Friday, October 2, 2009

A Dragon's Take on Eating, Cotton Seeds, and Dr. Norman Borlaug

I love to eat. Snack. Nibble. Very well--gorge! What Dragon does not? With two gullets and a massive weight to support, we are required to partake/ consume/devour equally massive quantities of caloric rations, energy elevators, weight promoting particulates. Chow.

Fortunately, a Dragon's tastes are broad and varied--meat of any ilk will suffice. Cooked or uncooked. With or without bones, fur, hair, scales, horns, antlers, hooves, fins or whatever proteinaceous protrusion projects from the anatomy of one's dinner choice. It is good to be able to be cavalier about one's dining habits, to have the capacity for eating all that is available without the necessity of considering its nutritional value, health significance, or accessibility (in truth, with so much to select from, and because a Dragon has wings, accessibility to a meal is rarely a factor). Humans, however, have a more precarious/uncertain/insecure relationship with food.

I'm sad to say hunger/starvation/deprevation not only occur in some parts of the world, they are commonplace. Take a look at the list of some of the most famous famines in history. Famine...a deplorable situation a Dragon can only shake his head at and sorrow for. Such conditions result from so many causes. Weather is often the culprit. Soil scouring drought, or ground devouring flood--either can deplete resources. Insects, too, can be deadly. Voracious and overwhelming, a vertiable storm of gleaming little carapaces chewing, gnawing, and demolishing foodstuffs off the ground, the stalk, or out of the storage bin. Mice have this destructive capacity, as well. Explosive numbers of any creature, even humans, bode poorly for food stocks. Nature can only support so many mouths/ stomachs/gullets at a time! [Fortunately, Dragons reproduce slowly; we are few and far between.]

The worst perpetrators, in moi esteemed opinion, are war, hostitlies, confrontation between and among mankind. Humans have the most startling and deplorable capacity for violence upon their own. Dragons do not eat species of equitable intellect. There is something 'cannabalistic' about such an activity! Men, however, appear to have no such restraint. Some blame it on hormones (ah! blame nature for it, of course), others on lack of education (not applicable, I think, when many of the offenders have college degrees), while many fault culture, religion, greed, and/or simply plain evil. Causality aside, the end results are the same--famine, deprivation, death of the innocent.

Ahem. But my mind/brain/thought processes are not focused, in this moment, on the sad and mournful causes of hunger, but on prospects of confronting the foul condition via the grace of human minds bent on salvation rather than destruction. Many humans not only rise above the aggressive gene, they soar above it. Which only goes to prove one does not have to have wings to fly...

Recently, I read of the passing of a human who devoted his life to fighting world hunger (yes, Dragons read. Large books, or tiny books with very large print!) I tend to think this significant event has occurred beyond the scrutiny/ knowledge/awareness of most of the humanity this fine man served. This important human was Dr. Norman Borlaug, a professor of international agriculture at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. He was a Nobel Prize-winning scientist and father of the 'green revolution' who was credited with saving one billion lives from famine. One Billion! Why--I've not counted that many stars when night flying! In the 1940's, with a team of young scientists, he developed the disease-resistant/high yield/adaptable wheat that helped prevent starvation/ hunger/death in India and Pakistan in the mid-1960's. T'is it any wonder that in 2007 Dr. Borlaug received the Congressional Gold Metal, the highest civilian honor given by the United States Congress? Oh, this man had wings of caliber, the finely-feathered kind that swoop the body and soul above and beyond the common/ordinary/general lives to which most are relegated due to lesser vision. And, perhaps, lesser hearts.

Fear not, brave and capricious humans! The baton has not been dropped. Even now another professor from that same notable university is working to provide an abundant new protein source to our hungry world: cotton seeds!, Dr. Keerti Rathore has managed to construct/develop/generate a genetic sequence that blocks the toxic chemical that protects cotton from insects--and prevents humans from consuming them (the seeds, not the insects). Cotton seeds are a rich source of protein, and developing an edible variety will open the door to safely utilizing the more than 40 million tons of seeds produced annually. The planet can use such an influx of nutritional import. A tasty import at that; reportedly the seeds taste like chickpeas. a Dragon I've had little association with peas in general; however, s'not to say I could not be tempted to partake of such fare if properly prepared. Might go down well with a yummy bovine.

Dear writers of the rich and substantive word, human or otherwise, be willing to seek out new words, new meanings, fresh approaches to enrich your writing style. Every subject has the potential to be fruitful. Read beyond your comfort zone, be stirred by deeper thoughts, and extract bountiful aspects of your reading experience to salt your prose with realism and meaning. Keep Writing!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Listen and You Will Hear...Comments on Writing Sound

A Dragon hears everything. We have auditory organs of phenomenal/ wondrous/enviable capacity. A drop of water, a thunderous surf, a splattering of rain--s'all a roar in a Dragon's mighty eardrum. Resounding, echoing, a rich froth of air compressions drifting/wafting/racing from one point of the moment/the space/the spot within existence where it originated, to the receptacle of one's inner ear where it becomes a meaningful density/reality/truth to ye olde brain. Sound...touching without touching. The invisible expression of a happening.

