Reflecting on a Year in Writing


Well, folks, in just three days, I’ll be turning 54! I’m excited about it. A lot has happened since my 53rd birthday, with so many achievements to celebrate and lessons learned along the way.

Publishing and Writing


Where to start when reflecting on a year in writing? Well, one of the biggest highlights of the past year was publishing the final installment in the first Bodacious Creed series, Bodacious Creed and the San Francisco Syndicate. It required a lot of perseverance and dedication, but the satisfaction of getting the book finished, published, and in the hands of readers is priceless. The process, as always, had its challenges, especially tying up all loose ends while introducing new characters and elements. The response from readers has been fantastic.

As one project concluded, another began. I embarked on writing the next Creedverse novel, Anna, Daughter of Creed. Juggling events that coincide with those in Bodacious Creed and the Jade Lake and Bodacious Creed and the San Francisco Syndicate, has been tricky but enjoyable. It’s a puzzle that has stretched my abilities as a writer in a way that I find incredibly exciting.

Story Bundle


Another huge milestone was having Bodacious Creed: a Steampunk Zombie Western included in a Story Bundle that sold over 400 copies. As my first experience with Story Bundle, I was thrilled by the response. It was an honor to be in the company of other talented authors like K.C. Grifant and Tammy Salyer, and I can’t wait to collaborate with them more in the future.

World Anvil


Working with World Anvil has been an absolute game-changer for me this year. I’ve been able to develop and organize a vast and detailed bible for the Creedverse, complete with beautiful illustrations and in-depth articles. What I love the most about World Anvil is how it enhances my writing process, turning world-building into an interactive, engaging, and visually appealing task. How much information is in my series bible? So far, it’s at about 275,000 words!

I had the pleasure of meeting World Anvil creators, Janet Forbes and Demitris Havlidis, at the World Anvil meetup in Long Beach this year. The get-together was an exhilarating experience. They are amazing creators, entrepreneurs, and people who have shown me immense kindness and support. Our interactions have only deepened my appreciation for the platform and its impact on my work.

A particularly memorable moment was joining the World Anvil podcast to discuss “Creating Autistic Characters.” Being able to share my insights as an author, autism parent, and a neurodivergent person myself was a significant milestone. The questions we fielded from our audience, many of whom are also on the spectrum, were thoughtful and provocative. I’m glad to contribute to an important conversation about representation in fiction.

San Diego Comic Con 2023


This year also marked my first foray into the exciting world of San Diego Comic Con, where I had the honor of being part of a panel, “Welcome to the Weird West.” Besides the books, dice, and tees we bought, the real highlight was the wonderful people we met and the wealth of knowledge we shared. It was thrilling to see our fandom growing and having the opportunity to share my love for the weird west genre.

Reflecting on this past year, the lesson that resonates with me most is the power of perseverance. As long as I continue to write, to share my stories and welcome more people into the world of my fiction, I’ll keep moving forward in my career.

Onward to 54!


Looking ahead to my 54th year, I have big plans. I’ll be running a Kickstarter for “Anna, Daughter of Creed,” finishing and publishing the book, and starting “Anna, Sister of Doves.” I’m also looking forward to vending at LosCon in November and hopefully attending San Diego Comic Con in 2024. It’s going to be an exciting year, and I can’t wait to bring you all along for the journey.

As I stand on the precipice of another year of life, I am filled with gratitude for my experiences, for the incredible people I’ve met, and for the chance to do what I love—writing.

Thank you all for being part of this incredible journey. Here’s to many more shared stories, shared adventures, and shared years to come. Here’s to 54, and to the new adventures it brings!

“It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.” ~ Gabriel García Márquez



Hello everyone!

It’s been quite the adventure recently, one that took us on an epic journey to the hub of pop culture – San Diego Comic Con 2023. As a fervent fan of all things comic, fantasy, and science fiction, this experience was amazing. Today, I’m excited to share the magic of my journey, the unforgettable moments, and the treasure trove of memories my son and I collected along the way.

It was only two days at the bustling, energetic San Diego Comic Con, but boy, did it leave an impression. This was not just an event, it was a whirlwind of experiences, a mecca of creativity, a platform for the ingenious minds of our era, and a space where fantasy comes to life.

The Journey to San Diego Comic Con 2023 Begins: Thursday


Our adventure kicked off on Thursday, July 20, with meeting my long-time friend, Kevin Andrew Murphy. With 15 years (or so!) since our last face-to-face encounter, it was a heartwarming reunion. We headed to an Irish pub for a hearty meal before indulging our sweet tooth at Ghirardelli Square. The day concluded with the Comic Legal Defense Fund party, where another friend, Russell Nohelty, made a welcome appearance. Both Kevin and Russell are talented writers who breathe life into their characters and stories, making the worlds they create compellingly real.

