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Slaying Dragons













Slaying Dragons

Quotes, Poetry, & a few Short Stories

for Every Day of the Year





Written by

Richelle E. Goodrich


















All Rights Reserved

Copyright © Richelle E. Goodrich

Published 2017


No part of this book may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, distributed, or used in any form or by any means, including photocopying and recording, whether electronic or mechanical, now or hereafter invented without permission in writing from the author.


All quotes, poems, stories, and illustrations included in this book were written and created by Richelle E. Goodrich.


















Dedicated to my son, Alexander

Be fearless in the pursuit of your dreams.



TABLE OF CONTENTS


January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

About the Author

Other Books by this Author













When it comes to fighting for your dreams,

be a dragon. Breathe fire.


-Richelle E. Goodrich


JANUARY

Bakunawa —

The dragon that swallows the moon whole.




January 1st


There are trials in life that feel as tremendous as a quest to slay dragons. These trials are daunting. They require hard work, determination, and courage. But when the dragon is finally slain, the relief is immense.



January 2nd


It is tempting to quit striving toward a goal when you have neither the time, the resources, the support, the means, nor perhaps the confidence in talent to reach the level of standing you wish to reach. But these are not reasons to quit. Move forward anyway. Try your best. Put what little you do have into accomplishing what you can, because along the way you may attain a portion of what you feel is lacking. And owning a portion of a dream is better than owning no dream at all. Never give up.



January 3rd


Bad habits are demons that often push us into isolation because they know that in our loneliness they stand little chance of being overcome.



January 4th


Habits grow like dragons if you feed them.



January 5th


Bad habits are spiraling slides that drag you round and round down the narrowing end of a cone that eventually ends up in a dark, tight, confining spot.


Good habits are hooked wings that steadily grow in girth and strength. At first, they grasp and climb until those beautiful wings can lift the bearer out of the darkness and above the clouds to heights few ever experience.



January 6th


I saw a man climb a mountain with no feet or hands and barely a stump for each arm and leg. At once I realized there was no excuse at all for me not to scale my own mountains.



January 7th


To reach a goal:

Give it your best.

Own your choices.

Ask for help.

Learn as you go.



January 8th


Chew off a little every day, because it’s hard to swallow a whole pie at once.



January 9th


Nothing remains idle and thrives. Life needs a moving force to prevent the devastating effects of stagnancy. That is why life employs change.



January 10th


Weakness drives us to set goals, to try harder, to put forth more effort, to dream and wish and hope, to reach out further and down deeper, to pray earnestly, to cry mightily, to understand and empathize with valid sincerity. In truth, weakness is a catalyst for greater strength.



January 11th


When you understand that faith is God’s muscle at your disposal, moving mountains doesn’t seem so extraordinary.



January 12th


There are tomorrows on their way worth the struggles of today. Never give up.



January 13th


Never be intimidated by what seems ominous, for BiG is only an accumulation of many smalls.



January 14th


I know you would like to blame the world, but the fact is that life is an “up to you” thing.



January 15th


Most are unaware of their tremendous worth and boundless potential, despite possessing both.



January 16th


You can do things.

Do you know this?

Do you believe it?

You should.

It’s true.

You can do great things.



January 17th


To believe in yourself is to light a spark with the potential to start a fire.



January 18th


Everything in the world that happens to you may be someone else's doing; I'll grant you that. But what you do with it, how you react to it, what you make of yourself in the midst of it all—that's totally you.



January 19th


It’s not a dream, it’s my destiny.



January 20th


Look down the road I’m traveling and you will see my goal; it’s there on the path. Probably closer than it appears. Life tends to roll that way.



January 21st


Nothing can squelch your fire except turning your back on the thing that fuels it.



January 22nd


Understand that great accomplishments require great effort. If a goal is achieved without effort, it is no accomplishment but a mere happening.



