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Archive for December, 2014

My final post of 2014 will be a recap of my stories and works in progress, because everyone knows New Years Eve is all about recaps. Or was it kneecaps?

Anyway!

For me, this was one of those years when a bunch of stuff I had written over a long period of time all found homes at once. They are starting to come out through the end of 2014 and into 2015. First up is The Complete Guide to Writing for Young Adults (Vol. 1), from Dragon Moon Press. I wrote a chapter, not the whole thing! Gabrielle Harbowy, the editor here, was also the editor for my 2012 novel, The Necromancer’s Bones.

I mentioned in my last post that I started Wyrmflight to support my middle grade fantasy, Masters of Air & Fire. And I’ve been crowing that finally the novel will be published by Sky Warrior Books. Joyce Reynolds Ward edited. The expected release date is February 1, 2015. No purchase links yet — stay tuned.

I’ve completed edits with David Lee Summers on a gothic werewolf fantasy, The Grimhold Wolf. No release date yet. I’m also in early discussions about editing an anthology for Sky Warrior in 2015 or 2016. And once I clear my head from Silver Marsh (see below), I’ll begin work on a sequel to The Seven Exalted Orders.

The last half of 2014 has been devoted to finishing Silver Marsh, another YA fantasy. During this time I’ve also been inspired (sometimes by comments on Wyrmflight) to produce a pair of short stories featuring our favorite creatures. “On Dragonwings” is about a young man who gains enough courage to forge a path despite his parents’ objections. “The Dragon’s Ghost” is about a dwarf woman whose average-sized husband is abducted by evil dwarves and she sets out to rescue him (with a bit of help from the being in the title). These short stories are out on submission, along with a few others of mine.

Plus, there’s a new story I’ve just started working on. Literally, yesterday, I started working on it. It doesn’t even have a title yet, but the POV character is a dragon. What can I say? They’re my obsession.

The last thing coming up in early 2015 is RadCon, a science fiction convention that I’ve been attending for years in Pasco, WA. The author guest of honor is Jim C. Hines, and I’m looking forward to sitting on panels with him. I know most of you who follow Wyrmflight aren’t in the region, but someday I hope to meet you, too.

Finally, a big cheer to all of you who consistently comment and mention me in your blogs. David Summers, Nila White, Nicola Alter, Shannon Thompson, Laura Palmer, Jennifer Eaton and M. Q. Allen. You guys are the best. Happy 2015, everybody!

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Yes, it is Wyrmflight’s anniversary. I started this blog on December 27, 2011. My intention was to build on and support a podcast I was doing called Masters of Air & Fire. This is a middle grade fantasy novel I had written and marketed, but couldn’t find a home for. But since I find it obnoxious when authors talk about nothing but themselves, I decided Wyrmflight should include all facets of dragons in myth, modern storytelling, and even a few in real life. Sometimes I get very in-depth and philosophical. Other times it’s short and silly.

Now three years have gone by. I’m always afraid that I’ll run out of dragons to talk about, but so far so good. I’m certainly not the only one who likes dragons. I keep finding them on display in public places or used as the name of some interesting creature or product. Although my goal was to connect with kids who might enjoy Masters of Air & Fire, my core readership has become adult fantasy readers and writers. Some of you have become good friends and we all cheer each other on.

I know some writers find blogging to be a burden after a while. It takes too much time from actual writing, or they don’t achieve what they had hoped for. For me, Wyrmflight has been so great and rewarding that I could never dream of giving it up. This is my thanks to all of you who fly with me on the wings of dragons.

My next post will be on New Year’s Eve. I’ll review what I wrote this year, and what publications are due out soon. (Including Masters of Air & Fire, at long last!) For now, I’ll leave you with a reprise of my very first post from 2011.

WHY THE DRAGON?

Why am I writing a blog about dragons? Because they’re so cool, of course.

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved stories with dragons in them. They’re so big and tough. They can breathe fire. They can fly! (Didn’t you always want to fly?)

Okay, I was never so into the maiden-eating thing, being a maiden myself. Putting that aside… what’s not to like?

All over the world, people have legends about dragons. Some are fearsome monsters. Some are wise nature spirits. Some can change their form and walk among humans. Some have an intimate bond with riders, sharing all their joys and fears, defending the people they love.

Dragons are beautiful and terrible. They touch something deep inside me. That’s why I can’t stop reading about them. Now that I’m a writer, those dragons keep finding their way into my stories, too.

Now I would like to hear from you readers, especially from kids. What do you love about dragons, and what makes you keep reading about them?

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This dragon hangs on the wall at Indian Trail Elementary School. It’s guarding a “hoard” of children’s book reports. It is about 8 feet from top to tail and laminated, hence the reflection on its left wing. A bit goofy, but one of the more colorful dragons I’ve ever seen.

ITDragon

Also, I’m excited that Wyrmflight has been quoted by Nicola Alter on her blog, Thoughts On Fantasy. The same post has a link to a fun blog with famous dragon sizes compared to a human silhouette. Thanks for the nod, Nicola!

2014 is nearly over, so here’s a cheerful dragon roar to all of you friends who read and follow Wyrmflight. I wish you joy as you celebrate the holidays of your choosing.

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Reasons that dragons don’t like Christmas.:

#1 – They don’t believe any deity is more powerful than they are.

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Reasons that dragons don’t celebrate Christmas.
#2 – Dragons don’t like snowy weather and prefer to stay in a warm lair.

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I will be out Christmas shopping, like all patriotic Americans, but here’s a giggle for you.

Reasons that dragons don’t celebrate Christmas:
#3 – They don’t understand the part about giving things to others.

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My final post in this thread concerns the most important mo’o of all. More revered than Mo’o Inanea, founder of the dragon clan. More famous than the adventuring heroine, Hi’iaka. This is Kihawahine.

Unlike the average mo’o, Kihawahine did not keep watch over just one fishing pond. Her reputed domiciles include sites on Hawai’i, Moloka’i, Kauai’i, and three locations on the island of Mau’i. Although Kihawahine’s influence extended throughout the islands, her principal residence was at Moku’ula, in the Lahaina region. This was the home of Mau’i’s royal family and the spiritual heart of ancient Hawai’i.

As I mentioned in Part 1 of this thread, native Hawai’ians believed that a person of great enough wisdom could be elevated into a mo’o by sacred rituals after death. Kihawahine was one of these. Princess Kala’aiheana had been born into the Mau’i royal family during the 1500s. She must have been a remarkable person to be so widely respected that several islands wanted to claim an attachment to her.  As Kihawahine, she watched over the Pi’ilani royal line for generations. Even into the early 1800s, King Kamehameha I conquered all the islands in the name of Kihawahine. He later married another princess of the Pi’ilani line, to complete his connection with this powerful mo’o.

Kamehameha I achieved his victories in part to due alliances with Western traders and colonists, who provided guns and training to use them. Alas, the native Hawai’ian traditions began to erode after Kamehameha I’s death in 1819. As Western influences took over, the past was forgotten. The royal complex at Moku’ula eventually was buried, including Kihawahine’s fishing pond.

This would seem like a sad ending, but Hawai’ian native traditions were never destroyed as thoroughly as those of Native American tribes elsewhere. Through the 20th Century and into the 21st, activists have worked to locate and restore heritage sites across the islands. One of these is Moku’ula, where archaeology shows that the historic structures are intact under the ground. With luck, and a lot of fund-raising, descendants of the native peoples may once again honor Kihawahine in her pond at Moku’ula.

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