Blog Archives

WHY DO WE LOVE DRAGONS?

Dragons are magical, mythical winged creatures that we find both thrilling and frightening.  Both adults and younger readers seem to find them equally fantastic.   We’d like to believe that they might have once existed, and they are legendary in almost every culture on the planet, so why not?

They have traditionally been viewed as perilous, dangerous creatures with magical qualities that laid waste to the countryside and carried off damsels in distress, thereby having to be sought after and conquered. Some authors have written about them with this view in mind – Tolkien, Ursula K. LeGuin, and J. K. Rowling, to name a few.  The fantasy writer, Anne McCaffrey, explored human kinship with dragons, man and animal befriending one another.  Countless children’s books have now brought these fantastic creatures into the next generation to be both feared and loved.

I have continued with Anne McCaffrey’s affinity of dragon and man in my Dragomeir Series books, and now in the new prequel series, Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part One – The Burning Sky, and the forthcoming Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part Two – The Alberra Project.  (There will definitely be a Part Three!)

Dragons introduce a much needed magic and adrenaline into our lives – the appeal of being unpredictable and potentially dangerous that emulates our challenges, frustrations and achievements in an exhilarating and exceptional way.  Dragons never play by anyone’s rules.

Nowadays, dragons are our constant companions in novels, movies and computer games.  They are the most familiar and respected creatures from fantasy and legend. They can give us an emotional reaction of faithful friendship, as well as the opportunity to fly.  Dragons allow us to feel indestructible and open up our imaginations.  They give us wings.

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

What are your favorite dragons?

Latest Book from Solitaire : Prequel to the Dragomeir Series – Part One

dotdl_book

DAUGHTER OF THE DARK LORD – Part One – THE BURNING SKY

The first Prequel Book to the Dragomeir Series

(A  saga of dragons, demons, fierce creatures and dragon riders)

BEFORE IT ALL BEGAN  . . .

A daughter born to the cruel tyrant of the Provinces, the Dark Lord

An incredible child of great skill and abilities

A long awaited prophecy yet to be fulfilled

A remarkable and enduring gift – a Dragon egg

Friends, allies and enemies embroiled in conflict for their lives amidst schemes and unruly allegiances

Who is this child and how does her life impact the future?

– THE PREQUEL

AND THE ENTIRE DRAGOMEIR SERIES

IS AVAILABLE NOW in multiple formats at the following sites –

BARNES & NOBLE

iBOOKSTORE

KOBO

LULU

SMASHWORDS

SOLITAIREPARKE.COM

Enjoy the sci-fi/urban fantasy world of Dragomeir!

Happy Reading.

Solitaire

Any questions about the books?  Leave me a comment.

Save

Save

Hul Gil – the “Joy Plant”

poppies-1439727_960_720

poppy-1409058_960_720

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


 

Save

18 Quotes about the Legendary Dragon

flyingdragon

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

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!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Save

Where Do Authors Get Their Ingenious Writing Ideas?

girl_daydreaming

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?

SECRETS OF “THE ARIELLA”

Ariella5

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)

 

Is Every Character Important to Your Plot?

bettyandjean

The world of Dragomeir has a remarkable number of varying species which seem to get a lot of press when it comes to origins and abilities. As a result, other key characters seem to get lost in the shuffle. I think it’s only fair to give credence to a couple of characters who were instrumental to the plot, and came to the rescue of Tanis, the headliner of the story.

  • The first of these two people is Betty, the Den Mother at the Emerald Grotto. She is matronly and ageless. She is older, but at the same time, seems youthful. I know how that sounds, but she’s somewhat of an enigma. Her graying hair is always tied back in a bun and her clothing makes her look strangely homebound and domestic. It’s her energy that impresses everyone the most, and a very imposing demeanor. Betty is fearless and plays a huge role in the conclusion of the Dragomeir Trilogy.
  • The second is Jean. Originally the secretary to the Thaumaturgists, she manages to fool everyone into thinking she is ditzy and slow. Jean shows up in the second book, “Flight of the Aguiva” proving just how wrong that assessment really is. She turns out to be a member of the Watcher Clan, and an aggressive, sometimes rash leader, dedicated to the furtherance of Mt. Drago. Highly trained in combat, Jean uses her skills in the service of Queen Mother, both in the field and at the mountain in ways that disturb Tanis and his dragons. Jean is the embodiment of how far a person can go when properly motivated. She is an over achiever and proof that you don’t need super powers to be a super soldier. So check out these two remarkable women and find out how they helped save Queen Mother’s beloved mountain and the world.

Books 1-3 of the Dragomeir Trilogy are available from multiple sources at –

www.solitaireparke.com

Do you have a favorite character from a book who isn’t the main character?  What books have you read where those people really stood out and why?

