Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day:
“There are tomorrows on their way worth the struggles of today. Never give up.”
~ Richelle E. Goodrich, Slaying Dragons

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Slaying Dragons Week―Day 2


I'm celebrating this week in honor of my newly-released collection of original quotes, poetry, and short stories.  Part of "Slaying Dragons Week" includes sharing a daily quote from the book as well as a bit of trivia relating to the making of it. Here is the quote for today:  

"My soul, I’ve found, has puppet strings
to make me droop or give me wings.
And music is the puppeteer
that turns my ear to hear.
"  


Did you know that every quote, poem, and story in this book was based on events and experiences in my own life? I suppose you could call it a journal of sorts, filled with personal insights as well as lessons learned.  Most of the motivational quotes were written for me as encouragement to keep climbing towards my goals.  Every entry has a personal story that inspired it. 

For example, the poem above was written after I had gone for weeks without listening to music.  Having much to think about, I had made my drives in silence and carried out my chores without what I felt was noise distraction.  And then one day in the car, I turned on my music.  I had such an intense emotional reaction to the music, it changed my mood entirely.  I felt lighter, less burdened with cares.  I felt happier than I had for weeks.  It hit me how powerful music is in swaying our moods, even effecting us physically.  I began again to listen to the kind of music that put a smile on my face and a hop in my step.  From this experience, the above poem developed.


So remember, when you read Slaying Dragons there is more behind the words than you know.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Slaying Dragons Week―Day 1



     I dub this week "Slaying Dragons Week" in honor of my newly-released book.  I will be sharing a quote a day from the book all week long, as well as a bit of trivia relating to the making of this book. Here is the quote for today:  
"There are trials in life that feel as tremendous as a quest to slay dragons.  These trials are daunting.  They require hard work, determination, and courage.  But when the dragon is finally slain, the relief is immense."  

     Did you know that this book was two years in the making?  It was written as a graduation present for my second son who graduated from both high school and a local two-year college. He loves dragons and has painted one every year for entry in the summer fair. 


     I'm very proud of my son's accomplishments; it's quite a feat to earn a high school diploma and a college AA degree at the same time! Along with dedicating this book to him, I have promised him 50% of the royalties to go towards furthering his college education.  So remember, a purchase of Slaying Dragons (e-book or paperback) helps support a struggling college student!  




Monday, April 17, 2017

Slaying Dragons

An inspirational and entertaining book designed to be used on a day-to-day basis.  Curious?
by 
Richelle E. Goodrich


Slaying Dragons: Quotes, Poetry, & a few Short Stories for Every Day of the Year is the next in a collection of inspirational books by American author and novelist, Richelle E. Goodrich. In the same style as Smile Anyway and Making WishesSlaying Dragons offers readers original daily quotes, poems, and an occasional story. Ponder meaningful quotes like the popular following:
"There are tomorrows on their way worth the struggles of today. Never give up." 
“I can overlook the lie; what's harder to ignore is the grotesque way it has marred your character.”  
“Too often we let others stamp a price tag on us and we accept their appraisal of our worth, forgetting we are in fact priceless." 
“When you love someone, you don’t care that she ate your sandwich. You only hope she found it delicious.”  
“Habits grow like dragons if you feed them.” 

This book was written to entertain, inspire, and motivate individuals on a daily basis.
 


Slaying Dragons is available in 




And your thought for the day.....

"When it comes to fighting for your dreams, be a dragon.  Breathe fire."
~ Richelle E. Goodrich


#richelle #richellegoodrich #popularbooks #quotes #SlayingDragons #poetry #author #poems #poets #shortstories #newbooks 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

A Book of Blessings

I am super excited to share this with you: a cantata composed by Steven Griffin titled A Book of Blessings. This was the first performance of the whole cantata which took place on March 29th at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh. If you click on the YouTube link below and scroll forward to the portion between 23:42 to 31:56, listen carefully. Those are my lyrics from a poem I wrote titled Give. Yes, those are my lyrics! *beaming from ear to ear* How sweet is that? Read the poem below, and follow along with the music. I hope you enjoy this beautiful arrangement.





