I’m the author of the steampunk zombie western series, The Adventures of Bodacious Creed, and one thing I’ve known about since starting the first novel, Bodacious Creed: a Steampunk Zombie Western, is the main discovery that revolutionizes the world’s technology also connects to another side.

Okay, what does that mean? Do I mean “the other side,” as in the hereafter? Or another dimension? Maybe. Honestly, that’s all I can really say at this point. This aspect of the luminiferous ether, which is the key that unlocks greater electrical power, basic artificial intelligence, and much more, finally gets revealed in the third novel, Bodacious Creed and the San Francisco Syndicate.

I’m currently writing a short story that involves it as well, and that will be the story my Patreon subscribers will get in mid-February. If you’re interested in reading a lot more Creedverse stories, please sign up for just $5 a month! You’ll be supporting me and my son. I’m a single parent of a terrific kid with autism, and every bit helps.

Spiritualism in the Creedverse goes beyond what it ever could in our world, as mediums no longer need to put on shows with trickery. Here, the hum of machinery and the whispers from beyond the veil exist in harmony for those in the know.

In the final novel in my The Adventures of Bodacious Creed triology, and in my upcoming Patreon story, readers get a glimpse of how technology and the mystical merge. How? With the use of spirit rings, celestium alloy, and the luminiferous ether, Let’s delve into the complexities of connecting with the otherworldly in the Creedverse.

In my envisioned world, spiritualism flourishes at the edge of society amidst the backdrop of an industrial revolution powered by ether, steam, and steel. The movement captures humanity’s enduring quest to pierce the veil of mortality, reflecting the spiritualism movement of our own world.

Real historical figures like Mary Ellen Pleasant, and members of the Theosophical Society, including Madam Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Colonel Henry Steel Olcott, and William Quan Judge, are around to possibly make appearances in my fiction.

The Spirit Ring: A Technological Marvel

The spirit ring, a creation of my characters Tobey and Esther Ghering, makes it possible for characters to connect with the unknown. This device, infused with a special form of celestium alloy, acts as a bridge to the unseen, enabling communication with voices that seem to emanate from the ether. Through this narrative element, I explore the mystery of these communications: Are they the lingering consciousness of individuals who have passed, or is the ether itself, a collective consciousness, reaching out to the living? The spirit ring is a symbol of the blurred lines between science and the supernatural in the Creedverse, challenging both characters and readers to question the nature of reality and the afterlife.

The Luminiferous Ether: The Creedverse’s Mystical Foundation


The concept of the luminiferous ether, borrowed and expanded from historical scientific theories, serves as the mystical foundation of the Creedverse. This ethereal dimension is the life force that powers the world’s technological wonders and spiritual practices. It’s within this omnipresent–yet other-dimensional–ether that I posit the existence of a repository for human essence. Within it exist thoughts, memories, and perhaps the very soul.

Celestium Alloy: The Key to Unseen Realms

Anna Lynn Boyd, a protagonist in The Adventures of Bodacious Creed and the main character of my upcoming series, The Anna Lynn Cornicals, invented the first celestium alloy and several variations of this versatile metal, which draws the luminiferous ether into her world.

Later, others, including the Gherings, created their own formulations with other powerful properties. And, the Gherings distributing their sprit rings marked a juncture in the Creedverse, bridging the gap between the tangible world and the realm of spirits. Their form of celestium alloy serves as the backbone of spirit rings. Place a crystal ball on top of one of these rings, and the vibrations resonate with the energies of the ether and the human mind.

To explore spiritualism in the Creedverse, I combined it with my fictional celestium alloy, allowing me to explore the intersection of technology and the supernatural. I wanted to raise questions about the mechanisms of communication with the spirit world, inviting readers to ponder whether these interactions are grounded in science or if they touch upon something more profound and inexplicable.

The Creedverse Conundrum: The Intersection of Science and the Supernatural


So, are these phenomena rooted in scientific principles, or do they venture into the realm of the metaphysical? Though characters will surely debate this in the Creedverse, I don’t know if I’ll ever fully answer that question. Instead, I’d like to challenge readers to navigate the murky waters between empirical evidence and the mysteries of existence. I aim to not only captivate the imagination but also to provoke thoughtful consideration about consciousness, the possibility of an afterlife, and the essence of what it means to be human in a world where the boundaries of reality are constantly being redefined.

