Monday, December 29, 2008

The Etiquette of Gullet Transport and Regurgitation

Definition of Gullet Transport: The internal conveyance of humans in the upper gullet.

Definition of upper gullet: The smaller of two gullets inherent to Dragonis Articulous Extremis. The upper gullet is the first gorge/stomach/craw encountered in the swallowing process of the Dragonis. Not to be mistaken as part of the throat, the upper gullet can be, but is not always, used to begin the digestion of denser objects prior to their submission into the lower/larger/proper digestive gullet. The upper gullet can be stretched to accommodate 'passengers' for transport, and the Dragonis can consciously adjust acid flow and muscle tension to prevent digestion of said 'passengers'.

Dragonis Law: One does not digest species of equitable intellect.

I do not engage in this mode/form/style/manner of human transport except in the most dire/calamitous/awful of circumstances, or when no other means of transport is available. Such as not having a 'riding harness' to use because one of your dragonettes/young/disobedient offspring has chewed up all of your extra harnesses! In truth, most humans do not favor this method of travel due to the unavoidable presence of stomach slime/goo/gunk/internal juices, which tends to cling to them when they are regurgitated. However, when faced with engaging in this mode of travel, it is incumbent upon a Dragon to do the following:

1. Carefully calculate/ compute/estimate the quantity of air available to their passenger/ commuter/traveler to avoid unintentional suffocation. Lack of air. Deprivation of oxygen. Not a good end to any journey, I will agree. Calculations should include passenger size and weight in comparison to said Dragon's size and weight (no disparagement intended, but some gullets are more capable than others), as well as the passenger's emotional state. Arousal. Mental condition. After all, an angry and/or excited human uses up a good deal more oxygen than one who is calm, cool, collected at the time of ingestion. Which makes it important to swallow your fellow traveler as quickly as possible. Fast. With haste. Rapidly. Before they have time to contemplate what you are about.

2. Just as important, a Dragon must keep the upper gullet muscles as relaxed/loose/light/ without tension as possible to avoid engaging digestive juices. Unintended digestion/absorption has an even more disturbing result than simple suffocation.

3. I would suggest (and I speak from personal experience) that a Dragon avoid swallowing a human clothed in anything other than general daily human clothing. Armor/chain mail/shields/protective clothing tends to clog ones throat and makes regurgitation very difficult. If weapons are involved, spit them out or avoid grabbing them up altogether.

4. When regurgitating your passenger, do so in an isolated situation. Location. Place. Gagging up a slime-covered human and plopping said transport onto the cobbled expanse of a courtyard or into some other heavily populated area lacks decorum and is imprudent. Unwise. Thoughtless. Humans are, unfortunately, squeamish.

Good luck. And if you have a choice, carry your human in your claws. Caged, that is, between your fore-claws. Avoid piercing at all costs.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


I do not lightly take pen in claw...I speak literally; I've not found a pen yet that's big enough to be held without great concentration. Now, a mail-hawk quill--a sizable bird, those hawks--and their quills are equally sizable, with just enough dimension, mass, bulk to allow a good pinch between the tips of my most flexible fore-claws. Still, it is an effort/undertaking/endeavor for which I must have a sound and motivating purpose to pursue. A good tale, a rousing song, a splendid sonnet, a rib-tickling verse, an ode, couplet, limerick, swelling prose--grrrrrr--oops, my enthusiasm renders me speechless! Just joking. A jest, tease, quip...I've not been speechless since the shell of my egg cracked open and spilled me out on a dark cave floor! My dam--rest her bones--once said I was hatched with words pouring from my gullet like spoiled food.

Well, this is all to bring me to this point of fact: I have a penchant/fondness/proclivity/ inclination for words. I feel it incumbent on me to share, in all humility, my acuity for the written word. I am scribe, writer, author, novelist, essayist--oh, and when I place a brush to paper, not a mean artist, but that is another discussion. This moment is about 'words'--the written statement, etched expression, visual remark. It is, I believe, nigh on impossible for the less verbally keen to select the 'appropriate' word from the plethora of verbiage available. I, myself, have overcome this difficulty of choice by utilizing all available meanings of a given word within its given context. Is this not clever? Bright? Witty? Quick? Ah--you grasp the point with ease I see! Fling forth, I say, every possible, potential, prospective, probable interpretation, meaning, sense, connotation, import for which a particular arrangement of letters is intended. Oh--the blessed lexicon. Thesaurus. Word list. Growl. The mere thought brings a fiery flame of excitement to my gullet!

