I came home to find my contributor’s copies of my new story A Classic Beginner’s Mistake, along with a few extra for signing! You can order a signed copy (or the ebook, or an unsigned trade paperback) at that link.
Ooh! My new story has picked up a review! https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/5404239594?book_show_action=false
You can buy the story here: https://waterdragonpublishing.com/product/classic-beginners-mistake/
EIGHT MINUTES BEFORE MY BOUT, and I was struggling with my goggles — the one really important piece of protective gear. A rapier through the heart is a legitimate medical emergency, but one that the on-site medical staff handle with routine ease. Only a rapier into the brain is at all likely to produce a career-threatening injury and, except for the very rare fluke of a thrust through the soft pallet or the ear, the skull provides enough protection that just about the only way into the brain is through the eye socket.
I shared some preliminary images of the cover of my new book a couple of months ago, but here’s the official cover:
The book comes out tomorrow in ebook form, and you’ll be able to order it here:
A brief synopsis:
On a contract to fix a software bug, Trevo is shamed into entering a fencing tournament where poor folks fight for the entertainment of the wealthy. While diagnosing the bug will earn his pay, the insight from his fencing bouts may prove to be worth even more.
There will also be a print version, and that page will have links for buying it—and for buying a signed version, if that’s what you’re into. (Note that it is a short story and not a novel, even though there’ll be a book version.)
Check it out! I have cover art for my new story! 😍
Due out February 2023 from Water Dragon Publishing!
Water Dragon Publishing has announced the upcoming publication of a new story by me!
We are excited to announce that we have signed an agreement with author Philip Brewer to publish his story, “A Classic Beginner’s Mistake”, as part of our Dragon Gems short fiction program.https://waterdragonpublishing.com/2022/11/water-dragon-publishing-welcomes-author-philip-brewer/
After a couple of years when I didn’t do much writing (beyond this blog), this year I’ve gradually gotten back to it. I recently finished my first story in a long time, and I’ve gotten to work on another. (Datestamps suggest that I worked on at least three others in 2021.)
A big inspiration in this has been my brother, Steven D. Brewer, who has not only been writing fiction, he has been submitting stories with praiseworthy diligence—which, unsurprisingly, has led to some success. You can buy his first published story via Amazon, on paper or as an ebook!
As I’ve mentioned in the past, one obstacle to getting back to work writing fiction has been the difficulty of establishing a daily routine while I was still teaching tai chi (which had me occupied all through my prime writing time for two or thee days a week). Since that wrapped up a week and a half ago, I’ve had some success getting back to a daily writing. The holidays (and a minor medical thing) presented as obstacles, but today (as I write this it’s mid-afternoon on New Years Eve) I actually did an excellent job of spending the day the way I mean to.
As I have figured out over and over again, literally for years now:
The key—and I’ve known this for a long time—is to start my writing first. Once I’ve had a solid writing session, taking a break for some exercise is perfect. After that, I can get back to writing. (Whereas I’ve found it very hard to start writing after a long morning of exercise.)Another attempt at a daily schedule
I’ve not been writing daily, but I have been writing nearly daily (I wrote at least some new words on eleven days in the second half of December), which is probably good enough—and which I am determined to continue into the new year. I have also submitted a story to an editor for the first time in a very long time.
I’m hoping to have a much more interesting “Writing in 2022” post next year.
My writing this year ticked along at a low level, so low I was almost tempted not to bother reporting on it.
I continued to work on fiction by fits and starts, but I don’t think I finished a single story.
I want to be sure to thank Elizabeth Shack whose Thursday evening writing group, even though I didn’t make it as often as I meant too, still got me writing more than I otherwise would have. (It’s not a critique group at all. It’s a way to make writing a little bit less of a solitary activity. We gather in a coffee shop and spend a couple hours quietly working on our own stuff, with a few minutes of conversation at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end. It’s all very companionable and I miss it when I don’t go.)
I can’t even say I’m disappointed in myself for not writing more (which I used to be): Every day I get up and do exactly what I want all day. Sometimes that’s writing, and when I write I really enjoy it. Other days it’s something else, which I usually enjoy as well.
I used to put a lot of effort into arranging my life with writing in mind—making sure I had large blocks of time to write, making sure I had time to write every day, making sure I could get started writing early in the day. I think that worked after a fashion, perhaps more so for the non-fiction than the fiction, but I have largely given up on fussing about that stuff.
Along about the middle of the year I got email from the admins at Wise Bread saying that they were “switching gears” and would “no longer be commissioning articles” as they had been.
Once again, I’m not really disappointed. I was much more suited to their old model where I wrote whatever I wanted and then posted it. There were good reasons for them to hire editors—and the editors they got were great—but the way you have to work when you have an editor didn’t suit the way I wrote. (If I wanted to pitch stories and work on deadline I could make a lot more money writing for magazines.)
Before that shift I did publish two stories at Wise Bread:
- Where Are They Now? The Forgotten Dollar Bills (and Coins)
- Interest Rates Are Rising: Here’s Where to Keep Your Cash
I also did a ground-up rewrite of my old post “Treasury Bills for Ordinary Folks,” which they published under the old URL but with inexplicable title Why Treasury Bills Are Always a Worthwhile Investment. (I say inexplicable because the whole reason it was worth a rewrite is that, after 10 years during which Treasury Bills were a terrible investment, they were were finally once again paying a competitive rate.)
I have one more post that they bought, but which hasn’t gone live yet. They say it’s currently scheduled for early January, so I guess I’ll be able to include a Wise Bread section in my 2019 end-of-year post as well!
One place I have been writing pretty actively is here on this blog. A quick count just now found 67 posts published in 2018, and I may post another one or two before this post goes live.
Some of that number are trivial status posts—for which I have the glimmerings of plan. I’d like to post everything which goes to social media here first, and then share it on social media. Working out the logistics has proven problematic, which gets me discouraged. (My glimmers of a plan involve my microblog at micro.blog, but I don’t quite have everything working yet.) When I get discouraged, I go ahead and post stuff on social media—but almost always I end up regretting it. That’s when there’s another small flurry of status posts here.
Besides those, there are plenty of more substantial posts here as well. Since you’re here reading this, I assume you don’t need me to link to those.
I’m a little happier about my writing this year than I’ve been in the last several years. I finished two new short stories, both of which have been sent to markets. That feels a lot better. It also leaves me feel like I’m ready to write some more—I have several bits and pieces already in progress.
In non-fiction news, writing for Wise Bread ran along about as it has in recent years, with six articles published (and one more that I’ve submitted, but that hasn’t appeared yet). Posts that appeared in 2017 are:
- The Surprising Truth of Investing: Mediocre Advice Is Best
- The 3 Rules Every Mediocre Investor Must Know
- How to Spot Lousy Investment Advisers
- How One Mediocre Investor Prospered After the Market Crash
- How to Make Sure You Don’t Run Out of Money in Retirement
- How the Risk Averse Can Get Into the Stock Market
I’m pretty pleased with all of these, especially the mediocre investment advice series. Once again, none of them is a listicle (although the editors did give one of them a listiclish title).
My plans for next year are more of the same. I hope to maintain some momentum in getting stories out to editors and working on new stories. I’d even like to get back to my nearly finished novel. (Or else definitely give up on it and start on a new one.) And I’ll carry on with Wise Bread stories.
Happy New Year!