Space is vast. Earth bound humans have little perception of just how big it is.

Within 50 light-years of Earth are about 64 stars similar to 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 similar to Sol, the count at 500 light-years is at least a couple of million.

Planets reside around those stars. Some of those planets are inhabitable. Some are inhabited. In the northern sky is a swath of stars that are home to an old species of interstellar explorers. They refer to their region of the Milky Way as The Dragon Universe.

Some believe long ago those explores visited Earth thus giving rise to dragon myths and when they pointed out the region of the sky from whence they came, that part of the sky became associated with dragons. And thus, today, some of us call that constellation Draco.

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


2023-01-31
Parts Coming Together

The parts for the book are coming together. Files for the hardback and paperback print versions, the ebook version, and covers for all three are ready. Many tasks still remain on the to do list, but I’m getting there. More stories are in progress, but work on them has been slowed because of these other tasks.

I’ve been learning more about archetypal character arcs. When I first began writing, I created stories based on the Hero’s Journey framework, which uses the hero archetypal character arc. As those stories developed, I realized they didn’t quite fit that archetype. My main characters tend toward the maiden archetypal character arcs, which is about the challenges of becoming an autonomous individual as a character moves from a state of child-like innocents to being an independent and responsible adult. With greater understanding of these character arcs, I see how they apply to various characters in my stories. This will help me improve my story telling. I’m excited to delve deeper.

Word cloud for the story
Word Cloud
High-level view of hardcover and paperback layout showing all the pages very small
Hardcover and Paperback Layout

High-level view of ebook layout showing all the pages very small
Ebook Layout

2022-12-31
My Favorite 2022 Reads and a Streaming Series

Narrowing down my 2022 reading list to a short selection of favorites was difficult, but I managed.

Flames of Hope (Wings of Fire #15)
by Tui T. Sutherland
I loved all 22 books connected to this series.

The Last Graduate (The Scholomance Series, Book 2)
The Golden Enclaves (The Scholomance Series, Book 3)
by Naomi Novik
Last year’s list included
A Deadly Education (The Scholomance Series, Book 1)

The Shelterlings
by Sarah Beth Durst

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries books #1)
Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries books #2)
Rogue Protocol (The Murderbot Diaries books #3)
Exit Strategy (The Murderbot Diaries books #4)
by Martha Wells

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars
by Christopher Paolini

And, I’ll add to my favorites for 2022 a streaming series.

• Dreamworks’ Dragons Rescue Riders
(29 Netflix episodes followed by 24 Peacock episodes)

Dragons Rescue Riders is based in the Dreamworks How to Train Your Dragon universe, but unlike all of the other entries in that movie and TV franchise, which are stories about humans with sidekick dragons, Dragons Rescue Riders is about the dragons and their two human friends who can understand the dragon language. (Precedent was set in Cressida Cowell’s original How to Train Your Dragon books where Hiccup could speak dragonese.) The characters are wonderful, the stories are fun with great foreshadowing of future episodes and callbacks to previous episodes, and layering of complexity, inspirations, jokes, and insights. I loved it.

Book covers for Flames of Hope, The Last Graduate, The Golden Enclaves, The Shelterlings, All Systems Red, Artificial Condition, Rogue Protocol, Exit Strategy, To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, and title card for Dragons Rescue Riders
Book Covers and Streaming Series Title Card

2022-12-17
Good Deeds

My 100-word Christmas story for 2022.

Good Deeds
by Lester D. Crawford

I looked. No one was there. Still, I felt someone was watching me.

It’s been a terrible year. My day job sucks, and this feeling of being watched makes me concerned I have mental health issues. My volunteer work helping people and the community is all that’s kept me going.

I looked again. A shimmering red and green and silver and gold Christmas dragon stared at me.

He said, “I have been watching you. You have been performing good deeds. Performing good deeds is the purpose of life. Continue performing good deeds.”

Then, he was gone.

Yep, mental health issues.

Audio version.


Years ago, Loren Eaton at I Saw Lightning Fall inspired me to write a 100-word Advent Ghosts Christmas story. Now, every year, I write a 100-word Christmas story. It’s always fun.

Read stories submitted by other writers here: Advent Ghosts 2022: The Stories.


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.


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

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