See you soon,

Solitaire

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the most amazing lessons you’ll ever learn about writing!

yellowflower

I came across a blog site today that was incredibly insightful and full of terrific information by a prolific writer, Jon Morrow. His site, BOOST BLOG TRAFFIC, is one that you will want to visit again and again to keep you inspired, to give you up to date great ideas for blogging and just writing in general, and probably change the way you think about being a blogger or writer. According to Jon Morrow, the sky’s the limit, and you are capable of almost anything. So believe in yourself and check out the site of an incredible man and his story. Be sure to check out the “Popular Posts” and get his Free download!

Click here – http://boostblogtraffic.com/jon-morrow-confession/

 

Know of any other posts that are great for writers/authors? Please Share!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

Why is February 29, 2016 a Leap Year?

 

sun earth1

 

A leap year, where an extra day is added to the end of February every four years, is due to the solar system’s disparity with the Gregorian calendar.

A complete orbit of the earth around the sun takes exactly 365.2422 days to complete, but the Gregorian calendar uses 365 days. So leap seconds – and leap years – are added as means of keeping our clocks (and calendars) in sync with the Earth and its seasons.

Why Are There Leap Years?

Leap years are needed to keep our modern day Gregorian calendar in alignment with the Earth’s revolutions around the sun.

It takes the Earth approximately 365.242189 days – or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds – to circle once around the Sun. This is called a tropical year, and is measured from the March equinox.

However, the Gregorian calendar has only 365 days in a year, so if we didn’t add a leap day on February 29 nearly every four years, we would lose almost six hours off our calendar every year. After only 100 years, our calendar would be off by around 24 days!

Who Invented Leap Years?

Roman general Julius Caesar introduced the first leap years over 2000 years ago. But the Julian calendar had only one rule: any year evenly divisible by four would be a leap year.

This formula produced way too many leap years, but was not corrected until the introduction of the Gregorian calendar more than 1500 years later.

In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII revised the Julian calendar by creating the Gregorian calendar with the assistance of Christopher Clavius, a German mathematician and astronomer. The Gregorian calendar further stated that leap days should not be added in years ending in “00” unless that year is also divisible by 400. This additional correction was added to stabilize the calendar over a period of thousands of years and was necessary because solar years are actually slightly less than 365.25 days. In fact, a solar year occurs over a period of 365.2422 days.

Fun facts about leap years –

  • The Summer Olympic Games are always held in a leap year. This year, they take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • US presidential elections are held every four years, in a leap year.
  • In Greece couples often avoid getting married in a leap year, believing it to be bad luck
  • Food for thought: If you work on a fixed annual wage, today is just one more day’s work than you would usually have to do for your salary.
  • As touched on above, a year that is divisible by 100, but not by 400, is not technically a leap year. Therefore 2000 was a leap year under the Gregorian calendar, as was 1600. But 1700, 1800 and 1900 were not. “There’s a good reason behind it,” Ian Stewart, emeritus professor of mathematics, told the BBC. “The year is 365 days and a quarter long – but not exactly. If it was exactly, then you could say it was every four years.” Pope Gregory and his astronomers’ solution will have to be rethought in around 10,000 years, Prof Stewart points out.

If you know any more Fun Facts about Leap Years, please share!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

 

CLOVER America

Legion Update Blog - United, we are strong. (Welcome to future America - year: 2117)

Daily (w)rite

A DAILY RITUAL OF WRITING

The Nerd Nebula

The Nucleus of the Universe for all Nerd Hacks!

The Greenland Diaries

It began with a drum. Then the monsters came. I've been hiding ever since.

ellisnelson

children's author

Ms Toy Whisperer

I am a writer who sells vintage books and toys. I write about the whimsy of life, family, thrifting, everything and nothing and whispers of the Holy Spirit.

H.L.M. Garrison

Failing better at writing, one try at a time

James Harrington's Blog of Geek and Writing

All Things Writing and Geek, in one neat little blog!

O at the Edges

Musings on poetry, language, perception, numbers, food, and anything else that slips through the cracks.

Storyshucker

A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

Chris Gardner

The joys of self-publishing.

A Writer's Path

Sharing writing tips, information, and advice.

Madstoffa's crunchy house!

Part time actor, aspiring writer of poetry and prose and full-time idiot with a heart.

Jason K. Lewis - Writer (of sorts)

Writing is a painful journey- I just started and it hurts already

idiotprufs

Illegal in 38 states--frowned upon in the rest.

Jennifer M Eaton

Author, Weaver of Tales

bdhesse

A writing WordPress.com site

Shannon A Thompson

You need the world, and the world needs good people.

%d bloggers like this: