The short version:
Wild Husky Publications was established in 2013 by Megan Gorecki to cover a variety of gaming publications, from roleplaying supplements to maps to comics. From here, she expanded out to other creative projects, such as fortune-card decks and artwork.
The name Wild Husky comes from Megan's first Siberian Husky, named Moose. After losing him to a rare disease when he was six years old, Megan struggled to accept the loss of her dear companion. It was an inside joke that Moose thought he was a "wild dog" when he refused to listen, often running off in the other direction. If he could speak, Megan is pretty sure he would be calling back, "No! Am wild dog now!" Hence... her Wild Husky.

The long version:
Learning experiences
When I was very young, I used to run around in the woods behind my parents’ home, looking for magical creatures. I didn't realize it then, but I now see it as the start of what would someday become a strong interest in all things mystical.

In my teenage years, I started putting my strange interests to paper. I would draw nine-tailed foxes, dragons, unicorns and a variety of other creatures that I had never seen with my own eyes. It was also in my teens that I drew my very first deck of cards.

I'm not sure I can really call them cards, since they were about eleven inches tall and about four inches wide. They were awkward and took up a lot of space, but I loved them dearly, and would play with them every night.

To be honest, they weren't that well put together, either.

I drew them on speckled office paper, carefully measuring and drawing a fancy border around each card, then proceeded to put in the subject. After tracing the lines with a black ink pen, I coloured in parts of the backgrounds with pencil crayons and cut out the card.

With my paper card in hand, I smoothly spread a fine layer of white glue across some thin cardstock, and stuck the card into place. I then trimmed it again. (Clearly, I didn't think the process through, and how trimming it once would be easier.)

I bought tubes of dark purple and bright yellow paint, and a sun and moon stencil at the local hardware store. With these colours, I painstakingly painted the card backs purple, slapped the stencil on (sometimes before the cards were dry) and then proceeded to stencil in the bright yellow sun and moon.

I repeated the process for about thirty-odd-something cards. I drew more, but some of the backs were never finished. It never really stopped me, however, from practising fortune reading with them for my friends, family, and myself, trying to see if I could pick out a single card from the deck without looking, and determine what it was.

I was right more than the average should allow, so I was always pretty pleased with myself.

After making the cards, I wanted to have somewhere to put them in, so I made myself a box out of scrap pieces of wood from my dad’s shop, a handsaw and a whole lot of wood glue. I then painted it too.

In the end, it wasn't pretty, but it was mine.

A few years later, I moved away for college and the wooden box of cards was stored away with other things like my high school yearbooks. I went through different programs in school, learning new skills and gaining new experiences as well.

In early 2011, I travelled with my sister, mother and grandmother to the Netherlands, where my sister and I attended the first International Druid Camp held by the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, or OBOD for short. The event was purely magical.

Though I was only with such an amazing group of people for a short time, I learned more about myself, nature, spirituality and the Otherworld than I ever realized existed.

From Neil, I learned how to let myself dance – and I don’t mean bopping my head up and down in a club. I watched my body feel the music and move in a way that helped me to feel free from life’s pressures as we went through five different rhythms of music.

From Adrian, I learned how to better see myself. He introduced me to the Ogham (which I will come back to in a later chapter) and showed me what it is like to be a strong-willed, spiritual warrior. I sat in awe as he would sit and sing with others, not afraid to be himself.

From Cilla, I learned to listen. Or at least, she tried to teach me. This is still a skill I struggle with today, as my significant other can attest to. She also taught me that I could do anything. Her own deck of cards reminded me of my past attempts, and sparked up a fire within my soul again.

From JJ, I found a kindred spirit. He allowed me to see myself from an outside view – the struggles and stresses in life, and let me cry about them. Most importantly, he showed me what it was that I can give to others.

After returning home to Ontario, Canada, I was overcome with a vast amount of knowledge and feelings that I didn't know what to do with. I shelved some of it, vowing to come back to it and experience it again (I have still to dance the five rhythms, though I find myself dancing around the kitchen when cooking) and some of it I unfortunately let go of.

That is, until I found it again through my creative ideas.

