‘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.

#69: It's Human to Be Afraid

Dragon Father and Dragon Little returned to Bonny’s Revenge, the pirate ship that served as their home since I’ve known them, after a long adventure. 

“That was the hardest. Adventure. I have ever. Been on!” he said, emphasizing almost every word. “I was actually scared. Were you scared, Joy?”

“Nah,” she shrugged. 

He made a face. “It’s okay to be scared.”

She shrugged. 

Her back was to him. He put his hand on her shoulder. “Joy?” 


“Were you scared? Are you afraid of being scared?”

She whirled around quickly, her face angry. “Scared? I’m not scared! Why do you think I’m scared?”

Dragon Father shook his head, no doubt as surprised as I was by the intensity. “No, I just--”

“Why were you scared?” she aimed an accusing finger at him. 

“I wasn’t--I was--Yes, I was--” his tone then changed and mellowed. “I was scared, Joy. It’s okay. We have to be scared when we’re in danger. We’re human.” 

Dragon Little shouted at him with just as great a ferocity: “I’m not human, I’m a pirate!” 

She turned around quickly and stomped towards her cabin. “I’m tired! I’m a tired pirate! I’m going to bed! You can disappear now! I don’t need you!”

She slammed the door to her cabin. 

Dragon Father looked at her, his mouth tight. He seemed to be weighing what would be the right thing to do. 

“Disappear!” she shouted at him from inside the cabin. 

“Disappear?” he shouted back. “What do you mean? What kind of a way is that to talk? I never disappear. I would never disappear as long as you’re here! You’re stuck with me!” 

And with that, he promptly disappeared. 

—Told by The Red Dragon

#70: Yes Yes Yes!

#68: Don't Go, Dad!