Friday’s Frenzy: The Weird West Panel


Friday was a whirl of excitement as I got to participate in the “Welcome to the Weird West” panel. I found myself surrounded by talented authors, each with their unique perspective on this intriguing genre the group of us have chosen for our stories. Post-panel, we headed to the autograph hall for signings. It was here I got to meet readers and fans, a humbling experience that reminded me of one reason I write – to connect with you all!

The Dealers Room, or The Exhibition Hall?


In any other convention, it’d be the dealer’s room, but the enormity of the exhibition space at SDCC seems to call for a grander title. Yes, those of us who’ve been to a lot of smaller cons still called it the dealers room. Here, however, it’s officially known as the exhibition hall. It was breathtaking, and gigantic. Hearing about it doesn’t prepare you for the enormity of this place. A guidebook and the Comic Con app helped us navigate the space, leading us to books, merchandise, and fascinating people.

Treasures Galore: A Shopping Spree


SDCC wouldn’t be complete without bringing home souvenirs. From graphic novels to tees and dice sets, we found treats for both my son and me. I traded a copy of the first novel in my steampunk zombie western trilogy, Bodacious Creed: a Steampunk Zombie Western, for Phil Foglio’s first Girl Genius graphic novel. I’ve been a fan of Phil for a long time and was delighted to meet him in person. I also got to meet David Lucarelli, author of Tinsel Town. I purchased Russell Nohelty’s Cthulhu is Hard to Spell series, and bought my son a huge, hardcover The Flash omnibus. (He loves graphic novels!)

Cosplayer Encounters


Among the whirlwind of experiences, the sight of cosplayers brought the characters we all adore from page and screen to real life. Although I didn’t manage to capture many, I snapped a few pictures that encapsulate the incredible creativity and passion in the cosplay community.

Looking Ahead: Future SDCCs


Having had a taste of the SDCC experience, I am eager for more. I’ve applied for a pro pass for future years, and though I’m uncertain about the process, I’m keeping my fingers crossed. The opportunity to immerse myself in this fantastical realm again is too enticing to pass up!

Closing the Chapter


And so, our journey at San Diego Comic Con 2023 ended, leaving us with memories to cherish and experiences to look back on fondly. I hope this recounting brought you a piece of the magic that is Comic Con.


“If the world was a bit more like Comic Com, we’d all be a little happier.” ~ Matt Smith\

Finally, here are some pictures from our panel, taken by Jason Liu.



San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC), an event that started modestly in 1970 as the Golden State Comic Book Convention, has since blossomed into a pop-culture juggernaut. This highly anticipated annual event has become a mecca for comic book enthusiasts, movie buffs, video game lovers, and pop culture aficionados from around the globe.

Comic-Con International: San Diego, to give it its full name, draws hundreds of thousands of attendees each year. They flood into the city, transforming the San Diego Convention Center into a vibrant hub of cosplay, comic books, and creativity.

I’m excited about Comic Con this year, as it’s the first year I get to attend! I was invited to be a guest and on a Friday panel, “Welcome to the Weird West.” Those of you who have read my books know that’s an ideal panel for me. The panel is at 2:00 p.m. Friday, July 21, and we’ll be signing autographs after.

Though I haven’t gone to a Comic Con yet, I’ve done my research, and want to share that with all of you.

The Comic-Con Experience


Comic-Con is not just about comic books. It’s about all sorts of geek genres and media. It covers novels, major and indie films, video games, cosplay, art, and so much more. You’ll find anime, horror, fantasy, science fiction, and related genres througout the con.

Attendees can explore hundreds of stalls from comic book publishers, film studios, toy manufacturers, and other vendors selling an array of merchandise. From rare comic books and original artwork to one-of-a-kind collectibles and clothing, the Comic-Con exhibit hall is a collector’s paradise.

One of the major draws of Comic-Con is its extensive schedule of panels, which cover a wide variety of topics and themes. If you attend this year (2023), please stop by the panel I’m on, “Welcome to the Weird West!”

I certainly plan to go through the list of panels and attend some others. They feature industry professionals including writers, artists, directors, and actors discussing their work, offering insights, and occasionally revealing exclusive news and previews. Whether you’re a fan of mainstream superhero comics, indie graphic novels, blockbuster movies, cult TV shows, or video games, there’s sure to be a panel that suits your interests.

