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Happy National Haiku Day! Enjoy These 15 Poems

Today, April 17 2024, is National Haiku Day! We celebrated by writing some poems. 😀 Not all adhere to the syllable count correctly but hey, it’s the spirit that counts…we had fun writing them, and we hope you have fun reading them!

Graphic 1 of 15 for National Haiku Day. This, and all subsequent graphics, bears the label "Haiku Day" and has a blue artsy circle over a white background. Within the circle is the text of a haiku and the name of the author, and the circle is accented with clipart that aligns with the topic of the poem. On this graphic, the poem reads: "A quiet minute to gather my thoughts, and then I get back to work." Author: Nina Waters. The clipart is of a melty-looking clock.
Graphic 2 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "A huge between friends - close and secure, safe and warm - nothing can beat it." Author: Nina Waters. The clipart is of a of two disembodied arms, one light skinned, one dark skinned, embracing.
Graphic 3 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "Take a character. Take another character. Then, hehehehe." Author: Xianyu Zhou. The clipart is of an emoji making the suggestive "hey..." smirk expression.
Graphic 4 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "Sleep now, little one. Nothing hides beneath the bed. It comes out at night." Author: Rhosyn Goodfellow. The clipart is of a scary face with large eyes, a triangle nose, and jack-o-lantern squiggly mouth.
Graphic 5 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "UST, angst, desire. The heart longs, desperately. Who can hear its cry?" Author: Kelas. The clipart is of a pink heart with an eye in the middle of it, the eye shedding a single large tear.
Graphic 6 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "Colors in the sky. When the sun winds kiss the earth, a rainbow at night." Author: Alessa Riel. The clipart is of an aurora borealis in all colors of the rainbow.
Graphic 7 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "Strangers to lovers. There was only one bed. Must have been fate." Author: Alessa Riel. The clipart is of a bed with pink and gray pillows, one shaped like a heart.
Graphic 8 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "Bookshop meet cute and they were roommates. Love at first sight." Author: Alessa Riel. The clipart is of a cupid bow with a red heart arrow shedding additional hearts.
Graphic 9 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "stupid fucking taxes. US, why are you so dumb? just the worst system." Author: E. C. The clipart is of a a paper labeled TAX with stylized money atop them.
Graphic 10 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "wealth-hoarding, greedy, crime via complexity. time to eat the rich." Author: E. C.. The clipart is of a guillotine.
Graphic 11 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "Sometimes, when it rains a bloated pigeon's body falls from the drain pipe." Author: boneturtle. The clipart is of a a bird, but it's in jagged black lines and heavily stylized.
Graphic 12 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "Golden pockets there while mine are filled with ashes. Life just isn't fair." Author: Cedar. The clipart is of a pair of hands reaching out to open a brown wallet to show the money compartment bare save for a single coin and a cobweb.
Graphic 13 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "Trickle down a lie. A puddle at your bootstraps. Try to lift them up." Author: Cedar. The clipart is of a spurred boots standing in a puddle.
Graphic 14 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "Fear consumes me, love, but flees when you grab onto my soft, trembling hand." Author: Terra P. Waters. The clipart is of a pair of hands, one brown, one peach, reaching toward each other.
Graphic 15 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "A tall tree offers one tiny cluster of blooms, patiently tended." Author: Shea Sullivan. The clipart is of a tree with three colored flowers blooming on it.

Why not take a moment and join us by writing a haiku of your own in the comments? We’d love to read yours!

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Round Table Discussion: Grammar Pet Peeves

Today, March 4th, is National Grammar Day! Last year, we celebrated with six of our favorite grammar quirks. This year, we’re going to the other end of the spectrum: we had a conversation with our editors and blog contributors about grammar things we hate. They may be technically correct, but that doesn’t mean they don’t make us crazy. Eighteen people, many anonymous, contributed to this discussion.

Dangling Modifiers

boneturtle: Dangling modifiers, hands down. Even when I can decipher what the writer meant based on context, it viscerally hurts me every time. When I am editing I have to stand up and take a lap around my apartment when I hit a dangling modifier. Remind myself that I am here to help. Learn more about dangling modifiers.

Commas

anonymous: Commas are not difficult! Commas end phrases. Full stop. That’s all they do. Is a phrase necessary to the grammatical coherence of the sentence? if the answer is yes, no commas because that phrase hasn’t ended. If the answer is no, commas! comma hug that bish if it’s the middle of a sentence. The difference between grammatical and informational is whether or not the sentence makes sense without the phrase. 

Examples: 

The man who ordered the six double anchovy pizzas claims to have a dolphin in his pool. 

You need “who ordered the six double anchovy pizzas” because you need to identify which man you’re talking about. The world is full of many men. 

The ancient Buick, which Madeleine purchased via Craigslist, belched black smoke whenever she pressed the accelerator. 

We don’t need to know how Madeleine purchased the car for the sentence to make sense. You don’t even meed “Madeleine” for the grammar to make sense. Therefore, hug that phrase! 