January 23rd


Take it one step at a time—inarguably wise advice. And yet we all take a running leap, hoping the wind will catch us on its wings and lift us clear to the top of the beanstalk. Those few Jacks who have reached new heights in this manner inevitably wish they had taken more time to prepare for the overbearing giant who greeted them.



January 24th


In my lifetime I have witnessed far too many miracles to believe in impossibilities, and so I am officially modifying the definition.

im·pos·si·ble [im-pos-uh-buhl]

Old definition: Unable to be done.

New definition: Unable to be ignored until done.



January 25th


When there is not enough time to do your best, do the best you can with the time you have.



January 26th


It isn’t always true that desperate means are justified by a critical end.


from The Tarishe Curse



January 27th


It turns out that the simplest choices have been far more important in the long run than I ever imagined.



January 28th


You never step backwards when you’re sure of where you’re going.



January 29th


Perfection may be an island out of reach, but setting your sails toward it makes for a magnificent voyage.



January 30th


The truth is, when you have little to do, you do very little. But when you have much to do, you do much. So it should make sense that by taking on more than you can handle, you accomplish more than you ever dreamed you could. And so it is.



January 31st


Don’t quit.

When your latest efforts fail, don’t quit. When your performance is scoffed and ridiculed, don’t quit. When you’re told you have no talent, don’t quit. When you come in dead last, don’t quit. When it seems an uphill fight to keep going, don’t quit. When you can’t see any possible way to achieve your goals, don’t quit. When your last supporter is you alone, don’t quit. When discouragement and depression seem your constant companion, don’t quit. When you feel like quitting, don’t quit.

Time and time again you will crave relief from the harsh fight of trying to succeed. You will falsely think that quitting will bring peace and reprieve, but alas, only regret and disappointment await the quitter. Victory means never ever quitting.

So don’t quit.

Do not quit.




FEBRUARY

Herensuge

The dragon with sweet, tempting breath.




February 1st


I slay dragons at night while you sleep.

I see by the way your face contorts how they exist in your dreams.

Willing a magic sword, I plunge into your deepest nightmares and swing at the beasts with all my might, dodging flames exhaled by monsters that would eat me alive to go on torturing the fair one I love. I see your face relax, eyes still drowsily closed, when the mighty dragon is slain.

It may be that my fingers rub soft circles on your forehead as I imagine my brave fight as a knight reclaiming your dreams. You smile under the spell of my touch, and I am rewarded. And so, my love, as I await the dawn, I stand ready to slay dragons while you sleep.



February 2nd


It seems my heart is made of tissue paper; I wish the world would handle it more delicately.



February 3rd


I love you for a great many reasons and despite a great many others.



February 4th


People search the world over looking for someone to love them, when they should be searching for someone to love.



February 5th


If you were to sacrifice even a portion of yourself for the relationship, you would naturally fall in love with him. I guarantee it.”


from Eena, The Return of a Queen



February 6th


Love is donating a chunk of your life to patch up holes in the life of another.



February 7th


The rarest, truest beauty is visible only to the heart.



February 8th


The real beauty of a woman is most clearly seen in the smiles of those who interact with her.



February 9th


If God were to make a million lovely flowers in your image and plant them in a garden with you among them, I would still know you by your scent and by the feel of your petals and by the crazy way you lean towards my light whenever I draw near.



February 10th


My knight may not wear a coat of shining armor, but his code of glowing honor will never fail to protect us both from evils far worse than any fire-breathing dragon.”


from Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, & Grumblings for Every Day of the Year



February 11th


I love you” sounds best spoken in quiet acts of kindness.



February 12th


Love in its essence is unconditional. When conditions, exceptions, and ultimatums are cast into the mix, its purity changes. It is no longer love and should be referred to by a less-desirable name.



February 13th


Amore is love

confessed to you in haiku.

Do you love me too?



February 14th


When I ask you to be my valentine, I’m not asking you to love me. I’m simply asking you to accept tokens of my love for you.



February 15th


When you love someone, you don’t care that she ate your sandwich. You only hope she found it delicious.



February 16th


Love is the ultimate no-calorie sweetener.



