Someone once asked me where I came up with the idea of a golden dragon and dragons the colors of the rainbow.
I wish I could say that both were original thought, but alas, they’re not. In fact, both are hundreds, if not thousands, of years old. Talk about being behind the times when it comes to originality, right?
So, when I had the idea of writing a story above dragons, I thought I’d do something along the lines of Elliot, the magical, friendly, sometimes visible, sometimes not, dragon in Walt Disney’s Pete’s Dragon.
My kids loved the movie, and at the dinner table with the grand kiddie-widdies, when we played the game, “Tell Me A Story” dragons were often a part of the storyline; usually a close second or third to pink ponies, fairies, or silver foxes (my granddaughters favorite subjects).
However, when my oldest grandson added his two-cents to the storyline, M1 Abram tanks would come along and turn the pink ponies into . . . well, I’ll let you use your imagination on what happened to the pink ponies.
I started sketching out some thoughts and then realized, if I’m going to write a story on dragons just what do I know about the beasts? Well, there was Elliot, of course, and Draco in Dragon Heart, and Mushu in Mulan,and Toothless in How to Train Your Dragon, and Smaug in The Hobbitand . . . Komodo Dragons.
There were others but as you can see, my knowledge of dragons was limited to movies and fantasy books, except for Komodo Dragons which are not fire-breathing, don’t have wings, and are really very large, overgrown iguana lizards for the most part.
I decided that I needed to do a little research, which is what most good authors do anyway so off I went into Google-land and found that dragons come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and personalities.
Interesting enough, I also found that dragons, in some form, exist in pretty much every culture past and present. In fact, it would seem that very few cultures don’t have some type of serpentine type dragonish creature in their legends and lore.
Most of us in the U.S. are probably most familiar with the Asian type of dragon (think Mushu only much larger) or the European version (think Draco).
But what caught my attention was a short article on the Chinese legend of the “Rainbow Dragon.” The Chinese belief was that an entity known as the “Rainbow Dragon” would rise from the earth, fly across the sky, and bring the rainbow at the end of a storm.
The rainbow would then herald that the end of the tempest was near, and the Chinese saw the Rainbow Dragon as a kindbeing that brought peace and tranquility back to the land after the raging storm.
After I read that article, I started thinking, “Hmmm, a rainbow dragon . . . a rainbowdragon. What if I had dragons, each of which represented a color of the rainbow, with attributes that matched their hue? Such as green to represent power over the greenery, or red to represent blood spilled during war, or blue to represent the ability to fly the swiftest through the blue sky . . .” and so on.
That’s where the idea for the different types of dragons came from and of course, the more I thought about it, the more the idea of the dragons giving (sacrificing) their unique power to my protagonist to save the world from my evil protagonist (whomever that was going to be) came about.
As for Golden Wind, the golden dragon, my Google search led me to the Chinese Qing Dynasty where the emperor of that time used a golden dragon to represent his imperial authority and empire. So, I thought that if a golden dragon was good enough for an emperor, then a golden dragon, representing power and authoritywas good enough for me.
Oh by the way, my Google search for “golden dragons” also taught me one other thing. There are about a bazillion Chinese restaurants named “The Golden Dragon.”
Until next time, may all you read fill you with wonder and awe.