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

Preparing Book Covers

The book covers are almost ready: hardback dust jacket, paperback, ebook, and audiobook. Each cover has its own requirements. The elements on the cover are designed to create a consistent look yet be adaptable to the unique needs of each.

As with every other step in the publishing process, I feel anxious if what I’m doing with the covers is the best and proper way to do it. But, I’ve researched, studied, and practiced all I can. I’m ready to get it done and see what happens next.

Book cover templates for hardback dust jacket, paperback, ebook, and audiobook comparing their shapes
Book Cover Templates Shape Comparison

Creating Publishing Imprint Is Tedious

The process of creating my publishing imprint has been tedious. The LLC has been registered with the state, the IRS tax ID has been acquired, a business banking account has been established, and a state business license has been issued. However, the city business license is still pending. The process has left me feeling burned out. Even harder tasks are yet to come. Nevertheless, I’m getting there.

Flying dragon silhouette as seen from below with primary wings spread wide, rump wings fanned out, neck and head pointing to the top, and tail pointing to the bottom, with text Dracotation across the bottom.

Being a Writer Is Being a Business

As I move forward in my writing career, I’ve been learning more about the business side of the adventure. I’ve successfully registered a Limited Liability Company and acquired an Employer Identification Number. Next I need to setup a business bank account and apply for a business license. More steps follow, but getting that far will be a major milestone.

I continue to learn as I continue to make progress.

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

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

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