute your creativity, but I'm going to start throwing personas in the trash when the rules are ignored."

1995

  • January
    • "From David Carpenter of Story Starters: Unfortunately, due to lack of submissions and a computer trauma, the Story Starters packet is late. Packet #5 will be ready by 1/24/95. I apologize and thank you for your understanding."
  • February
    • "Dear Misty Fans, Lots of news from Misty in this issue. First, a note of warning: Misty says, "If you see a flyer with our names on it, as apparently happened for a convention called CONJUNCTION in Arkansas in January, the con committee is either lying or has been approached by my imposter. Yes, I have an imposter out there. If you meet someone claiming to be me at a convention, turn her in to the convention committee immediately! As for convention committees, evidently some people are convinced that if they claim we are going to be a guest we will be 'forced' to attend. We are not even going to the Queen's Own mini-con at *NASFIC this year . . . . it's right in the middle of hacking-out season for my rehab birds, and stupid-fledgling season when young birds get hurt a lot. No matter what you see or hear, if you don't hear about it from us, here, it isn't true. If we decide to start attending conventions, I will announce it first here, but at the moment, it is not very likely, as the birds need us more." (If you see a flyer for a con claiming to have Misty and Larry as guests, please send it to QO. If Misty and Larry decide to attend a con, I promise that it will be front page news in the newsletter. -Judith)"
    • most fan messages have been completely stripped out of the online posts for personal reasons -- this issue contains a fairly intact section
  • March
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • September
  • October
  • November/December

