‘The Squashbuckler Diaries’ are the daily tales of Joy Shelley’s Life in the Dream. The ‘Lost in Dreams’ books will tell the story of what happens to her at ages 6, 9, 12, 15, and so on. The diaries tell us what happens before, after, and between the books.

#7: Cursing

One day Joy, my Dragon Little, was jumping up and down on the wooden mast of Bonny’s Revenge, while the ship was parked kilometers above the ocean, among the clouds.

Justin, which I call Dragon Father, looked back from the help and seemed to almost have a heart attack.

“Ahh! Joy! Get down from there!”

“Ha ha!” Joy was jumping up and down, ignoring him.

Justin left the wheel, walking very very slowly towards her, not wanting to frighten her and make her lose her balance.

“Joy! Goddamnit, don’t ignore me! Get down!”

Joy stopped jumping on the mast and looked at him. “What’s goddamnit?”

Dragon Father stopped in place, suddenly going red in the face. “What?”

Joy walked calmly back towards the ship and jumped down to the deck.

“Ah… Ah… It’s two words, actually. It’s ‘God’ and ‘damn it’. So that’s three words,” Dragon Father stammered.

“What’s God?” Dragon Father and Dragon Little spent their time almost entirely fighting. Dragon Father hardly ever bothered to teach her anything but how to fight. And Dragon Little had no one else to teach her while he was gone.

“God… Uh… That’s… uh… That’s something people believe in.”

“Villains?” The only other people Dragon Little knew were villains.

“No, no… People… Just people… They think there’s this… uh… being… that created… the world… you know?” Dragon Father’s face grew redder and redder. He was not prepared for this at all.

Dragon Little shook her head. “Where is he?”

“Some people think he’s in the clouds.”

Dragon Little looked around at the clouds. “Where?”

“No, not the clouds. Not in the clouds. You know what? You’ll understand that when you grow up. I’ll explain it when you grow up. You know, it’s getting really hot, right?”

“What’s ‘Damn it’?”

“Ah, well, that’s, uh… You shouldn’t say that!” he waved a trembling finger at her. His breathing was getting faster and faster.


“Because its a bad word, and I shouldn’t say it, and you shouldn’t say it, and kids shouldn’t say it! So don’t say it!”

“Damn it damn it damn it damn it? Don’t say it? Damn it damn it damn it?”

“Stop it stop it stop it!”


“Because--” And at that point, a witch on a broom flew past and grabbed Dragon Father off the deck and was gone into the clouds. “Thank god,” he whispered while she cackled.

—Told by The Red Dragon

Watch how I came up with the idea for this post:

Joy is a girl who lives in Dreams, raised by a father who is only there when he sleeps. You can follow her adventures daily in The Squashbuckler Diaries (http://guyhasson.com). This is a video blog is about how I come up with ideas for the Squashbuckler Diaries.

#8: The Secret Weapon

#6: Joy's First Dress