Dear Sam (Somebody who Ain’t Me),
In Eastern tradition – as opposed to Western – dragons were not dumb beasts, savage, and uncompromising. They were intelligent, aided travelers and heroes in story, and magical. In some cases they could fly without the aid of bat-like wings. They were protectors not devils. Their element was water as they were thought to be the bringer of rain. For me they represent imagination and creativity. Hence, the dragon is blind.
Blindness is a two-fold symbol (as many great traits are). Cultures evolved from Abrahamic lore (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) consider blindness a curse that needs to be cured by God. However, in Classical canon, the blind Tiresias was considered clairvoyant and a wise authority in Thebes. Norse legend tells of Odin, who gave an eye for wisdom. Since this dragon is my Muse, I wanted it to be blind to ensure it had the best ability to provide wisdom and creative insight.
The dragon is shaped to be a pen itself. At the top of its neck and head there are gaps in the body which lead down to the stripe on its back. The pattern should invoke the likeness of a feathered quill.
As for the name, it was inspired by a wordplay. Pendragon is the surname of the legendary character Arthur, king of England and his father, Uthor. Specific to Wales, someone who holds the title “dragon” is usually the leader of a clan and well respected. So Pen-Dragon means a good writer. I hope after long hours of study, practice, and editing, I can be a true pen-dragon.
I graduated cum laude from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina with a Bachelor’s of Arts in English: Creative Writing where I collected additional honours from the International Honours Societies of English (Sigma Tau Delta) and History (Phi Alpha Theta). I chose to go to App mostly because of the location. The mountains are a great place for writing and the snow Boone boasts about. The Blue Ridge in every season provided great stimulation for my imagination and an appreciation for the natural world. I couldn’t imagine going anywhere else.
In Spring 2014, I studied abroad at Kingston University, London, on an exchange program. It changed, educated, and benefited me in more ways than just receiving an education abroad. If you’re a student, or anyone in general, and are thinking of going abroad . . . DO IT! You will come back broke, I did, but do it. Go anywhere. You’ll thank me.
Because of the artist’s secretive nature, I codename my stories whenever I refer to them with others, using ‘Project’ followed by a name closely associated to the theme of the novel. Currently, I am working on my main story ‘Project Stripes’ (I mention it often in my posts). I began writing Project Stripes back in 2013 with periodic breaks to develop my next series of books ‘Project Beacon.’ Even though Project Beacon is an older idea — having been thought of summer of 2012 — Project Stripes caught my attention as the first novel I should endeavor to publish because of its themes of inner reliance, becoming independent in the wake of losing a parent, and drawing attention to earning talents or abilities; it is not necessarily enough to be born into predestined greatness.
I am happy to say I worked for the Walt Disney Company College Program Internship in Orlando, Florida for Fall 2015 and Spring 2016. My roles included Lifeguard at Disney’s Pop Century and Art of Animation Resorts and Ride Operator at DINOSAUR in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. My time in Orlando was eye-opening. I learned more about the Walt Disney Company than I thought before as just a guest. I gained more knowledge of myself to add on top of my adventures at Kingston. Was working at Disney hard? Yes. Did it prepare me more for the “real world”? Without a doubt. You can only learn your capacity for adversity if you put yourself through it.
Cheers. Welcome to The Pen-Dragon.