1996

  • January
    • "DRAGON*CON will be in Atlanta June 20-23 at the Atlanta Hilton & Towers... Queen's Own Collegia will have a track of programming for Mercedes Lackey fans. I'm sorry that I won't be able to join you this year; I know you'll have a great time."
    • "Companion's Choice: Come and be part of the Companion's Choice! Any and all are welcome in this new chapter of Queen's Own where music and laughter wait just around the corner! For more information send a SASE to Shanara Ravensong."
    • "Modems of the Queen: the official chapter of Queen's Own located on GEnie online entertainment network. Modems of the Queen can be found by joining GEnie and the logging onto the system. Once online, MotQ is located in the Science Fiction and Fandom RoundTable, Category 34."
    • "For definitions of our fannish jargon, read "Pros & Cons: An Introduction to Fandom" written by Elizabeth Barrette."
    • "Outkingdom Chapter now has its own zine and is looking for submissions from any and all. We are accepting stories, etc., on almost any subject and hopefully some occasional small-scale artwork if you feel that way inclined. If you'd rather just take a look at what we're producing, you're equally welcome. Why not drop us a line and take a gander at the guidelines? Contact Helen Wells."
    • "LEGENDS AND MYTHS OF THE SHIN'A'IN is a compilation of stories, poems, and the like dedicated to the Shin'a'in people. Within the 50+ pages active fandom writers such as Elizabeth Barrette and Herald Alora (to name a couple) will entice you in this marvelous land and culture. Be a part of the Shin'a'in legend and get your copy... If you're a lover of the Shin'a'in please support us in this endeavor and maybe we'll put out another one!"
    • "SHIN'A'IN!!! Come join your fellow clansman with Under Kal'enel's Care. The bi-monthly newsletters are aimed specifically at the Shin'a'in and are full of bios on personas, what's new with personas, articles, interviews (the latest was with Josepha Sherman), poems, artwork, and merchandise addresses."
    • "Michael Bernardi in England is the editor of the Miles' Minions newsletter, Dendarii Despatch, written for fans of Lois McMaster Bujold."
  • March
    • the club had between 900 and 1000 members
  • April
  • June
  • July
    • ""Forgery alert. Persistent rumors have surfaced about bootleg albums being produced and sold. Please keep your eyes out for these bogus albums. Likely candidates are albums by Leslie Fish, including Chickasaw Mountain, Firestorm, Undertaker's Horse, and Cold Iron. Bootleg albums are reproduced from a low quality cassette master, so the sound quality is very poor. Bootlegs steal income from the artist, songwriter, cover artist, production company, engineer, and producer." - Teri Lee at Firebird"
    • from the editor: "I received a check for $32 - a four year renewal. As I started to change the mailing label from 6/96 to 6/00 I thought about running QO in 2000. 1998 will mark ten years of QO, and I originally promised only to keep QO going for 10 years. I think that by December 1998 Queen's Own will really be ready for new leadership and new talents. Dues will stay at $8.00 until then, but if paper and postage prices continue to go up I may have to drop the number of newsletters from nine to eight. Anyone interested in taking over? You have two years to think about it. Queen's Own is very important to me, but I want more time to enjoy my new grandson and to travel."
  • August
    • "Earlier this month Larry's studio was destroyed by fire. Larry and Misty weren't hurt and the birds and other critters are fine, but gone are Larry's original artwork, his collection of Native American art, souvenirs from his childhood, all the kinds of "stuff' one tends to accumulate and hold dear. There is little we can do to help, but I do have one suggestion. If you met Larry at a con and took pictures, especially if his artwork is included in the photo, send him a copy. No photo? Send your sympathy and your appreciation of his talent. Knowing people care doesn't fix things but it makes sorrow more bearable."
    • "Across the plains winds and Shin'a'in words run free. Voices rise with the sun and moon, strong and true, to all who will listen. Past meets present calling to the future, mingling with their hearts beating ardent with time. Be welcome into the circle and share in our rich heritage. Kathal Kestra meet with us as you take up our written word of song, story, ceremony, and life: LEGENDS AND MYTHS OF THE SHIN'A'IN is a compilation of stories, poems, and more, dedicated to the Shin'a'in people. Within the S0+ pages active fandom writers such as Elizabeth Barrette and Herald Alora will entice you in this marvelous land and culture. Be a part of the Shin'a'in legend and get your copy for only $3.75 (copy prices went up). Please make check or money order out to Stephanie Anderson."
    • "SHIN'A'IN!!! Come join your fellow clansmen with Under Kal'enel's Care. The bi-monthly newsletters are aimed specifically at the Shin'a'in and are full of bios on personas, what's new with personas, articles, interviews, poems, artwork, and merchandise addresses. Dues are 15 stamps per year."
  • September
    • "Arrows Online--Arrows Online, the AOL chapter of Queen's Own, is indeed open for business! If you are already an AOL member and want to join our very silly and friendly group, please e-mail the Dean of our very own Westhaven Collegia... Or, if you want to take a look from afar, come to the Lackey Fan forum, located in the listbox of the Fantasy forum of Fictional Realm... on AOL. Look for the Message board named "Arrows OnLine." Non AOL folk can learn a bit about us by visiting our web page."
    • "Outkingdom--Y'larna Finnareth. For all you stray residents of Valdemar. Your Summer 96 Newsletter and Zine--THE OUTKINGDOM CHRONICLES--is ready and waiting for you. Full of recipes, poems, stories and puzzles, you can't go wrong for £4.00 in STERLING only please. Anyone sending for guidelines send SAE or 2 IRC's outside the UK. Cheques etc or submissions (Always very welcome and needed) make them out to Joanne Thwaites."
  • November
  • December