(a comma on each side of the phrase) or give it a dramatic send off with a comma and an end punctuation. (i could go into conjunctions, too, but those are a little more complex, and if you were taught them properly, i understand not getting the comma use 😂 ) 

Prepositions at the End of Sentences

Tris Lawrence: There was a dictionary (Merriam-Webster? Oxford? idek) that posted recently on social media about how the rule about not ending a sentence with a preposition came from English scholars trying to make English line up with Latin, and that it’s totally okay to do it… and I’m just wanting to point to it to yell THIS because uhhh trying to rework sentences to not end in a preposition often creates clunky awkward things (my opinion, I recognize this).

D. V. Morse: Ending sentences/clauses with a preposition. Well, not doing that is supposed to be the rule, but depending on the sentence, it can be a convoluted mess to try and avoid it. Winston Churchill famously told someone off after they “caught” him breaking that rule, saying, “This is the type of arrant pedantry up with which I will not put.” (Yes, I had to look that up.)

Pronoun Confusion

anonymous: I hate playing the pronoun game when reading. I hate it in life when someone comes up to me and tells me a story involving 2 people of the same pronouns and stops using names halfway through, and I hate it while reading too. Nothing makes me fall out of scene more if I don’t know who just did/said what. Use names. That’s why we have them.

Nina Waters: epithets. If I know the characters name…why? Also, when people use “you” in third person writing. There are times I’ll allow it as an editor/times when I do think it’s at least acceptable but not gonna lie, I absolutely hate it.

anonymous: My pet peeve … I read hundreds of essays in a given month for work, plus a whole lot of fanfic for fun. A rising issue that I have noticed in both places is incomplete sentences (lacking subjects, typically). I think it’s because people rely on Google’s grammar checker to tell them if something is wrong and…Google doesn’t check for that apparently. I’m increasingly convinced that my high schoolers simply weren’t taught sentence structure, because when I ask them to fix it they almost universally say some variant of “I don’t understand what you’re asking me to do.” Therefore, it might be punching down a little to complain about it. I’m not sure. It does drive me nuts though. Lol

“Would Of”

Neo Scarlett: Not quite sure if that falls under grammar, but I hate hate hate when people use “should of” instead of should’ve. Or “would of.” It just makes my toe nails curl up because it may sound right, but it looks wrong and is wrong.

Semi-Colons

Shea Sullivan: I saw a list punctuated by semicolons recently and that made me froth at the mouth a bit.

anonymous: I think any editor who’s worked with me knows that I have a pet peeve about using colons or semi-colons in dialogue. Or really, any punctuation mark that I don’t think people can actually pronounce. Semicolons can live anywhere that I don’t have to imagine a character actually pronouncing them.

English isn’t Dumb!

theirprofoundbond: As a former linguistics student, it bugs me a lot when people say that English is a dumb or stupid language because it has borrowed from so many languages. What people mean when they say this is, “English can be really difficult (even for native speakers).” But I wish people would say that, instead of “it’s dumb/stupid.” Languages are living things. Like other living things, they adapt and evolve. English is basically a beautiful, delightful platypus. Let it be a platypus.

Dei Walker: I remember seeing somewhere that English has four types of rules (I’m trying to find the citation today) and everyone conflates them. And I guess my pet peeve is that everyone treats them equally when they’re NOT. There are rules but not all of them are the same – there’s a difference between “adjectives precede nouns” (big truck, not *truck big) and “don’t split infinitives” (which is arbitrary).

And, because we couldn’t resist, here are some of our favorite things, because when we asked for pet peeves…some people still shared things they loved instead of things they hated.

Oxford Comma

Terra P. Waters: I really really love the Oxford comma.

boneturtle: me: [in kindergarten, using oxford comma]

teacher: no, we don’t add a comma between the last two objects in a list.

me: that’s illogical and incorrect.

anonymous: I will forever appreciate my second grade teacher’s explanation of Oxford comma use: Some sentences are harder to understand if you don’t use it, but no sentence will ever be harder to understand because you do use it. Preach, Mrs. D

anonymous: I am definitely Team Oxford Comma. I even have a bumper sticker which says so

Other Favorites

Shea Sullivan: I adore the emdash, to every editor’s chagrin.

Shadaras: zeugmas! I think they’re super cool!

Shea Sullivan and Hermit: I use sentence fragments a lot. Fragments my beloved.

English Grammar vs. Grammar in Other Languages

anonymous: so in English my favourite thing is the parallel Latin and Saxon registers because of how that affects grammar, but in Japanese my favourite grammatical thing is the use of an actual sound at the end of the sentence to denote a question, as opposed to how in English we use intonation? Also how in Japanese the sentence structure requires reasoning first and action second in terms of clauses. So rather than go “let’s go to the cinema because it’s raining and I’m cold,” you’d go “because it’s raining and I’m cold, let’s go to the cinema.” (My least favourite thing is the lack of spaces between words in the written form but that’s purely because I find that level of continuous letters intimidating to translate.)

