Yes, I’m done with all those silly jokes about dragons flying over mountains! Today I’m following up on a previous blog subject, the spacecraft dubbed Dragon. The Dragon program was much celebrated in 2012 when it successfully carried its load of cargo to the International Space Station and returned to Earth with another load. Previous to that time, only governments had been able to boast of this accomplishment.

Time has marched on, and the Dragon fleet has faithfully carried out their role as reusable spacecraft. But SpaceX continues pushing the bounds of this equipment’s capabilities. One of their main goals is to make all parts of the spacecraft reusable. Previously, items such as rockets and fuel stages were used only once and either left in orbit or intended to destroy themselves in Earth’s atmosphere.

Through the first part of 2015, SpaceX has carried out several experiments with methods to reclaim their equipment after launch. A typical mission splashes down at sea and then ships have to retrieve it. SpaceX has been trying to get their rockets to return to a pre-determined location — an unmanned barge. The first attempt, in January, came very close but resulted in a spectacular crash and explosion. A couple of efforts since have also failed. Locating the barge seems to be easy enough. Sticking the landing is something else.

What makes this process remarkable is how the effort continues even in the face of failure. Like a true dragon, SpaceX has a goal and won’t let go of it. In time, I know they’ll succeed.

Hey, wait — I’ve got one more!

Q: Why did Dragon fly over the mountain?

A: To get to the International Space Station, of course.

Just For Fun 30

Last one — I promise.

Q: Why did the dragon fly over the mountain?

A: She wanted a peak experience.

Just for Fun 29

Q: Why did the dragon fly over the mountain?

A: Wanderlust.

Just For Fun 28

Q: Why did the dragon fly over the mountain?

A: To see what he could see.

Q: What did the dragon see?

A: The other side of the mountain. (Duh)

Just For Fun 27

Q: Why did the dragon fly over the mountain?

A: It would take too long to dig under the mountain.

I mentioned last month that a story of mine will be in Sky Warrior’s anthology, The Dragon’s Hoard. What I didn’t say then (because contracts hadn’t been signed) is that I’m also going to edit an anthology for them! This will be my first anthology ever, and I’m excited about learning a new side of the industry.

The tentative title is Wee Folk and Wise, and it’s about fairies. As the guidelines say, “Fairies. Big fairies and little fairies. Ugly fairies and pretty fairies. Wise fairies and silly fairies. Sweet fairies and scary fairies. Tell us your story about fairies, 2000-6500 words.”

I know several writers follow my blog, so if you’re interested in submitting or just following the process, we have a Facebook group, Wee Folk Anthology. Ask, and ye shall be added to the group.

On a related note, I’m figuring out how to publish a short story on Twitter as my spring break project. Any advice on apps to use in scheduling the tweets? I’d love to hear from you. Or if you want to get the story, follow me @DebyFredericks.

Years ago, when George R. R. Martin was a respected writer but not yet world famous, he penned a short story called “The Ice Dragon” for an anthology edited by Orson Scott Card. Dragons of Light was published in 1980 by Ace Science Fiction. Later, as Martin’s reputation grew, the short story was published as a YA fantasy. It’s now been re-released in a new edition from Tor Teen, with lavish illustration by Luis Royo.

The tale involves a young girl named Adara who is a “winter child” with immunity to cold and sensitivity to heat. She shares a close bond with the title creature, an ice dragon, who she loves as much as her neighbors fear it. There are family complications with her uncle, who is a dragon rider fighting in a war. Adara is still a young girl when the battle lines reach her home.

The story is a bit slight — it was a short story first, after all — but the writing is masterful and the illustrations are lovely. The whole certainly has the grand ring of classic fantasy. Allegedly this story takes place in Westeros, the setting of Martin’s magnum opus, A Song of Ice and Fire, although there’s little to directly connect it. The tone is gentler here, as well. Personally, I enjoyed that, though fans of said opus may be a bit disappointed.

In my judgment, because of the lighter touch, this work actually is more suited to middle graders than teens. But if parents were wanting to introduce kids to Martin’s body of work, this is the perfect entry point.


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