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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Appreciate a Dragon Day

Today is Appreciate a Dragon Day.
Chloe (Midnight Storytellers), the Dragon Whisperer

Honest!  It is officially listed as that.

There have been other posts here about Dragons and that link currently gives you three (3!) stories from the Keeping the Public in Public Domain.  Today I want to give something more.

My British storytelling colleague, Chloe, of Midnight Storytellers, and I started talking on the international network of storytellers, Professional Storyteller, about her work as a Dragon Whisperer.  She has generously given me permission to repeat what was said.  Librarian that I still am, we both mention some dragon books worth reading.

What started this was I mentioned my friend, Loretta Vitek, (found here at Loretta Vitek) and her love of the saying "Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crispy and would be good with sauce!" and Chloe responded:
Hi Lois, The Brit version is "Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons - for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup" ;)
I have another window / bumper sticker which says 'Sometimes the dragon wins'.
I've fascinated by dragons since I was 8 years old. A family friend with a talent for drama read The Hobbit to his children and me on joint family holidays. Then he read us Farmer Giles of Ham. I still love both. I think it was worth wading through excessive film hours to see Smaug gloriously realised - and voiced!!
My idea of dragons is like C S Lewis' idea of Aslan - not a tame lion... At DCHQ [Dragon Conservation Headquarters] we tell apprentices "Only The Keenest Survive".
This summer I was the world's first (probably) ever Dragon Whisperer in Residence at my local stately home Sudeley Castle. It's now just a Victorian replica of castle-ness but the place has links with King Henry VIII (the one with all the wives...) and has a lovely garden surrounded by farm meadows. A little place of magic in the Cotswolds.
What brought you to dragons?
Kind regards, Chloë.

My reply was:

Hi Chloe,
Finally free of a very challenging play I was in.  Wanted to do justice to a reply.
Ketchup?  Thought that was strictly American.  At least expected a Brit to call it Catsup.  (Now the word looks like a funny derivation should be hunted up.)
Tolkien's Hobbit's dragon also got me started back when I was a teen and reading it one summer. 
My favorite dragons are the Asian ones -- powerful, but not intentionally like the European ones who are so often either greedy or worse.  (Not that such stories aren't fun to tell, too.)  Presume you also know the Scottish, Assipattle vs. the Sea Monster tale -- title varies.  Such fun to tell and, while not a dragon, so dragon-like.  In contrast I also like Kenneth Grahame's Reluctant Dragon for the relationship between the little boy and the dragon.  That reminds me of Ruth Sawyer's The Year of the Christmas Dragon, with another boy + dragon friendship.  It's too little known, but I love its explanation of why so many in the western hemisphere look Asian.  As for Asian dragons, there are too many to count and I love to count their toes to see if they are imperial dragons or not. 
Something that really sticks in my mind from generations ago is "Day of the Dragon", a short story in Alfred Hitchcock's Monster Museum.  A professor, who has had his reputation ruined because he writes for the tabloids, experiments on a male and female alligator, giving them fully functioning hearts, whereupon they evolve back into dragons and wind up taking over the world.  Definitely a case of "Sometimes the dragon wins."  Love that saying, too.  Thanks for telling me about it.
Do you know P.S. member, Jill Lamede?  She does the Tintagel Dragon and even has a book, Tales of the Tintagel Dragon.  You would probably enjoy her website,, especially  If you get in touch with her, by all means be sure to say hello from me!
Happy whispering, Chloe!
P.S. I've enjoyed our conversation on this.  Would you mind my quoting any of it, complete with full credit and links to your information and site, in a blog I do?  Storytelling + Research = LoiS could do with another look at dragons.  Here's the two I've done there so far:

Donita K. Paul
As you can tell, Chloe said "Yes", although by now there are three stories at that link.  It was worth saving until Appreciate a Dragon Day which you may want to know was started by the author, Donita K. Paul, back in 2004 to promote the release of her award nominated book, DragonSpell, which became a 5-book series.  If you go to the AaD Day link above you will find it includes additional dragon resources for those of us who do indeed appreciate them. For anybody wanting to read more dragon stories there is a bibliography page of recommended books, as well as not one but two pages of program and flat out sizzling fun with her AaD Day page and then additional links given as Bright Ideas.

By the way, when I mentioned Professional Storyteller, I want to back up just a bit and mention you can find Chloe's page there gives even more information about her.  Professional Storyteller is an excellent resource for and about storytellers and storytelling.  For my storytelling friends it gives a free page of promotion, the opportunity to blog, post photos and videos, and even promote storytelling events.  The discussion groups there aren't overwhelmingly busy, but are yet another resource both for public viewing and conversation.  Members can post on each other's page or email there privately and the search box gives a wonderful means of locating other storytellers nearby and also when traveling.  Here's my own page there.  Can you tell I consider PS a resource worth promoting?

But as they say in television infomercials "Don't Stop There!"
I also want to mention another dragon-loving, and, of course, dragon-telling British storyteller, Jill Lamede, she is a resource mentioned here earlier when trying to find more about something happening at Land's End, another name for Cornwall and Tintagel where she lives and works. Back then I said: Then I remembered Jill Lamede, whose delightful Tales of the Tintagel Dragon is now available on Kindle.  I had bought from her a hard copy of the book years ago, ordering it for Mount Clemens Public Library so I could tell it.  It's still there and I finally remembered her saying another name for Tintagel was Land's End.  That's Cornwall!
As Jill recently reminded me, Tintagel is not very far from Lands End, both are in the magical county of Cornwall in the furthest southwest toe of England.

I especially enjoyed the summer she even worked with me to use her book at the library.  Jill (also on Professional Storyteller where she has so far posted 6 videos) has always been a great online friend to me starting way back with the international email list, Storytell, sponsored by the National Storytelling Network.  NSN is truly a member-driven organization for those of us who love storytelling, so I also urge you to go to the jam-packed website if you are a storyteller, want to find a storyteller, or just want to know more about storytelling.

You just never know what we storytellers might share with each other to resolve research questions.  I'm delighted to have the friendship of both these British storytellers and my local storytelling friend, Loretta Vitek.  If you scroll down to the bottom of North Oakland County Storyteller's directory of members you will find more about Loretta.  Just be sure to remember her warning, which I slightly misquoted.  It should say Do not meddle in the affairs of Dragons, for thou would be crispy & good with sauce or Chloe's British version "Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons - for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup"  Either way, be sure you do your appreciating dragons carefully.

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