1997

  • January
    • ""Well, I don't want to take up too much of the newsletter space with my particular ramblings, but I wanted you to know how things are, and perhaps a little of where things are going. You know, I've been through a lot---garage hit by tornado, studio lost to fire, previous studio lost to flood, financial scares, stalkers, auto crashes, drunk drivers, fights, sabotage, betrayals, fraud, and so on. But is that cause to feel victimized? Nah. These things happen for good reasons. People who live intensely instead of just talking or faking get banged up. When you play life hard you're bound to get knocked around a bit! In my case it's been a good way to have perspective. Kindness isn't a weakness, generosity isn't either, but losing them both can be. "I've been heartened and uplifted by the love and support from you all---especially about the studio fire. Don't think for a moment that it hasn't been effective in getting me by. In fact, these special bookmarks, which Misty and I printed, stamped, and trimmed ourselves for you, were initially going to be printed on some cardstock that survived the fire (a bit scorched in places but serviceable), but alas, it was too thick to run through my printer. The intent was to show you in a tangible way, by using it, that not fire, flood, tornado, or nut-case will stop me---or us---from doing what needs to be done. "As for the fire proper, evidence of cause is hazy (since things reached around 1,000 degrees F.), and the documentation of loss is over 400 pages of listed items as of this writing. One bay of the big garage is stacked to seven feet with hundreds of boxes of cleaned, reclaimed or totaled things. Roughly half of the portfolio is gone, at current estimate---not all of it was documented before, so I can really only tell what's been destroyed by examining all that is left and `determining the shape of the hole.' But one good thing about being a living artist is that I can always make more work. I figure, there are spirits out there who couldn't see my work before, and now it's on the wind, where they can see it. So, as we say around High Flight, 'it's all good.' "As I close this, Misty is putting these small but heartfelt handmade gifts to you in a Fed-Ex box. Tomorrow, we will be at a powwow where my tribal-brother and medicine man friend will be dancing in the circle for the first time. We were also at his wedding, a two-day full-regalia affair, several months ago. I've been asked to design & construct my tribal group's new sweat lodge and longhouse, which is a great honor. Work on the books continues apace; with the next Tannim book begun and Owlflight outlined and ready to start. Before too long, there will be new artwork in the retooled new studio, for Owlflight and more. Clear skies!" ---Larry"
    • "Arrows Online--Arrows Online, the AOL chapter of Queen's Own, is indeed open for business! If you are already an AOL member and want to join our very silly and friendly group, please e-mail the Dean of our very own Westhaven Collegia... Or, if you want to take a look from afar, come to the Lackey Fan forum, located in the listbox of the Fantasy forum of Fictional Realm [Ed. note 2005: Out-of-date info withheld.] on AOL. Look for the Message board named "Arrows OnLine." Non AOL folk can learn a bit about us by visiting our web page."
  • February
    • "In Burning Water Misty's character Diana Tregarde says, "If it isn't true, going to do some good, or spread a little love around, don't say it, do it, or think it." This positive philosophy may express Misty's point of view, but that doesn't make her Diana Tregarde. There are those among Misty's readers who insist on confusing Misty with her characters and they react accordingly, going so far as to threaten her life because they disagree with a character's actions. Do these same lunatics think Stephen King is a rabid dog? a possessed car? a haunted hotel? As Misty wrote in the Author's Note in Sacred Ground, "I am not a guru, shaman, Grand High Pooh-Bah, Guardian, Mistress of the Martian Arts, Avatar, Cosmic Earth Mother, or any incarnation of the same . . . To confuse me with what I write is as fallacious as confusing a truck driver with his Peterbilt." In spite of this disclaimer, the lunatics persist. The latest threats are under investigation. Why are the ravings of a probable lunatic being taken so seriously? Because Misty and Larry are having nightmares, not only about the danger to themselves, but the danger to us, their fans and friends. Imagine an attack at a convention or a book signing . . ."
  • April
    • "I apologize for the format of this issue. I felt the message from Misty, "The Last Straw," was important and needed to be included in its entirety. The special insert contains what Misty and Teri Lee of Firebird posted online after learning of a threat against Misty's life. Cassandra Vuksa, editor of AUSTRAL'A'IN, says "If I thought Misty were her characters, I'd want to hug her for Talia, sign up as a student of hers for Diana, spank her for Firesong, strangle her for Falconsbane and marry her for Vanyel (despite certain sexual orientation problems.). Fortunately, I'm not that silly. I actually did have a friend who thought Stephen King was the devil--when she was twelve. I suggest Misty's tormentors take a leaf out of her book and GROW UP." Fandom is for fun. Pretending to be a Herald is a healthy release from everyday tension; deciding Misty must be what she writes is blurring the line between make-believe and obsession."
    • "ON THE WING is the zine for anyone with an interest in the Tayledras. As you read this, ISSUE #1 is at the printers. To receive a copy or for submission guidelines, write to Julie Persinger."
    • "ATTN: All parties interested in Under the Dragon Banner--First, my co-editor backed out, taking with him (at the time) the only computer and all the resources. Then, I got tangled up in a thousand and one mundane things, like family deaths, student council elections, and senior year. THEN, we moved, and somehow, I managed to not only lose the box of SASE's glaring at me accusingly, but the disk with the entire list of people who had paid me. I still have the money, and I would very much like to return the unused portions of your subscription to you, but I don't know who sent me what, nor do I have your addresses. PLEASE, if I owe you anything, write me, and I'll send back your money. If I ever find the box of SASE's, I'll try and ship you a copy of the only issue we ever managed to put out. Hoping she hasn't just ostracized herself from fandom, Mareesa Raennsyr."
  • May