In weaving the narrative of the Creedverse, I’ve endeavored to create a world where the marvels of technology coexist with the enigmatic allure of the spiritual, where the quest for knowledge and understanding transcends the confines of the physical world. It’s a realm that invites both characters and readers to embark on a journey of discovery, to question the limits of human understanding, and to marvel at the mysteries that lie at the heart of existence.

And, if there is no afterlife, our thoughts, shared in stories, articles, blogs, social media posts, and more will continue on for a long time, like memories in the ether.

“More smiling, less worrying. More compassion, less judgment. More blessed, less stressed. More love, less hate.” ~ Roy T. Bennett


As the author of the Adventures of Bodacious Creed series and upcoming novels in my corner of the multiverse, which I call the Creedverse, I enjoy blending historical events with the world of my creation. A perfect example of this is my depiction of the hoodlum revolt of 1877 in San Francisco, a real-world event that I’ve reimagined in my short story, Siege! A Bodacious Creed Story.

The Real-World Hoodlum Revolt


In July 1877, chaos engulfed the streets of San Francisco. Originating as a labor protest by unemployed workers, the demonstration soon turned violent. Anti-Chinese sentiment was rampant, driven by economic strife and job competition. Chinese immigrants, seen as undercutting the labor market, bore the brunt of the rioters’ fury. They torched buildings and protected in the streets of Chinatown. Many were injured or killed in a city fraught with racial and economic tensions. The local police force, overwhelmed by the scale of the violence, struggled to restore order. It was only with the intervention of federal troops that the rioting finally ceased.

The Creedverse Reimagining: SIEGE! A BODACIOUS CREED STORY


In my Creedverse, this historical backdrop sets the stage for Siege! A Bodacious Creed Story. Here, the story takes a fictional twist with James Creed, a former U.S. Marshal and a central figure in my series, playing a heroic role during the first night of the riots. In my narrative, Creed, now a private investigator, takes it upon himself to protect a group of Chinese individuals, including a family in their teahouse, as well as the son of Wu Tingfeng, leader of the Wu Cai Tong, and some of Wu’s men. This element of heroism woven into the fabric of historical events adds depth and action to the story. He also protects an 11-year-old white girl who snuck out of her home to visit a young friend in Chinatown and finds herself in the middle of the siege.

Furthermore, the Creedverse introduces a steampunk elements, including several auto sapients. These advanced humanoid automatons, a signature of the Creedverse’s technological progress, participate in the conflict on both sides.

A Fusion of Fact and Fiction


The integration of historical facts with the fantastical elements of the Creedverse offers a blend of reality and imagination. I was a chance for me–and readers–to explore “what if” scenarios: what if advanced technology existed in the late 19th century? How would it have affected historical events? Through Siege! A Bodacious Creed Story, I aim to offer not just entertainment but also a deeper reflection on history, technology, and the human condition.

For those eager to dive into this fascinating intersection of history and fiction,Siege! A Bodacious Creed Story is now available to my Patreon subscribers. It’s a thrilling addition to the Creedverse, promising action, historical intrigue, and the innovative twist of steampunk technology. If you subscribe to my Patreon for $5/month, you’ll get a long story (at least 3,000 words) and at least three flash fiction pieces set in the Creedverse every month, with more coming as additional subscribers join. I’m happy to offer this fans of my novels to enjoy more of my fiction. Each story is exclusive to the Patreon for six months from when it went live!

Check it out on my Patreon page if you’re interested!

In the end, the story of the hoodlum revolt in both the real world and the Creedverse underscores the complexities of societal change and the enduring spirit of humanity. It’s a reminder of the power of storytelling to reshape our understanding of the past and to imagine the endless possibilities of alternate realities.

“San Francisco itself is art… Every block is a short story, every hill a novel. Every home a poem, every dweller within immortal.” ~ William Saroyan



This article is not a guide on how to write specific content like stories or articles. For those interested in story writing, the Writers of the Future free online workshop is a great resource, and composition classes can teach you article writing. Here, we focus on creating an effective writing routine, tailored to those with a passion for writing but find themselves constrained by other responsibilities like school or a full-time job. The goal is to help you carve out time for writing and use it efficiently, fostering a daily practice that nurtures your writing skills and creativity.