February 17th


Your face is engraved in my mind. I can’t erase it. I don’t want to. Because as much as I hate you, I love you. And I love you unforgettably.



February 18th


Unconditional love” is a redundant expression; if it’s not unconditional, then it’s not love.



February 19th


Please stop. If you keep chipping off little pieces of my heart, soon there will be no heart left with which to love you.



February 20th


Maybe love isn’t meant to be bliss never-ending.

Maybe love is unwavering support and befriending.



February 21st


If you never bother to say the words, why should anyone believe you ever felt them?



February 22nd


I hope you know I love you, not just because I tell you so at every opportunity, but because I show you so as often as the sun sets.



February 23rd


Love by the sweat of thy brow.

Not through whispered words of hollow sound or lofty dreams ne’er substance bound that more than oft do run aground. Nay, love with mighty, blistered hands that turn the soil and carve the land. A bearer of toil and golden band.

Be strong! A founder of the feast!

Protective knight who slays the beast!

For promises and vows aloud are naught but wispy veneer shroud like cobwebs, frail, the airy words and wooing fail. So work, my darling. Toil as proof. Thy loyal heart be drained of youth and yet beat on, incessant sound. Both feet take root within the ground, and service be thy kingly crown.

Love by the sweat of thy brow.



February 24th


When I first heard your voice, my heart leapt in my chest as if it recognized you as its owner from another lifetime.



February 25th


She laughed, and he fell in love.



February 26th


At the core of love is validation. It is what gives love power.

For when love is given away, validation seeps in and expands in the heart of the recipient, filling up every empty, dark corner. It is a wonderful, light, consuming feeling we long for, and once found, we hope—even expect—it will forever remain. But there are times when that most precious love is revoked, and a hard scab forms over the empty hole. Though this scab is both healing and protective, it is the reason why validation from future love may not seep in so easily, no matter how wanting the heart.



February 27th


There is love and then there is fluff. Nothing else.



February 28th


There was another longing I kept stashed in the deepest, darkest recess of my heart. It was my most compelling secret of all. Though, I suppose, it was more an empty vessel cradled by my soul wishing to someday be filled. It was my desire to belong, to be wanted, to be loved.


from Dandelions: The Disappearance of Annabelle Fancher



February 29th


Truth is, I’m generally happiest when it’s just me. It’s okay to be madly in love with yourself.




MARCH

Guivre —

The aggressive dragon that prowls the countryside.




March 1st


I wear my wrinkles like battle scars, having earned every last one slaying life’s dragons. They boast of my victories and some defeats while their beauty is a wealth of wisdom gained.



March 2nd


If you suffer lingering doubts; if the consolation you cling to is ‘it will probably be okay,’ then run the other way because what you’re contemplating is not a good choice.



March 3rd


I sat in a box

With walls on each side.

Not too tall.

Not too wide.

To think.

To ponder.

To pray.

To hide.

I sat in a box and cried.



March 4th


Sadness is the heart withdrawing to seek shelter from the pain.



March 5th


Young Raccoon, for reasons real and personal, had sunk into a sorrowful mood. It wasn’t just a sullen slump or a sighing sort of sadness. No. Poor Raccoon had endured one of life’s harder trials and was consequently overcome with a wretched, grim, tearful type of sorrow. It wasn’t long before a close friend wandered by and noticed Raccoon’s dark, quiet burrow echoing a sound of sobbing. Curious and concerned, Brown Beaver invited himself in.

Oh my, such weeping! All is not well to be sure!” Beaver hurried over and placed a hand on the shoulder of his troubled friend. “Tell me please, whatever is the matter?”

But Racoon said nothing, unless the whimpers that accompany tears can be considered a response.

Oh dear, something must be done,” determined Beaver. So he arranged a stack of wood in the hearth and lit a cozy fire.

There now, here is a little light and comfort. Surely this will make you feel better.”

But Raccoon continued to cry, rubbing at black, swollen eyes as if the light were a harsh contributor to misery.