I also love how Japanglish in the foreign communities in Japan starts to develop its own grammatical structure as a way of situating yourself in this space between the two languages. It’s used as a call-sign of belonging to that specific community, because in order to make some of the jokes and consciously break the rules of English or Japanese grammar and/or choose to obey one or the other, you’re basically displaying your control over both/knowledge of them. Like, the foreign community in Japan is often a disparate group of people with multiple different native languages who are relying on their knowledge of at least one non-native language but often two to signify their status in the group as Also An Outsider and I think that’s really interesting.

Nina Waters: Chinese and Japanese both drop subjects, and Chinese doesn’t have like… a/the… Japanese doesn’t have a future tense… Chinese kinda sorta doesn’t have tenses at all… (these are not pet peeves, btw, I love how learning a language with such different ways of approaching these things reshapes my brain). Chinese also doesn’t really have yes or no.

There’s a joke somewhere on Tumblr about that, though I actually think it’s about using “a” versus “the,” like, someone was giving a Russian speaker a hard time after they said “get in car” and they were like “only you English speakers are dumb enough to feel this is essential why would I be talking about getting into any random car of course I mean our car wtf.”

anonymous: on the subject of other languages, epithets are also something that happen differently in other languages. In French repeating a word (names included, and sometimes even pronouns) is considered bad writing. As in, way more than in English. Going by how grating the English translation of the Witcher books was to me when the French one was fine, I’d say it’s the same with Polish, at least. It’s also very interesting how brains adapt to writing styles in other languages.

What are some of your favorite and least favorite grammar quirks, in English or in the language of your choice?

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Created Works Round-Up: January 2024

A banner that reads "Created Works Round Up: January." In the upper left corner is the Duck Prints Press logo with a rainbow of duck prints around the left and bottom of it. On the right is the Dux mascot, a white duck with an orange beak and orange feet and a pleased expression on their face.

Duck Prints Press’s monthly “created works round-ups” are our opportunity to spotlight some of the amazing work that people working with us have done that ISN’T linked to their work with Duck Prints Press. We include fanworks, outside publications, and anything else that creators feel like sharing with y’all. Inclusion is voluntary and includes anything that they decided “hey, I want to put this on the created work’s round-up!”

Check out what they’ve shared with us this month…


cruel forgiveness by Cedar McCafferty-Svec

art || transformers || m/m || idw rodimus prime/armada megatron || teen & up || no major warnings apply || complete

summary: Digital drawing of IDW Rodimus and Armada Megatron based off a scene from a roleplay server on dreamwidth. Megatron is faking his own death and making Rodimus watch.

other tags: self harm, canon mashup, based on roleplay

TUMBLRLINK


Stay by Smehur

art || baldur’s gate 3 || m/m || astarion/tav || mature || no major warnings apply || complete

TUMBLRTWITTER


Astarion by Smehur

art || baldur’s gate 3 || no ships || general audiences || no major warnings apply || complete

summary: This started as a silly colored pencil doodle and ended up my best drawing so far. Anyway, I love him.

TUMBLRTWITTER


A Godsdamn Kraken by Smehur

fiction || baldur’s gate 3 || m/m || astarion/tav || mature || no major warnings apply || 7,760 || complete

summary: Astarion and Tav met before the events of the game – and immediately got in trouble.

AO3


Self Help & Writing Advice by Tris Lawrence

blog post || original work || no ships || general audiences || no major warnings apply || 781 || complete

summary: I don’t like self-help books. Which means I often don’t like writing advice books.

Which sucks because I really want to like both of them. I am positive there are things I could learn from them.

TUMBLRPILLOWFORTLINK


ND Creative: Time, Focus, Organization by Tris Lawrence

blog post, nd creative series || original work || no ships || general audiences || no major warnings apply || 957 || complete

summary: Time, focus, and organization can be complicated things as an ND creative.

TUMBLRPILLOWFORTLINK


Things I Thought Were Mine by enchantedsleeper

fiction || fence comics || m/m || nicholas cox/seiji katayama || general audiences || no major warnings apply || 9,235 || complete

summary: Nicholas, Seiji, and the King’s Row team are invited by Jesse Coste to join him at an exclusive summer retreat for elite fencers at the Coste residence. Surrounded by reminders of the life he could have had, and with Jesse determined to pick up where he and Seiji left off, can Nicholas survive the week without some closely-held secrets bubbling to the surface?

other tags: Canon divergence AU, hurt/comfort

AO3


a dream or two (away from you) by enchantedsleeper

fiction || fence comics || m/m || aiden kane/harvard lee || teen & up || no major warnings apply || 8,845 || complete

summary: Everyone knows that magic isn’t real. Never mind that Aiden, crown prince of Feldhaven, has been having strange dreams from a young age in which he meets and plays with a young boy from a far-away kingdom.

