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Posts Tagged ‘fantasy stories’

Thanksgiving Day is coming here in the USA. Here’s a repeat of a funny post from 2015. Seriously, I’m grateful for all of you who follow and support me. Happy Thanksgiving!


Hommana hommana, I peer into my crystal ball
And learn the most mysterious thing of all:
What are dragons grateful for?

Ikartya of the Emerald Scales — Gratitude, what’s that?

Ysislaw, Emperor of Sillets — My hoard.

Fruq the Furious — My flames, which destroy my enemies.

Tetheus of Shoredance Island — Delicious sheep.

Gnawrath, Most Malign — That my family is far, far away.

Cazarluun the Wraith — That I killed Sir Whatsizname before he killed me.

Carnisha of Mount Cragmaw — That humans are so easily deceived.

P.S. — Ysislaw, Cazarluun, Tetheus and Carnisha are all characters from my stories! Ysislaw is from my second novel, Too Many Princes. Carnisha is in my story that appeared in The Dragon’s Hoard anthology last spring. Tetheus and Cazarluun are in short stories that are thus far unpublished. However, their statements here don’t necessarily represent their roles in the stories.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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As the funeral preparations for the late Queen Elizabeth II continue, I’ve pondering the role of royalty in fantasy stories. Last week I wrote about how royal figures feature so prominently in legend and contemporary writing. But there’s another connection with the real world that may not be quite so benign.

The way royalty is depicted in stories can make it seem quite simple. A ruler is chosen by God (or gods) and therefore has divine wisdom. Even if the ruler doesn’t make such claims personally, you can be sure that people around them are making it. Because the ruler is vouched for at this ultimate level, everyone should follow them without question. Sounds easy, right?

Unfortunately, there are always people who want to take this concept from stories and apply it to the real world. So you get small but noisy movements to put aside established laws and make one person an absolute ruler. Worse, there are enough people who will try to twist the laws and make this dark vision a reality. I don’t need to name names here, I know. In America and around the world, the fight goes on to maintain democracy in the face of those who would make a king.

What’s ironic in the adulation for Queen Elizabeth II is that neither she nor her successor, Charles III, actually have the ability to make changes that effect people’s lives. Britain and its Commonwealth are governed by a constitution and elected officials who write the laws. Here in America, the British monarchy is even less able to effect us.

So there’s an element of safety for Americans who admire British royalty. The House of Windsor has that shine, but they can’t touch us.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Why are people so fascinated with royalty? And how does this relate to the bedrock of modern fantasy? These are the questions I put forth last Saturday. Today I’ll start spinning a few theories.

My first thought is going to seem obvious: Tradition. Fantasy is just the latest chapter in a long tradition of storytelling that begins with religious mythology, flows into more general folk stories, and has persisted into the age of professional publishing. If you think about it, some of the most enduring characters from around the world were all royalty.

Half the cast of the Iliad and Odyssey were Greek rulers. King Arthur was royalty. Even Sun Wukong, from Chinese legend, began his career as King of the Monkeys. So it’s traditional for the main characters in many stories to be kings or princes (more rarely queens or princesses). Sometimes the ruler is more of a background character who delegates tasks to other protagonists, but in an awful lot of tales, the king goes out having adventures personally.

Perhaps this is part of humanity’s ancient legacy. Descended from social apes who were led by an “alpha,” we may have a predisposition to look for such leaders in the real world, and in stories. We watch what they do, admire their actions, and share their victories. As humans have granted rulers ever more ceremony and finery, there’s the additional lure of riches and glamor that comes with being royalty.

After centuries of adulation, the concept of royalty has built up a mythic quality. We often see legends like that of King Arthur, where a king is prophesied to begin an era of peace and justice. Fantasy is full of chosen ones, lost heirs, and other characters that embody the mystique of royalty.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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I have another story to share today, “Random Acts of Magic” by Amy Claire Fontaine. It’s another from Daily Science Fiction, which I recommend so much if you enjoy short SF and fantasy.

This sweet urban fantasy gets me with its intersection of magic and education, plus some pointed comments on how growing up can crush the joy out of childhood passions. Check it out!



Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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This is something I’ve been running into a couple of times lately when reading short stories. You get to the end and it just… chops off. Literally, at the bottom of a page, there is no story left. Turn the page, and the next story begins. It left me irritated and confused. Where’s the rest of it??

This happened three or four times in an anthology I’m currently reading. The first instance, I wondered if it was a glitch of some kind. Maybe they rushed through the proofing process and didn’t realize pages had been dropped.

But it kept happening, so that makes me wonder if it’s some sort of writing fad. To just chop the ending off and, I don’t know, make the reader puzzle out what might happen next? And then they’ll think you’re all edgy and stylish? If so, that doesn’t work for me.

Has anyone else noticed this?



Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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I’ve been sharing my process as I go through revisions on my children’s short story, “The Lonely Dragon.” Here is the second draft, and probably the last I’ll be showing you. It’s time to finish this thing up and let my lonely dragon fly to some publishers.


The Lonely Dragon, by Lucy D. Ford

A very long time ago, there was a dragon who lived high in the Skyclaw Mountains. Her silver scales barely shimmered, her lush mane was ragged, and her sharp horns had become blunt. Yes, the dragon was very old. She was also very lonely.

