Dragons Dazzle Me, especially in “Esmerelda’s Surprise”

Cover for “Esmerelda’s Surprise”

Since my childhood, I have been amazed by dragons. I love to read about them, to watch movies about them, and to imagine them in my writing. In 2014, I even got a tattoo placed on my left arm to represent my favorite dragon: Cora.

Cora (the dragon0 is Diana Bishop’s familiar in A Discovery of Witches second book (Shadow of Night) by Deborah Harkness. If I could write adult fiction and marry my love for myths and for history, I would write like Deborah Harkness. If I cannot be like Deborah, then having my own version of Cora on my arm is the next best option. My love of dragons finds a way into my own stories too.

When Anya was a little girl, I scribbled notes about Esmerelda in my journals. Blogs were in their infant stages in 2001, and I do not recall ever reading them like I do now. However, in my journals, I would make a brief diary like entry, add a literary piece (like a snippet of short story or poem), and then tape in a picture I had taken. My journals are on my bookshelf, and I have three spiral bound ones that represent Anya’s first year of life.

Could it be these types of journals were the precursor to my illustrated children’s books or my blog? In one of my journals, I wrote a first draft of “Esmerelda’s Surprise” in 2001. I went to VSU and typed an improved draft and emailed it to my sister-in-law, Leigh Ann. She had the copy of “Esmerelda’s Surprise” in her Hotmail inbox for twenty years in 2021. The climax of my upcoming story involves a DRAGON!

Esmerelda’s Dragon in “Esmerelda’s Surprise”
Illustrated by Wesley Helms

Wesley blessed my heart when he sent the image of Essie’s dragon today. I didn’t give him any direction about it, so I have been so curious to see what he would do. My students and I have enjoyed looking at her all day. I have decided it is a girl based on how the purple coloring speaks to me. In my wildest dreams, I couldn’t have imagined the dragon any better. Seeing the illustrations for this book has fulfilled my 20 year old dream of seeing Esmerelda come to life in print. I cannot wait to finish the formatting for this book. Most importantly, I cannot wait to release her into the world.

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I am an English teacher, mother, and wife, but I love to write. I feel that I am blessed to be able to use my talent to write about my children's books, poems, short fiction, and parenting. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about my experiences with beginning a writing career while focusing on my children and my job. I look forward to comments and to hear from my readers!

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