The sun rose and said to me, "Be a ray of sunshine for someone today."
The wind nudged at my back and said to me, "Blow a kiss to someone today."
The rain wet my cheek and said to me, "Dry a tear on a somber face today."
The soil fed grass at my feet and said to me, "Add pleasure to a life today."
The ocean washed ashore and said to me, "Calm the tempest of a troubled soul today."
The mountain trembled and said to me, "Soften a heart of stone today."
The moon lit the night and said to me, "Show the way with your simple giving."
So I went and did as they bid me do.
And the sun shone brightly on me.
And the wind caressed my face.
And the rain washed away my stains.
And the soil made a rose garden along my path.
And the ocean carried me from shore to shore.
And the mountain sheltered me from storms.
And the moon smiled down on me.
I've come to realize I can never give enough to recompense what I get in return.







Monday, April 10, 2017

Slaying Dragons Cover Art Reveal

Do you hear the anticipating drum roll?  
Are you holding your breath with expectation?  
Has curiosity grabbed your attention?
Good!  Because it's time for another COVER ART REVEAL!


After weeks of pencil drawing,















inking,




color and shading,




tweaking and editing....




I present to you the final cover art for



Slaying Dragons:
Quotes, Poetry, & a few Short Stories for Every Day of the Year

Slaying Dragons: Quotes, Poetry, & a few Short Stories for Every Day of the Year is the next in a collection of inspirational books by American author and novelist, Richelle E. Goodrich. In the same style as Smile Anyway and Making WishesSlaying Dragons offers readers original daily quotes, poems, and an occasional story. Ponder meaningful quotes like the popular following:

"There are tomorrows on their way worth the struggles of today. Never give up."

“When it comes to fighting for your dreams, be a dragon. Breathe fire.” 

“I can overlook the lie; what's harder to ignore is the grotesque way it has marred your character.” 

“Too often we let others stamp a price tag on us and we accept their appraisal of our worth, forgetting we are in fact priceless.”

“When you love someone, you don’t care that she ate your sandwich. You only hope she found it delicious.” 

“Habits grow like dragons if you feed them.” 





Look for other inspirational books by Richelle E. Goodrich on Amazon, Smashwords, Createspace, iTunes, Kobo, and many more online book retailers!




in PAPERBACK or E-BOOK
KINDLE    NOOK    KOBO    iTUNES
in PAPERBACK or E-BOOK
KINDLE    NOOK    KOBO    iTUNES




Friday, March 31, 2017

Drawing a Dragon

     Art is a slow but rewarding process.  
     Since completing the writing, rewriting, editing, and revising of my soon-to-be-released book, Slaying Dragons, I have spent most of my free time sketching out a cover for the book. Anytime I put the sharpened tip of a pencil to a blank page I feel a degree of anxiety, afraid that the picture I envision will fail to appear on the paper.  And honestly, the end product is never exactly what I imagined.  However, it never fails to amaze me how stroke-by-stroke my artwork comes to life. 
     I thought it would be fun to share with you one character that will be on the front cover of Slaying Dragons.  I hope you are looking forward to the final product as much as I!

First, I sketch out the dragon in pencil.
Lots of erasing and penciling and erasing takes place at this point.


Next, I use permanent black ink and outline what was sketched in pencil.
I take great care with every stroke because there is no erasing black ink!
Then the image is scanned into the computer where I can use an app to add color.
Amazing what a little color, shading, and highlighting can do....and a bit of fire in the eyes.
I did some tweaking here and there before adding wings.
And voila!  Here is the dragon that will appear on the cover of Slaying Dragons.
What do you think?

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Sneak Peek—Little Gracie Gubler

I asked my followers on Facebook, Twitter, and my author website for name suggestions, explaining that I had an idea for a short story about a confident, young, school-age girl. I intend to include the story in a book I'm putting together for my son's graduation.  This book will be his gift from me with the promise that half of all royalties go to him to help ease the overwhelming cost of a college education.  I received some wonderful name suggestions including the following:  

Sadie, Hannah, Lucy, Deniz, Tina, Evie, Gracie, Madeline, Scarlet, Hope, Kathryn, and Kimberly.  From the suggestions, I chose Gracie and gave her the full name of Gracie Gubler.

I would like to share this short story with you now and hopefully wet your whistle, so to speak, for other short stories, poetry, and quotes to come in Slaying Dragons: Quotes, Poetry, & a Few Short Stories for Every Day of the Year, to be released this April.  Watch for a preordering option soon.

Enjoy!