Sometimes people from the valleys down below would climb the rugged peaks and creep into her lair. They wanted to steal from her hoard. The dragon didn’t really mind. If she heard the sly crish-crish of footsteps, she would quickly set a trap.

Once the thieves were caught, they would tremble and cry. They thought the dragon was going to punish them. But as she grew older, the dragon had also grown wise. All she did was bring a pot of tea and ask about the goings-on in the valleys. Sometimes the people told her their problems, and she gave them good advice. When the tea pot was empty, the dragon would let them go back to their homes.

After a while, people stopped sneaking up the mountain to steal from the dragon. They just came to talk to her. She told them tales from long ago, and if they spoke about their problems, she still gave them good advice. Even mighty rulers came to seek the dragon’s wisdom.

Once, the dragon learned that two kings were about to send their armies to war. She invited them both to have tea with her. Instead of fighting, they signed a treaty. The dragon was glad that all the soldiers got to stay home with their families.

She was still very old, but she wasn’t lonely any more.



Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Last time, I shared a cold write from a group at my school. Today I’ll show you the true first draft, as I begin to expand and develop the themes. Here it is.


The Lonely Dragon, by Lucy D. Ford

A very long time ago, there was a dragon who lived near the top of a high mountain. Her silver scales barely shimmered, her lush mane was ragged, and her sharp horns had become blunt. Yes, the dragon was very old. She was also very lonely.

Sometimes people from the valley below would creep into her lair, hoping to steal from her hoard. The dragon didn’t really mind. As she grew older, she had also grown wise. When she heard the sly slip of footsteps, she would set a trap for them.

Once the thieves were caught, they would tremble and cry. They thought the dragon was going to punish them. But all she did was bring them tea and ask about the goings-on in those valleys down below. Sometimes the people told her their problems and she would give them good advice. When the tea pot was empty, the dragon would let them go back to their homes.

After a while, people stopped sneaking up the mountain to steal from the dragon. They just came to talk to her. She told them tales from long ago, and if they told her their problems, she still gave them good advice. Even mighty kings and wizards might come to seek the dragon’s wisdom.

The dragon was still very old, but she was no longer very lonely.

There’s still work to do here, but I like the way it’s coming together.



Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Last week, I was leading a small writing group, and our prompt was “once upon a time.” Fifteen minutes later, my page was full and I had to remind myself that they were supposed to be doing the writing.

Anyway, I ended up with about 150 words of a very basic short story. I thought it would be fun to share my process as I shape this rough draft into a finished story that I can submit. I don’t know if I’ll go all the way to the final draft, as some publishers would consider it a reprint. We’ll see.

For now, let’s get started with the original paragraphs from the prompt.


“Once Upon a Time…”

Once upon a time, there was a dragon who lived on top of a mountain. She was very old and wise, but she was lonely. Sometimes people would come to her lair and try to steal from her hoard. The dragon didn’t mind. She just trapped them for a while, so she would have someone to talk to. She asked them for news of the goings-on in the valleys below. If they told her their problems, she gave them good advice. Then she would let them go back to their homes.

After a while, the people stopped coming up the mountain to try and steal. They just came to talk to the dragon. She told them tales from long ago, and she still gave them good advice. Even kings and queens might come. Soon, the dragon wasn’t lonely any more.

Pretty simple, right? I like the way it gives the dragon a problem that people might not expect, and uses some of the typical dragon lore in a fun way. It needs to be fleshed out with rich details and description, though. Next time I’ll share my first real draft.



Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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I was just pondering what to write about today, when a terrific story came through my e-mail. Daily Science Fiction is the publication. Every weekday, they e-mail a genre short story. It’s really easy to subscribe, and the donation they ask for is ridiculously small.

Someday, I hope to get a story in with them, but not yet.

Anyhow, I loved the way the author used dialog to reveal the plot retroactively, and how funny and smart his characters are. That said, if you aren’t comfortable with teen romances and some gayness, you might want to give this one a pass.

The story is “The After Party,” by Max Christopher. Check it out here.



Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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As previously mentioned, I’ve resolved to push myself and submit my short stories to more places before giving up on them. You know what that means, right? Rejections are coming in.

Rejections are part of a writer’s life, and I usually try not to dwell on them. When one comes in, I just look for the next market to submit to. My goal is to submit to 5 places. That may not sound like much, but with markets quickly coming and going, it should be attainable.

With one of my stories, that’s going to be harder. It has a juvenile voice, but at 2,300 words, it’s too long for the juvenile magazine markets. So far it’s been at 3 places. I’m casting about for any more markets to try. If anyone has a suggestion, I’d love to hear it.

The other is more clearly for adults, so I have a lot more potential markets there. The first one I tried sent a generic “didn’t work for us” but then added they’d like to see more from me. I’m trying to focus on that, instead of the didn’t-work part.

One thing I’m observing already is that the responses are coming faster. Instead of mailing physical manuscripts back and forth, most publications now take electronic submissions. They are able to get through submissions in a couple of weeks, or even a day or three, where previously you would wait 3 months or longer to hear back.

Would be nice to get some acceptances, though!



Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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