(Don't leave anything of value in the pockets. We are not responsible for lost glittering things and gummy bears. Dwarf Management.)
Sessin will guide you to your seats. The table at the center is reserved for my sixty five Guests of Honor. All 150 dwarves are on duty today, so if you need anything just wave and a dwarf or two will answer promptly. They have orders to give you a royal treatment.
(Tips are welcomed in glittering things and gummy bears. We also accept Dragons Express and Dwarves Club. If you have none, a bottle of wine will do. Dwarf Management.)
Father Dragon and his dwarves have put their hearts on this celebration. As a regular post it may result long, but this is actually a private party and everything on it is to honor and celebrate you. We hope it comes out to be a pleasant experience.
On November 24, 2012 I opened the Dragon Cave to the public with my first post. I've just read it and I recommend you don't. It's a boring rambling. It made me smile, though. No doubt Father Dragon had quite an arc during his blogging year. As dreadful as my writing could be, one thing was clear. I was hungry for knowledge. I didn't say it but there was something else. I wanted to express the essence of who I was and see if my words would echo in someone's heart. A long shot, I thought, but I took the leap of faith nonetheless. The worst thing that could happen was that this ended up being a monologue exercise. The best thing was a hundred followers in a year. Tassin, my task master, thought it was pretty ambitious. What did he know? Ambitious was my secret wish that at least five of those followers would become my friends for real. Five. Not in my wildest dreams I imagined counting as many as I do today.
Today a cycle comes to an end. A change is coming to the cave but that's life. The only permanent thing in this world is change. It's necessary for improvement, for adaptability and for evolution. Life is motion, and what doesn't renew itself, gets stalled and limited. I know it's highly possible our paths split. Some will continue your journey without me. Some will walk by the dragon's side for a little longer. No matter what you choose to do, I don't want this cycle to end without letting you know how much the time we shared meant to me.
Guests of Honor, you have enriched my life. You have inspired me when I was broken and comforted me when I was sad. You've made me smile, you've made me laugh and you've made me cry too. You've touched my heart so deeply that you've shaken me. The order of my universe changed with your help. You restored my faith on human beings and the quality of their hearts.
Jeff Hargett and Alex Cavanaugh, my first and second follower respectively. I'm still amazed how close and dear you've become to this dragon. Making friends with those who share things in common with you is not surprising. Shock comes when similarities come up so often you start hearing Twilight Zone music. I'm willing to believe there is a dragon among Jeff's ancestors. It's a blessing to find a friend who could have been your twin brother in another life.
Alex is a different story. First time I read his blog I thought we didn't have a single thing in common, so we were not going to get far. It's awesome how much I've come to learn from and trust a person who (according to the dragon) had nothing in common with me. The way I see it, Alex speaks Ninja and I speak Dragon. I need time to meditate on his words, to translate them from Ninja into Dragon and understand the message. But believe me when I say I've come to unravel priceless life mysteries thanks to him. Our conversations are a gift from the Higher Powers because they have taught me to listen with the intent to understand, and not with the intent to reply.
Jeff and Alex, you're a healthy exercise to my brain, mind and spirit. You've helped my heart to open and be more compassionate. You've given me more than your faith and friendship. You've given me a taste of freedom. How could I ever repay that?
Laura Eno, my dearest Laura, you were the very first one who made a promise with me, remember? A promise of strength and courage and hope. I still hold you to it, as I hold you in the highest esteem. The candle I lit for you at the Cave will keep burning as a reminder to both that we ought to be brave and never quit.
David Powers, Elizabeth Seckman, Julie Luek, Julie Flanders, C. Lee McKenzie, Shannon Lawrence and Mina Lobo would take the prize for being the ones who first commented on a post of mine (the third) and stayed my friends to this date (aside from Jeff). David, my comrade knight, you have brightened my day so many times, the light lingers even in your absence. Elizabeth, your sweet kindness has been like an embrace of sunshine in dark days. Julie Luek, I admire you more than you can imagine and your spam of hugs is something I look forward to. Julie Flanders, I smile each time I see you here, thanks for believing in me. C. Lee, milady, here's to unforgettable friendships and for that smile always shining on your face. Shannon, you're an amazing hard working writer and you've taught me a lot. Mina, my gothic girl, your sense of humor has brought me joy and made me question myself. That's always a good thing.
