Hul Gil – the “Joy Plant”

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The opium poppy is widely cultivated and its worldwide production is monitored by international agencies. It is used for production of dried latex and opium, the principal precursor of narcotic and analgesic opiates such as morphine, heroin and codeine. Poppy seeds are rich in oil, carbohydrates, calcium and protein.

The earliest reference to opium was in 3,400 BC where the Sumerians in lower Mesopotamia referred to it as Hul Gil, the “Joy Plant.” They, in turn, passed the knowledge of the opium poppy to the Assyrians, who gave it to the Babylonians, who passed it on to the Egyptians. The Egyptians were famous for their poppy fields and the opium trade flourished during the eighteenth dynasty (around 1500 to 1300 BC) under the reigns of Thutmose IV, Akhenaton and King Tutankhamen.  Roman gladiators used opium to enhance their fighting … and to die as painlessly as possible if mortally wounded.

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, saw opium as a helpful narcotic for treating disease. The great physician Galen cautioned that opium should be used sparingly in 158 AD. He said it was better to endure pain than to be bound to the drug. It wasn’t until 400 AD that opium was introduced into China by Arab traders.

Alexander the Great used opium to help his soldiers march farther because they couldn’t feel the pain in their feet; and they could sleep through the night because the wounded were sleeping peacefully under the influence of opium. He introduced opium to India, where its cultivation flourished. One of the goals of Columbus was to bring back opium from India, as its access had been cut off when the Arabs were expelled from Spain. He didn’t get to India, but he brought back tobacco from the New World and smoking tobacco became common throughout Europe.

In 1803, a German chemist named Friedrich Sertuerner synthesized morphine from opium. Sertuerner’s wife overdosed on morphine and died. He then publically warned against its dangers. But morphine was also a great step forward in medicine. It allowed doctors to do true surgery for the first time. Morphine was heralded as “God’s own medicine” for its reliability and long-lasting effects. By 1827, the E. Merck & Company of Darmstadt Germany was commercially manufacturing morphine.

A new technique for administering morphine was developed by Dr. Alexander Wood of Edinburg when he invented the syringe in 1843. Wood believed that if morphine was injected instead of swallowed, “patients would not hunger for it.” He was wrong; and several of his patients became dependent.

John Witherspoon warned his fellow doctors in a June 23, 1900 article about their indiscriminant use of morphine. The morphine habit was growing at an alarming rate; and doctors were culpable for “too often giving this seductive siren until the will-power is gone.” Pointing to the Great First Physician, he said doctors should “save our people from the clutches of this hydra-headed monster” which wrecked lives and filled jails and lunatic asylums.

In my forthcoming book –

“Daughter of the Dark Lord, Book One, The Burning Sky”

the Dark Lord of the Provinces, a manipulative, heartless and cruel ruler, attempts to control the Denizen people that he rules by allowing them to become addicted to the medicinal serum.  His plan is to cut off the supply of the Hul Gil, and then establish it once again, only this time with contingencies tacked on.  In essence, he would be creating voluntary slavery with himself as the Dictator.  Whenever the Dark Lord wanted something, he would simply cut off the drug until the people complied with his wishes, thereby maintaining power over those he considered to be worthless underlings.  His daughter, Katherine, who is aware of the monster that is her father, is still shocked and stunned at the depths of his sadistic inhumanity and is determined once again to thwart his malevolent efforts.

The book takes place on the Provinces of Hell, not a destination that anyone would want to find themselves, and yet to her chagrin, Katherine is not only the Dark Lord’s daughter, but a potential victim of his evil plot.  She must find a way to survive and somehow escape this retched place.

The book is in the editing stages right now, but in the meantime, keep checking back for updates and more interesting facts about Katherine and those who choose to fight in her behalf in –

“Daughter of the Dark Lord, Book One, The Burning Sky”

A prequel book to the Dragomeir Series Books One – Three

 Also available for purchase at www.solitaireparke.com and various other locations – in multiple formats.

dragomeirseries

Solitaire


 

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18 Quotes about the Legendary Dragon

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A Dragon is a legendary creature belonging to the world of mythology, storytelling and fantasy. There are stories about dragons in Chinese culture, European culture, South American culture, and many others.