Little Gracie Gubler was eight.  She was a striking sight with her lava-red hair that hung as curly as a piglet’s tail and the sprinkling of cinnamon freckles on her nose and cheeks and fingers and toes.  When she stood in place, it was with both feet apart, hands on her hips, shoulders square, chin high, lips grinning as if she were the most remarkable child in a school where nearly every other student towered over her.  The truth is, Gracie’s confidence and pluck overflowed, more than most.  And it happened that these qualities—made manifest in her demeanor and countenance—were hard not to stare at. 
Now, this freckle-faced sprightly child had been born with a small frame and small ears that were somehow well-tuned to surrounding chit-chat.  And Gracie Gubler had no qualms about joining in on a transpiring conversation if the topic proved of interest to her.  In fact, she did so quite often.  On one tulip-blooming spring day she happened to overhear Jeffrey Turner and Dylan Ewing gossiping about Mr. Quilter’s bald head—a head that had been covered with blond fuzz just a week ago.  It was the last time they had seen their math teacher until he walked into school that morning without his hair.  Jeffrey and Dylan were discussing Mr. Quilter as if they were piecing together a puzzle that would reveal the whole story; never mind if there existed any amount of truth to it. 
“I heard that he was away on family business.”
“That’s what adults call it when it’s serious.”
“Yeah, like when someone dies.”
“Or when they’re going to die….like from a disease.”
“Like cancer.”
“Yeah.  You know, they shave your head bald if you get cancer.”
“No they don’t; your hair falls out on its own.  That’s what cancer does.  That’s how they know you have it.”
“Well, it amounts to the same thing.”
“Not really.”
“Yeah, really.  And either way your head ends out bald, just like Mr. Quilter.”
“Poor guy’s probably real sick.  No wonder he needed a week off.” 
“Yeah.  I bet he doesn’t even know that when your hair falls out it’s the worst kind of cancer.  He’ll probably be dead in another week.”
“Or sooner.”  The boys sighed a dismal sigh in concert.  About that time, Gracie Gubler joined in their conversation.
“Do you two know what you’re talking about?” she asked.  “Did Mr. Quilter tell you he was sick?”
Dylan and Jeffrey exchanged a guarded glance before answering.  “Well, no, not exactly, but he didn’t have to say anything.  He missed a week of school and came back with no hair…”
“And he’s acting really tired.  It’s obvious he’s seriously sick.”
“Yeah, and only cancer takes all your hair that fast.”
Gracie pursed her lips together and placed both hands on her hips before swiveling about and marching directly to the school’s math room.  There she found Mr. Quilter sitting at his desk, his bald head lowered into his hands.  He did look tired.  The classroom was empty; all the kids were outside on the playground. 
Gracie interrupted the math teacher by clearing her voice.  When he looked up, she asked him a simple question.
“Mr. Quilter, why is your head bald?”
After flashing a humored smile, he proceeded to explain how he had flown home to attend the funeral of his grandfather the prior week, and during that time he had been invited to play on his brother’s basketball team.  Mr. Quilter had eagerly agreed, being tall and athletic and quite fond of the game.  He had been less eager to agree to shaving his head in order to look like the other team players who took great pride in reflecting through appearances their team name—the Bald Eagles.  However, a little guilt-ridden convincing by his brother had done the trick.  Mr. Quilter flashed a wry smile as he rubbed his head and told Gracie, “It does make for faster showers in the morning.”
Little Gracie told her math teacher that she thought he looked fine with a bald head.  Then she marched outside to report the truth to Jeffrey and Dylan who had already convinced a dozen surrounding children that they would soon be getting a new math teacher.  Gracie stated that it was not so.
Later that day, outside the local grocery store where a troop of girl scouts was selling mint crèmes and coconut clusters and chunky chocolate cookies, Gracie was exiting the store behind her mother who stopped to purchase three boxes of mint crèmes, supporting the troop that her friend, Karin Summers, happened to direct as a parent volunteer.  Both adults watched a neighbor lady, Miss Tyra Darling, walk out of the store carrying a case of beer in either hand.  They began to talk in loud whispers, easily overheard by curious, young ears.
“That’s four cases this week.  I saw Tyra purchase two cases a couple days ago.”
“Really?  I say, that’s an awful lot of beer for a single woman who lives alone.”
“She’s got an obvious drinking problem.  Beverly, who lives right next door to Tyra, told me no one ever comes over to that lonely house.  Tyra never throws any parties or anything.  Not that Beverly wants any loud, drunken partiers carrying on next door.”
“No, no, I’m sure she doesn’t want that.  She would have to call the cops on something like that.”
“The woman is just a serious alcoholic.  No doubt she’ll die from a bad liver—young and miserably alone.”
“What a tragedy.  I don’t understand why people do stuff like that to themselves.”
During this conversation, every girl scout from Hannah Pepper to Hallie Nogues had their ears perked, listening.  Gracie Gubler, alone, spun about and marched toward the silver sedan in which Tyra Darling had deposited her two cases of beer.  The woman was just opening the driver’s seat door when a chipper “excuse me” stopped her.  Gracie went to stand directly under Tyra’s nose and looked up to ask a simple question. 
“Miss Darling, are you going to drink all of those beers yourself?”
The shocked recipient of the question put a hand to her heart, and her cheeks flushed red.  She laughed at the thought.  “Oh dear, dear, no, no!”  She then leaned forward and explained to little Gracie that her hobby and passion was gardening.  Every spring and summer she tended to a half an acre of garden behind her house which included rare flowers mixed with all sorts of herbs, fruits, and vegetables.  The beer was used as bait in homemade bowl-traps that effectively lured and killed slugs, snails, and earwigs.  She also sprayed the trees and bushes with beer because it attracted the most beautiful butterflies to her garden.  Tyra laughed again and skewed her eyebrows.  “I don’t even like the taste of beer,” she said.  “But I will admit, I do mix up a pretty good beer batter when I’m in the mood for a fish fry.” 
After accepting Miss Darling’s invitation to drop by at a later date and visit the beer-fertilized garden, Little Gracie Gubler marched back to report the truth to her mother and Karin (as well as the eavesdropping girl scouts.)  The adults stared silently at Gracie for a few stunned moments. 
“Huh, that’s good to know.”
“Yeah.  I wonder if I could get her beer batter recipe.”
The next day at school, freckle-faced Gracie was in the library checking out a fairytale storybook about Dimearians—people born with moth-type wings on their backs.  She cocked an ear when she overheard Russ Montgomery whispering (partly because he was in a library and partly because he was gossiping) about LeiAnn Jones, a new girl from Wisconsin who had joined their class two weeks prior.  She had proven to be a quiet sort and had checked out five thick books after receiving special permission from the librarian.
“She’s a snot, I tell you.  Thinks she’s smarter and better than the rest of us.  I bet she doesn’t even read those books.  Just showing off, hoping the rest of us will think Wisconsin grows brainiacs like it grows cheese.”
“I’m pretty sure they don’t grow cheese…” someone started to say.
“You know what I mean.  That LeiAnn girl is so big-headed, she won’t even say ‘how d’ya do’ to anyone.  Has she talked to you?  ‘Cause she hasn’t said one word to me.”
“Nuh-uh.”
“Nope.”
“Not one word.”
“And have you said one word to her?” 
The question took the other kids by surprise, in part because it was voiced louder than appropriate for a library setting, but mostly because the speaker had not been included in the conversation.  Gracie Gubler ran her probing eyes over every kid huddled about the reading table.  Then she turned and headed to a corner of the library where LeiAnn Jones was sitting by herself with a pile of books on her lap.  She had one cracked open hiding her face.  It took LeiAnn a moment to lower the book when she heard someone address her by name.  As soon as Gracie could see the blue of LeiAnn’s eyes, she asked a simple question.
“Why don’t you join the rest of the class at the reading table?”
LeiAnn glanced in the direction of the other kids who were staring with tight eyes at Gracie’s back.  The new girl swallowed hard, and then timidly explained that she felt uncomfortable.  No one had invited her to sit with the others, and she didn’t want to assume they would welcome her.  Shrugging it off, she told the inquisitive red-head that she was fine—“I have my books.”  LeiAnn then confessed, “I’m not very good at making new friends.”
After chatting with LeiAnn Jones, finding that they had a common love for fantasy books, Gracie marched back to the reading table to report the truth to Russ Montgomery and the other children, after which a few of them decided to go introduce themselves to the new girl.
And so it was with Gracie.  Whenever she heard someone speak a word of assuming gossip, she was quick to learn and share the truth.  Thus, Bobby Black learned that he had not been callously dumped by Darin Caraway as a best friend; the birthday invitation had been mailed by his mother to the wrong address.   Elizabeth Bifano learned that Kimmy Jackson did in fact adore her daisy-yellow dress, even though Kimmy’s least favorite color in the world was yellow.  Madelyn Jenks learned that their school teacher did not own a jar where he kept the names of bad students he meant to feed to the alligators at the end of the school year.  And Mindi Bergeson learned that Scarlet Elliott’s unfortunate case of acne was not the result of kissing frogs in the pond on the Elliot’s farm.  Therefore, when anyone saw the little freckle-faced redhead marching near, they would check their conversation—because if their comments weren’t the verified truth, it was foolish business to gossip in front of Gracie Gubler.

