Today the Dragon Wins

"Today the Dragon Wins" offers information from Fantasy Author and Professional Editor Sandy Lender. You'll also find dragons, wizards, sorcerers, and other fantasy elements necessary for a fabulous story, if you know where to look...

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Location: Misbehaving in Candlelight

Sandy Lender is the editor of an international trade publication and the author of the fantasy novels Choices Meant for Gods and Choices Meant for Kings, available from ArcheBooks Publishing, and the series-supporting chapbook, What Choices We Made.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Companion Bird Health Question
Or...The Dragon goes off topic with important parrot health question for a moment

I've blogged about my darling 9-year-old sun conure Petri before. One day, he became lethargic and quiet. So I whisked him off to the vet because wild birds -- and companion parrots also do this -- become quiet when there's something wrong (makes it easier to hide from predators) and they mask all symptoms of sickness (makes it easier to hide from predators) until the sickness has taken a firm hold.

The vet has taken blood samples and the lab is slow in giving us results. In the meantime, the vet suspects either early kidney problems, which she says are treatable, or heavy metal toxicity, which she says is also treatable. As you can imagine, I've freaked out and researched these things like mad on the internet.

While we wait on definitive results from the lab, the vet has prescribed 0.2 CC Baytril (exotic) by mouth twice daily and a quarter pump of AllerG-3 Omega Fa liquid on his food once daily.

My question: Does the Baytril normally make parrots "woozy" or "dizzy"? Has anyone heard of them having allergic reactions? It seems to affect Petri for several minutes after he takes it. He's a fabulous little bird...a true joy. I want to be sure I'm not causing him harm.

Thank you to any and all bird afficionados who check in!
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Moth Sex
Or...The Dragon is intrigued by the Tantric Love Positions of the moths

Yes, I've lost my mind. I noticed a striking little white moth when I went out yesterday. She (I'm making that assumption) was on the stucco pillar outside the entrance to my apartment in a spot that I figured could attract a bird looking for a juicy morsel. Apparently, her little moth pheremones attracted a boy.

This morning she was tucked alongside the doorframe with a gentleman moth positioned below making moth eggs. And I guess you would call those pre-caterpillars, right?

Anyway, I was on my way out to the mecca that is Wal-mart. Sigh. I hate supporting that, but what can you do? Given events as of late, it's not like I have stray cash. When I got back from Wal-mart, the moths had opened their wings a bit and shifted position. I don't know if this makes "depositing" material easier. But when I went back out a few minutes ago, they were back in the original position with wings down at their sides and I decided I had to get pictures for the blog. I mean, come on. This has to be shared with the World Wide Web, doesn't it?

Can anyone tell from this stellar example of photographing genius what kind of moths these are? All I know is that they're very pretty and they've been working at continuing their species for at least six hours.


"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."
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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cool Pet Birds
Or...share a short essay on your favorite pet

Okay, Writers! It occurred to me, while watching my pet bird lean against his cozy hut to watch a movie, that we could have a writing exercise about everybody's favorite thing about which to wax poetic...our pets. So click on the comment link below and share a bit about your fave companion!

Petri gets the spotlight at The Dragon today, even though I have a couple other pets that I think are fabulous and great. Petri is a sun conure, which is a type of parrot, but he doesn't talk much. He can say "goodnight" and "hi, Petri" and "thank you." He taught himself to wave "goodbye," which impresses the daylights out of me each time he does it.

About nine years ago, when I went to get a sun conure from a breeder in Kansas City, he selected me before any of his siblings did so he's been my companion ever since. Lovely little bird. Yes, as bird enthusiasts will tell you, suns can screech pretty loudly, but only when I can't figure out what he's asking for. He has a specific squeak that means "bring me a bath" and a specific squeak that means "let me sample what you're eating," etc. You get the idea.

He's pretty great.

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."
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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

I’m Thankful for my Job
Or…The Dragon gives you a writing assignment

What do you do for a living? I have the good fortune to be a magazine editor. I love it. It’s “in my field” so to speak. I have a degree in English with all those communications and journalism credits that I’ve put to use for just about 17 years now. I feel blessed.

I feel especially blessed due to our current economic climate. The reason I’m writing about this today is because someone recently reminded me of what it looks like to be ungrateful for what you have. So I’d like to share the bizarre story and ask you all to write in and tell a good story.

Here’s the bizarre story. A knock sounded at the front door a little past 6 the other evening. I answered because it was the UPS man with an overnight letter. While I signed for the letter, I said, “They sure have you workin’ late this evening.” His response surprised me. He grimaced and said, “They don’t want us seein’ our families anymore.” It sounded rehearsed. And a little angry. In a psychotic sort of way.

Now, a friend of mine had, a few months back, applied for a job with UPS. He learned that there is a waiting list for fulltime jobs with UPS here in the town where we live—and that’s just to move boxes around in the warehouse area for $10 or $11 an hour. To become a driver and make the big bucks, like this fellow at my door, you have to put in your time in the warehouse for a certain number of months, waiting for a driver position to open up. That means this fellow at my door has people lined up waiting for his job.

The same is true for meter-readers for the local electric company. A pool of potential workers who have already been tested, interviewed, and screened exists so when a meter-reader retires, quits, or is fired, a new person can be called in at a moment’s notice.

Right now, employers have the upper hand when it comes to hiring employees and keeping qualified talent. If I were that UPS man at my door, I don’t think I’d complain about getting extra hours of pay. I think I’d smile and nod like a good team-player to protect the job I’d be thankful for.

And that brings us back to my situation. I’m truly grateful for my job not just because it’s a job, but because it’s in my area of expertise. I’m very fortunate to get to do something that I enjoy, and I know it. Having my books published doesn’t pay any bills yet—in fact, I still lose money on that venture due to marketing expenses—so keeping a day job is necessary. But I know how fortunate I am to have been published, too. Choices Meant for Kings is due out any day now, and I’m really looking forward to pushing it. Again, it’s a job I’m thankful to have!

Now let’s hear what you’ve got to share. Tell us what you do for a living and what about it you’re most thankful for. This is good, positive energy here!

“Some days, I just want the dragon to win.”
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