    • "At Dragon*Con Queen's Own Collegia will offer panels, activities, and workshops on everything from Celtic Mythos to belly dancing. A lot of things are still in the planning stages, so be prepared for LOTS of surprises and fun events. And we have it on excellent authority that there is a Companion wandering the Con looking for her Chosen. Come and find out how you could be the lucky one!"
    • "I hope everyone at the Con will make a point of saying hello and identifying him/herself. (Please don't expect me to read your name tag.) And say hello even if I look tired and cranky. I usually look tired and cranky; years of headaches have left me with a permanent scowl. To everyone who wishes the Guardians were real: As one of our new members pointed out, if the Guardians were real, then the reason for their existence must be, too, and that means there is something REALLY nasty out there. No thank you, newspaper headlines are terrifying enough. Should you write to Highflight and tell Misty and Larry they have your understanding and support? Sure, why not? They appreciate their friends and fans and enjoy reading your letters. Because of the volume of mail they're getting, please do not expect an answer."
  • June
  • August
    • "VALES #1 is a collection of persona stories and is only $6.40 in cash or stamps. Submissions for the second issue of the VALES will be accepted until December first. Send your character information (poetry, too) and tell when your persona was recognized in the QO newsletter to Kendra Renaud."
    • "We who attended Dragon*Con had a pretty good time [5], thanks to Morgan and her competent assistants. Morgan did her usual excellent job with the Queen's Own Collegia track of programming, and it was enjoyed by all, including Misty and Larry. There were panels on all sorts of topics, autograph sessions, and readings. Equally important was the chance to spend time with other people who understand our enthusiasm for Valdemar. Three cheers for Morgan! As for the rest of the con, I felt it was too many activities spread out over too wide an area. I ignored it in favor of the QOC panels. I've been asked why QO accepts inmates as members. It seems to me that we become a reflection of our friends. Someone in jail especially needs contact with decent people. I can't guarantee that the men placing fan messages today are "nice," but neither can I give you that guarantee about anyone you meet anywhere else. Be cautious when responding to a fan message, no matter what the address."
  • September
  • October
    • "Healer-Adept Winterfire stands up and claps her hands for attention. "Heyla, heartsibs! Are you looking for a newsletter that has poetry, artwork, stories, reviews, personas, pen pal ads, and heaps of other cool stuff? For a newsletter that has been around for almost two years and will be around for many more? Then maybe AUSTRAL'A'IN is for you! Contrary to the name, we're looking for members around the world--for $12 Australian or 20 IRCs you will receive eight issues of eight pages each, including a piece of A4 artwork/title page. Australian membership is cheaper--ask me. If you can't get IRCs or an Australian money order, write anyway--I negotiate. You can reach us at Austral'a'in c/o Cassandra Vuksa. Herald Jaala stands as Winterfire sits and grins impudently at the crowd. "Oh, she forgot to mention that we have put together a 50-ish page zinc of contributions Austral'a'in has received over the past two years. All work in this zine is Misty related. We have poetry, stories, personas, and heaps of cool artwork! The cost is exactly the same as a year's membership in Austral'a'in: $12 Australian or 20 IRCs for those of you who are overseas, and $8 or 20 forty-five cent stamps for Australians. (Sorry if that seems discriminatory, but I have to cover postage.) I hope to hear from you soon; write to Austral'a'in: PEOPLE OF THE SOUTH... . Stars bright your path.""
    • "Issue 3 of ON THE WING, the zine for anyone interested in the Tayledras, is complete and we are accepting submissions for #4 and #5. A sample issue is $1.50 and subsequent issues are $2.00. Write to Julie Persinger."
    • "Hey everyone! Sadly, due to lack of sufficient subscriptions, Dream Bound is stopping publication in Dec/Jan. We would like to make our last publication a bumper issue and would love to feature something by you. Been meaning to write for a zine? Now is the time. We'll publish anything that is sent in. Everyone who sends in a submission and an SASE (or self-addressed envelope and 2 IRCs) will get a free issue. To everyone who sent in submissions in the past, thanks a whole bunch, you really kept us going till now. Please send all submissions to Dream Bound c/o Sharon Tan."
    • "Proposed mailing dates for 1998 are 1/12, 2/28, 4/4, 5/16, 6/27, 8/8, 9/19, 10/31, and 12/12. The December 12th issue will be the last time I am listed as president, editor, and dogsbody. I will not relinquish the "Housemother" title, but I'm willing to add "retired" after it. Queen's Own has brought me many good friends and a great deal of pleasure. However, it is time for a change. QO needs a leader who can get information from online and web sites. (My computer is a 10 year old 286. It works, I see no reason to upgrade or replace it.) We need new ideas, new enthusiasms. Staring at a computer screen is high on the list of things I hate to do. My eyes blur, my back aches . . . it isn't fun anymore. If I could just answer mail I'd run QO forever, because hearing from all of you is fun. Retirement is a year away. QO will not end, my replacement is waiting in the wings. In the meantime, let's all read, and daydream, and be kind to one another. My thanks to all who include a little extra when paying their dues. Your generosity makes it possible for me to answer those who don't send SASEs. (Letters without SASEs go to the bottom of the pile.)"
    • "Queen's Own Collegia programming at Dragon*Con was organized and capably run by Morgan. Evidently she has recovered from post-convention stress because I've been asked to announce her latest convention, HIGHFLIGHT 0.5, The Relaxacon. From Morgan: "The 1998 HIGHFLIGHT Point.5 convention will be January 16-18, with con rates for rooms good for three days before and after the convention. Such a deal I got!! <grin> What we'll mainly be doing in 1998 is planning the 1999 convention. We'll have a big meeting on Saturday evening, most likely, where we'll figure out committees, and find out who wants to do what and when. That way, we'll be able to start planning for 1999 and hopefully do something enjoyable for everyone."
  • December