Dragons can look like dinosaurs and other extinct animals. Because of that, it is easy to think that those animals might have been an example for dragons as they were thought of in the history of humankind.

There are many kinds of dragons in the different cultures. In general –

  • A dragon has: none to four legs, claws, scales and possibly spikes. Optional wings.
  • A dragon can look like a snake with wings, or like lizards
  • A dragon has a tail and a long neck.
  • A dragon has a wide mouth with big and dangerous teeth.
  • Sometimes they have horns and hair.
  • A dragon can fly.
  • A dragon can perhaps breathe fire (or other dangerous substances).
  • A dragon can have special powers.
  • Some dragons live in caves.

In a number of stories, dragons are dangerous and attack humans. Other stories have dragons that are looking for help, or giving help.  In my Dragomeir Series, the dragons become companions and are lifelong friends to their specific riders.  They can be dangerous to those who attempt to hurt the ones they love or their way of life, but to their riders they are the ultimate friend.  Here are some interesting quotes about dragons:

It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.

      J. R. R. TOLKIEN, The Hobbit

And though I came to forget or regret all I have ever done, yet would I remember that once I saw the dragons aloft on the wind at sunset above the western isles; and I would be content.

     URSULA K. LE GUIN, The Farthest Shore

If the sky could dream, it would dream of dragons.

     LLONA ANDREWS, Fate’s Edge

 

The ultimate challenge of a teacher lies not in the slaying of dragons, but rather in exposing them as beasts no longer to be feared.

      ALAN BURTON, A Wayward Wizard’s Wistful Words
If you want to conquer the world, you best have dragons.

     GEORGE R. R. MARTIN, A Dance with Dragons

O to be a dragon,

a symbol of the power of Heaven — of silkworm

size or immense; at times invisible.

Felicitous phenomenon!

     MARIANNE MOORE, O To Be a Dragon

How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the beginning of all peoples, the myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.

     RAINER MARIA RILKE, Letters to a Young Poet

 

Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you art crunchy and good with ketchup.

     ANONYMOUS

Come not between the dragon, and his wrath.

     WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, King Lear

If you see the dragon fly,

best you drink the flagon dry.

     GREG HAMERTON, Second Sight

The hunger of a dragon is slow to wake, but hard to sate.

     URSULA K. LE GUIN, A Wizard of Earthsea

Imagine a land where people are afraid of dragons. It is a reasonable fear: dragons possess a number of qualities that make being afraid of them a very commendable response. Things like their terrible size, their ability to spout fire, or to crack boulders into splinters with their massive talons. In fact, the only terrifying quality that dragons do not possess is that of existence.

     DAVID WHITELAND, Book of Pages

A dragon stranded in shallow water provides amusement to the shrimps.

     CHINESE PROVERB

I desired dragons with a profound desire. Of course, I in my timid body did not wish to have them in the neighborhood. But the world that contained even the imagination of Fáfnir was richer and more beautiful, at whatever the cost of peril.

     J. R. R. TOLKIEN, The Tolkien Reader

It is one thing to read about dragons and another to meet them.

     URSULA K. LE GUIN, A Wizard of Earthsea

Did not learned men, too, hold, till within the last twenty-five years, that a flying dragon was an impossible monster? And do we not now know that there are hundreds of them found fossil up and down the world? People call them Pterodactyles: but that is only because they are ashamed to call them flying dragons, after denying so long that flying dragons could exist.

     CHARLES KINGSLEY, The Water Babies

Here be dragons to be slain, here be rich rewards to gain;

If we perish in the seeking, why, how small a thing is death! DOROTHY L. SAYERS, Catholic Tales and Christian Songs

People who deny the existence of dragons are often eaten by dragons. From within.