Advice, you ask? But, indeed, have I not just shared the most advisable advice, useful counsel, gleaning guidance, officious opinion...officious? Is that the right word? Ah, well, one cannot worry over every little slip of the tongue, forked though it be. Make use, my aspiring fellow authors, whether Dragon, human, or otherwise, of dictionary and thesaurus, of tomes and books and scrolls and volumes that dissect, describe, explain, illustrate the meaning and usage of letters, words, vocabulary, language in its fullest, brightest, most animated form. Savor the richness of ye olde written word as you would the cream at the top of the jug, the foam on the wave, the gleam on the edge of a star. Nothing, I believe, is lessened by opulence.

Of course, if you're writing other than fantasy or historical fiction, the sumptuous might not suit. Audience, my friends, must be considered. Contemplated. Given due deliberation.

There you have it for this evening. Time for rest, revitilization, revival, renewal, recovery. Pick up your pen or quill again tomorrow. If you've time, share with an old Dragon how you claw up your words.

In the story, Princess Shaila says to me:
“Your tongue is stalled. For a creature who belches words like cheap confetti, that’s astounding.”
To which I reply: “My vocabulary is never inexpensive!”

A Dragon does not lie.

Clearing my throat...that is one long undertaking for Me!

In the beginning (I do not speak of a true beginning, as in regard to Time, the World, or the Universe--s'not as if I think all of that revolves around c'est moi, but rather the start of my first book, The Dragons' Veil) I am described in flight, amid the winds and clouds of my home world, Isoladia. A sight, I must say, to bring a swelling of pride into the breast, an enlargement of one's heart (oh, not quite a heart attack!), a puffiness of the diaphragm, an extension of the ribcage...all that wonder and excitement one feels upon seeing a sight so profoundly breath-taking--well, that is Me in flight. Not that I'm prejudice. My concept of self is as discerning as the next Dragon's. In any case, I am in flight, on the wing, burdened by the presence of one very angry and disruptive Princess--Shaila, by name--in my upper gullet. I had to swallow her, you see. No choice in the matter. I was accompanying her on her husband-quest when she threatened to plant her little fist in the rather enhanced nose of a suitor she found unsuitable. Someone must consider protocol, and I was given an edict by her father, King Harrimore, Royal leader of the Kingdom of Ambistron, to keep her safe. Which means guarding her actions as well as her Royal person. The Princess can be a tad unruly. Rowdy. Boisterous. All right, she's a claw full!

Point being, I'm flying the little disorder home when it comes to me she is probably running out of air, so I land to regurgitate her. She comes out articulating her displeasure--so there's a little stomach slime involved in being carried in a Dragon's gullet--s'not as if I was digesting her! One never digests a species of equitable intellect. But she lays into me, all bristle and fume and womanly rage, and--being the keen mind that I am--I realize she is as disturbed by the situation of the husband-quest as by the inconvenience of my gullet slime. One inquiry leads to another, and she confesses she wants a husband with a warrior's build and character. The girl has convinced herself that such a man would be focused on his muscles and bragging about his prowess instead of concentrating on what his wife is up to. Of course, being as I am an astute Dragon, sharp, perceptive, shrewd, I recognize her ploy. She wants a man who will ignore her unruly nature. I can sympathize, but, as I wisely point out, there are no warriors in the world of Isoladia. No need for such, not in a place of perpetual peace and calm. The great Veil that surrounds our land keeps us safe from war and hunger and all related unpleasantness.

Does she listen to Me? I suppose there is a first time for everything, but this isn't one of them. When I calmly and kindly suggest that she speak of her preferences to her Father, she has the audacity to demand that I do the one thing Dragons--and humans in Isoladia--are forbidden to do! Even with my claw-tips in my ear holes I can hear her demanding female voice: “I will have a warrior. You must carry me in search beyond the Veil!”

I can see the writing on the wall, the scroll, the tome page...there is trouble ahead.

Well, that is the beginning of the tale.