Even so...not every Dragon listens to the world about him/her/it. Being able to hear--and hearing--are two different things. As a writing Dragon, it behooves me to overcome the distractions that draw my attention from hearing and settle down to listen to the world that I may write about the world. At least about its sounds. Sounds have been made visible in the written word. Actual sounds: ahh (a reaction to something cute), beep (an annoying horn sound), boo (a ghost speaks), burp (a good meal speaks), caw (crow lip), chirp (bird talk), clip (scissors at work), clomp (a walking horse), clunk (a dropped bucket), ding-dong (a doorbell, or an idiot...), eek (fright), fizz (Dr. Pepper speak), gong (a resounding bell tone), hiccup (too much to drink), hiss (snake speak), ick (something nasty), meow (cat talk), moo (cow compliant), oink (pig talk), plonk (something dropped? Splattered?), pop (a wine bottle opened), quack (a duck rather than a fake doctor), rat-a-tat (a...trumpet??), ring (a telephone---unless it spits out a song instead of a 'ring'), splat (a bug on a windshield), swoosh (me flying by very rapidly), tap (a cane on a sidewalk), tick (clock speak), toot (a horn or a fart), varoom (me flying by even more rapidly), whirr (hummingbird wings), whomp (an elephant stomp, or--in my books, this is the sound of my mighty wings flapping), woof (dog speak), yikes (fear comment), yip (tiny dog speak), zap (electric shock).

Those are our interpretations/explanations/elucidations of 'actual' sounds. Descriptions of sounds are fun as well: bawl (the act of sobbing), belch (the act of burping) get the picture; however, those are another discussion. Sounds, the making of and the hearing of in the written sense, can be quite nice beyond the mere clipped presentation of a single word. One doesn't want to overwelm with an aggressive adjective or an audacious adverb, but there's nothing wrong with a little activating nudge of word play to enhance a written sound. That enhancement can determine the very meaning/implication/connotation of an otherwise simplistic sound. Let us try a few...

A melodious ahh...a strangled ahh...a breathy ahh...a sharp ahh---each descriptive tag lends the 'ahh' a different emotional value. How about a bodacious boo...a piercing boo...a wailing boo...a muted boo. Or, a riotous burp...a cavernous endless burp...a growling burp...a gurgling burp...a bone-breaking burp---oh, those provide a plethora of images/visuals/mental illustrations of the belchee (or is it belcher?) in action! Now--a Dragon burp could well be called a volcanic burp.

A caw can be grating, spine crawling, hair raising, irritating... An unpleasant sound, a caw, so I personally would not assign it more kindly venue---however, perhaps someone else would not be uncomfortable with a soft caw, a quiet caw, an agreeable caw, or even an amusing caw.

The very mood of a sentence can be styled by the manner in which a sound is expressed. A chilling clomp, a frantic stomp, a heart jerking bang, a fragile fizz, a soothing effervesce, a hideous hiccup, a bowel clinching hiss, a mournful moo, a resounding splat, a grin making toot, a sizzling zap, a treeeeembling drip.

Oh, sound can be a veritable scene maker/image builder/mood elevator in one's story. Allow the reader to hear what the characters hear, to respond to what their surroundings and actions would generate in a real world of wafting air compressions. writing wizards, be you human or otherwise, do not overdo the making, the building, the elevating. There is seldom need for more than one enhancing 'tag' to enrich the written sound. Avoid the "huge noxious gaseous throat-rattling up-from-the-depths of the gut burp"...t'is a wee bit overdone and by the time the reader realizes one speaks of an esophageal feat, they've lost track of the tale's direction! [NOTE: If, however, this elongated burpal description is the writer's style or voice, if it falls within the overall format of the novel, t'is perfectly acceptable!]

Write on ye lovers of words and tales, stories and make-believe and what might have been, but wasn't. Pluck the wealth of the physical world out of reality and into your imagination, and sprinkle what you've plucked like petals over your pretend world. Listen, and you will hear...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fleeing the Furies of Debt Land

Ah, well, indeed it has been a long/lengthy/era of time flown by since last I placed pen in claw to dabble lines on this enormous web-wide page. What can I say--even Dragons have duties/ errands/obligations that call them to go awing into the world to settle all those odious but necessary activities that define us as members of a social order. Would that I could find my own Nirvana, a nest of rest, a cozy cave, a positive space in which to recline on my laurels and think of naught but...well, naught! But there is a 'real' world even for such as I, and no matter how hot the flame I spew or loud the roars I rage, I cannot escape it!