Oh no,” sighed Beaver. “This is not good, not at all. I must go find help.” With a promise to quickly return, he left Raccoon beside the fire.

Only minutes passed before Beaver stuck his head inside the warm burrow. Below him poked in a tinier head belonging to Squirrel.

Oh dear, oh dear, you're right! This is a miserable sight!”

Squirrel hurried into the room and proceeded to remove a handful of nuts stored in his cheeks. He then tossed them into a pan over the smoldering fire built by Beaver. Soon, the room was saturated with the rich, buttery smell of roasted nuts.

Here you are, Raccoon,” said Squirrel, shaking the nuts onto a plate. “Some comfort food will certainly make you feel better. Try one.”

Raccoon didn't even glance at the offered plate but continued to cry and sniffle as if the fragrant smell were an enhancer of sadness. Squirrel looked at Beaver. Both were clueless as to what to do.

We must go find someone who can help,” they decided.

As quick as a wink the pair left and returned with Black Cat who took a minute to size up the situation. She then confidently declared, “We must dry up these tears, for no one can eat and be happy when soaked in tears!”

With that thought, the three friends wiped at Raccoon’s wet fur, sopping up handkerchiefs in the process. Black Cat even went so far as to purr a quiet, relaxing chord while licking at the glistening fur around Raccoon’s eyes, and yet the tears continued to spill, replacing those washed away.

Well, this most certainly is not working,” Cat finally admitted, lamentably swooshing her tail. Beaver and Squirrel readily agreed. “We must go find someone who can help!”

They hardly stepped outside when the slender form of Corn Snake appeared in the road and slithered over to them. Snake was informed as to Raccoon's sorry state and came up with a fine idea.

The poor dear simply needs some hugs and kisses. A bit of affection will dry up those unhappy tears.”

Agreeing it was worth a try, the four turned right around to enter the burrow and encircle Raccoon, administering snug hugs and tender kisses. Snake gave an especially tight hug, but it had no effect at all on Raccoon’s woeful weeping. Even a ticklish kiss from a forked tongue received no favorable response. The four friends were beginning to feel a bit glum themselves when Calandra Lark came flittering into the burrow.

Tweet, tweet, tweet! Whatever is the matter?”

Oh dear, Calandra, just look! Raccoon is extremely sad. Yet as hard as we have tried, our efforts have failed to stop the tears.”

Is that all?” Calandra Lark chirped, perching on the fireplace mantle. “’Tis nothing a happy song can’t remedy.”

Puffing out her feathery chest to convey a mountain of confidence, the little bird began to chirp a bright and lively tune. Calandra twittered and tweeted and even trilled many a string of notes, but the cheerier the tune, the more Raccoon appeared to cry. At long last, Miss Lark ceased singing.

Oh what is to be done?” she sighed. “There must be someone who can help!” No sooner had she said the words then a high-pitched squeal of laughter carried from outside. Swinging down from a tree into the warm, crowded burrow, Monkey addressed a group of surprised onlookers.

Did I hear that someone is in need of my help?”

Oh yes, indeed!” the five agreed simultaneously. “Look here! Raccoon is so sad, and yet nothing we have done has relieved the weeping!”

Monkey laughed aloud again, not meaning to be insensitive. “Eee, eee, eee! Do not worry, for I will cheer up our good friend in an instant!”

Monkey crossed the room on feet and hands to stand directly before the saddest of souls. He then delved into chipper chatter, telling jokes, answering his own riddles, and laughing at his own humorous stories. At last, he attempted only calm words of comfort because Raccoon continued to cry, making pitiable noises as if the jollity was anguish to bear. Needless to say, nothing worked to halt the tears.

Oh me, oh my! Poor, poor, poor Raccoon!” the company cried, succumbing to a measure of grief and sorrow themselves. “Please, tell us—whatever is the matter with you?” But Raccoon shrank into a tighter ball, withdrawing while giving them no answer.