Laughter to me is as necessary as the air I breath. Laughter has healing powers. It helps light enter my heart when it is burdened by sorrows. It gives relief and ancillary energy enough to get me back to my feet. Laughter reconnects me again with the Higher Powers or whatever you may call it. Martin Willoughby, Mark Koopmans and L.D. Masterson are my Special Forces Friends. When things seemed to crumble down on me, no matter how bad the case was, Special Forces never failed in their unknown mission to make me feel better. Special Forces -like smiles- secured the Dragon's ability to keep fighting.
A dragon does not only live on virgin snacks. He also needs food for the brain. And knowledge is better when it is delivered in an easy-to-digest manner. It's even better if it gives you energy and the urge to try all you've just learned. Mooderino is the Top Iron Chef to Father Dragon. In my opinion, reading Moody is like enjoying the most exquisite Haute Cuisine. Why? Because he combines eloquence with humor in a perfect balance.
But Moody was not the only one who fed the dragon. Melissa Maygrove, T. Drecker, L. Diane Wolfe and Rachna Chhabria did so too. And you also patted and spoiled the dragon with kindnesses that left me with a silly grin.
If we talk about food for the stomach, Jo Wake, dragon's honorary Grandmother, helped my recovery by stirring my appetite with pictures of delicious recipes. Thank you for that and for accepting this very special title even if you're way much younger than an eight century old dragon.
Time is not a factor to get into my heart. It's the things you've done for me and the impact those things had in my life that got you there and the reason why I'm honoring you.
Brandon Ax, the sketch you did for me is worth more than a Rembrandt. Catherine McLean, my project Under the Fireworks was so much fun. Thanks to you, the Dwarf Cheering Squad have faces and I have an official picture. Cherie Reich, you made me start writing goals and strive to actually achieve them. If dragon's wore hats, I would take off mine. Christine Rains, you inspired me to not quit the writing. Dani, you made me feel so supported and appreciated, your visits were like hearing jingle bells. Donna Hole, I think you made a sport of making the dragon blush. Your friendship honors me. Elephant's Child, I really hope you find here retribution for your unfaltering devotion. You don't let me feel alone. Elise Fallson, you're fun, gentle and intelligent. You're a great human being and you brought me joy and light. Far Away Eyes, you put feeling in your words and that feeling went through the screen right to my heart. Franny Stevenson, you gave me more than awards, you gave me a smile that appears each time I think of you. Gary Pennick, you are such a kind soul and an amazing human being. It's my honor to have met both you and Penny. Hilary Melton-Butcher and Sia Mckye, your positive energy is infectious even when you're not feeling so positive. Your presence here is a precious gift. Jaybird, the dragon salutes you. I've empathized with you more times than you know. You may fall but you always manage to get up and keep fighting. You're braver than you give yourself credit for.
Jeremy Hawkins, I think we've interacted more on FB than on blog but I really care for you and I'm your friend. Julie Kemp Pick, L.G Smith, Lara Lacombe and Linda Young, believe it or not, I always looked forward to your visits. You brought sparks to my day whenever you appeared. Lexa Cain, Robin and Samantha Geary, you're my favorite playmates. Each time you come or I go to visit you, there is fun, there is learning and there is friendly love and support. Girls, you do know how to make a dragon feel special. M. J. Joachim, you have an effectively human heart, kind and passionate. I am glad we met and talked.
Mark Means, I bet you didn't know you helped me figure out my own passion and how to make peace between my muses. I can't thank you enough. Mary Pax, you reminded me constantly how much I loved starry skies and why. You inspire me to reach those stars and rekindled my dreams. Michael Di Gesu and Michael L. Swift, my two wise and sensitive friends. I can always expect from you words of good sense and empathy. I think you're both gifted with talent and vision. You're hard workers and you've inspired me countless times.
Maurice Mitchell, Medeia Shariff, Misha Gericke, Michelle Wallace, Melissa Bradley, M.J. Fifield, Morgan Shamy, Yvonne Lewis and Nancy LaRonda, you've come to the Cave more times than I've gone to visit you during this year. I am sorry for that. I want you to know I cherished each and every time I saw you here, cheering me up, supporting me and leaving encouraging words. I appreciate all of you very much and I am grateful you kindly gave me your time and your thoughtful words.