He can’t explain it, but he isn’t concerned – until years later, when an eighteen-year-old Aiden is suddenly introduced to the new Captain of the Guard: Harvard Lee. The boy from his dreams.

other tags: mediaeval fantasy AU, slightly handwavey dream magic, friends to lovers

TUMBLRAO3


You Make Sense of the Devil by Hermit

fiction || mcu, criminal minds || m/m, f/m, poly (multiple genders) || james “bucky” barnes/emily prentiss, james “bucky” barnes/steve rogers || mature || rape/non-con || 15,772 || complete

summary: A ghost from the BAU past reappears and drags up unfinished business for Aaron Hotchner. The ripples are enough to call back missing team members and spread well beyond the circle of his influence.

other tags: Timeline What Timeline, MCU fusion, Criminal Minds fusion, liberties were taken with the legal system, Case Fic, No One Is Okay, canon typical trauma, Past Rape/Non-con, Flashback, discussion of trauma, Implied Polycule

AO3


Tremble by Tal

fiction || link click || m/m || cheng xiaoshi/lu guang || general audiences || no major warnings apply || 2,096 || complete

summary: Cheng Xiaoshi has a bad time in a photo. Lu Guang is there in the aftermath.

other tags: Hurt/Comfort

AO3


Phase Shift by Terra P. Waters

fiction || original work || platonic or familial, f/m || teen & up || no major warnings apply || 99,500 || ongoing series

summary: Despite being a self-professed science geek, high school freshman Camilla Mitchell has had a secret imaginary friend for years. It comes as quite a shock when said friend, Emma, accidentally drags her into a dimension full of hostile telepathic creatures. Cam’s friends, her brother, Oliver, and her mother, Kathryn, work furiously to solve her disappearance and bring her home. Other members of their small Minnesota town disappear, one after the other, including Lizzy Becker’s best friend, who is ripped from her arms. Lizzy badgers loner Oliver into working with her to rescue their missing loved ones. They discover a bridge between the two worlds—a bridge that allows the hostile creatures from Cam’s newly-discovered dimension into ours. If there’s a bridge, there’s a way to rescue the people taken. Right?

other tags: Tags: science fiction, alternate dimensions, teen characters, friendship, bisexual main character (minor references), lesbian character, nonbinary character, aliens; Content warnings: disordered eating, emetophobia, child abuse mention, homophobic bullying, teen characters in danger, gun violence, physical violence, abduction

TUMBLRPILLOWFORTLINK


The Last Drop Cafe by Terra P. Waters

fiction || stranger things || poly (multiple genders) || jonathan byers/chrissy cunningham/steve harrington/nancy wheeler || explicit || creator choses not to use warnings || 77,500 || complete

summary: Nancy Wheeler is in her last year of college, about to graduate with her journalism degree. She’s just working as a barista at The Last Drop Cafe until she can find a real journalism job. She loves her boyfriend, Jonathan, though there’s been some tension lately, and she’s not quite sure how long the relationship is going to last. At least she lives above the coffee shop, which makes rolling out of bed at five in the morning to go to work slightly more tolerable. Her upstairs neighbors, Steve and Chrissy, are newlyweds eager to start their family. When a case of sleep deprivation and mistaken identity ties the two couples together, things quickly get complicated. But maybe complicated is just what Nancy was looking for.

other tags: Coffee Shop AU, College AU, Mistaken Identity, Polyamory, Somnophilia, Accidental Non-con, Unplanned Pregnancy, Birth, Hospitals

AO3


Phase Shift by Terra P. Waters

fiction || original work || platonic or familial, f/m, f/nb || teen & up || no major warnings apply || 99,500 || complete

summary: Despite being a self-professed science geek, high school freshman Camilla Mitchell has had a secret imaginary friend for years. It comes as quite a shock when said friend, Emma, accidentally drags her into a dimension full of hostile telepathic creatures. Cam’s friends, her brother, Oliver, and her mother, Kathryn, work furiously to solve her disappearance and bring her home. Other members of their small Minnesota town disappear, one after the other, including Lizzy Becker’s best friend, who is ripped from her arms. Lizzy badgers loner Oliver into working with her to rescue their missing loved ones. They discover a bridge between the two worlds—a bridge that allows the hostile creatures from Cam’s newly-discovered dimension into ours. If there’s a bridge, there’s a way to rescue the people taken. Right?

other tags: Science Fiction, Horror, Aliens, Teen characters, Alternate dimensions, Friendship, LGBTQ+ characters, Hearing Impaired Character, Eating Disorder, Child Abuse, Gun Violence, Kidnapping, Teenaged Characters in Peril, Minor Character Death

TUMBLRLINK


Prayers of Descent by unforth

fiction || tian guan ci fu || m/m || hua cheng/xie lian || general audiences || no major warnings apply || 1,648 || complete

summary: After 800 years in the Heavenly Court, Xie Lian receives a prayer with a simple request: “can I see you, your highness, just one more time?”

other tags: Canon Divergence, Jun Wu/Xie Lian

AO3

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Aether Beyond the Binary: Final 48 Hours

The Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for our anthology Aether Beyond the Binary, featuring 17 stories of non-binary, genderqueer, genderfluid, agender, bigender, and other outside-the-binary characters living in modern aetherpunk settings, has entered our final two days of funding! And we’ve crossed our funding goal (after a scare with a fake pledge that has made things…uh…interesting)!!