     URSULA K. LE GUIN, The Wave in the Mind:

Talks & Essays on the Writer, the Reader, & the Imagination

 

Do you love reading about dragons?  Check out this ongoing series  at my website –

THE DRAGOMEIR SERIES:

“The Emerald Dragon”

“Flight of theAguiva”

“Egg of the Amphitere”

 

And the forthcoming book –

“Daughter of the Dark Lord”

Part One

“The Burning Sky”

Solitaire

July 4th, 2016 – Happy Independence Day!

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Independence Day of the United States, also referred to as the Fourth of July or July Fourth in the U.S., is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, by the Continental Congress declaring that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and no longer part of the British Empire. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the National Day of the United States.

Have a great Fourth of July – GOD BLESS AMERICA

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

 

 

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HELL HOUNDS – REVISITED

 

 

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The Hell Hounds were initially encountered in the first book of the Dragomeir Series, “The Emerald Dragon.”  These creatures were living at Mt. Drago after making a mass exodus from the Provinces of Hell, with the help of the Queen Mother or “The Ariella.”  Inside Mt. Drago, they took up shop in an area of the mountain called Tarin’s Gallery.

The Hell Hounds are a genetically altered species that started off with a considerable amount of wolf and pit bull in their heritage.  No one is really sure what else went into the mixture, but what we do know is that they went after size and stamina.  The full grown males of this species top over three hundred pounds, stand about five feet tall and can run for days.  Their fur is course and sometimes sparse, and they are predominately brown in color with brown eyes.  Each one has a different and uneven muzzle, with teeth that protrude in a variety of directions, even with their mouths closed.  They also sport an opposing thumb and forefinger.

What the Dark Lord of the Provinces didn’t expect was that they were a species on the fast track to sentience.  Generations later, they were no longer just guard dogs.  Through sheer will, a lot of death and destruction, and the help of a young girl, the Dark Lord’s daughter, they managed to escape.

By the eleventh generation they were not only intelligent, but self aware and very unhappy with the Dark Lord.  That’s where “The Ariella” entered the picture and gave them an opportunity they couldn’t ignore – a chance to break away from a life of cruelty, maltreatment and servitude.

The Hell Hounds of today are drastically different than the ones written about in history.  The ones in Mt. Drago would rather not fight; they are vegetarians and prefer to stay in one place to rear their children.  They are deeply spiritual and have a great sense of humor.

Read about the Hell Hounds in the DRAGOMEIR SERIES Book One of Three Books –

“The Emerald Dragon”

And watch for the forthcoming book, a prequel to the first three books –

“Daughter of the Dark Lord

    Part One – The Burning Sky”

 

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

 

Want to know more about any of the Mt. Drago Creatures ? – Contact me below!

 

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Six Highly Informative Blogs for Authors

new ideas

 When it comes to self-publishing, there are countless blogs out there written by authors primarily selling their books, by “experts” selling their services, and then the ones that are full of advice and entertaining stories that you don’t want to miss reading.

They are, however, not all created equal.  Some are just more passionate about the information they are providing, and overall they give us more valuable knowledge in all aspects of self-publishing.  I don’t know about you, but I can use every available resource.  Knowledge is power, or in this case, possibly the difference between success and failure.    So here is a list of some of the most informative blogs available to help you achieve that success.

Founded by Joel Friedlander, former book designer and founder of an information- packed blog.  It has extensive resources and tools, guides and books, video instruction,  and an online training course – The Self-Publishing Roadmap. This is a full service blog.

 

Former publisher of Writer’s Digest, a writer, editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review, and media professor.  She helps authors learn the business side of publishing and how the digital age affects everything from transforming writers, publishing, and storytelling. She has online classes and author services as well as countless resources.

 

London-based website by self-published author, entrepreneur, and speaker Joanna Penn.   She provides the resources to help you write, publish and market your book.  She has  books, courses, tools, and podcasts  to propel you in the right direction.  All  kinds of  great information here.