​Copyright 2017 Richelle E. Goodrich



Friday, February 10, 2017

Loving You, Valentine

In the spirit of Valentine's Day I've put together my own written collection on LOVE.  
I hope you enjoy.





"Because," said a boy.
"Because why?" asked a young girl.
"Because I love you."
— Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)

"You are the one star I wish upon nightly, praying your glory will fall from the heavens and land in my undeserving arms."  — Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, & Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)

"Though I love you to the core of my being, so thoroughly that every cell comprising me aches to be near you, I must accept that we can never be together. For our existence parallels the sun and the moon—a temptation in constant, beautiful view, yet if the sun were ever to kiss the moon it would devour the heavenly orb whole. Oh, my darling, if only I were the moon! Then I would dare taste your lips and be happy for my last and final joy! But alas, I am the sun, and I will not venture to destroy the one I love." — Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year) 

"True love takes time. It’s an earned comfort that tells you she’ll be right there beside you no matter what you do, not necessarily happy with your every action, but faithful to you just the same."  — Richelle E. Goodrich (Eena, The Return of a Queen (The Harrowbethian Saga #2))

"I'm not saying that I think one man is better than the other. I'm not saying that either is kinder or wiser or more ambitious, more thoughtful, confident, or able. But the fact is that when I'm with the one, comfort settles into my bones. I feel calm around him, as if the sun is smiling down on me and the world has suddenly become a sweet, safe place to be. I feel good about life―about myself. And it's hard not to want to be near someone who, just by their very nature, makes you feel that way."  — Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, & Grumblings for Every Day of the Year) 

"Be loved for who you are, for everything that constitutes you. Be loved for your core beliefs, your strengths and weaknesses, your admirable traits and troublesome baggage. Be loved for you, because anything less is not love at all."  — Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)

"I love you sounds best spoken in quiet acts of kindness." — Richelle E. Goodrich (Slaying Dragons: Quotes, Poetry, & a Few Short Stories for Every Day of the Year)

 "I had the most beautiful dream, and then I fell asleep in your arms and my dream turned lovelier still."  — Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, & Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)

"He was everything I needed because his entire character had been molded by my deepest wants and desires. He was my rock when I cried, my playmate when I laughed, and my hero when I needed to imagine that one existed for me." — Richelle E. Goodrich (Dandelions: The Disappearance of Annabelle Fancher) 

"Prove that you love me through a lingering gaze and never losing that twinkle of adoration in your eyes."  — Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, & Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)

"My love for you reaches beyond the borders of continents, so vast in scope that I would cross oceans to be with you." 
"Yes, but does that same love penetrate so deep as to dare thee to sink to the oceans' depths to find me?"
— Richelle E. Goodrich (My Aquarius) 

"To have a caring and committed heart toward someone—a heart so firm in its devotion as to sooner stop beating than neglect the object of its desire despite the person's state of health, appearance, reputation, finances, troubles, or challenges—that, dear world, is love. It is a rare find."  — Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, & Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)

"The most difficult challenge an honest man will ever face is having to choose between duty and love. One creates a man of honorable character―a life worth dying for. The other creates a vulnerable soul that madly yearns for either death or immortality."  — Richelle E. Goodrich (Eena, The Return of a Queen (The Harrowbethian Saga #2)) 

"Love is an afternoon of fishing when I'd sooner be at the ballet. Love is eating burnt toast and lumpy graving with a big smile. Love is hearing the words 'You're beautiful' as I fail to squeeze into my fat jeans. Love is refusing to bring up the past, even if doing so would be a slam dunk to prove your point. Love is your hand wiping away my tears, trying to erase streaks of mascara. Love is the warm hug that extinguishes an argument. Love is a humbly-uttered apology, even if not at fault. Love is easy to recognize but so hard to define; however, I think it boils down to this... Love is caring so much about the feelings of someone else, you sacrifice whatever it takes to help him or her feel better. In other words, love is my heart being sensitive to yours." — Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year) 

"Love is years of devotion, sacrifice, commitment, loyalty, trust, faith, and friendship all wrapped up in one. True love does more than cause your heart to flutter. It upholds your heart when the infatuation no longer makes it flutter."  — Richelle E. Goodrich (Eena, The Return of a Queen (The Harrowbethian Saga #2)) 