It’s not too late to get your copy of this awesome collection made by our very queer press by our very queer contributors. We wrap on January 25th at 9:35 a.m. Eastern time.

Learn more about Aether Beyond the Binary now by visiting the Kickstarter campaign, or read on for more info…

A graphic entitled "Aether Beyond the Binary." It shows the cover of the anthology (two people of indeterminate gender doing science, one with a flower hovering over their hand, the other holding a tablet), the sky whale enamel pin (a green whale flying through a cloudy purple night sky, the non-binary symbol balancing from its mouth), the aether dux sticker (a duck with a blue mohawk, choker necklace and a harness securing crystal wings to their torso), the plant-watering robot holographic sticker (a cute flying robot watering a tropical potted plant), and the aether musician bookmark (a young white person playing the guitar, magical swirls in the non-binary pride colors dancing around them).

What would the Earth look like if the very atoms that compose the planet were suffused with magical aether? How would our lives in the modern world be different if this aether was discovered last year, or last decade, or last century, or last millennia? How might the people who inhabit this oh-so-different but still modern Earth explore their gender identities? These are the questions we posed to the 17 authors chosen to contribute to Duck Prints Press’s newest anthology Aether Beyond the Binary. Their diverse answers are bound together in this must-not-miss collection of stories about magical worlds, adventures and mysteries, new chances and well-earned endings, and characters as gender-diverse as the worlds they inhabit. 

Aether Beyond the Binary features 17 stories, each up to 7,500 words. We aim to publish it as an e-book (ePub and PDF), and to print it digest size, 5.5 in x 8.5 in (14 cm x 21.5 cm) in both trade paperback and hardcover formats. Aether Beyond the Binary also features a spectacular wrap-around cover by non-binary artist Mar Spragge; this will be printed as a lovely gloss dust jacket for the hardcover edition. 

Curious about the project? You can learn way more by visiting the campaign page or by checking out our other blog posts about it to learn more about our merch and contributors and read excerpts, creator interviews, and more:

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Aether Beyond the Binary Merch Spotlight: All About Dux

Dux, also known as Darcy Paige Paddlesworth III (as named by our Patrons), is the non-binary Duck Prints Press mascot who uses they/them pronouns. All our ducks are called Dux – no matter what they wear or where they go, they’re still our darling Dux! You can learn more about Dux and see Dux’s many incarnations by visiting the Get to Know Dux page on our website.

Aether Dux

For the Aether Beyond the Binary campaign, Dux designer Alessa Riel has pulled out all the stops, equipping Dux with an awesome Mohawk and amazing crystalline wings. Are they cybernetic? Are they an assistive device? Are they just for the aesthetique ™? Dux hasn’t told us – so you can draw your own conclusions!

A drawing of a duck with a blue mohawk, blue eyeliner, and crystalline wings instead of feathers.

Aether Dux die-cut stickers, 3 in x 3 in (7.5 cm x 7.5 cm), are one of the core merchandise items for this crowdfunding campaign – everyone who backs at a level that includes merchandise will get this Dux sticker, and everyone who gets only the book can add an Aether Dux sticker to their order as an add-on.

But – this isn’t the only Dux merch being offered as add-ons! We’ve also got…

Dux Keychain

An acrylic key chain with metal hardware, featuring a picture of a white duck with an orange beak and orange feet. The duck faces the viewer, and their beak curves in a slight smile.

A sturdy acrylic key chain with metal hardware, 3 in x 1.5 in (7.5 cm x 4 cm). (also available on our website)

The Basic Dux Sticker Set

A graphic depicting four stickers. One is a white duck with orange beak and feet, shown from the front, wearing a red bow tie. The second is the neck and head of a duck, with the eyes replaced by large rainbow hearts. The third is the Duck Prints Press logo, with rainbow duck prints on the left and below the company name and the white and orange duck mascot (sans bowtie) standing on the right. The last is a circle made of duck prints, each print a different color of the rainbow from yellow to green, plus white and brown.

This set of 4 die-cut stickers includes our logo with Dux standing proudly beside it, a rainbow circle of Dux prints, are cute heart-eyes Dux, and our most popular Dux sticker, bowtie Dux! All four of these stickers are available individually through our website, but as part of the Kickstarter, you can get the four as an add-on bundle for only $10, instead of the usual $12 if you bought them individually!

The Costumed Dux Sticker Set

A graphic depicting four stickers. Top left: a duck wearing an apron and carrying a teacup with saucer and a cupcake. Top right: a duck wearing a feathered hat and tabard and wielding a rapier. Bottom left: a duck, green instead of the usual white, wearing a witch hat, carrying a broom and pumpkin, and standing before a crescent moon. Bottom right: a duck wearing a feathered cap and a neck ruff, carrying a book in one wing and a feather pin dripping rainbow ink in the other.