Hollywood at Comic-Con


Over the years, Comic-Con has become a crucial stop on the promotional circuit for Hollywood. Major film and television studios use the convention as an opportunity to promote upcoming projects, often bringing star-studded casts along for panels and autograph signings. Attendees might find themselves in the same room as their favorite Hollywood stars or get a first glimpse of an anticipated movie trailer.

Cosplay and the Masquerade


Cosplay, short for “costume play,” is another integral part of the Comic-Con experience. Attendees often spend months crafting elaborate costumes to show off their love for a particular character or franchise. The workmanship, creativity, and passion on display are truly astounding.

Every year, the best costumes are showcased during the Comic-Con Masquerade, a stage show and competition that’s one of the convention’s biggest highlights. It’s not just about the costumes; many participants also incorporate skits and performances into their entries, making the Masquerade a spectacular event to watch.

The Impact of Comic-Con


Comic-Con is more than just an event; it’s a celebration of fandom and creativity that has significant cultural and economic impacts. For the city of San Diego, the convention is a massive tourism boost, bringing in over $140 million each year.

But more importantly, Comic-Con provides a space for fans to come together, to share their passions, and to express themselves creatively. It’s an opportunity for individuals from all walks of life to immerse themselves in the stories and characters they love, to meet the creators behind these works, and to be part of a wider community.

Today, San Diego Comic-Con stands as a testament to the enduring appeal and broadening scope of pop culture. From a small gathering of comic book fans, it has exploded into a vital nexus of media and fandom, offering attendees an unparalleled opportunity to dive headfirst into the worlds they love. If you have a passion for comics, film, television, or simply for incredible creativity, Comic-Con is an event that needs to be on your bucket list.


“If your culture doesn’t like geeks, you are in real trouble.” ~ Bill Gates.




When we think of the late 19th century San Francisco, we often picture a thriving city abuzz with activity, a city evolving amidst the Gold Rush. This vibrant image, however, is a sugar-coated version of reality during that era. In my alternate history, a parallel universe I call the Creedverse, I have stripped away the sweet veneer to present a more genuine, gritty image of 19th century San Francisco.

This is a steampunk western world that includes elements like robots (called automatons at the time) and zombies. On the spectrum of Noblebright to Grimdark worlds, the Creedverse moves about between Graybright and Grimdark. There is optimism, love, and hope alongside tragedy.

San Francisco in the Creedverse is a City of Contrasts


The first novel in my series, The Adventures of Bodacious Creed is Bodacious Creed: a Steampunk Zombie Western, and it takes place in an alternate version of Santa Cruz, California. For the sequels, Bodacious Creed and the Jade Lake, and Bodacious Creed and the San Francisco Syndicate, I wanted to move the story to San Francisco, and so my research began. I discovered a fascinating place riddled with crime, a perfect setting for the continuing story of James Creed.

The Creedverse’s San Francisco is a city of stark contrasts. Within its boundaries, we see bustling commercial areas teeming with gamblers, prostitutes, and crimpers. We also find opulent mansions that represent the pinnacle of wealth and success, but we also witness the grim realities of life in the city’s impoverished districts, like the Barbary Coast and Chinatown.

My goal, in part, was to offer a portrait of the city that celebrates its vibrant life while not shying away from its darker aspects. Many made and lost fortunes in early San Francisco, sometimes because of catastrophes, like the many fires that plagued the city by the bay. For some, survival was a constant struggle.

The Pulse of the City


San Francisco 1877

San Francisco in the Creedverse is home to a diverse cast of characters who each add a unique shade to San Francisco’s colorful palette. Amid the clatter of horse-drawn carriages, the streetlamps that didn’t yet exist in our world, but do there, and the music heard at night in the Barbary Coast district, personal stories unfold. There’s the indomitable James “Bodacious” Creed, a lawman-turned-bounty hunter, Emperor Norton, a fascinating and real historical figure, and Creed’s found family, the Brotherhood of the Golden Cog. The newspapers feature commentary by Ambrose Bierce, Creed meets Mary Ellen Pleasant, and just under the surface is the ugly reality of human trafficking.

A Breeding Ground for Innovation


The Creedverse’s San Francisco isn’t just a city of riches and poverty, hope and despair. It is also a city of innovation, where science and technology are reshaping the world. Steampunk contraptions dot the cityscape, some legal, some black market. It’s like a giant laboratory for inventions that push the boundaries of what’s possible, supplied by Morgan’s Automatons and others.

