Friday, January 12, 2018

Day of Dragondom III: Braving Skies

So, how does a dragon steal your heart? 

For me, it was not a theft, but rather a thrill. Every ounce of imagination tingled and shot like a dream from my chest—straight into the illusion of wings, razor fangs snapping, cinders blasting, and rippling tail spikes curling serpentine across a page.

Perhaps I lost a bit of my heart to the clever malice of Smaug from Tolkien’s The Hobbit. I traded more pieces for cherries jubilee with the fierce yet sensible Kazul from Patricia C. Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles, and rides with Anne McCaffrey's dragons of Pern. I’m not ashamed to admit the hot tears that fell when Draco became a new star, or the wild rush of happiness I felt when Toothless pressed his head to Hiccup’s hand for the first time. And I am currently relishing the stubborn pacifism and diplomacy of the “nice dragon” Julius in the Heartstrikers series by Rachel Aaron. Each dragon that I have encountered in print and film has made me crave ever more glint of scale and fiery indomitable freedom. 

Growing up, I spent countless hours drawing sketches of dragons. The earliest creations I can find all seem to characterize them as rather brutish creatures in the most traditional sense of a monster:

But over time, dragons evolved into creatures of sinuous symmetry in my art:

And I ditched the damsel in distress trope for fearless girls braving the skies them.

I suppose I love dragons because human creativity will never be able to tame them. They belong to themselves, and we just make up stories to brush our awe against their wing tips.

So what are the dragons, or other creatures of myth and legend, that spoke to you as a child and still stoke the embers of your ambition and imagination today?

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