peace and love

A Day for Dragons

Last Wednesday was just a day for dragons, there’s no contesting it, and it bears commenting on and recording for posterity. Not only was I wearing my favorite dragon shirt, but three new dragons came into my life.

A surprise package showed up in the mail, and I got this lovely soap from my sister and her boyfriend:

Now my whole room smells like dragon’s blood 😉

A new friend gave me this cute little guy – he’s good luck, and the card gives the traits of the dragon according to one version of the Chinese zodiac (you are eccentric and passionate; have good health but complex life; marry a monkey or a rat late in life; Avoid the dog!):

And finally (these are in time order) I got this from my favorite gargoyle:

Because one can never have too many dragon necklaces!!

I’m very happy with the additions to my growing collection. Feel free to share pictures of your favorite dragons – I’d love to see them!!

❤ DragonBeck

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New Year’s Resolutions, 2017

So here we are yet again, at the birth of another year, and as it is our goals and dreams which pull us along through continuum of time, I shall endeavor to set forth mine for 2017.

I will, of course, carry over anything which I failed to get done in 2016, but I’m going to be more concise this year, as I want to have some time left to actually go out and do these things, not just write them down.

So, here goes:

  1. Write. A lot.
  2. Read. Not quite as much as I write, but at least some.
  3. Keep Erika happy with my quota of Stories My Friends Started (if you’d like to help me with this particular resolution, go to Storiesmyfriendsstarted.com, and give us a sentence to start!)
  4. Write/publish stories in the much-anticipated sequel to The Death of Jimmy – The Purge of Jimmy (coming soon).
  5. Write/publish stories in Super Useless (coming sooner).
  6. Get my 2017 anthology in on time and within the specified word count.
  7. Publish Book IV of the Guardians of the Path series.
  8. Write first draft of Book V of GOTP (and dare to hope it will be published at the end of the year).
  9. Write a novella series (or two).
  10. Savor the coffee. Let the Force flow through me…
  11. Spend lots of time with my family.
  12. Spend lots of time with my amazing companions in the Ink Slingers Guild, drinking tea, laughing, and being awesome.
  13. Be awesome in general.
  14. Spread the awesomeness.
  15. Bake yummy things.
  16. Make some good memories.
  17. Do something that I haven’t done before.
  18. Go somewhere new.
  19. Don’t spend too much time on the internet (very important).
  20. Find that dragon, and travel the world a-dragonback (from 2016).
  21. Take over the world (also from 2016).

And there you have it. Now it’s on the internet, and I can be held accountable for it come the end of the year. I doubt that will stave off the procrastination – alas, it is in the ink which flows through my veins 😉

I do wish you all a very happy, happy year in which you flourish and prosper beyond your dreams! I look forward to sharing it with you!

❤ ❤ ❤ DragonBeck

A look at 2016…

While 2017 is loading, I’m going to take a moment to have at 2016, and what I said I would get done (as delineated in my New Year’s Resolutions blog post):

1. Take over the world. (This is in progress, will update later, because you know what they say: if I told you…)

2. Smile a lot. ✓

3. Drink lots of coffee. ✓

4. Publish a novel. ✓ (and ✓ – I published two, Ria’s Mark and Omens, available on Amazon.)
GOTP_FirstMagyc_eBook_Final_Sm ria's mark omens_ebk_sm-2

5. Get my ISG anthology story in by the deadline. ✓

6. Write some Stories My Friends Started. ✓ (and you can read them here.)

7. Maybe publish two novels. ✓ (…what I said back there.)

8. Find and tame a dragon. (also I/P)

9. Travel the world a-dragonback. (See #8.)

10. Make magic. ✓

11. Write, every day. (Sort of every day. I wrote every day in spirit, so ✓.)

12. Read, when I get the chance. ✓✓ (I read a lot this year, Harry Potter #1, #2, #3, #4, and #5, and the Sword of Truth #3, #4, and #5. Highly recommend them all.)

13. Be awesome, always. ✓ ✓ ✓

14. Spread the awesomeness. ✓ (In the form of love, smiles, and cookies, @AuthorELance, @InkSligners2011.)

15. Treat myself once in a while. ✓ (I went to the movies, ate some chocolate, took a long, relaxing bath.)

16. See Star Wars. ✓ (first thing I got done, documented here.)

17. Try some new recipes. ✓ (Sneaked that in right at the last minute: I made white chocolate macadamia cookies for the first time yesterday 😉 )

18. Make new friends. ✓ (Irina, Brandon, Spencer, Gen, Jessica, Sally, to name a few.)

19. Eat good food. ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ (there are not enough ticks that I could put next to this.)

20. and chocolate! ✓ ✓ ✓

21. Do my part to help make the world a better place, before or after taking it over is fine. (I’d like to think my existence contributed positively to the world and the lives of at least some of the people in it, so ✓.)

***

Whew! That was a year –  and not that bad, really. I still have to find my dragon, but that was a pretty stiff target.

I hope everyone got to put at least a few ✓ ✓ ✓ on their list of conquests, resolutions, to-do list, or bucket list.

Now, I can’t just rest on my laurels, got to get started on my New Year’s Resolutions for 2017…stay tuned  for that 🙂

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the parties, toast to something worthwhile, and kiss the person of your dreams at midnight! For auld lang syne, peace and love,

❤ ❤ DragonBeck

The Spirits’ Guide

The ISG meeting last Wednesday was a blast! Our lovely editor was down from the north (a different north than in my writing exercise story, which follows). We had eight Ink Slingers around one table, which made for an evening of loud fun and games, and four pots of tea.

We got three exercise done. People noticed that I’d taken a page out of Alanna’s book, and posting the fruits of each exercise separately. I’m taking this even further and adding a little story about the story.

Jen read her’s before me, which included something falling into someone’s cleavage. When she finished, and everyone was done commiserating about how frequently stuff falls down there (a problem I don’t have), I prefaced my reading with “I don’t have any cleavage in this one”. When I was done, Jen pointed out the place where I could have actually added a little. I’ll let you figure out where that is 😉

Basket, spinning, feather

Callie looked at the feather spinning in the basket filled with sacred water. It rotated slowly, then faster, then slowly again.
The spirits are being whimsical and toying with me, Callie thought.
She leaned closer, but did not touch the feather. She needed answers and being impudent would not put them in the mood to help her. When the feather finally stopped, it pointed due north. Callie paled. The only thing in the north were the flatlands, which went on forever until the end of the earth, where the great mountains reared up into the heavens. It was a dangerous realm; men who ventured there did not return. Callie swallowed.
“So, the person who knows how to save my grandmother…lives in the north?” she spoke aloud.
The feather did not move. Her shoulders slumped. She was going to be taking a trip to the north, it looked like. I will need a guide, she thought, reaching for the magic feather. Before her fingers reached it, the feather started moving again, jerking and thrashing in the water. Callie froze, eyes wide.
“What does that mean?” she demanded of the empty air.
Your guide, a silent whisper came back.
“But where…” Callie was stopped by the door being thrown open and a sunny tanned face pushing in.
“Hey Callie,” Draim said with a smile. “I just wanted to let you know that the feast started. I brought you a plate of food.”
He walked in, with the offered plate held out. He tripped over his own feet, and dumped the meat and gravy into her lap. He followed, half landing in her lap.
“Ooo, sorry,” he said, looking up at her.
You must be joking, Callie thought to the spirits. The village klutz, who’s is very sweet, but still, a klutz.
The feather twitched, and was still, pointing right at Draim’s nose.
_______________________________________________

T-minus less than two days

Hello there! T-minus less than two days until the second installment of the Guardians of the Path series is available!!

Both book covers

(they look good together, don’t they??)

May 27th is just around the corner. Ria’s Mark will be released, and this author’s pre-release anxiety can cease 😉

Goodreads giveaway of First Magyc is closed. Congrats to the winners, and I hope you enjoy the book! Twitter promotion started a couple days ago – hoping for amazing results. I’ve heard my editor is half-way through book three, so I’ve got to put a fire under my bottom on the first draft of book four, amongst other writing projects, life, and the occasional dragon break-down. Planning on the release party is also being done.

All in all, everything’s going well, I’m still alive, and I’m fairly optimistic about the near future!

Peace and love,

❤ ❤ ❤ DragonBeck

Taking a Moment to Appreciate the Good Things

Hello there 🙂

I had a lovely weekend, and I hope the same is true for the rest of you.

I did exactly no writing, but I got a lot of other things done which will facilitate much writing in the near future.

While getting some months of paperwork handled, drinking coffee,  cleaning, making delicious food, watching a couple good movies, and chilling with my family, I was struck with a thought.

As an aspiring writer, and a human being, I am not entirely satisfied with my lot at the moment. I don’t mean that in a negative or depressing way. There are many things I want, many things I am working on but have not yet achieved.

There’s much to be said for looking forward, and trying to exceed that which you have been or done or had. There is also something to be said for taking a moment and recognizing what you have right now, here, in front of you.

So I took a moment to look at all the amazing things I have in my life; a family that I’m delighted to be a part of; good friends that I love dearly; a lovely home; health; more ideas for stories than I could ever write; a cat who sometimes loves me.

And it made me happy.

I wish a similar happiness for everyone else.

