Entering Dragon Kingdom

January was a month of returning to routines, recovery from flu and colds, and novel writing research, with many of my days spent between the shelves in the library. It is a task I’m always happy to take on, one which is sometimes more thrilling than the act of writing something new. But as I read fascinating tales & ancient mythologies from far off lands, ideas for my own tales never cease to rush forth. Consequently, for each hour I’ve spent in research, another will be spent in my own writing.

And so, as Winter come to an end here in Louisiana and the colorful Mardi Gras celebrations parade down our streets – it is with a sense of accomplishment that I feel the Spring begin. With an entire novel synopsis completed and the bones of a story beginning to grow & take shape on my pages, I’m ready to share a bit of Dragon Kingdom with you!

Here is the opening poem to the third and final book in The Dream Chronicles, Dragon Kingdom & The Wishing Stone.


Dragon Kingdom

A Kingdom in the sky, it floats above the clouds,

filled with magical, mythical birds of all colors and types,

both mysterious and magical, it remains unseen by those below.

Ruled by a fiery Dragon Queen,

her silver scales glistening diamonds

her voice musical & majestic.

 

The Dragon Castle glitters with jewel colored wings,

whilst sounds of birdsong float continuously through the air,

and fairies play, their mischievous eyes glinting as they laugh,

their bell-like voices mixing with chirps in the breeze.

 

Dragons soar in figure eight patterns, cutting a brilliant rainbow

through an azure sky, the yellow meadowlark trilling her song,

as she sits high atop the castle tower,

marking time like a clock at noon.

 

Then the clouds part as a shock of colorful wings

blaze through them, the sun lowering

and setting in a brilliant orange-red glow,

bathing Dragon Castle in an almost ghostly light,

each turret marked

by a pair of watchful eyes

and a set of feathered wings at its perch.

 

Night rises with clear and full moonlight,

shifting the sky from crimson to soft velvet blue,

and the voice of the nightingale sings,

the sky’s canvas deepening to a rich midnight purple.

 

A Kingdom of dreams, filled with fairy magic,

it shimmers with light, born from stories,

and fed with imaginations, it is the magical place

where the Wishing Stone was created.

Copyright Stacie Eirich February 2, 2018


I hope you enjoyed this early glimpse into Dragon Kingdom. Upcoming posts will highlight my research for the novel & include a peek into:

  •  Irish Fairy Tales & the works of Oscar Wilde & W.B. Yeats
  •  Irish Myths & Legends, including Magical Stones
  •  Mythical Beasts from Around the World

Thank you for visiting Space to Dream. Have a magical day! –Stacie 

*Note* Any shared artworks in this or future posts are NOT illustrations from my upcoming book. They are free google images. 

Creating an Arctic Land

 

In his palace of ice and snow Bear King Knut prowls,

his piercing, beady black eyes scanning the midnight sky,

silent and watchful, alone in the blackness of night he hides,

his heart frozen, his castle enchanted by an evil spell.

 

Impatient, his large, furry paws pound the snow below him,

their short, sharp claws drawing jagged lines in the ice,

his ears taut, he listens intently into the distance,

for approaching sounds, his sharp teeth menacing,

His voice echoes against the North Mountain,

in a ferocious growl, it shakes the ground

beneath a vast, starless sky.

 

Under his fur lies a heart of gold,

yet enchanted by an evil spell his heart remains cold

as the ice that surrounds his castle.

He rules with fear, his voice thundering

like his massive paws against the snow.

 

He can smell the foreign scent of intruders in his Kingdom,

He feels the strange pull of new magic in the sky,

a change in the North Wind,

and knows they are coming.

 

He places guards at all points of the castle,

and time seems to stop,

an eery stillness coming over the castle like death,

As the polar Bear King waits in watchful silence,

by the light of the icy Winter moon.

 

from Bear Kingdom & The Golden Sword, Volume 2 of The Dream Chronicles

Copyright Stacie Eirich November 6, 2017 


Before I wrote the first draft of Bear Kingdom & The Golden Sword, I wanted to understand the world that my characters would be in. Though my story is a fantasy, its setting is an arctic land. I learned about the landscape as well the animals that inhabit the area called the Arctic Circle, the most northern circle of latitude on earth. The Arctic Circle covers an area about as large as North America, and is known as “The Land of the Midnight Sun.” For two months in the summer, the sun doesn’t set – and for two months in the winter, it doesn’t shine at all. In the fall and spring, the northern lights, called the Aurora Borealis, can be seen.

The region just north of the circle is the Arctic, and it includes the Arctic Ocean and parts of Alaska, Canada, Finland, Greenland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Sweden. Those who live in Arctic regions must learn how to survive in extreme cold and prolonged darkness, ice and heavy snow. Despite the frigid conditions, there are many animals that thrive in Arctic environments, with one predominant predator among them: polar bears.

According to the World Wildlife Federation, “polar bears are clearly at the top of the food chain, and they’ve been known to kill and eat seals, walrus and even beluga whales. Standing on its hind legs, a male polar bear can look an elephant straight in the eye. The polar bear (Ursus Maritimus) is the largest terrestrial carnivore. Adult males can measure more than nine feet in length and weigh between 770 to 1, 430 pounds.” You can read more about polar bears on the WWF’s Polar Bear page.

My King polar bear character gets his name, Knut, from a real polar bear who lived in captivity at Berlin Zoological Garden from 2006-2011. Read more about Knut here: Wiki Polar Bear page

While my bear King’s name comes from history, his story is inspired by a Norwegian folktale, White Bear King Valemon. In literature, a bear (of any kind) can represent different things: bravery, strength, an evil influence, an obstacle, violence, clumsiness and solitary life. The great white bear bear is often portrayed as a polar bear in illustrations though he is not described as such beyond his white fur. With winter approaching in this tale, it’s important to note that polar bears do not hibernate. A magical tale of both darkness and light, the story is of a young, fair princess who wishes for a golden wreath. The wreath belongs to the white bear, and in return for it, she must give him herself. At night, the bear turns into a man, but the princess has never seen him. When she lights a candle to look at him, he tells her she must go into the forest and marry the Troll-hag who has bewitched him. To read this dazzling story, follow this link: Fairytalez: White Bear King Valemon.

You can also find the tale of White Bear King Valemon in this book: Norwegian Folktales, Selected from the Collection of Peter Christen Asbjornsen and Jorgen Moe (Pantheon Fairytale & Folktale Library, 1960).

Unfortunately, the polar bears and other life in the Arctic are now in danger from the threat of global warming. The loss of sea ice (called ice floes) makes it difficult for the bears to hunt for food – which results in long periods of famine (that can last up to five months) and in many cases death. Polar bears were listed as an Endangered Species in 2008, and their protection and preservation remains an important undertaking for organizations like the World Wildlife Federation and Polar Bears International.

Other Arctic Resources I used & recommend: 

Wildest Arctic (TV series, Netflix, 2012).

Polar Bears by Joylon Goddard (Scholastic 2008).

Polar Bears and the Arctic: A Magic Tree House Research Guide by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce (Random House NY 2007).

In my next post, I’ll tell you a bit more about other animals in the Arctic, and how they influenced my choices for some new magical animal characters in Bear Kingdom & The Golden Sword.

Thank you for visiting Space to Dream. Have a marvelous day! -Stacie