Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Prologue: Love It or Hate It?

Laura asked our question for the Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog:

The Prologue: Love It or Hate It? Are there times when it's necessary to have a prologue?
I'm not a fan of prologues.  I'm embarrassed to admit that as a reader, before I started writing again, I generally skipped the prologue.  They often confused the issue for me, and sometimes ruined my enjoyment of the novel.

When I started studying how a novel is put together I discovered there are good reasons to have a prologue.  If it's used right, it's a brilliant tool.  It can set up the tone of the book, and it can give years of backstory in a page or two.  I even wrote a couple, though I tried to disguise them as the first chapters of my novels.

Unfortunately, prologues are generally poorly designed, in my opinion.  They give away too much, or they start with a minor character - or worse, with a non-character who never shows up again.  Sometimes they're used to start at an exciting point in the story, and we-the-readers must go into the past for chapter one.  (How I dislike that type!)  Usually, the author could leave the prologue off altogether, and the work would be stronger without it.

Of course, some genres almost demand the use of a prologue, especially mysteries. And mysteries have made much more sense since I started reading the prologues.  Imagine that! ;-)

What do you think of prologues?  Do you like to read them, or do you ignore them?  Do you use them in your own work?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Making a Dragon - Elegan

Elegan had a long hard day stealing jewelry for her hoard, and now she’s settled into her bathtub to relax.  She’s just blown out her candle, and she’s ready for a good long soak.  Hoard enhancement is such hard work!
 When I found this bathtub, I knew I needed to create a dragon for it.
 Dragon making is like sausage making - most of the steps are messy and a bit bizarre.
Once Elegan's wings got attached, she was ready to relax in her bathtub and have a good long soak. But first she needed a proper bath assembly! It took three weeks before I found a washcloth that complemented her coloring. It didn't occur to me to look in the baby department, but my sister dragged me along until we found the perfect one.
You can visit Elegan at:

And please see the rest of my dragons in my MagicSeeker shop:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Making a Dragon - Donagal

Donagal has found the perfect ornament for her Christmas tree.  Unfortunately, it’s well attached to the pine cone, and she’s going to have a battle getting it off.  But knowing Donagal, she’ll have it on her own tree in just a few minutes. She's an extremely stubborn dragon!

 She started out as a devil's claw seedpod. I added a wired head, arms, and legs.
Black fabric paint gave her shape, and she was later enhanced with green glitter and orange-red faceted glass eyes.

Shining green wings were added - after a minor battle.

But now she's happily perched on a glittery red, sequin-covered pine cone.

You can see more about this dragon at:

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Making a Dragon - Caramia

Caramia is a bit vain. Right now she’s trying to check her reflection in the back of a pair of costume gems, but she’d have better luck looking into the mirror she’s standing on.

 She started out life as a seedpod, wire, and paint.
Twisting the wire gave her arms and legs.
 Silver lame' and more wire gave her wings.
Here she's too busy primping to say hello. She can't wait to get hold of a proper mirror!

Please take a look at her on my Etsy shop,

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Making a Dragon - Belulah

Belulah, the Disco Dancing Dragon

Belulah loves to dance, and her favorite music is disco.  When her human neglects to play her favorite songs, she dances on a disc to send a hint.

 She started out as a simple devil's claw seedpod with a wonderful neck and perky (and very sharp) claws.

Next I added wire legs, here attached with white thread.  Miles of white thread.  Not very efficient, but it held everything together.  I also discovered that Belulah loved to dance, and that she could balance on one foot for ages.  Quite a trick for a little dragon!
She soon informed me she wanted to whistle while she danced, so I installed a red seed bead for her lips.
"Liquid Gold" and black wings and gold neck spikes complete her ensemble.  And a disc, of course. :-)

She is glued to her disc, but I felt bad doing so.  She enjoyed standing on one foot, even after her wings were attached.
For more photos, have a look at my Etsy shop, MagicSeeker:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Making a Dragon - Anajad

Meet Anajad, my first dragon.

His body is a devil's claw seed pod, seen here covered in paint.  Fabric paint, of all things, but it's a material I know well and enjoy working with.
His arms, legs, and wings are made of wire, and his wings are covered with a double layer of gauze. 
His eyes are faceted glass, and he's looking up in defiance. He's found something he wants, and no mere human is going to stop him.

You can call him a jewelry thief if you like, Anajad doesn't mind.  He has a hoard to build, and a lady dragon to impress.

See more photos at:
http://www.etsy.com/listing/94433615/devils-claw-dragon-art-doll-anajad-the jewelry thief.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

My Newest Enterprise!

I'm thrilled to announce my newest enterprise: I'm creating dragon art dolls.  And I'm having more fun than I've had in years!

Each dragon is based on a devil's claw seedpod, with wired wings and legs, then coated many times with fabric paint to create the shape and color.

I'll soon start a new series of blog posts, "The Making of a Dragon," showing photos of how each dragon was made.

Have you ever felt the urge to do something creative, but unusual? Did you follow through with it?