Woohoo! I will be attending Arisia 2023 in Boston January 13-16, 2023. I will be moderating one panel, serving on another, and offering a reading. I attended Arisia virtually last year, but this will be my first time attending in person.

I will be moderating Intersections Between Ecofiction and Science Fiction on Friday, January 13 at 7pm. This should be a fascinating look at the relationship between science fiction and a topical area of much interest.

The reading is at 2:30pm on Saturday, January 14. Wow! I could not be more excited by a group of peers to read with!

I will be a panelist on Gender & Sexual Identity Representation in Media at 8:30pm on Saturday, January 14. This is a topic I’ve been struggling with since I started publishing and I’m very interested to share what I’ve learned and compare notes with peers that have been doing this longer than I have.

Water Dragon Publishing will also have a table in the dealer room and several authors will be in attendance, if you want to purchase signed copies of books.

If I’d looked, I’d have noticed I could just link to my whole schedule rather than cobbling something together by hand. Live and learn.


I had a fantastic year writing and realized a number of important things. I aimed at writing longer fiction for the first time. I also attended a number of conventions and paid attention more to the business of writing and publishing. I might describe it, in reflection, as a year of transition between being a writer and an author. (And here’s my Year in Writing:2021 from last year.)

I only made about 20 formal submissions for short fiction this year and received three acceptances. An odd little genre-defying story, Something Else to Do was accepted for the anthology Modern Magic by Knight Writing Press. The story Imaginary Friends was published in the anthology The Future’s So Bright. And The Right Motivation appeared in Corporate Catharsis: The work from home edition. But that’s not all I published.

I published several more works with Water Dragon Publishing. I was invited to submit a story for the Truck Stop at the Center of the Galaxy and wrote Better Angels, which appeared in August followed by The Better Angels and the Very Scary Halloween, The Better Angels and the Very Rapid Rescue, and a piece of flash fiction, Who’s Afraid of Whom.

Most importantly, I prevailed upon Water Dragon Publishing to serialize Revin’s Heart that picks up the story after the Third Time’s the Charm. In March, For the Favor of a Lady was released; in June, Storm Clouds Gather; in August, Crossing the Streams; and in December, The End of his Rope. The last two novelettes will appear in March and June 2023.

In total, I wrote about 140,000 words in 2022. Not mentioned above, I wrote several side stories intended for the Revin’s Heart fix-up: Where There’s a Will (the story of how Will and Grip meet and fall in love), Curtains Rise (the back story of how Will met the Baron (Grip’s father)), and Riva’s Escape, the origin story of how Revin transitioned. I also wrote a novel (barely): A Familiar Problem, for which I also wrote a side-story (A Different Midsummer Night’s Dream). I’m just finishing a novelette/novela with the origin of neoboxers for the Truck Stop series. And finally, I’ve started a new novel project, The Ground Never Lies, for which I’ve written a pilot.

Writing the side stories got me to realize that I love writing fan fiction — I just love writing it about my own writing. But every one I’ve written has given me deeper insight into the characters and world building.

I attended a bunch of conventions. Due to the pandemic, most were virtual appearances: Arisia, Boskone, Flights of Foundry, Lambda Literary Awards, Balticon, and OutWrite. I did, however, travel to and participate in Chicon in meatspace (and virtually) where I moderated three panels, served on two others, and performed a reading; in addition to helping run a table for the Small Publishing in a Big Universe Podcast Marketplace. I also helped run a dealer table at the Rhode Island Comic Con.

In August, I was interviewed by the Small Publishing in a Big Universe podcast (the interview aired in December) and, in October, I was a “guest interviewer” which gave me the chance to interview Francesca Forrest, which was a lot of fun. I don’t personally have the patience to listen to podcasts very often. But being interviewed and interviewing other people is fun, so maybe I should do it more often.

I joined two writing organizations in 2022. The Straw Dog Writer’s Guild is a regional writer support network. I’ve participated in workshops, readings and have joined the Program Committee to help coordinate events. The Science Fiction Writers Association (SFWA) is a professional association for writers of science fiction and fantasy. I was unable to attend their annual meeting, the Nebulas, because it conflicted with my union’s annual meeting. Hopefully this year, that won’t be an issue. But I participate in their weekly Writing Date events (and even hosted one!) and use their Discord server to interact with other authors.

Finally, I read slush for the first time. It was unbelievably helpful to see less polished writing than what gets published. I was like, “Oh! So this is what they mean when they say, ‘Show, don’t tell’!” This may have been as helpful as anything else I’ve done all year to help improve my writing. Although just getting editorial feedback on my writing continues to be helpful. And I’ve noticed that my most recent writing requires less editing than my older writing, which encourages me to think that my writing is improving.