 

Founded in 2011 by independent author and consultant Stephen Hise as a platform to celebrate independent authors.  Operates like an interactive online magazine.  Contains thousands of helpful staff articles as well as tutorial books for authors.  Offers opportunities for authors to display their books on the site, video trailers, new release announcements and a featured book section.

 

Founded by David P. Vandagriff, a writer who has a background in law, intellectual property litigation and tech.  Hundreds of articles relating to self-publishing.  Learn about enhanced e-books, fiction fundamentals or self-publishing strategies.

 

At the Savvy Book Marketer, Dana Lynn Smith shares a wealth of tips, advice and tools  to help you sell more books and make more money from your publishing business. She  is an author,has a marketing degree, and 19 years of publishing experience. Endless tips and resources for aspiring authors.

 

There is always something new on these sites almost daily, so check them out!

Have any suggestions for other great websites or blogs?

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

Author of  –

THE DRAGOMEIR SERIES ( If  you love dragons, you’ll find this series intriguing and a lot of fun!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Where Do Authors Get Their Ingenious Writing Ideas?

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Do they just appear out of nowhere and land in your lap when you least expect it?  Probably not very likely.  Certainly some authors have wonderfully vivid imaginations, but others are often people who are simply good at making observations and interpreting them into amazing storytelling.  Their characters can even be based on someone they know in real life.  Some writers have so many ideas in their heads that it’s hard to know which one to go for.  There are an abundance of sources for inspiration.  Here are a few  –

 

  • Mark Twain based his character Huckleberry Finn on a childhood friend.

“In Huckleberry Finn I have drawn Tom Blankenship exactly as he was. He was

ignorant, unwashed, insufficiently fed; but he had as good a heart as ever any boy

had.  His liberties were totally unrestricted. He was the only really independent

person—boy or man—in the community, and by consequence he was tranquilly

and continuously happy and envied by the rest of us.”

 

  • John Steinbeck’s Pulitzer-Prize winning novel, “The Grapes of Wrath” is a commentary on social injustice and the forces behind poverty and oppression.

“I want to put a tag of shame on the greedy bastards who are responsible for this

[the Great Depression and its effects].” – John Steinbeck

 

  • The world of dreams is a magical place where writers often get answers and inspirational ideas.  Dreams have been a source for my creative ideas for years.  Many times I have been awakened with an unusual idea and have written it down on anything I can find so that it won’t be lost.  Other times I remember vividly the entire thing when I wake up, and a book is spawned right then and there.  Generally some changes ensue, but a dream was where it all started.

 

  • You might find inspiration from a snippet of interesting conversation you’ve heard recently, or a dialogue from a movie might spark something in your brain that’s worth creating a story about.

 

  • You might get some great ideas from going on a nature walk, watching the night sky, or looking at a magazine or reading a human interest story.

 

  • Traveling around the world or taking a day trip to the next town and discovering new places and people can make you see new things and spark thoughts for a story line.

 

  • If you have children or just watch and listen to children, it can change the way you view the world when you see through their eyes.

 

Ideas are free.  Just about anything we experience, see, hear or read can spark an idea.  We just need to be aware and observant – most writers excel at this.

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

 

What or where is the most unexpected place you’ve found a writing idea?

Memorial Day 2016

American Flag

Once again it is May 30th, and for many it is a long weekend for camping, parties, lots of sales, and even Memorial Day cruises.  There are many reasons why this day is notable.  But let’s not forget the real reason – the important reason.  It was set aside to remember and honor all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the military service of America . . . Those who died fighting to preserve our lives and our freedom.  They won’t be here to celebrate with us because they gave up everything for us.  So amidst our celebrations, let’s pause and take time to remember the thousands of men and women whose lives were cut short so that we could live, and be with those we love to enjoy our freedoms.

God help us to remember the cost of our blessings and to remain worthy of that cost.

 

Solitaire

http://www.solitaireparke.com

 

How to Effectively Kill a Demon – Dragomeir Series Novels

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In Greek mythology, the River Styx formed the boundary between Earth and the Underworld.  The word itself meant “hate” and “detestation.”