1998

  • January
    • "Well! Thanks to QO you now have many great pen pals and a lot of fun future letters to write. But you've realized you only have your fluffy-edged college notebook paper to write on. Where do you turn to find stationery that best suits your FANTASY interests? Ellen Million Graphics, of course!! With over 60 designs created by nine unique artists, every catalog is brimming with adventure and enchantment! EMG offers stationery, cards, bookmarks and (new!!) magnets in single or full-colored; all sure to dazzle and delight--makes great gifts! No SASE needed, just write and ask for your first FREE catalog! Ellen Million Graphics."
  • February
    • "Jody Anne Elizabeth Lee [one of Lackey's illustrators for pro books] was born in San Francisco in 1958. Her grandparents came from Canton, China. Her early drawings reflected the usual phases of growing up: lots of horses, clothing designs, cartoon superheroes, cute greeting card art. "Betsy Wollheim (of DAW books) has this theory that every artist in this field has a drawing of Spock hidden away in a closet somewhere," laughs Jody, "and I'm afraid it's true!"
    • "After considerable deliberation, the editors of Outkingdom would like to announce a change of name and image for the Chapter. (Current members will already have been notified of the approaching alterations.) From the 1st April, 1998--and it's no joke, folks!--we will be opperating under the new name of The Messenger and our zine, currently THE OUTKINGDOM CHRONICLES, will be known as THE MESSAGE. We will be producing both the newsletter and the zinc at fixed dates on a thrice vearlv basis, with a fixed subscription of £12 Sterling a year. All current subscriptions paid will be carried forward to the new first issue; new subscription details/guidelines."
    • "Writing the newsletter using Microsoft Publisher instead of good ol' WordPerfect 5.1 takes a little longer but I do like the way it looks. Most of your comments were positive, too. I was asked about accepting electronic art contributions--yes, I'm willing to try. PC format only."
  • April
  • May
    • "As of September 1998, Robin Ready will take over the leadership of the Mercedes Lackey Fan Club."
    • "I'm thrilled to be able to take over this newsletter. I only hope I can run it as smoothly as our wonderful Herald Housemother. She's an amazing lady. While I know I can't fill her shoes, I will try to do her justice. "I do plan to make some minor changes to the newsletter. First of all, it will become available in e-mail format for a reduced membership fee (once I ensure that there will be no problems iwth the formatting transfer to e-mail and MAC systems.). The name will be changed to Merging of the Ways to hopefully encompass all of Misty's wonderful worlds that we love so much. Also, I'm thinking of incentives to encourage submissions to the 'zines (these I have yet to fully explore, but rest assured, they will be worth it!!). Membership is my primary goal, and ensuring that this transition is as smooth as possible. Do not hesitate to write or e-mail me wtih comments, suggestions, ideas . . . etc. This is your club, ladies and gentlemen, so your ideas are worth hearing."
  • June
  • August
    • "[much club history snipped] And here we are in 1998! Misty has always been somewhat bemused by the idea of a fan club: "I figure likeliest when you started this thing that one of two things would happen: either we'd get 3 people (high probability) or hundreds (low)." Fan mail startled her, too. She wrote "I was amazed and flattered no end by the letters you sent on. Good heavens, you'd think I was Tolkien or something!" Yes, Misty, you are definitely something. Something very special that brings out the best of your readers and allows them to be special, too. [snipped] Queen's Own has been my introduction to new friends and new experiences, Ren Faires, conventions, zines, filk -- these were all unknown to me before QO. Pen pals? I was too old for such nonsense, I thought. My thanks to all of you for making me feel young again, for letting me be your Housemother, and for sharing so much of your lives with me. Please be as generous and supportive of Robin. I hope you'll keep in touch -- Love, Judith."
    • "Firebird is sharing a building with Vacation RV. Teri says, "Come visit and if you need car, truck or RV repairs, talk to Chris or Dan.""
  • September
    • "Herald Jalaa stands on a table and claps her hands to gain the attention of the Herald's Revel: "OK folks, just a short commercial break to tell you about a wonderful chapter called Austral'a'in. It's two years old in November, and is open to new members not just from Australia (as the name implies) but from the world over. We print loads of fanfic, as well as poems, reviews, artwork and whatever else is submitted!!" She grins impishly, flicking a dark lock of hair back from her face. "For your money, you get eight issues a year, of eight pages each. The costs are, for Australians, $8 or 8 x 45 cent stamps. For people overseas $12 Australian or 15 IRC's (you'll notice the cost of IRC;s has come down!) We'd love to be able to charge the same for people all over the world, but we just can't afford it with the steep price of postage." Taking a bow, Herald Jalaa sits. A slender woman, Healer Cinnamon, with long curly hair the colour of her name, stands. "She forgot to mention that we also have a 50 page fanzine full of fanfic and Misty related poems and artwork for sale at the same cost as a year's subscription to the newsletter. The address for both is Austral'a'in [address redacted] Thanks for listening!""
  • November
  • December