The Essence of Writing Sprints

Let’s introduce the valuable concept of writing sprints. What are they? Writing sprints are short, focused bursts of writing where you dedicate typically no more than 30 minutes to nothing but writing. The concept is straightforward: set a timer and write until it goes off. During this time, distractions such as social media, web browsing, or games are off-limits. If you find yourself stuck, switch to a different document to free write. This can help unclog your mind and get your main project back on track. If you draw a blank, persist; more often than not, words will start flowing. For most writers, three or four of these sprints a day are sufficient to make significant progress on projects like short stories, novels, or world-building. This approach turns writing into a manageable, less daunting task and can significantly increase your productivity.

Writing sprints are based on the Pomodoro Technique, which can be used for a variety of tasks, and is well-worth learning about.

The Role of Freewriting

Freewriting before launching into your writing sprints is another effective tool. It serves as a mental warm-up, loosening up your creative faculties to ensure smoother writing during your sprints. You can start with just ten minutes of freewriting–unstructured, spontaneous writing that flows without concern for grammar, style, or coherence. This exercise primes your brain, making the transition into more focused writing easier. The beauty of freewriting lies in its ability to unlock your subconscious mind, often leading to surprising bursts of inspiration and clarity. It can also be a therapeutic process, helping to alleviate any anxieties or pressures associated with your writing projects.


Dietary and Lifestyle Considerations

What you eat and how you rest significantly impact your mental clarity and creativity. Opt for healthful foods and limit sugar intake to maintain a clear mind. A well-rested brain is crucial for creativity, so ensure you get a good night’s sleep. If needed and feasible, a short nap can do wonders to rejuvenate your mental state. Avoiding heavy meals before your writing sessions can also be beneficial, as they can lead to sluggishness and distract you from your focus. Staying hydrated is equally important; sometimes, a glass of water can be all it takes to refresh your mind and keep the creativity flowing.

Balancing Writing with Other Responsibilities

Many aspiring writers juggle other significant commitments. Nevertheless, with dedication, carving out 45 minutes to an hour each day for writing is achievable.

A routine could look like this: start with about ten minutes of freewriting to prime your mind. Then, embark on two 15-minute writing sprints, with a 5-minute break between each sprint and the freewriting session. This schedule not only helps in steadily progressing your writing projects but also in enhancing your writing skills. Consistent practice is key to forging neural pathways in the brain, making your writing more efficient. This disciplined approach helps to embed writing into your daily life, turning it into a habit rather than a task. Remember, the key is consistency; even on busy days, a shortened version of this routine can help maintain momentum.


Expect Progress and Improvement

Initially, your word count might be modest, but don’t be discouraged. Like any skill, writing improves with practice. Over time, you’ll likely notice an increase in both the quantity and quality of your output. The routine you establish will facilitate the development of these skills, leading to a more efficient and enjoyable writing experience. It’s important to track your progress, as seeing improvements over time can be a great motivator. Don’t hesitate to adjust the routine as you find what works best for you; the goal is to create a sustainable, productive writing practice.

Creating an effective writing routine means incorporating writing sprints and freewriting, and can significantly boost your writing efficiency and skill. Remember, this journey is about consistent practice and gradual improvement. By dedicating focused time to your writing each day (or at least most days!) and adopting these techniques, you can make the most of your writing time, regardless of your other obligations. Embrace this routine as a pathway to enhancing your writing and unlocking your creative potential.

“Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.” ~ Ray Bradbury



When it comes to the art of genre blending, I consider my fictional world, the Creedverse, prime example of how mixing elements from different genres can create a cohesive and organic milieu. Rather than merely mashing various genres together, the Creedverse weaves them into a seamless narrative. Let’s delve into how the mix of steampunk, western, and zombie elements work together to form my unique weird western world.

(The Creedverse is the weird west setting for my series, The Adventures of Bodacious Creed, several short stories, and my upcoming trilogy, The Anna Lynn Chronicles. Two of those stories are available, for free. Just check the sidebar!)



Steampunk and Western: A Natural Confluence

The Creedverse is set in an alternate timeline, and in the Wild West. That’s the same period when most steampunk fiction takes place, aka., the Victorian era in the U.K. Steampunk isn’t confined to the geographical boundaries of England but extends to the global stage of the time, including the United States and its Wild West, which allows for a natural fusion of steampunk and western elements.