In the Dragomeir Series– the River Styx is an important part of the story – the boundary between Earth and The Provinces of Hell.  The Demons of The Pronvices, lead by the Dark Lord, are trapped on one side and are desperately attempting to cross over to Earth.

There’s only one problem with that.   Demons have ichor running through their veins rather than blood, making the dark, acidic water of The River Styx toxic to them.  Ichor contains a property called Mercury which was purposely placed there to effectively strand the demons in the accursed land.  They are prisoners for all time for the crimes they have committed against humanity.

When a Human bleeds, the blood comes out red due to the oxygen in the atmosphere.  However, when Demons lose ichor, the color is green due to the Mercury coming into contact with ozone.  Ozone is the majority of the gas in our atmosphere.  It causes us to perceive color the way we do.  The Mercury in ichor reacts badly with the water in the River Styx causing severe burns and death.  A single drop of its water will sizzle like cooking meat and leave a nasty looking welt that can take days to heal.  Even the fumes from the water cause a bad reaction in Demons, so they dare not get too close.  As a result, most demons are terrified of the variant forms of water.

To discover more about the intriguing lands, exceptional people, and amazing dragons of these worlds you can find

The Dragomeir Series books

At my website and various other locations  –  www.solitaireparke.com

Forthcoming Book #4 –

  • Daughter of the Dark Lord

            Part One

               The Burning Sky

 

Have any questions or comments – please contact me!

Solitaire

10 Quotes to Keep You Thinking, Encouraged, and Positive

 

 

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  • “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
    Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
    Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

 

 

  • To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.”

Dr. Seuss

 

  • “When you think things are bad,
    when you feel sour and blue,
    when you start to get mad…
    you should do what I do!
    Just tell yourself, Duckie,
    you’re really quite lucky!
    Some people are much more…
    oh, ever so much more…
    oh, muchly much-much more
    unlucky than you!”

Dr. Seuss, Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?

 

  • “You can find magic
    wherever you look.
    Sit back and relax,
    all you need is a book.”
    Dr.  Seuss

 

  • Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
    Oscar Wilde

 

 

  • I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
    Maya Angelou

 

  • “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”
    Audrey Hepburn

 

  • “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
    Albert Einstein

 

  • “You’re going to come across people in your life who will say all the right words at all the right times. But in the end, it’s always their actions you should judge them by. It’s actions, not words that matter.
    Nicholas Sparks, The Rescue

If you have a favorite quote, please share or comment.

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SECRETS OF “THE ARIELLA”

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Who is this dark-haired beauty that they call ” The Ariella” or Queen Mother?  She commands an army of Dragons and Dragon Riders as well as a group of seemingly misfit Creatures that dwell in various mountain locations around the planet.  She has their fierce loyalty and is a force to be reckoned with among her global community; all of whom she guards with her life . . . she and her ominous and amazing Dragons, Basiliskos Verminthrax Pejorative – a male black Wyvern, and Invectum Viperathrax Pejorative – a male white Wyvern.

In The DRAGOMEIR SERIES books you can read all about this global population – their triumphs and defeats, while getting to know how “The Ariella” manages to keep them all alive from conflict to conflict.  But how long has she been around, and how did she become Queen Mother to this unlikely group of characters?

To answer this question, I am currently writing a Prequel to the series, which will chronicle her life, and rectify some of the myth surrounding her tumultuous journey leading up to her title, “The Ariella” or Queen Mother.  The story picks up shortly before her birth and follows her life thereafter.  It was her destiny to become the Queen of the Dragons and a champion to the downtrodden misfits in her world.

If you love Dragons, Dragon Riders, Otherworldly Creatures, and lots of adventure and intrigue, I hope you will enjoy the first three books in the DRAGOMEIR SERIES –

 

AND keep watching for my forthcoming book, the Fourth Book in the Series –

  • “DAUGHTER OF THE DARK LORD”

Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions.  Happy Reading!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com  (Books available at numerous websites)

 

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