Nick Wilford, you gave the dragon the chance to become a published author by joining a wonderful cause. I'm truly sorry for your loss but know you can count on me anytime. If I can, I will be always glad to help you. Pk Hrezo, the Queen of Fairies, your little fairies' magic work even from afar, you know. They always lifted my spirits, as you did.
S.K. Anthony, Suzanne Furness, Tyrean Martinson and Yolanda Renee, I could hug you breathless, wonderful ladies. You are amazing cheerleaders who could take the dwarves out of business. Stephen Tremp, I learned a lot of new, interesting stuff from you. Tammy Theriault, I think I stalked your site more times than you know. I wanted to come home and draw bunnies but there was never the chance. I love your sense of humor, girl. Thank you for your help. Tara Tayler, you fascinated me and the dwarves when we had the honor to host you. Your advice for lazy dragon was century-distilled wisdom I'll never forget.
And last but far from least, Tony Laplume. If there is something I treasure more like gold is
honesty, even if it is the blunt honesty of Tony's style. When I gave my manuscript for critic, I always said "tell me the truth without fear to hurt my feelings. I have none." It was my way to invite honest and constructive criticism. Tony never saw my manuscripts, but he gave his opinion about my blog. I realized he is a trustworthy critic with an objective point of view and a penchant for speaking his mind, just like me. Whether we agree or not, I think we understand each other well. Tony, you're a valuable friend. One I hope to keep for a while and get to know better.
Here's to all of you, my sixty five good friends. Here's to friendship, to hearts that have the power to cross distance and time barriers and comfort each other. I was honored to met you and it was a great pleasure and blessing interacting with you.
I pray for all of your dreams to come true. I pray for you to have the strength to believe in yourselves, to have the determination to never quit in the face of adversity. I pray the Higher Powers to return to each one of you a hundred times more than you've given me this year.
Today all fireworks on the sky are for you. They're celebrating your life, your dreams and your gentle hearts. This cave was open for a whole year thanks to you all. Cheers!
Now it is time for the gifts. A party is not a party if there are no gifts. Your gift to the dragon is the pleasure of your presence here; the time you've given me. Father Dragon has two gifts for you, one of light and one of fire.
I use to say someone's name is written in golden letters in my heart whenever a person touches my life in a meaningful way. Well, each of you have your names written in fire letters in the Dragon's Hall of Fame. I noticed many of you liked the idea to have your name written in dragon's breath. I did something special for you as a memento of the friendship shared. You can visit the Hall of Fame and take your name with you, if you so wish. It will also remain here for as long as the Dragon Cave stands, or until Blogger chooses to erase all trace of Father Dragon and his place.
Friends may come and go, but the things we shared remain with us for the rest of our lives.
My second gift to you is an award that only Father Dragon can give. You might have seen it during the A to Z Challenge. When I created it, I planned it to be a very special award because of the meaning I want it to have.
|Make sure to download in PNG format|
I offer you, my Guests of Honor, the Golden Scale Award. An honorable promise is required in order to take it, though. Displaying the Golden Scale Award on your blogs implies that you've promised to become your own hero. It means you won't wait for any special thing to happen so you can be happy (i.e. when I get this or that I'll be happy; when I no longer suffer this or that, I'll be happy).
The Golden Scale Award is not for the things you did, but for the things you'll be doing to be happy on daily basis. It's for the courage you promise to show when facing adversity. The determination you promise to have when standing for your dreams and for what you believe in. It's the wisdom of knowing life is sometimes way too difficult but overcoming those difficulties is the only way to grow into a better person and to learn something. We face our fears to find ourselves and our own worth.
There is no wisdom without experience, and knowledge is empty without wisdom. Accepting this award means you are willing to work hard to start working miracles in your own life. I want to make clear I am not suggesting you stop believing on a High Power. I believe too. I am just inviting you to take responsibility of your life, like I did, and release all your true potential.
This promise I ask of you is not to me, but to yourselves. I won't know if you keep it or not. I will go on with my life and fight my own battles, seeking to win my personal wars. But if there is any kind of Father Dragon's essence I can give you, this is it. It's up to you to take it or leave it.
All right, Tassin is signaling me to shut up because the feast is getting cold and the wine is getting warm. Enjoy your day and your party. The dragon and his dwarves won't leave until the last guest has left and the last drop of wine has been swallowed. A su salud y muchas gracias a todos!