Overall, It was a great year in writing and I look forward to another great year to come!

from The End of His Rope

When I first wrote The Third Time’s the Charm, it was more like the first chapter of a book than it was a short story. So I had a sense of the larger story that lay beyond the initial foray. But, to be honest, I only had the vaguest idea of the overall arc of the story. I hadn’t made many of the important world building decisions. I went through many rounds of revisions to give it a satisfying arc of its own, but the rest was still there, taunting me and I really wanted to tell the whole story. It speaks volumes that Water Dragon Publishing was willing to take the risk to serialize Revin’s Heart and give me more-or-less free rein to develop the story as I wanted.

I wrote For the Favor of a Lady, primarily to learn more about the characters. I had only the vaguest idea about Grip’s origins. When I wrote Storm Clouds Gather, the Etheric Storm Generator arc presented itself which led directly to Crossing the Streams. And it was at that time, that the shape of the rest of the series took form. But I still had to get from here to there: that’s what The End of His Rope is: a bridge between the earlier arcs and the arcs that follow. It also introduces a couple of important new characters and gives us an opportunity gain more insight into Revin’s character.

As with previous parts, there are many (of what I hope are) “warm, fun interactions between likable characters”. And there are several of the dramatic airship scenes that I know are popular with readers. And some nail-biting action. And, if I say so myself, the ending is particularly satisfying and really sets the stage for the last two parts that follow.

After I finished writing Revin’s Heart, I wrote three side-stories that recount events where Revin is not present. Since Revin’s Heart is told from his point-of-view, these couldn’t be included. But I thought readers that had gotten to know the characters might enjoy seeing how they came to end up where they had. The first of these, Where There’s a Will, is about how Will and Grip met and fell in love (this is teased in For the Favor of a Lady).

“Just how long have you and Will been together,” Revin asked.

“It will be two years next week. On Thursday.” Grip said.

“You know it to the day. That’s very sweet,” Revin said.

Grip looked down, blushing. But he looked happy. “They’ve been the best two years of my life.”

“How did you meet?” Revin asked.

“Oh, that’s a long story for another time,” Grip replied.

from For the Favor of a Lady

The second, Curtains Rise, describes the history that Will and the Baron, (Grip’s father) share. This is teased in Storm Clouds Gather.

Then Will saw the Baron and stopped dead in his tracks.

“Well met, William,” the Baron said.

“It’s Curtains!” Will said.

“What?” Grip said, looking back and forth between the two of them.

“Curtains! That’s what they called him back when…” Will said, then broke off when he caught the Baron’s expression. “I’ll… I’ll tell you sometime later.”

from Storm Clouds Gather

These stories were a delight for me to write. But there was one more side story I decided that I really needed to write: Revin’s origin story. That is, the story of his transition from a woman to man.

I was worried about writing this story because I knew it was going to require to me to make a number of choices that might not support choices I had made in writing Revin’s Heart. But, when I had finished, I was was pleased with the results that required no more than token changes to the stories. And gave me a lot of deeper insight into Revin’s character.

I’m telling this story now because I realized when a beta reader reviewed the manuscript, that there were a number of unanswered questions about the series that some readers would want to know that I now knew the answers to. And there were a couple of perfect scenes that I could elaborate in the The End of His Rope that would allow me to tell this story. So I did. Long after the manuscript was “done” I got it out again and added a thousand words. I hope you’ll be pleased with the results.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve noticed that most of the software products I use generate a preview when I paste a link into them. When sharing a microblog or social media post, these often include the whole post and/or image, which seems convenient because your interlocutor can immediately see what you’re talking about without clicking through. How handy! Or is it?

I realized recently that this behavior leaks information back to the originating website. I discovered a particularly egregious form when I copied the text of an article and, when I pasted it, found that the site had pre-pended an offensive warning about sharing the article with a link up top — probably as a tripwire so they could collect information about people doing exactly that.

I had noticed that this was already a risk if you didn’t carefully edit the URL BEFORE pasting, to remove session information that often appears after the question mark in a URL. Otherwise, it follows the link before you can edit.

But I think now I’m just going to turn this behavior off. If I can.

Back in August, I was interviewed for the Small Publishing in a Big Universe Podcast. To be honest, I can’t remember it all that well: I remember babbling incoherently for a long time and then the interviewer finally said, “OK, OK. Got it. Put a sock in it. You can stop talking now. Sheesh! We had enough half an hour ago!” *

It was a wonderful experience, to be honest. It was fun to have a chance to chat about my writing experience and to reflect on my first year as a published author.

But now, after having been edited, the podcast is ready for you to enjoy in all its glory. (And for me, because, as I say, I have absolutely no recollection of what I said. :-))

In October, I got the opportunity to be on the other side of the microphone when I interviewed Francesca Forrest. It was a blast to talk to another author about their writing. Her interview should be ready early next year.

* Note: Some people’s individual recollections regarding these events may differ.

Below are my publications that were (or will be) released in 2022.