In the Creedverse, you won’t find the steampunk aesthetic shoehorned in for mere visual appeal. Instead, it’s integrated into the fabric of the society, influencing everything from transportation to practical appliances to weaponry. The presence of steam and ether-powered machinery alongside horses and revolvers isn’t just plausible; it’s a reflection of the era’s innovative spirit.


The Organic Emergence of Zombies

The introduction of zombies in the Creedverse isn’t a random twist or a forced element to add shock value. It’s a logical extension of the world’s technological advancements. In this universe, zombies aren’t products of magic or a viral outbreak. Their existence is a direct consequence of steam-era technology, particularly the pursuit of resurrection.

Take the character of James “Bodacious” Creed, for instance the titular zombie in Bodacious Creed: a Steampunk Zombie Western. His resurrection through steam-era technology gives him traits reminiscent of zombies, such as enhanced strength and a ghostly complexion. However, he retains his intelligence and personality, setting him apart from traditional zombie portrayals.

On the other hand, the Creedverse also includes zombies that align more with the Romero-style, mindless creatures hungry for flesh. These beings are not anomalies but the result of imperfect resurrection technology. In fact, the people who resurrected Creed are the only ones who have mastered this technology. This highlights the complexities and dangers inherent in pushing the boundaries of science.

So, in the Creedverse, the blending of steampunk, western, and zombie genres isn’t a mere juxtaposition of disparate elements. I hope others see it as a thoughtful and organic integration that enriches the narrative. The technological advancements of the steampunk genre naturally extend to the setting of the Wild West, and the foray into resurrection technology logically leads to the emergence of zombies.



Beyond the Creedverse: A Universal Approach

So, that’s a good overview of how I’ve handled the art of genre blending in my Creedverse. This technique can be a powerful tool for storytellers across various genres, including fantasy, mystery, horror, and science fiction. It’s not just about combining elements from different genres but about weaving them together in a way that feels natural and enhances the story.


Creating Unique Worlds

Here are some genre blending, or bending, ideas to explore.


  • Fantasy and Modern Settings: Imagine blending high fantasy with a contemporary urban setting. Elves with smartphones and wizards in business suits can create a world that feels both familiar and fantastical, as long as the magical elements are integrated into the fabric of modern society. Perhaps the capabilities of their technology arise from magic inherent in the world. In that case, what might fuel their technology, and what might be the price of widespread use of this magic?
  • Science Fiction and Historical Eras: Science fiction elements like time travel or alien encounters can be organically incorporated into historical settings. The key is to ensure these elements influence the historical context in believable ways, shaping the society’s culture, politics, and daily life.
  • Horror and Mystery: Combining horror with mystery requires a delicate balance. The supernatural elements of horror should serve the investigative narrative of the mystery, adding depth and complexity to the plot rather than overwhelming it. Stephen King is a master of this sort of story.



Character-Driven Stories

In any genre blend, characters play a crucial role. In fact, stories are always about people (which can mean aliens, fantasy species, and even animals with anthropomorphic personalities). Their reactions, beliefs, and interactions with the genre elements must feel authentic. A character’s journey can be an excellent vehicle for exploring the blended world, revealing its nuances and complexities organically.


Cohesive Plot Development

The plot should interweave elements from the different genres in a way that feels natural, one piece arising from the last. In a science fiction-romance, for instance, the technological aspects might directly impact the romantic storyline, creating challenges and opportunities for the characters’ relationships.



Respecting the Genres

While blending genres, respect the core elements that define each genre. In a mystery-fantasy, for instance, the rules of the magical world should not overshadow the logical progression of the mystery. However, the magic should be integral to it. Think of some of the plotlines in the Harry Potter series as examples.

Organic genre blending is about creating a world where different elements coexist and influence each other in a way that feels inherent to the story’s universe. It’s about building a setting and narrative where the combined genres enhance rather than compete with each other, leading to innovative and captivating storytelling. For writers, this approach opens up limitless possibilities for creativity, allowing them to craft unique stories that resonate with a wide range of audiences.

“All genres are worth perusing,” Zander said without missing a beat. “I don’t believe in declaring a whole subset of novels unworthy. You never know what treasures you might be missing.” ~ Ann-Katrin Byrde, The Omega’s Fake Mate