Yule around the corner…

MacKENZIE's Dragon's Nest

Greetings friends and visitors.

It has been a while since I’ve written here. The year has been hard and busy and full in ways I never anticipated when it began.

That said, Thanksgiving is past and December’s chill is in the air.  And for my Dragon-loving friends, I have news to share:

My new book, Llewellyn’s Little Book of Dragons, is now available to be preordered either from Llewellyn or Amazon. A delightfully scaly hardcover book full of Dragon tips, lore, and even a couple of brand-new Dragon tales. It will be officially our February 8th – a perfect Valentine’s present for the dracophile near and dear to your heart.

And for those of you looking for something draconic for this year’s Yule, Dragons for Beginners is available now.

As I say around Dragons Nest, a little Dragon under the Yule tree or Chanukah bush is…

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Dear Don Jr.

Yes!

patrickjkearney

Dear Don Jr.,

Let me introduce myself to you, my name is Pat and I’ve been a teacher for almost 30 years. I couldn’t help but catch a little bit of your speech in El Paso where you referred to me and my colleagues as “losers.” (https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2019/02/12/donald-trump-jr-you-dont-have-be-indoctrinated-by-these-loser-teachers-that-are-trying-sell-you-socialism/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.b73060dfc5dd) I have to admit that I was inclined to be angry about your assessment of my profession, but as a teacher I recognized that your lack of understanding comes from ignorance (as it often does).

I am guessing that, much like our Secretary of Education, you have spent very little time in public schools. Not having spent much time in our schools I am guessing that you get most of your information about them from the news that you consume. Fortunately, there is a term for most of what I am guessing you read about public schools, the term is…it’s right on the…

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Warren MacKenzie – 1924-2018

MacKENZIE's Dragon's Nest

Warren MacKENZIE… (1924-2018)

On New Year’s Eve, 2018, my father died.

He was an artist. A master with clay and wheel, glaze and fire. He was a teacher, a mentor, and, though he’d likely shrug it off, an inspiration to generations of potters. His pots are in homes and museums around the world, his life and lessons frozen in time on film and in print. Perhaps some of you are even reading this with a MacKenzie vase full of hopeful spring blooms on your table or a yunomi full of Earl Grey in your hands.

So it is that private loss becomes public, shared with all those who loved him and his work.

For weeks, I have been trying to put pen to paper, to find the right words to talk about him, to cut through the swirl of emotions, and I always seem to come up short. How can…

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Horror! (Because you can never get enough)

MacKENZIE's Dragon's Nest

It is always a pleasure to spread the word about good books, doubly so when they are written by friends. Today I want to tell you about Dark Draughts, a collection of short stories by John Goodrich. (Crossroad Press, 2018)

For years, my appreciation of horror lay somewhere between the casual and the academic. Oh, I knew the classics well enough, but was not really familiar with much modern horror. Then I started reading John’s stories, of which Dark Draughts is an evocative debut collection.

Here are tales steeped in Lovecraftian mythos and ghoulish sojourns to the Old West, ancient Egypt, and the acrid battlefields of WWI. There’s even a piece of extreme grotesquery – “Champagne” – for good measure. [Note: I find “Champagne” funny as hell, but it is definitely not for the squeamish.]

Rendered in crisp, redolent prose, these 16 stories are chilling, witty, and unsettlingly modern. John delves…

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Dragons Weep – Ursula K. Le Guin 1929-2018.

A great sadness…

MacKENZIE's Dragon's Nest

“My soul is ten thousand miles wide and extremely invisibly deep. It is the same size as the sea, and you cannot, you cannot cram it into beer cans and fingernails and stake it out in lots and own it. It will drown you all and never even notice.” 

… Searoad

There are writers who touch us, who teach us, who look at the world in eye-opening ways. Writers who not only reflect the world we live in but also dare to shape it into something the rest of us mere mortals had not even imagined. And when they are gone, and their voices silenced, there is a hole in the world; we are all the poorer for their passing.

For me, Ursula Le Guin was such a writer. 

The Lathe of Heaven; Left Hand of Darkness; Tales of Earthsea; The Dispossessed…In Fantasy and Science Fiction, novels, short stories…

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