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Posts Tagged ‘dragon jokes’

Let’s talk about one of my pet peeves. It’s the irritating misuse of two hapless words — hoard and horde. People seem to regularly confuse them. This is an important issue when talking about dragons, as I often do.

Horde and hoard are homophones. They are pronounced the same way, but are spelled differently and have separate meanings. Now, pay attention…

A hoard is a collection, usually of valuable objects which are hidden away and closely guarded. Although there are individuals with a psychological compulsion to hoard other things, such as cats, the most common meaning for hoard is treasure.

As we all know, dragons keep hoards of treasure.

A horde is a large group of people, with a somewhat negative connotation. A horde can be an army, such as the infamous Mongol Horde. Perhaps a horde of fans might want autographs from a movie star. Pests like locusts and rats can form hordes.

Dragons do not keep hordes. In fact, a horde would be likely to mess with their hoard. Not good.

So, friends, please remember. Hoard = treasure. Horde = army. In the name of all dragons, get it right!

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It’s been a while since I revisited this topic, but I couldn’t resist. Here’s a link to photos of a bizarre new dragon statue in London. Click the link — you won’t believe your eyes.

“She Guardian” is an 11-meter tall bronze (that’s 35 U.S. feet) by Russian sculptor Dashi Namdakov. It was installed in late May 2015 in the plaza at Marble Arch.

According to the sculptor, this actually depicts a female cat who is all fierce to protect her young. Before I read the artist note, I really thought this was a dragon. The snarling face, the leathery wings… But most dragons don’t have rows of teats down their bellies!

It is certainly a striking artwork. Pleasant to look at? Not so sure.

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Last one — I promise.

Q: Why did the dragon fly over the mountain?

A: She wanted a peak experience.

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Q: Why did the dragon fly over the mountain?

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

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We all have an image of the classic dragon: big and red, armored, fire breathing, malevolent. But way back at the dawn of role-playing games, the creators of D&D must have felt that dragons posed a difficult challenge. How could gamemasters keep players interested in fighting yet another dragon?

Their solution was to create a veritable spectrum of dragons. Evil dragons were not just red, but also blue, green, black and white. In homage to the more benevolent Asian style of dragon, metallic dragons could be gold, bronze, brass, silver or copper. These were potentially wise guides for players. As years passed, there were jewel dragons and fairy dragons and creatures part dragon and part something else. Because the challenge remained the same — to keep these creatures interesting.

Of all the D&D dragons, the white dragons were most obviously the opposite of a stereotypical dragon. White dragons loved high, cold, icy mountains. They lived in caverns near glaciers and breathed deadly frost instead of fire. It was said they were not as intelligent as some other dragon breeds and relied on savagery instead of spellcasting.

Despite these slurs, ice dragons have become some of the most popular subjects for artists. Any Internet search will turn up dozens of likenesses of ice dragons. There’s just something about them. The ice is hard, yet beautiful. It shines against sunlight or moonlight. Ice dragons posess a mystery and grace that the traditional sort simply don’t have.

Here’s a link to a funny cartoon about white dragons in D&D.

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This is a picture book, published in 2012 by Two Lions. Ken Baker, an old hand at picture books, finds his words well matched to the whimsical illustration by Christopher Santoro.

As you can guess, Baker’s story riffs on the children’s song, “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.” Here, in addition to the standard cow, sheep and pig, MacDonald decides to add a dragon to his menagerie! Is this a good idea? The other animals don’t think so. Then the dragon lets them know what he thinks of their thinking.

Yep, you knew this wasn’t a good idea.

Although predictable, it’s a fun telling and the cartoonish art style keeps it from being too scary. If you have young readers around the place, you might want to check this one out.

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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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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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