Posted in 2017, Symbols, Writing

Common Symbols: Dragon

Dragons were originally depicted worldwide as serpents, but during the middle ages dragons began being depicted with legs similar to a lizards. Western dragons are traditionally described as living in rivers or caves, having a thick armour-like hide, and never flying despite often being depicted with wings. Western dragons are usually evil creatures who are greedy and hoard gold and other treasures in their caves. This is due to them being demonized due to the rise of Christianity in Europe. Many dragons before this were seen as benevolent creatures such as Y Ddraig Goch or the Red Dragon of Wales. The two headed dragon is often seen as a symbol of the division between the Eastern and Western Roman Empires.

Russian dragons are similar to hydras in the fact that they have three heads and if each one isn’t cut off at the same time they will grow back. Other Russian dragons most likely symbolize the Mongols and other peoples of the steppes.

In Asian dragons especially those found in Indian mythology often have their roots in religion. In the early Vedic religion, Vritra or “the enveloper” was the personification of drought. Chinese dragons are amalgamations of all the other Chinese Zodiac animals. For instance a Chinese dragon has the body of a snake and the front legs of a rooster. In Japan most dragons are water deities associated with rainfall and bodies of water. In Vietnam dragons bring rain.

Dragons in modern media are either described as being benevolent and wise, greedy and cruel, or creatures of mass destruction. Another description has been gaining prevalence as of late. Dragons are now being described as being lonely and misunderstood more and more.

This post barely goes into depth with any of the dragons I have described, and I even ended up skipping a couple. There are many dragons described in myths around the world and each one is different in its symbolism than the last. Keep this in mind when writing dragons as symbols in your stories.

Resources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon

Posted in 2017, Fiction, Ruminated Scrawling, Writing

Flashbacks used to Contrast the Present

I just finished watching Stranger Things which I understand has been out for a while but I just had to not do what everyone else was doing and ignore it when it first came out. I noticed something along with the amazing shot composition and the 80’s horror movie feel it gave off. This has to do with when and where flashbacks are placed and which scenes they can be found in.

One of the first times I noticed this was shortly after Will Byers disappeared and his mother, Joyce Byers was looking for him. This scene starts off with a flashback of Joyce entering his fort out in the woods. If you listen closely to the conversation the two characters have it is clear that Joyce is very understanding of Will’s interests which most people would have seen as weird or stupid at the time and both characters are happy. It is clear that the two have a very good relationship.

Then the flashback cuts back to the present where Joyce enters the fort to find Will not there. This contrast gives a feeling of absence and magnifies the sadness and panic Joyce feels at this moment.

Flashbacks can be used to not only contrast between the past and present for certain characters, but they can also be used to show similarities between different events. This happens in Stranger Things when Jim Hopper is going into the Upside Down Place with Joyce. First he sees himself telling his daughter to breath when she has an asthma attack which he connects to telling Joyce to breathe slowly in the present. Later when the two find Will, Jim sees the strange tube in the boy’s throat and it reminds him of the tube coming out of his daughters throat when she was in the hospital. When Jim does CPR on Will, it reminds him of how the doctors and nurses at the hospital tried to resuscitate his daughter after she flatlined. With the third flashback in this episode the flashback contrasts with the present slightly in the fact that Will survives and Jim’s daughter does not.

These flashbacks add a lot of emotion to scenes which would have only been a little bit creepy. Not only this but these flashbacks also give insights as to the thoughts and pasts of the characters. This show is not one where thoughts are regularly given voice especially with the adult characters and these flashbacks help watchers of the show to better understand these characters.

This is just something I found interesting while watching Stranger Things. This is definitely something I could use in my writing though in a different way as it is used in the show because of the different in mediums. I can’t wait until season two comes so that it can clear up the one loose end of the series.

