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Posts Tagged ‘Lucy D. Ford’

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.


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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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Unless you’ve been living in a cave somewhere, you must have heard that Queen Elizabeth of England has passed away. I find myself puzzled, as always, by how interested people are over here in the United States. This is something I noticed when I was finishing up college, and there was such a furor over the marriage of Prince Charles to Lady Diana. The media was obsessed with their royal marriage, and I felt… disinterested. I mean, I am not British or Canadian, so why does this matter to me?

So now here we go again. Wall-to-wall coverage of Elizabeth’s passing, the ascension of Prince Charles to King Charles, tributes from around the world, and much dramatic speculation about whether Prince Harry will be clawed back into the family so the new king can put himself out there as a “unifier.” (And also a few, mostly overlooked, voices commenting about finally ending colonialism.)

I really don’t know what to think about Americans, with a well established democracy, being so drawn to a non-democratic institution like the British monarchy. However, monarchies are well entrenched in the fantasy genre, so this is something I will be pondering about in coming posts.

First, though, I’m interested in what you think. Why are people so fascinated by 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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For several years now, I’ve been participating in Fall Folk Festival. This is an annual celebration of international music, dance and arts by the diverse community around Spokane. For my part, of course, I read from my children’s fiction (the Lucy D. Ford byline) and try to sell a few books through the festival store.

After a two-year hiatus, Fall Folk Festival is back — and they’re bumping up my part of it. The local public radio station does a live broadcast during the event, and this year I’m invited to read from my work on the air.

Am I excited? Naw, it’s all casual… Oh, who am I kidding? I’m super excited and can’t want to iron out all the details. Most of you who read this blog are too far distant to attend in person. However, the station will probably have a streaming setup, so you will be able to hear me read if you so choose.

Watch this space for more details!


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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When you read this, it will be Christmas Day. So here is my gift to you: a short story! I shared it on this very blog back in 2017. (If you’ve been following me that long, I hope you don’t mind the repeat.) The Winter Wish is one of my favorites, written for the byline Lucy D. Ford.

Here is Part 1 and here is Part 2.

Happy Holidays!



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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I’m up to 3,400 words on The Renegade Count. I managed 1,000 words at one go on MLK Day. Yamaya and Berisan are headed in the direction I wanted. It’s left me feeling a bit tapped out, though. So I’m taking a breather today.

However, I did receive the happy news of a sale. Aunt Ursula’s Atlas, one of my first self-published books. It’s a collection of my short work under the pen name Lucy D. Ford. So, what the heck — here’s a link! Maybe you’re looking for a new read, after all.



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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Yesterday was Christmas, so here’s a slightly late gift from my pen name, Lucy D. Ford.


Call Me King, by Lucy D. Ford

The farmhouse door slammed open, and little feet pounded down the rickety steps. A young voice yelled out, “Call me king!”

The farm wife glanced up sharply from weeding her cabbages. Nap time was always over too soon. She watched the boy run through the farm yard. A ragged blanket flapped behind him.

“Call me king!”

Chickens scattered, squawking, as the simple-minded boy slashed at them with a large tin spoon. The farm wife sighed to herself. She’d been so careful to pick up every stick from the yard. Naturally, the brat got into her kitchen drawer instead.

“Call me king!”

A spotted dog galloped after the boy, barking madly. It nimbly dodged a swipe from the spoon. The farm wife shook her head. The boy was lucky to have such a friend, but did he care?

“Call me king!”

She knelt to dig out a particularly stubborn dandelion root. The boy spotted her. He raced up, flailing the spoon at the air. Dirt flew as he skidded to a halt.

“Call me king!” He swirled his blanket, wild-eyed, wrapped in the game. When he grinned, a gap showed where one tooth was missing.

“Stop that. You’re getting dust in my eyes.”

He ignored her protest. “I am the king! Call me king!”

Slowly, firmly, she answered, “No.”

“Call me king!” he demanded yet again.

“No.” The farm wife reached out in a half-hearted attempt to reclaim her spoon. The boy pulled away, and she ended up rubbing his curly head, instead.

“I’m tired of this game,” she said. “There’s work to be done.”

The boy grabbed her wrist, his little fist sticky and tight. “You have to call me king!”

“Let go, please. What I have to do is finish the weeding.”

The boy held on tighter. A fierce, mad spark lit in his eyes. “Go to the dungeon,” he babbled. “I’ll chop your head off. I am the king!”

The farm wife lost patience. She stood up tall and stern. “Then you must call me witch!”

A cloud passed over them. The dog cowered and whined. The boy blinked, then jumped away. After a moment’s confusion, he jabbed the spoon at her.

“Aaah! There’s a witch here!”

He darted around the yard, seemingly with no aim in mind. For several minutes, the chant of “call me king” was replaced by “there’s a witch.” Barking dog and squawking chickens added to the cacophony.

The witch fumed as she turned to weeding the carrots with extra vengeance. It was a good thing none of the neighbors lived close enough to hear. They all understood that the boy was simple-minded, but you never knew when a label like witch might stick in the wrong ear.

After some time, the boy’s racing became more of a trot. He shook the tin spoon at the cow in its shed. “Go to the dungeon! I am the king!”

By then, the witch’s fury had given way to sorrow. Five years ago, she had abandoned her oath and committed a terrible crime. She had reduced an unhinged monarch to a squalling infant and stolen away with it. The sentence for her deed was this endless watch over her victim. A simple-minded child in a quiet farmyard could do little harm, even if he managed to hit you with a spoon. But a mad king was a peril to all the world.

“Call me king,” the tiny tyrant ranted. “I’ll chop your head off!”

Softly, she murmured, “And that is why I had to lay the curse upon you, King Liam.”



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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Many of us writers have a personal mantra, something we repeat to ourselves as a means of inspiration or a way to keep focused on work. You know, “butt in chair,” stuff like that. So today I’m sharing my mantra with you. Ready?

“Nobody Cares.”

This might seem pretty needy, a play for attention and reassurance. To me, it’s more like a declaration of independence.

Who are some of the people who might care about my writing? Editors, agents, random people on the Internet… You know them. The folks who are so ready to tell you you’re doing it all wrong. They swear that if you change your story and do it their way, you’ll find success on whatever terms they define.

The implication is that I should care about their opinions more than, say, my own goals and desires. I should ignore my writer’s instinct and the expertise that’s already helped me to finish a bunch of books and short stories.

But when nobody cares, I am free to write what I want. I don’t have to listen to people telling me it’s too long or too short, or that I have to to sex it up, or the bad guys have to die, or that I should follow a specific formula. I don’t have to include some annoying trope when actually I’m more about questioning those tropes.

So that’s my mantra: Nobody Cares. Except maybe some of you guys. 🙂



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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