Space is vast. Earth bound humans have little perspective on just how big it is.

Within 50 light-years of Earth are around 64 stars like Earth's sun Sol. More than 500 reside out to 100 light-years. At 500 light-years the count becomes 64,000. For all types of stars, not just stars like Sol, the count at 500 light-years is at least a couple of million.

Planets reside around these stars. Some of those planets are inhabitable. Some are inhabited. Many species. Many societies. An old species of interstellar explorers is found on many of those worlds, a species that we would call dragons.

Milky Way Galaxy
Earth, Risiria, Hanalei, Dystopia, Utopia
(marked starting in upper right-hand corner)

A work-in-progress. No publication date set.

Read Flash Fiction by Lester D. Crawford.

Lester D. Crawford Blog


2022-11-30
Typesetting a Book

While in high school, I did freelance photography for a local newspaper. One assignment was to create a photo story to go with a feature article about a man and woman who published their own books. I don’t mean vanity publishing where one pays a publisher to publish your book. This couple hand printed and bound their books.

The woman wrote poetry. The man typeset the book using a composing stick, loaded the composed lines of type into a galley, and then used a screw press to print. Those printed pages were hand stitched together, trimmed, and bound in a hardback cover. I was amazed by the process. Ever since, I’ve wanted to print my own book.

What I’m doing now is probably as close as I’m going to get to physically making a book. I have typeset my Utopia Origins anthology. After more proof reading to ensure nothing has gone wrong, a print-on-demand publisher will print the book. It’s exciting.

There is more work to do before reaching my goal, but I’m getting closer as I tick off each task.

The 470 pages of the book printed tiny in a 28 by 17 grid. The pages are small and are not intended to be readable.
Typeset Book


2022-10-31
Slow and Tedious, but I’ll Get There

Many of my skills and experiences are adjacent or even contiguous with the skills needed to publish a book. All I have to do is learn the aspects of the process I don’t know. That is a challenge — there is so much to understand — but I am learning, even if the process seems slow and tedious.


I spent the month editing, submitting more stories to various markets, and studying the many aspects of independently publishing a book. Ebook and print book formats are selected and a cover concept art created, but I still have a lot of work to do.


While I have been editing various stories, I haven’t written any new material lately. The stuff in my head desperately wants to be written. I need to take some time to satisfy that urge.

I’ll get there.

A dragon curled around a girl who is having a picnic in a forest glade.
Picnic with a Dragon, inspired by The Dragon Universe: Utopia Origins, Tipping Point

2022-09-30
Building a Book

I continue to work on creating my Utopia Origins anthology by adding print book layout skills to my ebook layout skills. It’s a lot of work with many things to learn, but it is rewarding and worth it.

I rendered a test image of one of my dragons to help visualize a possible cover. That was fun.

And, the first few days of October will see more submissions going out.

Onward I go.

Computer generated image of a brown dragon with red edges on her wings, green and blue stripes running down her neck and tail, and yellow lightning bolts on her cheeks, neck, arms, legs, tail, and wings, and tan horns.
One of My Dragon Friends

2022-08-31
Interminable Effort

I continue to work on Utopia Origins by making more edits and studying best practices for eBooks and print books. The work never ends.

I’m also working on Hope and the Last Dragon. Hope needs to feed a baby dragon. Dragons are obligate carnivores. She has to find something she has access to to feed him that doesn’t make him sick at his stomach (she discovers fruit doesn’t work). I researched mock-meat. In real life, making mock-meat from vegetable proteins is not easy. In this story, hand-waving* and phlebotinum** will be needed to allow Hope to prepare food that works for the dragon.

The Nyxie and Sky story is also roiling in my head, but I can’t spend time on it yet.

In addition to all of that, I’m waiting for more submission windows to open so I can send out more short story submissions.

Interminable effort, but indomitable persistence.

* Hand-waving: Not explaining a detail in a story while expecting the reader to accept that it exists and works.

** Phlebotinum: A versatile substance that may be rubbed on anything to cause an effect needed by a story’s plot.


2022-07-31
2022 Clarion West Write-a-thon Finished

During this year’s Write-a-thon, most of my effort was in making more editing passes on The Dragon Universe: Utopia Origins.

During last year’s Write-a-thon when I was preparing a draft of Utopia Origins for my beta readers to review. Since then, I have made multiple revisions and additional editing passes honing the manuscript to perfection, or as close as I can get.

I also worked on other projects during the year and sent out more short story submissions. I sent one a few days ago and will send out others when the target markets open for submissions.

For now, I’m creating a glossary for Utopia Origins and working on more projects.

I’m always moving forward.


Go to the Lester D. Crawford Blog Page