Posted in 2017, Challenges, Fiction, Writing

Beneath the Ocean’s Surface

Deep beneath the surface of the ocean many organisms make their home. Glowing white jellyfish swim freely around angler fish and other bizarre creatures. Many of these organisms have yet to even be seen by human eyes.


This is a story written for Three Line Tales week 72. The goal is to write a story that is three lines long using a photo prompt. You can find the challenge post here.

Posted in 2017, Challenges, Fiction, Writing

The Bookstore

The bookstore had been there for nearly a century. The shelves were lit by light bulbs dangling from the ceiling which had been installed only two decades before. There never seemed to be a speck of dust on the shelves and though the hardwood floor could at times be covered in dirt because of thoughtless customers, the employees always made sure they swept it well at least once a day.

Though the store was rather small, many customers came in each day to look through the many books and maybe find something that catches their interest. Now a teenaged girl searched for the perfect book to read in her spare time. She picked up one of the thickest books on the shelf and leafed through it before sighing and putting it back on the shelf.

An employee noticed her and for some reason he felt she was sad. He decided against going to help her because he felt that sometimes people just need some space to think. But despite the fact the teenager was surrounded by the words of over a hundred different people she felt more alone than ever.

When the store closed she was still searching.


This was written as a part of Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner week #24. Writers need to write a piece of flash fiction below 200 words based on a photo prompt. The challenge post can be found here. Other stories related to the prompt can be found here.

The photo prompt came from https://www.pexels.com/photo/architecture-bookcase-books-bookshelves-300412/

Posted in 2017, Challenges, Fiction, Writing

The Photographer

The photographer crouched down in the middle of the cobblestone street, slightly angling her camera to hide the steady trickle of tourists. She wanted her photographs to capture the historical aspect of this building, and not the touristy trap part. She could only hope that her pictures would turn out as beautiful as she thought they would turn out. Only a quick look on her computer’s screen would tell her.

But as she snapped photographs in the middle of the cobblestone street she realized that people stepped around her. They never looked down, or laughed at the way she crouched, but rather she was completely invisible to them. It was as though she was never even there. And that is true in the fact that the only person absent from most photographs is the person who originally took them.


This was written as a part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Writers need to write a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 150 words based on a photo prompt. The challenge post can be found here. Other stories related to the prompt can be found here.

Photo prompt provided by The Magesticgoldenrose.

Posted in 2017, Anime, Anime Review

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid (2017) anime review

85434One night, after getting very drunk Kobayashi finds a dragon with a sword sticking out of its side. She removes the sword and in return, after turning into a human form the dragon offers to do anything for Kobayashi. Kobayashi drunkenly requests that the become her maid. The next morning as she sets out to work she opens the door and sees the dragon. The dragon turns into her human form and is wearing a maid outfit. She introduces herself as Tohru and after convincing Kobayashi to let her stay she becomes a maid. Thus begins the odd relationship between Kobayashi, Tohru, and several other dragons.

Screenshot (67)The designs of the characters, especially the dragons is great. A lot of thought went into the dragon designs because each one is based off of a different myth found in different parts of the world. The best part of these designs is the stark contrast between the mundane programmer Kobayashi and the fantastical dragon Tohru. Kobayashi keeps the series grounded in realism while Tohru allows for a lot of crazy things to happen which adds the majority of the humour to the series along with Kobayashi’s reactions to these crazy things.

Screenshot (68)There many different dragons in this series, each one with a tragic backstory related to family and the way society treats them. These backstories also help connect these characters to their real life mythical inspirations. This aids the development of the main themes related to both family and society which will be explored throughout each episode until the very end. These themes create a few scenes that caused me to cry a little so be ready for them if you ever watch this series.

Screenshot (63)This is a fantastic series despite a few strange moments involving young characters and a couple minor hiccups in the animation. I recommend you watch Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid if you enjoy watching any fantasy, slice of life, or comedy anime, as well as if you just so happen to love dragons like me. A season two may be coming in the future, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

Final Rating – 48/50