Good night, sweet dreams, my friends 🙂

❤ DragonBeck

New Year’s Resolutions

I’m a few days late (I had to think about it for a bit) but here are my resolutions for 2016.

1. Take over the world.
2. Smile a lot.
3. Drink lots of coffee.
4. Publish a novel.
GOTP_FirstMagyc_eBook_Final_Sm ria's mark
5. Get my ISG anthology story in by the deadline.
6. Write some Stories My Friends Started.
7. Maybe publish two novels.
8. Find and tame a dragon.
9. Travel the world a-dragonback.
10. Make magic.
11. Write, every day.
12. Read, when I get the chance.
13. Be awesome, always.
14. Spread the awesomeness.
15. Treat myself once in a while.
16. See Star Wars.
17. Try some new recipes.
18. Make new friends.
19. Eat good food.
20. and chocolate!
21. Do my part to help make the world a better place, before or after taking it over is fine.

So, I’ll be working on the above over this next year, and I’ll keep you updated on progress (or lack thereof). I hope everyone had goals and dreams they’re working towards, and I wish them the best in seeming them come to fruition this year.

I’m sure I’ll see you down the road somewhere 🙂

Peace and Love!

❤ DragonBeck

Optimism

Optimism is defined as: hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something.

As we come upon the start of this new year, I’m seeing more than I would have expected about how awful 2015 was, and the best we can look forward to in 2016 is more of the same. Or worse.

It may be that 2015 was a horrible year, for many valid reasons. Commenting on it one way or the other will not change it.

People were maltreated, abused, bruised, battered, bludgeoned, and beaten by life, this past year and years before. This does encourage pessimistic sentiments.

But that is not the title or point of this essay.

Sometimes things happen which make one think the whole world, perhaps even the whole universe, is against one, plotting one’s downfall or total annihilation.

As much as that may seem to be the case, it is not true.

One may think the deck is stacked against them in particular, but the odds are more or less equally not in anyone’s favor. The world is rough, life is hard, and if it’s not hard, it’s hard work. That is what we’ve got to deal with.

But we can deal with it from one of two viewpoints: an optimistic viewpoint or a pessimistic viewpoint.

Few people know this golden secret: The world is only as one sees it, the future only what one makes it. No more; no less.

Where there is a will, there is a way. And if the first way, plan A, doesn’t work, there are 25 more letters in the alphabet, and about 20 more alphabets available after that.

Giving up or giving in is a choice, not fate or destiny or circumstance.

One is one’s own worst enemy, the holder of all the chains that hold one down, the creator of all the shadows that darken one’s world.

Any chain or shadow thrown at a person by another, or the universe at large, takes root and grows only when the person themself plants it and waters the seed.

Soon, all that person will see is a dismal, bleak garden overgrown with weeds, with no room for the brightly colored flowers of life.

The best herbicide for these weeds? Optimism. Hope. Not rose-colored glasses, but only the idea that things can get better, and that you can make it so.

It is not necessary to envision a Utopia or a life of total bliss, or to strive for such.

Even if things were a mere hair better, slightly more tolerable, one would have the spirit of it.

If a person found just one more reason to smile, enjoyed one more sunset, said one more kind word to bring a light to another’s face in the whole year than they did the year before, it would be an improvement.

It would be a step in the right direction.

And perhaps, if enough people take that one step to make things just a tiny bit better, that perfect world will become reality, and not just an unachievable Utopian dream.

Perhaps we may even see it in 2016.

One can hope 🙂

❤ DragonBeck

Traditions

Traditions.

Defined as: inherited, established, or customary patterns of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or a social custom).

Christmas time is full of them.

As people grow and change, their traditions can grow and change too. They can even create new traditions, to go with the old, or to replace them.

One year, a few years ago, my sister made the gingerbread log cabin from the Betty Crocker Cookbook. It’s incredibly delicious (I love gingerbread). Long story short, she’s made it every year since, and a tradition was born.

I do my part in keeping this particular tradition alive by asking, begging, pleading, and reminding her to make it, every year, on Christmas Eve. We live in Florida and the air conditioner is on right now, because it’s 87 degrees F outside. The one good thing about this is usually the gingerbread adsorbs moisture from the air, which makes it soft, and eventually it collapses under it’s own weight, making it look like Godzilla was on the rampage.

This year, the reason for collapse was the fact that I ate the corners out (because they are the most delicious).

Here are pictures before the collapse:

gingerbread 1

Gingerbread 2

Gingerbread 3

I’m not going to put a picture of what it looked like after Hurricane Nicole came along, because that’s just sad 😉

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas, with and abundance of family, friends, food, and fun!

❤ ❤ ❤ DragonBeck

Five Days of Thankfulness

A little over a year ago, I was challenged by Erika Lance to do Five Days of Thankfulness: once a day, for five days, I had to post three things for which I was thankful. I think this is the perfect time of year to revisit those days.

