Grateful for … the little things

I am grateful, very grateful indeed, for some of the little things in my life. My phone, my tablet – they both bring me great joy.

I’ve always been something of a bookwyrm – a dragon guarding his hoard of treasures of paper and ink. Unfortunately, the lair I hoarded them in was not watertight, and I ended up losing most of them.

 

When one door closes ...

Still, one door closes, one door opens – or you check the windows to see if one was left unlocked, check the chimney, check to see if you can tunnel under and come up in… There’s pretty much always a way.

 

Jamey's current way

And that way is the tiny little devices that store thousands of books, while letting me carry them in my hand or pocket, and select from any of them at any time. And they connect to that vast storehouse of knowledge, the new linkage that is turning Humanity into the Mind of the Planet – the Internet. There, I find Amazon’s Free Books list, or Project Gutenberg’s selection of works remembered through the ages. Baen Publishing has their Free Library, TOR occasionally releases a freebie – and of course I buy books that I really enjoy, often even if I’ve already gotten them for free.

And it’s not just books on my phone and tablet – music, games (I’m a big fan of the old RPG style games like Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior. There’s a lot of them out there, plenty to keep me playing for a long, long time yet!)

Jamey's treasure hoarding dragon side is grateful for his collection of e-books, video games and music on his cell phone and tablet.
Jamey’s treasure hoarding dragon side is grateful for his collection of e-books, video games and music on his cell phone and tablet.

 

So I’m grateful for these little modern miracles of mental stimulation that I would never have dreamed of having back when I started growing my original hoard. Now, my hoard is glowing letters on little screens – but it’s just as valuable, because it was always the thoughts behind the words that meant the most to me.

 

Here Be Dragons

Jamey wrote a post on unicorns Sunday, so I am doing one on dragons as one of the things we have in common is a love of  fantasy  (even those stories that don’t include dragons or unicorns such as Nathan Lowell’s Tanyth Fairport Adventures) and whimsy.

I have long loved dragons and am grateful to the authors and artists who make them come alive for us.
I have long loved dragons and am grateful to the authors and artists who make them come alive for us.

 

Dragonriders of Pern

I love Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series.  My favorite in the series is All the Weyrs of Pern.   I have listened to the audiobook so many times that I know chunks of it almost by heart.

 

Dragon Fanfic

Jamey is an avid fanfic reader.   A few years ago, he introduced me to one that he thought I would enjoy as it combined the dragons of Anne McCaffrey’s Pern universe with characters from Harry Potter.      We followed the installments for as long as they were written but sadly the author died.

Since then I have had an eye out for another dragon series to follow.   If you are wondering why it took me so long to find one, given how much fiction about dragon exists, it is because I prefer my fantasy to be g-rated, no more than pg, with little to no violence and some humor.   Equally important is that the dragons be recognizable individuals with human friends that they can communicate with.   Once you restrict it that much, it is not quite as easy.

 

Beaufort Scales

I am thankful to say that I recently found a writer whose dragon stories meet those qualifications:  Kim M. Watt and her tales of  Beaufort Scales.    It was pure serendipity that I stumbled upon her site where her banner caught my attention immediately:  “Here be dragons. And cats, and other stuff.”

Her site includes

  • an introduction to Beaufort Scales page which includes a list of links to everything she has written about him so far
  • 3 short stories about him
  • a 5 part cozy about him

If you enjoy the type of dragon stories that I do, I encourage you to check out Kim Watt’s Beaufort Scales.    I have read everything she has written about him thus far and am looking forward to future installments in the series.

If you find you enjoy her stories, ramble around on her site for a bit and you will find plenty of links to her other stories.

 

Here Be Dragons

I have long loved the phrase “Here be dragons” (or “Here there be dragons”) that was supposedly written on uncharted areas of old European maps to depict unknown dangers.    I usually love to learn new things but was sad to find out that is one of those things that everybody knows but is not completely true. Nonetheless, I still get pleasure from the phrase.

 

Today's gratitude goes to
  • Anne McCaffrey for the many, many hours of pleasure her writings have given to me
  • to Bobmin for Beneath Sovereign Skies (the Pern/Potter fanfic crossover)
  • to Kim Watt for Beaufort Scales
  • and to the folks at MapHist, the Map History Forum, for setting me straight on the history of the phrase “here be dragons.”

If you love dragons, do you have a favorite author/series that you would like to recommend?