In this instance, I am woefully weighted by worries of debt, and am in the process of negotiating my treasure trove in exchange for continued existence. T'won't be at the same level of existence to which I am accustomed, but at least the furies will no longer be beating their scabby wings about my head and shoulders in constant pursuit of what little I possess. What a woeful time for all, when a Dragon has to pluck jewels and crystals, coins and currants and treasures of whatever ilk out of his lonely cave and toss them like meaty chunks into the maws of hungry creditors. Creditors, I do believe, have hollow legs, so fervently do they pursue the hides and scales and, indeed, even the bones (and the marrow therein!) of Dragons such as I. They must be fed if one is to retain their hide, or at least a semblance of the flesh that shapes them in this world. So I have been absent, dear fellow Dragons and writers of wondrous words, pacing and conniving and thinking and pondering the manner in which I must strip my cave of its comforts and pleasures in order to survive.

The deed is done, the effort drawn now into action, and if I can manage to stumble from one month into the next on the paltry sustenance left to me, I will turn my concentration back to the more pleasant activities that make the suffering worthwhile. Like writing, reading, expressing my Dragon self and wisdom as whim and will prevail. After all, I do not fly alone through the storm of deadly darts of debt that currently fill the flyways/byways/highways of our lives. Stay hearty and hopeful, my fellow travelers, writers, Dragon folk and others--one day we'll lounge about and tip a cup to past burdens and new freedoms. Believe me in this for a Dragon does not lie.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Blame Game...Even Dragons Do It!

Readers/friends/patrons of the written word, today I am overseeing a debate/discussion/ dialogue between two of my cohorts, the white Dragon Saavinstor from Cynmynmire, and the red Dragon, Braavistor of Tasymur. They are opponents in the campaign for the important position of Head Dragon of the Exalted Cave of Camaraderie in Isoladia. I've brought the two together to expound on/explain/regurgitate their viewpoints, qualifications and plans should they gain the position of Head Dragon.

[Me] "Welcome, Saavinstor and Braavistor to my humble interview cave. Settle your haunches/ rears/backsides where you will and we shall begin. I will start with Saavinstor who--"

[Braavistor] "What! Why would you start with him? I am just as important/significant/ essential a Dragon as he!"

[Me] "Indeed, you are both important personages, Braavistor, but to preclude/avoid/prevent just such a complaint, I decided to base the opening remarks on age. Saavinstor is, I believe, a few hundred years older than you?"

[Braavistor] "But that's age discrimination! Next thing you'll be saying he's better suited for the position because he's got those few extra hundred years sagging/drooping/slumping on his skeleton and wrinkling his brain."

[Saavinstor] "Sagging? Drooping? You rapacious pup! S'not a sag on my anatomy! I'm as firm as ever. The only wrinkles on my brain are excessive folds of gray matter that prove my intellectual fitness and superiority!"

[Braavistor] "My scales are harder, my claws sharper, and my arteries/veins/vessels still flow freely, which means my brain is far more active and viable."

[Me] "Perhaps if you would--"

[Saavinstor] "Are you suggesting a few years of seniority are indicative of clogged arteries? Slower thinking? Reduced cognitive ability? Now that is age discrimination. No older Dragon would ever vote for you."

[Braavistor] "I'm not speaking of all elderly--uh--ancient, uh, more senior Dragons, just you."

[Saavinstor] "To malign one, is to malign all. I shall report you to the Society of Wiser Dragons by Reason of Longer Experience, as well as to the Organization of Artery Clogged Dragons, to whom we should all be kind/compassionate/sympathetic!"

[Braavistor] "I am not unkind to the less arterially able! And I shall report you to the Department of Youth is Just as Capable for suggesting I am less capable/competent/ proficient for the mere sake that I've been breathing a few less years!"

[Me] "Well--now that that's settled...Saavinstor, please relate to us why you believe you are the best Dragon to take on the Head Dragon slot/spot/position."

[Saavinstor] "As you know, I have long advocated the necessity of camaraderie/friendship/companionship among our species. Our tendency toward territoriality does not compel--"

[Braavistor] "You have just insulted the Agency of Territorial Enthusiasts."

[Saavinstor] "I merely mentioned a Dragon behavioral pattern that is--"

[Braavistor] "And if one does not adhere to this 'behavioral pattern', are you suggesting they are not proper/complete/real Dragons?"

[Saavinstor] "I said no such thing! There are no set patterns/models/guides that specifically determine one's level of Dragonous!"

[Braavistor] "Then why did you bring it up?"

[Saavinstor] Growl!

[Me] "Perhaps you would allow Saavinstor to finish/complete/end a thought?"

[Braavistor] "Are you suggesting I'm rude?" Grrrrr

[Me] "I'm suggesting you allow us to get on with it! Unless you prefer to remain/stay/linger here all day?"

[Braavistor] "S'not that comfortable a cave. Go on white Dragon, finish whatever is brewing/stewing/sloshing about in that excessive gray matter."

[Saavinstor] "Bah! How can one think in such a malevolent atmosphere?"

[Me] "Actually, I take offense at Braavistor's statement/comment/derogatory remark, as well as yours, Saavinstor. I believe this cave has a very convivial atmosphere. Seems perfectly comfortable to me."

[Saavintor] "My reference is to the unpleasant mien/countenance/attitude of my opponent! What can one expect of a red Dragon?"

[Braavistor] "He's slandering my color! This is unthinkable--you biased buffoon!"

[Saavinstor] "All buffons will object to that! Red is as red does! Always an ill temper and a short fuse!"

[Braavistor] "Ha! I caught you at it. Decimating the character of some decent stick of dynamite/explosive/detonating device. Growl--you are unacceptable as an opponent, you sanctimonious wicked white !"

[Saavinstor] Roar! "You screaming scarlet malicious maniac!"

[Me] "Sorry, apologies, regrets fellow readers and worshippers of the written word. The discussion on Dragon Camaraderie is temporarily postponed..."

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Fruits of the Labor...or...Eating the Words.

Dragons do not eat words/written expressions/ visual statements. No substance to them, you know. At least not in the caloric/energy/joules sense. Oh, they are a 'meaty' matter, but not in the manner of beef, fowl, or fish. Nay. Rather we Dragons generate words. Our phenomenal minds create clever contextual concepts. Engender energetic expressions. Spawn spectacular seeds of stimulating speech. Ah, well, you get the gist.

Words come naturally, nowadays, to us Isoladian Dragons. I have no idea how the beasts derived in other lands/worlds/places of authorial imagination communicate. For most of them I anticipate growls, grunts and roars are most often the vocabulary of the day. One cannot visualize much conversation, let alone accomplishment, from that. But to each his/her/its own.

'Tis any wonder I prefer Dragons with a flare for vocabulary? Lexicon? A glorious glossary of gab?

Such as that young Dragon who wings through Naomi Novik's books, Temeraire. Her historical fantasies are incredible. Or the old codger of cinematic fame, who managed to talk his way onto the big screen/monitor/display in Dragonheart. Even better--Jo Walton's Dragons in Tooth and Claw are chatty, intellectual, perfectly worthy beings who thrive in a world not unlike that in which humans dwell. Now there are Dragons worth their salt (not to be sprinkled on their words, which, of course, we have already determined are not eaten).

Ah, so...why do I discourse on wordy Dragons? Because I must point out that we Dragons are late arrivals to the marvels of language. Dialogue. Conversation. We speak, and subsequently write, because we remain enthralled by not only the process, but the wonder of the capacity/ability/ aptitude of the deed! The novelty has not yet worn off. Humans attained the skill so long ago, they no longer truly appreciate the miracle of it. Oral communication is a phenomenon in itself (at least it is for us; how would you like to manage verbalization's via a hard length of jaw over a forked tongue and eventually through fangs?) I for one doubt you could manage it. We Dragons do because we've no option, and we possess stubbornness/ persistence/tenacity without equal. And--we love the endeavor, the mental connection, the ready, heady interplay of knowledge.

The written word, however, is even more splendid. The rendering of brainwaves in visual form upon parchment/papyrus/dinner napkins. The embodiment of thought in a physical shape. Vigorous verbs. Artful adjectives. Noble nouns. Squiggles that, when appropriately arranged, expose the wisdom of the ages. The exultation's. Every soulful sentiment slipping out. The prettiness...and the pettiness.

I ask in all curiosity: do you write because you love words, or love words because you write? You have probably not given it due thought, any more than the chicken when asked to determine whether or not it preceded its egg/shell/ fertilized embryo! Perhaps because I am a Dragon I view the question from a more simplistic perspective than you more complex humans. For us it is the former rather than the latter. And the latter is not without worth because exercising your ability with words builds appreciation of those building blocks. Those structuring stones. Those edifying bricks of ideas. Oh, as a poetic Dragon would say: good, better, best, never let it rest, until the good is better, and the better best. Even a youngling human understands this!

The written word is not only the building block of ideas, but of civilizations. Those who love words, write. Those who write, love words--or will learn to. Ergo--if you love to write, then teach/impart/ gift those who lack the skill so that they, too, may taste/savor/relish the fruits of the laboring pen/quill/keyboard.

I speak of fruit metaphorically, of course. Remember--we do not eat the words! If you swallow them, spit them out. If you spit them out, then spread them about. Water with feelings. Fertilize with enthusiasm. Watch your garden grow: sentence, by paragraph, by page. Articles. Novels. Laws. Edicts. Libraries. Universities. Cities. The world.

Ah! The very thought makes my gullets growl! Or is that my brain, formulating scrumptious, succulent, yummy words?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Writing the Molecules--The Joy is in the Details

This morning I shall discourse about Writing the Molecules...those tiny aspects of our perceptions that flesh the bones of the written word. First, I shall explain why these nuances/gradations of physical awareness are so important to a Dragon. Ah, I mean a writing Dragon.

As a Dragon I have remarkable, extraordinary, notable senses. No eyesight is keener. I can detect a gnat fluttering/flickering/flitting 'mid blossoms and bumblebees a mile away. Indeed. Five thousand two hundred and eighty feet. Twice one thousand three hundred and twenty feet. Ha! Did I say keen? A telescope cannot match me for optical acuity. 'Nough said.

My auditory organs are without peer. I am an acoustical wizard. I not only see the gnat, I hear it release the end result of its digestive process. Intestinal gases. Fart. And a tiny toot it is, little more than a minuscule gut groan. A sigh. A whimper. Yet my ears absorb the passing molecular tremble as if it were the great rage of St. Helens coughing pyroclastic chunks like hairballs. I hear everything. Dew dripping resounds like continental rifting in my notable ears. 'Nough said.

And my nostrils--! Have ever a more admirable set of olfactory sensors deigned to exist? Not merely large, as befits a beast of my size and mass, but responsively receptive. Scent sympathetic. Sinus scrupulous. In less delicate terms--merely for the sake of clarification, you understand--I smell that tiny toot. 'Nough said.

Not to mention, sense of touch. Tactile perception. You thought I had no keen sense of touch because my body is armor plated, my toe-tips clawed? Short of stripping off my scales, I do have my accessible spots, dear friends.

This confession is not to be shared with Gryphons or their detestable ilk! Thankfully, Gryphons cannot read. They've the brain-capacity of a kumquat, but you must not tell the stinkers. They've good memories, for all that a walnut would fill what passes for a cranial cavity. that you have promised no loose lips, I will share this truth--there are four spots on my anatomy that are very sensitive to contact: my muzzle, that velvety area of prehensile upper lip and the soft spot between my nostrils; the tip of my tail; my forefoot pads (same as your palms), and my leg pits. You would call them arm pits, but even though I use my front legs with much the flexibility of the human arm, biologically speaking they must be referred to as 'legs'. Ergo--leg pits. Front and back. Because this is--more or less--a 'family friendly' site, I exclude discussion of my--ahem--reproductive region. The details of that section remain under the sole proprietorship of my mate, Riastor.

However, back to tactile perception--did that gnat sit upon my muzzle, I could feel its gas pass. Assess its tiny legs tracking over my skin. My upper lip, foot-pads, and tail tip can detect soft, rough, smooth, irregular--well, you name it, I can feel it, with no less keenness than your own human fingertips.

Why do I list my sensory capabilities, you may ask? To point out that as a Writing Dragon, I have the same aptitude (superior, actually) as a human does to absorb/suck up/take in my surroundings. Therefore, I am well able to decipher the world with my body parts and describe/discuss/expound on it with gleeful intensity. I love what I see, hear, smell, and touch. So should the characters of whatever tale/story/yarn I pen. (Oh, very well. Excuse me! What my scribe pens for my clumsy claws.) In any case, All writers, I believe, should love these aspects of their characters. After all, are their characters not intended to be alive. Breathing, existing in the magical but viable realm of the imagination? Doesn't a reader (you may correct me here if I am wrong...but a Dragon seldom is) want to read the reality? The reactive senses of the character moving through his/her/its story?

The details, my fellow writers--and readers who enjoy what we produce--I reiterate, are the fleshy draping upon the bones of the work. Would you have your character(s) perceived as mere skeletons stiffly sauntering about his/her/its world? Nay. Naynaynay! Mobilization requires muscles (I mention this my first book, The Dragons' Veil). Muscles would wither without flesh to encase and succor them. And flesh reflects the world--is it not the aspect of the body most in contact with the world?

You see the wisdom? Insight? Acumen? If you would enrich your words, my fellow writers, and in turn enrich your imaginary worlds, then utilize every facet of the real world in which you dwell. Sight, sound, smell, touch--the north, east, south, and west of the compass of by which you guide yourself through whatever tale you are inspired to pen/type/dictate.

Drat! Speak of the devil/imp/mischievous sprite! What is that gnat doing on my muzzle? Off, annoying speck of insectal indolence, and take your tiny tootings with you.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Dragon's Take On Romance...and Valentine goodies

Indeed, Dragon's do celebrate the spirit/essence/soul of romance. Ha! You believed that such as I did not have the capacity, experience, savoir faire for that enterprise? Of course, it depends on one's perspective of the word itself. Have you humans recently reviewed the definition, description, most specific meaning of that tasty expression?