"When you love someone, you don’t care that she ate your sandwich.  You only hope she found it delicious." — Richelle E. Goodrich (Slaying Dragons: Quotes, Poetry, & a Few Short Stories for Every Day of the Year)

"True love is a developed and intense appreciation for someone. It’s that perfect awareness that you are finally whole when she’s with you, and that hollow incompleteness you suffer when she’s gone."  — Richelle E. Goodrich (Eena, The Return of a Queen (The Harrowbethian Saga #2))

 "I believe in love―a kind, selfless, unending devotion. I believe it is rare." — Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, & Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)

 "To the romantic soul, the rituals of Valentine's Day echo every day of the year." — Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year) 


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Excerpt from Slaying Dragons

I'm currently working on another book of quotes, poetry, and short stories to be released this coming April, just in time for my second son's graduation. It will be his graduation gift. The book is titled, Slaying Dragons: Quotes, Poetry, & a Few Short Stories for Every Day of the Year
 I thought I would share a recently-written excerpt:

I used to play in the hot July wind and imagine it was dragon’s breath singeing my skin.  I would clamber up the hill behind our home as if I were a knight intent on hunting down and slaying the beast.  For I would try to rouse it by making a ruckus as loud and annoying as a lonely pup.  But no dragon responded to my verbal challenges, and I was never lucky enough to stumble upon any large, fire-breathing animal.  Not until the day I turned ten. 
That day was not unlike other hot and windy July afternoons when I scrambled up the green hill that blocked faraway scenery from the windows of our house.  And like every other time, I brandished my invisible sword, imagining it glistening in the sunlight, bejeweled at the hilt with priceless sapphires and rubies.  I swore aloud to slay the dragon whose hot breath was the source of the July winds—or so it seemed in a boy’s creative mind—and hustled with great energy and determination up the rocky terrain. 
I had climbed only partway when the toe of my shoe managed to lodge itself beneath the edge of a smooth, pearly rock.  I nearly fell over and would surely have dropped my treasured sword had it actually been made from physical substance.  But it remained in my hand and, finding my shoe unable to slide out from beneath the pale stone, I pretended to jab at it with the tip of my sword as if this poking attack would surely persuade whatever had taken such a fast hold to release me.  For a short period of time I entertained myself with fantasy heroics that pitted me against creatures of enormous girth, extraordinary strength, and fierce cunning.  However, this did nothing to free me.  As one might guess, a make-believe sword has little effect on genuine problems.  I soon grew anxious enough to reach for a real, solid stick in hopes of prying my foot loose.
To my great relief, the stick worked like magic and forced up the pearly rock.  To my great astonishment, I discovered that what had snagged my foot was no rock.  It had a peculiar shape; the unburied end tapered off to a sharp point.  But the fact that it rose in the air of its own accord proved most convincing. 
I staggered backwards, succumbing to greater degrees of shock with every inch this mysterious item rose off the ground.  I gasped aloud as it was joined by four near-identical ivory hooks.  It wasn’t until the sharp tips came together that it dawned on me what I was seeing.  The pale, pointed rocks were claws!  Five claws attached to crusty fingers that formed a fist larger than my pitiful, scrawny mass! 
I could feel my face drain of color standing there, wanting to flee, yet powerless to command my muscles to move.  White as a ghost, I watched the green, muddy hillside grow taller and taller while taking on a beastly form.  I cannot recall if I breathed at all during the time this thrilling phenomenon took place, but the creature extended its neck and breathed a waft of hot air down upon me as if conveying irritation at having had its nap disturbed. 
There I stood staring up at two glowing golden eyes, facing a magnificent dragon as real and alive as the hopeful, young knight at its feet.  My heart started with fright at what sounded like a boom of thunder, and I fell to the ground like a rag doll.  Under a sudden shadow, I realized the dragon’s wings had snapped open, mimicking a clap of thunder.  The air seemed to swoop up the beast in defiance of gravity, and it took my dragon far, far away while I watched, mouth agape.  I stared at the sky until no visible proof remained of what I had witnessed.  And though I told many a soul the truth of the matter, none believed me.
I have yet to cross paths again with that golden-eyed dragon, but you will find me still climbing hills where the winds blow hot.  With watchful eyes and a solid Terillian sword in my grip, I search for unusual rocks as white and smooth as pearls.

Copyright 2017 Richelle E. Goodrich