Social Dynamics in a Changing City


Selena Moreno from The Adventures of Bodacious CreedSan Francisco in the Creedverse is a city undergoing rapid transformation. The societal norms of the Victorian era clash with the evolving attitudes towards gender roles and class divisions. Here, social dynamics are a complex tapestry woven with threads of ambition, greed, desire, and resilience.

Women like Anna Boyd and Selena Moreno challenge the gender norms. Organizations like the E. Clampus Vitus play a crucial role in protecting the disadvantaged.

In the Creedverse, San Francisco isn’t merely a backdrop to the story. It is a character in its own right, with its own ambitions, its own struggles, and its own triumphs. Its gritty portrayal offers a deep dive into the complexities of city life in the 19th century, its technological advancements, and the stark realities of its social structure. It is a San Francisco that thrives amidst chaos, a city as captivating as the characters who call it home.

The Novels


If you’re interested in reading The Adventures of Bodacious Creed, you can purchase them all together or one at a time on Amazon, Audible, or other online retailers. Whether you go on to read them or not, I hope you found this post enlightening and enjoyable!

And, if you’d like to learn more about the Creedverse, click over to my World Anvil site! That’s where I keep my series bible. Yes, most of the information my private reference for writing my novels and short stories. However, there’s a description of the Creedverse on the main page, an Appendix section with a lot of information, and my favorite area for the curious, a For Readers section. Check it out, and read up on James “Bodacious” Creed and other prominent characters!

“There is no logic to San Francisco generally, a city built with putty and pipe cleaners, rubber cement and colored construction paper. Its the work of fairies, elves, happy children with new crayons.” ~ Dave Eggers


Hello, fellow sci-fi writers! Writing a good science fiction story is like putting together a massive puzzle with a gazillion pieces. You have characters with all their thoughts and feelings, plot twists, futuristic gadgets, and maybe some aliens to deal with. Sure, AI isn’t ready to whip up a killer sci-fi novel just yet, but guess what? ChatGPT can be your trusty sidekick in writing. Here’s how this cool tool can help you out.

Getting the Ideas Flowing: Brainstorming Help


When you’re starting out, sometimes the ideas aren’t flowing as smoothly as you’d like. Why use ChatGPT as a writing assistant? Well, this platform is like that friend who’s always got something to say – but in a good way. Need to figure out how your hero escapes a space prison? Or how a secret alien society might work? Give ChatGPT the lowdown on what you’re working on, and it’ll throw ideas at you like there’s no tomorrow.

In fact, I recommend using ChatGPT at any phase during the writing process where you’re stuck for a word, a motivation, or anything else where brainstorming will come in handy.


Creating Characters: Not Just the Stars


Characters are the heart of your story. The main ones will probably get a lot of your attention, but what about the rest? ChatGPT can help you flesh out the other guys in your story. Give it a basic idea of a character, and it can help you add some meat to the bones. From background stories to how they fit into your main plot, ChatGPT can churn out the details.

One thing I like using ChatGPT for, concerning characters, is as a name generator. For years, there have been name generators online, for everything from names for elves to those for people living in the Wild West. With ChatGPT, you don’t have to seek another name generator. Just give it a prompt like, “Provide me with ten uncommon male names for a kid growing up in Boston in 1984,” or whatever other specific type of name you’re looking for.

Doing Your Homework: Research Made Easy


Getting your facts straight is crucial, even in sci-fi. Need to know how something worked way back when? Or maybe some scientific concept you want to incorporate? ChatGPT is like a walking encyclopedia. Well, not walking. Using ChatGPT as a writing assistant, you can gain a greater understanding of historical events, science, and other details that can make your story more believable.

Doing Your Homework: Research Made Easy


Staying organized is key when you’re creating a whole new world. Platforms like World Anvil let you build a series bible – it’s like your story’s playbook. ChatGPT can speed things up by helping you write entries for different parts of your world, like character info, history, gadgets, you name it. Just make sure you double-check everything to keep your story on track.


Wrapping It Up: Your Right-Hand Helper


So here’s the deal: ChatGPT won’t pen a best-seller for you, but it’s like having a super-smart buddy who’s always there to help. From brainstorming to creating characters, doing research, and keeping things organized, ChatGPT is a handy tool for any sci-fi writer. You’re the captain of this ship, but ChatGPT can be a pretty awesome co-pilot.


I think you’ll enjoy ChatGPT as a writing assistant, and all it has to offer. Happy writing, and may your stories be as epic as the galaxies you create!

“Meet regularly with your business team and brainstorm.” ~ Richard Branson