What is romance, one might ask? As a noun, it does, indeed, pertain to a "love affair" or "physical love idealized"--which means to place the object of said affection on a pedestal. Fascination with something, especially of an uncritical or inexplicable kind (one finds no or little fault with said object). View the object of your heart's attention through rose colored glasses. [Just an aside here--I do not wear glasses of any ilk, no matter the color. For one, my visual acuity is without peer, I don't need artificial aid. Help. Assistance. More important, glasses, as they currently exist, would not fit over my eye sockets even were they constructed to specification for my size. Ergo, I never view any other being, Dragon or otherwise, through rose, red, or pink colored glasses.] That said, some of the additional definitions provided in the mighty, muscle flexing icon of word connotations, ye olde dictionary, are "a spirit or feeling of adventure", "excitement", "the potential for heroic achievement", "the exotic".

A bit skewed , unsymmetrical, off the general concept of romance, although I suppose it is possible one may find adventure and excitement in the prospect of a romantic rendezvous. That, in moi opinion, relates more to the physical aspect of the subject. In any case, the definitions that I find most intriguing, pleasing, applicable to such as myself are: a story of love (novel, movie, play), love stories as a genre, a medieval adventure story, a fictional narrative dealing with exciting and extravagant adventures, an extravagant or absurd fictitious account of something, a short lyrical piece. Finally/at last/to conclude with definitions, as a verb romance means: to tell adventurous stories, tell love stories, and think romantically, treat someone romantically, have an affair with somebody. Oh, the excitement of all those "story" references. Romance, it appears, belongs to the world of the writer, purveyor of words, essayist of thought. The author.

Do you see the truth of it? Romance in its purest form is defined as a story, account, fiction, anecdote, legend saga, fable, yarn, parable, narrative! Oh, yes--relation was in there somewhere, but you get the gist/substance/idea. Romance fits most comfortably into a writer's realm. Therefore, it is appropriate, right, correct that all the goodies inherent to the Valentine celebration should be directed/channeled to writers. Such as I!

As a male, I will admit to having little interest in a tiny bouquet of flowers--in any case, I have entire fields of wild flowers at my disposal when I choose to fly into the wilds. Cards, however, are acceptable. Satisfactory. Suitable. Very large cards, of course; I cannot read the really tiny ones! And chocolate. Do not forget/forgo/overlook the chocolate.

Chocooooolaaate. Food of gods and Dragons. Cacao seeds. Smooth, melting candy. Brown ambrosia. Taste bud teasers. Tongue sin. Great globs of the sweetness in kegs, barrels, drums. Don't worry, I'll share the abundance with my scribe. The thoughts may be mine, but she does take care of the mechanics.

Do you see how simple it is? if you would take romance to its appropriate conclusion, to the heart of the matter, the source of the issue, you would/should/MUST take it to the story tellers. The big ones. With scales.

I'll be waiting in my cave.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Keep the Shine...

Perhaps not everyone knows this...but a Dragon Shines. It's the scales, you see. Bio-armor. Bony plates. Or--my personal favorite--horny overlaps. Where is your mind? Umph. Humans. I speak zoologically, of course! Horny, as in a "sheath of protein encasing bone". A lovely hide, coat, cover of protein, hard as diamonds, smooth as ice, warm or cold depending on surrounding temperatures. Therein lies the Shine.

Ha! What that proteinaceous carapace does to light--! Why, it takes my Dragon breath away. Our sturdy but flexible exterior breaks light down. Splits the rays, if you will, parts the beams, reflects and skitters the particles over the surface, scatters them like sun on dancing water. S'not that we glow like a bulb, flicker like a torch, flare like a comet searing the night sky. Since it's derived, generated, spawned by an external source over which we have no control (although, indeed, some Dragons think the sun and moon rise and set on them! Not moi, of course) the intensity varies, colors fluctuate. To look upon a Dragon, be it in strong or wan light, is to look upon a rainbow in motion. A multihued activity. A continuum of luminosity! No, Dragons aren't multi-colored, but when light scampers about your form/shape/anatomy, a single color takes on many tints/tones/hues. A glorious profusion. Why, we're as lovely as oil afloat on a puddle!

Dragon Shine, to put it succinctly, is without equal.

S'not to say that humans don't Shine. Take heart, my human friends (and it is all about that chaotic organ, you know), you do, indeed, have Shine. However, you tend to be less overt, explicit, blatant than Dragonkind. Even though we Dragons carry fire inside, it is humans who can claim mastery of the internal glow. 'Tis an entirely different kind of heat, you see. Ours derives from internal combustion, gaseous ignition, an incendiary explosion out of gullet and throat and jaws...your heat, however...well, it is less spectacular in display. But display it does. I have personally been exposed to this demonstration of inner human heat, fire...heart.