A wild inspiration
I have a plethora of creative works sitting in my brain. Most have started their way onto paper (or a computer, truthfully) and others float in and out of my head when I'm tired. These range in variety from comics to novels to artwork to cards to RPG supplements and maps. I wanted a place to put them all that made sense.

I have been going to comic/fantasy/gaming conventions in Ontario since the early 2000s, and started trying to peddle my wares shortly after my first attendance. My sister and I agreed to split our first booth in an Artist Alley, where she sold some artwork and I sold some cosplay costumes that I had made. Our neighbour across the laneway was a comic artist from Edmonton, who we offered to help out by giving him a break and watching his table.

It went well that year, which I think falsely inspired me to continue trying to sell my creative projects.

Our second year was a flop. I'm also putting that lightly. Truthfully, it was more of a disaster, but my sister and I still had fun, and met up again with our new friend from Edmonton, even though we were no longer neighbouring tables.

This pattern carried on for years. New ideas, new projects. I never really minded, because I realized I loved being at the convention and meeting people who liked what I did. The problem was that from year to year, my sister and I would change the name of our table to what we were showing that year, and people who knew us the year before could no longer find us.

Fast forward a couple more years and I had moved west to British Columbia. I continued working on creative projects, and launched my very first webcomic. With guidance from my Edmonton comic artist friend, it got off the ground quite well, and I agreed to join him and another comic artist from Winnipeg in Calgary at the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo.

In its early years, CalCon (as I call it) was still quite small. I promoted my webcomic and returned the next year to share a large booth with my comic artist friends.

In mid-2011, after returning from my trip overseas, I started struggling with my webcomic. One of my Siberian Huskies had fallen quite ill with a rare autoimmune disease. I'm one of those people who considers pets a part of the family, and my furkid was just that – a furry adopted child, and the only family I had out west.

His health went up and down for the next year. When it was up, I was able to balance my job, taking care of my home, feeding myself, paying bills, looking after the dogs and all those other things adults have to do on a daily basis. When it was down, it was an all systems fail scenario. I would be up every hour, every night, to let him in and out of the house, as his medications made him drink enormous amounts of water and then needed to go to the bathroom. I would have let him sleep outside, except that he wanted to be inside with me, sleeping at the foot of my bed for comfort. I left work three to four times a day, which was difficult at the job I had, to go home and give him timed medications – some to stop the ulcers from growing on his nose, and others to prevent the first medications from destroying his body. It was a tough fight, and I felt very alone, despite my family and friends being very understanding and doing their best to help me out however they could.

Despite being ill, my dog still held on to his stubborn Siberian Husky ways. He would sit at the back door to my house, licking the glass window and crying for me to open the door. However, when I got up to let him in, he would run away, playing a game with me. He would listen when he wanted to, and if he could talk, I swear he would have said to my commands, “No way! I'm a wild dog!” before trotting off to the other end of the yard, head held high, ears back and a “woooo” sound coming out of his lips. This became a popular joke amongst my family and friends, that he would always have a “wild” streak in him.

By the summer of 2012, my webcomic updates had become sporadic at best. As passionate as I felt about continuing it, I had based the comic’s wolf-like mounts after my dogs, and it was getting harder to draw, both emotionally and due to time constraints. It wasn't long before I decided to put it on hiatus for an undetermined amount of time.

In the fall of that same year, I knew I was coming upon a decision I didn't want to make with my dog. I was outside with him and his “little brother” doing some yard chores when I started thinking about what I was going to have do for my dog.

It was then that something amazing happened.

My dog walked up to me, as I was crouched against the back fence. I looked at him and spoke to him, saying, “I don’t think I can do it.” He simply looked back at me, wagged his tail twice, and licked the bottom of my chin before trotting away to howl at the neighbour’s cat. I was stunned, since he was never the type of dog to wag his tail like that, and always too timid and gentle to lick my face.

At that moment, I felt he knew he was dying, and that he was ready to go.

He was telling me it was ok with him for me to make the call to go ahead.

In November of 2012, only ten days after he turned six years old, I said my final goodbye to my “wild” husky.

Behind the name
I travelled back to Ontario in December that year, needing some space and time to grieve. While exploring through my parents’ home, I came across my old wooden box of cards. I was surprised when I opened it to see the cards were still in fairly decent condition. I looked through them before lovingly packing them all away again, but this time I didn't let them slip from my mind.