Overwhelmed with concern, the six good friends stepped outside Raccoon’s burrow to discuss the problem, hoping to hit upon a solution. They were running short of ideas. Debating whether or not to render the weeper unconscious, a strong voice of objection cut them off. Every head turned to see Red Fox step out of the underbrush.

Oh, Fox, if not this, then what should we do? For Raccoon has been crying inconsolably for hours! We have tried light and warmth, tempting food, wiping away tears, hugs and affection, cheerful songs, and kind words of comfort. None of it has had any effect on Raccoon’s dreadful sadness!”

Red Fox walked up to the burrow entrance on quiet paws, but before ducking inside he turned and voiced an idea no one else had possessed the sense to think up. For it seemed to them rather senseless.

Sadness is like a cloud in the sky; it exists out of grasp. Therefore, the only option is to let sadness be sad until it is not.”

Curious as to what Red Fox intended to do, the others followed him inside. There, he took a seat beside Raccoon and waited. He did nothing but sit. Nothing at all.

Confused—yet lacking a better idea—Beaver, Squirrel, Black Cat, Corn Snake, Calandra Lark, and Monkey all settled inside Raccoon’s burrow and likewise did nothing. The house remained quiet for hours upon hours as weeping, sniveling, and the occasional sigh carried over the sound of a crackling fire kept alive by Beaver.

Time passed.

Some nodded off for a brief spell, but no one left the room or made any attempt to keep sadness from being sad—as Fox had wisely declared.

Eventually and at long last, the gloomy cloud dissipated. All eyes turned to Raccoon, realizing that what had seemed like inconsolable grief had somehow transformed. Raccoon sat up and looked around, exchanging a small smile with each and every sympathetic face.

Thank you, my friends.”

Thank you for what?” someone asked, though others certainly wondered. For while Raccoon had wept a river of tears, they had done nothing but sit as still and noiseless as tree stumps.

Squeezing paws with Red Fox, Raccoon softly said, “Thank you for giving me time.”

That’s when they understood. More often than not, the only thing that can lift the heavy fog of sorrow is time.



March 6th


Sadness is like sandpaper; it rubs at our sharper edges, softening and humbling us, making us ready for a coat of compassion.



March 7th


To be a rainbow in someone’s cloud is commendable, but I prefer to be the rain because it dampens cheeks and washes away tears.



March 8th


I think in the heart of every human being there burns an ember of hope that warmly entices us to believe everything will eventually come together into one perfect day, and that potentially the hours in this day will stretch on indefinitely. And so we live our lives in hopeful anticipation, dreaming and praying to reach this wondrous day, while in the process we miss out on the anxious affair that life truly is. Life is not perfection; it is everything else. We must taste and experience heartaches and trials in order to feel the genuine joy that comes from enduring them well. We then move on, wiser and more capable of charity—this being pure love and the reason for life’s trials altogether.



March 9th


God cries for us in the same way we cry for others. His tears most often spill over for the pain and suffering caused from the mortal misuse of a gift called agency. He will not revoke the gift. It was promised to us for the duration of our time on Earth. But He will hold each one of us accountable in the end for how we applied this power of agency.



March 10th


Every heart has a layer of sadness, whether deeply buried or covering the surface for all to see.



March 11th


How frustrating to think you can be lost to yourself. And yet how often it is that a stranger stares back at you from the mirror. Maybe in truth we never see ourselves as clearly as the thousands of eyes that daily take us in.



March 12th


Too often we let others stamp a price tag on us and we accept their appraisal of our worth, forgetting we are in fact priceless.



March 13th


If I expect nothing of you, it will be far easier to forgive your offenses than if I place my whole world in your hands.



March 14th


The wind is made of haunting souls

that moan and groan

in whistles and whispers.

This ghostly choir chills the breeze

and orchestrates a rise of goose bumps

on my skin.



March 15th


Every single voice—no matter how soft the peep—longs to be heard.



March 16th


It’s simply this:

the Irish kiss,

a snog o’ bliss,

be blessed luck

from any miss.



March 17th



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