Brewer, S.D. 2022. The End of His Rope. Part Five of Revin’s Heart, Water Dragon Publishing, San Jose, California. 46pp.

Brewer, S.D. 2022. The Right Motivation in Corporate Catharsis: The Work From Home Edition, Water Dragon Publishing, San Jose, California. 226-233.

Brewer, S.D. 2022. Something Else to Do in Modern Magic. Knight Writing Press, Parker, Colorado. 55-59.

Brewer, S.D. 2022. Imaginary Friends in The Future’s So Bright, Water Dragon Publishing, San Jose, California. pages 290-297.

Brewer, S.D. 2022. Better Angels and the Very Scary Halloween. Truck Stop at the Center of the Galaxy Boos-Day, Water Dragon Publishing, San Jose, California. Available at: https://truckstop.waterdragonpublishing.com/truck-stop-boos-day/very-scary-halloween/

Brewer, S.D. 2022. Who’s Afraid of Whom. Truck Stop at the Center of the Galaxy Boos-Day, Water Dragon Publishing, San Jose, California. Available at: https://truckstop.waterdragonpublishing.com/truck-stop-boos-day/whos-afraid-of-whom/

Brewer, S.D. 2022. Crossing the Streams. Part Four of Revin’s Heart, Water Dragon Publishing, San Jose, California. 42pp.

Brewer, S.D. 2022. Better Angels. Truck Stop at the Center of the Galaxy, Water Dragon Publishing, San Jose, California. 25pp.

Brewer, S.D. 2022. Storm Clouds Gather. Part Three of Revin’s Heart, Water Dragon Publishing, San Jose, California. 36pp.

Brewer, S.D. 2022. For the Favor of a Lady. Part Two of Revin’s Heart, Water Dragon Publishing, San Jose, California. 42pp.

For years, I was aware of the Science Fiction Writers Association (SFWA) although the eligibility for membership looked pretty far out of reach. But this spring, they changed the rules and I became eligible to join, which I did as soon as possible.

When I joined SFWA, one of the things I discovered was the SFWA Writing Date. Each week, late Sunday afternoon, folks could get together via Zoom to socialize for a few minutes, then write for 45 minutes, socialize again, and then write again. It was nice to have an excuse to meet some writer friends and get some work done.

In August, there was a call looking for people to “host” the writing date. Each week, there were a couple of SFWA people to handle the tech stuff, but then there would an author that was the formal host: they would smile, run a little icebreaker, and generally try to make people feel good that they’d attended. So I put my name forward. And I got picked! There were only a couple of dates that I thought could work for me, but I got the Sunday before the Thanksgiving week.

I got an email the week before that included directions for how I could have a “porthole”. I had seen that the staff running the writing date had little “windows” that looked out into a moving starfield or nebula or something. When I tried to do it on my computer, I discovered that the Zoom client for linux doesn’t offer the capability to have a video background. But I was planning to use OBS Studio anyway and it *does* have the capability so it wasn’t hard to set it up. I cut out a couple of pieces of florescent orange card stock and taped them up over the window in the cover of For the Favor of a Lady. It worked great.

For the icebreaker, I decided to riff on the classic by Barbara Walters. She would always open with the question, “What kind of tree would you like to be and where would you grow?” I’ve used this for years with my writing class. But for this audience, I mixed it up a little by asking, “What kind of FICTIONAL tree would you like to be, preferably from speculative fiction?”

People really got into it! I was really pleased at the response. I was a bit surprised at the ones nobody guessed, but also at some of the ones that I hadn’t been aware of.

After that, the writing was almost anti-climactic. I wrote about 1400 words in the two blocks of time. I’m starting a new story that I will, hopefully, be able to wrap up before the end of the Thanksgiving break.

It’s been a busy fall for me as a writer. In mid-August, Better Angels came out. And then Crossing the Streams came out in September. Next, I have a story, Imaginary Friends coming out in the Future’s So Bright anthology by mid-October. In November, I have a story, Something Else to Do, scheduled to appear in the Modern Magic anthology. I’m still hopeful that the next part of Revin’s Heart, The End of his Rope, will be out in November — perhaps in time for Rhode Island Comic Con, where I’ll be helping run a vendor table for my publisher Water Dragon Publishing. Finally, look for an exciting surprise at the Truck Stop for Halloween! And next year is getting off to a busy start too!

In January, I’ll be a participant at Arisia. And in February, I’ll be at Boskone. At both, we plan to have a table for Water Dragon so, in addition to participating on panels, I’ll be trying to sell books too. But, as I discovered at Chicon, it’s something I enjoy.

Speaking of selling books, I had so much fun with my Airship Pirate ribbons at Chicon8, I decided to make some stickers. If you buy a signed edition of any of the printed editions of Revin’s Heart, I’ll include a sticker for free (until the stickers run out).