I had committed to being a part of the webcomic booth my other comic artist friends from Edmonton and Winnipeg had been sharing with me in Calgary for the last few years, so even though my comic was still on hiatus, I made the trip anyway in April of 2013. I had broken my leg in February, and was only recently starting to walk again, so I sat behind the table with my leg propped up on a chair and made an attempt to share works of my art and maps I had created.

I still had many creative projects in my head, but realized the webcomic was not one of them. I was still sore from the loss of my dog, and decided that for 2014, I would branch out on my own, back into Artist Alley at a table I could afford by myself.

Prior to the convention, I had been considering what I would call myself when signing up for a table. I could no longer go under the name of my webcomic, and I didn't want to necessarily go under my own name if I could come up with something better. Knowing I would always want to share a variety of creative projects, I decided it would be best for me to come up with an umbrella name that would cover anything I finished and published. One term that people would be able to recognize me for, even if the projects I completed were of a varied nature.

Thinking about names, I polled my family back in Ontario for their help. Nothing felt quite right, until I saw a picture I have of my dog under the TV. I was suddenly determined to name it after him.

I decided to use the noun Husky, since that’s what he was, through and through to the end. It was my sister who helped me to think of the adjective to describe him.

“Wild,” she said one night over the phone. “He was always a wild dog.”

The term instantly resonated inside of me. That was the night Wild Husky Publications got its name.

Pushing a timeline
Once I had a name, I registered for a 2014 CalCon table, thinking that I would have a finished project to show. At the time, I was working on a roleplay setting, which turned into a much larger project than I ever imagined it would be. After returning from Calgary in 2013, I was set and determined to have something prepared for the following year.

It was late one evening in the summer when I picked up my drawing pad and pencil and began to sketch out some designs, with the sudden idea of redoing my old set of cards I had turned up on my last visit to Ontario. I started with the elements. With their eyes closed, they appeared to be at rest and peaceful. I decided to leave them that way. I finished the usual four of Air, Earth, Fire and Water, but felt unsatisfied. I realized something was missing, and immediately began to draw Spirit. I didn't quite know what to call her at the time, but it didn't take too long to figure it out. While drawing her, I started to remember again all the things I had learned – including those I had forgotten about – back at the Druid camp in the Netherlands. I kept sketching and drawing, then started inking. Liking what I saw, I continued. The next three cards were Sun, Moon and Star.

The next day I set out to make a list of cards. I started listing everything that came to mind: emotions, objects, actions, seasons… the list got quite large. I looked to different tarot and oracle cards for inspiration, not wanting to miss anything that I felt should be included. Once I had a list in hand, I started to divide them into the five different elements.

This balancing act took me quite a while. Some cards were moved and shuffled to make room for others, especially if they straddled two elements to begin with. Some cards were discarded to allow others to come into existence, and some settled in right where they belonged, never to move.

I sorted the list until I had sixty cards split evenly into five different elemental categories, allowing for twelve cards in each. Then I randomly started drawing them, choosing whichever card I felt like working on at the time. Many were drawn in sets or pairs, especially if they had an opposite or complementary card in the deck. The four seasons were the third grouping of cards to be drawn. If you look closely at them all in row, I hope you will see the progression and growth as the seasons change. I decided to call them Spindle Cards.

At one point, I realized I had drawn thirty cards, and reached the half-way point. This thought scared me, for I'm known to my family and friends as the Queen of Unfinished Projects.

But I didn't want to let this one go.

I was determined to see it through.

Spindle Cards quickly consumed my free time in the latter half of 2013. I finished the final drawing in early January of 2014, and started to realize the cost of printing them into cards and packaging them. With a few months until Calgary to go, I turned to a popular crowd-funding site to try and raise the money for me to see my project complete.

Because then I would no longer be the Queen of Unfinished Projects.

Maybe just the Princess… or something like that.

This brings me to where I am now, writing out my experiences over the last few years. My name is Megan, and I am a creative person who wants to share all the things I come up with in my head. Maybe, just maybe, I will finish all of them someday.

~ MG