This set includes our two most recent costumed Dux – musketeer Dux, from our recent anthology Aim For The Heart: Queer Fanworks Inspired by Alexandre Dumas’s “The Three Musketeers” and witch Dux, created as a Patreon reward last Halloween (our largest Dux sticker ever, nearly 4 in by 4 in/10.25 cm x 10.25 cm). It also includes our two most popular costumed Dux, barista Dux (debuted with our anthology Add Magic to Taste) and bard Dux (who accompanied our first Queer Fanworks Anthology, And Seek (Not) to Alter Me, with stories and art inspired by “Much Ado About Nothing.”) Again, all these are available from our webstore, but the bundle is discounted for Kickstarter add-on purposes!

Other Merch

Dux is also featured on our tote bag, a common sight in our seconds grab bags, and of course they are the inspiration behind the absolutely adorable Dux plushies made by EmpowerFantasy Plush (we had five for this campaign, and we’re already down to only two left, so if you want one you should grab it now – and these are NOT currently available from our website!). And of course…

The Ultimate: YOUR OWN DUX

If you love dux even a fraction as much as we do, you can also still claim our ultimate add-on: a custom Dux designed by Alessa Riel to YOUR specifications. We only have this opportunity on offer once for the Aether Beyond the Binary campaign, and this is only the second time we’ve ever offered this! There are a few restrictions (for example, Dux most remain non-binary), but this is a great chance to get your very own lovable duck! Make sure you review the add-on text for all the details. 😀

Long story short: we love Dux, and we hope now that you’ve gotten to know them, you do too!

So back our Kickstarter, and don’t forget to add-on ALL THE DUX!

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Back the Aether Beyond the Binary Kickstarter Campaign!

The cover for the anthology "Aether Beyond the Binary, A Duck Prints Press Anthology." The image shows two people of indeterminate gender standing side by side. One has light skin (white, Asian, or Latine are the most likely races), short white hair, brown eyes, and wears multiple earrings, a brown shirt, and white overalls. They have one hand raised and in that hand they wear a green glove, and above the glove, a blooming bluebell plant hovers in the air. Beside them is a Black person with long dreads and glasses. They have a single piercing, and they were a blue shirt and also wear the same white overalls. Their hands are gloved in green, and they carry a glowing tablet. Plants in the foreground block the view of these people from the waist up. Behind them, light swirls in shades of green and teal, with occasional sparkling stars interspersed.

Duck Prints Press is thrilled to announce that the crowdfunding campaign for science-fantasy gender-diverse sixth anthology Aether Beyond the Binary is now live on Kickstarter!

The core concept of Aether Beyond the Binary is simple and compelling: create intriguing main characters outside the gender binary and set them loose to explore the modern world twisted or barely changed, enhanced or destroyed by magical aether. This power source may replace technology, supplement it, or oppose it. These characters may be agender, genderfluid, bigender, or any other non-binary identity. The thread that these tales share is exploration: of the world around them and of the self. We propose no conclusions; instead, we demonstrate how far-reaching the questions are and how expansive the range of possible answers can be, thereby broadening the discussion about the nature of gender and the place of genderqueer characters in science-fantasy fiction. We hope you’ll join us to explore the endless possibilities of these magical worlds.

This anthology includes 17 stories, each up to 7,500 words, by our diverse fancreators-turned-original-fiction-authors, gorgeous artwork by Mar Spragge, Pippin Peacock, Alessa Riel, and Atomic Pixies, amazing merchandise, and awesome add-on extras.

A graphic entitled "Aether Beyond the Binary." It shows the cover of the anthology, the sky whale enamel pin, the aether dux sticker, the plant-watering robot holographic sticker, and the aether musician bookmark.

Looking for the perfect post-holiday purchase? Look no further! Get awesome, gorgeous stuff, a fantastic, erudite book, and support queer indie publishing – become a backer of the Aether Beyond the Binary crowdfunding campaign TODAY!

Campaign ends January 25th, 2024.

Patreon backers who support the crowdfunding campaign can also get an excellent extra: the adorable plant-watering backer as a key chain! So there’s no time like the present to back us on Patreon, too!

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Gorgeous Merchandise to Accompany an Awesome Anthology!

Graphic labeled "Meet the Aether Beyond the Binary Merchandise." It shows a book cover for the Aether Beyond the Binary anthology, and then four other labeled images:
"Hologram Plant-Watering Robot Sticker (art by Mar Spragge)": a floating robot watering tropical plants.
"Aether Music Magic Bookmark (art by Pippin Peacock)": a white person playing the guitar with magical swirls coming from where their hands strum.
"Non-Binary Sky Whale Enamel Pin (art by Atomic Pixies)": a green whale flying before a purple sky and clouds and yellow stars. A chain with a non-binary symbol charm dangles from its mouth.
"Aether Dux Sticker (art by Alessa Riel)": a duck, their wings spread, with a blue mohawk and crystals where their wing feathers would be.
Text at the bottom reads: Kickstarter launches in FOUR DAYS! Follow our Pre-Launch Page TODAY!"

It wouldn’t be a Duck Prints Press crowdfunding campaign if we didn’t have super cool merchandise to accompany our spectacular anthology of outside-the-binary characters exploring aetherpunk worlds, Aether Beyond the Binary. We worked with some really awesome creators this time, and we’re so excited to share the art they’ve done and the merch we’ll be making with it!