1999

  • January
  • March
  • May
  • June
  • July
    • "The majority of you have been wonderful about my slow response time lately, and for that I am grateful. For those few who feel I have let you down, I do apologize and will try to do better in the future, but I am only human. Also, I have had a recent problem with some Penal Institutions. They are not delivering Queen’s Own mail because I do not have a phone book listing for Queen’s Own, therefore I must not be legitimate. I’ve looked into this matter, and it will cost the club almost $10 a month to run a Yellow Pages ad, and I can’t run a White Pages ad unless I get a separate line for business use (That is about $25 a month). While I truly feel bad that some people will not be receiving the newsletter, I can’t see spending that much of the club’s money, especially since it will be ongoing. If you have any suggestions that may help me get around this, I welcome them. -- Robin."
  • September
  • December

2000

May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

2001

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

  • July
Heyla, Misty fans!

As people are starting to submit more persona projects to us and send more stories to the Queen’s Own-approved fanzines, we have been deluged with questions about when you need to use the release form that Misty requires for all fan fiction. Those questions have started us thinking that we need to go back and revise the Helpful Handouts to clarify when you need to fill out a release. Misty originally said (and it still says on the release form) that you only need to fill out the release if you write a "short story or novel" based on her work. She specified in the original Helpful Handouts that you do not need to fill out a release for "character sketches, poems or filk." This distinction was made quite a number of years ago, before the Net became ubiquitous and before several Supreme Court rulings on US Copyright law were handed down. The confusion that we’re seeing flood our e-mail boxes seems to stem from the definitions of these genres and the legalese in the release form. While we are not lawyers and our suggestions should in no way be taken as legal advice, we thought we would try to explain these terms and (hopefully) clear up some of the confusion.