The human male (sometimes it is a female; let us not slight by gender), devoid of any hint of armor such as I bear, has been known to dash, hasten, scurry into the very jaws of ruinous flame (not, I must emphasize, a Dragon's flame) to save a friend, a child. A stranger. A noble action, dear humans. Gracious. Decent. Humans have been known to fling themselves into icy/freezing/brrrrrr water to the same purpose. And don't forget the warriors who thrust themselves between the sword/bullet/explosive and their fellow warriors to keep their companions alive. A Dragon can only shake his great head and marvel. After all, what other creature do you know who would do the same? Oh. Well, yes, on occasion dogs are known to do these things, but they, too, are generous creatures. And, yes, Dragons do these things, as well, but since there is no true danger (fire can't harm us and haven't I already discoursed on how well a well fed Dragon floats?) in all modesty I cannot label such actions as nobility on our part. But to put yourself in danger, to flaunt death or injury, for your fellow man--ah. That my human friends is Shine.

It manifests in other, less obvious/observable/apparent ways. Sacrifice can be and is expressed in many forms. A father working three jobs to feed his family. S'not like he can run out and snatch a bovine (cow) for dinner. Humans have such restrictive rules/laws/requirements even for so simple an act as garnering food. A mother going hungry so there is enough on the table for her children. But then a mother's love is sacrosanct. Or it should be. A human who offers to share their home with a friend who has lost all; or, more telling, the one who opens their home to a stranger who has lost all. I'll admit, this one would give a Dragon pause...we are territorial beasts, after all.

Even such small an action as giving books to poor schools, clothes to the needy, meals to the elderly, aid to the depressed, a hand to the fallen--in a Dragon's eyes, these, too, are noble acts.

Humans alone (all right, not all humans, but most, one likes to think/hope/believe) have this capacity to stretch their soul. Essence. Spirit. Makes for pretty tight skin in some cases, but never so tight that they would shed their skin as does a snake. Human skin simply stretches to accommodate/provide/make room for that inner bloat of character. That Shine.

Oh, the veritable beauty of it! A living flame/spark/ember within as hot as any Dragon's heated effusion.

Do you know what I love about humans? They Shine the most when times are tough/difficult/ hard. Such as now. Indeed--lift your head, gaze/look/stare about. The glare is almost too much even for a Dragon's eyes. Everywhere--glimmer and glint, glitter and gleam and glisten. Flash and flicker! Sparkle and spark. Shine. Is it a herd/band/pod of Dragons on wing? Not at all. It is the humans all about you.

Adversity? Misfortune? Hard times? Ho--Dragons and humans alike, we spit upon all harsh aspects of foul fate. Heads high, we fly (or walk, whichever one's anatomy allows) through the clouds and on. We survive.

After all, do we not Shine?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Oh Joy! The documentation/record/script extraordinaire is Published. Very well, call it a Book.

There are so few things for a Dragon to accomplish these days. S'not as if one can traipse about in daylight and tackle affairs as they did in the olden days when humans believed in Dragons and didn't get so upset seeing one on their doorstep. Or on their roof. Or sipping from their well. Everything must be done covertly/secretively/under cover of darkness nowadays, else every gun toting, pitchfork wielding, crowbar swinging brawny human is shooting, prodding, smashing your body parts. They've no respect for size or fangs at all! Note I mention only the brawny ones; the thinkers are less physically negative toward those of us who are different from them in bulk/shape/form. So I try to do less physical interaction, myself, and limit my efforts/endeavors/activities to more brain centered tasks. Such as writing. But one never knows if their efforts will be rewarded, acknowledged, credited. Even viewed. Oh, the pain of obscurity. The depression of being unappreciated. The dismay of wasting words on the emptiness of an unread page!

But--thank the beings of ethereal spaces. Writers Exchange E-Publishing has come to my rescue, feathered my wings and my pen (well, the pen my scribe wields). The tales of my deeds in the world of Isoladia have at last found their way onto the worldwide screen of the Internet. And the small mobile devices, electronic gadgets, all those fascinating doodads that seem stuck to human fingers these days. Bliss. Ecstasy. I can only get those entrenched in electronics to actually download, obtain, gather the words onto a suitable screen and READ!

I'll not give up hope. The words will continue to tumble out, flee the forked tongue, trip tunefully from my brilliant Dragon brain. The Writing Dragon, having writ, writes more...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Fat Assed Dragon - or why I'll never get a butt tuck

Tonight we will discourse on weight. Mass. A load on the rear. Very well, fat asses, if you will. I come before you as an advocate of staunch sterns, beefy buttocks. Rousing rumps.

Were one to approach this subject in an erudite manner, they would point out that statistics indicate today's average/normal/typical Dragon is a good ton--2,000 pounds, to be exact...more or less--heavier than his predecessor. Of course, when you live as long as we do--ho, a few centuries are mere child's play!--you wing your way through so many socio-economic-cultural changes that an alteration in size/mass/bulk is to be expected. I mean, does it not make sense that when civilization improves and food sources increase both in size and quantity, that one's appetite grows in direct proportion? Appetite is natural, wholesome, hearty. Absolutely, positively there is Nothing wrong with a good appetite. Not that there aren't lean times. I've seen my share of skin and bones living, Dragons grown so emaciated they are little more than a shiny skein of scales draping a skeleton! Pathetic. Sad. Wretched to behold. It happens when resources are depleted. In simplistic, basic, unsophisticated terms, skinny deer equate to skinny Dragons. Few deer equate to very skinny Dragons. No deer--its too horrific to express in a public communication. The same can be said were I to speak of cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, birds, and even fish, small though they are.