So, here goes!

I’ve been challenged by Erika to daily delineate three things I am thankful for over the next five days, and as that doesn’t involve dumping a bucket of ice-water over my head, I think I’ll go ahead and accept.
Day 1:
As I’m a day late, I’ll start with:
1) TOMORROWS. And not wholly because I tend to procrastinate. While I don’t think one should use tomorrow as an excuse to waste today, the inevitable progression of time is rather reassuring. The future will always be there to catch you no matter what today sprung on you and take you to a new land where magical, fantastic things can happen.
2) FAMILY. In their own special way (some more special than others), each person I share blood and ancestry with is pretty awesome. Which tends to make me awesome by extension, and that is something to be thankful for.
3) FRIENDS. Those warm, fuzzy, lovable, huggable bundles of support, adventure and a touch of crazy. Although I will admit I occasionally get an itch to find a tiny cabin in a secluded mountain range somewhere with no wifi, and live out the rest of my days as a coffee-drinking, chocolate-eating hermit-writer, I would miss you guys too much. Particularly ISG. I’d really miss you guys ❤

Three things for which I am thankful, Day 2:
1) FOOD. All kinds of food. Cheese. Fresh baked bread. Lasagne with handmade pasta. Yellow cake with strawberries and cream cheese icing (thank you Tesia). Brownies. Good old Cajun boudin and jambalaya. Steak. Biscotti…and on and on. If I didn’t have food, life would suck a little bit.
2) CHOCOLATE. The first recorded evidence of chocolate as a food product goes back to Pre-Columbian Mexico. The Mayans and Aztecs were known to make a drink called “Xocoatll” from the beans of the cocoa tree. In 1528, the conquering Spaniards returned to Spain with chocolate still consumed as a beverage. A similar chocolate drink was brought to a royal wedding in France in 1615, and England welcomed chocolate in 1662.
In 1847, Fry & Sons in England introduced the first “eating chocolate,” but didn’t attract much attention due to its bitter taste. In 1874, Daniel Peter, a famed Swiss chocolateer, experimented with various mixtures in an effort to balance chocolate’s rough flavor, and eventually stumbled upon that abundant product — milk. This changed everything and chocolate’s acceptance after that was quick and enthusiastic. And I’m thankful for that.
3) COFFEE. I don’t think I need to explain this one. It is Liquid Fortification. Ambrosia of the Mortals. Heaven in a cup. The End.

Three things for which I am thankful, Day 3:
1) BOOKS. Portals to other worlds designed by inspiration and characters and plot twists, given substance with words and held together with paper and ink and binding; tickets for a train crowded with all sorts of crazy and interesting people, headed to new and fantastic dimensions and adventures beyond imagination. A life without books would be flatter, shallower, duller, drabber and blander.
2) MAGIC. It makes wizards powerful people and evil Mages terrifying. It exists in all of us to some degree or another, and is found in the strangest places, yet only by people who put it there in the first place. It’s actually what *really* makes the world go round. Gravity is just a government cover-up conspiracy.
3) TOILETS. They’re very convenient. Actually, make that all indoor plumbing. I love hot showers and water available at the twist of a tap to cook and clean with. And reverse osmosis filters, to take the clean water and remove all the crap and chemicals that are put in there, supposedly for our benefit.

The Saga continues…three things I am thankful for, Day 4:
1) SMART PEOPLE. People who use their minds to change and shape the world. People who see solutions, not problems. People who know that “It’s impossible,” is opinion, not fact. People who see that things can be better or more efficient and plan, scheme and dream up ways to make it so.
2) GOOD PEOPLE. Those of goodwill. Who keep the world going with their kind acts, their compassionate words and strong hearts. The people who try to find some way to make the world better each day. And those that keep the world a good place despite all invitation to do otherwise.
3) BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE. People who are beautiful on the inside and people who are beautiful on the outside. And people who possess both of the aforementioned beauties. People who are beautiful in all ways, shapes and sizes, for all reasons. They make the whole world more beautiful simply by being.

Day 5 and my last triumvirate of thankfulness:
1) MUSIC. Songs can be a muse, a comfort or an infusion of verve and vigor. They carry you away on wings of sonic awesomeness, take you out of the mundane to the sublime and give you tingles.
2) DRAGONS. Just because.
3) SMILES. The big, bright, happy, fun, slightly mischievous ones. In a flash they brighten the world up to luminous magnificence or magnificent luminescence. Especially Tom Hiddleston’s 😉

 

I hope everyone has a very happy holiday, with many, many things to be thankful for, both great and small 🙂

❤ DragonBeck