A "short story" is essentially a prose narrative that is shorter and simpler than a novel. A "novel" is a long prose narrative that is usually complex. Of course, some "novels" are "short" (Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is less than 100 pages), and some "short stories" are rather long. Then, too, a "novel" like James Joyce’s Ulysses is filled with poetry, a stage play and several other genre forms, so "narrative prose" is not necessarily required for something to be categorized as a "novel." This has led to a distinction among literary scholars that essentially says that a short story concentrates on mood rather than plot whereas a novel relates human experiences. (Lost yet?)

We do not know what Misty meant by a "character sketch", but, according to Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary: Tenth Edition this is a short narrative treatment that "resembles a short story" but that is a bit more informal. (How to tell a "character sketch" from a "short story" is something of a mystery to us.)

"Poetry" is a type of writing where the emphasis is on the language and the intention is to create an emotional response. But when a poem contains a plot, such as telling a story in bardic verse or epic style, then it becomes something of a matter of opinion whether that is really a poem or a short story (or novel, depending on the length) written in poetic style.

"Filk" is quite simply a headache. It can consist of parodies of existing songs or original music with words about science fiction or fantasy or the like. (Note: If you use an existing piece of music, you must parody the original song in order to avoid copyright infringement. If you simply take an existing tune and put new words to it, that is copyright infringement. If you write an original tune but use someone else’s words/lyrics, that is also copyright infringement.) The complication with the release form arises when the words of the song tell a story. (Is that a short story set to music?)

The release form used by Queen’s Own states in Item 1 that "I understand that, as the creator and copyright owner of the Valdemar and other series, you alone have the authority to authorize the preparation of derivative works based on the characters and world you have created in that series. I understand and acknowledge that the preparation of such a story constitutes a copyright infringement unless authorized by you. I acknowledge that the material submitted with this agreement is a derivative work based upon your previous work." (In this item, "I" is you the author of the derivative work, and "you" is Mercedes Lackey.) The key words in this item are "derivative works." According to Space 6 of the US copyright form for literary works (TX), "a ‘derivative work’ is ‘a work based on one or more preexisting works.’ Examples of derivative works include translations, fictionalizations, abridgments, condensations, or ‘any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted.’" That strikes us as pretty broad, and the US Supreme Court is in the habit of interpreting copyright law in the broadest possible sense (which favors the original author).

Given the difficulty in telling the difference among short stories, novels, character sketches, poems and filk, with so much relying on the opinions of the person who is classifying the work, we strongly recommend that any time you write anything that is "based on" a work or works by Mercedes Lackey that you file the release with High Flight (for your protection and for Misty’s). Whether or not the release is "required" for a given piece is up to each fanzine editor to determine. From now on, however, we are requiring the release for anything that uses anything that Misty created (Companions and Heralds, Tayledras, the Star-Eyed, Vanyel, Kerowyn, Shin’a’in, anything that specifically comes from a work by Mercedes Lackey).

Since we now publish all submissions to Queen’s Own in Children of Velgarth, we have become increasingly concerned about our liability with respect to works that fall in the "grey area," that may or may not be considered by some people to be short stories. Therefore, we are going to be changing the "when to fill out the release form" rule on the Queen’s Own website and the Helpful Handouts. If you write a poem or filk about a unicorn, then you do not need to fill out the release. But if the poem or filk is about Vanyel and Bard Stefen, then we want to see the release filled out. We have also been seeing "character sketches" that are 5- to 10-page short stories inserted into the middle of a persona sheet taken from D&D or Pern or some other RPG-type form. This sort of thing has become so common (whether or not it is intended to get around the requirement for a release) that we are now requiring that the release be submitted for all "character sketches" as well. (Release forms are not required for art as long as you aren’t producing something like a storyboard or comic book.)

As it has long said on the Helpful Handouts, "Misty isn't trying to spoil our fun, but she must protect her interests." We want to make sure that you and all of our editors are protected as well.

2002

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

2003

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

2004

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

2005

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

2006

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

2007

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

2008

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October November, December

2009

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

2010

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

2011

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

2012

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

2013

There were no newsletters published.

2014

There were no newsletters published.

2015

April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

References

  1. Queen's Own Newsletter--May 2000, Archived version
  2. Yes, that's true.
  3. For more about this, see Marion Zimmer Bradley Fanfiction Controversy.
  4. At that time, GEnie cost $5/month plus $6/hour online.
  5. Not everyone had a good time, see Mercedes Lackey - "The Dragoncon Report".