The point to which I come is this: fat is strength. Gaunt is difficult to look upon! Ergo, a fat-assed Dragon is good. A healthy rear, tush, derriere gives one's tail power, suppleness, vitality. A gathering of adipose globs upon the haunches provides an excellent cushion upon which to settle when one lands, to comfortably ensconce one's rear when sitting on sharp cave rocks. And swimming! Fat floats, my dears. Water loves cushy fat. Ever hear of a Dragon drowning? Impossible. Unfeasible. Brawny buttocks bunch and bounce across the waves, skim like silk through surf, drift like flotsam over wild white water. Substance, solidity, immensity--the joy of heft is without equal. Why, then, one must inquire, would any Dragon select, choose, prefer to be narrow of girth, scrawny of leg, bony of butt?

There you have it. The anathema to this theme is the dreaded, dreary, dismal diet. The abominable cut down. Fast. Starve! The state of mind that denies the necessity of food. Fare. Groceries. Chow. As if by not eating, one believes they don't want to eat. Detox. Purge. Cleanse. Flush. Eliminate. Scour the innards of every minuscule spec of cellular stoutness.

Resist, my fellow Dragons. If you would have the strength, the essence, the vigor to fly amid the stars and flirt with frigid peaks, eat. Gorge. Stuff every gullet, bowel, nook and cranny with the glorious profusion of edibles laid before you. Salute, I say, the tremendous tush!

Sigh. I'm hungry. Anyone have a plump bovine on them
? Or a doughnut?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Dragons' New Year Resolutions

Oh, yes, Dragons do make resolutions. Oaths. Promises, declarations, decrees of change, intent, aims, goals. Objectives. I've made over a thousand of them, myself, one for every year in which I have trod upon or flown over this good earth. Well, I probably missed a few, one or two, when I was a dragonette--I wasn't as focused in my early days. But eventually I did start making resolutions and, indeed, I have even kept a few of them. After the Great London Fire in 1666, I promised that I would never--ever--ad infinitude--sneak chocolate cake from a bakery again. Or, at least that I wouldn't melt a door to get into the establishment. A bit of an error that night, I'll admit. But I made a promise and I haven't done that again. Occasionally I slip up, err, fail to achieve a goal--after all, I am only a Dragon. Now, I wasn't around for the destruction of Pompeii in A.D. 79, but knowing of that misadventure by a relative, I vowed to avoid sleeping in volcano caldera's or in deeper chambers where an unexpected sneeze could cause a bit of a disruption. A basic blowout. Well, alright--one big eruption. Vesuvius was, in truth, an accident. I swear I was Not sleeping in the underlying chambers of Krakatau when that one blew! Wasn't sleeping at all...just tasting a little of the lava and my tail hit something it shouldn't. Things shifted. Whoa--I've never achieved such a high flight so fast in all my thousand years! I do not, however, claim fault for the temperature changes that followed that one...

It is not easy being large/huge/an intimidating bulk, or having to control a length of tail and rather awkward wings at the same time. Humans have no idea. I'm much better at it than in my youth, but others of my breed will never achieve the finesse/refinement/expertise of body control that I have. Many of the world's disasters have been cause by them, not yours truly.

In any case, back to resolutions. This year my goal is to achieve a bit of notoriety for myself. I've remained hidden/low on the horizon/out of the line of sight for most of my life--but this book thing, being the hero of several novels; well, s'not as if I can keep my mighty self unknown now. Once humans read of my exploits/achievements/capabilities, once the awe has settled, curiosity will follow. Humble though I am, I cannot in good conscience keep my jaws clamped. I have much to say and share, and therefore have vowed that my efforts will be toward expanding my influence, words, thoughts, wisdom into the world via this marvelous little dragonette called the Internet. What, you didn't know this whole business is born of Dragon magic? Haven't you noted the wings and tail and claws inherent to this swift flying screen that flashes faster than an exhalation before your eyes? Ha. It is a Dragon invention, born of Dragon fire and bone and heart...ergo it is, in truth, a dragonette. Can't imagine how big or strong it will be when fully grown. Oh, but I feel the pride of a father even though I'm not certain if it sprang from one of my escapades or not. No matter. It takes a village to raise a proper Dragon, and I shall have my part in it. help me fulfill my goal, you must read the written word upon these pages. Scroll down for what has been said, and tune in for what will be said. I will be so bereft if my efforts come to naught. I will shortly begin posting more of the books in which I play so pivotal a part. The story, after all, must go on.