The fourth day of the A to Z Challenge!
Today we have:
D is for DRAGON!
We’ve arrived at the day that epitomizes this blog! And I even found the perfect art. This D is for Dragon picture comes from Kory Bingaman’s old blog, where he posted an original Bestiary A to Z series back in 2006. Now he has a new website where you can see more of his art, including his webcomic Skin Deep.
I found a short article on the Smithsonian website from 2012 titled “Where Do Dragons Come From?,” where author Joseph Stromberg proposes that ancient people could have come up with the idea of dragons from various sources, such as found dinosaur bones, or seeing 18 foot long Nile crocodiles or large goannas (monitor lizards), or perhaps other megafauna such as whales. He also quotes anthropologist David E. Jones, who argues that perhaps:
… belief in dragons is so widespread among ancient cultures because evolution embedded an innate fear of predators in the human mind. Just as monkeys have been shown to exhibit a fear of snakes and large cats … the trait of fearing large predators — such as pythons, birds of prey and elephants — has been selected for in hominids. In more recent times … these universal fears have been frequently combined in folklore and created the myth of the dragon.
There are also people who believe that dragons were (are?) real. I came across this Animal Planet special called Dragons: A Fantasy Made Real, and I can’t get the trailer to embed correctly from Animal Planet’s site, but please go check it out at that link, it’s definitely worth one minute. The second video in the series explains in more detail that they aren’t making an actual documentary, but more of a “what if” piece, so in that case, I may have to watch the whole show, which is available on YouTube, and narrated by none other than Sir Patrick Stewart!
But getting back to historical reality, I found a really well written overview of dragons throughout the world in an pretty unexpected place. The Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida has a yearly award called the Golden Dragon, for which they’ve made a WordPress website, and there, someone took the time to create a page dedicated to the question,
There, you can read a wonderful and concise list of dragons, including distinctions between Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Filipino, Korean, Thai, and Bhutanese on the Eastern side, and Irish, English, and French on the Western, a well as a comparison of East vs. West, and I highly recommend checking it out.
I started Writing Dragons at the beginning of 2016 without a clear plan in mind, knowing only that it would have something to do with the novel series I’m writing, the first book of which is called Finding Dragons. I’ve always loved dragons, ever since the Pern series by Anne McCaffrey and Michael Whelan’s art (above).
Then after taking the super helpful WordPress Blogging 101 course, I decided to make daily dragon posts the theme of my blog, while also sharing thoughts about writing, both my own original work and the craft of it all. I think it’s been working out well so far — at least, people seem to be enjoying it, and I’m really enjoying doing it.
Thanks again to everyone who’s been reading, and welcome to anyone who’s new to my site. I deeply appreciate every like, every comment, and every share, and love checking in with your blogs as well, where I find humor, inspiration, and beauty all the time. Tune in tomorrow for the letter E, and stay creative!