  • Hologram Plant-Loving Robot Sticker: this adorable plant-watering bot graces the back cover of the wrap-around cover by Mar Spragge, and they and the plants they’re watering will sparkle and shine on this rectangular, shimmery, holographic sticker. 4 in x 4 in/10.25 cm x 10.25 cm. (Printed by Vograce)
  • Aether Music Magic Bookmark: this lovely glossy bookmark features artwork by Pippin Peacock on the front and the signatures of the contributors to Aether Beyond the Binary on the back. 2 in x 7 in/5 cm x 17.75 cm. (Printed by UPrinting)
  • Aether Dux Die-Cut Sticker: it wouldn’t be a Duck Prints Press anthology without a custom Dux designed by Alessa Riel. Dux is our non-binary company mascot, and for this campaign they’re decked out with crystals and machinery and ready for aether flight. 3 in x 3 in/7.5 cm x 7.5 cm. (Printed by Vograce)
  • Non-Binary Sky Whale Enamel Pin: this lovely pin depicts a celestial whale moving through a starscape, with the non-binary gender sign dangling by a chain from they’re mouth. The artwork for this pin is by Atomic Pixies. 2 in x 2 in/5 cm x 5 cm. (Manufactured by Alchemy)
  • BONUS MERCHANDISE! That adorable plant-loving robot? We’ll be making it into a key chain as our Patron-exclusive extra! All $10/month and $25/month patrons who also back the campaign will get this cutie to hang from their keys!

Our campaign, which launches on December 26th 2023 (four days from when this post goes up – soooooon!) will include backer levels with all this merch, and also pick-and-choose add-on options. We’re also offering a trade paperback AND a premium hardcover edition of this book – our first anthology published as a hardcover! There’s loads of other add-ons too – our past anthologies (as e-books or in print!), a short story bundle of works by Aether Beyond the Binary contributors, 5 (FIVE!!!) of the adorable dux plushies by EmpowerFantasy Plush, one-of-a-kind wands by Alessa Riel, and more.

We’re days away from launch – follow our pre-launch page and get notified when the campaign goes live!

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Merchandise Release Day!!

A graphic over a background of rainbow colors in watercolor splotches. At the top, there's the Duck Prints Press logo and rainbow duck prints, and beside that a header reads "Merchandise Mass Release Day! Now available at duckprintspress.com/shop." Below this is an array if items with accompany labels: "art prints" with two examples, "Print books" with DPP anthologies "He Bears the Cape of Stars," "She Wears the Midnight Crown," and "And Seek (Not) to Alter Me," "Shirts" with three examples, two of which are t-shirts and one of which is a hoodie, "Stickers and Magnets" with a citrus slice with rainbow segments and a Dux with a mustache, devil horns, devil tail, and trident, and "Enamel Pins" with an owl, raccoon, crow, fox, moose, and wolf pin, and also a woman in a crown and a man in a cape. At the bottom of the graphic, text reads "...and MORE!"

Have you wanted Duck Prints Press logo merchandise? Have you missed one of our past campaigns and want to get some of the items? Have you been eying Patreon extras we’ve made and wanted to get your own? Have you wished you could get one of our past anthologies IN PRINT? Well, then – YOUR TIME HAS COME!

Today, Duck Prints Press is celebrating Merchandise Mass Release Day! We’ve gathered up leftovers from past campaigns, seconds and lightly damaged merch, and forged a relationship with Printify to provide print-on-demand shirts and other merchandise we can’t, for various reasons, keep in stock. The result is THIRTY-ONE new merchandise items available in the Duck Prints Press store!

Offerings include:

Print Books (Lightly Damaged Seconds):

Art Prints:

Enamel Pins:

Stickers and Magnets:

Clothing:

Kitchenwares:

Stationary:

Or, want some a grab bag of lightly damaged seconds? We’ve got that now – get your Seconds Grab Bag to get two random stickers, one random enamel pin, and one other item (such as a key chain, patch, or bookmark!)

And all of this is in ADDITION to the other great merchandise we already offer!

So come on over to our webstore and get your dux on! Literally! With clothes and merch from Duck Prints Press!

Want to get the same great stuff, just – cheaper? Every backer on Patreon gets a coupon that can be used on their purchases from duckprintspress.com! Come support Duck Prints Press monthly AND get great discounts on awesome merch. Winning!

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Pre-Orders Now Open for “Many Drops Make a Stream” by Adrian Harley!

Pre-orders for Adrian Harley’s debut sapphic fantasy novel Many Drops Make a Stream are now open!

A memory-stealing cult.
The ever-watchful City of Eyes.
Making small talk.

Join Droplet as she faces all these horrors and more…

Vigilante shapeshifter Droplet has trained her entire life to take down those with more power than scruples, but she still makes mistakes. When a rescue mission goes wrong, a memory-stealing cult of blood mages escapes with kidnapped captives in tow. To save them, Droplet reluctantly teams up with the outgoing, tenacious Azera. Droplet knows better than to trust a human—she made that mistake once, and that person’s betrayal scattered her community across the known world—and she can tell Azera is hiding secrets behind her sunny smile. But if they can’t learn to work together, even Droplet’s own memories could be lost.

