Sunday, March 08, 2009

Me and dragons

I like dragons.

Dragon movies, dragon books, drawings of dragons, sculptures of dragons. When I was a kid, one of my favorite songs was Puff the Magic Dragon. I used to draw a certain scene over and over: a castle, with banners waving in the wind atop the towers and a dragon in the moat.

It was this scene that led to my first novel. As I sat on the floor, drawing pictures with my 4-year-old girl, she asked me to draw her a castle. So I drew the castle with the dragon in the moat. I kept following her lead, adding a burst of flame and a girl--a princess, naturally--running in terror from the flame-spouting beast. I then added a little speech bubble above the dragon that read: Don't you want to toast marshmallows?

My daughter, filled with compassion for the dragon, said, "Oh, the dragon is lonely."

A very simple idea was born. Possibly an over-used idea, but I ran with it anyway. I had intended it to be a picture book, but the story morphed into something much longer. I ended up with a very rough draft of a bad middle-grade fantasy novel, Glint: The Dragon of Fire Mountain. My first novel ever! I worked on that story for years, editing, revising, polishing it up and learning A LOT on the way.

It has not been published, though it has been submitted to several publishers. One publisher even requested the whole manuscript and sent it back to me with constructive criticism! There is hope for that story yet.

And I still love dragons. Every time I see a dragon toy or sculpture or book, I'm tempted to buy it. Today I was in Borders books and saw the little dragon puppets they have there. Some have three heads! One of these days, I will give in to that temptation and bring one of those dragons home with me. Then there are the "pen dragons" that I see at the Summer Arts Festival each year. Or the beautiful dragon paintings seen at that same fair. Why don't I ever buy one? Because I think I'm being selfish and silly and can find a better use for my family's money.

I did bring one dragon home with me today, though. We left Borders with a new book, The Dragon in the Sock Drawer, by Kate Klimo. A completely unselfish purchase for my little boy (who also has a thing for dragons).

I'm sure he'll be willing to share his dragon book with his mommy.


  1. Anonymous6:47 AM

    Glint has a place in this world... I can feel it. I love hearing where inspiration comes from.

  2. There is something about them, isn't there?! Your book sounds wonderful ... and it sounds like it has a great shot at being published someday!!! Love the way the story idea was sparked!

  3. Thanks, ladies! I do hope I find a place for Glint some day, but I love him either way.


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