Many Drops Make a Stream, Adrian Harley’s debut novel, is the stand-alone first book in a series of related fantasy-mystery-heists featuring the shapeshifter Droplet and the friends and found family who work alongside her to fight the corrupt powers-that-be. Many Drops Make a Stream is rated general (adult) audiences and features shapeshifting shenanigans, a nascent f/f quarrelers-to-lovers pre-relationship, a wonderful extended cast of family and pseudo-family, necromancy and blood magic and spellwork (oh my!), and one (1) very angry goose.

For this campaign, we’re offering:

Better yet, you can get a discount by picking one of three bundles:

You can learn all about the book, the author, the campaign, and our offerings by visiting the pre-order page NOW!

Want a chance to win a trade paperback copy of Many Drops Make a Stream? Help us spread the word about this campaign by liking and signal boosting our posts on any of our platforms that including “sharing” functionality (such as Tumblr, Mastodon, Bluesky, and Facebook), and you can get up to 4 entries per platform where you share!*

Campaign backers will also get bonuses based on the number of signal boosts our posts receive! All the social media links for sharing are on the linked pre-order page, so help us tell the world about the awesome book, and who knows – you might win a copy! (But only if we fund, ’cause we can’t afford to print the book if we don’t fund, so help us make sure people who want to buy The Awesome learn that The Awesome exists!)

*sweepstakes rules and conditions
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Meet the Merch! Check Out the “Many Drops Make a Stream” Extras

It wouldn’t be a Duck Prints Press pre-order campaign if we weren’t offering some absolutely awesome extras to go with your book purchase! When we open pre-orders for Many Drops Make a Stream by Adrian Harley TOMORROW, we’ll also be offering some merchandise – and you’ll be able to choose to buy a package that includes merch, or you can mix-and-match to get exactly what you want, or you can get just the book, if merch is just really not your thing. (You can preview the campaign deets here).

Wondering who Droplet is and why there are so many animals? This is a good moment for a refresher on the Many Drops Make a Stream blurb!

A memory-stealing cult.
The ever-watchful City of Eyes.
Making small talk.

Join Droplet as she faces all these horrors and more…

Vigilante shapeshifter Droplet has trained her entire life to take down those with more power than scruples, but she still makes mistakes. When a rescue mission goes wrong, a memory-stealing cult of blood mages escapes with kidnapped captives in tow. To save them, Droplet reluctantly teams up with the outgoing, tenacious Azera. Droplet knows better than to trust a human—she made that mistake once, and that person’s betrayal scattered her community across the known world—and she can tell Azera is hiding secrets behind her sunny smile. But if they can’t learn to work together, even Droplet’s own memories could be lost.

Shapeshift main character? A chance to show off lots of fun animal forms? Heck YES that’s the direction we went when planning out the extras!

So what have we got for you?

An enamel pin of Droplet mid-transformation from a tiger to her signature goose form, 2 in x 2 in/5 cm x 5 cm, with glitter in the background color, featuring art by Aceriee (Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter). (Manufactured by Alchemy.)

Goose!Dux, the Droplet books’ custom Dux, as a die-cut sticker approximately 3 in x 3 in/7.5 cm x 7.5 cm. Designed by Alessa Riel. (Printed by Vograce.) “Goose” is Droplet’s favorite form (for good reason!) so when Dux got decked out for this book, of course we designed a Dux-goose.

An art print of the front cover (8 in x 10 in/20.25 cm x 25.5 cm), featuring Roui Cris’s (Tumblr | Twitter | Artstation) gorgeous artwork of Droplet and Azera flying over Sacarus, the City of Eyes. (Printed by PrintKeg.)

Patreon-exclusive extra: a wooden coaster (4 in./10.25 cm circular) engraved with art TO BE REVEALED. (it. might be a goose. just sayin’. there’s a Theme.) The artwork is by Aceriee, and the coasters will be manufactured by E. Conway, who also works with DPP as an editor.

How do you get the Patreon-exclusive extra? Easy! You just have to do two things: 1. Back our Patreon at the $10/month or $25/month level; and 2. Support this campaign by buying at least one of the pre-order offerings.

We’ve also got some merch-related stretch goals – depending how much money the campaign raises, we may also make a bookmark featuring the front cover artwork, an engraved wooden pendant with the Eye of Sacarus (that’s the eye motif featured on the cover!), and a wooden key chain featuring Goose!Droplet. We really hope we’ll be able to make some of this merch, too.

There is only ONE MORE DAY until this pre-order campaign launches on the Duck Prints Press website. Are you excited? Cause we’re hella excited. <3

(btw, in case you’ve been wondering when tomorrow, I expect to make the shop listings live sometime in the AM, EDT, and to make all the related updates to the Pre-Order Page and announcements on our social media shortly thereafter. Also, hi, I’m Claire Houck/unforth, the book’s editor and owner of the Press. I’m handling our marketing for this pre-order campaign! Nice to meet ya. 😀 )